Monthly Archives: June 2014

Christian Porn Music!

Hah got your attention didn’t I? Right of the bat I gotta be honest with you, the tittle is slightly misleading, but if you were expecting to be offended I’m pretty sure you will be so stick around why dontcha. Don’t want to let that click and loading time go to waste huh? It’ll be worth your while!

Before we dive into this a few facts about me to set the stage. I’m someone who “became christian” after a life lived far and away from church culture for way more then half of it so far. I studied and graduated in arts and after that music. I’m wired for raw expression and esthetical beauty. I can’t believe I’m going to use these words because they always have sounded so extremely “ladidah” and artsy fartsy to me but here it goes, I’m a searcher. I’m convinced there is a God and Jesus has a big deal to do with him. But I will distance myself from the idea that christianity as we have it today is the way. There’s lots of excess fat to be cut off. And that’s where I search, what is from God and what is cultural nonsense.

So back to the porn shall we? One person I have always taken interest in is John Carmack, for those who don’t know him, he’s one of the guys responsible for the video game Doom among many other endeavors. Here’s one thing he said that has become a pretty famous qoute.

“Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It’s expected to be there, but it’s not that important.”

It hasn’t aged well because of how video games have advanced and to be honest, I think it’s just one of those things he kinda blurted out at the time not really paying attention…whatever.

What I do want to get at with this is the following. Music in church…oh dang here we go…lets have it. When you go to most mainstream christian churches in europe (I’m speaking from first hand expierience only to be fair) as an “outsider” you’ll quickly find yourself bored. In daily life you think of music as something to dance to, something to be in awe of, something to celebrate, something to help you through all kinds of emotions from utter joy to complete despair. As you enter the teenage years you quickly identify with a style of music that triggers something in you, and if you were like me you adapt your lifestyle to it even. Music is a driving force for every human beeing as it gives shape, identity, hope, courage, comfort, …not only that it helps define what we can’t otherwise communicate. I can search for the right words to tell you how breathtaking a mountain is that I saw, as it emerged from the mist and pushed aside the clouds towering over and completely dwarfing the horizon. But you’ll never understand. But when I seek out the right sounds and textures and compose them into an expression of that mountain, suddenly you’ll be halfway to understanding my awe of it. It will almost be like you were there yourself.

Back to church, in “worship” music of todays church they only seem to know one modus => On/Go. Buildup, beauty, craftmansship, honed skills, sincere expression, dept, mystery, poetry, extacy…everything you know and love about music are things that are expected to be there….but in church nobody really seems to think they’re that important.

We’ve had Handles Messiah, we’ve had amazing grace and according to the bible we’ve even had music so powerfull it brought the glory of God down the earth. Where is it today? Yes ofcourse theres the few video’s of gemstones manifesting in some church nobody ever heard about during worship, or gold dust manifesting…leaving the authenticity debate aside, hey if it works for them more power to them. But that doesn’t satisfy my hunger. That doesn’t answer my quest.

Where is that music that makes my heart swell and tears run down my face? Where is that music that will have me weeping by it’s cheer majesty. By how it paint’s a portrait and tells of a God so vast and magnificent that it drives me to my knees embracing the ground with trembling hands from both fear and extatic joy at the same time? Where I ask you? If you put your hand on your heart and are completely honest you can’t tell me it’s in a church building. Yes you will have remarkable moments during worship but I’m convinced you brought yourself there for the most part. Which isn’t wrong by any means, call it prayer or meditation on music if you will.

But honest music to me seems to be an entirely diffirent thing. I can’t say it otherwise but for some reason I can’t help but see that the more overtly Christian music is, the less it manages to stirr my emotions….other then irritation. And this comes from a person who honestly loves Jeshua. I struggle with my faith, I doubt at times, I search…but all that aside I LOVE Jeshua. I love God! Why do I hate what people claim to be the music that comes with the package so much? It’s one of the main things that keeps me away from a church service…not even joking here.

I’ve debated this to death with pastors and churchgoers alike…and I seem to get little positive response. Only a few understand where I come from and are willing to agree to some extent.

Here’s a beauty of an argument “we want to use music that is accesible to the general public” this was said by the typical modern pastor in who’s church they play the typical acoustic guitar/piano duo. Ofcourse the songs follow suit by not going verry far outside of the hillsong united confines.

My parents, who are absolutely a good representation of the general public where I live, had this to say about the music: “we’d love to join you for this church son but the music is just horrid, it’s always the same”.

No I’ll tell you why you stick to the hillsong formula pastor, because it’s convienient. Because you’re afraid if you do something original you’ll lose the typical christian population and will have outsiders walking in who God forbid might mix things up a bit… or even worse…have an encounter with God. You’re afraid that if you give the music part of the service into hands of actual musicians people might actually have a bit of uncontrolled fun (can you tell I have something on my stumach here?).

Alright one more train of thought and I’ll let you go. Think of it this way, say an average small church has the president of the Usa visiting. Ofcourse they will do everything they can to clean the place up and to rehearse the whole service beforehand to bring nothing but the best the church has to offer.

Now take that and put it next to God, who shows up every week. Who died a hellish death of torment and agony to save your hinders from the lakes of fire

 

…ah don’t worry about it, we’ll put of rehearsal till next week just like we did last week…

 

Well…you say you believe…

…looking over my facebook at all the diffirent posts from diffirent worldviews, diffirent disasters going on and beeing exposed, at times it does feel a bit like the last of days doesn’t it? Mother nature giving us a run for our money that we so greedely try to hang on to. Suddenly you get confronted with the fact that your participation in the world of kapitalism is costing lots of freedoms of others, lots of wellbeeing, lots of lives…and lately it’s finally gotten to a point where it’s starting to bother me just enough for me to start expressing it instead of shoving it under the carpet. Not just the things I summarised here, but all of it. The world seems like such a hopeless place lately, as if we’ve been looking forward to the apocalypse but maybe we’re already in it and have been for ages now. When you zoom out planet earth a little bit and look at the population of it…we humans are a horrid little bunch aren’t we?

And at times it’s conflicting with my beliefs as I’ve held them for a while now. Why would a loving God allow this and that? Can’t he just blow the planet up, get us all into heaven and get it over with? And these are questions that most Christians are prepared for with a little bit of scripture mixed with a little bit of deduction aimed in the right direction and voila…and that used to work for me as wel. But I’m starting to run out of those to be honest.

When the bible says “those who the Lord sets free shall be free indeed”…alright then, why do I still struggle with lots of nasty habbits? Guess I’m still a sinner after all? Oh but I guess you can also say our righteousness isn’t completed into his during this life because otherwise it would go to our heads…beeing a christian in and of itself does that to most so I guess that would make sense.

Questions like these are annoying yet interesting, they keep you busy, and it makes for a good intellectual excersise.

But that’s not what I want. I want the real deal. I wanna have a final answer “God are you really, really, really out there, or am I just talking to myself?”. In the beginning when it was all visions and prophecies God would swoop in directly to asure me of His presence. Then a few times it hapened that I would wander off and He’d let me go off on my own for a while (much like a parent would let it’s todler walk a bit in the park while keeping a watchfull eye about 10 meters off). But He would show up again, with signs, dreams, visions, those moments you really know God’s out there…and the question would go away again.

But nowadays it’s new yet again…one day no doubt about it, God lives and is displayed through Jesus Christ who rose again. Then the next day I’m agnostic. Then the next day I’m watching through the eyes of an athiest. The day after that I’m listening to debates between Hitchens and William Lane Craig (and several other people who have similar debates and sermons) and I end up giving consideration to even weirder alternatives…maybe we do come from aliens…but where do they come from?

And yet I still pray daily…even if it’s just me blurting out “JUST TALK TO ME DAMNIT!” I still go to Him.

A close and dear friend of mine says “live your life in front of people”. And that’s what I intend to do, to be an honest testimony of a life lived with God. If theres one thing I can’t stand is this “lets just all walk in the same line of christianity because we don’t wanna look like a disorganised bunch that has a thing called personality” atmosphere you find in most churches…God that pisses me off!

It’s not easy. It’s absolutly not a God of the gaps for me…in fact it seems to only creates more plotholes in some instances. It’s frustrating trying to find your way beeing given this new way to look at life and having the old way so firmly ingrained in you. And what really is the way to be practicall about matters? What is really a sin, and what is just something culture made into a sin just because it was convienient?…Those are the things that keep me busy…and it’s driving me mad at times…

I find myself praying this a lot “God please just give me a place to call home”, be it a church that I can be myself in a bit more, a wife that understands me and is able to love me and be loyal. Some friends that I don’t have to pretend with, if they’re Christians I don’t want to have to pretend to be more christians then I am and visa versa if they’re not.

Well dear reader, whoever you are, I greet you and say thank you for hearing my troubled mind.