praise & worship & porn

September 21, 2009

I owe this idea to a very good friend who isn’t blogging at this stage. But as soon as she does, I’ll be sure to link to her thoughts on this.

I’ve been getting more and more disgusted with the Praise & Worship industry for years now. The dishonesty just got to me. The fact that I’m forced to sing about faith and God in a way that simply doesn’t match up with my own journey. The honesty of doubt and questions simply don’t exist in Praise & worship. In Praise & worship the faithful is faithful and life is good for the faithful. God is only good. Heaven is near. Real life looks somewhat different.
The first time I started thinking about porn was when one of my pastors made the comment that porn and nudity isn’t the same thing. Basic insight for anyone who’s been looking into this phenomenon, but new thought for me at that stage.
Porn seeks to simulate sex. Sex without the complexity of relationship. Porn seek to stimulate you sexually. Porn portrays an image the sexuality of another, it provides an image of how someone else is doing it. Porn portrays the image of supernatural sex, the image of bodies and sexuality that is unreachable by the mortal person in a healthy relationship. Porn makes the deepest most intimate aspects of human existance a public spectical. Porn lacks the depth that is reached when the complexity of relationship is added, when the whole person becomes part of the sexual experience, mistakes, moods, emotions and everything that comes with it.
Praise & worship seeks to simulate spiritual experience. Spirituality without the complexities inherent to a deep connection and journey with the spiritual being whom we call God. Praise & worship seek to stimulate you spiritually. Praise & worship portrays the image of the spirituality of another, it provides an image of how others are doing it. Praise & worship portrays the image of a supernatural faith, the idea of an undoubting and non-struggling faith unreachable by the mortal person in an honest relationship with a trancendent being. Praise & worship makes the deepest most intimate aspects of spirituality, whether communal or individual, a public spectical. Praise & worship lacks the depth that is reached when the complexity of faith is added, when my mind, my rational thought, my struggling ethics, my emotions, my honest questions, my doubts, fears and everything that comes with it is added.
Let me clarify. I know that their is exceptions. I know that others might also use the term Praise & worship and do something totally different from what I’m describing. Not all nudity is porn. Not all sex is porn. Not all music should be described with the porn metaphor. Not all Christian music, not even everything that use the label Praise & worship should be described with this metaphor. But when I look through this metaphor at a lot of what’s happening in the gospel and the Praise & worship scenes, then I’m deeply troubled.

I’ve been getting more and more disgusted with the Praise & Worship industry for years now. The dishonesty just got to me. The fact that I’m forced to sing about faith and God in a way that simply doesn’t match up with my own journey. The honesty of doubt and questions simply don’t exist in Praise & worship. In Praise & worship the faithful is faithful and life is good for the faithful. God is only good. Heaven is near. Real life looks somewhat different.

The first time I started thinking about porn was when one of my pastors made the comment that porn and nudity isn’t the same thing. Basic insight for anyone who’s been looking into this phenomenon, but new thought for me at that stage.

Porn seeks to simulate sex. Sex without the complexity of relationship. Porn seek to stimulate you sexually. Porn portrays an image the sexuality of another, it provides an image of how someone else is doing it. Porn portrays the image of supernatural sex, the image of bodies and sexuality that is unreachable by the mortal person in a healthy relationship. Porn makes the deepest most intimate aspects of human existance a public spectical. Porn lacks the depth that is reached when the complexity of relationship is added, when the whole person becomes part of the sexual experience, mistakes, moods, emotions and everything that comes with it.

Praise & worship seeks to simulate spiritual experience. Spirituality without the complexities inherent to a deep connection and journey with the spiritual being whom we call God. Praise & worship seek to stimulate you spiritually. Praise & worship portrays the image of the spirituality of another, it provides an image of how others are doing it. Praise & worship portrays the image of a supernatural faith, the idea of an undoubting and non-struggling faith unreachable by the mortal person in an honest relationship with a trancendent being. Praise & worship makes the deepest most intimate aspects of spirituality, whether communal or individual, a public spectical. Praise & worship lacks the depth that is reached when the complexity of faith is added, when my mind, my rational thought, my struggling ethics, my emotions, my honest questions, my doubts, fears and everything that comes with it is added.

Let me clarify. I know that their is exceptions. I know that others might also use the term Praise & worship and do something totally different from what I’m describing. Not all nudity is porn. Not all sex is porn. Not all music should be described with the porn metaphor. Not all Christian music, not even everything that use the label Praise & worship should be described with this metaphor. But when I look through this metaphor at a lot of what’s happening in the gospel and the Praise & worship scenes, then I’m deeply troubled.

Maybe Brian Mclaren says it better than I do in this videoclip: