(I know this is VERY lengthy, but it is an amazing read! Please take time to consider these words by Saviour Machine's pastor, David Hart of Sanctuary. Spoken at Cornerstone 2001.)
"Let me share just a couple of thoughts with you before we start. We are going to start in a few minutes, of course, but I'm [Saviour Machine's] pastor, and I just want to share a little bit of my heart with you . . . which is very much the kinds of things that Eric [Clayton, the band's frontman] and I talk about and work together. That's the nice part. MCM [Saviour Machine's record label] is kind of scattered all over the country and stuff, but Eric and I only live less than an hour from each other. So we get to spend time and share, and I'm just really grateful for him in my life. But I'm grateful for a lot of you in my life
as well, and I know that some of you I've ministered to on the 'net. The whole congregation is mostly gothic, some punk. You know, I never do a standard church ministry. And I want the world, I want the Church, I want everybody to
understand that we need to do the kind of ministry we're doing. I'm not a traditional guy in a lot of ways; I'm old, but I'm not out of it. I asked God for a ministry, in a sense, I realized, like this. I did not want to be a
pew-sitter; when I first became a Christian, that was my prayer to God, that I would not be a pew-sitter, but that I'd do this in some kind of unique, incredible way that would be full time that would just-- I could plunge my life
into it. I wanted to do it all the way or not do it at all. And God has put some incredible, incredible people in my life.
And this week, I've been trying to touch base with a number of you, spend a little time sharing. God's given me more time to share this week with you individually than I've had in a lot of Cornerstones; I'm really grateful. And the scripture that He put on my heart -- which is kind of interesting. I've know you've heard it before, but I've got a real kind of an interesting twist that I hope you'll kind of toy with this idea during the week and take it home. Maybe you can even do it as a Bible study with your friends sometime, to get them to think about this in a little bit different way. I wanna set us up with a little bit of the truth, and then you can meditate on that and chew on that as you listen to the music of Saviour Machine. And it's the scripture from Matthew when Jesus is talking in the Sermon on the Mount. And he says a fairly famous thing...he says "Consider the lillies of the field. They neither toil nor spin and yet I tell you that Solomon in all his riches and all his glory and all his arraignment was not clothed as beautifully as one of these."
And I'm spending my time in the Asylum Tent, which is such a great effort that Joe initiated...but I was just sitting in the tent looking at all these guys and this scripture came to me, and I'm just going, there's a whole 'nother bag
on this thing. "Consider the Lillies of the field" was, Jesus was actually teaching out in an open field, and he was talking about faith, but I realized there's another element to this "lillies of the field". And I was looking at
some of my little sweet gothic children that went through The Asylum, and it just hit me -- God was saying "Consider the Lillies of the field." *laughs* God has put some incredible, lovely people in stuff. I know the Church looks at a lot of you guys and just goes, "Why do you dress that way? Why do you look that way?" I have gothic kids coming here to me, Christian and non-Christian, all the time..."pastor yelled at me and said I'm going to Hell for eyeliner. Pastor yelled at me and said I'm going for these earrings" and stuff like that and I realized what I want to say to those guys right now is consider the lillies of the field. Because those kids are God's lillies of the field, but you have to consider that. You have to consider that, you have to focus on that. You have to look beyond just another field.
A lot of people look out at fields, we look out here, I hear a lot of you coming from the coasts complaining about the cornfields and stuff like that, you know? And all that, "Oh, look at this, it's just a field, it's cow patties, all that stuff, it's boring, corn everywhere, children of the corn coming out of it, you know, it's just, ah...can't deal with that, it's so boring out here..." It's just another field. You ask farmer out there, and he'll show you some things about that field that you didn't know. You never saw. Consider the lillies of the field.
The first thing you have to do to consider the lillies of the field is you have to get out in the field. Most of the people who are looking at a lot of you are peeking from the windows of their church, going, "Stare at the weird people of the world." And God says, "No, consider the lillies of the field." You have to get out in the field. Jesus says the harvest is ripe and the harvest is full. There is a lot of harvesting out there to be done in that field, and the
harvesters are few. Why? 'Cause they're all sitting in the Church, looking from a distance. If you really want to cconsider the lillies of the field, you have to get out in the field. You need to walk the walk, you need to get on the
roads. You need to be up there where you can look down and pull that lily up and smell that thing and see how beautiful it is.
God pulled me into gothic ministry about seven years ago and I started going into the clubs, and yeah, I was a little spooked. I wasn't quite sure. My only real connection was I had some knowledge of rock n' roll. I knew who Bauhaus was, I knew who The Sisters were, I knew who Souixsee was. I could talk a little bit about the music, but I started getting to know kids and I began to find, you
know, I did the same thing! Wow, this is spooky, why are these kids so spooky? All of that kind of stuff, and I started meeting these kids, and I've met some of the most incredibly soft, sweet young ladies, like little deers, that were almost firghtened in their eyes. You could almost see it. And I met some of the most intellgent, talented young men that I've ever met in my life. I get better
questions at goth clubs from non-Christians about what Christianity is and about than I ever got in the Church. I'd get questions, and I've been to seminary -- I have to go back and study all the stuff that I forgot from seminary to answer some of these questions, and these kids are brilliant. They are often incredibly talented. They are really, really beautiful in there. And God taught me how to
consider the lillies of the field. You have to get behind the mask; you have to get beyond the distance. You have to see inside there. You have to get close enough to be able to take in the fragrance and the aroma of some of these sweet little souls. Some of them are broken, some of them are hurting, some of them have been through so much pain that they don't know how to do anything but define their life by their pain. And when you get past some of the masks...and that's a lot of what Eric means when he does the mask of the Saviour Machine...then, when you get past the mask you see some incredible lillies. Are you ready to consider the lillies of the field?
There's another twist on that word, and that's the final aspect of this I want you to consider, is the word "consider", which is the first part of the word
"considerate." One of the things that I find that happens all the time, that we don't do very good ministry when we're working in the world is, the assumption is, somehow you guys are beneath me, somehow I know you're disgusting, filthy, terrible sinners, somehow I know that I really can't touch you, I can't do that. I look down on you, I'll fix you, I'll help you, you little pathetic little things. And we all know there's attitudes when we pick up on them. You all feel it, they don't even have to say it. God says consider . . . the lillies of the field. And I think He also means in the sense of being considerate, start
considering who they are are. Being a sinner, saved by grace, and the stuff that goes on in my life and heart is no better and no worse than the most obvious stuff that I see out there. And I've learned to respect these kids. I've learned to listen to them.
I had a Wiccan guy -- he was decked out, too, he had his right side up pentagrams and the whole thing, the stars and the deals on him and stuff and he walked to up to me at a club and said, "I'm a Wiccan, and I know you hate me..."
"I don't hate you. I never met you. Why would I hate you?"
"Well, I know you're a Christian and all Christians hate Wiccans."
"I still don't hate ya. I'm not all Christians. What kind of Wicca are you into, by the way? Classical druidism, neopaganism, the ancient paganism, you into mind magic, herbal stuff, candle magic, white rose, any of those kind of things?"
"How do you know all that stuff?"
"I've been listening to Wiccans for the last six years. Guys like you. I listen to what you're about. Tell me what you're about."
"Really? You wanna know?"
And he proceeded to tell me all about his faith. That's what it is, you guys. It may not be completely directed in the place we know it should be, but it's still a faith. This kid has faith. I valued who he was, I listened to him, and then I turned around and said, "Well let me tell you what I'm into."
"Sure, go ahead."
He respected me enough to listen to me, to learn who I was. I considered that lily -- I was considerate of that lily, and I was able to share the Gospel with that guy just because I respected him enough to listen to who he was.
I ran into another guy, same kind of story...he was into mind magic. Man, he had been learning all this stuff and he spent 45 minutes telling me "how cool my magic would be." How he could move things and he could cast ideas into people's eyes and curses on people with an evil eye, and all that stuff, and I'm going, "How's that working for you?"
"Well, actually, I haven't moved anything, dude. How long do you think it takes to get this down?"
I said, "You mind if I tell you or try to explain to you why I think it's not working in your life?"
I proceeded to take all his mind magic terms and turn around and explain the Gospel.
He goes, "Man, I've been around for thirty years. I was a Catholic; I've been into every kind of new age thing there is. I've never heard anybody explain the Gospel that way."
I'm going, "It's because someone finally explained the Gospel in your own language."
But you see, I had to consider the lily. I had to consider that long enough to listen to him. I want you to consider the lillies of the field.
Let's close with my favorite little dynamic there, too, because I wanted to share that. I know a gal who's into the gothic thing...she's a lovely Christian. I've started calling her Lily just because I got inspired this week
about that. And she's probably representative of the lily concept for me this week. She is sweet, she's beautiful, she's intelligent, she has a lovely daughter. She has an aching heart to start sharing the Gospel with her friends
in the clubs and everything. She wants to bring people into her house, she wants to figure out how to start doing ministry. She wants to share her faith. She is married to a pagan man.
"Oh, you can't deal with her. You can't talk to her. She's wrong, she's in sin, she's the wrong kind of person."
And you know, I get so much flak -- we're gonna get more flak, too -- about just talking to you people. We've got a major article coming out in Charisma magazine in August about gothic ministry; Sanctuary will be featured prominently as well as a number of the people you've probably met this week at Cornerstone . . . and I know we're gonna get flak. Jay Bakker, my friend Jay Bakker [speaking of son of former PTL president Jim Bakker] got eleven months worth of complaining letters for the interview that he did . . . I talked to that guy for four hours on the phone one afternoon explaining our ministry. We're gonna get some flak. And I got to the place...I'm getting to the place where I don't care.
Because God is telling me that it's more important to consider the lillies of this field, to see the beauty in these kidds, to start looking at them through the eyes of Christ and see the poential that He has already put inside of them to be children of God. And I see that beauty that He created, and I get next to them and I hear their aching hearts for God and their aching hearts for their friends, and I see that beauty in there, and I just want to watch that grow. I want to smell that fragrance. I want to encourage those lillies to be the most beautiful lillies that God ever created. And so I'm going to be talking a lot to my little Lily. I'm going to be encouraging her in her life, I'm going to be there where I can. I want her to be able to learn how to consider the other lillies of the field.
Some of you guys are missing the lillies. Some of you are looking [laugh] and we even joked in the Asylum tent, you know? People were complaining. You know, we have our reverse discrimination thing over there..."Well, a normal person came in here today...and he was trying to tell us we were evil and things, and boy, that's just not right."
And I'm going, "You have to LOVE those people. They don't KNOW any better. I know that those checkered coats and those bow ties are a fashion statement from HELL, but we have to look BEYOND the mask. We have to consider the soul of those people and help them get saved too . . ."
I'm only partly joking.
God tells us that we are all . . . all in need of His grace, all in need of His salvation, all in need of His hand. None of you walk alone; none of you should. And every time you try, you're gonna fall down. But God wants to be there for you, God wants to teach you, and it's not just formulas, it's not just going to church, it's not just doing all of these rituals and these things and stuff...He wants you to be so alive inside of yourself with His spirit that you can look at someone else and see the potential that God put in their life. To look in their eyes, to hear their heart, to see what He wants to do. And for you to be a lifter, an encourager, a smeller of flowers, a seer of beauty, an enjoyer of the fragrance of sweet souls who just want to sit in their Daddy's lap and be comforted by the Father. Teach people how to do that. Teach people how to
consider the lillies; consider the lillies yourself. Get out in the field. Look beyond the mask and the makeup and the costumes and the anger and see what God put in there and bring that out. That's your ministry. That's your call. That's our calling as a church today. I hope you can take that home and look at that, and do that.
Does that make sense to you? Do you understand what I'm saying? It's part and parcel of the kind of stuff we're trying to do at MCM, that kind of stuff we're trying to do at Sanctuary, that kind of mentality that Eric and Saviour Machine have in their hearts. And I hope you hear the music that he has to share with you through the ears and the eyes of God. Consider the lillies. Whether they be a punk band, or Saviour Machine, or some weird kid that goes by your street or that fat kid that nobody will talk to in the back of the cafeteria...consider the lillies."
-Submitted by Zach (The Tune Head)