Written by Mitch Buchanan
As a little kid my mom would buy me clothes like all other moms do. My brother was into skating and surfing so she always bought him skater clothes. She would always buy me these clothes as well, but I could not get myself to wear them. I was a rollerblader and even though these clothes were the cool clothes to wear I could not do it. I would tell her that I did not like them because I felt like a “poser.” It felt weird to me to wear clothes that represented a lifestyle that I did not participate in. I did not want people to see what I was wearing on the outside and think that on the inside this is what I was passionate about like my brother. I wanted to be genuine and real.
As I got older I started listening to punk rock music. The different beliefs and ideas of punk music were very appealing to me. To me, punk rock music is all about going against the different norms in the environment that surrounds you. Not to be cool and look like a rebel, but to bring about change in the areas needed to be changed by going against them.
One of my favorite bands from the eighties, Minor Threat, went against the environment around them – their friends. They saw their friends drinking and smoking and how it was affecting them in a negative way. In reaction to this, the members of the band went against their friends and the lifestyles they were living out and sang about abstaining from such activities. This idea that Minor Threat portrayed through their music has kept me coming back to punk music and the mentality that is represented by it.
The more I grew up the more I began to to see that my friends and I were exactly what I did not want to be. We were “posers.” Not “posers” in the sense of fashion or anything like that. We were “posers” in the sense of our faith. We all went to church on Sundays and for the most part were not bad kids. In spite of all this we did not live out our faith at school and around our friends. We all knew that each other believed in God, but we could not see it in the outward appearance of our lives.
As I realized that I was a “poser” in my faith I saw it more and more in other people around me. I did not want to be a fake and reacted against myself. I went against the way that my friends and I were living and decided that I wanted some things to be changed. I did not want people to see what I was wearing on the outside in terms of my faith and think that that was what I was passionate about on the inside. I wanted the two to match up and to be true.
This concept brought about by punk rock music caused my relationship with Jesus to strengthen itself. By going against the fake life that I was living I was able to connect with Him so much easier. Like Minor Threat, I went against the negative aspects that I saw around me in order to bring about change. Change that will stay with me throughout eternity. I did not want to be seen as someone who skated or surfed because I knew that that was not what I was all about. It only made sense to apply this to my walk with Jesus. I wanted to be real. I wanted to outwardly show what I was passionate for on the inside.
I feel that God has me programmed this way. I have never really wanted to be like everyone else. God has been trying to show me that being like the rest of the world is not all that it is cracked up to be. I also believe this is why I got into punk music. As weird as it sounds I think God put punk music into my life to show me these different mentalities. To show me that change is needed and that I need to go against the negative things that I see in my life.