Marriage, Christian engagement and the public sphere...

Its that time again, the leaves are turning, the weather is cooling and your obligation is just around the corner. Yup your civic obligation to vote is only a few short weeks away!

As a citizen of the foggy part of CA I'm being bombarded with ads for and against Proposition 8, the Gay Marriage Ban. As an avowed thoughtful evangelical who's spent some time in the academic faith experience, i am getting grilled by my friends on this one. I find myself at a loss for how to respond. It should be easy, yeah or nay! Right?

Yet one look at the google results is enough to scare me from even wanting to enter into the discussion! The rhetoric and the heat! *shudder*

But what also makes this hard for me to talk about is that for its not an issue of saving marriage, but instead an issue of christian dialogue in the public sphere. In France one is married twice, legally and then in the church of their choosing. What makes it dicey is that there is no clear direction in the bible as to what Christians should legislate and why. There are nebulous passages about giving back to Caesar what is his and obeying the laws of the land, but nothing about what laws we should draft and approve.

So I find myself asking,"does this legislation really matter?" Cant marriage be both a legal and a religious ceremony? Should Christians try to legislate out morals on an unbelieving public? I'm not so sure, but I'm willing to at least ponder and engage thoughtfully on this, and when possible engage in thoughtful dialogue, not just game winning.


Pain, Suffering and the CCM...

I'm back! I had a rotten year and now trying to get back into a rhythm, but on to this blog topic!

Lately i've been on a 90's emo rock nostalgia trip. Ahhh the agony and the irony of this life! One song that has struck me time and again is "Its been while" by Staind. As i was reflecting on this, (yes im that kind of geek) i realized that sometime in the late 90's i stopped listening to Christian music. Yeah i had my DC Talk and Audio Adrenaline CD's, but once they stopped playing, i kinda lost interest in Christian Music, after all one can only take so much of Twila Paris!

Upon further reflection i realized that it has much to do with my own maturing faith. I found myself thinking more and more about the theology that was being espoused in much of the music. In addition there seemed to be some skittishness around pain and suffering. (lets be clear, naval gazing without action is not what i'm espousing!) I find this skittishness to be uniquely American, but not biblical! The bible states that we have crosses to bear and following JC is not going to be easy!

In addition as a GenXer i found myself being more and more turned off by what seemed like poser entrances into the music scene. Christian hard rock bands, trying to be hard in sound but not in lyrics. The pain that drives rock music was not there. In the end i walked away. Or rather i started listening more to worship compilations and ignoring the rest of the christian music business. And yet i still feel a twinge of guilt in my evangelical soul...

I guess what i'm looking for and find in secular music, but not so much in Christian music is an honesty about the struggles. An honesty that some of us are not made to be white, middle class and perfect. I have a buddy who struggles with mental illness and is a christian, but whenever he goes to church or hangs out with his christian friends, he feels totally alienated. Where's the music that speaks into that experience?

Eh... i give up, back to reminiscing about my emo days...