Friday, July 07, 2006

Cornerstone Diary, Day Three

Dear Diary,

How lucky am I to be able to see mewithoutYou TWICE at Cornerstone this year! mewithoutYou opened main stage (!) on Thursday night with "Tie Me Up! Untie Me!" Hearing lead singer Aaron shout out, "Did you untie me, Lord? I haven't even thought about killing myself in almost 3 years!" rather than the 5 months testified to on mewithoutYou's brilliant record, Catch for Us the Foxes was an awesome testimony indeed. (If you are interested in checking out mewithoutYou, start with "January 1979" and "Paper Hanger" from Catch for Us the Foxes.)

mewithoutYou on Cornerstone Main Stage. Photo by Neil Beard.

The highlight of mewithoutYou's set was a new song they played last. They invited all of their friends to come out and dance with them on the last song, which included a ton of tribal drummers, a girl dressed in sackcloth, and man in a Native American-ish bird suit. I wasn't sure about the bird suit (hiding in the shadow of His wings?), but it was dramatic. The new song really demonstrated mewithoutYou's musical growth, adding much quieter elements to their songs, and much more melody as well. The song ended with Aaron shouting, "I do not exist!" over and over, a testimony to how a Christian can lose themselves in Christ completely.

mewithoutYou's set was awesome, but the best part of the day came as a surprise to me. I happened to wander over to the indoor stage and caught a set by the seminal, alt-Christian band, the Violet Burning.

First of all, the Violet Burning were a great break from all of the emo and metal acts that dominate Cornerstone. It was very cool to hear some British influenced rock for a change. My Bloody Valentine, Depeche Mode, U2 and the Cure could all be heard in the Violet Burning's set.

But what was most impressive about their set were a few short words by singer Michael Pritzl. Michael talked about how God loves all of us just as we are, which is a message you could hear at just about any evangelical church this Sunday morning. But Pritzl took it one set further and told the crowd that God loved the church just as it is. Yes, the church has its problem, and we should all want to change those, but God loves his church as it is.

In this age when so many intelligent young believers (David Bazan anyone?) are being turned off by the sins of the church, it was refreshing to hear someone stand up and say, "I need the church! God loves the church and so do I!"


Tim said...

That's an interesting take. I would have to say that I am in that camp of being turned off by the church; so much so that I haven't been inside a church in several months. I have never thought about Christ's church that way.

I'm starting to come around, though...

johnldrury said...

That is a good word to be spoken, and a good place to speak it, since the Christian music sub-culture is often a functioning church substitute and a common festering spot for so-called churchless christianity. Very interesting to hear this from a Christian rock band, who so often preach the anti-church view and their fans love them for it.