The narrator played in a rock ‘n roll band. And one day he was feeling low. And he came across something new to him. He came across funky music. Something that was new to him. Something that was different. It was different to him. It was new to him. It was exciting to him. And he started to come more often to hear the music. He didn’t understand it at first. He felt like an outsider. But then it hit him. And someone shouted “Play that funky music, white boy, play that funky music right…play that funky music till you die.” He thought that the people were out of their minds. And then he realized that he was the one who was foolish. He fought against it yet realized he was loosing every step of the way. He thought that he would have to leave his old life behind and join this new way of doing things. But then he realized that he could play that funky music where he was at.
It wasn’t easy at first to change his way of thinking. It wasn’t easy to do it. But now he realizes that it was the right move to do. So he is told to play that funky music. To play it right. To play that funky music, white boy, to lay down and boogy and play that funky music till he dies.
So what does this have to do with conversion? This whole song is about conversion. It is all about a lateral shift from one point of view of music to another. It isn’t some great jump across a bridge but a shift in thinking, in how he sees things. This is conversion. It isn’t a Descartian numelous way of viewing thing. It isn’t a strange spiritual transformation. It’s a lateral shift of a world view. Okay, I just used some big words. It isn’t something so highly above the physical world that it is an encounter with God. It is a shift in how he sees things. A world view is like looking through glasses. It’s how we see the world. And this is what conversion is.
Many times when people talk about conversion they think of this great experience that totally changes things. And don’t get me wrong, many people, including me, have had an experience like that. But that is the minority, not the majority. Take the song for example. It wasn’t a total transformation all at once. He had to go back and listen to the music again and again. And he had to be encouraged by others to play the music.
In conversion, it is a step by step process. It is something that takes time. When one talks about coming to know Jesus, it is a lateral shift in understanding Truth.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life” John 14:6
In order to understand what Truth is, you have to know the Truth. And Jesus is the Truth. John Burke in No Perfect People Allowed, speaks about the difference between truth and Truth. He uses the illustration of the Ford Pinto. The Ford Pinto is probably the ugliest car ever made. It’s U-G-L-I ugly! You might say that it’s the greatest car around and beautiful. That’s your truth and that’s my truth. Now, the Truth about the car is that the gas tank was right in the back of the car. And if it was rear ended by a car going at 55 mph, it would catch on fire and explode. You can’t deny that truth.
Jesus is the Truth. He is the way to the Truth. He is Life. And it takes a lateral shift of slowly understanding and getting to know this Truth. It isn’t some great moment or situation you’re in. But just a few steps here and there with the encouragement of other to play that funky music…I mean, to know the truth.
Do you know the Truth? Get to know who Jesus is. Once you learn who Jesus is, then you begin to understand what the Truth is. And then it is a lateral shift in your understanding of Truth.
Conversion is a change in our lives. And it can only happen through the power of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is for a whole ‘nother blog post. But suffice it to say, God moves. God moves in our lives to lead us step by step to initiate us into his Kingdom by knowing the Truth found in Jesus.
If you don’t believe me and my Truth, that’s fine. But then respect that Truth as I respect your truth. But ask one question–Ask God to show you Truth as found in Jesus. Don’t knock it just yet until you try it. Just give it a shot. You never know, you might like that funky music and play it.