I’m a punk rocker at heart. In fact, I become more punk the older I get.
I talked to a friend of mine, Brian, about this recently. Brian’s a punk rocker, too, and we decided to identify the true spirit of punk. Disclaimer: There are two sides to punk rock that I see, a healthy side and not-so-healthy-side; it’s the not-so-healthy side that moves followers to throw bricks through windows. It’s the healthy, righteous side of punk we wanted to capture.
A PUNK ROCK CHECKLIST
BRIAN: 1) not doing things because you’re supposed to, 2) caring about things that matter, and 3) all out abandon.
ME: Going against the world’s conventions. All out abandon (I’m repeating yours because it was so good). Trust in God, rather than trusting in stability or comfort.
BRIAN: Still, I think working subversively within the given system is good, too.
ME: True, that.
That’s when it struck me. Jesus was a punk rocker. And if it’s good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for me.
JESUS’S SCORECARD FOR BEING A PUNK
Not doing things because he was supposed to? The Jewish leaders forbade anyone from working on the Sabbath day. He did better than that. He healed people on the Sabbath, which also fulfills the caring about things that matter qualification. He hung out with prostitutes and drunks. I’m not sure he ever owned a home, and I’m almost positive that voluntarily dying on a cross counts as all out abandon.
Check. Check. Check. Everything points to him being a punk. If Jesus had lived in late ‘70s London, he would have worn a scarlet mohawk, calf-high combat boots and a Union Jack on the back of his vinyl jacket. He would have sported bad teeth and might have listened to The Jam—definitely The Clash, maybe even The Sex Pistols.
“We’re starting a movement,” I told Brian. “JESUS PUNK.”
It’s for kids, as well as adults; for those with mohawks and those who are bald; for those who teach and those who learn; for those holding babies and those holding cans of spray paint.