Monday, October 15, 2007

Angry white men

Anthony Bradley writes this:

A friend of mine gives a recent account of his experience with hardcore culture in Philadelphia last summer, "This summer I witnessed an emo guy get completely thrashed by two punks for showing up at the wrong house party. This emo kid unwittingly walked into The Halfway House, a mecca for Philly hardcore punks. The only reason I ever make it through the front door of this house is because I have known most of the house's residents the better part of my life."

From a poor Philadelphia neighborhood, Joe, who grew up without a father confesses, "If I wasn't in hardcore, I'd be in jail or dead. . . I have four cousins in jail. Three more are dead from overdoses. When I went to shows, I felt like I had people who gave a [freak] about me. Nothing has touched me the way hardcore has."

Why can't Joe's testimony read, "If it wasn't for Jesus I'd be dead. . .When I went to [insert your church here], I felt I had people who gave a [freak] about me. Nothing has touched me the way the church has." Meeting the guys in FSU would be a dream-come-true for me!

Here's the real problem: Jesus cares about hardcore culture, it's Christians who don't. So guys like Ronin and Joe are left to the power of the devil. Hardcore missionaries are desperately needed. These white dudes are pissed-off and dying. "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick"--Jesus. Who will go?

You can read the whole article here.

I think he poses a very good question. British culture and American culture are different. We don't have gangs of hardcore punk kids roaming the streets looking for an emo kid to beat up. But we do have hundreds, thousands of young men disaffected in the same way. People who only find solace in rock and roll, or drink, or sex, people who know nothing of the joy, love and peace that comes from knowing Jesus. And but for the grace of God there go i. Jesus cares about these people, even if i don't. The kids who hang around at the end of my road after dark, who i'll always cross the street rather than walk past. The guys in eye make-up and hoodys who hang round town centres and shopping centres all day. And there but for the grace of God go i.

They need a robust message. Yes, the need love, goodness me how some of them need parents who will care for them, a home where they can get hot meals at the end of every day and a school system that doesn't let them down at nearly every turn. But what they need more than that is salvation. They need to get right with God so that on the last day it won't be better for rocks to crush their brains than for them to face judgement. So they need a robust message. They need to know the Jesus of the Gospels. A Jesus big enough and masculine enough to be worshipped and obeyed, and yet tender enough to seek out the company of children. A Jesus fierce enough to be more feared than a life threatening storm, but humble enough to wash the feet of his friends. A Jesus who condemns religious hypocrites who turn their back on Him as whitewashed tombs, and yet gathers to Himself tax collectors and prostitutes. They need this Jesus, we need this Jesus, the church needs this Jesus. I need this Jesus.

Psycological, weak, pseudo prosperity-gospel living and believing will fail these guys. And it will fail the glory of God in the Gospel. We need, as Anthony Bradley says (and i so want to be like this) 'bold, fearless, gospel-driven, fully masculine, evil-fighting, heresy-fighting, group(s) of men' to penetrate this sub culture. And we need them soon.

1 comment:

sheep wanderer said...

I really agree.

I went for a walk in Camden town last thursday and after just being re-shocked by what a completely different world it is to the one I'm normally used to, I thought just how in need of the only gospel of truth they are. I wondered why we(me included) don't increase our efforts with such groups who are desperarely seeking meaning and are probably more ready to admit it than some of those we probably normally rub shoulders with. I thought, in Christ's time, it was those who were not really welcomed in society that he came to save first, eg the 'sick' as that article says. But sometimes it's more comfortable to help those who seem respectable, polite etc...we need more boldness which can only come from God to minister to these hard to reach people also.