That's the name of a book I finished reading a couple days ago. This book has literally shaken up some of my beliefs. Not majorly, mind you, but still shaken.
The book examines a selection of rock & roll artists and their faith and how it influenced them and those around them. There were several surprises. Not the least of which was Lenny Kravitz.
Yes, Lenny Kravitz. Apparently, the guy is a Christian. The song, "Are You Gonna Go My Way," is apparently written from the perspective of Jesus, asking us if we are going His way. And the second song on that album, "Believe," is very explicit.
"The Son of God is in our face
Offering us eternal grace
If you want it you've got to believe
'Cause being free is a state of mind
We'll one day leave this all behind
Just put your faith in God and one day you'll see it"
Wow. Big surprise. I had no clue.
Next surprise? Carson Daly.
Now, does ANYBODY like Carson Daly?
I didn't think so. Nevertheless, apparently he is a man of a measure of faith who, at one point in his life, was on a path to become a priest. He chose instead to create one of MTV's most popular shows, TRL.
Next Surprise? Chris Carrabba. Yes, the Dashboard Confessional Chris Carrabba. My own confession is that I actually wasn't all that surprised about him. Kind of suspected it.
There were other interesting tidbits in the book, as well. Such as...Finger 11 records on the same label that originally signed Creed and 12 Stones, Wind Up records. That doesn't necessarily mean that any of them are Christians, but have you listened closely to that song that the radio stations are PLAYING TO DEATH? What's it called, One Thing? "If I gave it all, if I gave it all away for one thing, wouldn't that be something?" It all depends on what the "one thing" is. Must research a bit more.
The bottome line of the book is that there shouldn't be such a thing as "Christian" music. Music is music. If someone wants to include his faith in his music, why should it be doomed to be sold only in Christian book stores. Point is, if a group or artist signs on a "Christian" label, such as Sparrow, they will NEVER (read that again--NEVER) EVER be heard on a "secular" rock station. Never. That's why groups like POD and Sixpence None the Richer and 12 Stones are refusing to call themselves "Christian" bands, and almost get mad when people try to call them that.
That doesn't mean that they are denying their faith or their relationship to Christ. It means that they want their message to get past "the choir." They want to be heard by people whom they can influence. Their message is for unbelievers, and unbelievers won't hear it on Christian stations.
However, I think there has to be room for both. There are bands/artists who feel called to record music specifically for Christians. So if they want to be designated "Christian" music, so be it. But let's not try to pigeonhole everyone who is a Christian making music into that category.
One more gripe from the book. The author was really not kind to the recent explosion in the "Praise and Worship" genre. I started to get angry about that, but I realized that he had some good points. "Praise and worship" is, of course, necessary for churches who desire to worship that way. However, many "mainstream" Christian artists have been literally forced by their labels to make a "Praise and Worship" album because they saw lots of little $$$'s behind them. I have noticed recently that there is a veritable plethora (heehee...I love that phrase...veritable plethora) of artists making P&W albums. The problem? THEY'RE ALL RECORDING THE SAME FREAKIN' SONGS!!!
I mean seriously. How many times must "Come, Now is the Time to Worship" be recorded? How about "Open the Eyes of My Heart?" Or "Shout to the Lord." I mean, these are good songs, perhaps even great in the case of "Shout to the Lord," but they are also very old. And these "pop" Christian artists are just now getting around to recording them? How commercial is that? They need to "dance with the one what brung 'em." Let the real worship leaders record the P&W stuff. Please. Leave that to Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Tim Hughes, Delirious, etc.
Oh, yeah. One more thing. There was a chapter on Destiny's Child. Maybe the members are Christians, at least one was a very firm one. It is reported that they held Bible studies on their bour bus rather than attend some of the parties. But Beyonce? I think this "Naughty Girl" has perhaps lost her focus. Not her salvation, mind you, as I firmly believe that you cannot lose that. Just her focus.
That's all. Thank you.