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Pixar’s latest, Inside Out, left me wondering…

Does the entertainment industry understand human beings better than the church?

If you’ve seen it, you know Inside Out brilliantly illustrates the necessity for something we lost permission to do centuries ago in the Church:

Complain about life and God publicly.

I can’t remember a more thoughtful, insightful depiction of how the emotion of “Sadness” is not only necessary but essential for how we make decisions and live our lives. Sadness is critical, Pixar says. But what does the church say?

Anyone who has read the Psalms knows that over half of the 150 songs are “laments.”

God, where are you? I’m angry! I’m sad! Do something!

The Bible was 3,000 years ahead of John Lasseter on this insight, but the church (including me) has lost it.

These were the songs that the ancient followers of God sang together. But when’s the last time as a church community sadness or lament was affirmed? It’s probably been awhile (if ever). Have you ever sung anything in church that is angry or sad? I can only think of one lament song written in the last 20 years in the church. Yikes.

The problem is that if the church doesn’t allow people to lament together, they will find somewhere else to do it. There are musicians who make millions marketing lament to teenagers (This summer’s gonna hurt like a mother… – thanks, Adam Levine). Wouldn’t it be great if people could process their sadness, anger, fear, doubt in the church and not just with pop stars and Hollywood?


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