Everyday in the home, at church, at work, and on the road, I get asked the same questions that so many others of the Underground Christian Communities get asked: Â â€œHow can you be both Christian and â€˜Gothâ€™ at the same time?â€ Â â€œHow can you call yourself a Christian and dress that way?â€
To answer these questions for myself, as a Christian Goth, I find the need to ask 2 different questions:Â 1). What is Goth? and 2). what is Christianity?
What is Goth?:
1).Â During the days of the Roman Empire, the Goths were one of the germanic tribes fighting against Rome.Â As time rolled on, the term Goth began to be associated with all barbarians, and with activities that fell outside of the social and political norms; in short, the term Goth became synonymous with abnormal. Â Modern day Goth subculture is all about expressing individuality through personal forms of artistic expression such as: poetry, garb, hair, makeup, thought, decor, etc… Â Many try to make the claim that Goth is all about the initial “shock factor” but this is simply not the case; Â it is first and foremost about not fitting into that socially accepted cookie cutter shape that the world tends to force most people into; it is intentionally and constantly seeking out the flow of artistic individuality that exists naturally in all mankind… It is about stepping up to the plate to reject the views of the world in order to find the true self that lies buried and lost inside oneself.
What is Christianity?:
2).Â Christianity in its beginnings in the 1st century was all about being a follower or disciple of Jesus.Â Jesus never stopped being a Jew, all the days of his life; nor did his disciples ever cease to be Jews. Â We do have written documentation showing us that both Peter and James prayed in the Holy of Holies before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE.Â In the 4th century when Constantine initiated his Empire wide approval of Christianity, every single Christian was seen as a member of the Messianic following sect of Judaism.Â What is required to be a Christian? I would say that 2 things really are necessary and the rest is just denominationalism which is a fancy word for â€œdivisivenessâ€:
1). A belief that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah, Emanuel, the Son of the Living God, justÂ as Peter tells Jesus when asked â€œWho do you say I am?â€
2). A life that demonstratesÂ â€œTrue Religionâ€ as found in the book of Jamesâ€¦Â
To sum it all up, Christian Goth is this:
1). God created all of us to be unique exhibits of His Shekhinah
2). Each one of us is a collection of masterpieces in this gallery of the terrestrial plane
3). We are all equal and equally treasured, yet all different and unique with our own quirks and marvels.Â Â
Rather than conform to some universal cookie cutter shape, as Christian Goths, we embrace the Lord’s design rather than man’s; for it was in His image and likeness which we were created, not man’s. We seek out for the purpose of celebration in the divine creativity which brought about each of our being that same divine likeness and image which inspires us to live a life unrestrained by the bonds of normalcy. We enact our various forms of creative expression not to build upon our own pride and identity, for our identities are solely in the Lord Almighty. It is He who directs our creativity, not us. As our journey with the â€œOne Who Calls Us to Be His Childrenâ€ goes on, we live in this world to do His work and refrain from falling to the bonds which make us the world’s and not The Lordâ€™s. And in the words of the late, great, king David of Jerusalem, â€œ…I shall become even more undignified than this…â€ or of three well known men about to be thrown into a furnace for not succumbing to the wiles of this world: â€œ… even if He does not save us, O king, still we will not bowâ€¦â€
Asylum Ministries is not an evangelistic outreach. Jesus did not call to his disciples saying, â€œI will make you into evangelists and preachers.â€ No, he called to them saying â€œI will make you fishers of men.â€ We are a fishing ministry through and through. As with all those who fish, or hunt, or herd; you must have the proper bait and traps set forth in order to catch the ones you seek after. Like a birdhouse to the birds in your yard creates a safe place for them to come, eat, and live; we with Asylum Ministries create a place where those of the Underground communities, where those who have been hurt and maimed and scarred by the world at large, are able to come in and find comfort and safety; a place were they can find the peace which will allow them to let their guards down to allow the Lord’s life to flow into, around, and through them. Our art, though seemingly morbid and scary, is the tool which we use to fish for the lost in this world. As it is those who have been rejected by men that Jesus spent the greatest sum of His time on, so shall we pour out our lives to do whatever He blesses us with the ability to do in order to minister to and lead the lost sheep who live among us in the wilderness of normalcy