I went to a concert Friday night that has continued this train of thought on the simple life. A gracious church member offered up 2 tickets to see Casting Crowns (along with Leeland and John Waller). Being that Leeland is one of my son’s favorite bands; we accepted the tix and went to the show. Typically you wouldn’t catch me dead at a concert like this.
You see, I swore off contemporary Christian music (as most of us know it) back in the 90’s some time. Not sure there was a significant event, just an incremental drifting away. At some point I deemed it “lame” and my tastes shifted to more British pop, emo, and singer/songwriter – anything with a clever or deliberately ambiguous lyric. It was really more an effort to be interesting, hip and not predictable. After all, it’s rebellious to be a Christian and to not listen to Christian music right? It must be better art if I can’t understand it entirely or, if I have to contemplate it for days and weeks.
Over the last 10 years or so, many bands in the Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) genre jumped the bandwagon and pointed their sound in the direction of what is heard on popular public radio, MTV, etc.. – including the lyrics. Even some of today’s more popular worship artists use lyrics that bumfuzzle and confuse rather than clearly communicate.
As Christians, our primary responsibility is to reach a lost and dying world. God’s word is difficult enough to understand (not to mention being even more limited when translated into English) – so why in the world would we try to make the gospel any more difficult to understand?
Friday night as I listened to the lyrics of the bands at the show, something became clear to me – that the lyrics were CLEAR TO ME. There were no hidden meanings or perplexing phrases, just straight ahead “tell it like you see it” lyrics. You may not be a fan of the sound, but there was no doubt of what they were singing about. The lyrics even appeared on the screen behind them to clear any uncertainty.
It’s true that I turn 40 this year and this may well be an indication that I am a full-fledged, card carrying member of the “over the hill” club. I’m not sure that I’ll run out and download all the newest CCM stuff, but one thing is for sure, I am learning to have more of an appreciation for the simple things in life.