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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Angry Bobbleheads

I am not a big fan of CCM, so I am not too familiar with Derek Webb outside his stint with the group Caedmon's Call. However, Derek wrote an angry song rebuking traditional evangelicals and their mean-spirited attitudes toward homosexuals. He so seethes with indignation he even used the cuss word to describe fertilizer.

Yeah... When some self-righteous blowhard cusses at me in a song, I feel the sting of shame and want to contemplate my ugly heart and repent in sack cloth and ashes.

He made a video of his song that can be viewed here (if any wishes to be cussed at).

I don't want so much to evaluate the evangelical culture aspect of this song. There are more thoughtful, articulate bloggers who can. I just had some thoughts:

I am curious as to why homosexuals have become the trendy group of sinners to defend against mean-spirited fundy evangelicals. When did that happen and why? Is it because they dress in the latest fashions? Know how to wear flannel well? Produce over rated theater? Is it because Magneto is gay? For some unknown reason, those of the emergent tendencies feel as though they have to rush to their defense when traditional marriage people point out the obvious sinfulness of homosexual behavior and lifestyle.

Certainly there are other "sinners" evangelicals will treat poorly. Child abusers come to mind. As do wife beaters. Pornographers, certainly. But for some reason I don't see Derek Webb writing a song in defense of pornographers who have been emotionally traumatized by mean evangelicals.

What about Ken Lay? He supposedly ruined the lives of thousands of people. His harshest critics wanted him gutted alive during N.B.C. primetime. Would Derek Webb write a song rebuking his mean critics for their vicious, hateful hearts, even to the point of invoking profanity so as to illustrate their hypocrisy?

Nah, something tells me he wont.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Kim said...

I really appreciated Webb's CD She Must And Shall Go Free, which is about the Church. The songs were insightful, although one, called "Wedding Dress," used a word describing a woman of ill-repute, that while biblical, isn't pleasant. It was controversial, but the imagery wasn't altogether bad.

This, however, seemed to be purposely controversial, and not nuanced at all. My 17 year old son watched the video and he said he was very disappointed not only in the musical aspects (very techno) but in the deliberately controversial stance.

8:15 AM, October 14, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I was a bit perplexed with his song as well. My wife and I have always been encouraged by Caedmon's Call and their attention to what we always felt were theologically sound lyrics.

Also, I thought his song sound similar to the first track off of Coldplay's album, X&Y.

9:10 AM, October 14, 2009  
Blogger Mike Felker said...

Hey Fred, I really appreciated this post though I am admittedly sensitive to this issue. I think a lot of us would agree in how we shouldn't treat homosexual behavior, but its not too often that I see anything with regards to how we should treat it, which is one big problem I have with Webb's outlook.

If homosexual behavior is a sin (I wonder if he would agree with this?), then how would Webb suggest that we treat those who live such a lifestyle? Obviously, according to him, we're all doing something wrong.

10:04 AM, October 14, 2009  
Blogger Kim said...

I have often thought that Coldplay's songs all sound like the same song.

And I, too, like Caedmon's Call. Webb's wife, Sandra McCracken is also one of my favorites.

10:28 AM, October 14, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Mike,
That's a good observation. I would be curious what exactly Webb and those who sympathize with his outlook toward traditional evangelicals would want us to do in order to confront what is so clearly defined as sin.

10:33 AM, October 14, 2009  
Blogger Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Is it because Magneto is gay?"

That's gotta be it.

Homosexuals are just born mutants and they deserve and need to be loved just as they are and loved just as they behave.

Angry, judgmental fundies on the other hand choose to be hateful and mean-spirited and intolerant.

See the difference?

10:37 AM, October 14, 2009  
Blogger Barbara said...

I thought Spurgeon did a fine job of addressing that in today's evening reading - straight to the point.

6:43 AM, October 15, 2009  
Blogger Jon said...

"Yeah... When some self-righteous blowhard cusses at me in a song, I feel the sting of shame and want to contemplate my ugly heart and repent in sack cloth and ashes."

Oh man, that line had me rolling. That was genius my friend.

11:51 PM, October 16, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

I'm involved in a Facebook group for college-aged men who struggle with homosexual desires. Many of these men have been mistreated even though they have never been sexually active. They've been made fun of, kicked out of churches, and excluded socially from other Christians simply for admitting that they struggle with a homosexual orientation.

I'll admit I didn't like Webb's song for the same reason you said (cussing doesn't endear me to anyone). But I do know when that song came out pretty much every guy in the group thought it was awesome (well, except me, because I dislike most CCM anyway). There's a lot of hurt there, and the comparison to child abusers or wife beaters isn't really accurate. Those are specific actions that cause direct harm to people. Gay kids get mistreated when they're only 13 and haven't even had sex. And many Christians who struggle with homosexuality are mistreated despite their attempts to live holy lives.

Personally, I've found great groups of straight Christian men who accept me and don't see my struggles with homosexuality as any different than their struggles with heterosexuality (the only difference being that they may marry while I'll likely stay single). But many other Christians who struggle with this issue don't have that community, and they kind of lock themselves in a bubble of ex-gay support groups that, though nice, aren't the same as real Christian communities.

Frankly speaking, it sucks when the only place a lot of my struggling friends feel comfortable with themselves is at an Exodus conference where everyone in the room deals with the same issue. I don't know how the church can go about fixing it, but I do think that Derek Webb might have some points to make in spite of himself.

7:42 AM, October 19, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Jay,
The problem with Webb's song is that it did not communicate what you claim it does.
Perhaps that was his point. Why didn't I get it? Rather than receiving the song as a rebuke against ungodly behavior on the part of evangelicals toward sinners, he came across as minimizing the serious of homosexual sin and criticizing any "traditional marriage" Christian (if even such a distinction can be made with biblical Christianity) who would speak against homosexual issues.

Your comments are valid, and I understand the need for the evangelical Church to consider what you are saying, but Webb's intentional attitude of stirring up controversy by cursing in a song utterly undermines what would otherwise be an important issue to address within the Christian church.

You write,
There's a lot of hurt there, and the comparison to child abusers or wife beaters isn't really accurate. Those are specific actions that cause direct harm to people.

There is a reasons I used those examples. Because those are sinful lifestyles that even if the persons who once practiced them were no longer practicing them because they have been redeemed, and are now seeking to be sanctified daily from these past sins, they will still experience a lot of ostracization from within evangelical churches. I also used an example of pornographers. Those involved with pornography, including men who may struggle with wanting to watch pornography on line or in magazines or entertain in their imaginations, can also be a pariah in evangelical circles.

In more recent years we have become much more alert to sex offenders, particularly of older men violating underage girls, even children, and believe me, that's a category of individuals who get it from both the secular world and the church. See here (read the comments under the post as well) to see what I mean.

1:03 PM, October 19, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

Your comments are valid, and I understand the need for the evangelical Church to consider what you are saying, but Webb's intentional attitude of stirring up controversy by cursing in a song utterly undermines what would otherwise be an important issue to address within the Christian church.

I totally agree. And thank you for pointing me to the thing about the child abusers who have come to Christ. The two issues are somewhat different (in that, like I said, a homosexual can be mistreated before he or she even has sex with anyone). At the same time, the specifics are the same. All Christians need to learn to work past their own prejudices and see redeemed sinners in the same way God sees them: washed and sanctified.

6:11 PM, October 20, 2009  
Blogger ShaneBertou said...

If anyone is interested, I'm giving away a free copy of Derek's new CD on my blog.

http://www.shanebertou.com

8:13 AM, October 22, 2009  

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