I got into an argument today. It was actually none of my business, but I stuck my nose in. I was walking along the road, minding my own business when I noticed two people arguing.
One of them, since he was standing behing a table adorned with tracts, was a Reformed Baptist. I don't like the word "reformed" as it makes me think of reformed ham, something that isn't a naturally occuring substance, but made from bits of something else - like Frankenstein's Monster. I digress! The other person was from one of the bands playing at the Jesus Fest in Falcon Square.
They were arguing about the music. I was actually too far away from them to hear the content of the argument, but I am sure it was about the music. The volume of it was loud and that prevented the RB's from talking to people. It was also indistiguishable from any other kind of rock music and was not...Christian? All I knew was that two people who were part of the body of Christ were not showing the world any kind of unity, but very visible and audible division. I wanted to go over to the Jesus Fest man and say something. There is a sense in that he is here for one big bang of an event and then he is gone, but these folk turn up week in week out with their stall and they will be around long after he has left Inverness. But I decided to give myself some time to think before I spoke and disappeared into M & S to buy odds and ends.
By the time I got out, the Jesus Fest man had gone but the three RB's by the table were in animated discussion about who was judging who, and who had said what to who, and who was in the right and who was in the wrong. It was petty and picky and not honouring to God.
So that is what I said. I reminded them that we were all part of the same body of Christ. We were all on the same side. I said that the Jesus Fest man loved God too and this was his way of witnessing.
Well, that was me opening a can of worms! There was no way they were going to concede that his music was godly, although they acknowledged that he might have been. They talked about young people that got lead astray by that kind of music. I replied that there was more than just the music, that the music was a way fo catching the attention of young people, but that it was a way into something much deeper. They went on to say that the only way of really catching people was through the word of God - which I don't dispute. Personally loud music does not do it for either, but it does for some.
I go to thinking later that when Jesus talked to people he caught their interest by talking about familiar things - sheep and shepherds, fishing and nets, seeds and sowers. People related to that becuase it was a part of their experiences. Talk to young people today about sheep and shepherds, or fishing and nets and you alienate yourself from them. What is familiar to them is loud music with a heavy beat.
I also go to thinking that young people view loud music differently to what I do. To me it is noise and I can't make out the words. Becuase they hear it all the time, they can tell what the words are. They don't see it the way that I do. Not everyone thinks the way I do about things at all.
Hey, way back at the turn of the century, the hymns we so revere as the right kind of Christian music were scorned by the church at the time as being out straight of the music hall.
I did come out with Paul saying that he was all things to all people to win the few. I got told that I was twisting scripture! Seems to me we can all the accused of twisting scripture to fit our own agendas.
How hard it is to lay aside our own small, unimportant and petty prejudices and let God do things His way.