Since the release of the latest Rock Band instalment gamers have been living out the careers of the Fab Four, from the Cavern in Liverpool all the way to the final rooftop concert in 1970. The Beatles edition of Rock Band may raise some questions for Christians who are leery of the Hippie culture and seemingly anti-Christian statements of John Lennon. However, when I first had a go at this new game, I couldn't help thinking about what the future holds for those who put their faith in Christ.
Take four guys who wrote great music, but also had several "lifestyle problems" (i.e. obvious vices and unapologetically public sins). Create computer generated versions of them for a video game: Although the scenery is often psychedelic, the animated band members seem to have been filtered of immorality, hallucinogens, and non-Christian philosophies (i.e. sex, drugs, rock-n-roll). What do you have left? Just great music!
I understand that some of the lyrics keep this analogy from being perfect, but the software seems to have an innocent quality, lacking most of whatever made them controversial in their day. I can enjoy screaming, "...when I saw her standing there," without fear of divine retribution. It's almost like removing the "pelvis" from Elvis. Trust me, that reference is funny to people over 40.
What does all this have to do with being a Christian?
Take all the diverse cultures of the world, past and present. Realize the very best in art, music, philosophy, society, science and technology that each has contributed to world civilization. Now, call out a remnant from every tribe and language, people and nation. Cause those in that remnant to be washed, sanctified and justified until they are free from all sin and superstition, made acceptable to God, and separated for his own purpose. Their glory, the very best and most beautiful of each culture's distinctive, is all that would remain.
Referring to the holy city New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:26 says, "The glory of the nations will be brought into it." The opening ceremonies of any Olympics will seem paltry compared to this parade at world's end. Imagine delegates from every conceivable people-group, representing the redeemed version of their culture! Start getting that picture, and you've only scratched the surface of what God is preparing for his people. I hope to see you there!
[Photo by ParkerDigital, Flickr's Creative Commons]