I picked up a copy of Time magazine yesterday because I saw something great on the cover: the Arcade Fire, "Canada's Most Intriguing Rock Band". And not only was there an article on them, there was a whole spread on 'Canadian Indie Music'. Woohoo! It's hard to believe, but I am actually proud of some of the music we're exporting. When I made the comment to a friend last night that at long last "Canada actually has some good music", he replied by pointing out that we've always had Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, the Tragically Hip, the Guess Who, etc. So I had to rephrase it: at long last "Canada actually has some good music (strong emphasis on 'good'), that I like (strong emphasis on 'I')."
"This is not music made in venom or spite, or in the name of fashion photography. This music is meant to conquer and to comfort. It's meant to be human. There is an essential truth and honesty to Canada's indie music...It is music shaped in large part by our cultural landscape....It cuts with an intensity that other music doesn't possess (or, as far as I can tell, even strive for). This current crop of succesful Canadian indie bands has helped revive music worldwide."
(Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene, Time Magazine, April 4, 2005)
You shall wait a very long time indeed if you wish to hear [a television] preacher refer to the difficulties a rich man will have in gaining access to heaven. The executive director of the National Religious Broadcasters Association sums up what he calls the unwritten law of all television preachers: "You can get your share of the audience only by offering people something they want." You will note, I am sure, that this is an unusual religious credo. There is no great religious leader--from the Buddha to Moses to Jesus to Mohammed to Luther--who offered people what they want. Only what they need.
(Amusing Ourselves to Death. Neil Postman. Pg. 121)
As we plunge into the 21st century, it is time we take a closer look at the technological wonders we create. Here, we try to discover just a little bit more about the world around us through the miracles of science, technology, and preservatives.
Theologians/They don't know nothing/About my soul/About my soul/I'm an ocean/An abyss in motion/Slow motionThe song goes on to talk about how life isn't a textbook -- it's a complicated, dirty, emotional experience. When I had first heard the song my first reaction was, "Hmm. Next song..." But I listened to it a few times and started to understand a bit more where the guy is coming from. It's like he's reacting to the mentality that someone can write a book and think he has the human condition figured out, as if he understands the complexity of being human, as if he understands God. It made me stop and think about how I treat life and my faith and my beliefs. I find myself at times being very uncompassionate in my responses to peoples' pain, struggles, problems, issues, failures, and deep emotional scars. I pull out a textbook answer, like saying that evil and pain exist because of Adam's mistake, and that it isn't God's fault, etc etc. These answers aren't wrong, but there is something very detached in them -- something very impersonal, unhelpful, uncompassionate. In my arrogance I assume that having a couple of pat answers like those makes me somehow understand the psyche of all humanity. I think responding to peoples' sincere pain with a textbook is like giving them chunky milk (the thought just made me gag a little) -- it's milk, sure, but it isn't doing them any good...
"Some of the efforts perpetuated by [Christians who seperate themselves from the World] are commendable. After all, the world does produce some pretty rotten stuff at times. For example, some secular music glorifies rape, abuse, premarital sex, extramarital sex, and homosexuality. Obviously, feasting on this type of music is toxic to one's spiritual health.
But guess what? --- there's bad Christian music out there too. This bad Christian music might even be slow and without drums (shocker). Bad Christian music mostly comes in the form of bad theology. By "bad theology," I'm referring to songs out on the market that present God in an unbiblical way. Perhaps they present a God who is merely accomodating or a God who wants to be your buddy and not your Lord. I'm much stricter on what comes into my ears with the name of Jesus stamped on it than with secular music I hear in the mall. Why? Is that a double standard?
Anything that comes in the name of God is intended to affect and influence the way I think about Him. There are a lot of unbiblical and unorthodox views, teachings, and descriptions of God that come under the Christian label. This to me is a greater danger than blatant "secular" music, because it's often subtle and goes undetected.
Preachers who tell their congregation to follow the Berean model of searching the Scriptures, rather than obeying church lists of approved media, ought to be commended. We need to enter the Christian bookstore with the same caution. In my opinion, the labels of "Christian" and "secular" have done just as much damage to the Church as good. There's a tendency among some believers to allow the labels of "Christian" and "secular" to become the discerning factors about what a person should or should not consume. Such practices dull our discernment and dependence on God."
(The Journey Towards Relevance, Kary Oberbrunner, pg. 50, 51)
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.Alright. Ok. How to begin. How to begin...
Lord, grant me that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.Today was insane. I think this is literally the fastest answer to prayer I have every experienced.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
(2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write. (William Makepeace Thackeray)
Secret Of The Easy Yoke
by Pedro the Lion
I could hear the church bells ringing
They pealed aloud your praise
The members faces were smiling
With their hands out stretched to shake
It's true they did not move me
My heart was hard and tired
Their perfect fire annoyed me
I could not find you anywhere
Could someone please tell me the story
Of sinners ransomed from the fall
I still have never seen you
And some days I don't love you at all
The devoted were wearing bracelets
To remind them why they came
Some concrete motivation
When the abstract could not do the same
But if all that's left is duty
I'm falling on my sword
At least then I would not serve
An unseen distant lord
If this is only a test
I hope that I'm passing
Cause I'm losing steam
And I still want to trust you
Peace be still