Monday, August 26, 2013

Blue Like Jazz.....

Controversy… Too often we lose the truth, miss the nugget, in light of the messiness of Controversy.

Tonight I watched “Blue Like Jazz”.  The book by Donald Miller was a controversial book at times, chronicling his journey from a good southern Baptist boy to choosing a very liberal college due to his hurts from the church. 

Many of you know, If you have followed my posts, I work for a Christian retail organization.   That particular organization decided that we would not promote or sell this movie… it was controversial.  A irreligious pope overseeing a mass party with drugs, alcohol and even a suggested Orgy.  And that is just a few of the items (Youth pastor who is racist, uses Communion like Candy for children…).

Donald meets many things he has never seen before like Co-ed dorms, sex parties, and many other items.  In the journey he meets the ‘pope’ of the college and becomes his friend.  This runs him through the gambit of experience from being a clean Baptist boy to a agnostic/Atheistic student who is continually drunk.
In the process he meets Penny who while being a visionary and standing for injustice, is also a clean girl in a sea of unclean. 

Here is how one person summed the film up:
Disenchanted by the church and his devout Christian mother, 19 year-old Donald escapes Texas for the liberal Northwest and attends Reed College at the urging of his secular father. At Reed College, Don finds that his classmates, from all walks of life, are more anti-religious and anti-everything than he was prepared for. In an attempt to fit in, and more importantly, in an attempt to find himself, Don joins an activist group which forces him to question what he really believes in.

Towards the middle of the film we find Donald searching, and his questions begin to turn from the “If there is a Loving God why would he allow….” To more practical questions of “If there isn’t a God then where do I find meaning?”… 

While you may not see this film on your local retailers shelf, it is well worth the thought process and time to watch it.    AS you watch you must do the following “REMEMBER WHO THE FILM WAS MADE FOR!!!”  If you are a believer who has never questioned your faith, it was not written for you.  If you spend your time feeling sorry for those around you because they are not saved but doing nothing about it… well it might be for you.  If you are someone who wants to ask questions, then this is most definitely for you.
In the end we find Donald sitting as the new ‘pope’ and instead of taking confession he gives it to his friend the prior pope.  He goes on to tell how he is sorry for being ashamed of Jesus.  Not because of all those hypocrites he hated but because he realized he too was one of them.  Donald had read where it said that you needed to Feed the Poor or to LOVE people; yet he knew he hated people who he felt made him as a ‘christian’ look like a fool.  He tells his friend, who had been victimized as a child by a priest that he had spent the school year trying to ditch God but “I can’t.  It’s like He is following me around.”

Do you think sometimes we react to good CHRISTIAN’S who are in the world trying to make a difference in their group of influence?  When an actor plays in a questionable film (Even though they do not say or do anything) we question their belief’s.  When a musician or musical group tours with a ‘secular’ band or (heaven forbid) try’s to reach an audience that is different then what we find as comfortable….. 

Yet they are out there and are doing something.  I remember reading once about a man who was preaching out against the church.  He stood in major crowds and denounced those who were his ‘priests’.  He didn’t mince words.  He called them out.  The religious crowd of the day were told he was a heretic and a fool.  I could go on and tell you his name…. or names… John the Baptist, Martin Luther, John Knox… (Shall I go on…)…   I think sometimes we need to ask ourselves like Jesus asked the disciples when they came tattling that there were people casting out demons in Jesus name that they didn’t know.  Jesus told them that if they used HIS name they had to be okay! (New Cecil Translation)… 

So next time you see that slicked haired preacher on TV, or hear about an artist using a swear word in a song, etc… think about this: Are they still following scripture, teaching the gospel and not doing anything that would break a commandment?  IF not then allow God to work with them…

I will leave you with the final lines of the film that really grasped me…

“I am confessing to you that I am tired of being a hypocrite and a coward…”

“You really believe in all this stuff…”


I DO!

3 comments:

Kevin Rains said...

I read this book last year and liked it alot Cecil. I am so tired of the criticisms of Christians say of a band like Skillet or Demon Hunter that tour with or even have them as a guest vocalist that aren't Christian. I wanna ask them " oh yeah, well what if they, the non-Christian weren't rubbing elbows with the "Christian" artists? Or even "what are YOU doing to expose non believers to Him?" Thank you for the post. I have never checked out your blog...I'm gonna start, :).
I wish more Christians were honest about their doubts or issues they have with the Church. I know they have em, but they feel to do so, is almost blasphemous. I think it is honest...reminds me of a Grammatrain song on their first record..."but I say to question is to understand...I believe"
Thanks bro! Kevin Rains

Kevin Rains said...

Thanks for your post. I read this book maybe 2 years ago and liked it. I know Christians have questions and doubts but I think they believe to do so is basically blasphemy. I wish we were more honest. Reminds me of a Grammatrain song from their first record..."but I say to question is to understand...I believe now..."
Ya know when believers give Christian artists flack for touring with or even having non believers sing guest vocals like Demon Hunter, I wanna say "who are you hanging out with that doesn't know Him..who?" How will they see Jesus if we aren't hanging out with them?..thanks for the post bro.
Kevin Rains

Kevin Rains said...

I read this book last year and liked it alot Cecil. I am so tired of the criticisms of Christians say of a band like Skillet or Demon Hunter that tour with or even have them as a guest vocalist that aren't Christian. I wanna ask them " oh yeah, well what if they, the non-Christian weren't rubbing elbows with the "Christian" artists? Or even "what are YOU doing to expose non believers to Him?" Thank you for the post. I have never checked out your blog...I'm gonna start, :).
I wish more Christians were honest about their doubts or issues they have with the Church. I know they have em, but they feel to do so, is almost blasphemous. I think it is honest...reminds me of a Grammatrain song on their first record..."but I say to question is to understand...I believe"
Thanks bro! Kevin Rains