I didn't used to, but it had nothing to do with the music.
I just thought that Christian culture was uncool.
I was hanging out with some punk rock kids that I knew that just happened to be Christian (they may have been closet Chritians). They were really complaining about Christian music. They said that it all sucked and that music inspired by the Holy Spirit ought to be the best music in the world (blazing new trails in music for the secular scene to follow). They accused Christian musicians of just copying secular music, the unforgivable sin for art snobs.
Argument 1. Christian music is derivative of secular music.
a. secular music is derivative of secular music. Name any secular artist and a good critic (or the artists themselves, if they have integrity) can tell you their influences.
b. people that like a certain genre (like say, pop music) tend to write music in that genre.
c. if you don't like contemporary pop music, you probably won't like contemporary Christian music.
Argument 2. If Christian music is supernaturally inspired it should be the best music there is.
a. what do you mean by 'best'? It's totally subjective. I once thought that Einsturzende Neubauten was the best because they pushed the avant-garde envelope the furthest.
There is plenty of Christian experimentalist crap and a bunch of pop stuff too.
b. Just because you don't know about it doesn't mean it doesn't exist (hmm, there's a spiritual metaphor in there).
c. Is Christian music supernaturally inspired? I don't know, sometimes I have felt that God was speaking to me through a certain song, but I think it would be stretch to include that in essential doctrine. Also, there are plenty of secular tracks that have inspired profound thoughts and feelings about my relationship with Christ.
Here's my conclusion.
There are Christians out there that hate their own community of faith.
Maybe for good reason. There is not much room for people from sub-cultures or counter-cultures in the mainstream church. That sucks.
I sympathize, but attacking Christian culture (even if is bad) won't solve anything for a displaced Christian.
In defense of Christian music, you can't criticize it the same way you would criticize regular music.
Genuine christian music is supposed to be more than music, it's supposed to be a catalyst for worship, an intimate expression to God (and I don't mean that euphoric mass hysteria that the big budget performances offer). It's sad that a lot of people are missing out on this, or worse, excluded.
Before I would listen to Christian music my girlfriend gave me a mixtape of Christian ska. I threw it in a corner and forgot about it. Then she went back to school and I missed her terribly, so I started listening to her tape. There was a song on the tape that was somewhat silly and had simple lyrics but it changed my life. There was a line that said, "He loves you and He would rather die than live without you." The words themselves are quite nice, but when I heard them I received the words in a powerful way. It was like I was unhinged from time and I felt as if God made the totality of existence just so that He could have this one moment to tell me that He loved me. It was a painful euphoria, I couldn't talk about it for weeks.
Sometimes I hear my 18 month old daughter sing. She's not a good singer, she sucks, but it is the most precious sound that I could ever want to hear. It brings more joy to my life than any Misfits bootleg or Skinny Puppy remix ever did. It affects me because of my relationship with her, it's personal, but I wouldn't expect anyone else to be affected. I guess those are my thoughts on Christians and Christian music.
THEMES Meta-Tribes first and foremost about morally grey people with godlike powers beating the crap out of each other.
Secondly, it is about the demands of complicated relationships that can make us better or worse people.
Meta-Tribes is also about the convictions that drive us to be altruistic or self-centered, compromising or committed, confrontational or accommodating, and to love or to hate.
PLOT Individuals from several unstable super teams contemplate their messed up lives while they kill each other over conflicting values and agendas, all the while an ancient army gears up to wipe out everyone.
GENRE Superhero / mature readers, think '2000A.D. published by Vertigo'
SETTING The story takes place in the city-states of a future primitive Mesopotamia devoid of modern ethics and human rights.
STYLE The story is told through a series of non-chronological snap shots from the lives of dozens of characters related by several degrees of separation, every story is cross cut with flashbacks. The tone is both ‘grim and gritty’ and introspective.
MAIN CHARACTERS All Meta-Tribe characters are remixed versions of the classic super hero models. It it more or less a consolidation of heroes and teams from a variety of publishers, but with a postmodern twist.
The Meranti, ancient subterranean army that is coming to reclaim the earth by eliminating the human race.
Dahud of Kayn, Monarch over a third world holy land, mediating violent factions and recovering from a relationship with a woman from Norvahl. (Matter/energy transmutation)
Saimak of Persicaä, a super-cop with stolen battle armor (that is re-writing his DNA) chasing a Kayin terrorist from his corporately controlled mega-city all the way across the badlands that are way out of his jurisdiction. (Genetically optimized physiology)
Zhamas of Susa, Prime Minister of a city cursed with a plague that he is unknowingly causing, wants to impose his idea of utopia on the rest of the world and is manipulating the world stage to have a crack at the Meranti. (Vaporizes people with nuclear fusion)
Zandor of the Aegys, mystic leader of an inner circle of paranormalists in an extreme religious sect. He is obsessed with an evil goddess that he accidentally gave access to our dimension. (sorcerer that has grafted multiple occult artifacts into his body)
Archon of Kreas, a lieutenant from a nation of freed Persicaän slaves and gladiators that keep selling themselves back into oppression. (Iceman powers)
Sharukien of Nin’eva, Empress that sacrificed her humanity for the power to save humanity from the Meranti, but since giving up her humanity she no longer cares about humanity. (replaced her soul with a nightmare actualizer)
Roneth of Norvahl, lord over a group of super barbarians that have some very disturbing addictions. (generic super strength, invulnerability and flight)
The Ziggurats, ancient temple/crafts that might be from the future or the past, another galaxy or another dimension, the mythic plane or beyond the fourth wall.
The Disciples of Esh'la, a brutal gang of Kayin vigilantes that dish out harsh justice. (shotguns, motorcycles and dynamite)
The Faction of Four, Violent extremists that have begun to take their political demonstrations outside of Kayn. (a human bomb, a blood elemental, a smoke elemental, and a human Katamari)
This past Halloween I was feeling low. Halloween used to be my favorite holiday.
Me and my old buddies would get together and get stupid and have a laugh.
Now I'm an adult with responsibilities and most of my friends have moved away or moved on.
(don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my wife and baby for a pumpkin themed kegger)
Thanksgiving was also a bit melancholy for me.
A few years ago Thanksgiving was a great time to hit the clubs.
People were back from school, we could catch up and enjoy the high energy vibe.
There would be no point going there now.
My friends stopped going, I hate the music they play, and I hate crowds...okay, I hate people.
But I do miss having close friends to 'bro-down' with.
In the last few years I started going to comic conventions and met some cool dudes and was directed to an online forum. I got involved and had a few laughs with some interesting people of all races and ages from all over the world.
I also got a PS3 and started playing R:FOM online. It was a pretty wild experience to be playing a game that winds down to a couple guys (one in Australia) sitting on a virtual bridge talking about life till about 3 am (my time).
Since then I've chatted with people from Scotland, England, Mexico City, and Japan.
I've also been using Youtube to find info on my video game and discovered and extension of the online game community. Pretty neat.
Now all of that is well and good, but I still missed hanging out.
I decided to pray for friends...how lame and pitiful is that?
I also did a few things on my own.
I 'Googled' some people.
ziltch - Unless some of my old buddies were able to change their ethnicity then my internet kung-fu isn't what I thought it was.
I decided to do a search for people in my area with common interests.
I found some comic book clubs and joined a group on Meetup.com. We seemed to click pretty well and it may grow into something.
I also decided to get more involved in the local association of my fellow Youth Pastors.
I tend to think of clergy as being pretty 'mainstream' or 'straight-laced' people, so for a long time I was hesitant to jump in, thinking that I probably wouldn't fit in.
Well, it might be the case that I don't fit in, but it turns out that these guys are really open minded and accepting, so it's turning out to be a really positive experience.
The only thing is that they communicate a lot on facebook. Yikes.
It was bad enough that I had a silly little My-Space, but now I'm on facebook too.
Well, it turns out that facebook isn't that bad. It's not as 'teen spirt' as My-Space and I found this little blogger thing. So now I'm trying this out too.
(let me know how I'm doing)
Probably the coolest thing of all is that I just spoke with an old high school buddy that I haven't seen in about 15 years.
She 'Googled' my name, and now we are friends again.
I also just reconnected with a old friend from about ten years ago through My-Space.