April 18, 2014

Being a Christian

So I really never really like to talk religion on this blog, but why not try it once?

A lot of the music I listened to in high school was Christian bands. I realized some people thought I was weird but then I would just open their eyes to the fact that it does not mean they are singing about God and some of their mainstream artists are/were signed by Christian labels.

In 2004 (when I was in high school) Jon Foreman the lead singer for Switchfoot gave the best answer ever for the question: why doesn't Switchfoot strictly play Christian songs? Here is what he said:

“To be honest, this question grieves me because I feel that it represents a much bigger issue than simply a couple SF tunes. In true Socratic form, let me ask you a few questions: Does Lewis or Tolkien mention Christ in any of their fictional series?  Are Bach’s sonata’s Christian?
What is more Christ-like, feeding the poor, making furniture, cleaning bathrooms, or painting a sunset? There is a schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds. The view that a pastor is more ‘Christian’ than a girls volleyball coach is flawed and heretical.
The stance that a worship leader is more spiritual than a janitor is condescending and flawed. These different callings and purposes further demonstrate God’s sovereignty. Many songs are worthy of being written. Switchfoot will write some, Keith Green, Bach, and perhaps yourself have written others.
Some of these songs are about redemption, others about the sunrise, others about nothing in particular: written for the simple joy of music. None of these songs has been born again, and to that end there is no such thing as Christian music. No. Christ didn’t come and die for my songs, he came for me. Yes. My songs are a part of my life. But judging from scripture I can only conclude that our God is much more interested in how I treat the poor and the broken and the hungry than the personal pronouns I use when I sing.
I am a believer.
Many of these songs talk about this belief.
An obligation to say this or do that does not sound like the glorious freedom that Christ died to afford me. I do have an obligation, however, a debt that cannot be settled by my lyrical decisions. My life will be judged by my obedience, not my ability to confine my lyrics to this box or that.
We all have a different calling; Switchfoot is trying to be obedient to who we are called to be. We’re not trying to be Audio A or U2 or POD or Bach: we’re trying to be Switchfoot. You see, a song that has the words: ‘Jesus Christ’ is no more or less ‘Christian’ than an instrumental piece. (I’ve heard lots of people say Jesus Christ and they weren’t talking about their redeemer.)”
Perfect.

6 comments:

  1. I think his answer is excellent. I think there's times to speak openly and specifically about faith and use the terms of Scripture...but at ALL times it's about living your faith, in normal, everyday ways.

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  2. To this day Michael W. Smith is one of my favorite musicians, and favorite pianist. Its all about being who you are, not who someone wants you to be.

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  3. Wow, love that story-- that's such a good answer to that question! I can only imagine by Mercy Me has been one of the most influential songs in my life.

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  4. That is a great answer!! I love this!!! I miss your face!!

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