Above: A secular rock concert.
So well, I discovered this note from Joshua Chee on Fusion 2011. Ok fine I saw it like, quite some time before that but I happened to see it again today heh.
Just to clarify, but this note isn't going to be about how Fusion was so awesome, or how I had such an enjoyable time during Fusion. Nope. This note is going to be about something so much more important.
Well, of course, i must say that I did find Fusion to be an enjoyable time of worship, but there were so many other factors, distractions, that could have so easily made it be a waste of my time. Well i will share from the start. Actually, i was taking a nap, and I woke up at 6.30pm, when the event supposedly started at 7pm. So i was like, crap, i'm going to be late. But I do thank God that I woke up at that time, and not earlier, because on the train, it really got me thinking. Since this was my first time going for Fusion, i thought it might have been something like a worship session, then the Word would be preached, then more worship, etc. Of course turns out there was no sharing on the Word at all, which I will get back to later.
But yeah, I was wondering, by the time I got there, I might have missed the worship! But I had this question in my mind. Why are we going for Fusion? Honestly, what was the reason we went? Was it because our friends were going? Was it because, oh, it's desperation band, so let's go! Are we really going for Fusion, to worship God, or for all the wrong reasons? Of course, when i was thinking that whole time, I told myself, no matter what, I will go to worship God with all my heart, and I declared that I was there only to enter God's presence, and not for anything else.
During the worship itself, the worship leader was talking about how he was going to play the music over us, while we were there to listen to God speak. Personally, I don't see how anyone can concentrate on God's voice with the music blasting so loudly, and the lights were just flickering non-stop. At that point I was telling God, this is ridiculous. I will not let myself be distracted, by the band, or by the lights. I will worship Him with all my heart, and not let anything else influence that. I was thinking, we are here to be in God's presence! Which led me to think of the song, "Here in Your Presence". I was thinking, how awesome it would be if that song was played, because really, that song is probably one of my favourite songs, because of the power in it's lyrics. Just as i thought that, they played the song! :D From that point onward, I could really feel God's presence just filling me. But I must say, it was not easy to feel God's presence under all that noise and hype. Honestly, I think the only reason why I could feel God so strongly, was only because I declared to myself, that I would worship God because He is God, and for nothing else, not because of the band, not because of the crowds of people jumping up and down.
I must say the positive stuff, before i move on to my main thoughts. Definitely, the good thing about this whole event, was that we, as one body of Christ came together to worship God together, which was definitely the most important thing at then end of the day, that people were blessed, and lives were touched.
Okay. Now to my main thoughts. Looking at all the people who were jumping so wildly. My first thought was, how many of these Christians, were really there to worship God? If we took the band out of the picture, how many of these youths would have come? I dare say, that if we did not have desperation band there, many youths probably would not have come. So why are we there because of the band? God said, that we must worship in spirit and in truth. What does it mean to worship in spirit and in truth? What is worship? Worship is something that does not stop at one event, or one church service. Worship is supposed to permeate throughout our lives. It's one thing to jump and go crazy and sing your heart out, but it's another thing to take God seriously, and read His Word, and to live your life with God at the centre of it. I still hold on to my analogy. Singing your heart out, going crazy, coming to encounter God, but not reading His Word, and not living your life according to it, is like smelling the good food, but not eating it. You can't grow!
At the end of the day, what is more important? Singing praises to God, or reading His Word? How many youths are ready to pick up a Bible and actually read it daily? The Word is just so important. How can a servant serve a master, when he doesn't even know who his master is? How can we sing praises to a God when we know so little about him? There is just so much more to God, which we can experience through the Bible, than what we will ever experience just by purely singing praises alone. And of course, my chemistry analogy. Read my status update, cos i'm too lazy to type it all out again. :P
And another thing that kinda irked me. After the whole thing, the congregation was invited to get autographs from the band. I was just speechless. Really, autographs? Is there a need for autographs? Once again, I must ask. Are we there to worship God, or are we there to worship the band? Maybe one could say that the band inspired them, and how the they love the band's music, and so on and so forth. But really. Who do you think is the one behind everything? We worship the Creator, not His creation. Who is the one, who is truly deserving and worthy of our praise? Who are we coming to meet? We are not in that sanctuary to praise the band, to meet the band, to draw close to the band. We are there, to praise God, to meet God, and to draw closer than ever to God.
Once again, however, i must stil mention. Ultimately, the most important aspect of this event, was that we came together as one body of Christ to worship him. Personally, I think that that is still the most important thing. Even though we may not have gone for the right reasons, I still firmly believe, that as long God is glorified and people have been ministered to and blessed, then we can say that we have accomplished something. However, just because we have been saved, doesn't mean we should ever be satisfied with where we are with God in terms of our spiritual maturity, and it doesn't mean we should ever take God for granted.
My prayer for the Christian youths in Singapore, is that they will always have a burning passion and desire, to serve God, but more importantly, that they will never be contented with what they have now, but instead seek to grow in God through the Word more and more each time.
Well, some personal input of mine.
I wanted to go for fusion initially actually, and I wanted to go because Desperation Band was there. Its true, I wanted to see them play live and I wouldnt have attended (duhhh, im from an Anglican church) if they werent there. It doesnt change the fact however that if I chose to go, I would choose to go and worship God and not the band. What is mentioned in this note is true. Through my own recent experiences, this is something that I have been thinking of as well. How many people attend things like these for the sake of the high?
I dont agree that there is anything wrong in giving out autographs, and I dont think autographs are a litmus test as to intentions behind people going for the event. The fact of the matter though is that there are people who perhaps treat attending the concert as if attending any other random rock concert. I wonder, how different is entire congregations jumping and jumping different from mosh pits? Sure, less violent but the idea is there. Might as well be at taylor swift's or U2's.
Heres a thought. When you're in the midst of jumping and singing to the loud smashing music, do you actually register deep in your heart what the words mean?
Heres another. While you can have both, which did you feel more strongly when you left: that you have a fun enjoyable time or that you entered in to God's presence?
Does crowds of people singing, jumping, feeling good equate to the presence of God?
Consider then that even clapping was never established in the Bible as a way to worship God. Certainly things change with the times and with that different styles of worship arise, and so that serves as the justification behind all the loud music, maybe fancy atmosphere and whatsnot, but even as they arise perhaps we need to examine the intentions behind them.
Its a cause for concern really. It seems more to me that events like these have the focus of Christians gathering together to have fun, and while we're at it maybe we worship God. Alright Christians too deserve to have fun so fine by all means, I would have enjoyed myself too if I went there, just that we gotta understand the difference between having fun and encountering God and not mix the two together.