We’re scared of the yell. It’s inside us but we’ve muffled it under appearances and consumption and fear and comfort. We are a genteel people. We are domesticated and safe—buttoned down and buttoned up—seeking to keep things in our control and watering them down in the process.
While it isn’t good to paint with too broad a brush, it would nevertheless be accurate to say that an upwardly-mobile 21st century American Christian who defines faith largely as an occasional hour spectating in anonymous mega-worship, a “Christian” radio station among the car radio presets, and a voting record carefully adhering to the misguidance of media pundits who have the kingdom of ratings at heart, is a far cry from the rabble-rousing early Christians who got arrested and killed rather than shrink into the line of polite Roman society and the cult of emperor-worship.
What if God is a Rock God?
What would that make us?
What if God is just as present—or even more so—in the streets outside that church, in the songs on a non-Christian station, in the politics of the other party…or none at all? What if God wants to crank it up, rail against our institutions, and dance with us in the slums? What if God is a Rock God? What would that make us?
The leather-belted, hair-shirted wild man called John the Baptizer; the shaven-headed, road-dog convict called Paul; the passionate, rebellious youth named Timothy; the foul-mouthed blue collar fishermen; former prostitutes, drunks, and cheats; mothers and widows and wealthy business-ladies and serial brides and women who don’t keep in their place; families who let prophets and preachers and a homeless messiah crash on their couch for a while; the Son of God who takes away sin by loving sinners and who heralds God’s kingdom by turning boring water into wine…good wine—this is who we are. And who we are is rock n’ roll.