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Holy Hip-Hop Illustrated, Part 2

This is a follow-up to last week’s link to 3 (impressive) acrobats “bustin’ a move” for the Pope. This one, however, is really a refutation of holy hip-hop, not an example. This offering illustrates the “worship requires an unusual degree of reverence” position.

Here’s a quote from Katie Couric’s blog regarding her recent visit to the White House:

“Visiting the White House is always a humbling experience. I’m always in awe of the history those walls have witnessed. And I was impressed by the respect President Bush has for the place. He even told one of our producers ‘Straighten your tie, young man. You’re in the White House.’ I loved that.”

I know, I know. Both examples are anecdotal at best, irrelevant at worst. They don’t cite Scripture. They may just be silly. In fact, they’re intended to be kind of silly.

My reason for posting Kouric’s statement is that it demonstrates an undeniable fact: certain occasions and audiences deserve a special dignity and decorum. A President–a cowboy President–knows this. A liberal news anchorette knows this. It seems reasonable that Christians–and certainly professing fundamentalists–should know this.

I would think that worshiping the Most High would be one occasion when dignity and decorum would be in order; an occasion when we’d want to consider the character of our Audience, and offer Him something that–both in style and spirit–is worthy of Him; an occasion when we’d want to be unquestionably reverent, figuratively “straightening our ties.”

I would think. Call me crazy.


7 Responses

  1. Wow, Chris… this post is positively “Anolish.”

  2. Call me crazy, too, but I agree with you, Pastor Anderson. (What type does that make me?)

  3. Does George Bush ask King al-Saud to straighten up his tie when he comes to the White House?

    No, he doesn’t, because al-Saud belongs to a different culture, one that doesn’t wear ties.

    And in a very real sense, the culture of most Americans is not the culture of Fundamentalists.

    If you’re an American, used to wearing ties, then by all means, straighten your tie in the White House. If your Indian or Chinese or Arab- whatever it is that you wear, do it right.

    If you’re a middle class WASP in the United States from a Fundamentalist background- play your organ music well. If you’re Appalachian- play your banjo and guitar well. If you’re black, it’s ok to do the black man worship, so long as you do it well.

  4. I agree and see the validity of your illustration. An American in the White House has a relationship that a non-US citizen does not. “So long as you do it well” can’t be our standard. Yes, God’s standard in all things is “do it well.” But that does mean we get to pick and choose what God deems acceptable.

    The culture of Fundamentalists does tend to be anachronistic. However, reverence in worship seems timeless when you look at the examples of Scripture. We don’t have organs, etc., in Scripture so we don’t mandate them. But we do have awe, reverence, and a sense of “difference” associated with worship that shouldn’t say it doesn’t matter what part of culture you use for worship as long as it is done well.

  5. Ryan,

    I think you have missed the point of the tie comment by being woodenly literal about it. The point or principle at stake would be that we demonstrate an appropriate level of respect for the occasion and the person, and that has much broader application than attire. “Straighten your tie” is a specific example of the “respect President Bush has for the place.” It is not the total sum of his respect, but it reveals the value system which guides the choices.

    While I would agree with your point about doing things well, I don’t think that was the point of this illustration. It was questioning whether Hip Hop demonstrates the appropriate sense of gravitas that meeting with God demands. Doing it well isn’t the only factor in its evaluation.

    A long time ago, an exceptionally skilled college classmate told me how he had played “Hello Dolly” hymn-style on an organ for a funeral. I am sure that he did it very well, but was it appropriate for the occasion?

    I imagine that we both agree on the principle of appropriateness, but we may disagree on what constitutes appropriateness in a given situation. My point is posting is not to debate that with you, but to suggest that you turned the conversation away from Chris’s point (at least it seems so to me).

  6. I think my point directly addressed Chris’ point.

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