Beyond the Song – Part 3
Sinead O’Connor, who once upon a time attacked a poster of the pope on SNL, now considers herself an active member of the Body of Christ. Evolving from MTV stardom by way of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ to currently writing and performing liturgical hymns, one of her greatest artistic concerns was that of being juxtaposed alongside Contemporary Christian Music; which she describes as largely existing ‘somewhere between crappy and corny.
However, her music is neither retrograde or solely supported by Christian brothers and sisters as an act of nepotism but instead is embraced and supported by throngs of fans, who would normally be vehemently opposed to purchasing, listening, singing, and recommending what Sinead now proclaims.
And in our ‘proclaiming’ there are varying means of verbal communication: speech, speech accompanied with music, and singing
First – Speech in most large settings is considered as an expression of monologue, not necessarily dialogue that entails a real-time response. A sermon, a lecture, a business presentation all entail this concept which focuses on depositing information into the listener’s mind. In this form, nothing is hidden and the gifted storyteller is king.
Second – Speech accompanied by music involves response. Not necessarily always verbal, but from the beat poets of the 30s and 40s, to Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, to present hip hop culture, the audience is not expected to sit and collect dust. In this form, words and the sound around them blend and as a result, content that might otherwise be uncomfortable simply reading ‘dry’ in public suddenly becomes tolerable
Third – Singing entails camouflage; evidenced by throngs of Christians who will sing songs at the top of their lungs which support explicitly abhorrent and sinful behavior. We’ve ALL done it! Southern audiences in the 40s sang Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’ not realizing its unambiguous stand against racism. Hence, there is a great deal that can be virtually hidden under the guise of a melody. Consequently, if your response to a speech resembles someone
at a Shpongle concert then please do not be surprised when large men grab you quickly, remove you from your initial setting, and introduce you to the parking lot.
Because even those people that reject the Christian worldview and the Bible as God’s Word, must simultaneously operate within the environment that God has created for them to operate in. When they do that and they discover truths, whether scientific truths, or ethical truths, then they are actually operating correctly as far as their finding of facts and so on is concerned, as God intended them to operate.
Thus, music, while being an unashamedly biblical response to God’s Person, Works, and Word, should also deeply touch and move those listeners who are not yet brothers or sisters in Christ.
Therefore, on Friday, November 19th, CCBC will present ‘Beyond the Song’- an opportunity for friends, enemies, and a few stragglers you just point and wave at because you can’t recall their names, to experience music as an act of gracious stewardship that glorifies the Lord.
Music as an art form builds and blesses when the objective is God. For many first-time witnesses to this experience it is the equivalent of being single while having dinner with newlyweds…EVERYTHING is inspiring…EVERYTHING is selfless as two people live in a perpetual state of courtship. And so it is by artists chosen by God to publicly share the fruits of their gifts in such a way that it is evident that the courtship between me and my Savior is inspiring, selfless, and ultimately pleasing to Christ.
The funny element in all of our progressive self-assessment is that we are not different at all from those audiences in the New Testament that Christ and His apostles addressed; we still demand signs [I Corinthians 1:22]. The naysayers are always quick to point out God, who is consequently immutable, using an ass to speak to Balaam… Has He changed? Why doesn’t He do that anymore?
God hasn’t changed and, if you simply turn on the TV, there are no shortage of ‘asses’ being used by the Lord even today to communicate His truth. As a matter of fact, tell your naysaying associate that you know of an ‘ass’ that is bald, with a big goatee, wears a suit with no shoes and will be performing at CCBC on Friday, November 19th , as part of an event called ‘Beyond the Song’.
If after the show they are still looking for a donkey…I’ll be happy to explain.
by Ezra BoggsTags: Art/Culture