What would people think?
Before I begin, I know this will be a little intense for some of my readers... some people just won't be able to agree with my music taste.
But here it goes, there is this awesomely nerd-yourself-out remix version of "Jesus Freak" by DC Talk. DC Talk is a Christian Rock group that released "Jesus Freak" in 1995. Somehow, this track found itself onto one of my CD's as a middle schooler, sometime after I got my first walkman CD player... yeah, I was pretty cool back then.
Here is the link to the remix:
I know what you are thinking, how could anyone actually enjoy this kind of music outside of, like, an aerobic dance class or something? Well, you should know that other than the fact that I took aerobic dance in high school, I also tend to enjoy some pump-up music from time to time.
(NOTE: This is Mike posting the blog here... not Tawni. I know, you are still thrown off by that aerobic dance comment. Just know that there is a perfectly good explanation for why I took aerobic dance in college).
Ok, so here is the bulk point of why I am writing this. This song was the most visually stimulating Christian song I had ever heard in my life. Even to this day, the picture of a fat tattooed street-preacher stands out in my mind the same way it did when I was eleven or twelve, however old I was when I first heard it. And the message of the song is, "What will people think?"
Now fast forward. I'm a missionary in Thailand. People think my faith in Christ is a bit crazy. How do I manage that? Well, I think this song helped me settle some convictions early on in my life, namely, that it doesn't matter what other people think when you know you are doing the right thing for the right motives. Digging a little deeper: confidence doesn't have to be narcissistic. Confidence can be godly when God is at the center.
But in an honor/shame culture where everything is about "saving face," I wonder how the Thai people will settle this question in their hearts when they come to Christ. Some Thai people have a bold personality, so their love for God shines right away through their noticeably different behavior. But then you hear stories that just make you sad when these leaders fall into all kinds of sin. Other personality types, the majority really, are either introverts or find comfort inside the herd, not standing out or being noticed. You doubt sometimes whether or not these people are actually making decisions or simply "going with the flow." But over time, many of them grow and bear fruit.
I'm not saying these personality types determine the fruitfulness of someone's life, but they may influence our impression as leaders.
Last Sunday our church witnessed several Thai baptisms. These were behind-the-scenes people, but they invited their whole families to watch them make decisions for Christ, making for a very big crowd at our Sunday service. I wonder at what point they settled this question in their hearts, because obviously they had. They invited their families to watch their baptism.
The question, "What will people think..." is still a relevant question to ask, and I think it's great to see this DC Talk song remixed for this global generation of EDM millennials to ask themselves the same question when it comes to living out their faith openly and honestly in their relationships with family, friends, and coworkers.
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God called Tawni to Thailand during a mountain top experience. Her training school had planted a church in Chiang Mai and was nearing the end of their trip. The team retreated to Doi Suthep's viewpoint for prayer over the city. As she gazed out over the lush Northern province, a voice began speaking to her heart, "Will you give your life for my people here?"