A rock n’ roll riddle:
Is a punk band still a punk band after it signs a record contract? Giving over artistic control to a big record company is not in keeping with punk’s anarchistic ethos—not very “punk.” The band maintains its key downwardly-mobile elements of a junkies-who-just-woke-up appearance, cacophonous no-rules music, and an overall public belligerence. But now they’re getting paid to maintain these elements. The things that made them authentically punk—they really were junkies who slept in their clothes; they didn’t know or care how to tune a guitar or write a song; their belligerence stemmed from being societal outcasts—those things are now part of a slickly marketed product at the mercy of corporate kiss-ups focused on their own wealth and power.
And with that, I present the church in 21st century America:
The church used to be rebellious and raw and underground. The church used to be very rock n’ roll...punk, even. Not anymore. Oh, there are certainly elements of the true spirit, wherever there’s the true Spirit. But more typically the church in America today is caught up in one cult of personality after another. It allows itself to be the pawn of political parties. It plays the harlot after wealth and empire, power and fame. The church today is a bloated poseur prancing about in a sequined jumpsuit and cape, so caught up in marketing and sales and indulging its worldly appetites that it has lost the fire and hunger that once fueled its original amp-kicking, thunderous passion. It’s time for the church to rebel.
...to be continued...