I’ve always liked lyrics to be explicit – not explicit in the Eminem sense, but I like to know exactly what the singer is talking about. I don’t like using my imagination when I listen to music. It’s all I can do to understand all of the lyrics and not botch them when I’m singing alone or with my wife in the car. She has caught me many times singing the wrong words, and she has laughed at me every time. So I don’t need to be figuring things out.
What used to really burn me up inside was when I would listen to a Christian rock song, and I knew they were talking about God, but it seemed vague enough that others may not get it. I was quite judgmental over this issue, but that was a direct result of being judgmental about all secular music (and all other things), as well. I decided as a young, misguided pharisee that listening to any form of secular music was a sin, and I wasn’t bashful about telling you (especially if you were my brother Dan). I will admit, though, to having had a secret admiration for Roy Orbison, even if he is lame. On a side note, I actually saw a Roy Orbison bumper sticker on the way home from church on Sunday.
Now it doesn’t really upset me. A lot of things no longer upset me that used to. You know what really helped me turn the corner, though? I went to a concert. I went to see Kutless, whose lyrics are unabashedly about God. A band that I wasn’t quite sure about at the time opened for them. The band was Thousand Foot Krutch – who I am excited to be seeing on 10/17! – and the reason I was unsure was because they seemed to keep it purposely vague. They seemed to have more fans than Kutless, which I immediately attributed to their watered down lyrics. Of course people like them, because they never say anything. Then their lead singer did say something. He gave one of the most heartfelt, compelling versions of the Gospel I had heard in a long time. He prayed, teenagers prayed, people accepted Jesus, and my Pharisaic heart of stone was broken.
They were reaching people who I wasn’t going to reach as an uptight youth pastor’s intern.
One last side note: happy one year anniversary to me! Today is exactly one year since I started on staff at KCC. How am I spending it? Well, I’m having an appreciation dinner and meeting with my children’s ministry staff. What else would I do to celebrate a great year than spend it with many of the people who helped to make it great?