Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mumford and FU#K!

I will admit it now.  It's true.  I have a man crush on Mumford and Sons.  The type of crush that would result in giggling and loud screaming at their sight, like the Beatles heard on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. So, I have been recommending the band to everyone I meet; kind of like initiative-evangelism --- or if you are in the PCA, "confrontational evangelism."  But there is always one caveat I always give after the recommendation to 'church-people'... "They sing the F-bomb on one track.  But, but, but, they are seriously singing what appear to be Christian imagery, and its edifying intellectually and spiritually!  Really!"  (this article makes no statements about the faith stance of Marcus Mumford, or anyonne in the band, per this article).

Now on both of their albums, Mumford and Sons have earned an "explicit lyrics" tag.  Why? Because one track has the F-bomb in the chorus, many times, but no coarse language else-where to be found.  And it is rather pronounced when said.  

Does this bother anyone?  Should it?

I have heard one say that they feel the use of the F-word in "Broken Crown," a M&S son, is the right use.  Is there a right use?  

I was recently listening to a Lecrae's track, "Church Clothes", where he very explicitly portrays one lyrically who hates the church and its hypocrisy.   If one listened to this part of this song alone and made a judgement on Lecrae's convictions concerning Jesus, they would conclude something different than that Lecrae is on, unofficially mentored by John Piper, and loves the church and her Lord.  

So should we put M&S in this category?  Are they portraying a sinful state of mind, or season of life without the Lord?  I think it's likely.  But the question remains, is using FU#K the way to go when portraying this position?  That's a bit tougher, and gives me pause...Maybe...?  Does using a word such as this in such a public manner make your witness better or worse?  Does it change your eternal destination and present convictions?  Should Christians and non-Christians loosen up on this topic?  Probably (see note below).  When does artistic license become regulated by public opinion?

So what are my conclusions? 

1)I will continue to recommend Mumford and Sons.  And, yes, the caveat will still have to stand, that is, until all things are made new (cf. Roms. 14-15).
2)I will continue to exclude these two tracks ("Little Lion Man" and "Broken Crown") from playlists played around my three boys, and other children - or adults that act like children.
3) I think that Christians should be as honest as M&S and Lecrae about their cultural counter-parts, themselves, and about the true state of mind, heart, and soul sin places us in collectively.
4) I think that those who do not claim Jesus as Lord should hold Christians to reasonable standards, that is, realizing we too are humans, and irrational standards (many or which are contradictory) are not the way even the most 'holy' people can live.  I should say, the "don't judge me" comment should, but does not, go both ways.
5) Read Ephesians 4:29 again.  Does it say "don't cuss"?  Or might Paul be making a bigger point that includes, but is not exclusive to, principles of coarse language?

A note: Christians, with #4 in mind, should still strive to be above reproach.  I have observed that cussing is one area, along with craft-beer drinking (haha!  I can't even type it without laughing - some people are such tools), where Christian freedoms have at times been taken advantage of.  My generation in particular is guilty of this.  I say, proceed with caution!

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