Sunday, July 26, 2015

Worship Leader Under Fire

My husband is a man of many hats. This is something I will not deny. He is a computer technician, a talented musician, an enthusiastic reader, and a man with the potential to give Jeopardy a run for its money is given the opportunity. Above all, he is a man of God. I would not have married him otherwise. 

Very recently, however, a question has arisen whether the two musical worlds clash. On one hand, he is a member and former co-leader of our church's worship band. On the other, he is the leader of an Irish folk band, Mayde In Ireland, the #1 folk act in the Antelope Valley and comprised of all Christian members. 

Can one justify a life of worship and sing Irish songs on the side?

Does it matter? 

If it did, that is up to the church's authorities to confront my husband. Instead, most of the congregation happily express their love and support for Mayde In Ireland. 

Whether or not singing Irish folk songs is too contradictory to justify a walk with God is a question that has been addressed in the past. To which my husband has a strong answer. If God did present him with a choice between the two, he would give up Mayde in Ireland in a heartbeat. 

Who has the authority to pass judgement on my husband? 

I can think of one person who thinks she does. This morning greeted both my husband and the Mayde in Ireland drummer with a hateful (and poorly written) email attempting to shame the band for their choice of lyrics and advertising. She goes on demanding he reconsider... everything, to say the least, and threatening never to attend another showing again. Of course, this woman had rarely attended our shows in the first place.

One thing stuck out to me in particular. 

It was the final sentence: "PLEASE reconsider what you do and say in the name of Jesus Christ."


Take a look in the mirror, madam. 

First of all, you have a notorious reputation for attempting to shame every leader in our church, and something tells me you have no intention of stopping. Secondly, how could you possibly understand the band's spirit if you rarely see us? If you have examined the lyrics to every song in the playlist, then you have absolutely no business accusing us of impropriety. 

In your ridiculous habit of listing Bible verses to serve your purpose, show me one, JUST ONE, where Christ would use hateful, shaming language against anyone he encountered, believer or unbeliever. Show me one verse where Christ judged. Show me one where He showed anything but love, dignity, and respect for every single soul he encountered.

Let me show you a Bible verse or two: 

Romans 2:1 says, "You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things."

or

Matthew 7:3-5 says, "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend. 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye."

Anyone who is truly interested in my husband's intention with Mayde In Ireland would know that he has effectively built bridges in this community. Many bridges. Bridges you couldn't hope to build as long as you judge continue to judge so severely. 

Those same people you spew as "ungodly, atheists, and Christ-haters" share a rapport with Mayde In Ireland, because they are treated with the dignity and respect that all HUMAN BEINGS deserve. How many souls have you saved treating people the way you do? How many souls could you hope to save as long as they know how you view them?

For it says in Ephesians, "Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them."

My husband and I, just as all Christians should, view all people as equals. Equal in deserving respect, openness, love, and dignity. We hope one day to help them hear the Christian message without assuming we are the awful stereotype of our so-called fellow believers. The kind that would push them away from the message with judgement, shame, and hate. That is indeed the opposite of our calling.

Who are you, madam, to question him? To question any of us? To question our mission? 

You have accomplished only one thing today. Any hopes of bringing the drummer back into attendance are GONE. Any hopes of Mayde In Ireland returning to perform at church events are GONE. Worst of all, Randy and I are all the closer to walking out the doors and never coming back.

I hope you're pleased with yourself. Because nobody else is. 

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