Monday, December 12, 2011

Anarchy vs Submission pt 1 (my writing process for the "Submission 101" curriculum)

The majority of the day, I've been working on a curriculum project called "Submission 101". This is a curriculum that the record label and the church are partnering up to put out. Based off of the "White Rags" theme of submission, the idea is to bless as many pastors, youth pastors, youth workers and even students who are willing to download it and use it. I'm gearing it more towards people in the urban youth workers but the content applies to anyone. I must say that tackling the subject of biblical submission is a pretty large task. And since I'm writing this with teens in mind, I have to take into account the culture of today and present this subject in a way that they will be able to relate to.

Right now I'm working on a part of the curriculum that looks at society's push toward anarchy. (FYI - The A with the circle around it is a sign for "anarchy".) Here are some examples:

Here's Busta Rhymes CD artwork released back in 2000...

Here's something more recent: Lupe Fiasco's CD artwork released earlier this year...

About 2 years ago, Jay-Z released a song called "Run This Town". The whole feel of the video is anarchy. Here's a chorus:

Life's a game but it's not fair
I break the rules and I don't care
So I keep doing my own thing
Walkin' tall against the rain
Victory's within the mile
Almost there don't give up now
Only thing that's on my mind
Is who's gonna run this town tonight...

(And then, of course, Jay-Z comes in and says "We are"...)

Add to this the recent history of ordinary citizens feeling empowered enough to overthrow the "powers that be". The Occupy movement is just one of a few recent displays that allow us to feel the pulse of a generation tired of listening, accepting and obeying.

Lecrae and Reach Records picked up on the culture's attitude of rebellion and decided to counter with Lecrae's Rebel CD, a CD geared towards encouraging Christians to rebel against the ungodliness around us.

Also, one of Tedashii's lead singles from his last album was called "Riot".

I also just met some people a few weeks ago out of California who have a CD called "Love Riot".

Whether you are a Christian or an atheist, this "rebelling against the system" approach is everywhere. As Christians, what do we do with it? Here's my short thought and then I'm done...

To be fair, when talking about the issue of rebellion and anarchy you must identify who or what you're rebelling against. There have been good rebellions and bad ones. Generally speaking, rebellions have been labeled as good or bad based on what was being rebelled against. What "system" are you rebelling against? And how about this...after everyone is done rebelling, who decides the new "right"? The over-oppressed, under-appreciated angry mob? Or maybe the people behind the scenes who incited the riots? From a Christian's perspective, the bible is the source for identifying what to rebel against AND what that rebellion should look like as it plays out.

In my song "White Rags", I have a line that says:

Peace with the King man we ain't rebels or outlaws
Rebels aren't accepted in the kingdom with or without cause
Doing your own thing in God's kingdom is outlawed
The rebellious spirit says that I can make it without God.

It's simple. God is King. He has a kingdom. That kingdom has laws. Going against those laws makes you a rebel. And this is the rebellion that is considered sin. So when you're living in a world that is becoming increasingly lawless, how do you encourage people to "rebel" against rebellion? You explain to them what biblical submission looks like. It's counter cultural because everyone wants to riot and no one wants to submit. That word even has a bad feel coming out of the mouth for reasons we'll dive into later...

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