I just listened to a new CD. It was from a man I met on a plane and we ended up realizing we had a mutual friend. Then I found out this new person was a Christian. And a musician. We had a fantastic conversation and as we de-planed, he handed me one of his CD’s. I was excited. The guy seemed legit and really to love God and he was a professional musician, so I figured the CD would probably be good.
Oh how wrong I was.
It was awful. Worse than awful. One of the songs actually spelled out J-E-S-U-S-C-H-R-I-S-T which wouldn’t be so bad if I was five and learning how to spell. But I’m about 30 years over that and take no interest is spelling words in songs unless it's T-to the A-to the S-T-E-Y TASTY from Fergie. That’s as elementary as I’m gonna get. Fergie and her posse are great song writers. And they’re not writing for Jesus. But people like my new plane friend are. They have the Spirit of the Creator God LIVING within them but their music suuuuuuuuuuuucks.
Why is that?
I think it’s a combination of laziness and somehow thinking that your elementary stabs at music composition are worthy enough to be shared. They’re not. Keep them to yourself, like your prayers and journal entries and all the things you share with God but are for the two of you, not anything anyone else wants to hear.
It truly made me sick when I heard this guy’s CD. And what made matters worse was I had just received an unpolished copy of another friend’s new song he just wrote and my God it blew the doors off my mind. It was gorgeous. It was riveting. It was beautiful and thought provoking. My friend wasn’t out to preach, he was out to express. And maybe that’s another problem with Christian music. It’s often born from a place of sending a message than an expression of Spirit. Because if you’re really in tune with the Spirit, He’s not gonna tell you to write some shitty lyrics and put it to shitty chords and spend hundreds of dollars recording in a studio to then spend hundreds more dollars to produce these CDs and pass them out to people. Why do we Christians think that if you stamp the word GOD on your work it’s somehow blessed? It’s not. Shit is shit. You wanna call is GODSHIT, it’s still shit. I’m sorry, but I get really angry at this kind of laziness when it comes to Christians and the arts. Most worship music in church is lazy. Lazy lyrics, lazy composing, lazy arranging. Lazy. Uninspired. Seriously. If my husband or boyfriend were to come to me with lyrics like:
You are so good to me
I love you so much
You are so awesome
Thank you for loving me
And then repeat it 18 times, I would not be impressed. Maybe if my 5 year old did that, but not my 25 or 35 or 45 year old paramour.
And do you think I’d be impressed if he then decided to sing me this poem every few weeks? Would I get excited about that? I already heard it the first time and it sucked. Why would I want to hear it again? Does my boyfriend have nothing new to say to me?
When I drive in my car, do I listen to the same music every day? No, I don’t. And when a radio station keeps playing the same song over and over again, I get annoyed and find another station.
All these questions are rhetorical and we of course would say no to all of them, yet this is exactly what we do to God every effing Sunday:
I don’t wanna be I don’t wanna be a casual Christian
I don’t wanna live I don’t wanna live a lukewarm life
I just wanna light up the night with everlasting light
I don’t wanna live a casual Christian life
Ugh barf vomit shoot me in the face. Those lyrics are the worst. THE WORST. Using my lover analogy, that song can be translated into:
I don’t wanna be I don’t wanna be a casual husband
I don’t wanna have I don’t wanna have a lukewarm wife
I just wanna light up our life with everlasting fun times
I don’t wanna live a casual family life
Oh. My. God. How dumb is that? And yet, that’s exactly what we’re saying to God. All the while thousands of non-believers are out there creating the most magnificent art and moving people and hearts and ways that point to God. Or don’t point to God. But they’re moving people somewhere. Why are we crapping out on God? He deserves better than that.
i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which I will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh...And eyes big love-crumbs,
and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you quite so new
i like my body by E. E. Cummings
That’s a poem. That’s a song. That’s Song of Solomon material. Hell, let’s SING Song of Solomon during church. That’d be appropriate. That’d be poetic and lovely. That’s worship. That’s praise. That’s expression. Don't tell me E.E. Cummings wasn’t worshipping something when he wrote that. My God it’s beautiful and erotic and sexy and amazing. God deserves no less tantalizing or pondering worship from His worshippers. Didn’t the lady at the well say the true worshippers will worship in Spirit and Truth? We got the truth down with our lyrics at church – let’s please let the Spirit come in and bring something truly beautiful and profound. And worshipful.