I still experience a mixed feeling of deep satisfaction and guilt whenever I recall how I convinced a girl in my youth group that a Faith No More song (namely, Land of Sunshine from their album Angel Dust) was inherently good. Being on the Leadership Team, we were given certain privileges and responsibilities. And sometimes we did music nights when we discussed various songs and their meaning/implication in our daily walk with Jesus. It was on one of those nights, when I was in charge, that I did this leading-astray.

No need to comment on the pervasive irreverence of the band, album and song (the rage and sarcasm expressed are almost palpable). However, I will say this in my defense: The song is brilliant! Not only does it target main steam mass-produced Christianity and the unexamined life, but it is completely honest in its rage. It’s not fake rage, it’s not like much music today which can simulate a certain emotion and evoke a certain feeling with carefully crafted lyrics, but lacks anything real behind it. It’s angry, it’s grungy, it’s metal, and it’s true to the core. I would dare say, it is a quintessential representation of the style.

One of the definitions of quintessence is: “The most perfect embodiment of something”. I don’t know. Maybe I’m still wrong as I was years ago when I led that young mind astray with my intelligence of the intelligent (which the Lord does frustrate, as He promised). It just seems that if something is the most perfect embodiment of something, if it’s true, even if it isn’t pretty…it’s still good. Because it’s true. Now this may logically lead me to having to confess that somewhere out there is a country song that’s so true to the country style that it too has to be good…And that may be bordering on sacrilege for me personally.

Still, having this perspective, I have been able to enjoy a much more varied palette of art, music, people, events even (like that time I cut right into my palm because I was cutting some plastic packaging, holding the knife in one hand and having the other hand right behind the very package I was trying to puncture – the quintessential example of what not to do, right?), because I can stand back and say, “That’s just perfect – it is Plato’s ideal form of (fill in the blank).”

In a convoluted way, I feel like in these moments I am coming a bit closer to God, and I see Him laughing. Hard.

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