Sunday, November 14, 2010
Mercy Me: A Concert Review And Voicing The State Of "Contemporary Christians Music"
My wife and I attended a concert by Mercy Me here in Paducah last week. All in all it was a good concert, but had three noticeable (and questionable) moments.
The first was the opening song, started acapella by lead singer, Bart Millard. If you did not who sang the song originally then you might think this could have been on any current CCM release. That is a scary thought in itself and is one proof of the state of “Christian” music these days. The song was “Revolution” by the Beatles. Presumably the song was supposed to coincide with the “Mr. Lovewell” theme of Mercy Me's newest CD, “The Generous Mr. Lovewell”. The basic concept, as described during the concert by Millard, is to just “do good” and to “spread the spirit of Jesus” around in all that you do, no mention of why you would be doing these random acts of kindness, just do them. This is somehow supposed to illicit a moral consciousness in those that you perform good works for and to, but don't say anything about why you are doing them, just let the “good” works make changes in people.
The next hiccup was when they started talking about doing a song from the 80s. The setup lasted almost as long as the song and was filled with “if you don't like it, just sit back and pretend you do”. The song, by Tom Petty, was “Won't Back Down”. The same with the opening number, it could be put on 90% of the current CCM offerings and no one would raise a fuss. The song is pretty much about standing up to anyone that gets in your face or does something you do not like. Once again, presumably, the song is supposed to be equated with taking a stand against Satan at the “gates of hell”.
The last questionable moment was with their rendition of “Where The Streets Have No Name” from none other than U2. I have previously written about U2 and their appeal to “Christian” artists. It seems that everyone just accepts that U2 are Christians simply because they have a spiritual essence to their music at times. Of course, no one ever looks at their lifestyles, the fruit they bare, the other songs they make they promote sin or the ecumenical flavorings of Bono.
I guess my biggest gripe with Mercy Me and any other band that plays Christian music is why don't they just play Christian music? Why make it about secular music? Why not play songs that glorify God? There are a lot of good songs by a lot of other professing Christian artists that could be played instead of placing a stumbling block in front of a young Christian or someone that may be just starting their walk to knowing Christ. These hindrances of promoting sinful musicians and their sinful songs needs to be stopped and those that promote them need to either repent and stop playing them or change their genre of music. But this is what happens when a slippery slope is tread on. Things get muddled some, slide back a little – next group (or person) do something a little further out and more sliding. This continues through the years until the slope has been made very slick, no one can seem to get a firm footing and eventually things like playing “Highway To Hell” on Easter Morning happen (read post on this here).
Why would any band that professes Christ want to cause confusion? I believe this is a 1 Corinthians 8 issue, when Paul says that he will not eat meat if it causes a brother to stumble. How many people are stumbling back into sinful music, followed by sinful lifestyles because they see other prominent, professing Christians doing things like this? Here's how it goes - “Mercy Me played those songs in concert, the bands they played must be okay to listen to then. Hey if these are okay to listen to why not these other bands? If the bands music is okay, then their lifestyles must be okay too, since Mercy Me endorses their music, they must be endorsing their lifestyles.” And so the slippery slope is slid down like a kids Slip and Slide filled with Dawn dish detergent. The damage is done and if this person were not a true believer they will probably be even harder to reach now. Much damage is done and we see the effects of it daily as those that seek for righteousness and promote Christian/ Biblical values are degraded by others that profess to be Christians as well.
So, where does this end? When will these groups stop playing these types of songs? I have no idea if it ever will as the “judge not” mentality is spreading like cancer through the Body of Christ. I am going out on a limb here, but I would say that anyone that, after hearing the dangers of these types of actions, continues to promote, condone and play part in them probably does not have the Spirit within them. How could they if they know of the dangers to believers and the hindrances caused by such actions to those seeking God? Is it possible for a person who’s spirit bares witness with The Spirit not feel convicted for this? I think it would be very hard to persuade me that it is possible.
I am sure that there are those that are currently ignorant of their actions, because they have been force fed a steady dose of easy believeism for many years, they are still babes, but it is time they put the milk aside and start eating solid food, the True Word of God. Any true child of God has to grow in holiness, it is impossible to not. Is it possible for a baby to stay a baby it's whole 70+ years of existence? No! Then why do people want to make excuses and say that Christians radically changed by the God and Creator of the Universe will never grow either? It is against physical nature and it is against Spiritual nature.
In closing I would like to just offer the Word of God, by way of the Apostle Paul why imprisoned for declaring the Truth of the Lord -
Ephesians 4:14-24 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Before anyone starts calling for my head or calling me a Pharisee, please read a former post of mine about jundgmentalism. Also, I believe that while a Christian has liberty to listen to what ever they want to, drink whatever they want to, say whatever they want to and eat whatever they want to – that liberty should not be trampled upon. Doing so shows the true state of ones heart, that they may be using the Grace of God as a footstool to their sinful behaviors. I do not think someone that listens to Tom Petty is going to hell because they listen to Tom Petty, but the enjoyment of that form of worldly entertainment is evidence of their spiritual condition. Take heed professing Christian and examine yourself to see what your true standing is - 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
Also along these same lines is the acceptance of Glenn Beck and Mormonism by professing Christians. See this post for a little insight, especially as the Christmas Season approaches and "The Christmas Sweater" will be making its rounds again.