Today on NPR’s All Things Considered, there’s a story called, “Human Videos: Reenacting Christian Pop Songs For Jesus.” It’s about kids in church groups who are directing stage productions and dance performances that tell biblical stories. They’re like cheerleading meets amateur interpretive dance.
Please don’t call “human videos” art. Pretty please. With sugar on top.
These kids have stupidly called these performances “human videos” instead of what they are, piss-pourly choreographed and badly-performed dance productions. This is yet another example of how church folks take existing arts and ruin them. You don’t stand in lines at museums to ogle a five-year old’s finger painting.
“Human videos” are the dance equivalent of a three-year old’s finger painting.
I’m surprised it made the afternoon’s NPR news lineup. It’s a mundane story, and all it did was give me fodder for a blog post. I bet EVERYONE who heard it blogged about it after they heard it. All two of us.
The thing that stood out was that there were several “human video” performers who talked about the difficulty of sharing Jesus at their local high schools. When they get together at these “human video” stage shows, they can finally feel like they aren’t alone in the world. They can hang out with thousands of kids who are “on fire for Jesus.”
Good for them. Like-minded people should flock together. I don’t want to hang out with Jocks. I don’t want to hang out with Dungeons and Dragons kids. I don’t want to hang out with Jesus kids either. That’s the great thing about High School: cliques are expected.
I’m on fire for Christ! Someone get a fire extinguisher and FAST!
I want to rub it in these kids’ faces that they should feel ashamed and embarrassed about sharing Jesus at school. They should second guess it and follow that line of thinking. If I went up to one of those kids, who happen to be in high school, and I say, “Hey, do you know Santa? He’s an amazing elf and he brings the whole wide world presents one day a year.” I would expect my friends to make it super uncomfortable.
If you come up to me and tell me, “I have a friend. You can’t see him. His name is Jesus. I want you to know him.” I expect people to marginalize that behavior.
If you want to believe in the invisible, do it. Don’t expect that anyone should cater to you or make you feel comfortable. If you believe in things that make other people laugh or feel uncomfortable, you don’t have the right to complain.
These kids KNOW that it’s ridiculous, and the only reason they proselytize is because they were born in evangelical homes. They don’t love Jesus. They love the feeling of performing on stage, and they are addicted to it. They displace those feeling on loving Jesus, because it justifies behavior that other kids might mock.
What they need is for their role models to encourage them to take dance classes and hone their art in a professional way. Performing badly only reinforces that the church is only for badly-made art instead. What happened to the days when the art produced excellence rather than a load of piling bullshit?
Here’s a bucket of gasoline and a match. You know what to do.
There are (at least) two voices in these kids’ heads. One says, “Hey, this Jesus guy is great. I love him and what that means to me.” And the other voice says, “Hey, this is kind of crazy, because I have never met Jesus. I’ve never seen him. How am I supposed to talk about him to other kids?”
Then they say, “I’m going to listen to that first voice, because if I don’t, my parents will punish me. I’ll roast in hell. And I’m afraid of what I can’t see.”
Bottom line: kids shouldn’t feel comfortable in their Christianity. They should be encouraged to search out why it makes them feel that way.
If you’re on fire for Jesus … you deserve to get burned.