Music has always been a big part of my life. My parents often listened to classical records, big-band stuff, and had their own personal favorites (mother – The Sound of Music soundtrack, father – Johnny Cash records). As a kid of the late 60′s & all through the 70′s and then coming to age in high-school & college during the 80′s, music for me meant rock & roll (now termed “classic rock”) and its emerging sub-genres of the day – “new wave” and “modern rock”. Of course a little cable channel start-up in 1981 that played “music videos” 24/7 also had a big impact back in the day in culturing my fondness for these new “alternative” rock bands.
Archive for the 'music' Category
In New England, we battle the hard hearts of skeptics while enjoy the open-mindedness of those searching. Engaging our neighbors and communities is important – and there is a way to do it right. Forget the marketing strategies or membership drives, get into conversations with the people you’re around. I think that the challenge facing New England in regards to evangelism and outreach is not in the people who need the gospel, its found in the people who supposedly don’t.
For our loss, Protestantism destroyed lots of Christian art in its history. Not because it disagreed with the message, but rather it disagreed with art, as if in principle. So, it hasn’t created much art at all. But, not to gut the movement, it nearly single-handed lead to the focus on the written text, arguably as an art form. We came up in a Protestant, 70′s jesus-movement tradition which also had very little art, and no liturgy. I find this strange because other Christian traditions have a rich history of art, and their liturgy is rich in music. It is one reason I enjoy going to Anglo/Catholic services.
This past Sunday, we sang the hymn “Nothing Between” at our church. The hmyn was written in 1905 by Charles A. Tindley. Tindley has quite a story:
From Wikipedia – Tindley’s father was a slave, but his mother was free. Tindley himself was thus considered to be free, but even so he grew up among slaves. After the Civil War, he moved to Philadelphia. He continued his education while working as a church janitor, teaching himself Hebrew and Greek and eventually earning a doctorate. After 25 years, he became the pastor of the same church at which he had been a janitor. Under his leadership, the church grew from 130 to a multiracial congregation of 10,000.
This video was very good – inspiring and thought provoking. Do we have more passion about our God than the world does for theirs?
It is interesting to note that these songs and lyrics are so popular and are being pumped into our youth’s ears via ear buds each day. What is influencing the next generation more? Their parents, their church, the Bible or their iPod? As parents, do you even know what music your children listen to? As youth leaders, do we set a good example to our youth? Can we match and surpass our addiction to the things of God as we once had to the things of this world? Something to think about indeed.
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:51-57 NASB)
Over thirty years ago, the great philosopher Paul McCartney asked, “What’s wrong with silly love songs?”
Having given this over three decades of serious consideration (OK, at least several months), I have Sir McCartney’s answer. It depends.