In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct — as irrational animals do — will destroy them.

Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.

These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm — shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted — twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

Jude 8-13

We live in troubled times. Domestically, horrific wildfires are ravaging Oregon, Washington, and Montana. Texas is still working on sufficiently drying out from Harvey to initiate rebuilding. Irma is inexorably marching toward Florida. Across the Pacific, a madman plays with thermonuclear toys, working daily to facilitate throwing them at us. Europe wonders not if, but when and where the next crazed jihadist will slaughter innocents. The watchwords of our time are love and peace, yet we are engulfed by hatred and war.

On the line dividing fact and fiction
You’d like to stake your reputation
But the natural man has an addiction
To believe the worst of fabrications
And when the rumor is on the wire
It will be trial by fire

It’s a test of any man’s endurance
Just to survive the castigations
You hope and pray for some deliverance
As you turn to face the accusations
And when your future is on the line
What will your answers be?
Come to the question and state your case

Will you make or break it?
Choose your weapons well
Make or break it
Soon the toll will tell
All freedom has its price
Is this your paradise?

A mastermind of much illusion
Media controls the public reason
It terrifies with great confusion
And a power that fosters truth or treason

And when the rumor is on the wire
It will be trial by fire
And fact and fiction don’t mean a thing

Will you make or break it?
Choose your weapons well
Make or break it
Soon the toll will tell
All freedom has its price
Is this your paradise?

And many good men have fallen
With no defense from the fatal word
Is this a part of the American dream

Will you make or break it?
Choose your weapons well
Make or break it
Soon the toll will tell
All freedom has its price
Is this your paradise?

– “Make Or Break It”; words and music by Kerry Livgren

We also live in a time where self-aggrandizing political prattle reigns supreme. Wisdom and experience’s still small voice is drowning beneath tidal waves of loud obnoxious buffoons restating the obvious with vapid feigned insight. We are called to speak the truth in love. Instead, we continue to slobber the trivial in lavish tongue baths.

It is imperative for those of faith to proclaim Christ’s message boldly, unfailingly, and primarily. The public voice enjoys no division between secular and sacred. Jesus is not a fire alarm, ignored save in emergency situations. Nor is He a trophy displayed when it serves our purposes. Jesus is Savior, or He is not. Jesus is Lord, or He is not. He does not serve us when we pull Him off the shelf and dust Him off because we need more blog post hits or a bigger audience share. We are commanded to serve Him. We are commanded to love others as He loves us. We are commanded to proclaim His message. And no, churning out echo chamber copy does not qualify. Certainly politics matter. Decisions made by government affect us all. There is room and time for informed debate. Cutting and pasting news stories is neither debate nor informed. It is weak coattail riding.

It should be a shot across the bow that three teenage sisters have done more in one three minute video to proclaim Christ crucified and risen by being real than has been achieved in thirty thousand political blog posts. The luxury of shoving Jesus into a corner because we are too busy shoving ourselves into the spotlight as self-proclaimed pundits is no longer affordable. Now is the time to prioritize. A hurting, bleeding, dying world does not need another DACA rehash. It needs Jesus. It needs us, each of us, spreading the Good News while directly helping each other and stranger alike.

This is our call. Will you make or break it?

In a world seemingly gone mad, finding something or someone worth praising can be difficult. The old adage regarding the news media, namely “if it bleeds it leads,” has seldom been more accurate than it is today. Be the blood literal or figurative, the latter shed by those living in Perpetual Butthurtsville shaking with fear over killer statues, the crazies are crowding the stage. Those practicing normalcy, or working toward the betterment of others, receive scant if any attention. So let’s pay them some.

In Florida, there resides a household featuring three sisters, ages of same being seventeen, sixteen, and thirteen. (I’ll save you troubling yourself with the math; their collective age is twelve years lower than mine. Ouch.) As is easily imagined, said household can get a mite loud. Seriously loud.

Welcome to Gold Frankincense & Myrrh, three young women on a mission.

While the notion of three teenage girls playing and singing blistering metalcore (or, as they not inaccurately call it, beautycore) might seem a tad odd, they are not the first female hard rockers. However, they are one of the very few featuring substance rather than sex appeal and style. Tongue in cheek, quite modest cheerleader outfits are the band’s standard stage apparel, and offstage the members stay modest in all areas. Also, Gold Frankincense & Myrrh (GFM for short) might be the first all-woman metal band to include a mission statement on their website that would warm even the most cantankerous fundamentalist’s King James Version-bound heart.

Thankfully, mom is cool with her daughters musical adventures. In fact, she’s so cool she works with the band, her collegiate studies in finance and investment doubtless proving quite handy as she reps for them. And moms them without stage moming them, instead keeping the focus on her remarkable trio of offspring.

While I freely admit my current listening habits lean far more toward my beloved classic Christian rock plus excursions into Grateful Dead and Gentle Giant territory, I rather like GFM’s mix of muscle and meaning. It warms my heart to see young woman serving Christ without doing the same ol’ same ol’ worship recipe cut and paste pablum. Three plus decades after it started, there are still artists proclaiming the Message without compromise either spiritually or artistically. You better believe I’m going to do what I can to let people know they’re out there and need our support. GFM won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But for all believers, they are beautiful examples that the Spirit is still cranking it up to 11.