While I usually hate reposting an entire post, this one was worth it.
I’ve been asked several times in the last couple of days about whether I’m upset about the new remix of “We Are the World.”
The Christians contacting me about this are disturbed by what they see as a startling omission from the ’80s-era song in its 21st century update, performed by artists in support of Haiti relief. Willie Nelson’s line “As God has shown us by turning stone to bread…” is gone. These Christians are outraged, and they wonder if I am too.
Well, yes, I am outraged. Willie Nelson should have been invited to participate. He’s still every bit as talented as he was in 1985, and if Nick Jonas can be invited, then certainly Willie should’ve been too.
That’s not what these folks are outraged about. They’re afraid this is indicative of the secularization of American pop culture, and that there should be a Christian backlash.
But wait, again.
God didn’t turn stones into bread. It was Satan, not God, who suggested our Lord Jesus turn rocks into bread (Matt. 4:3-4). God sends bread down from heaven (Exod. 16), a Manna he ultimately gives to us in the body of Jesus (Jn. 6), signified in the communion meal (1 Cor. 11).
Misguided Christian Outrage
These Christians mean well. They don’t want to see the gospel disrespected. But there’s something parabolic here, I think. It’s the same sort of thing we see when Stephen Colbert interviews a U.S. Congressman who wants to legislate the Ten Commandments in federal courthouses but can’t name them. We’d almost rather have the affirmation than the revelation.
Why are we so desperate to see “God” affirmed by the outside culture, even when the “God” they’re talking about more closely resembles Zeus (or, as in this case, Lucifer) than Yahweh? When we reach this point of perpetual outrage, are we closer to identity politics than gospel proclamation? I’m afraid so.
Could it be that the problem is we really want the reassurance that we’re “normal”? We’d like a shout-out in our pop culture and our political speeches to signify that we’re acceptable, that Christianity isn’t really all that freakish. But, if that happens, apart from submission to the Cross, is it really Christianity anymore (Jas. 4:4)?
Preaching vs. Product Placement
What if, instead, we loved the world the way God does (Jn. 3:16), and not the way the satanic powers ask us to? What if we loved the world through verbal proclamation and self-sacrificial giving, not by seeking product placement for the Trinity? Rather than expecting our politicians and musicians and actors to placate us with platitudes to some generic god, let’s work with them where we can on “doing good to all people” (Gal. 6:10). Let’s proclaim the God of a crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus. And let’s teach our kids and our converts the actual content of the biblical revelation.
That project is more difficult than signing Facebook petitions. But it’s more Christian than pouting when our culture mavens misspell “Elohim” on the golden calves we’ve asked them to make for us.
Reposted from http://theresurgence.com/misguided_christian_outrage.