I don't believe in God, but there's something about a true artist composing a song inspired by their sincere belief in a dark and grounded, albeit altruistic deity to express their complex relationship with it, that does something for me other music just can't. I was a devout Christian for about 10 years, and in hindsight I realize that it was never God that I fell in Love with, it was God Music. Both the kind you're thinking of and the kind of which you're not thinking....... of.... I spent my teen years at a concert about every weekend, I remember hitching a ride a hundred miles or so to watch some Heavy Metal band play a free show in a crowded Church for some small town in Missouri. Borrowing a car just so all my friends and I could go to Tulsa and see our favorite act open in a huge venue, just to leave when the sellouts started playing. You could just feel the sound and fury move through you when you knew these guys were doing it for gas money and maybe a free meal, in the hopes that they would inspire a generation to adopt their values that they whole-heartedly believed would save their lives. To this day, regardless of genre, music about God is the only type that can bring me to tears, maybe that's just nostalgia, or maybe it's because of the sincerity and soul that you can sense in their song writing when its real and not some manipulative, glorified youth pastors playing basic chords to earn your lunch money. As a filmmaker, I'm so intrigued by the idea of God. I studied the Bible and realized that this is a wrathful and dark version of God, but also deeply symbolic, poetic. Deeply Loving, and complex, maybe even a little inconsistent. She's a great story teller, this is a God that willingly chose to throw off his own deity, and descend to Earth and live just like any other person. And how does God present herself? This ultra-Liberal Palestinian dude, who chastised the rich and the religious while defending the poor and the weak. I liked this God (Just as a friend). These artists that I listened to seemed to understand this God, while the Christian Church clearly did not, or simply chose not to understand God because it wasn't profitable. The latter is more likely.
Now that I'm not a Christian and I'm free, I can theorize about God in ways that are more in tune with reality than much of the Bible for the sake of inspiration, not for the sake of genuine belief. Like, maybe God is just a flawed guy that wants to do right by humanity and is doing his damn best. I know that sounds like a Louie CK bit, but that makes way more sense to me than an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent creator who just seems to be really apathetic.
Listening to this music was such a big part of my life, I remember taking my IPod and deleting all the music that didn't have direct spiritual influence because at the time everything else just felt hollow to me. I really didn't understand the point of doing anything if it wasn't making invisible sky daddy happy. So when I began filmmaking of course it all had a spiritual message behind it, and as I've said before, this was quickly exploited. I made videos to help churches make money, it had nothing to do with sharing any real dogma. I remember my Pastor telling me, just put asses in seats, which I guess he thought was edgy and I would respond well.
After a while I realized I had mistook my love for music for a love for God, and since I couldn't play any instruments or sing and I was already too old and they don't let unattractive people like me make music, instead I began using the skills I do have to make music videos, which satisfied my desire to create meaningful content chock-full of symbolism, references to literature and poetry and all that shit. Just like the brand of music that I went seeking out every weekend.