X Fest Comes to the Northwest...

A visitor to my blog recently asked if I would be willing to post some information on a Christian rock concert he's promoting. I said, "of course," so here's the information...

I must confess that I continually struggle with the place Christian music has in my life and what sentiment I hold for it. While I grew up with artists like Keith Green and Michael Card, I find the industry of Christian music to be often-frightening. Commercialism rules out and we look like the money-making-machines of American consumer culture that we often are.

Furthermore, I don't like the implication "secular vs. Christian" entertainment makes, which ghettoizes Christian-run industries and implies moral superiority. It also leads to a rejection of a lot of wonderful, prolific, vibrant art that is not tagged with a "Christian-friendly" sticker.

On the other hand, as with a concert like X Fest, or with my passionate friends in Falling Up, or with other great bands like Caedmon's Call and Jars of Clay, there is a place for them, we need them, and I'm thankful for them. I just hope we learn balance. I also wish we could understand that Christian concerts are rarely effective evangelism anymore. I've been to plenty, and I don't see any new converts... I do see a lot of "re-dedications."

Like an inspiring sermon, Christian music can teach us and move us to action.


Harlequin said...

One word... Evanescence! Alice Cooper for another!

Theyre are Christians, without being in one's face over it. The music is moral without being preachy, and above all is good.

I'm grizzled and ancient enough to remeber stryper :(

2Pete said...

Ha ha, I remember Stryper! Sad.

I immediately think of artists like Lauryn Hill, Bob Dylan and Bono...

Sometimes I have nightmares about Petra. I wake up in cold sweats and for a few minutes think it's 1985.

HCJoel said...

There is no Christian music. Music is not a sentient being. Only people can be Christian or not. Music is a gift from God, as are all good things (e.g. food, drink, sex, arts). If we choose to use it properly or misuse it, that doesn't change the beauty of music itself.

Harlequin said...

It's an genre, like Country. If Virgin and HMV both have sections for it, it exists. Time-Life sell multivolume compilations, which are truely the stuff of nightmare. Those well enough executed, for what seem to be live albums, its just that the lyrics are... well... painful.

Another artist who is Christian and I like is Beth Neilsen Chapman. Met her once. Absolutely lovely lady. Look at the lyrics of 'I Find Your Love' and tell me its not the most lovely hymn you've seen?

I'll catch your smile on someone's face
Your whisper in the wind's embrace
Through diamond stars and songs and dreams
I find your love in everything

The sun, the sky, the rolling sea
All conspire to comfort me
From sorrow's edge life's beauty seems
To find your love in everything

I've come to trust the hope it brings
To find your love in everything
Even as I fall apart,
Even through my shattered heart

I'll catch your smile on someone's face
.....amazing grace

2Pete said...

Love the lyrics. Course, I went to a Nazarene Church in Highschool. The Pastor's wife would have said the lyrics are subverted by Pantheism, New Age and Nature Worship. God forbid we appreciate His Creation.

HCJoel said...

To Harlequin... Since when do major record stores define music? They certainly don't stock most of the artists that I enjoy. Does that suggest they are not truly artists? Music stores and magazines (particularly those in the mainstream) usually pander to the lowest common denominator. We like clearly marked lines. "I listen to metal. That's all. If it's not in the 'metal section' at Tower, it's not cool." How poor and sad a definition of music that would be.
Like I said, people are Christians, music is not. Do you wash your hands with Christian soap? Flush your Christian toilet? Cook with Christian garlic? Drive a Christian car? No, because they do not have a relationship with Jesus. The artists may or may not be Christians but music is still music. Unless you would like an 'agnostic' or 'Buddhist' section at the local record shop. Then that's fine. Of course, no one thinks that way.

Anonymous said...

I'm always careful to only drink Christian scotch, and you know it's Christian when it fills you with Holy Peace AND a smokey, peaty aftertaste. This would be the opposite of Michael Jackson's apostate "Jesus Juice."

Harlequin said...

'Christian' music is stuff that rattles one about Jesus and well you know it, you rapscallion. :D Usually has folks with their hands in the air on the cover. I'm afraid it is a genre, many artist characterising themselves as Christian this or that. following you logic, I would assume there is no such thing as classical music, or gonzo journalism :D

FYI, my local MVC has, in the 'World Music section', Buddhist (usually Tibetans in Nepal, muttering things in seismic voices), Hindu (some chanting, sometimes lots of sitars) and Sufi (usually a haunting wailing chant, often with drums)

Agnostic music would b a limited genre... how many times and ways can you sing 'I don't know'.

Atheist music would probably be a little more varied,perhaps someone should suggest it to James Randi and his flange of trained sceptics... :D One imagines it would sound somewhat like the Sex Pistols at the

BNC is actually a pre-Vatican 2 RC. Her album, "Hymns", being a collection of Latin hymns. I recommend it unreservedly, 1) its lovely, 2)its saved some beautiful songs form obscurity. Her next album is a collection of songs of faith from different cultures, so there's Christian and a whole lot more

J.Peter said...

There are many ways to use a word. "Christian" refers to a follower of Christ. Followers of Christ can sing to God, write lyrics that uphold God, encourage His people, speak about justice, truth, love, sacrifice, and mix in a healthy dose of adoration and praise. Because these words point to the Word, they can be termed "Christian" in a way that speechless, voiceless soap, cars, deodorant, toilets and garlic do not acknowledge God. However, I suppose that one could make an argument for "Christian food (especially bread)" and "Christian wine" since those things are in the Bible, and part of the sacraments.... Like, Christian Brothers Port wine. Whenever I drink Port I buy Christian Brothers. Say, that sounds like a great idea...Gotta run....

2Pete said...

Peter, I need to drink Port with you sometime. I confess I have not-yet developed a taste for it, and my wife recently swore off all spirits for health reasons.

Metacrock said...

This was probably before you time, and not your kind of music. But did you ever hear of Larry Norman? I met him once. wonder what happened to him?

Anonymous said...

I love Keith Green!
KG's music has influenced me more than anything else on the planet almost. I have listened to him for so long. He has also influenced me as a musician, to be very honest and real in my lyrics. Actually, I'd be honored if you'd check out my music on my site. Its very, "Keithish."
Thanks for posting,
"All of my music is free for download."

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