Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Perhaps More People Need to Say "Too Much"


Warning

This post could cause Christian rioting.
Let's all pause for a moment and imagine
what that would look like...

I saw well dressed people hitting other
people with Jesus fishies and framed
Prayers of Jabez...what did you see?

You see...

I have a confession to make.

I despise Christian Radio.

Go ahead...pick out your stone to throw.

Then come back.

I've been trying to work through my feelings towards Jesus Radio Stations, but I guess like most things...it's a process...and I'm not done confessing my ill will towards them.

I'm sorry, but I've been boycotting Christian Radio since last year when the station I was listening to said this at Christmas time...

"Let's give this family a new couch, a tv, and some new toys for the kids to play with, so that they can feel the true meaning of Christmas."

And those silly people claim to be the station that's safe to listen to in the car with your kids.

They might as well have said a bad word on the radio...that statement was just as offensive to me. It took a long talk to replace the GARBAGE that just jumped out of the radio into my children's ears with some TRUTH.

I made the mistake of giving it another try on Monday.

As I drove around town, at one point, I actually thought...

"Should I just run my car into Wings N More and get it over with, or wait until I get home and stick my head in the oven?"

When I listen to Christian radio, I feel like such a loser...so alone...and sort of crazy, because I think to myself how a lot of what's being sung so beautifully either isn't really saying anything, doesn't make sense to me, or isn't even biblical...and yet...a million bajillion people think the words are just fine. Is there something wrong with me, God?"

I heard a song that said, "I've never doubted God."

Really?

Never?

Really?

Never ever?

Seriously?

You've never laid in your bed at night and wondered...

What if none of this is true?

You've never felt far from God?

Word to your mother, if that's true, then Aaron needs to quit his job, because his wife is a sick anomaly. We can't work for a church when I can't sing these songs. Then I start praying that God would make me be like a Christian Radio wife...and that He would give me prettier hands, with long nail beds...I figure I might as well ask for that while I'm at it.

So, you know why we like Ross' stuff?

We like it because it's real. It says what needs saying. It says what we are afraid to say because our Sunday School class might get really quiet and pray for us behind our backs.

Here's some of what I'm talking about...

I love the song Happy where Ross says in a lot of churches, no doubting or questioning is allowed.

We are uncomfortable with people who are doubting, or whose faith is weak.

Which means to me, no matter what we've seen Jesus do in our lives, doubting is probably going to come...and when it does, we can ask God to help us believe. The first time we hear them, some of the things that Jesus says, are going to sound too hard to do...too much...like He's nuts...the disciples thought so, why wouldn't I think that?

Why are there no songs that say, "Help me quit being a selfish jerk." "Help me love the person sitting next to me instead of hating her because her house is bigger than mine, her butt is smaller than mine and her husband cooks supper." "Help me to get out of Wal-Mart without losing my religion."

I also love that right in the middle of this new CD (or album, because that's what cool people call CD's) are songs about Ross' children and his wife, Staci. We need more of those songs too. How are we ever going to connect that God is so big, He's in everything...every relationship...every spoken word, every tone of voice if we leave all of that out while we're at church during worship? He is worthy of praise for making things like mountains and saving my soul...but He's just as worthy of praise for making marriage, making babies, making friendship, making laughter, making whoopie.

So I vote that more people should start saying too much about those things.

You know...

Get real...

And then put that to music.

That's what you'll hear on Friday night.

11 comments:

Kathryn, Michael & Alex said...

I would love songs with these kind of lyrics.

"God I am messed up and only You can help me, let me let You have the key. Open my heart and you will see worry, pride and anxiety"

But if we sing songs like this or listen to songs like this, it forces us to admit we need God to help us.

If we don't have them we can walk around with the notion of "ignorance is bliss" and that is SO wrong.

It is when start being transparent and start being real that God will heal us from the inside out.

Keep talking!!!

The Lourceys said...

I agree 100%.

I used to be scared of people who were doubting because I thought it was wrong and Christians just don't do that. Now I love it because they're the most real. They say things that the rest of us only think.

I think we should just start making up our own songs with the lyrics, "Help me quit being a selfish jerk." "Help me love the person sitting next to me instead of hating her because her house is bigger than mine, her butt is smaller than mine and her husband cooks supper." "Help me to get out of Wal-Mart without losing my religion."

I think it would be a hit because every Christian in the world can relate. I would definitely listen to it.

Oh and once again. I'm very sad I won't be there Friday night.

BHG & Co. said...

I have not listened to Christian radio in YEARS... and I don't miss it.

I had a similiar experience with the radio station you are talking about.

I agree that it is Christ-like and therefore in "the Christmas spirit" (whatever that really means) to give to others and meet physical needs. But we need to be careful how we say things.

I was listening to said station as they presented a need for toys and whatever else the particular need was and then said, "Let's provide Christmas for this family."

Es-cuse me? I remember a Christmas when we had no presents. none. Did it scar me? No. Did I not have "Christmas"? Of course we did. Even in an unbeleiving home we had a good day and we remembered Jesus' birth.

If we didn't tell our kids that Christmas is about getting about of stuff, then we could have Christmas every day, remembering the real message of Christmas: not that God gave so we should too (as true as that is), but that mankind was lost in sin so God in his compassion sent Jesus to ivade our world and transform our lives so that we could know him, sing his praises, and spread his fame.

Sorry... I'll get off my soapbox now. Just thinking about how we trivialize Christmas (even in churches and from pulpits) and make faith, love, and hope superficial... well, I want more. I am not satisifed with the superficial and the trivial. That doesn't change lives, and it doesn't impact the world, and it doesn't glorify a great God.

Sorry, again... no more soapboxes. I appreciate few musical artists who are real, Ross is one of them.

Imagine what would happen in churches if people could walk in, see real people with real faults dealing with real problems in the context of real community... wow.

We'll miss y'all Friday. Maybe we'll get to see you next month.

Hendrick Family said...

That's some stinkin good stuff, Bill.

We will miss you guys...but yes, I know we'll see you soon. Can't wait.

Heather

D.O. said...

umm... let us not neglect to mention the fact that the quality of music played on any given Christian radio station is, to put it delicately, terrible.

Oh, and cheesy. You can't not say cheesy.

Ross wrote a blog about Christian radio on his website like four years ago... go find it. You'll like it.

BrunerAbroad said...

I agree. Too much cheese, not enough truth. Derek Webb has caused some controversy with some of his songs, like saying it's a lie that "Jesus Christ was a white-middle class republican." That offends a lot of people. I'm almost afraid to say that right now. People might think I'm a bad Baptist for agreeing with him, and then they'll kick me out. But it's true - He wasn't. And it drives me crazy that radio stations won't play songs like that.

I love what Butch said (even thought I wasn't there) - the times when I've doubted have increased my faith. And the more I share my faith, the more I doubt. You know why? Because when I tell people that Jesus was God and that He died and then three days later rose from the dead, I hear these words coming out of my mouth and I think, "wow - that's crazy!" Yesterday I had the chance to tell someone, and as I was telling him about Christ raising from the dead, he looked at me like I was some kind of wacko telling him about aliens in my kitchen or something, and I said to him, "I know it sounds crazy, but I believe it with all my heart." And do I? Yes, I do - but that's not to say I never doubt. But the doubting leads me to search out the scriptures, to search my heart, to read books about how God reveals Himself in science, and then my faith is stronger. I love Matthew 9:23 when Jesus says, "everything is possible for him who believes" and the man responds, "I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief." There are so many times when I pray that to the Lord and He is faithful and responds. He always responds.

Wow, that was long. So yeah...thanks for sharing Heather.

the lewisi female said...

I have a great source for you! check out dirt poor robins... I think they are at dirtpoorrobins.com... they go to our church and are real life rock stars, I know b/c I went to the concert and couldn't hear for a day afterwards... but they have real talent and their whole CD is about people who are messed up and by the way... they are christians and their neighbors. Also our church just put out a cd called Before The Throne and you can listen to some of its songs at sojournmusic.com... they are sooo stinkin awesome... they are on sale for 5-10 bucks and I'd be willing to ship you one if you want!
I don't listen to christian radio either.

ps. my cousin Bobby Thompson is attending Living Hope... he's a cute freshman boy with blonde hair and blue eyes and he's super musically talented so if you guys could keep an eye out he needs to get involved!!

lisasmith said...

This post reminds me of Neil McClendon. Do you know him? He's a pastor in Houston now but used to travel and do camps and such. His ministry is Obed's House. You should find his website. He reads lots of stuff and quotes lots of secular songs and said a long time ago he quit listening to Christian music when "I know in heaven you're not supposed to cry but I sure I saw a tear in his eye" came out. You say lots of things that remind me of his preaching. He's authentic, the real deal. Find him. obedshouse.com

And yes, Kirby is seriously cute!

Bev Brandon said...

You have a Strength, Heather, that no one can dent, disrupt, or destroy...so I will always read your blog and love listening to your heart for Deut 18:18 - He puts His Words in your mouth and you are not afraid to speak them. And that is good! Who listens to Christian radio? It's so hard to swallow. Stained glass masquerade of the airwaves. I'll hop in or out if I can catch a song that is true...they seem to value the blessing of PRESENTS more than the blessing of His PRESENCE...my kids always saw right through it...there is a quote that comes to my mind though---from an ancient father or some person like that..."Everything leads us to God" so we can zoom in and zoom out on this moments where we can connect. I just love your thinking heart, your beating heart, your wondering heart, your beautiful heart. You're precious!

Nancy Mon said...

Laurie M in Houston got me hooked on your blog. I have been lurking the past several months and really enjoy your humor and your outlook. I love this post! I quit listening to Houston's Christian station years ago. When I can predict that Amy Grant's Father's Eye is going to be play about 10:15 every morning and Shackles at 12:30 it got to be too much. The morning banter just about drove me to Mormanism...no not really, but for the moment that sounded good. I began listening to Praise 92.1. The slogan used to be the station for African Americans and I would always say outloud and me. Cause I am a white girl on the outside, but black on the inside with Gospel music and praise and worship. Loves me some Ce Ce and Kirk.

Most of the time our praise and worship music is completely top 10. I have several pet peeves and one is singing How great is our God? Sing with me. Uh, I am already singing with you.

I am an oldie but goodie and some might think that I make these kind of comments because of my age. No Way! There are bad hymns and bad what used to be call Christian Comtempo.

I could comment more, but I have gone on too long. I will keep reading, growing from your wisdome and laughing with you on your blog.

Hendrick Family said...

Yay, Ms. Nancy!

I'm a black girl stuck in a white girl's body too.

When I get to heaven, I'm pretty sure I'll be black.

My dream is to sing "I've got a ticket...I've got a ticket...I've got a ticket to ride to the other side" in church.

Thanks for reading my blog. I'm going to come visit yours!

Heather