29 December 2005

Concerning Profanity & Blasphemy

Someone using the pen name "Devil's Advocate" recently left the following comment under my 16 November 2005 post. What follows are my thoughts in response to the questions posed therein.

While reviewing your profile I took notice to some of your favorite music and literature. I wanted to get your opinion regarding a few controversial issues in the Christian faith. How would you defend listening to, reading, and ultimately condoning music that carries profanity and literature that could be blasphemous in how it contradicts the true faith and belief of Jesus Christ? (Ex. Public Enemy / The DaVinci Code) I know that I may sound “legalistic”, and for that I apologize. However, it does not divert the fact that you are professing to be a true Bible believing Christian. If that is so, than you would be the perfect person to answer this question and address this subject. I look forward to your response.

-Devil’s Advocate


I'll prime my thoughts by saying that I'll focus specifically on how I “defend listening to, reading, and ultimately condoning music that carries profanity and literature that could be blasphemous in how it contradicts the true faith and belief of Jesus Christ?” I believe for me, it’s a continual spectrum. In other words, it’s a matter of conviction from God, which has a lot to do with where I’m at on my spiritual journey. For instance, about 6 years ago, I was convicted that my trash mouth was not something that was uplifting to my Creator (and other people), so I stopped cursing. I used to listen to Korn, but the closer I drew to Christ, the less I could take listening to them – not just because they cursed, but due to the fact that the message that came from their music was extremely aggressive in an angry and destructive sort of way. It was reckless, careless, very self-centered and had no regard for others – so I stepped back and realized this was not the kind of person I was created to be. Through maturing and growing spiritually, I’ve learned that there are positive and non-destructive ways to express aggression and emotion. For instance, Chevelle and Cool Hand Luke are both very emotive bands that have been able to fully express such emotions in healthy ways. As for the DaVinci Code, I certainly don’t buy into the conspiracy theory presented therein, but the fictional, pseudo-historical-drama is a masterpiece of writing by Dan Brown. On a more practical note, how could I ever have an informed discussion with anyone about the theories presented in the novel without first reading it?

I think I’ve reached a point in life where I believe that the god who created this world will use whatever I hear, read, and see for His purposes, despite the fact that He may not have approved of my choice in the first place. Not that this gives me a free ticket to fill my head with whatever my flesh desires, as I truly believe there are clear lines that have been drawn for me. I also believe that we have so much to learn about Christian spirituality from non-Christians. It would probably surprise you to know that I recently saw a Madonna documentary (the one from her American Life tour) and feel like her commentary therein about Kabala was extremely insightful. But again, right time for the right person – a personal continuum. I trust that the Lord holds me in His hand and nurtures me accordingly.

At the end of the day, I will always stand for Christ. And I would openly welcome sincere conviction from a believer-friend (who knows me personally) that a certain band I’m listening to, or book I’m reading, is causing a negative impact on my walk with Christ. What I will not stand for is some person who runs a cable broadcasting station or a pastor of “national import” who issues blanket statements telling all Christians across the nation to avoid a certain book, movie, teaching, etc. It’s safe to say that the Catholic church, who at the time was literally selling forgiveness (which contradicts everything biblical about forgiveness), issued many warnings to its followers not to read the writings of Martin Luther, whose focus was to return the faith to its biblical roots. As I stated in my Intelligent Design post, followers of Christ need to stop blindly following causes that are merely cloaked in Christianity.

Sometimes Christians get so caught up in judgment, forgetting to bandage their own gaping wounds, while putting band-aids on the paper cuts of others. I used to do that. I still struggle to avoid it. But I think there’s more to my “call” than that. In the end, I will always fail you. I will always make life-decisions and choices about movies, music and literature that are not uplifting (and potentially destructive). That’s why I encourage others to look to the life of Christ demonstrated in the New Testament gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and emulate His perfect example. Can you imagine what this World would be like if every human could forget about themselves for like half a day and focus on loving and serving others? How much could we accomplish?

Finally, I’ll add that when I’ve had questions about whether I should be putting something in my mind, I’ve asked God to convict me about whether its right or wrong. Most times I’ve found that I already know the answer, I just need His help to give it up. Phew...I guess I’m done now. And this is one of those posts where comments by others are critical...so please add your thoughts. Let’s start a dialogue.

2 comments:

Aaron Kreider said...

Defy The Gray,

Thank you for your heart. I agree whole heartedly with the thoughts you have presented here. Our sovereign, perfect and personal God can, will, and does use everything in His creation to bring Glory to himself.

Thank you, this post is an ecouragement... I hope that others can find it to be an ecouragement as well.

Anonymous said...

Troy,

Well said. I appreciate the integrity and honesty conveyed in your words. It was easy to see that you were being true to your heart and sincere with regard to your convictions. I also agree with aaron kreider. Your thoughts and comments should serve to be a great encouragement to all Christians who read your post. Thank you for taking the time to address my questions as well as my curiosity. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect answer. It was as if the Spirit of God had inspired all that you had written. It is easy to see that God has a special calling on your life. Keep up the good work. Thank you for obeying the Will of God and having the courage to be used by and for His purpose.


Devil’s Advocate