Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stadium-Rock Religion?

Shaken but not stirred by stadium-rock spirituality
Text: Catherine Deveny (theage.com.au, Australia, July 29, 2009)

The promise of awesome worship, that’s what got me to a Planetshakers meeting. And I wasn’t disappointed. They said awesome 20 times. Planetshakers is a mega-church, which is like a spiritual mega-meal deal: Pizza, Coke, chocolate bavarian. If we could masticate it for you and pump it into your stomach, we would.
  • PHOTOS: Generic non-Christian US concert crowd and show

Because we love you, and so does Jesus. Standing outside Planetshakers surrounded by chirpy, bogan-cool teenagers fizzing with excitement, one of the two gay Atheist friends I was with described the crowd as "very Australian Idol." It was the first time I’d been excited about going to church. I spent every Sunday of my first 18 years sitting on wooden pews listening to a bloke talking about his imaginary friend in the sky who did magic tricks.

Women were virgins, saints, or whores. Men were the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Outside Planetshakers it felt as if we were about to see a rock concert. And we were. As the band fired up and went off like a frog in a sock, I thought: "I don’t care what they’re selling, but I’m buying it." Christian pop, ’80s power anthems, Metallica-meets-Cheap Trick.

A mosh pit for Jesus was jumping with teenagers in rapture and a balcony of Planetkids went off for Christ. Music blared from the stadium sound system while the screen seduced us with slick videos edited so fast the phrase "subliminal image" kept popping into my head. More>>