Ok, lets talk about something controversial…music.
One of my favorite parts of The Shack, is when they (God and Mack) are in the kitchen working on dinner listening to music and God says He loves the music. What is ironic is that the singer is a popular secular artist. It is confusing to Mack (and to most readers) that God verbally says He loves the music. My first reaction was….”wait a minute. This is crazy. God should only love the music that is sung in a certain key, behind a certain piano, by a certain Holy person, singing certain Christian lyrics”. Ok, so maybe I didn’t take it that far, but I was concerned with the theological accuracy of the concept. God loving a secular song. But, like several other great concepts of The Shack, it started working on me.
In the dialog of the book, God starts talking about how He loves to hear His ‘kids’ sing. Truly, we do not know what happens in God’s mind when we sing a song about stuff other than God. However, the writer takes a stab at an interesting concept. The concept is that God gives us all the raw talent, and when He places it in us, it is good. When we take that talent, whether it is singing, playing an instrument, dancing, etc, and use it for selfish reasons He is still proud of and excited about the skill we have. Maybe He is not moved by the motive of the song, but the raw talent is enjoyable to hear because it originally came from God. Where does it cross the line and become a stinch in the nose of God? What message or motive offends God to the point of turning His ear. Because believe it or not, God listens to every song ever written or recorded. From the Platinum to the childish. Every song might not go before Simon Cowell, but God hears it.
A bigger point beyond the secular music concept is the idea that God loves everyone, even sinners who sing secular songs. God is exited about all His kids and wants every single one of them to know about Him. I think one of the biggest failures of modern day Christians is failing to love the sinner like God loves the sinner. We are so afraid to hug, welcome, and minister to those who aren’t ‘acceptable’ because of their track record. I believe God loves the sinner all the way to hell and even after they are in hell. God still loves us all. Living in the fullness of the Gospel reconnects us “kids” to the father. We convert from sinner to saint, but the love of God doesn’t increase at this point.
Now, the “favor” of God? That is a different story, and that is what we talked about on the Weekend at PSM.
So, what are your thoughts?