The tyranny of deterioration
It worries me that it’s all just a waste of time
Taking one step forward, two steps back…
-Dustin Kensrue/Thrice, “The Long Defeat”
Good art is hard to find. For the sanctified Christian living in a fallen world, it’s a near impossibility. To stumble upon a piece of music that is able to convey the hard realities of the depraved human condition is a precious stone indeed. Dustin Kensrue, lead singer of the band Thrice, has reliably produced biblically tinged music recordings for over a decade since embracing Reformed doctrine, theology and worldview.
Tragically, a deep snare had been laid, as brother Dustin would ultimately find himself in the midst of one of the swiftest descents in recent religious history. As the music director and worship leader of Mars Hill Church, Kensrue found himself in a most tenuous position, leading a final and fatal charge against a primary figurehead of what would come to be known as the “Young, Restless and Reformed” movement. It was Kensrue’s bold and slightly veiled case for Driscoll’s resignation that drove the final nail through the heart of a pastor who was himself undone by his own blind ambition and thorny disposition.
I find myself in a strange place of hope and desperation for all parties involved. Not only did Driscoll fail to decipher the sandy foundation he had bound himself, but to this day Kensrue will be plagued by the damage done to the fragile faith of a Reformed neophyte. No matter how progressive our sanctified state, we can all relate.
The Way is Truly Narrow
Is it unusual to acquire a special respect and affinity for the composer who reflects a personal conviction shared by the listener? Upon discovery of a songwriter who exhibits deep theological truths in the midst of usually hostile territory, shall we not say an extra prayer that the narrow path be freshly and savingly known?
Kensrue, and his band Thrice, may have conceived the best album to hit the mainstream in years with the release of their ninth album, the absolutely stellar, To Be Everywhere is to Be Nowhere. Kensrue poetically takes on the morally bankrupt ways of the political establishment while evoking deep Christian sentiments and imagery throughout the 11 track musical juggernaut.
Unfortunately, a brief reflection and meditation on Kensrue’s latest tweets seem to reveal a deeply sensitive and most conflicted soul who is struggling to recover his newfound liberation in a truly redemptive sense. https://twitter.com/dustinkensrue?lang=en
Certainly, Kensrue has done more for his fellow man and is much more deserving of redemption than a wretch like me. And yet, I found myself deeply disappointed by the tone and direction of his Twitter page. In the end, maybe the path of least resistance was just too tempting for Kensrue to forsake.
Nobody ever said demonstrating a proper level of discernment was going to be easy. There are snares on either side. This is the reason why the bible is filled with so many warnings against being led astray and falling into temptation.
Don’t get me wrong, calls for love and consideration for the civil rights of the low and truly oppressed is very noble, and we Christians must be living representatives of hope and acceptance in Christ. But how helpful are men and women who sow confusion and division?
To whom shall we go in our pursuit of true repentance, deliverance, and restoration? Is it really helpful for Kensrue to retweet and promote political and theological lightning rods like Kamala Harris and Peter Enns? Is this truly where he wants to go for inspiration?
Many will grow frustrated with the imperfect disciple, but may we never lose sight of the True and Living Christ! Let’s pray for Mr. Dustin Kensrue and his family. God is patient and full of mercy. His ways are not our own.
[Contributed by A. Castellitto]