Sunday, December 09, 2007

One of these things is not like the other...

There is a process I am moving through I would refer to as congruence. This is another word for making sure things match. There have been quite a few pieces turned up in my faith journey that appear juxtaposed to the rest. Now that I have more freedom to ask why, I find some intriguing considerations. People who put their faith in Jesus are constantly reminded that you are to be “in” the world, but not “of” it. The understood meaning behind this talking point is that heaven is your real home, and you should in turn not embrace earthly values as you stand in the queue waiting for your number to be called to enter that destination. What came with this, at least in my experience, were all kinds of dichotomies, usually in the form of determining what is sacred and what is secular. This is where the genre of Christian Music came from. Rock music was secular, therefore a sacred alternative was needed, so we came up with something acceptable, regardless of how inferior it may have been. What made things worse was the delineation between the now permissible Christian music and the emerging slice known as worship music. It wasn’t enough to have your own category of tunes you could listen to without guilt, now you had something new to worry about. Now you had to ask, is the music worship or is it entertainment? My favorite time to observe this tension was when you went to a concert by a musical act known for their popular “worship” songs. The majority of the show would be jamming along until suddenly the sound of grinding gears makes you realize that we are coming to an abrupt halt. The leader of the group inserts what amounts to an apology for his self-centeredness and turns the show into a scene from The Church As We Know It. And most of the audience seems to understand what is taking place and moves right along with the current. Why did I feel like I was the only one in the crowd that didn’t get it? I guess I could have felt good that I got two shows for the price of one, but in that case it didn’t seem necessary. I believe the Church of the Future will be less about creating tidy boundaries like those labeled “worship music” and “other acceptable forms of music,” and more about seamless living. Eventually these constructs will not even make sense because freedom from law leads to security in faith. If beauty is found outside the border lines, the Church of the Future won’t realize that it once had to first be sanctioned.

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