During my morning drive to work it is my routine to soundly seer my conscience. I am a morning radio junkie, and I listen to Adam Carolla, Mancow Muller, and Bob and Tom. For the most part this is not a problem. Sometimes, however, perhaps more than I care to admit, the show I’m listening to unshackles the Id and ends up becoming an all out romp for the baser aspects of human existence. This then puts me in conflict between my desire to continue listening, and my sense that I am subjecting myself to influences that will have a negative affect on my soul.
Accounting for my actions at the surface level, I listen to these shows because they are entertaining, but deeper still I listen because they give me a sense of belonging. By tuning in I vicariously become a part of the banter between the hosts, co-hosts, and the various call-in listeners. In attempts to detoxify my soul, I have often tried to satisfy my desire for entertainment and belonging by listening to Christian radio, but it never quite hits the mark. Honestly, Christian radio seems scripted, overly polished, thoroughly commercial, and very sanitized. Moreover, I generally get the feeling that the hosts and co-hosts don’t have a genuine chemistry or connection with one another. It comes across as if they are emulating the formats and performances of secular radio, but try to make it Christian by stripping it of all the “ungodly” elements. In doing this, however, they remove the grit that characterizes authentic and genuine human existence.
If I am anywhere near the truth in my above assessment, then ironically Christian radio isn’t very Christian, since it misrepresents reality in some fashion. In its attempts to provide a clean version of what secular radio offers it falls short of genuine creativity, and it comes off as being disengaged from the real world. It’ as if Christian radio exists in an alternate universe that is closely parallel to the world, but doesn’t quite connect with it. In doing this, Christian radio also misrepresents Christ, who fully connected with and entered into our world by becoming fully human. Over the years, as I have thought about Jesus, and as I have made numerous changes in my understanding of him, I’ve found myself stumbling over his humanity more than his divinity. As a true human, Jesus was like us in every way, which means that he struggled, was tempted, and wrestled with his desires. In short, he was gritty. Of course, as a Christian, I believe he was righteous and gritty, that he was gritty without sin. It is this incarnational reality that should be the guiding principle of Christian radio, and I think if there was a radio station like this, Adam Carolla and those others wouldn’t be so tempting for me. Of course, this could all be just an elaborate and deluded self-justification for my fallen desires.