Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Pumped Up Kicks" and the Gospel

So, before you watch the video below and listen to the song I want to tell you it is very catchy and peppy, but the song is about brokenness and sin and evil. There isn't any profanity, but through some conversations with others I believe I need to put this disclaimer up. To read the lyrics click here.

This blog was inspired by a conversation I had with couple friends about a month ago. One was sharing how she was really upset that the radio stations were playing this song - a song about a boy who found his father's gun and killed his father and goes on to kill his peers (or at least muse about it). I hadn't heard the song yet, so I went home and checked it out. Yes, it is really catchy and upbeat and fun to sing, and it is about those dark topics and stories we rarely come in contact with until they are thrown in our face by circumstance or media.

What I heard in the song God used to stir me to compassion. There are young men and women all over this country in all of our schools and lives that are bitter and betrayed, disconnected, broken, forgotten, and outcast[1]. This song tells of a boy who is abused and unloved by his father, and finds solace at least in the thought of killing him and killing others.

Therefore, what are we to make of this song, the young men who wrote it, and the many who listen to it not because it is fun and catchy but because they resonate with the story of a young person in pain and anger? I believe it ought to stir us to compassion and evangelism. How many people around you and me need the gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news of redemption, that Christ took the wrath we deserved and cleanses and heals us from the sin committed against us? How many people around us who are bitter, betrayed, disconnected, broken, forgotten, and outcast are seen through the eyes of our flesh - strange, weird, amusing, not worth it - without grace - instead of through the eyes of Jesus Christ - "For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God...who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (1 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 12:2).

When we hear this song or other songs like it, may we be stirred to pray for more laborers to go into the harvest; may we pray for God to give healing and salvation to the writers and performers of these songs and to those represented by the song. May we remember that "God so loved the world [the world of people that did not know him and and who loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil], that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16; 1:10; 3:19) and do likewise: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another" (John 13:34 cf. John 15:9, 12).

Finally, "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned...Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's [Jesus] obedience the many will be made righteous...In him [Jesus] was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it...[He has] come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in [Him] may not remain in darkness." (Romans 5:12, 18-19; John 1:4-5; 12:46).

[1] Gross, Craig, and Jason Harper. Jesus Loves You This I Know. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2009. Print.

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