Unapologetically Broken in "The Forgiven"
I am not a big TV guy. I enjoy sports but try to limit fictional shows. One modern theme has made this really easy. There seems to be an obsession with anti-hero protagonists. Shows like Mad Men, House of Cards, and Breaking Bad have strong lead characters that are far from any moral standard. Shows like Weeds, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones also have strong stories that build successfully off these anti-hero symbols.
What is the draw? The fallenness of the characters. We can relate to them. Gone are the rolemodels of Superman and Captain America. We want Tony Stark and Batman. There is a brokenness that is attractive and "sexy." It isn't unlike the bad boy/girl phase some teenagers go through. There is an honesty to the brokenness that is extremely captivating.
With this setting in mind I was floored by the words of David Ramirez's song "The Forgiven" of his Rooster EP. The song is fairly self-explanatory. Ramirez has a background in the Christian religion. There is a noticeable conflict in his music on the issue. "The Forgiven" cuts to the heart of the matter,
They love me for being honest
They love me for being myself
But the minute I mention Jesus
They want me to go to Hell
It’s hard to find the balance
When I don’t believe in one
Ramirez's honesty is appreciated. We live in a world where the only crime is being convinced of the truth. If that happens to be the Christian truth that's even worse. It is hard to be a popular Christian or "Christian celebrity" in this world. The masses really only take notice when you stumble or say something stupid. The past years in North America have provided a wonderful feeding ground for savage media and fallen Christians.
If you are a Christian you need to be perfect. If you are anyone else flaws make you sexy. This inconsistency is well entrenched via media. We are convinced we can watch broken people on TV without wishing to emulate them. We find it ridiculous when a real person makes the slightest offense to our civil liberties. And we certainly do not want someone thinking they have the moral high ground. Those people need to be brought down a notch,
You’re just a songwriter, you ain’t a preacher
We came to mourn you, not to look in the mirror
Sing about those hard times, sing about those women
We love the broken, not the forgiven
The truth is that the church has not always been honest. We have not always honestly proclaimed our brokenness. The two sides should not be a living dichotomy. The church should be broken and forgiven. Frankly the world is not interested in that. We want characters without a moral compass and a real life without moral scales. We want the immoral protagonist, but no one to define immorality in real life.
Christian are in a tough spot today. The old "sin free" stigma is refuted at almost every corner of the church. But the world demands the old facade if only as a rhetorical device. It allows them to love the broken but not the forgiven.