|by Terence D. McLean||The Voice in the Wilderness - Oct. 1998|
What is wrong with "Amazing Grace," I ask you?
Is there a problem with "How Great Thou Art?"
Are the words and melody of "How Firm a Foundation" no longer beautiful or true?
Must we set aside the great hymns of the faith and replace them with "Who put the bop in the Bible shee-bop shee-bop?" and "Ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong for Jesus."
Now that we have "Christian" rock , rap, regGAE, and jazz, can "Christian" Budweiser be far behind?
Must "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" be replaced with "The Dude upstairs is so cool, doo whoppa, doo whoppa doo?"
And now that we have "Christian" heavy metal, acid and (get this) Christian New Age, can "Christian" Marlboros wrapped in New Testament parchment be far behind?
And what of the people who write these new songs?
Once upon a time, hymns were written only by the greatest of composers and the most devout of Christians.
Compare that with Michael W. Smith, who, "at the same time he was penning gospel songs, he was also using marijuana, LSD and cocaine." (Wall Street Journal, 9/11/91, p.A-11)
"I'm a singer, not a preacher, I'm not looking to convert anybody" says Christian rock diva Amy Grant. (Los Angeles Times, 5/4/84, pg. 2-c) Grant goes on to demonstrate her spirituality by saying, "I'm not going to say too often that I like a cold beer while watching a football game. That might bother some of my fans." (Greensville News, 5/4/94)
One Christian rock star [Michael English] gets caught fornicating and he converts to singing secular songs, including one in which he ridicules Christians. Then he packs an auditorium in Dayton as he does his "comeback tour." Another Christian rock star [Sandi Patti] gets caught fornicating and all her albums are recalled by the publisher, only to have them re-released after her divorce and subsequent remarriage to the object of her three-year affair.
And of Amy Grant's lyrics, Billboard magazine and Face the Music both report that, "The only difference between Amy Grant's love songs and those of Olivia Newton-John is that often Grant's pronouns come with capital letters."
To which Amy has been quoted saying, "I want to be at the same level as Billy Joel, the Doobie brothers" (Time magazine, New Lyrics for the Devil's Music, 3/11/85, p. 60)
Well, glory to God in the highest.
And what of the presentation of this new "Christian" music.
Michael W. Smith was seen as a hot number by the Wall Street Journal when it learned his sexy, steamy, sensuous video was produced by the same company that produces the rocker formerly known as Prince. "I know if I am too blatant about my Christianity and talk about Jesus I won't succeed. But, hey, I'm not an evangelist. I'm a singer." (ibid)
On "Christian" metal group Bloodgood's video, one of the rockers enters with purple hair and sunglasses, carrying a giant Bible. Then he says "I'm not her to tell you about how Jesus loves you I'm here to talk about ME! ("Metal Mardi Gras")
And now we have "Christian" Rave and "Christian" Thrash music.
Amen, brother. Split somebody's head for Jesus.
You say, "Splitting heads for Jesus would never be included on a 'Christian' album, not even Thrash trash."
Wrong-o my na´ve friend.
"Persecution" is a "Christian" thrash group: and the chorus of one of that group's songs repeats over and over: "Praise the Lord-Beat My Head In."
And try these for lyrics giving honor to God on recent "Christian" albums:
"Drown the devil in the urinal." Or better still: "I love my dog, and he loves me. He uses my leg when he has to pee." (New York Times, 7/26/96)Was there such a problem with "What a Friend We Have In Jesus" or "Nothing But the Blood of Jesus" that we must replace them with a dog doing his duty on some dimwit's leg?
"But you have to go with that stuff to keep the kids," you say.
To keep them what exactly? To keep them laughing at you because they see through your compromise?
To keep them coming to church because they know they won't hear any more about Jesus and right living there than they will at the amusement park?
To keep them convinced that you have absolutely no clue?
The Bible in my hand says that real Christian music has three purposes.
Colossians 3:16 says: "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."Clearly, then, Christian music is to teach Bible doctrine, to encourage godly behavior and to give testimony to the grace of God that resides in us by faith in Christ Jesus.
Why did "Moshing for the Master" replace "Wonderful Grace of Jesus?"
Was there something wrong with "The Haven of Rest" or "Trust and Obey?"
No doubt when all you have ever listened to is sex-driven junk, really spiritual music feels like a bucket of cold water to a copulating canine.
Meanwhile, "How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me."
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