Monday, May 31, 2010

Pushing Drugs-- God's Way

There was a time a few years ago that anyone wanting to sell their program to the church only had to add those two words from the title "God's Way."  You could raise children, God's Way, teach Sunday School God's Way, diet God's Way and so on.  So let's talk about Substance Abuse-- God's Way.

Nice non-sequitar.  But I'll link everything in a moment.  This post continues on the subject of emotions started with the "Ministry of Hype" blog.

Let's look at a junkie.  Why does he shoot up?  To escape.  To forget.  To remember.  A substance abuser uses to self-medicate.  He has a hurt inside and he thinks this will fix it, even if for a moment.  He takes something to change his emotions-- remember, emotions are children of thoughts, and the substance abuser does not like the sober thoughts, so by taking the drug, he can change those thoughts, thereby changing the emotion.

His drug of choice can be coke, smack, heroin, meth, really hip worship service, marijuana... wait!  Did I really throw that next to last one in?  If we're talking about not liking our emotions, so we shoot up to change the emotions, why not?  Why do you think the light shows, great music, videos, big sound, dramatic pauses, vamping, visual aids are so popular?  Because it feels good!  People aren't flocking to mega-churches because they hate it.

Now wait a minute Dan!  People are at least flocking to churches.  Would you rather they all die and go to hell?  Of course not.  But if Jesus had allowed the Rich Young Ruler to come follow as he was, it would have poisoned heaven, leavening the loaf.  This is so polar opposite to the evangelical climate of the church.

But Jesus was more concerned about disciples than decisions.  If it was all about decisions, why doesn't God just kill everyone after they made the turn?

Now I work in a creative field-- making movies.  And what we do is impact people's thoughts and emotions.  But the movies are simply a tool-- a story to make a point.  Like Jesus's stories.  I do believe in excellence of craft, and I'm not saying if your church is using the cool, hip light shows and music it's wrong... I'm saying being a disciple is SO MUCH MORE than that.

Worship is a day by day, hour by hour endeavor.  Music is only a very small part of that.  I love music, it has taken me a long time to come to that conclusion.  As a worship leader, I have felt that our part of the service was really the most important.  I know I'm the only one (ha!).  There is only one time recorded in scripture where Jesus and the disciples sang a song.

But music can hit those emotions.  The right song can remind me of thoughts that pour out emotions.  And it's like a drug.  And that's okay... God created music and emotions. And great music is an awesome tool.

But if this is the center of your walk with Jesus, I feel sad for you.  Because you might be someone who is just using the emotions as another quick fix to make the pain go away, without doing any real and lasting change.

As we said in "The Imposter," sometimes God's more interested in you going through a process than zapping you with spiritual morphine.

Get clean and become His disciple.

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