I shared a big revelation recently: I’ve become disillusioned with Christian subculture. Now I’m struggling to figure out what to do with that.
My big problem is it defined me for so long. It defined my faith. It’s who I was as a Christian. Now that I’m redefining myself and stripping off so much of Christianity that disgusts me, it’s hard to figure out what kind of Christian I am now. I feel like I’m caught between the old goody-two-shoes-me and a new worldly me. I want a balance between the two.
I used to be the Christian that was absolutely offended by anything that wasn’t cleaned up for my eyes and ears. Once I discovered Christian music, I didn’t want to listen to anything else. It felt safer. My college boyfriend, who had a deep love of music, loaned me a Pink Floyd CD. It was one of his favorite albums and he wanted to share it with me. I was wary, because it just looked “evil.” I listened to about a track and a half, and grew incredibly offended by a couple of swear words. I gave it back to him, refusing to listen to anymore. He told me that if I could just get past those words, I might really enjoy the music. With my arms crossed in front of me, I refused. I would not come off my holy high horse.
Looking back on that, I’m ashamed. I wasn’t willing to come out of my safe bubble to engage with him musically, yet I played CCM music for him the entire length of our relationship. It was not his music of choice, but he lovingly listened to it with me. He never once said a bad word about it. He could have. A lot of what I played lacked originality or good musicality. Compared to his music collection, which ranged from that Pink Floyd album to Franz Liszt to every Billy Joel album in existence, my collection was pretty simplistic.
He was nothing but kind to me and my music, and I couldn’t give one of his favorite albums a single listen. He wasn’t a Christian, but sometimes he portrayed more Christlike characteristics than I did.
Now, I’d rather not listen to those CCM songs. I find them too simplistic and predictable. I listen to a bigger variety of music, mostly non Christian. I listen to songs that goody-two-shoes-me would be shocked at. I recently had the rap song, “Thrift Shop” stuck in my head for days (Don’t judge me like I used to judge all others, please). I’ve learned that many non Christian songs have really deep messages; messages that I think Jesus would agree with.
I don’t want to go back to goody-two-shoes, but I also don’t want to roll too far the other way. I still want to be conscious of what I’m listening to and watching, and careful not to feed too much “filth” into my head. I want to be in the world, open to other’s music choices and thoughts, all while remaining focused on Jesus.
It’s a struggle.
Question: Do you ever find yourself caught between the secular and the sacred? Where’s that “fine line” for you? What’s okay and what’s not?