As I Googled the word ‘Punk’, there are two basics definitions, 1) “a loud, fast-moving, and aggressive form of rock music, popular in the late 1970s”, and 2) “a worthless person” (often used as a general term of abuse). Punk rock (or simply, punk), as I understand it back then, is more of the message it brings then about the music. “What is punk to you?” I asked a student who don’t like to go to church and Christian fellowship but like hanging out with me for a cup of coffee and discuss about the latest movies and a bit of music. “I’m not sure,” this guy with a black t-shirt and tight jean said. I know, it’s difficult to describe it. He paused and then continued, “Punk is me. Punk is you. Punk is the way we show and expressed our anger, love and passion in life… It’s inside of us… and some may expressed it through actions, words, clothes, etc. It’s about what you believes, values and who you are.” I nodded not as approval but as a sign of understanding. “It’s about being an individual. It’s about breaking the status quo! There really aren’t guidelines or rules for punk… everything fuck off! If you don’t like certain kind of music genres, fuck off, punk is for me.” He smiled. Too emotional I think but I understand.
How interesting, I said to myself. He is bold and authentic, rude but kind, punk and a bit of philosophical. I definitely doesn’t like his language and I surely won’t listen to some of the songs that he recommended to me. But I do like this man. He know that I work in a Christian student ministry, but he doesn’t feel uneasy or shy when he shared about his life to me. I listened to his stories once per month at least over a cup of coffee, and I would share with him about my own life, the Bible and Jesus whenever I could. Both of us like punk rock (such as Blink 182, Green Day, Bowling for Soup, The Offspring, etc.), but I’m not sure if he also like the Jesus of the Bible (maybe He is not sure yet), and it doesn’t matter for now because it’s not about winning another ‘Christian’ but it’s about showing and introduce a person like him to the Person of Jesus Christ. Loving actions, truthful words, continues prayer.
In the Bible, after Jesus called Matthew (or Levi), the tax collector to follow him, he then having a dinner in Matthew’s house where “many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples” (Mark 2:15, NKJV). Know this, tax collectors were hated by people because they cooperated with the Romans government. Therefore Jesus’ actions in spending time with sinners transcended the taboos and culture of the day. Jesus may have broken some religious rules and traditions. Jesus, as spiritual leader, (so the other religious leaders thought) shouldn’t be among the social outcasts of society or even spending time with the publicans and sinners – but Jesus does the opposite! Jesus looked past all that and saw their need. Jesus cares about people and about their soul’s eternal destinies. He build trust and relationship. He show compassion and sincerity. He shown Himself to others. “Those who are well have no need of a physician,” Jesus proclaimed, “but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17). Jesus came to the sinners (build relationship) and Jesus called people to repentance (changed life).
Me and the punk guy. Jesus and the tax collector. I’m not Jesus, Jesus is definitely not me. The punk guy and the tax collector (and me) are sinners, but they’re not the same. We’re different. But all of us (and you) have the same need – we need Jesus. So if we are Christians, then we ought to be like (Jesus) Christ since Christian mean a follower of Christ. Follow. Exemplify. Be. Therefore, like Jesus, we should look beyond church building, Christian fellowship and even culture of the day to people’s hearts. Jesus showed us that we shouldn’t let cultural norms or even Christian subculture norms of today dictate who we should evangelize and befriend with. Punk rockers, tax collectors, me and you need Lord Jesus. The sick need a Physician. Lost sheep need a Shepherd. Sinner need the Saviour, Jesus Christ. On John 17:14-19, David Mathis, executive editor for desiringGod.org, writes, “Jesus’s true followers have not only been crucified to the world, but also raised to new life and sent back in to free others. We’ve been rescued from the darkness and given the Light not merely to flee the darkness, but to guide our steps as we go back in to rescue others.”
This is my latest entry post on my Facebook (23.03.2015):
“Even punk-rockers are seeking for the One true God.
Gives us a change to discover more of Jesus and don't judge us very quickly.”
Yes, hang out with us. Our hearts are restless until they find rest in God.
Tell us (more) about Jesus.
(Welcome us, Punk, but you may not affirm our music. We’re okay)
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.