I watched a few Tool (yes, the band Tool) music videos today. This group has always fascinated me. They are, first and foremost, excellent musicians. They use harmony, rhythm and dynamics in ways that most modern bands don't even know exist. Their lyrics are based in all different kinds of philosophy and have quite a lot of meat to them.
However, their content is close to pure evil. If it weren't for their honesty, for their candor in how they view the world I would say it was evil, and I do not use such a word lightly. For the uninitiated, their first album was entitled "Opiate", as in "religion is the opiate of the people". They are as antagonistic to Christianity as possible, and not just in some "Christianity sucks" kind of way. It is a much more subtle, much more powerful opposition. Think Nietzsche as a musician.
What's frustrating is that their brutal honesty on the nature of the world, and particularly the nature of the world without God could be as easily a powerful message FOR Christ as one against. As C. S. Lewis wrote in The Screwtape Letters, great sinners and great saints are made of the same material. They have passion and honesty, and they do not flinch. We don't see the kind of compelling honesty in many Christians these days.
Let me be more precise. We don't see Christians talk about their doubt, about the frustration of not knowing, but instead relying on our faith. We don't see the kind of lamenting our separation from God that you would expect. At church it is mostly "sweetness and light". To be fair, not always. But mostly. The songs we sing in particular. I suppose the purpose of songs are to worship God, not to indulge our angst. Yet, look at Psalms and Ecclesiastes! Ecclesiastes in particular ends up sounding a lot more like Tool than it does Third Day.
And this "fakeness" hurts the church, and hurts the unbelievers. We know there is pain, pain we can't understand, pain that destroys lives and brings despair. But "all things work together for them that love the Lord". Certainly this is true, but not even Job was given the specifics of how things worked together for good, and was rightly rebuffed by God when he demanded to know. Thus we are left again with Hope, Faith and Love, but not Certainty, Security or Happiness. Our human minds want those last things, but will not get them. They are illusions, thirsts that are never satisfied.
Why not present ourselves for what we almost certainly are: Sinners unable to even grasp our own salvation? If it weren't for God's effort on our behalf, we would not even seek after Him. Our understanding is so small, our capacities so inadequate. We are just lost people, but with the joyful surprise that God has found us. All He has given is somewhere to look. It's as if we were deep under the ocean, not knowing where up was, running low on breath. God is the light above us that tells us where to swim. We swim there because we have no other way to go.
I'm tired of fake certainty. Unbelievers see it, and they know it is fake. They know we suffer, that there are hidden things we do not understand ourselves. They wonder where it is, why we hide it, what we are afraid of. What are we afraid of?