Sunday, December 19, 2010

Adventures in Christianity - Part II

Every year, an old high school friend of mine, Justin McRoberts, puts on a benefit show for Christmas for Everyone at the Hope Center in Pleasant Hill, California that he calls McChristmas. Apparently, this was the ninth time he did this show, but it was the first time that I went. Why haven't I gone before? Well, I don't really do the whole church thing. Still, some other non-religious friends from those high school days have gone, and they convinced me that it's a good show. Basically, they told me that it was more about helping the poor and acting like Jesus than anything else, and I really don't have any problem with that sort of a thing.

I actually figured that I'd go last year, but something came up so Kirsti and I couldn't make it. This year though, we were able to go especially since Logan's aunty was able to take care of him for the evening. We were supposed to meet up with some of those aforementioned non-religious friends, but they flaked out on us, which made me suspect that the whole thing was a trap.

Well, it wasn't. Overall, it was a pretty good show. The music was enjoyable, and Justin's lyrics tend toward the more thoughtful/introspective than the overt deity butt-kissing that some religious music is. It's also impressive to see how far he's come, as it's been some time since I've seen him live. Despite his claim to be more of a music fan than an actual musician, he came off polished and professional, no doubt some of the credit going to his backup band. He also did a nice job with a few covers like "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and Aimee Mann's "Save Me."

Justin also talks a lot with his audience between songs, and it's usually pretty funny stuff, as he's a gifted storyteller. Sure, I don't always relate to the overall message, but I definitely related to a bit of what was said. The stuff that really hit home with me was when he talked about his son. See, Justin had a son just a few months before mine was born. I also found out that like me, he was hoping for a girl, but now that he has a son, his attitude is "All right! I have a son!" That's pretty much how I feel as well.

For the most part, I was just able to go with it and enjoy the show. I did have a bit of an issue when Justin handed over the stage to a gospel choir. It wasn't that the choir wasn't good. They were pretty damned entertaining. It's just that the leader talked to the audience a bit before about a personal experience of his before they went into a song about how God's going to "work it out" (or something along those lines). As I stated in my last post, I'm not going to get into all my objections to Christianity, so let's just say that this was a moment when all of my issues started racing around the forefront of my brain, making it difficult for me to just enjoy the music.

Will I go again? I think it's a definite possibility. After all, it helps a good cause, and I definitely enjoyed most of it.

I'd like to point out that Justin and I have had discussions about having some sort of a debate between our two blogs. These conversations have stopped, and I'm guessing that it stopped for him for the same reason that it stopped for me - being a father takes away from blogging time. I'm hoping that we can get back to it someday though, as it should be interesting. The thing is, Justin's beliefs are definitely Christian, but he definitely doesn't go along with a lot of the dogma that you typically hear from Christians. I have a feeling that he just might upset the Christians more than I will. Hopefully we'll get to find out someday.

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