Here’s another song that’s NOT about Jesus Christ…

This entry was posted by on Thursday, 28 October, 2004 at

I have occasionally alluded to, but never fully explained, the fact that I used to be a musician.

I own a number of guitars. There was a time when I even knew how to play them. A friend that I have roomed with off and on over the years plays bass, and we fancied ourselves as rockstars and wrote a number of songs under the moniker Less is More. We did try playing with a drummer for a time, but eventually gave up on him due to what you might call a “fundamental inability to get on the same page.” That relationship probably officially ended when we preformed our one and only public appearance without bothering to tell him about it. That “performance” was at an open mic night at a local coffee house, where we had previously seen a band that seemed to introduce every other song with, “Here’s another song about Jesus Christ,” and it became a joke that we should introduce all of our songs in the negative. (And God looked down at me and said, “Heehee, I want that one.”) Anyway, not long thereafter, my roommate moved to Colorado to pursue other dreams, which happened to coincide with when I began to explore Christianity.

On my first discovery of Christian radio, I was amazed at how upbeat the “positive alternative” really was. My songs, though not particularly dishonoring to God, were all so very dark and depressing, that I felt it might be best to retire them. As Paul says, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful” (1 Cor 10:23). Whatever else could be said, that particular style of music was not helpful, and so I put all my guitars away in the closet so that they could “think about what they had done.”

A few years previously, I had visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in that great tribute to sin and decadence, a devout agnostic at the time, I said to myself, “If there really is a Devil, then surely he must be responsible for THIS.” So I was initially quite impressed with Christian rock. Here they were, reclaiming the Devil’s music in the name of the Lord. I mean, “Christian Rock” is a pun anyway- I would think that the Devil has got to be kicking himself over that one.

Then I found a web page devoted to denouncing Christian Rock. Claiming to be a former rock enthusiast himself, he went into great detail on the evils of Contemporary Christian Music, and some of the specific transgressions of some of the more popular CCM artists. His argument was that it was not about the words, it was the music itself. Music undeniably has the power to move people, and he was convinced that this was moving people away from God, regardless of the lyrics. The point was really driven home when I read a review of the most recent Kutless album in a Christian music magazine which actually stated, “Some of the words are hard to make out unless you read the liner notes, but what kind of rock album would it be if you could understand all [of] the lyrics?” So, who cares what they’re saying, these guys rock?

One day the DJ on the Christian Radio station announced that artist Jeremy Camp was either engaged to or had married the lead singer of another Christian band, the Benjamin Gate. She then commented, “She’s a lucky girl.” I found it interesting that she did not say, “There’re lucky to have found each other,” or “I hope they are are happy together,” or anything of the sort, implying that she did not feel that Jeremy Camp was a lucky guy. I further inferred that this was because she wanted to marry him herself. Do you think they had ever actually met, and she respected him as a Godly man? Or really, just because he’s a rockstar?

Though I did think that some of his analysis was rather extreme, I was pretty much in agreement with this web page. Unfortunately, he ruined the entire thing in the conclusion by stating that he welcomed anyone to refute any of his arguments as long as they provided scripture reference, from the King James Version only. Oh, so you’re one of those people.

Is Christian rock really taking something profane and making it holy? One might make the same claim for “Christian porn.” Anyway, I could not come to a conclusion on this issue, so I decided to refrain from playing until I did.

Interestingly enough, I was surprised to discover in a book that I already owned, that The Edge, guitar player for the band U2 and heavy influence on my own guitar playing, actually debated quitting the band very early in their career, because he did not think that the rock and roll life style was appropriate for a devout Christian. (I guess he got over it.) There has been a great deal of criticism over whether or not U2 is a Christian band. I find it interesting that the Christian radio stations do not play U2, but they do play several cover versions of U2 songs. What I ultimately realized was that while many of their songs are about God, they don’t actually glorify God. Oh, you mean, kind of like this web site? [QUIET YOU!]

Ahem, so anyway, for the past couple of months I have felt a strong draw to return to my music. So far, I have not yet determined whether this is the urging of God, or really just me slipping back into old ways.

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