Scriabin and Starbucks

Scriabin is one of my favourite composers. I love many of his preludes and sonatas. Scriabin, however, is not just known for his idiosyncratic musicality; he is also famous for seeing himself as God, or, as some writers have suggested, a being greater than God. He tried to walk on water on Lake Geneva as Jesus did.

Some say it was a result of his mental illness; some believe he was mind-controlled by mystic cults.

Still, the beauty in Scriabin’s piano work, in contrast to his personality, continues to reveal more of the splendid mystery of the Lord to me. I studied and performed a few of his work.

With that in mind, I once wondered if I would be disapproved by some Christians for playing Scriabin’s music. It might sound ridiculous, but given some Christians have been boycotting Starbucks and similar products, me being criticized is not impossible!

Boycotting things that people who share a different faith or set of beliefs manufacture seems a bit silly to me. If I need to forbid myself from using products or stores owned by people who are sinning or affirming sin every day, I probably don’t need to live. Not to mention I myself am not any better than anybody else. If Paul called himself the worst of all sinners, who am I?

Russell Moore once said, “It’s just that, in this case, a boycott exposes us to all of our worst tendencies. Christians are tempted, again and again, to fight like the devil to please the Lord. ”

Scriabin violated the first three OT commandments. Does it mean I need to give up performing Scriabin’s music because of his extreme idolatry? Does it mean you have to stop listening to his work? Does it mean the Lord cannot use His music to touch people?

Let’s not talk about “others” first. Many in the church commit gossip, greed, and drunkenness. They secretly affirm it. Does it mean we have to boycott the act of greeting one another in grace?

“Boycotting” a group or a person cannot be further away from the gospel, for it forsakes compassion and communication, friendship and fellowship, humility and hospitality.

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