Saturday, September 6, 2008

why i like coldplay or thoughts on songwriting and the perversity of christianity

we were dying of frustration
saying Lord lead me not into temptation
but it's not easy when she turns you on
God only, God knows i'm trying my best
but I'm just so tired of this loneliness

so up they picked my by the big toe
i was held from the rooftop, then they let it go
~excerpts from "yes" by coldplay

right now i'm into coldplay, especially their latest album "viva la vida." i used to be very much into christian music, despising secular music but i am making a switch. it's not that i don't like christian music anymore, but there's something about much of it that doesn't satisfy. i find christian artists struggle with honesty. i'm not saying they're dishonst but their honesty seems to only touch a few, very christian areas of their lives. this seems to hold for much of the christian community. you only talk about certain things, others are better left untouched. this is what i like about secular artists. they touch upon much of what christians are afraid to touch. they allow themselves to be cryptic. not everything has to be explained or even needs to have a definite meaning. could you imagine the same thing in the christian world? this would be instant death to you. everybody would jump on you, interpret you their way and tear you to pieces. it's kinda funny and sad that this is how christians behave. i haven't seen as much of that in the secular world. especially in big cities people live and let live. you're entitled to your own worldview and if i don't understand it i won't tear you apart. cryptic songs are still open to interpretation by everyone and many people have different interpretations. the thing that matters is that people can connect with these songs, and can connect in different ways. that's the beauty of it all.

now on to the side-topic of christians leaping onto each other like fighting wolves. isn't it sad? we stand against gays. jesus hung out with prostitutes and would've surely embraced gays. we don't allow them to get married. yes, true, we don't think that's right but who are we to choose for them? we do not in any way have any authority over anyone else, nor do we have the right to judge. yes, we do have the right to say this is wrong but how much good are we doing with this in most cases?

the thing that strikes me most is that while we hold on to our so-called "christian" values and not just merely defend them, but attack everyone who thinks differently, we have lost many key values. what about love? can we call ourselves christian if we go and rip everyone apart who thinks differently? can we call ourselves christian if we don't even make the effort to sit down with the sinner and listen and understand? not just a half-ass effort but a real effort that costs us something (most christians talk much about sacrifice but hate the very thought of it with passion). perfect love drives out fear. are we trying to convert people by fear or by love? what about the gospel being life-changing? what about Christ changing lives? why the heck are we trying to force people to change their own lives? isn't there something very perverse with this?