"Well, all I know is I want to be labled a Christian"So, Ty, you were there!! I understand the point of the sermon, so I don't know if I was thinking of it as an excuse to swear. I think it is an obvious "shock-value" thing, much like the Campolos and Yaconellis of the world exercise quite a bit. However, I think you are hitting at what I am getting at. Our generation does not want the legalism and the "Heaven on the Horizen" kind of mindset. We want to live the here and now. I know I do. Is "on Earth as it is in Heaven" just prayer filler Jesus used, or did it mean something? I think that we are to be seeking to live the faith with diligence, by loving people to a remarkable degree, which does not happen in the Christian Ghetto.
Recently I was hanging out with a group of College/early career age people from the church I grew up in. I love many of these people, and the church is one I would love to be apart of, but the mindset is still very "narrow", at least from my perspective. While going through my CDs, a couple guys kept asking "are they Christian?", which makes me feel like I have to defend every CD in my collection. Then later another topic was raised of Christian musicians that don't want to be labled Christian to play in Club venues and what not. I learned to keep my opinions to myself, but obviously was intrigued to hear how this played out. One guy said, "Well, all I know is I want to be labled a Christian". I seriously wanted to leave. I could not believe the level of pompousness in that statement. It sounds as if Christian bands that don't smash Jesus down your throat with second rate music are going straight to hell. Or that due to his name being on the guest list of the Christian social club, he was better than those that are not. I probably read to much into it, that's a given, and nothing new really, but this feels like the attitude far too often at churches, and even at Christian colleges.
Here's the other thing that struck me. After ripping on Christian artists that are actually living out the Gospel, but not labled so, we threw in Dumb and Dumber, laughed it up and thought nothing about it...Does that strike you as odd? Probably not, because it is typical, but that night it struck me differently. Movies portray a certain worldview, as does music, and all forms of art and entertainment. In Dumb and Dumber there are multiple examples of bad values, if the movie is to be taken in as a whole. Revenge, Sex, empty living, alcohol as a "necessity", laziness are all elements of this movie that is not Christian, but music can be cast off just because it is not sold in a Christian bookstore. What the heck is that about. So many secular artists have created art that has given me opportunity to worship God that most Christians would not listen to because he uses some swear words (Bright Eyes), yet movies that carry values that are even more obvious and counter to the Gospel are accepted...seems fishy.
My Contention is that all is enjoyable, but through a discerning heart and mind...
Oh, and Andy, can you link a readable version of your sermon? My computer sucks with MP3s...or it could be the user.