So my answer to the question is ... absolutely not.
N0 I am not screening the bands. I'm not going to ask them to pretend to be something or someone other than themselves just so that someone who calls themself a Christian can be more comfortable. I just can't see Jesus doing that. The way I look at it, asking someone to be less honest about themselves so that someone's delicate sensitivities are not offended would not be remotely Christ-like.
I know, I know .... they are probably thinking that its a "Christian" event. Well, it is, and it isn't. It is not a "church" event. Our congregation is not affiliated with it other than doing a lot of the work to pull it off. Our church name will not be advertised at all. I'm sad to say that makes some people at our church very happy but it does not surprise me. What this event is, is a bunch of people, some believers some not, coming together to help raise money to purchase backpacks for the poorest children in America. America the beautiful is not all that beautiful in some places and for some people and that is something we want to do something about. In that sense, its a very Christ-like event. Dare I say it, maybe it is more Christ-like than what occurs in a lot of Churches at 10am on Sunday. This event is all about the Body of Christ being the Body of Christ in the place where it matters most - the world.
So why am I not concerned about the cussing?
Putting outward restraints on behavior has never, ever, done a single thing to change someone's heart. And it never will. And so, I'll never be a part of anything that places more focus on outward behavior over people's hearts.
Oh, and then too ... can I be straightforward ...
If we're going to start addressing particular "sins" and making them an issue - let's start with our own. I wonder what it is that makes someone think that their sins are somehow less offensive to God? I kinda think God is hurt by it all. Maybe He's hurt most by sins of self-righteousness that seek to separate His people from the people who need Him the most.
And then there's the whole issue of profanity ....
The way I see it, there are things in this world that are FAR more profane than a four-letter word and I think the cause of Christ is best served when we care more about those things than some silly, meaningless word. Why do Christians like to pick on words and ignore facts like this
- Children are being used in child slavery just so that Americans can enjoy a luxury like chocolate.
- Children in both America and other countries do not have something as basic as clean, safe drinking water.
- And people starve to death every day in a world full of rich Christians who spend bookoos of bucks on buildings.
Now those things are profane.
So, back to the original question: Are you going to screen the bands at Rezonte '08. No, but I may screen the Christians. They are the ones that I worry about behaving decently.
This is not the first time this has come up and I'm sure it won't be the last. . I frankly think we need to rethink what it means to follow Jesus.
"Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in
the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect
little children in your beautiful little house where you have no gays or
minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like
Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken." ~ Rich Mullins