Sunday, June 22, 2008

jesus freak

This post may be somewhat more of a controversial one, but I guess that's ok considering the fact that no one would read my blog if I said the exact same thing someone else is already saying... which is kind of the whole purpose of a blog anyway I guess. Although I'm not sure that last sentence made any sense, so we're just going to move on to the actual reason for this post.

In the mid-early 90s a hit song by the name of "Jesus Freak" was released by a band by the name of dc talk. (take the fact that it was released in the early 90s and then try and explain to me why Way-FM still plays it...) Anyway the purpose of the song is basically to encourage people to stand up for their faith and be willing to look ridiculous and be humiliated for Jesus... which I guess is why the title "Jesus Freak" is so appropriate.

Another song talking about freaks is the 1981 hit single "Super Freak" by Rick James. It's safe to say this song offers a tad bit different message, but I think it's ironic that here we have 2 songs talking about freaks, but one is intended to be a positive kind of freak and the other is intended to be a negative kind of freak. Not to be cynical here, but I want to propose the idea that there is really only one kind of freak... and it's not ever a good thing.

Freak- noun; a person or animal on exhibition as an example of a strange deviation from nature; monster.

That is's definition. Obviously based on this definition the word Freak is not a good thing. So, why then does dc talk urge us to be Jesus Freaks? Here is why: There is this huge misconception in the christianized "church" world that being "different" because you're a Christian somehow involves being a social outcast and getting made fun of. Apparently there's a verse in the Bible that says "be in the world not of the world" (I'm just kidding.. yes I know it really IS in the Bible). But I don't think that that verse is suggesting Christians should be dubbed "Freak" just at first glance.

Think about the movie Celtic Pride. If you haven't seen this movie, I wouldn't suggest watching it. It's really not all that funny and it's pretty long. Basically these HUGE Boston Celtic fans kidnap a star basketball player for the team they are playing against in the NBA Finals. Anyway, they’re sitting there, trying to watch their team in one of the most important games of the entire season and then out of nowhere some annoying “Christian” comes up and proceeds to get in between them and their view of the game. He’s holding a John 3:16 poster and says, “Jesus loves you!” What do they do to this man? They beat him up. Why, because he was annoying, REALLY annoying. In fact, some might venture as far as to say he was a "Jesus Freak".

Now, initially us Christians' first thought would be to applaud this behavior. "We're taking a nonchristian activity and promoting the Gospel!" While this is true, we are "promoting the Gospel" at a non-Christian event, we're also ruining a chance to reach people! We are forever crafting an annoying image in people's mind when they think about this man named Jesus. Because we decided to be "Jesus Freaks", we've actually just annoyed someone and turned them away from the Gospel.

I'm not saying that Christians should be unwilling to stand up for their faith, but there is a HUGE difference in standing up for your faith, and getting in people's faces and looking like an idiot for the sake of the Gospel.

Bottom Line: A freak is a freak. To a non-believer who knows nothing about Jesus or anything that He did for them, there is no difference in a Jesus Freak and a Super Freak... there just both freaks.


  1. Since I'm not sure people actually read these things maybe it's okay for me to post a comment. (It's not like Facebook. You know I'm careful not to go public with you there.)

    I think you are right. This will be controversial. Afterall, the song that made DC Talk famous (are they still together as a group?) is the song you've chosen to criticize.

    I also think you are right, however, about the meaning of the word "freak". I don't know in the Scriptures where we are to be freaky. We are to be "strangers" and "aliens", but (Heb 11:13, 1 Pet 2:11), but that has more to do with the fact that our citizenship is outside of this world an in an eternal Kingdom of hope, joy, peace, etc. (But that's enough preaching for now.)

    I do agree that just holding up the random sign at a ballgame is not the best method of evangelism. Living lives as believers along side of unbelievers, allowing them to see that we truly do love people and honor God, that's the best way to win people to Christ.

    Good post. Hope those former DC Talk guys don't get wind of this. It could be another Lanny deal...

  2. *ahem* I do read the comments, sometimes! haha (And I don't think DC Talk is together anymore... but I could be wrong!)

    So, while this was one of my favorite songs in high school (let's face it, it was catchy and I could harmonize with it), I definitely agree with you. I try to live my life in a way that I am a light for the Lord. My goal is to for people to realize that He is living in me, that I am living for Him, without having to thump them over the head with my Bible.

    I went to a tiny Christian high school (seriously, I graduated in a class of 24) where most of the kids were forced to go there and didn't want to be there (but I loved it) and one of my classmates once said during Bible class that he would never be a Christian because we (in general) are all hypocrites. We don't walk our talk. From then on I've tried to speak softly and walk loudly... although I fail often. Thank God for grace.

  3. This is a mature insight for a person of your age. I'm glad you're the president of rossview, God is going to use you in some non-freaky ways.