Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Ego of Da Jeebus!

I need to hurry up and write something, and there are a lot of things I want to write about but they will require more time. So, I guess I'm stuck writing about something that comes second nature to me - picking on religion. (Sorry, religious folks.) Be forewarned, I'm not being very fair or constructive with this one. I'm just winding up my oppressed Id and letting it go:

I wrote before about how my few experiences at church were generally pretty positive. I should probably amend that in the sense that they were positive as all of the people there were very kind and loving, and I never got the judgmental vibe from any of them. I did think that most of the actual ceremony was pretty cheesy though - even when I believed. In all honesty, the only thing that I really liked in the one that I can remember best is when the minister actually gave a sermon. It was all about how Christians need to focus on loving their neighbor. Hey - good stuff. Let's get everybody to love their neighbor. I'm all for that.

The one thing that I couldn't stand though were the songs...oh, the horrible songs. Don't misunderstand me; there are plenty of religious songs that I like quite a lot. I wrote a whole blog about this one time. I shamelessly sing along with Johnny Cash when he sings "I've got Jesus and that's enough for me." (I also hum along to Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries", so don't go looking too much into that.) There are a lot of GREAT songs about religious faith.

But holy crap, most of the stuff they sing in church is pure dreck. If there is a God, he's going to make the people who write and sing these songs burn forever in the worst form of hell for perpetuating such garbage. Here are some sample lyrics:

Our God(our God) is an awesome God
He reigns(He reigns) from heaven above
With wisdom(with wisdom) pow'r and love
our God is an awesome God

Celebrate Jesus celebrate
Celebrate Jesus celebrate
Celebrate Jesus celebrate
Celebrate Jesus celebrate
He is risen He is risen
And He lives forevermore
He is risen He is risen
Come on and celebrate
Come on and celebrate
Come on and celebrate
The resurrection of our Lord

Shine jesus shine
Fill this land with the fathers glory
Blaze, spirit blaze,
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord and let there be light.

Here's the thing, let's all assume that Da Jeebus is real, okay? What the hell is his problem anyway that he needs his creations to sing this kind of crap to him? I'm a pretty insecure person, and I can imagine myself creating a universe and wanting my creations to praise me. But I've got problems. Isn't Jehovah-Jesus supposed to be beyond these kinds of personality quirks?

"Oh, but Lance! We do it because we want to! We do it to show our love!"

Well then, what the hell is wrong with you that this is the best you could come up with? He creates a universe, and you sing "Shine, Jesus, Shine."

Bring on the Johnny Cash and Al Green, I say.

This "Stan Lee Challenge" was inspired by The Amazing Spider-Man #41: "The Horns of the Rhino!"


Anonymous said...

You had me rolling on this one . . . as you know, I'm a Christian and in my life I've attended many churches and seen many different lead singers and I've participated in some of the worship you describe. Here are a couple thoughts I came up with a long time ago:
1) Boring songs that say the same thing over and over again do NOT please Jesus unless you are singing them from your heart. The problem is that this, in most cases, is very ironic - because how could such songs stir up anything in your heart, mind, or soul???
2) Jesus taught against "the religious" and those that said repeated the same old prayers over and over again. Worship music is a form of prayer and I agree with you that Jesus would've made fun of such prayers as he did the people who chant religious (Pharisees-sp?).
3) I always felt that Christians had too hard of time telling people when something didn’t sound good. Many Christians feel they have a calling in music and often times pursue it vigorously and no one has the heart to tell them that maybe they need to get back to prayer and really ask God if that is what He is telling them or is it a childhood dream that seems to conveniently come up in every prayer they ask of God?
This may sound harsh, but dead music can’t penetrate frozen hearts . . . it doesn't even blow dust off of lazy minds . . .
So for once Lance, I completely agree with you!

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Wow! And you agreed when I was trying the least to be fair and balanced about things.

Matthew said...

Well, I agree with you 100%. I think I can count the number of times I've enjoyed singing "praise songs" on one hand. But, even the worst christian song can't hold a candle to the inane, blithe drivel of the "United States Pledge of Allegiance."

I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

What kind of a country teaches children to recite a "pledge of allegiance" before they're even capable of articulating the meaning of the word "allegiance?" Given the choice, between reciting a pledge and singing a crappy religious song, I'd rather shine that little light of mine. At least it rhymes.

Lance Christian Johnson said...


Why do you hate America?

Ingrid said...

Lance, I have to let you know that I agree with you on that one. I told one of my visiting missionaries that this was another reason why I didn't like to go to church. I don't like sermons and I don't like the singing. It always sounds so boring to me, and singing on command is not for me. There are some beautiful hymns though which I like to sing to myself. "Simple Gifts" is one. Just think what beautiful music was written by people inspired by their faith.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I would never deny that some of the most beautiful music in the world was inspired by faith.

Kaboom32 said...

When I was going to church, I was really involved with the music. That's actually what first got me to that church. I was asked to play in a brass quartet, then I stuck around to keep playing with the band. For me, it was a just a way to keep playing music in some way.

At the first church I was going to, we played lots of songs like the ones you list. I know two of the three. They are garbage, and I complained often about the repetition. The best thing about them, though, it that they are so simplistic that I got to learn to play guitar with those songs.

The second church I went to had a full section of musicians. I got to play actual music. We would even have to rehearse it. But this was a really big church. Most churches can't have that sort of thing.

So with most churches, the music is written and made for dumb people. I could use some circular reasoning here to describe why, but that's an argument I leave for the Christians.