Corner of Maude and Fitzroy St. Barraba

How Not to Judge Great Music by its Performance

Last Saturday evening, we hosted a screening of the film, ‘For the Love of God’.  There was a good turnout of people from St Laurence’s and I think it is fair to say that the film was challenging to everyone. For some, it confronted their pre-conceived ideas of the church’s role in shaping society. For others, it challenged our capacity to take in so much information. I was really happy with the turnout and hope that it will lead to some good conversations that ultimately end with the real Jesus being promoted.

I thought that one scene summed up the film very well and perhaps it will help both those who were overloaded to the point of not understanding what was happening, and those who were not there to understand the main premise of the film. The scene that tied it all together was of a performance of Bach’s Cello Preludes. This piece of music is a masterpiece and beautiful when played as intended. But if a novice grabs a cello and plays it, it probably won’t sound very good. This is because it is not played exactly as Bach intended or wrote it to be played. The point was this: Jesus wrote a great tune when he came to earth and proclaimed and embodied God’s truth. He established a great way to live. If we judge Christ by the times Christians fail to follow his teaching, then we are being unfair to Christ. We cannot judge his perfect way by our imperfect following of it.


You can check out this scene here