Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons recently gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine. In it he has a complex, or rather confusing, answer about his personal faith. Before I write about his answer to that question I want to tell you that I enjoy his music and find some opportunities to worship in the lyrics of his songs.
Let's take Awake My Soul. Lyrics like, "In these bodies we live, in these bodies we die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life. Awake my soul, for you were made to meet your maker."
Or I Will Wait. Lyrics like, "But I kneel down; wait for now. I kneel down; know my ground. Raise my hands; paint my spirit gold. Bow my head; keep my heart slow. I will wait for you."
Many of his lyrics invite us to worship; some don't. I'm not writing about whether or not his lyrics are good or Christian.
In an interview with Rolling Stone he said, "I wouldn't call myself a Christian. I think the word conjures up all those religious images that I don't really like. I have my personal views about the person of Jesus and who he was. Like you ask a Muslim and they'll say, 'Jesus was awesome'... they're not Christians, but they still love Jesus. I've kind of separated myself from the culture of Christianity." He said his spiritual journey is a work and progress and he doesn't doubt the existence of God.
Again, before I dissect this quote a bit I must add one more thing. Marcus' parents are the leaders of the Vineyard church in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Mr. Mumford is a young man like me, we're both 26, who grew up in the knowledge of Jesus. That is clearly evident in the lyrics he writes.
Now about the quote. I'm not going to say Marcus is a Christian or he isn't a Christian. He knows the answer to that. I understand why he might say he doesn't want to use the term Christian. Many of you do the same thing by saying "Jesus Lover" instead of "Christian". What I'm worried about is my generation's understanding of what it means to love Jesus.
"Like you ask a Muslim and they'll say, 'Jesus was awesome'... they're not Christians, but they still love Jesus."
What does it mean to love Jesus? Well, for one: "If you love me, you will obey what I command." John 14:15 Love is a big word. I don't think I can say that a Muslim loves Jesus; at least not yet.
Why are we so scared to say that liking Jesus and loving Jesus is different? Why are we scared to say that many people who like Jesus will be in Hell and only people who love Jesus will enter the Kingdom? I hope I love Jesus in a different way than a non-Christian does.
I hope you and I can love a Muslim, or any non-Christian, in the same way that Jesus loves them; but I hope we love Jesus in a radically different way than a non-Christian says he/she does. I don't care if you prefer the term "Jesus Lover" or "Christ Follower" to "Christian", but we need not be afraid of being radically different in our love for our Savior.
Marcus Mumford may be a committed Jesus Lover, and I hope he is, but I want to stress that isn't necessarily the point of this blog. I want us Christians to realize that we are called to be holy, separate from, the rest of the world in the way we love Jesus.
Love Jesus in a radical, not luke-warm, manner today.