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Old 02-14-2002, 01:14 AM   #1
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spiritual appetites (Walk On - Chapt 02)

There's a bunch of themes in the second chapter that grabbed me, not least of which is the relationship between the arts and the spiritual life. Stocki digs deeper later, but here it's specifically that between the church and the performing arts. I passionately believe the performing arts to be a secular door to the Spirit, especially for those outside a church community. I think the work is the same, just the vocabulary is different; i.e., to transcend our mereness, our separation and smallness, and unite in a higher Consciousness. Art itself can be a sacred calling: articulating a vision of the human condition.

If U2 had been in fellowship in the United States or even just sixty miles north of Dublin, in Northern Ireland, it would have been easy to get sucked into a Christian subculture. Many bands in similar situations are discouraged from playing in secular venues like bars or clubs because Christians shouldn't be in these places. The theory is that you shouldn't take Jesus into what are often called "dens of iniquity." The only acceptable reason for attending these places would be to evangelize the lost who go there.

As a result of this mindset, many talented musicians are steered into a gospel band scenario, going from church to church singing cliche-driven songs with limited content. The audience members are almost exclusively Christian, and, as the majority of them already have assented to the beliefs being preached from the stage, the cliches are wasted. A safe Christian industry ghetto is created with pop stars and record companies. There is a magazine, Contemporary Christian Music, which has become the label for the entire industry -- an industry that is always in danger of ending up culturally irrelevant.

...Christians can have all the energy and resources that the Church can muster, which can be enormous, but if they spend all their time looking in at themselves rather than looking out, the devil will be pleased.


Exactly! "Contemporary Christian Music" frustrates me -- it isn't art about relationship with Christ, it's praise lyrics in a soft-rock format, almost exclusively. Eww! Not interested, never was. (This forum has introduced me to some names I shall have to listen to -- I know that "eww!" isn't deserved by all Christian artists.) U2 seized my imagination because they never insulted my rock'n'roll sensibilities, nor my Christian ones. It was as seamless for them as it was for me.
I appreciate Stockman's explanation of these currents in the Christian community, because of his deep involvement with Greenbelt. He knows whereof he speaks. (Whereas I just figgered I was being a music snob. )

Ditto the geography. Funny thing: I'm in love with Ireland, but my relationship with the island's spirit exists separate from U2, just as my love for the band bears no relation to my love for the Chieftains or the bodhran or Celtic knots (or those green, green hills in the mists... *sigh*...). I'm starting to suspect that the spiritual politics at the heart of both is where I connected with both; Stockman certainly opened my eyes to U2's Irishness as I'd not seen it before, and that's somehow... reassuring. It gives the boys roots in a world-before-stardom, in some kind of straight society. Not that it lasted long for them.

...that [U2] formed a band and discovered a fervent evangelicalism at the same time without getting caught up in some kind of dualism was only possible because of their location. With Irish evangelicals so small in number, integration of faith and daily living is vital. There are no Christian venues for budding Christians trying to do something in rock. If you do not make it in the real world, you do not make it.

For this band, it was more rebellious to be reading Bibles in the back of the tour bus than it was to be doing drugs -- a perspecitive on Christianity that was not a cultural norm. But being from a place where those with intense spiritual faith were the minority helped the band members grab hold of the radical edge of following Jesus.


This ties all the threads together for me: "the radical edge..." I love that phrase -- 'cause Jesus was a pretty radical guy, after all. But also because, I don't believe it was appealing to them merely for noncomformity's sake; they're artists, they live and breathe ideas, originality, new connections, new visions. The creative spirit is naturally drawn to the new, to the road less travelled. I think the guys had an innate, intense spiritual hunger. They found an intense community, true, which nourished it for awhile. But their appetites outgrew even that... and turned into their music, amen.

What did you all think?

peace all,
Deb D



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Old 02-16-2002, 04:23 PM   #2
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Question: Where did you find this book? I cannot find it anywhere! AND I had Barnes & Noble do a seach for it. Where are you Walk On?!

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Old 02-17-2002, 01:49 AM   #3
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Amazon, baby! It's got everything! Says the book will ship within 24 hours if you order it on line.

Heard copies of the book are selling like hotcakes (and you know how quickly THOSE sell!). Hope you find a copy, it's good!


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Originally posted by Lilly:
Question: Where did you find this book? I cannot find it anywhere! AND I had Barnes & Noble do a seach for it. Where are you Walk On?!

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Old 02-17-2002, 02:20 PM   #4
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*sniff* but i don't have a credit card *sniff*


love me anyways ok?

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Old 02-18-2002, 01:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by truecoloursfly:
If U2 had been in fellowship in the United States or even just sixty miles north of Dublin, in Northern Ireland, it would have been easy to get sucked into a Christian subculture. Many bands in similar situations are discouraged from playing in secular venues like bars or clubs because Christians shouldn't be in these places.
to be honest, i don't give that line much credence. Maybe not in the US, but I reckon about half the poulation of ireland are christian people who love nothing better than going down to the pub. Chances are you will find your local priest down there
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Old 02-19-2002, 03:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
I reckon about half the poulation of ireland are christian people who love nothing better than going down to the pub. Chances are you will find your local priest down there
I believe the figure is 90% (and that's just Catholics), and I bet 90% of them are at the pub ...which brings up a semantic pet peeve of mine (perhaps for a separate discussion some time, but it's worth a note here): the term "Christian" is too readily associated in many minds with those of the born-again, evangelical stripe -- to the extent that, more than once when I've asked someone if they were of any other faith before they "became a Christian," they answered, "I was Catholic." !! On one hand, it makes me laugh, it's so absurd; but on the other, it kinda peeves me as a deeply committed Christian who is NOT of the evangelical stripe. Obviously, it peeved the boys, too, 'cause they left Shalom behind.

[This message has been edited by truecoloursfly (edited 02-19-2002).]
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