“Whatever happened to Amazing Grace? Where did Oceans go? I don’t know any of these new songs, man,” reported Geoff Stainless, a 28-year-old salesman who was at home visiting his family. Geoff had gone to his hometown church expecting to see old acquaintances and answer questions about his lifestyle choices, but he was not prepared for the buffoonery he was experiencing on stage. “What are we even singing about?” he loudly whispered to his sister in the middle of Chain Breaker, a song he didn’t know any of the words to.
As the junior pastor took the stage to pray over the service, Geoff was scowling so hard he couldn’t focus on what he was saying. His sister, Pam, whispered back to him, “This is just how it is now. Bands like Jesus Culture and All Sons & Daughters are putting out new songs all the time, it’s no longer just the old standards.”
“Well I don’t like it,” Geoff replied. The sermon was good and some other stuff happened, but Geoff was so distracted by these new songs that he completely missed the point of the whole thing.
Following the service, Geoff made small talk with former teachers and mentors, but ended up just repeated the same story to all of them. Eventually he saw his parents heading for the door and jumped at the chance to get out of there.
Per usual, the Stainless family headed for the nearby Olive Garden and began chomping down on some breadsticks. “What did you think of the service?” asked Geoff’s mom, Barbara.
“It was alright. I just couldn’t get over those new songs. I feel like I can’t fully get into the worship since I didn’t know the words.” Geoff replied, biting into his third breadstick. “I just feel like the church has changed a lot since I went in high school.”
“Well a lot of things have changed since you were a boy. We have a new senior pastor and he is taking us in a new direction as a church,” added Geoff’s father, Clyde, while downing his second glass of wine.
“I just feel like those classic songs like How Great is Our God and Amazing Grace can’t be replicated by these new artists.”
“Well, we have new versions of those songs,” replied Geoff’s mom while nibbling on a loose almond. “Like now we have How Great is Our Cod and Amazing Guppy. We mainly sing about fish now.”
“My personal favorite is Here I am to Bait Worms,” piped in Geoff’s sister.
“I love Lead me to the Fishing Hole,” announced Clyde.
“Guys, what are you talking about? I am worried that you are involved in some type of fish cult.”
“No no, it’s nothing like that. We have just embraced the symbolism surrounding the Ichthys,” said Barbara calmly. “We also want to make sure we get into the great river in the sky when we die. I want to spawn anew, just like Jesus would have wanted.”
“This is ridiculous,” Geoff said, standing up from the table and throwing his napkin on his plate, the international sign of “this meal is over.”
“Where are you going?” Pam yelled after him.
“I’m going back to the Commune! I should have never come back here. Father Xygloss would never treat me this way!”
And with that, Geoff drove back to the warm comfort of his much less ridiculous bear-worshipping cult. His family never saw him again.
This article was written by Nathan Ellwood, who may or may not go by an alias with the initials F.X., but don’t think too hard about that. Follow Father Xygloss – I mean Nathan – on Twitter @NPEllwood.