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5 July 2004

Christian Rock Festivals

This morning’s Times ran an article on “Christian rock festivals”, which I commend to you.  Doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of difference between “Christian” festivals and secular ones.

Here’s my letter in response.

In my own youth, I was an evangelical Christian, and I attended events similar
to “Creation East”, described in your article.  Much of the atmosphere profiled
does not sound like it has changed much in the last ten years or so, which is a
tragic stasis of events.

It still surprises me — although I suppose it shouldn’t — that a
subculture like evangelical Protestantism, which professes to be “in
the world but not of the world,” should be so enmeshed in the
conspicuous consumption of our mass culture.  Marketing sounds at
least as important as the Gospel to the festival-goers, as echoed in
comments like, “There’s a quick buck to be made for Christ. But the way
I see it, I’m going to make money in a secular way or expressing my
faith,” or the young man who pondered whether he might spend his money
better on others but had already blown it on CDs.  Festival
organizer Tim Landis seems so concerned about being “elitist” that he’s
left his ideals behind.

Even more disturbing was the shirt that proclaimed
“Hetero-Boy.” Defining oneself this way means essentially the same
thing as saying “Not Gay” (for why else would one wear a shirt that
says such?).  For gay men like me, raised in the evangelical
Protestant culture, such messages only reinforce a climate of hatred
and derision, in spite of continued protestations that “Christians love
the sinner and hate the sin.” With mechandising and messages like those
on the t-shirt, is it any wonder that so many gay men end up hating the
Church and themselves?

Christ told his disciples that one cannot serve both God and money.  Your
article makes it fairly clear that at least some of his followers haven’t chosen
very well or convincingly.

Posted in Rayleejun on 5 July 2004 at 3:06 pm by Nate