Life is great, BUT, there are a few things about the cultural momentum in ‘The West’ that irritate me, one or two that scare me, and several that fill me with bottled rage. I think this says more about me gaining perspective as I get older, than this snapshot in time being particularly worse.
It's just another fashion honest!
For instance, fashion was really bad in the 70’s when I was a kid. My teen years in the 80’s, had ska, skinhead, mods, punk, modern romantic (yes I was a Duran Duran fan) and the early stages of goth, all of it now dated, but class. I’ll skim over the run up to the millennium and noughties brit pop (so optimistic), to now. Now, everything is ‘authentic’ no fashion just ‘authentic’. It’s important not just to stock ethically, you have to carefully market the fact that the produce has a unique provenance. Every new event, church or non-church has to have been ‘life changing & amazing’. Frankly, I now consider it an achievement if what I’m involved in manages to scrape up to ‘quite good’ or ‘helpful’!
It’s all about establishing credibility, and it is, of course, trapped in the same cycle of changing fashion as every previous generation. I don’t mind that, what depresses me slightly is the current lack of irony. Maybe the latest 'cause celebré' of your favourite Christian charity deserves a little critique? Maybe what we take so seriously in church & society would be all the better for laughing at ourselves a bit? Because, when someone is so earnest about their own credibility & ‘authenticity’, you’re not allowed to laugh. How, very, very, depressing
After thought: Yes, punks, goths & millennium bug worriers took themselves a bit too seriously as well.
Probably the more serious concern is the lack of self awareness in our runaway train of a secular atheist culture, and of course you’ve heard this sort of critique before. There is no truth, there’s just meaning. If it works for you great! But the big sin, is to say, out loud, that some things are right & some things are wrong. Some things are true, some things are lies. Worse still, is pointing out those lies.
I want to be clear, this is much bigger than the identity politics and sexual ethics highlighted above, they’re just an example. Here’s the thing, when society closes down minority viewpoints, be it a Christian world view, or the promotion of a Caliphate, or genetic modification, anything, with no debate the truth becomes a victim. It becomes impossible to learn, or critique dominant and minority ideas. So let’s protect our secular system (a Christian invention that allows all ideas to compete & have influence in the marketplace), and resist the imposition of a secular atheist culture. And that’s what we’re getting right now.
So, for the sake of both a healthy society and the historical and personal truth of Jesus of nazareth, we’re just going to have to get in trouble the odd time aren’t we? Jesus made it very clear there is such a thing as truth, and a right way, and an only source of real life & purpose. It’s Him. A person. Everything, distilled down, resolves in Him. Concepts, lifestyle, purpose, all boil down to Him. Really.
I don’t want my kids to grow and up say, “You had a chance to speak out dad, but you kept your head down & hoped the thought police would go away.” The bible teaches Christians should ‘Be at peace with all men” as far as it is up to us. That doesn’t mean ‘keep schtum’ and hope no one notices you! There comes a time you’ve just gotta say it…….
Jesus is still the way, the truth & the life, and that hasn't changed. He hasn’t gone away you know………
This is one of my favourite songs on the album. It’s visceral & direct, like Jesus’ statement. It’s defiant & countercultural like a protest song, and I can worship through it because it’s full of scripture & personal testimony.
Note for musicians
This song is played on a Lowden fanfret guitar. There’s a second take playing a single strum at the start of each bar to let the chord ring out while the notes are picked in the first take.
It was written in 3/4 to reinforce the three verses, Way, Truth, Life. It’s played in dropped D (both E strings down to D to create a drone, which is great for implying both constancy & musical tension between it and the chords you play over it). The biggest point of anticipation is the lead into the chorus. There’s an Asus over B flat chord that changes to Asus before landing back in the chorus at the word STILL on a big open D. From memory it’s Capo 5 or so. I love that it’s just a guitar and voices, we were able to build some rich harmonies and sustains to add to the tension into the chorus.
#waytruthlife, #onlyoneway, #way, #truth, #life, #hope, #purpose, #free, #Christsetmefree, #angelsoflight #path,