Sharing the Shins

What do you love? What are you passionate about? Do you ever find yourself telling everybody you know about a sports team, band, or film? What is it about cultural things that make us want to bring the reality of the experience to other people?

I'll give you a double example. Years ago, a friend of mine kept badgering me to see a film called Garden State. I was not a big fan of scrubs, so I consistently refused. However, I was won over by my friend's passion about the film. When, I finally did see it, I was blown away by one line in particular.

For years now, I have been a huge fan of the Shins, an indie band from Albuquerque. Before Garden State most people had never heard of the Shins (they are on the soundtrack). So, for the most part, I was alone in my adoration for the Shins' baroque pop discography. That is, until I saw Garden State and heard the line. Check out this scene from the film to get what I am talking about.

"The song" was "New Slang" by the Shins. I almost jumped out of my seat. Somebody else loved the Shins! I don't know why that was so exciting to me other than the fact that I now realized that I was a part of something bigger.

in the film, Sam's passion for her music and for sharing it with others is beautiful and magnetic. But is it always magnetic to share your passion?

The other day, my wife was paid a visit by a local religious group that is trying to recruit people to their Easter services. More than anything, their door-to-door is annoying to most people, but aren't they sharing their passion? Why is it annoying when religious people share what they are excited about, but it is not so annoying when people share their passion about sports, music, books, television, etc. ?

Another interesting perspective on this subject comes from a committed atheist, Penn Jillete. Listen to what he has to say:

So, an atheist seems to think that if religious people believed that their faith really had eternal implications, they would be sharing it with everyone.

What do you think? Should religious people share their faith?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but imagine if, in the movie, instead of Natalie Portman being really excited about the Shins, it was me trying to put headphones on you. Not gonna happen. It's endearing because Natalie Portman is hot.

I think religious people tend to parrot doctrines and live these confused, strangled lives that are nearly impossible to sort out. But for people who have actually experienced things like love and resurrection, it's more a natural and genuine thing to share. It's not like you're trying to impose this foreign doctrine that you haven't made your own life fit into. Then you end up trying to convince yourself, which is why most people are so scared and insecure when they're sharing their faith. But I think they're compelled by this guilt that if they don't "witness", that person will go to hell and it will be their fault.

I think a better understanding of the Kingdom of God is not of right and wrong and good guys and bad guys, but that the world is a mess and there's a way out for anyone who wants to listen.

As much as God loves us, he's not sending flares across the sky to prove he exists. He's not doing any flashy, attention-getting warnings about hell. He's working kinda quietly through his relationships with people, and their relationships with other people, just the gentle breeze of his spirit moving.


In order to live man must believe in that for which he lives.
- Huston Smith
unTapped is a conversation about faith and spirituality. There are many people frustrated by being forced to think of faith in the same old patterns, and would prefer to explore spirituality in different ways.

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