I have a confession to make – I listen to Christian rock music. The melodies are usually gorgeous (they’re actually melodies!) and often inspire chills. The words are frequently incredibly inspiring, giving encouragement to leave the ego behind, to trust in a higher intelligence, to have no fear because God is near, to take comfort in knowing that everyone is broken and that there is, indeed, a pathway out of our pain, confusion and suffering. That there is salvation.
Who can fail to take comfort in that broader message?
It’s the more specific stuff outlining the method that’s tough to take. Which means when the words pouring out of the K-LOVE 100.7 FM tower here on Maui turn to Jesus’ suffering on the cross and the crown of thorns and the blood and the dying and the crucifixtion and God’s sacrifice of His only Son—all to redeem humanity’s stupidity and sins—I change channels and listen to island rock reggae.
But I always return to K-Love, searching to hear something beautiful. And as long as I keep my own interpretation of the words I hear in mind, I frequently do.
I also use it to as practice for tempering judgement and increasing tolerance while attempting to understand the “other side”—the religious right—who are about as far removed from my own understanding and consciousness as Pluto is from the sun. Farther actually. Much farther.
One thing that’s jumped out at me lately is the constant referral to “OUR GOD” both in the songs and from the DJs. Which fascinates me because the very fact that the Christian Right keeps hammering on about “Our God,” the more they keep setting up the existence of “other gods”—the god of the Jews and the god of the Muslims and the gods of the Buddhists etc.. perpetuating the bloody theological competition game that has ravaged the Earth for thousands of years.
The god of the Christian RIght is ALMIGHTY and OMNIPRESENT. Which means, by definition, no other gods can exist except as an expression of the One God. (Ahem.) And yet their languaging keeps setting up other gods and the dynamic of US versus THEM.
It’s like listening to a cheerleading squad in heat:
“Our God, Our God, is Most High
Our God, Our God, Rules the Sky!
His Name is above all others.
His Grace is above all others.
His Rule is above all others.
His Love is above all others.
No wonder the Christian Right are so … well … RIGHTeous. They can’t help it. Like any insecure child bully, the whole gig is about convincing themselves they’re RIGHT and BEST, giving them the excuse they need to bludgeon the rest of the kids in the schoolyard with their limited understanding and dogma.
I write about this, not because I have an answer. I don’t. It’s just an observation. All I can do is observe, think, love and keep on doing my thing, hopefully from a less adversarial place. The last thing the world needs is to hear about MY God.