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Thread started 07/08/17 2:13am

Hudson

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To those it may concern: How do you justify being a Prince fan and a Christian?

Oral sex, Unmarrital sex, sexual freedom and profanity are heavily forbidden by Christianity. Since Prince's music has these themes why do those of you who consider yourself born-again consider yourself a Prince fan?


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Reply #1 posted 07/08/17 3:55am

IanRG

Hudson said:

Oral sex, Unmarrital sex, sexual freedom and profanity are heavily forbidden by Christianity. Since Prince's music has these themes why do those of you who consider yourself born-again consider yourself a Prince fan?


.

Prince struggled between his faith and his musical themes throughout his career (not just after he became a JW). I am a Christian first but a fan of Prince's music far more than of puritanical wowsers.

.

Personally I seek to keep to the teaching of my faith and have not had extra-marital sex. I seek to not swear. This has nothing to do with appreciating the artist who has provided me with such pleasure by his music. We all choose where we draw the line regardless of whether our beliefs are Christian, Buddhist, atheist or whatever. In regards to what other consenting adults do as part of a positive, loving and supporting relationship, that is up to them - Judge not, lest ye be judged.

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Reply #2 posted 07/08/17 4:10am

SuperFurryAnim
al

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You can't recreate without having sex. Plus many guys can't get it up without oral sex or so we claim but I'm not sure if they have done scientific studies. Also my understanding of sex is you don't need to get married to have sex that if you were on a desert island with a woman you could marry her by having sex then repopulate the earth. The "do it all night" message though is a little too much at this point.

KNOW Jesus, KNOW peace. NO Jesus, NO peace
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Reply #3 posted 07/08/17 5:52am

poppys

This thread is making me laugh.

Afternoon in the city, somewhere in July
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Reply #4 posted 07/08/17 6:00am

Lammastide

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Besides admonitions against actuallly partaking in certain conduct, most Christian traditions' eshewal of, let's say, worldly currencies isn't so much prescriptive to the smallest detail as it is meant to be smart counsel against being influenced away from a walk in faith and/or sullying one's outward integrity in the sensibilies of those who are witnessing that walk in faith.


That said, diverse believers naturally will have diverse degrees to which they can be functionally and demonstrably "in the world and not of it" -- and the onus is on them to know and toe that line. And, yep, we often screw up. Many believers feel it best to take an entirely protected approach away from secular pop culture. My own inclination is to be open to the world around me (because I see it all as a potential gift), but to monitor my diet along the lines of my own evolving understanding in faith, indulging what I believe to be life-giving; dispensing with what I believe to be ultimately destructive.


Where Prince is concerned, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that his musicial chops were God-given. I also believe -- as he seemed to -- that he did some pretty shady things with that gift through certain parts of his career. Finally, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that by way of his gift, a good part of his work offered brilliance that is worth the task of sifting from those parts that offered little but sickness.

[Edited 7/8/17 7:30am]

Ὅσον ζῇς φαίνου
μηδὲν ὅλως σὺ λυποῦ
πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶ τὸ ζῆν
τὸ τέλος ὁ χρόνος ἀπαιτεῖ.”
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Reply #5 posted 07/08/17 4:32pm

IanRG

Lammastide said:

Besides admonitions against actuallly partaking in certain conduct, most Christian traditions' eshewal of, let's say, worldly currencies isn't so much prescriptive to the smallest detail as it is meant to be smart counsel against being influenced away from a walk in faith and/or sullying one's outward integrity in the sensibilies of those who are witnessing that walk in faith.


That said, diverse believers naturally will have diverse degrees to which they can be functionally and demonstrably "in the world and not of it" -- and the onus is on them to know and toe that line. And, yep, we often screw up. Many believers feel it best to take an entirely protected approach away from secular pop culture. My own inclination is to be open to the world around me (because I see it all as a potential gift), but to monitor my diet along the lines of my own evolving understanding in faith, indulging what I believe to be life-giving; dispensing with what I believe to be ultimately destructive.


Where Prince is concerned, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that his musicial chops were God-given. I also believe -- as he seemed to -- that he did some pretty shady things with that gift through certain parts of his career. Finally, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that by way of his gift, a good part of his work offered brilliance that is worth the task of sifting from those parts that offered little but sickness.

[Edited 7/8/17 7:30am]

.

Well said.

.

Or in otherwords, songs like Sexy MF are just too funky to ignore and are better without the added silences or the owe-wahs.

.

The worst of them are so much better than what has been done with other God given talents. I just know which songs or at what point in a song that I must to jump to next if I listening with my wife or my children when they were too young.

.

In the last bit, it is not just Christians - I did not grow up in a Christian household and what I went through with my athiest stepfather to listen to Prince and see the similcast of the Syracuse concert may not have equalled what Questlove had to go to keep a copy of and listen to 1999 but it was a struggle.

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Reply #6 posted 07/08/17 5:45pm

SuperFurryAnim
al

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They never discussed oral sex in Christian school. My preacher always said marriage is important but sexual bond was more important if two people were left on earth they would not have to be married to recreate. Love and trust mean everything. Prince fit well into my religious views.
KNOW Jesus, KNOW peace. NO Jesus, NO peace
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Reply #7 posted 07/08/17 9:21pm

morningsong

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Short answer - it's been a growth thing. Prince went thru many phases, I went thru many phases. And his music is about much more than fuqing.
“Do I dare Disturb the universe?”
― T.S. Eliot

“Only by acceptance of the past, can you alter it”
― T.S. Eliot
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Reply #8 posted 07/09/17 5:45am

Dasein

Lammastide said:

Besides admonitions against actuallly partaking in certain conduct, most Christian traditions' eshewal of, let's say, worldly currencies isn't so much prescriptive to the smallest detail as it is meant to be smart counsel against being influenced away from a walk in faith and/or sullying one's outward integrity in the sensibilies of those who are witnessing that walk in faith.


That said, diverse believers naturally will have diverse degrees to which they can be functionally and demonstrably "in the world and not of it" -- and the onus is on them to know and toe that line. And, yep, we often screw up. Many believers feel it best to take an entirely protected approach away from secular pop culture. My own inclination is to be open to the world around me (because I see it all as a potential gift), but to monitor my diet along the lines of my own evolving understanding in faith, indulging what I believe to be life-giving; dispensing with what I believe to be ultimately destructive.


Where Prince is concerned, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that his musicial chops were God-given. I also believe -- as he seemed to -- that he did some pretty shady things with that gift through certain parts of his career. Finally, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that by way of his gift, a good part of his work offered brilliance that is worth the task of sifting from those parts that offered little but sickness.

[Edited 7/8/17 7:30am]



The problem with this, Lamma, is that "Oral sex, Unmarrital sex, sexual freedom and profanity", the
very activities the OP is interested in as being a reflection of not being a Christian, are not in and
of themselves "ultimately destructive" - couldn't I argue that you only believe them to be destructive
because that was simply given to you as a truth? One could even argue that acts not becoming of a
Christian aren't even morally destructive; they are only to be considered "sinful" because of an
agreement made by a particular faith community. Also, it does not follow that if you have oral sex,
unmarital sex, and/or use swear words then you cannot be an authentic Christian simultaneously.
And, if your walk in faith features too much of an awareness of how your outward integrity ought not
be sullied in the sensibilities of those who are witnessing that walk in faith, then who are you walking
for - yourself, God, or the herd? In assessing and evaluating someone's faith via their art, what are
we really saying/doing? Ironically, the world's currency has been with us for a very long time and
there is no indication
that it is going away; not even Christianity could put a halt to it. Instead, it
is Christianity itself that is losing steam as we march forward into history. Finally, there is no human
activity which is wholly and forever good all the time; even one's Christianly walk contains element
of disaster, so to theologically frame Prince's work as containing moments when "little but sickness"
is offered is not fair. He had moments when you simply could not perceive any good or value, art-
istically, spiritually, or otherwise.

Anways, religious Prince is boring. But, the Prince who has one eye cast onto the sacred and the
other fixed onto the profane whilst believing in God is much more interesting.




PS:

We already know that Satan is in the best bands, so I don't even know why y'all are even trippin'. . .


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Reply #9 posted 07/09/17 5:56am

Dasein

Karl Rahner, SJ would argue that Prince's music, even those moments when he was completely
unhinged with his wantonness, reflects the grace of God being poured out into the world freely.

When I was a Christian, God never whispered into my ear "Pssst. Hey, do me a favor; stop listening
to Prince. Yeah, he's a fucking, er, excuse me, freaking scoundrel and his music will injure your soul
and besmirch your spirit." So until God has personally advised you to stop listening to worldly music,
I'd say have your cake and eat it too for if we are going to say that arguments about rap music being
a causal mechanism for criminality by those who listen to it are unfounded, then we must do the same
across the board: listening to Christian music will not make you a better Christian just like listening to
songs about raping women and killing babies ain't going to make you rape women and kill babies; and
listening to Prince's music as a Christian will have no deleterious effect either.


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Reply #10 posted 07/09/17 6:13am

SuperFurryAnim
al

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Prince's music and example made many people better. He was an example of a hard working perfectionist. Music won't necessarily influence others to do things but it can. Music has made babies! so it can influence violence. Music can set the mood.
KNOW Jesus, KNOW peace. NO Jesus, NO peace
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Reply #11 posted 07/09/17 9:27am

Lammastide

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Dasein said:

Lammastide said:

Besides admonitions against actuallly partaking in certain conduct, most Christian traditions' eshewal of, let's say, worldly currencies isn't so much prescriptive to the smallest detail as it is meant to be smart counsel against being influenced away from a walk in faith and/or sullying one's outward integrity in the sensibilies of those who are witnessing that walk in faith.


That said, diverse believers naturally will have diverse degrees to which they can be functionally and demonstrably "in the world and not of it" -- and the onus is on them to know and toe that line. And, yep, we often screw up. Many believers feel it best to take an entirely protected approach away from secular pop culture. My own inclination is to be open to the world around me (because I see it all as a potential gift), but to monitor my diet along the lines of my own evolving understanding in faith, indulging what I believe to be life-giving; dispensing with what I believe to be ultimately destructive.


Where Prince is concerned, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that his musicial chops were God-given. I also believe -- as he seemed to -- that he did some pretty shady things with that gift through certain parts of his career. Finally, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that by way of his gift, a good part of his work offered brilliance that is worth the task of sifting from those parts that offered little but sickness.

The problem with this, Lamma, is that "Oral sex, Unmarrital sex, sexual freedom and profanity", the
very activities the OP is interested in as being a reflection of not being a Christian, are not in and
of themselves "ultimately destructive" - couldn't I argue that you only believe them to be destructive
because that was simply given to you as a truth? One could even argue that acts not becoming of a
Christian aren't even morally destructive; they are only to be considered "sinful" because of an
agreement made by a particular faith community.

I’ve decidedly not offered my positions here on "oral sex, Unmarrital [sic] sex, sexual freedom and profanity.” My response to the OP’s question, which I assume called out those specific activities as mere points characteristic of Prince’s subject matter, takes on the broader (and I believe more germane) question of personal Christian response to sin in the world.



You are correct that much of where Christian communities land with respect to their appreciation of sin is the product of traditional inheritances and group norming alongside assent to other forms of authority. I’d argue this is an extension, in fact, of the latitude afforded individual Christians in their walk in faith — and I, for one, don’t see this necessarily as a liability. Certainly there are Christian communities I won’t be rushing to hang out with (and vice versa) owing to incompatible views on how to be in the world, but some of those communities are nearly 2,000 years my senior. Perhaps they’re doing something they know to be right for themselves?

Also, it does not follow that if you have oral sex, unmarital sex, and/or use swear words then you cannot be an authentic Christian simultaneously.


No one here has said otherwise as far as I can see.

And, if your walk in faith features too much of an awareness of how your outward integrity ought not be sullied in the sensibilities of those who are witnessing that walk in faith, then who are you walking for - yourself, God, or the herd?


Well, “too much” is one thing, isn’t it? Certainly there is a scriptural tradition of critique on primarily performative faith. In balance, however, a review of embodied faith — at least across Abrahamic traditions — always has suggested service to the individual, his/her God, and his/her community. I find the relational implications of that to be potentially quite cool, much less virtually unavoidable.

In assessing and evaluating someone's faith via their art, what are we really saying/doing?


Hmm... Perhaps one of us is misreading the intent of this thread. No one, as I understand it, has been asked to assess and evaluate Prince’s faith (the sort of thing I decidedly forgo as a matter of course), but rather their own faith response to his work.

Ironically, the world's currency has been with us for a very long time and there is no indication that it is going away; not even Christianity could put a halt to it. Instead, it is Christianity itself that is losing steam as we march forward into history. Finally, there is no human activity which is wholly and forever good all the time; even one's Christianly walk contains element of disaster, so to theologically frame Prince's work as containing moments when "little but sickness" is offered is not fair. He had moments when you simply could not perceive any good or value, artistically, spiritually, or otherwise.

Anways, religious Prince is boring. But, the Prince who has one eye cast onto the sacred and the

other fixed onto the profane whilst believing in God is much more interesting.

PS:

We already know that Satan is in the best bands, so I don't even know why y'all are even trippin'. . .


hmmm I’ll need to chew on this a bit, but here I’ll just say that given an ancient and pretty darned clear eschatological tradition suggesting the future isn’t particularly bright (at least this side of the Parousia) for followers of Christ, I always find a bit of amusement in the pregnant observations of Christianity’s millennial decline. For those who’ve read the script — whether or not they do so with some degree of religious affinity — who exactly didn’t see this coming?!? smile

But to your point: Fair enough. Perhaps some prevenient grace a la Rahner does sanctify all of Prince's output as it does fractured expressions of Christianity and, most universally, all of creation. I'll pray for that clarity. Meanwhile, I won't front like I'm approaching "Sister" as an act of worship.

[Edited 7/9/17 10:04am]

Ὅσον ζῇς φαίνου
μηδὲν ὅλως σὺ λυποῦ
πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶ τὸ ζῆν
τὸ τέλος ὁ χρόνος ἀπαιτεῖ.”
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Reply #12 posted 07/09/17 10:23am

Wlcm2thdwn3

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I don't see how one thing has anything to do with the other Seriously. confused

How long do you wanna be loved. Is forever enough, is forever enough?
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Reply #13 posted 07/09/17 10:26am

Dasein

Lammastide said:

Dasein said:


Hmm... Perhaps one of us is misreading the intent of this thread. No one, as I understand it, has been asked to assess and evaluate Prince’s faith (the sort of thing I decidedly forgo as a matter of course), but rather their own faith response to his work.

Ironically, the world's currency has been with us for a very long time and there is no indication that it is going away; not even Christianity could put a halt to it. Instead, it is Christianity itself that is losing steam as we march forward into history. Finally, there is no human activity which is wholly and forever good all the time; even one's Christianly walk contains element of disaster, so to theologically frame Prince's work as containing moments when "little but sickness" is offered is not fair. He had moments when you simply could not perceive any good or value, artistically, spiritually, or otherwise.

Anways, religious Prince is boring. But, the Prince who has one eye cast onto the sacred and the

other fixed onto the profane whilst believing in God is much more interesting.

PS:

We already know that Satan is in the best bands, so I don't even know why y'all are even trippin'. . .


hmmm I’ll need to chew on this a bit, but here I’ll just say that given an ancient and pretty darned clear eschatological tradition suggesting the future isn’t particularly bright (at least this side of the Parousia) for followers of Christ, I always find a bit of amusement in the pregnant observations of Christianity’s millennial decline. For those who’ve read the script — whether or not they do so with some degree of religious affinity — who exactly didn’t see this coming?!? smile

But to your point: Fair enough. Perhaps some prevenient grace a la Rahner does sanctify all of Prince's output. I'll pray for that clarity. Meanwhile, I won't front like I'm approaching "Sister" as an act of worship.

[Edited 7/9/17 9:43am]


First of all, you remain the Org's finest writer. But, moving on, you said:

I’ve decidedly not offered my positions here on "oral sex, Unmarrital [sic] sex, sexual freedom and profanity.” My response to the OP’s question, which I assume called out those specific activities as mere points characteristic of Prince’s subject matter, takes on the broader (and I believe more germane) question of personal Christian response to sin in the world.


But didn't you exactly do that (i.e., offer a position) when you framed those activities as "worldy cur-
rencies"? The distinction you're making here is between the world and those are behaviors which are
not Christianly. You also said:

You are correct that much of where Christian communities land with respect to their appreciation of sin is the product of traditional inheritances and group norming alongside assent to other forms of authority. I’d argue this is an extension, in fact, of the latitude afforded individual Christians in their walk in faith — and I, for one, don’t see this necessarily as a liability. Certainly there are Christian communities I won’t be rushing to hang out with (and vice versa) owing to incompatible views on how to be in the world, but some of those communities are nearly 2,000 years my senior. Perhaps they’re doing something they know to be right for themselves?


One could argue that sustainability here doesn't speak to the quality of the theological claims assented
to but instead to the degree of the community's desires to maintain its tradition. In other words: just
because there are Christian/religious communities that perdure for millenia doesn't mean the claims
they maintain are the reason for that, nor does it mean that those traditions should remain viable. We
hold onto dumbass ideas sometimes because we simply like them!

I know nobody said one couldn't be a Christian simultaneous to enjoying sex outside of marriage, but
the OP can be easily read as such, or why ask us how we justify our appreciation and enjoyment of
Prince, who was raunchy as fuck, while being a Christian? If one can use worldly currencies whilst be-
ing a follower of Christ (I see no reason why the two ought to be mutually exclusive as I can fuck as
many women as I want outside of marriage if I do it responsibly, for example, while following after
the precepts of Christ) then there is no need to justify being a Prince fan and a Christian; I don't ever
remember God asking us to choose between God's self and Prince after the Christ event. Moving on,
you said:

Certainly there is a scriptural tradition of critique on primarily performative faith. In balance, however, a review of embodied faith — at least across Abrahamic traditions — always has suggested service to the individual, his/her God, and his/her community. I find the relational implications of that to be potentially quite cool, much less virtually unavoidable.


I can dig it. But, why can't I serve God and my community while getting head outside of marriage
without my Christian neighbors having their sensibilities sullied by my sexual behaviors? We want
our Christian neighbors to be as outwardly pious as we are, but in my experience, people are fucking
phoneys, especially religious people. I am not offended by Prince singing about "Darling Nikki" and
"I Would Die 4 U" all on the same album; there is no contradiction here that cannot be reconciled by
his faith in God and his acceptance of himself as being fully human. Finally, you said:

No one, as I understand it, has been asked to assess and evaluate Prince’s faith (the sort of thing I decidedly forgo as a matter of course), but rather their own faith response to his work.


Implicit in the thread's question is the belief that Prince's music/art depicts himself as someone who
has "one foot in the church, and the other in the club" and casts Prince as being contradictory, or, why
ask us to justify being a Prince fan and a Christin in the first place? But, we don't know the quality of
Prince's intimate relationship with God apart from his art, and often, what artists present could be the
truth of who they are, but it doesn't necessarily mean that is who they are exhaustively. In other
words: Prince's art reveals one thing, but who Prince really was remains hidden to us.

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Reply #14 posted 07/09/17 10:27am

2freaky4church
1

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All music is spiritual.

"2freaky is a complete stud." DJ
"2freaky is very down." 2Elijah.
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Reply #15 posted 07/09/17 10:28am

poppys

SuperFurryAnimal said:

Prince's music and example made many people better. He was an example of a hard working perfectionist. Music won't necessarily influence others to do things but it can. Music has made babies! so it can influence violence. Music can set the mood.

Did you mean to say Music has made babies! so it can influence violence? That is poetic, Furry rose

Afternoon in the city, somewhere in July
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Reply #16 posted 07/09/17 10:30am

Dasein

Wlcm2thdwn3 said:

I don't see how one thing has anything to do with the other Seriously. confused


They don't. But, if you belong to a faith community in which your outward piety must be intact
at all times or the quality of your faith is questioned, then you can start to see how one thing has
some thing to do with the other.

The thing is, and I'm sure you're aware of this, is that what is outward and inward doesn't always
have to be reflected by the other's condition. I could be outwardly pious but a wretched human
being inwardly. Or, I could be a very pious person inwardly but still struggling with engaging in
behaviors that are harmful to myself and/or my community.

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Reply #17 posted 07/09/17 10:34am

2freaky4church
1

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We Can Fuck not so much.

"2freaky is a complete stud." DJ
"2freaky is very down." 2Elijah.
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Reply #18 posted 07/09/17 10:59am

poppys

What does sex have to do with Jesus anyway?

Afternoon in the city, somewhere in July
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Reply #19 posted 07/09/17 12:39pm

Lammastide

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First, forgive that at this level of exchange, my mastery of block quoting goes wonky. nuts But I've tried my best...

Lammastide said:
I’ve decidedly not offered my positions here on "oral sex, Unmarrital [sic] sex, sexual freedom and profanity.” My response to the OP’s question, which I assume called out those specific activities as mere points characteristic of Prince’s subject matter, takes on the broader (and I believe more germane) question of personal Christian response to sin in the world.


Dasein said:

But didn't you exactly do that (i.e., offer a position) when you framed those activities as "worldy cur-rencies"? The distinction you're making here is between the world and those are behaviors which arenot Christianly.


I think more than much else, I honoured the pretext set by the OP — that those activities are contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of Christian ethical teachings. Incidentally, I think that pretext fairly captures the sentiments of most mainline Christian communities. But it would be presumptuous to assume my own assent in faith is entirely uncritical of, and therein unwavering from, those sentiments.

Dasein said:

You also said:

Lammastide said:

You are correct that much of where Christian communities land with respect to their appreciation of sin is the product of traditional inheritances and group norming alongside assent to other forms of authority. I’d argue this is an extension, in fact, of the latitude afforded individual Christians in their walk in faith — and I, for one, don’t see this necessarily as a liability. Certainly there are Christian communities I won’t be rushing to hang out with (and vice versa) owing to incompatible views on how to be in the world, but some of those communities are nearly 2,000 years my senior. Perhaps they’re doing something they know to be right for themselves?




One could argue that sustainability here doesn't speak to the quality of the theological claims assented to but instead to the degree of the community's desires to maintain its tradition. In other words: just because there are Christian/religious communities that perdure for millenia doesn't mean the claims they maintain are the reason for that, nor does it mean that those traditions should remain viable. We hold onto dumbass ideas sometimes because we simply like them!


This is all true, of course, and not something I’ve argued against. The point is: Indeed, as variable expressions of faith are informed by local context — and even as some of those expressions are dumb as hell IMHO — Christianity, perhaps opposite the OP’s understanding, allows that space to a certain degree. And to my initial point: Within that space, I’ve found it entirely reconcilable to be both a Christian and a Prince fan.


Dasien said:

I know nobody said one couldn't be a Christian simultaneous to enjoying sex outside of marriage, but the OP can be easily read as such, or why ask us how we justify our appreciation and enjoyment of Prince, who was raunchy as fuck, while being a Christian? If one can use worldly currencies whilst being a follower of Christ (I see no reason why the two ought to be mutually exclusive as I can fuck as many women as I want outside of marriage if I do it responsibly, for example, while following after the precepts of Christ) then there is no need to justify being a Prince fan and a Christian; I don't ever remember God asking us to choose between God's self and Prince after the Christ event.


Here I would defer to the OP for his/her understanding about the parameters of Christian conduct. But I’ll just say I don’t take for granted that the initial question presumes a sameness between engaging in “Oral sex, Unmarrital sex, sexual freedom and profanity” and accessing music/art/literature, the content of which occasionally touches on those themes. I may be wrong here, though.


Dasein said:

Moving on, you said:

Lammastide said:

Certainly there is a scriptural tradition of critique on primarily performative faith. In balance, however, a review of embodied faith — at least across Abrahamic traditions — always has suggested service to the individual, his/her God, and his/her community. I find the relational implications of that to be potentially quite cool, much less virtually unavoidable.

I can dig it. But, why can't I serve God and my community while getting head outside of marriage without my Christian neighbors having their sensibilities sullied by my sexual behaviors? We want our Christian neighbors to be as outwardly pious as we are, but in my experience, people are fucking phoneys, especially religious people. I am not offended by Prince singing about "Darling Nikki" and "I Would Die 4 U" all on the same album; there is no contradiction here that cannot be reconciled by his faith in God and his acceptance of himself as being fully human.

I’ll forego the Christological piece here, because it would warrant a whole new thread! whew But I will offer this: You and I both know there are plenty of self-described Christian communities that'd be cool with you getting down in the way you describe -- some with pom poms and megaphones, informed by the most permissive reading of grace possible; others tacitly, so long as you tithe confused ...and even as their public indictment of said behaviours (in which they all engage Mon-Sat) renders them hypocrites. Would either be my cup of tea? Nope. But then there's the option that has worked for me: a milieu that is mutually enriching and inspirational as much as it is mutually accountable, respects autonomy, and challenges its members to critique their conduct in good faith along the lines of their personal relationships with God and community. At the end of the day, as I mentioned above, in the context of those relationships, “the onus is on (a given believer) to know and toe that line.”

Dasein said:

Finally, you said:

Lammastide said:

No one, as I understand it, has been asked to assess and evaluate Prince’s faith (the sort of thing I decidedly forgo as a matter of course), but rather their own faith response to his work.

Implicit in the thread's question is the belief that Prince's music/art depicts himself as someone who has "one foot in the church, and the other in the club" and casts Prince as being contradictory, or, why ask us to justify being a Prince fan and a Christin in the first place? But, we don't know the quality of Prince's intimate relationship with God apart from his art, and often, what artists present could be the truth of who they are, but it doesn't necessarily mean that is who they are exhaustively. In other words: Prince's art reveals one thing, but who Prince really was remains hidden to us.


No beef with this. On this point also, we’ll need to hear more from the OP.

[Edited 7/9/17 13:22pm]

Ὅσον ζῇς φαίνου
μηδὲν ὅλως σὺ λυποῦ
πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶ τὸ ζῆν
τὸ τέλος ὁ χρόνος ἀπαιτεῖ.”
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Reply #20 posted 07/09/17 3:16pm

Dasein

^

Let me think about this for awhile.

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Reply #21 posted 07/09/17 3:40pm

Dasein

Apart from an engaging conversation with Lamma, we ought to think about the language we use
when juxtaposing Prince's music and his faith; and, our faith with listening to and enjoying Prince's
music for when we frame that juxtaposition as being a "struggle" unnecessarily, we make it so
there's chaos or conflict involved in enjoying art . . .

. . . with no justification, for Prince's music reveals one who is fully and gloriously human and a God
who asks us to be anything but authentic is a fool. One is close to being judgmental and presump-
tuous if s/he thinks Prince struggled with his faith; we cannot safely and consistently and justifiably
evaluate and/or assess anyone's spiritual condition based upon their art and/or their actions and/or
their words. I say we ought to bask in our humanness and stop fronting: there is no struggle with
being a human if you accept your flawed nature, your limits as a perpetually well-intentioned/behaved
moral agent, and reject the idea that the author of all that is, including our flawed nature and limited
abilities, asks us to do anything other than to love each other more.

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Reply #22 posted 07/09/17 4:14pm

Dasein

Lammastide said:

(1) I think more than much else, I honoured the pretext set by the OP — that those activities are contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of Christian ethical teachings. Incidentally, I think that pretext fairly captures the sentiments of most mainline Christian communities. But it would be presumptuous to assume my own assent in faith is entirely uncritical of, and therein unwavering from, those sentiments.


(2) Indeed, as variable expressions of faith are informed by local context — and even as some of those expressions are dumb as hell IMHO — Christianity, perhaps opposite the OP’s understanding, allows that space to a certain degree. And to my initial point: Within that space, I’ve found it entirely reconcilable to be both a Christian and a Prince fan.

(3) You and I both know there are plenty of self-described Christian communities that'd be cool with you getting down in the way you describe -- some with pom poms and megaphones, informed by the most permissive reading of grace possible; others tacitly, so long as you tithe confused ...and even as their public indictment of said behaviours (in which they all engage Mon-Sat) renders them hypocrites. Would either be my cup of tea? Nope. But then there's the option that has worked for me: a milieu that is mutually enriching and inspirational as much as it is mutually accountable, respects autonomy, and challenges its members to critique their conduct in good faith along the lines of their personal relationships with God and community. At the end of the day, as I mentioned above, in the context of those relationships, “the onus is on (a given believer) to know and toe that line.”


1.
Yes; those activities, outside the context of marriage, are considered by many Christian denominatons
as being contrary to the Spirit. And, if it is presumptuous to assume that you assent to those ethical
teachings uncritically, I hear ya.

2.
I think I may have missed the part where you explain how you personally are able to reconcile being
a Christian and a Prince fan. Ah, I see now. You said:

My own inclination is to be open to the world around me (because I see it all as a potential gift), but to monitor my diet along the lines of my own evolving understanding in faith, indulging what I believe to be life-giving; dispensing with what I believe to be ultimately destructive. Where Prince is concerned, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that his musicial chops were God-given...Finally, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that by way of his gift, a good part of his work offered brilliance that is worth the task of sifting from those parts that offered little but sickness.


How very Catholic of you to be open to the world around you as it could be a gift! But, it sounds
like you're saying that simply because you recognize who authored Prince's abilities then you are jus-
tified in liking his music, even if some of it was perceived as being "ultimately destructive"; and, be-
cause there is some of his art that is brilliant, then those parts that you find to be indicative of his
"sickness" are reconcilable. Lamma, it sounds like you're cherry-picking here, and that isn't the stur-
diest of arguments in support of your Christanly acceptance of Prince's wantonness. For example:
if what allows you to dig Prince's work is identifying his talent was divinely inspired/given, then can't
we say the results of that work via the talent is also divinely inspired/given? Also, it sounds like
you're saying: "If I'm able to perceive an artists's talents as being god-given, then I will excuse
or at least make an attempt to reconcile pieces of the artist's work as being "sick" with my own
faith." But, how do you determine what is God-given talent? Isn't God giving out talents left and
right to everybody?

And I still have no idea why you find it necessary to frame those pieces of Prince's art that do not
cohere with your understanding in faith as being a "sickness." Well, theologically speaking, I do
understand where you are coming from. But, I'm not a Christian, so what is "sickness" to you is
simply "human" to me, and humanity is not a "sickness."

3.
I can dig it.



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Reply #23 posted 07/09/17 4:32pm

RodeoSchro

avatar

You can say anything you want while playing a G flat major with an E in the bass.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's paladin
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Reply #24 posted 07/09/17 6:17pm

Dasein

RodeoSchro said:

You can say anything you want while playing a G flat major with an E in the bass.


Modally speaking.

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Reply #25 posted 07/09/17 6:25pm

SteelPulse1

What now .. a world wout Prince in it -- ugh this is so hard
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Reply #26 posted 07/09/17 8:44pm

Hudson

avatar

I am not religious and from a logic minded secular there is nothing objective about his music. Anything is fine that doesn't hurt anyone. Although if you are a follower of Christ, I believe that being a fan of Prince's music is living in unrepentant sin and harmful to your walk with God according to your scriptures.

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Reply #27 posted 07/09/17 9:40pm

IanRG

Hudson said:

I am not religious and from a logic minded secular there is nothing objective about his music. Anything is fine that doesn't hurt anyone. Although if you are a follower of Christ, I believe that being a fan of Prince's music is living in unrepentant sin and harmful to your walk with God according to your scriptures.

.

What part of Jesus' teaching says we cannot listen to music? Jesus' first reported miracle was for a party.

.

What part of Prince's music means that merely listening to this means the listener is living in unrepentant sin?

.

What scripture says appreciating his truly great art will harm us in our walk with God?

.

Appreciating God's creation including what we create from our God given talent is walking with God. For every "Sex MF", there is an "Anna Stacia". For every "Lady Cab Driver" there is "God". For every "Head" there is "The One". For all the raunchy or religious songs, there are the political ones, the frivolous ones and straight out rocky, funky, bluesy etc. ones. There are times when Prince exercised restraint e.g. by replacing "Dance with the Devil" with "Batdance" and times when he did not. However, in this, there are no songs (from Prince or anyone else) that cause me to sin and none that prevent me from seeking to walk with God. Prince's music and his faith (no matter how much he has struggled with it) has brought me closer to God, not further away.

.

Just as you apply a logical mind, so do I. By using my logical mind, I discern between fact and fiction and understand that the words of Prince's songs are just words.

.

As I said above, I had the same type of trouble with my atheist step father that Questlove had with his Christian parents (albeit without the need to repurchase 1999 so many times).

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Reply #28 posted 07/10/17 4:28am

Lammastide

avatar

Dasein said:

Lammastide said:

(1) I think more than much else, I honoured the pretext set by the OP — that those activities are contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of Christian ethical teachings. Incidentally, I think that pretext fairly captures the sentiments of most mainline Christian communities. But it would be presumptuous to assume my own assent in faith is entirely uncritical of, and therein unwavering from, those sentiments.


(2) Indeed, as variable expressions of faith are informed by local context — and even as some of those expressions are dumb as hell IMHO — Christianity, perhaps opposite the OP’s understanding, allows that space to a certain degree. And to my initial point: Within that space, I’ve found it entirely reconcilable to be both a Christian and a Prince fan.

(3) You and I both know there are plenty of self-described Christian communities that'd be cool with you getting down in the way you describe -- some with pom poms and megaphones, informed by the most permissive reading of grace possible; others tacitly, so long as you tithe icon_confused.gif ...and even as their public indictment of said behaviours (in which they all engage Mon-Sat) renders them hypocrites. Would either be my cup of tea? Nope. But then there's the option that has worked for me: a milieu that is mutually enriching and inspirational as much as it is mutually accountable, respects autonomy, and challenges its members to critique their conduct in good faith along the lines of their personal relationships with God and community. At the end of the day, as I mentioned above, in the context of those relationships, “the onus is on (a given believer) to know and toe that line.”


1.
Yes; those activities, outside the context of marriage, are considered by many Christian denominatons
as being contrary to the Spirit. And, if it is presumptuous to assume that you assent to those ethical
teachings uncritically, I hear ya.

2.
I think I may have missed the part where you explain how you personally are able to reconcile being
a Christian and a Prince fan. Ah, I see now. You said:

My own inclination is to be open to the world around me (because I see it all as a potential gift), but to monitor my diet along the lines of my own evolving understanding in faith, indulging what I believe to be life-giving; dispensing with what I believe to be ultimately destructive. Where Prince is concerned, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that his musicial chops were God-given...Finally, I believe -- as he seemed to -- that by way of his gift, a good part of his work offered brilliance that is worth the task of sifting from those parts that offered little but sickness.

How very Catholic of you to be open to the world around you as it could be a gift! But, it sounds
like you're saying that simply because you recognize who authored Prince's abilities then you are jus-
tified in liking his music, even if some of it was perceived as being "ultimately destructive"; and, be-
cause there is some of his art that is brilliant, then those parts that you find to be indicative of his
"sickness" are reconcilable. Lamma, it sounds like you're cherry-picking here, and that isn't the stur-
diest of arguments in support of your Christanly acceptance of Prince's wantonness. For example:
if what allows you to dig Prince's work is identifying his talent was divinely inspired/given, then can't
we say the results of that work via the talent is also divinely inspired/given? Also, it sounds like
you're saying: "If I'm able to perceive an artists's talents as being god-given, then I will excuse
or at least make an attempt to reconcile pieces of the artist's work as being "sick" with my own
faith." But, how do you determine what is God-given talent? Isn't God giving out talents left and
right to everybody?

And I still have no idea why you find it necessary to frame those pieces of Prince's art that do not
cohere with your understanding in faith as being a "sickness." Well, theologically speaking, I do
understand where you are coming from. But, I'm not a Christian, so what is "sickness" to you is
simply "human" to me, and humanity is not a "sickness."


I'm not sure what to offer you at this point, besides this...

I believe in a Creation essentially good by way of divine hand. I believe in a Creation -- or perhaps more pointedly a humanity -- fallen/broken/sickened (I'm open to many words) by way of a sort of atheistic ennui. I believe human aptitude to be caught in that contention. It should make some sense, then, that I believe the product of said aptitude (e.g. Prince's stuff) to occasionally require discernment around which, or to what extent either, influence is normative. Finally, I believe each of us, albeit subject to the same ennui, is heir to tools and some degree of intrinsic ability to do this discernment. Perfectly? Rarely, I'd guess. Uniformly across us all? Never, I'd guess. Hence my refrain: The onus is on (a given believer) to know and toe that line.

To the bolded quote directly above: I'm not lost on the fact my contribution here is theological and quite personal. But what does the OP's pointedly Christian-facing question beg if not a theological and personal response? Given that -- and I offer this, brother, with zero intended sting -- I feel no particular obligation to your (or anyone else's) non-Christian, moreover non-Lammastide angle on this... though the repartee can be refreshing for a time.

And... I've said enough now. whew I'm personally interested in reading other Christians' responses to the question at hand.

[Edited 7/10/17 19:43pm]

Ὅσον ζῇς φαίνου
μηδὲν ὅλως σὺ λυποῦ
πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶ τὸ ζῆν
τὸ τέλος ὁ χρόνος ἀπαιτεῖ.”
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Reply #29 posted 07/10/17 7:46am

poppys

Some people were raised Christians but are no longer so may have some perspective. The OP seems to have left the building.

Afternoon in the city, somewhere in July
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