Listening to: Bruno Mars
Reading: Personal opinions, presented as objective facts
Writing About: What I like, What is good and right, the connection between the two
A Recovering Elitist
I have written about this before. But it is worth noting:
I spent a lot of my life treating my personal preferences
as absolute value judgments:
“I like things that are good, things I don’t like are bad.”
“I am smart, you are dumb.”
“I am into things that are Right, You are confused and mistaken”
etc. (Documented here, here, and here)
I’ve been there. I get it.
The Unaware Elitist
Now, to the point.
This Washington post article
has been around the social media block a million times.
It is so annoying.
Granted it is based on real research.
It’s the conclusions that are obnoxious.
—holds back rant no one is interested in—-
Okay, here is my beef:
The argument of the article (kind of)
And all of the enthusiastic reposters (more-so)
Quiet worship is better than loud because God is quiet
Sanctuaries are Holy and Rented School Gyms are not
Organs are good, Keyboards – less so.
It’s a proxy battle over church people’s preference
Played out on the battlefield of ‘reaching millenials’
Take it out of the church context and it sounds like this:
Your workout plan is stupid and ineffective (I drank the Crossfit kool-aid)
How could you send your kid to public school (I drank the private kool-aid)
I can’t believe you would do _____ with your newborn (because I drank the _____ kool-aid)
To put it plainly – this is bad logic
People make decisions for a myriad of complicated reasons.
Millenials aren’t in church, true.
But it’s not about access to quiet traditional services
(they have plenty of access to that)
You may have a great and important reason that you sent your kid to private school,
but it also may be more about you and your kid than some universal right or wrong.
You’re probably going to hurt yourself doing Crossfit,
and no one will be doing it in 5 more years…it is not objectively better.
But you love it. Great, I get it!
(see there I go, I did it too…. I told you I am in recovery).
When we confuse our personal preference
with objective / universal principles
we do harm.
And we become obnoxious.
A Short Story to close:
I am belaboring the church point, but I am a church guy.
Anyway, here i go:
The church I work at offers four distinctively different worship styles.
I do not prefer three of those styles.
We do them well,
I appreciate the beauty and skill involved in each of them.
I am glad they exist, people connect with them.
They are ALL GOOD, but there is ONE I LIKE.
If we offered a gospel choir with explosive drumming and slap bass, I’d be at that service.
(we do not offer that – yet)
That is why I am in recovery.
I’m not still stuck.
Big lights, haircuts I’ll never understand, and synth pop are not my thing.
But, by God, carry on – do it well. It is someone’s thing!
I always wanted to love quiet liturgy. But I don’t.
I am so glad there are churches with mystery, and incense, and formality.
It’s confusing to me (the outsider) but, by God, carry on.
Someone loves it. it’s good!
I know the difference between a ‘good’ movie – a well crafted piece of art.
And a movie I enjoy (basically, a comic book movie).
It doesn’t have to be good for me to like it.
And I don’t have to like it because it’s good.
I learned the difference.