Not long ago a popular secular music artist called Hozier came out with a BIG hit called “Take me to Church”. The song is well written, catchy lyrics and a dynamic that just sticks in your brain and you find yourself humming along like it’s a favorite tune! When I think of the song objectively I think, “What a great piece of music.” But when you look closer, his message is even more impactful.
I have never heard a better song that describes so clearly the failure of the church to train up our young people with clear understanding and confidence in their faith. I dare you to watch the video all the way through and let it sink in that this song is about what THEY think Christians think and do.
“Take me to church, I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies…”
That one phrase exposes so much hypocrisy on our part and I’m left thinking, “Maybe if Christians spent more time listening to the world around us, we would not only be able to minister more effectively, we could effect REAL change and in the process be challenged and changed ourselves for the better.”
If Christians were to get together to write music and create works of art that were EXCELLENT, with catchy tunes, content people could relate to but be challenged as well, music that sent out a message people would be COMPELLED to hum along with whether they agreed with the lyrics or not because it is simply THAT GOOD…what would we write about?
Brainstorm with me!
A few Christian artists over recent years have succeeded here and there, Michael W. Smith is my idol in this arena, he truly created a trend in contemporary Christian music that has lasted for years. But now everyone else is stuck trying to do the same thing! Originality, creativity, individuality. It doesn’t have to quote scripture to be Christian and when it does maybe we could write about parts of the Bible and other aspects of the HUNDREDS OF YEARS of Christian history that needs to be passed on!
Song of Songs? How about more tantalizing country songs that talk about love between husband and wife with the same adventure, mystery and longing as all the other love tunes?
One of my favorite songs about friendship is “How to Save a Life“, by the Fray, a secular song that talks about a man not knowing how to help his friend who commits suicide. “Where did I go wrong?” the artist says. There is a message here for Christians as well that we need to hear!
We have spent so much time on one kind of music that we’ve detached ourselves from the world and stopped engaging it on the level we were called to engage it by Jesus Christ. So my question is, if we were to start THINKING about writing the songs of our nation, teaching through music and art and LEADING THE WAY in the world of artistic expression, what would we write about?…
What dances would we create?
What stories would we write?
What pictures would we paint?
If we were to start believing in change,
and be truly convicted that souls could be saved,
Our work might be less about us and our praise,
and more about those we should be trying to save.