detoxing from ‘christian’

Post by: KrisAnne


Last night I went to Musikfest in Bethlehem with a new friend. It was a night filled with good food and music, local and international art, even a bit of history. As I told my friend that I was kind of new to events like this, because I grew up a “good christian girl” who only listened to christian music and went to christian events, I realized that I’ve been de-toxing these past few years. And the de-tox process has been like a revelation.
The world where the majority of people live is alien to me. I don’t know where they hang out, what they listen to, what they do for fun– and I’m sure my parents and youth leaders believed they were doing the right thing by offering adolescent me “safe” alternatives to the sexy, angry, drug-hazed world. Who wants to see their child caught up in and damaged by that? Why not listen to music written and performed by Christians? Why not hang out at Creation Festival, rather than Woodstock or Musikfest? Why not create a world that protects us?
However, I have come to some sad conclusions about the alternative world we have created with the Christian industry. First, it’s a false safety net. Bad things can happen to kids at Creation Festival and at other Christian music venues. There are drugs there, and kids do things there that they regret later. Human beings are human beings no matter if you put them in a “Christian” environment or not. Secondly, there are good, beautiful and deep things happening outside of the Christian music and art industry. I have heard lyrics and seen paintings that speak deeply to my soul, and they have not come from the hands or mouth of people who would call themselves Christian. Not everything outside of the Church is corrupt or ugly. The Spirit goes before us into the world.
Lastly, I want to confess this: I wasted too many years in my cocoon. A cocoon is no good after a certain period of time… and it actually ends up becoming a tomb if the butterfly doesn’t break out of it. God’s Mission incarnated in me, almost died. Before I began de-toxing from the world of Christian-this-and-that, my only friends were Christian… as was my radio station, my books, my magazines, and 80% of the places I did business. I’m breaking out of the cocoon now, and I’m beginning to see that the fear that was instilled in me about “the world” — don’t hang out with non-Christians because they will make you do bad things, don’t go to ‘that kind’ of concert because it will put bad thoughts into your mind, don’t dance because it will lead to pre-marital sex — painted the picture of a false dichotomy.
Yes, there are immoral, unhealthy things coming out of Hollywood, New York and Nashville; things that we need to stand against and speak Truth to. There are also good things coming out of those places, solid charity work and art that speaks to the human struggle for meaning and purpose. The Christian music and art industry struggles with its own immoralities (pride, greed, materialism, self-centeredness). I have found it extremely difficult to find Christian songs or visual art that speak hope and truth into some of the most profound suffering going on in the world right now. We all live in gray places– things are not as easy as black and white.
Let me tell you what I saw last night at Musikfest: a year 60+ year old couple dancing to Zydeco and looking at each other with such love that it made my eyes misty, artists who painted with passion and creativity that the beauty of it all made me stop and stare, fathers and mothers laughing and learning with their children, young people being polite and friendly… and a new friend demonstrating acceptance and generosity toward me, though we come from such different backgrounds.
God was at Musikfest last night, though the Christian label was nowhere to be seen. Amazing.


~ by missionindtown on August 12, 2011.

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