The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

A Joyful Noise Unto the Lord

Posted by thelamp on March 17, 2007

What’s the difference between a baseball game and BattleCry, a passionate worship service for teens? Baseball fans attending a game in San Francisco can make as much noise as they want from the opening pitch to the last out of the game. When it comes to the joyful noise of teens worshiping, however, city officials prefer the sound of silence.

In anticipation of 22,000 teens gathering March 10 to reject pop culture and proclaim Christ as the leading influence in their lives, San Francisco authorities imposed a special noise restriction banning the use of sound systems before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m. Although the event was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., the attempt to stifle boisterous voices of youth praising God failed to discourage participants or derail the rally.

This was the second year Christian youths converged on San Francisco, but the city didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet. There was no official greeting from the mayor, who had been invited to welcome the youth to the city.

Thanks to management at a local radio station, KFAX 1100, a special morning worship service was broadcast from the BattleCry stage. This allowed participants and others to worship together despite the restriction on using the sound system at the stadium. Ron Luce, founder of TeenMania, which sponsored the massive two-day worship service, was justified in criticizing the last-minute ordinance. City officials, on the other hand, offered a lame defense of the restriction by pointing to complaints about early morning noise following the 2006 youth gathering. Christian residents of the city should be embarrassed about the less-than-hospitable reception for adolescent believers.

It’s hard enough to stand against peer pressure. Teens should not also have to endure disparate treatment from adults in positions of authority. The city’s mayor, Gavin Newsom, could have taken more leadership in making Christian visitors to his city feel welcome. Newsom is known for taking a stance. After all, he is the mayor who defied the state constitution in order to authorize same-sex marriages in San Francisco.

Of course, “faux” marriage is more popular politically than appeasing Christians. Keep in mind that last year the teens were treated so poorly in San Francisco that Newsom was prompted to issue a formal apology. The apology, though, didn’t exactly neutralize the resolution issued by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors condemning the youth rally for attempting to “negatively influence the politics of America’s most tolerant and progressive city.” It seems the folks in San Francisco are willing to tolerate everything, except Christianity.

The powers that be in San Francisco are probably hoping that Luce and his followers will be too discouraged to come back. Retreat would be the easy way out. The Center for Moral Clarity encourages youth affiliated with BattleCry to endure the hindrances and continue fighting for the soul of the next generation. Christianity’s war against the secular influences that are polluting American culture will only be won by standing strong in the daily battles to embrace God.


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