Steve’s Corner January 2011

“The Undercover gets the blame for single handedly stopping all those great traditional concerts at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa every Saturday since 1968. Thousands upon thousands have given their lives to Jesus at these anointed Concerts. One day in the mid 80s Chuck Smith showed up one Saturday night and there was The Undercover Band with their shirts off and jumping around like idiots! U call that ground breaking? Hitler was ground breaking too! Just another “in the flesh, look at me” band that never gave God any Glory, and why are you booking these guys?”

Hitler was groundbreaking too??? What? We definitely get all kinds of letters here, but I’m pretty sure that this is the first one with a reference to Hitler. Besides the obviously flawed comparison, this letter made me reflect on a couple of things. I never lived in California and I was never able to have attended any of these shows back in the day. It was a new, fresh and exciting time in Christian music. There were bands like the aforementioned Undercover, there was The Lifesavors, The Altar Boys, Crumbacher, The Lifters and so on. My wife lived in California then and she remembers going to Calvary Chapel and recalls how cool it was to see all the people who were outside of the mainstream yet together in one place… church. They were hanging out, listening to music and having a good time. Her recollection in comparison to the letter we received made me think of a couple of things.

One is that the differences between what my wife witnessed and what this reader’s letter recalled speaks about how different we all are. We are each one looking for something different and unique to us. For the writer of the letter, they were still looking for what had typically gone on at Calvary Chapel, the same type shows and the same type of “anointing” that they were accustomed to. My wife was visiting family in California when she visited Calvary Chapel. She had recently gotten sober from drugs and alcohol and she wanted to know what it meant to love Jesus. She identified with these people who were outside of the norm – she identified with the dress, the music and the message. For me it speaks to how big God is… He comes to us as we are and in a way that we can understand. For my wife, if it had been the same way as in the late 60’s and the 70’s, it never would have spoken to her the way it did.

The other thing this letter made me think of was this: isn’t it time to stop judging people so harshly? Christianity is about love isn’t it? “For God so loved the world…”, “Love the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself”, “and these three remain, but the greatest of these is love”. Love is a big thing. Its open ended and we don’t get to choose who we love and who we don’t. Doesn’t mean we have to agree with everyone or what they do, say or believe, but who are we to say someone else is “in the flesh”? What is that supposed to mean anyway, seriously? Who is this person to say that these guys in Undercover never gave any glory to God? I am usually reminded of the scripture that says that we will be judged in the same way we judge – that’s a stark measuring line isn’t it? I’m also reminded of the scripture that says to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Our salvation is very personal. The way we come to Christ has different circumstances and the way we express our faith and our salvation may be different from everyone else as well. It doesn’t mean that we are “in the flesh” or “out of God’s will” or anything of that nature.

So, in conclusion I guess what I am saying is get over yourself. If you don’t like what is going on somewhere, go where you can be more comfortable. Just give everyone else the freedom to express themselves in a way that they like. Jump around a little more, take your shirt off from time to time, turn the volume up and remember that you are an individual… just like everybody else.

About Steve Ruff

Music is what moves, motivates and inspires me.
This entry was posted in In The Magazine, January 2011 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Steve’s Corner January 2011

  1. Alex Makarczyk says:

    I was not really Undercover that got the concerts shut down–but a new band called A.O.T.C. that opened for Undercover. They were more “authentic” Punk (who were Christians) who’s presence and music offended Chuck Smith and others. Undercover tried to save the night but could not. It was a great “authentic” show for those who were not there. Alex–

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