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Archive for October, 2008

“Love your enemies.”

Man. That’s a tough one isn’t it? The full quote is from the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says in Matthew 5:44:

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

It’s hard enough sometimes loving people that I like, let along loving my enemies. Pray for those that persecute me? Why?

That’s the operative question:

Why must I love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me?

I have several thoughts on this:

1. We will not turn into an enemy. What I mean by this is, as humans, we tend to be vindictive. How many times have we done something to somebody that was retribution for the same thing they did to us?

2. Our enemy does not have victory over us. In fact, our love of them, could bring about change in their own lives. Look at the profound effect Jesus had on people who would be considered enemies.

3. We’re able to draw closer to God the Father. Think about it. If we disobey the very commandment His Son’s laid upon us to love our enemies, aren’t we then making ourselves an enemy of God and pushing him away instead of drawing close?

4. Very simple: It’s what Jesus would do. That’s where the WWJD bracelets come into play for a practical purpose instead of a fashionable purpose.

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Worship & Music

Man, I have been such a slacker! It’s been quite awhile since I’ve updated this blog. Truth is, I have been neglecting it due to politics where I’ve been writing up a storm. But a few people have actually said, “Hey, you haven’t written anything in awhile” so I know at least 2-3 people are reading!

I’ll probably get into a little trouble with this entry, but I’m really glad that I live in the time that I do. I enjoy music immensely. I enjoy playing music…well, playing the drums anyway. Drummers are often the punch-line for jokes. “What do you call that guy who hangs around with four musicians? A drummer!” Har har. I really enjoy the times when I get to help lead worship at our church. What does any of that have to do with the time I live in? Well, Christian music has changed quite a bit over the last 20 years or so. For the better. When I was younger, I had a record player and I listened to my parents records. So there was a lot of things like The Beatles, Elton John, Billy Joel, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, etc. The 80’s saw more transitions in popular music styles than I can remember. It started out with punk, then went on to new wave. Then bands like Genesis and Huey Lewis and The News dominated. Rap got really big and then the hair band wave rode out the rest of the 80’s into the 90’s when grunge and a new form of hip-hop music took over. With my kids getting older, I listen to music that I otherwise loathe, just to keep up with the times. It also allows me to discuss with them, the music they enjoy intelligently.

Unfortunately, there are many Christians who believe that anything heavier or faster than “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” is not Christ-like and there’s been a lot of controversy over the years about what constitutes ‘real’ Christian music. Let’s look at something. Read the lyrics below:

I’m just another person, I’m just another man.
I was the one that hurt Him, I finally understand.
Now I know that for certain I caused the nails to land,
That left Him dead and murdered, pierced in feet and hands.

Please go here to listen to the song those lyrics are from.

Now read these lyrics:

This need is real in my soul I feel the love You shared that’s why I can’t say no again
My thoughts are confused for my sins You’re abused
My heart it screams, to open up and let You in

Please go here and listen to the song those lyrics are from.

It’s possible you may not like either style in the above examples. But are either one of those songs “un-Christian.” Not to me. Both are very bold in their witness of Jesus Christ. That is what’s key. Christians get far to hung up on what is the “right” kind of music, but let’s be honest here. How many teenage kids out there want to listen to Twila Paris or Michael W. Smith? We live in a technological age, where access to music is insanely easy to come by and it’s become more than something to pass the time for many of them. It’s part of their lives every day. If we steer kids away from rock bands like Kutless, hip-hop acts like KJ-52 and even more extreme bands like Demon Hunter (serious metal) we’re going to lose more of them to the likes of The Pussycat Dolls and Kanye West.

Here is what the lead singer of Demon Hunter had to say about their music:

Music becomes a lifestyle for teens. It’s more than a hobby to them, which is something that could probably be better understood by teachers, parents, and preachers. Music is a very important tool in youths’ lives. It can determine the standard by which they establish their lifestyle, dress, belief system, respect. What we do in our music is very much about understanding culture and youth. This is not watering down the message of Christ. We bring young people truth through a biblical Christ-centered outlook and worldview in a way that they can be excited about.

That is so true. Read the rest of the interview here. It’s fascinating because chances are, most people, if they saw these guys walking towards them:

they’d probably run away. But these guys are fire for the Lord. That’s what matters. I’m not a fan of Demon Hunter as that music is a little more hardcore than I am used to. But if my kids wanted to listen to it, I’d say, “Go right ahead.”

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