I don’t like Contemporary Christian Music. I think this is mostly a knee-jerk reaction against my teenage ALL CHRISTIAN EVERYTHING SEPARATE FROM THE WORLD asshole days, so I am probably throwing some babies out with the bathwater (sorry, babies!). But there is also a little truth to the fact that a lot of CCM is just…not creative. Not technically good. And most importantly to me, they are often too Happy Happy Joy Joy.
I can’t stand a faith that pretends life is good. I can’t stand a faith that refuses to acknowledge domestic violence, addictions, bad moods, and doubt. Unfortunately, most of our worship music is “blissfully” free of our uncomfortable reality. But I want to be uncomfortable! I want the songs I sing to God to be messy and truthful and desperate, because that is how I am.
So even though I don’t like traditional worship music, I DO love me some songs about faith. Here are a few of my favorites.
1| “Jesus, Jesus” by Noah Gundersen Continue reading
Are you drawn to the story of a God who lives and dies full of love for a rebellious creation…yet find yourself wondering how it could possibly be true? Have you grown weary of rules that seem to cause slavery rather than freedom? Are you skeptical about the usefulness of “good news” that doesn’t seem so good? Do you worry that the religion you grew up with doesn’t apply to a more diverse population?
Welcome to the Doubting Christians Club!
In a desire to provide a strong foundation for its members, the Church has often promoted a rigorous belief system that seems to leave little room for doubt…which can make doubters feel like they either need to leave the Church or else hide their doubts. I don’t believe either of these options is a good idea for the Doubting Christian – the first because you will miss out on the beauty you are drawn to, and the second because you will live a double life that will slowly isolate and destroy you.
Luckily, there are others out there just like you (myself, for instance)! Listed below is the Doubting Christians Starter Pack that will stretch your mind, give you hope, and assure you that you are not alone.
1| O Me of Little Faith: True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling by Jason Boyett
This is the book that began my journey toward becoming comfortable with my doubt. It was given to me, unasked for, by my pastor, which has earned him my undying respect. In this book, Boyett gets honest about his doubts and comes to the conclusion that perhaps doubters are closer to God than those who never question their faith – after all, doubt is an inextricable part of a faith given to something unseen.
By far my favorite thing about living in Dallas (within range of Austin) has been the live music. I’ve had the opportunity to see bands that would never have passed through Central Illinois. Below are my five favorite concerts!
1) Sufjan Stevens.
EASY CHOICE. Sufjan Steven’s Sing-A-Long Christmas Tour was the best concert experience of my life. Alternating between original music and classic Christmas songs, this concert felt like a massive family gathering of weirdos celebrating a holiday together. Spinning the Christmas wheel to decide which hymn or carol we would belt out together, Sufjan felt like a friend. That is, until he brought things back around to “Casmir Pulaski Day” and reminded everyone that he is, in fact, a genius.
The concert ended with the incredibly long “Christmas Unicorn.” Sufjan donned streamers and a bike helmet outfitted with a wing and a unicorn horn. Everyone swayed and sang, “I’m the Christmas unicorn / Find the Christmas unicorn / You’re the Christmas unicorn too / It’s all right, I love you.” It was absolutely ridiculous and lovely. I wish I could welcome the Christmas season with a Sufjan concert every year. Continue reading