Yesterday was a fasting day. I was in the prayer room during the 4-6 set, taking in all the sights and sounds of a few hundred Jesus lovers gathered to cry out for mercy and pour their hearts out at His feet. I took note of my posture as I was observing the Lord moving on various people in the room. Standing up, I had one hand in my pocket and another grasping an Ozarka water bottle. For a brief moment I had a flashback of myself in this same physical posture at a show in perhaps Dallas or Little Rock, a Bud Lite or a Heineken in hand enjoying the idolization and glorification of the talent of human beings… not to mention the seduction of rampant immorality in these bars and clubs.
Now, I do have to mention that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having fun and enjoying an art form. I have been to shows that have actually inspired me to love God more (though these were performances by Christian bands) and it wasn’t just words but music that awakened something in me.
I think of King Herod in Acts 12 “On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a mere mortal.” Immediately , because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.”
Not that audiences in most concerts are shouting at the muscians “You MUST be a god!” (though I have to mention that some of them do scream things similar to this), but the majority of bands are completely idolized for their talent. If you think about the hundreds of women (whom most of the musicians take advantage of) that follow them from town to town, this might conclude some of your questions. What about the posters plastered all over the walls of teenage bedrooms? These kinds of things don’t happen to normal folks.
What I love about IHOP is that when outside people visit, more often than not, most of the people don’t have any idea who is playing on stage. They haven’t come to oooh and ahhhh over the musicians (though they might respect the gift God has given them), they have come to seek the living God.