“No one cuts up a fine silk scarf to patch old work clothes; you want fabrics that match. And you don’t put your wine in cracked bottles.”
– Jesus, Gospel of Mark 2:21-23 (Message)
“This is anti autotune, death of the ringtone, this ain’t for itunes, this ain’t for sing alongs”
–Jay-Z, Death of Autotune
I here folks say they ‘are’ missional. I am not missional. I am becoming missional. Because partnering with God’s redemptive mission in the world is a dynamic reality not a static one. Who knows where the wind of the Spirit is taking us beyond subtle (sometimes obvious) profound theological hints? As I’ve reflected on what it means to be on mission with Jesus I hear a distorted sound that often tries to thrown me off rhythm from the missional heartbeat of God. I call it autotune xtianity.
If you keep up with trends in the hip-hop and R&B world then autotune will not be alien to you. Recently hip-hop artist Jay-Z released a lament on the pervasiveness of the use of autotune in the world of hip-hop. Listening to his latest single “Death of Autotune” along with reflecting on Jesus’ dirge on religion without a kingdom of God pulse in Mark 2 I hear a word for those of us that are simply tired of what I’m calling autotune xtianity. But let me rewind a second and explain autotune. Autotune is a device used to distort one’s natural voice. Hip-hop artist T-Pain popularized this intentional distortion in many of his hit singles. Now everyone is using autotune. What started out as a very creative way to distort one’s singing and rapping voice has now become annoying and old. I sympathize with Jay-Z ‘s lament. Partly because I’m tired of everyone using autotune in their music but also because I find parallels with some forms of Christianity that I regularly encounter on the daily.
Let me make it plain: autotune Xtianity attempts to distort the natural voice of the Spirit calling us to gospel faithfulness in God’s world. This distortion, I believe, has many elements. Autotune Xtianity, like hip-hop autotune, is a pervasive reality. Its everywhere. From how we understand leadership in Christ’s body to how we understand the mission of God to how we form communities that are supposed to be rep’n the kingdom of God. This series of dirges over the next couple of days will be a call for the death and funeral of autotune xtianity. Of course there will small hints of new possibilities offered for alternative reflection. But I’m always hesitant to speak on behalf of the Spirit in your part of the world. We’ll see what the Spirit says…barring we can hear what the Spirit is saying for our communities.
Come join me in becoming missional and calling for the death of autotune…a moment of silence.
Scene 1 – Leadership: Building Pyramids when we descended from slaves
I’ll think of some more later.
This is anti autotune, death of the ringtone, this ain’t for itunes, this ain’t for sing alongs