Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Christian Rebellion

"You say you want a revolution? Well, you know, we all want to change the world..."

Recently on a blog post by the popular Marc Barnes, a commenter made two statements that I have trouble accepting: 1) Rock is fundamentally, at its deepest level, an expression of rebellion and 2) Christianity is not rebellion.

Now, I guess it's hard to argue with the fact that rock music is a symbol of rebellion for many, but I would say that fundamentally it's an expression of a desire for freedom. And sometimes, it succeeds in hitting on authentic freedom. Often it doesn't. But here's the thing. I'm not writing this to debate the merits of rock music (I believe there are some). I want to address the next statement.

Christianity is rebellion. It is a wake up call in the lethargy of a pagan or secular culture. It is a complete turn-around from the Roman world from which it sprang. It took Rome and turned it on its head. In fact, it's been doing that consistently since. Christianity is a rebellion against the chains of sin. It will not accept just getting by. Christians will not just go along for the ride. We are radical in what we believe. God exists, He loves us, He became one of us, died and rose. He will come again and bring those who love Him to His Father's house in which there are "many mansions".

This has always been my experience. Christianity watered down is not rebellion: The fullness of truth is. The commentator cited acceptance, submission and obedience as what Christianity is. Well, yes, but to obey one Person is to rebel against someone else. A friend of yours invites you to do cocaine with him. Do you do it? It would be so easy to just say yes, because you wouldn't have to refuse anyone anything. Except you shouldn't do it. You should rebel against the false friendship that is inviting you into destruction. You should, in fact, stand up and denounce cocaine-addiction for what it is, the ultimate System. If there was anything had us in bonds, it's our addictions. That is a System from which we can not escape without rebellion. There is often something enticing about this System and when we first taste it, we want to continue. But we eventually know that, no, this is pure imprisonment. This is a suffocating, oppressive system. And we need to rebel.

There are so many systems that we need freedom from. We need freedom from attachment to money, too fierce an attachment to a humanistic utopia, attachment to Hollywood, attachment to pleasure. We need to find the freedom to do what is right, and in order to do that, we must rebel. Christianity is rebellion. It is Obedience. And if we must sanctify rock music, maybe it must be by expressing this exact thing. The tension between obedience and rebellion. Freedom from, freedom for. The Paradox.

I think Chesterton would agree...


thisjourneyofmylife said...

It surprised me too that the commenter wrote Christianity isn't rebellion. I can't help but thinking about Romero and the dictatorship in El Salvador or Blessed John Paul II and the revolution in Poland. And those are merely political rebellions. There are so many non-political rebellions we should join. We are called to rebel against injustice, intolerance, greed, anything that goes against God's will.

Nate said...

"When the system goes down
Where are we going to run?
When the system goes to town
We'll be looking for someone
Or something to save us....." (Going Down, 2009)

What we need in this world is a Rebellion of Joy ("and the men signed with the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark" or whatever the quote is--Chesterton, The Ballad of the White Horse). C.S Lewis also talks about is.