Jesus is the new Rock & Roll
There was a sense of being, as if everyone there was looking for something. Aspiring towards the same thing. A loud guitar, peoples hands lifted high in expectancy, someone singing words of poetry. They were gathered in support of peace and love. It was Woodstock 1969 and rock & roll was alive and well. A sea of humanity, hundreds of thousands of people swarming the muddy fields of upstate New York from all over the country and probably the world.
What was it that they all had in common? I feel like Rock and Roll in the 70’s was a common denominator between societies outcasts. I don’t mean that in a negative way. But those who felt left out, like the world around them didn’t understand them. They could find refuge in music. And what better music to get lost in than the likes of Janis Joplin, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby Stills and Nash, & so many other greats from that era. It was arguably the golden age of Rock & Roll.
Behind the music there was a character that personified the rock enthusiast. A counter-cultural anti-establishment misfit. They hated anything the culture deemed “normal” and loved anything society deemed “rebellious”. This seems like a natural birth place for music like Punk and Grunge. But this isn’t a music history article.
Culturally, in times like the Woodstock era; things like growing up, going to church with mom and dad, getting married having good job and some kids were considered the norm. So instinctually the rock & roll response was “SUCK IT POPS! ROCK ON!” As years progressed and our sour little Woodstock child got older and realized he couldn’t survive off of “melting faces with his rock solos” and “jamming while smoking trees” he had to settle for getting a job and maybe settled down with a significant other. But that inner ROCK ON was still alive inside.
When he eventually had some little Woodstocklettes of his own he began to realize that the stuff he fought for back in the Free Love days was not only working; but incredibly active! Why? Because his peers were now the people leading the free world. The Woodstock generation was now running institutions like colleges and government.
There was a sense of being, as if everyone there was looking for something. Aspiring towards the same thing. A loud guitar, peoples hands lifted high in expectancy, someone singing words of poetry. They were gathered in support of peace and love. It’s 2016 and Jesus is alive and well. A sea of humanity, hundreds of thousands of people swarming the fields of any given Christian conference in the world.
Remember our little Woodstocklette? He is now looking for purpose and love. His dad was in Woodstock but he is in search for more. He knows every Beatles album and has seen the Woodstock footage, but it just isn’t cutting it. Psychedelic spirituality isn’t something thats working for him. He shows up at a Youth Group where there are smearing guitars, loud music and more love than Woodstock (the safe kind, now that we know the ramifications)
He too is rebellious and in school he can’t stand the establishment. He lives in a world where the norm is divorced parents, non-traditional marriages, being told to go to college, get married at 30, be an atheist (or agnostic), told that boys and girls are exactly the same, and so much other stuff.
There is also a certain character that is personified with this kind of Jesus enthusiast. A counter-cultural misfit, but this one is driven by forgiveness and Godliness. He is a rockstar in a new sense of the word. He stands against everything that todays society seems to teach, yet doesn’t do it in hate, or haste. It’s not an easy time for this kid, but it wasn’t easy for the 70’s rebel either. But as long as the rebel has a cause theres always fight left in his heart.
[What’s The Point?]
The similarities between Christian Rock shows and Woodstock are of no concern to me. After all…it is Rock. What I find sincerely interesting is that the Free Love movement of the 60’s-70’s has the same heart as Christians today have. Albeit misguided on both parts at times, there are shocking similarities. Both were outcasts in their respected eras.
All Christ followers seek to do is love people into their life’s purpose. When I say this I hope you understand I don’t speak about outliers like these picketters who damn people to hell. Followers of Jesus walk through their daily lives having to face opposing viewpoints on every single possible forum they see. And they are glad to do it. They should have no victim mentality about it, simply open arms to teach others about the love in Jesus they so claim. A love which not only includes but requires broken people to lean on a Perfect Jesus in order to live righteously. Because of that relentless pursuit of Christians moving forward in a culture that despises what they stand for, I vote that Jesus is the new Rock & Roll. And Christians are the new Rockstars. Because we are artists but Jesus is the artform and the lifestyle in which we live. Without Him we are boring flesh.