I'm sitting in our meeting place waiting for the bands to start. We've opened our leased facility to the local bands and so now regularly host a concert every couple of months. Tonight it'll be a couple of the regular local bands, and one from Oregon and another from Italy (unless Alex was messing with me). Should be interesting.
So I get to sit here and blog . . . and probably work on some teaching for this week.
Note to all cynics - we've had upwards of a couple hundred high school students here putting on their own concerts several times, and except for the one incident where someone microwaved a t-shirt and discovered the singe/melt factor . . . we've never had any trouble. The organizers even stay afterward and help set up the sanctuary after it's over.
I'm sure that some would want to ask "are they Christian bands?"
I'm not sure how to answer that. I'm not sure what that question means. Does is mean the band members are believers? Does it mean the songs are overtly Christ-centered? Does the band have to have a creedal statement to be Christian?
Sure . . . I know what most people mean by that question, but it is a lousy question. "Christian" is not an adjective that can be used to modify all our nouns. Is that a Christian school? Is that a Christian restaurant? Is that a Christian political party? Is that a Christian nuclear weapon? See how quickly it devolves?
Using "Christian" as an adjective separates the world into two camps. By not bestowing that adjective we implicitly label them as pagan. It seems that in an Ephesians sorts of way Christ is seeking to break down walls of separation - not erect them. We are redeeming, inviting, including, welcoming, and leavening the world. That's hard to do when everything either receives or is denied the "Christian" adjective.
I doubt that these bands are Christian in the overtly we-are-trying-to-communicate-evangelical-messages way. They might even be wary, perhaps hostile to Christianity. I heard two girls talking in the hall as they looked at some of the books we have in our coffee shop area, and one said sarcastically, "let's read the Bible." But maybe the fact that we welcomed those two girls to use our space, and even to express their disdain, will start to undermine their negative attitudes toward believers. Of course I want to tell them that we're different . . . not like institutional bastions of exclusion - but they'll only believe it if they experience a difference. I can't tell them anything.
Still sound checks. It's going to be a long night.