Monday, March 10, 2008

Ugh, Christian radio. SWORD - Part 3

Ugh, Christian radio. SWORD - PART 3

I am not sure where in the bible it says that Christian radio must be cheesy, perhaps it is a verse snuggled deep in the shadows of the Old Testament. I’m pretty sure Jesus never mentioned morning radio programs in any of his parables, but somewhere in the bible it must directly address Christian radio. This is the only excuse that justifies its awfulness.

It’s not the music I think is bad. In fact, this morning I wrote down two new songs I want to buy on iTunes. I think the music is great and I know that there are some really good Christian DJs around the country, but in Atlanta the banter between the hosts drives me a little crazy. They’re just so syrupy sweet and fake and surface. Their jokes are horrible, their guests are boring and as they recant tales of their weekend (“don’t kittens do the silliest things”) I find myself happy I don’t have to pull over in the breakdown lane and pry off my little Christian fish with my bare fingers in fear I will be associated with them because my car is currently fish free.

Both those paragraphs kind of sound negative, but I think they are honest. I think the tsunami of mediocrity that is Christian radio has given worship a bad name. I think for the average person, Christian radio or perhaps just all Christian media symbolizes what it means to worship. And I think that gives worship a bad name.

In thinking about what it means to worship, I realized there are three things I believe:

1. Worship can be a funeral
Maybe when you think about worship you think of that lady with the kind of big hair at your church that raises her hands really high and sings songs with her eyes closed. I sit near her sometimes. And I think she’s definitely enjoying worship. But I think sometimes worship can be sad. I think sometimes worship can be mournful. I think you can worship at a funeral of a friend that has gone home but is still deeply missed. I think worship is about being honest with your emotions and sharing them with God, not just singing happy songs. So if you ever feel like you’re “not happy enough” to worship, read Psalms. There are several verses in their where David is crying out in agony but is worshiping nonetheless.

2. Worship can be a party
At the same time, worship can be a party. I love that in the prodigal son story, the only moment of worship we get to witness is a party. A loud, wake up the neighbors, shake the foundation celebration of a son returned home. They didn’t sing hymns or play hand bells or march solemnly about the yard in stone faced devotion. They threw a bash. They celebrated and had fun. I would challenge you to find the fun in worship.

3. You know how to worship
I watched the Duke and North Carolina basketball game this weekend. It reminded me of how we are all intrinsically wired to worship. It’s not something that some people are “blessed” with as a spiritual gift. We all know how to worship and we all have things or people we are currently worshipping. Maybe you’re not painting yourself blue for a college basketball game, but you feel your heart rush after you get praise from a superior at work. You get a little kick of happiness and devotion when your finely manicured lawn is well, finely manicured. And other people know that about you. That’s why Nike recently did a Lebron James campaign simply titled, “We are all witnesses.” They know people are wired for worship, they understand that we all want to be part of something big and all consuming. I just think it should be God we get on board with, not Lebron James who promptly lost every game of the NBA finals after that ad came out.

Worship might not feel easy sometimes, but I think it’s like making a direct call to God. Some things we do can feel like we’re emailing him or posting a message on his facebook wall, but I believe worship opens us up to some personal interaction with him.

So for the next month, I am going to make worship a daily part of my life. I hope you’ll try to as well.

This post goes well with:
Lebron reminds us we were created for worship.

p.s. Check out my other new post, "It's the little things that kill."


Anna said...

Okay, without a doubt, the thing that bothers me most about Christian radio is that almost EVERY station has some form of "positive and encouraging" as part of their station's description.

I like the point that worship is natural and we know how to do it. So true. Just go to a concert or a sports game to see that.

JJ said...

Nice work in bringing us all back to what we were made to do. I'm enjoying the series you got going here.

Anonymous said...

Great writing about a touchy subject.
My kids love the local Christian station, but I find it to be a facade...oh well, guess I'll have to buy an iPod

Sam :] said...

I love Christian radio... I don't have a CD player in my car so that's all I ever listen to. But I do know what you mean. I'm not too fond of all that happy chatty fake stuff... sometimes you just KNOW the DJ got up this morning and had a horrible day but then acts all cheery on air... NOBODY is that happy all the time. You know... I'm just realizing what your sites are all about... honesty. It's so refreshing to have some honest thoughts and emotions regarding Christianity... cause a lot of times we get the exact opposite. And I know EXACTLY what you mean about worship being like a funeral... the best worship experience I ever had I broke down and cried uncontrollably... and they weren't happy tears. I think when your down and crying out for God you become even closer to Him... more closer than singing happy songs when you're actually broken on the inside. Anyway this probably didn't make sense... it's just my honest thoughts. Awesome post, once again! :]