Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Color of Worship

So… most of you know I love modern music, specifically stuff like Hard Rock and Metal. For this, its been implied that I’m going to Hell or something along those lines by various people. Never to my face, but on my school forums. Interestingly enough, when I directly ask them if that’s what they’re saying they’ve never actually said yes… but still that’s what people have kinda implied.

Now, while I of course disagree with the idea that rock = sin I see their point, to a degree. Drugs, Sex, and Rock and Roll… doesn’t sound very good does it? I remember I heard on the radio that some Pink Floyd guy died recently and then the radio mentioned how he was high on drugs much of his life or something and my cousin’s mom (who was driving the car) said something along the lines of “wow… wonderful guy,” when my cousin was like… “he died? NO!”

Or perhaps Jimi Hendrix, a alcoholic druggie who had a tendency to get very violent when drunk. He was a social wreck, but a musical genius. The guy made the electric guitar what it is today: rock music’s most important and most ionic instrument.

And then we have metal… which has always had a history of flirting with Satanism and the like. It’s angry, often curse-filled, loud music. And yet I love the stuff. I do not think all of it is inherently sinful.

My family is reading a book about honor for our Bible study and this section we’re reading now has to do with individual cultures’ unique styles of worship. It’s interesting because the author has mentioned several groups (specifically Native Americans) that I know had some very dark and demonic parts of their culture, parts of their culture that were very deep into their culture. Now, I’m not saying that the Native Americans were all demon worshipers and their culture should be wiped off the face of the earth, but let’s be truthful here… the Native Americans had some strange and demonic rituals and practices.

However, God made them and he made them unique. Sadly, when the white man came to America they didn’t see this wonderful unique culture as that, but as a dirty uncivilized people that needed to “become American” or whatever. Yes, some of their culture was bad and needed to be removed, but not the whole thing. By doing what we did to the Native American people we’ve only created a rift that to this day has not healed, one that may never heal fully.

What’s my point? When my mom was reading this book I thought of something. My culture worships God uniquely, and while you could call my culture White or American or whatever it is, its also other things. I’m a geek: I play RPGs, quote Monty Python, love video games and other things. I listen to hard rock and metal music and my idea of worship includes modern instruments like the electric guitar, drum kit and bass.

Now, like I said in the beginning of this post, I know rock music has some pretty bad guys involved in it. I know some of the founders of Rock, Rock and Roll and Metal were messed up people who really needed to get saved (and in most cases, didn’t, but instead died and went to hell). But that doesn’t mean that all of rock music is evil. It doesn’t mean that if I play metal music then I am an evil demon worshipper or hate God. Unless my actions, both on stage and off, explicitly are forbidden in the Bible then I’m not (and I challenge anyone to try and explain to me WHY Rock and Metal are evil. I’ve debated it so many times I’m sure I can explain to you my point of view quite accurately).

But here’s the problem with Rock music, or any culture that has demonic roots: where do we draw the line? Now sometimes it can seem quite simple, but at other times… it’s not. When I think of Native Americans in their traditional dress dancing around a camp fire, honestly, I automatically think their doing something that is not Biblical. Its not the dance, or the clothes, or the fire, but the words they’re saying which often invoke the names of the demons their people worship(ped).

Now, some Native Americans I’m sure can use this style of music and performance to Honor God but we have to be careful. We can’t just take part in some sort of “cultural performance” without knowing exactly what’s going on, and if we’re okay with that.

My point is: God has created thousands, if not Millions, of unique cultures with their own styles of worship and praise. To some people the idea of jumping up and down to Rock music is scary, strange, or weird. But to me slowly chanting some flowy poem thing is weird. Not to mention boring. :P God created us all in his image and no matter how messed up our cultures are we can still find something within our culture that can be redeemed and we can use that part of our culture to worship our Creator.

Signing off for now,

Isaac, the masterofweirdness

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