Some people seem to think I cross the line.
Maybe I do, I don't know ... I try to walk it.
It always kind of amazes me the number of well-meaning church people who don't seem to "get" what it is we're trying to do with REZonate.
Last year as we prepared for REZonate, I got a lot of laughs when people thought I was joking when I was as serious as could be. I got strange looks when I said I thought it was great that some vile, offensive rockers might be there. And I took some heat for having bands perform that maybe just might cuss on stage. Others wondered about the crowd ... would they be a bunch of drunk rough-necks who might hurt us? In fact, quite a few people stayed away from the event entirely and in my opinion, blew a really good opportunity to put their money and bodies where they're mouth is.
And that makes me wonder...
Are we really so far removed from the reason Jesus came? Do we really prefer to congregate in our holy huddles and shake our heads at how shameful the world is?
REZonate is not a Christian event. Some bands performing there will be "Christian", some very much so. Others will not resemble anything remotely Christian. Some people who attend will be Christians, some will not be at all. Some may be there who believe that Christians hate people like them.
So actually, I think it is a Christian event in the truest sense - in the sense that we are hanging out with people Jesus would hang out with and helping the people Jesus would help (the poor and helpless among us).
It is not a Church event though. And if people come they may well see or hear things that are offensive. Its my hope that we are mature enough to deal with that ... to accept people where they are and love them ... to let our light shine ... in short, to be Jesus with skin on to those folks. Not because we're better than them, because we're not. We all fall short of the example Jesus left. But because we have been given Grace and we ought to share that Grace with other people like us, who fail to live sinless lives.
I don't know, it seems pretty simple to me ... help give hope for a better future to some of America's most impoverished children by giving them school supplies, and in so doing, create a way to let the world see that we love the way Jesus loved.
To me, that seems pretty "Christ-like".
I guess that's why I love the line in the movie Walk the Line where Johnny Cash's studio executives were trying to dissuade him from performing in a prison.
"Your fans are church folk, Christians. They don't want to see you singing to a bunch of murderers and rapists, trying to cheer them up."
Cash replies, "Well, they're not Christians then."