Emo-Culture cross-sections with Christian Faith?

A friend and I were recently at Barnes and Noble enjoying each other's company, talking about faith, and discussing the intersection between faith and pop culture. Shortly after a brief discussion about some up-and-coming emo Christian bands, an aggravated young woman came up and reproached us in regard to our willingness to associate Christianity with emo-culture. She argued that emo-culture leads to the untimely deaths of young people and that the word "emo" should not even be a part of a Christian's vocabulary. She argued that as a crisis-worker who has seen things that no one would ever want to see, it is because of conversations like our own that she has distaste toward Christians.

As she walked away, my friend and I sat there in wonder. We weren't quite sure how to respond. Had this young woman known that the two of us worked with at-risk and hurting youth in the community, would she still have confronted us in this manner? None-the-less, as she walked away, we were left to think about what we had said and how she interpreted the term "emo."

Later that day, my friend emailed me a link to Wikipedia's reference to emo music that verified our definition of emo within the context of our conversation. But today I decided to continue to explore and find out what exactly had this young woman upset. Here is a link to a Wikipedia site about emo culture. You'll find under the critique that some adults associate emo with a heightened reverence for suicidal thoughts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emo_(slang)

And this leaves me with the question of whether these young people, referred to in this critique, would still honor suicidal poetry and thinking if emo-culture didn't exist. Wouldn't they just find some other outlet for expressing these emotions? Are their emotions a result of emo-culture or are they a response to the disintegrating home life within which they seek to find comfort?

I don't think the source of their pain is emo-culture. I think emo-culture gives these hurting young people an outlet to explain and express the pain for which in other circumstances they might find disdain.

If you are a young person who is reading this, who finds emo-culture as a safe haven for expressing your pain, I invite you to respond to this blog or to find a new adult to share your feelings with and to seek help. There are people in this world who care and its okay to keep looking for that person who will help you - that person is out there somewhere, and that person is healthy. One place to start looking is with a Christian youth group or organization in your town. You might want to check out Young Life, Youth For Christ, Fellowship for Christian Athletes (no, this isn't just for athletes) or call that kid at school who seems like a nice Christian and ask him/her where they go to church, and try it out some time. But I want you to know that people might let you down and no one is perfect, but there is a God out there who does love you and cares for you. That is why you are reading this blog right now, because God helped you to find it and He does care. Jesus wants to be your friend. An easy prayer, "Hi God, I'm here. Please help me."


Sydney Darnay said…
Since this is obviously an outreach post, thought I should note that it's "Fellowship of Christian Athletes."

Great post, by the way--I completely agree that emo culture is just an outlet, just a rallying point for people with similar thoughts and feelings. We all do it--rally to some symbol that unites us with others like ourselves, that is--it's just part of being human.
Anonymous said…
to my opinion all of us are emotional. but we all need to think a question here: DO BEING EMOTIONAL HELPS US TO FEEL GOOD OR TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEM? the answer is no. it will never help us that way. the emo salng i talking about killing ourself. telling that love is not fair. god did not design us for this and we should do this. we can be emo but not in the worlds context.

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