So i was at a show the other night and there was a band onstage who were a pretty good young rock band. They were the opening act. They ended their set with the singer taking about 3 minutes talking about God and telling the audience that Jesus loves them and even though that might not be cool to talk about at a rock show, he felt compelled to share that with them. It was an interesting moment because this show was not in any way a christian event. First let me say that I have to give the guy some credit to a certain extent because what he shared did take some guts….. especially as an opener. But when I heard him say it, it got me to think about what those words mean in that context and I found myself second guessing if this is the way this message should be shared. Even though I believe that what he said was true, I suppose I’m second guessing the way the message was sent.
What gives someone the authority to share this kind of message? Do you simply need a microphone or a bullhorn? Just because someone might have a captive audience to share this message, does it then mean that telling people Jesus loves them is in some way meaningful? If you are on the street corner handing out tracks that contain the x’s and o’s of “accepting” Jesus, are you doing so with any kind of authority or credibility? If you are in a rock band and you have fans because they love your music, do you take advantage of that evangelical opportunity or not?
If it’s true that credibility and authority aren’t factors when sharing this kind of message, then what kind of message are we sending? If just because I’m in a band and there are fans who will at least listen for a few minutes to what I have to say, does that then mean that I share with them my religious beliefs?
I suppose it all depends on your theology. If you believe that people are going to hell unless they believe the right things and therefore need to be saved, then maybe any way to share this message is fair game. In the context of a transactional gospel, the method wouldn’t matter, would it? By any means necessary the message needs to be trumpeted, right? You don’t necessarily need to know the person. You don’t need to actually have credibility through a meaningful relationship. I suppose there’s not enough time for that kind of thing because it’s all about saving as many souls as possible so you gotta be on to the next lost person pretty quickly. I guess I don’t buy into this kind of theological approach. It broke down for me probably about 15 years ago. Maybe this is why I’ve had this reaction.
In the end, I’m not interested in criticizing this kid for saying what he did. We all have the freedom to say what is on our hearts and talk about what we’re passionate about. But I’m just wondering what we expect from these kinds of expressions of faith. And I’m wondering if maybe it undermines the very deep, rich and meaningful message we intend to project with our lives.