Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Punk and the Art of Preaching

Do you wish to become a better preacher? Listen to some Punk music (or maybe Grunge, or even some Outlaw Country).

This probably doesn't seem like an obvious idea. What would the Devil's music have to do with preaching the Word? Popular music is made for different reasons. Some music styles glorify a lifestyle, some are romantic and sappy (or even designed to seduce). Punk is a music of complaint (as is Grunge). Punk complains about life.

That's why it is useful to study. Punk describes what is wrong with the world - and more importantly, what people are seeing as wrong with the world. If you listen to the music of complaint about the world, you will have plenty of ammo for any "Mirror of existence" preaching that you might want to do. If a song of complaint is popular, it's an excellent view to what is viewed as collapsing in the world.

You don't think so? Go read Ecclesiastes (and then maybe listen to Train in Vain by the Clash). Go read Lamentations. These "punk" books of the bible could almost be sung to three chords. They show what is wrong, what is empty, what is vacant (we're so pretty, oh so pretty... vacant).

Or if music isn't your thing - maybe watch a good Satire. The Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy come to mind - shows that skewer modern American living. But. . . but. . . but those shows are. . . vile. To an extent - yes. But so is the world we live in. And popular satire will let your put your finger on the pulse of the world - and when you know what that pulse is doing, you can make precise diagnosis and treatment, your preaching will be sharp.

I suppose if you are more sappy and tender - you could listen to 60s folk. . . pansy. But be aware of popular modes of complaint - they are beneficial to your task of preaching, and help keep you from being ivory tower. Folks are down in the dirt, you need to let them know in the preaching that you know what the dirt looks like.

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