Musing on Music

1 Jack 1.8 “I hate money, and I hate music. No matter what you do, you’re wrong.” That is why I love this quote from the Narnia guy: contemporary-Christian-music
“The first and most solid conclusion which (for me) emerges is that both musical parties, the High Brows and the Low, assume far too easily the spiritual value of the music they want. Neither the greatest excellence of a trained performance from the choir, nor the heartiest and most enthusiastic bellowing from the pews, must be taken to signify that any specifically religious activity is going on. It may be so, or it may not.”
(Clive Staples) C. S. Lewis

Rocketman Rambling…

Rsight

I have always been a fan of Elton John’s music.elton-john-t

Thus I did watch “Rocketman.” I enjoyed the movie, loved the music, and felt the producer/writer handled both John’s slide into addiction and his homosexuality with dramatic expertise and tact.

The Russian powers-that-be apparently did not; as they heavily redacted the movie and any scenes dealing with John’s sexuality.

Elton then tweeted, “I am proud to live in a part of the world where our governments have evolved to recognise the universal human right to love whoever we want.”

I ask you to keep in mind that, yes, because I am a follower of Christ and strive to adhere to His Word, I am convinced homosexual behavior is sin (as is extramarital sex; premarital sex, sex-with-a-dog). I also grieve at the millions of dollars that were, in my mind, wasted fighting the legalization of same-sex marriage. I’ll never understand why missionaries suffered, others died of hunger, and so many other needs went unmet while professing Christians spent so much money fighting spiritual battles with man’s tools.

At any rate, I find a couple phrases in Elton’s statement informative.

“…our governments have evolved…” Interesting choice of words. Evolved from believing in truth to believing in “truth as you see it,” or, worse, “there is no truth.”

“….the universal human right to love whoever we want.”

Here it gets murky because too many American Christians confuse their kingdoms.

Sure, I pledge allegiance to the US, often gritting my teeth. But that is far below my allegiance to the King of Kings.

America is not now nor ever has been a “Christian” nation (whatever that is). Sure, we used to generally subscribe to “judeo-christian ethics” etc…but America has never had a Christian majority in governmental power (nor should it).

So “rights” get a bit murky. As a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, I have no rights. I am bought with a price. I am no longer my own.

This would be true were I Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese or any other category.

As an American citizen I recognize a core value is freedom. Freedom to worship as I please, if at all.

I am in the camp that concurs government can not legislate morality; primarily because “morality” is a fluid word defined differently by different people.

So I type again that Christians have no rights. Non-Christians have the “right” and “freedom” (under the hand of God’s sovereignty) choose sin (I know, I know, they are slaves of sin, held captive by sin, can’t help but sin {just as we Christians all were}).

And Scripture is clear (though the professing church isn’t) of the destiny of all who pursue their “rights.”

So I pray often for Elton. For Ellen. For abortion supporters and abortionists.

Yes….they are cosmic rebels against our holy God.

Just like I was…

Memory is Weird

The other day, in a random discussion of hymns and spiritual songs, a memory popped into my aging grey matter.

It was a remembrance of a great concert by Whitney Phipps back at a Kansas City Youth For Christ Dinner Concert; probably between 1979 and 1982. He is a spectacular singer with a marvelous speaking voice; and I vaguely remember being very impressed.

But…suddenly…I had a vivid memory of Whitney telling what he felt was the story of the tune for “Amazing Grace.”

So I looked it up on youtube..and, gratefully, there it was.

No, this isn’t (I don’t think) a recording of the KCYFC event..but I’m sure it is close if not spot on…

Turn up your speakers and enjoy both the story and the song:

Heavenly…

First Jack One Nine (some day I shall actually number my jackisms): “I hate money and I hate music…no matter what you do, you’re wrong.”

BUT…I don’t think anyone will yell at me for posting this…”Discovered” these guys a few months ago…did a bit of research to make as sure as I could that they are not “whacked” (as are a few of the “favorites” these days…). They aren’t; and they are great.

And their music is saturated with the gospel; honoring to the Lord; beautiful to the ear; and encouraging to the heart.

Exhibit “A”:

So, what do you think?

I Love The Song…But…

Zach Williams has a great voice!

I love his song, “Fear Is a Liar.”

If you are not familiar with it, here it is:

What’s my “but” about?

I wish he’d written, “Satan is a liar.” (perhaps one of the reasons he did not is because there exists a song by that name, though not hugely popular)

Since Williams personifies “fear,” it’s easy to suppose he meant Satan…

But…

“Fear” is not a bad thing…particularly “fear of the Lord” which is, of course, “…the beginning of wisdom…”

Please know, I am not hammering Zach…I want to see him in concert!

Just expressing a preference.

What do you think?

 

 

Woke Up This Morning with my mind…

Many years ago I attended my first “Cathedrals” concert.

I did not want to go. I knew they were “country.” This was not at the top of my list of enjoyable music…

But I had to go. I was on staff of Family Life Ministries/Network; and we were hosting them at a venue in Elmira, NY.

Got there early, but as it was a “union house” we Family Lifers couldn’t help unload and set up. So I just stood around (I really love having nothing to do).

One of the union guys was basically a curtain-puller. As I said “hi” to him he gruffly replied, and I smelled the booze on his breath.

A bit later the Cathedrals did a sound check. Ernie Haase was new to the group (as mentioned, this was a long time ago…maybe at least 20  years?). The rest of the singers left, but Ernie stuck around with the sound techs.

I had to go to one of our vehicles, and as I returned I came back stage and discovered Ernie sitting next to the aforementioned curtain-puller, with his left arm around the guys shoulders, as his right hand held a pocket New Testament. Ernie was sharing the gospel.

My immediate thought?

“I don’t give a flying rip what you sing in what style, I’m a huge fan of at least one Cathedral.”

During the concert they sang this song…the song that was in my head as I woke this Tuesday morn.

Memories. At least two of the Cathedrals are dead. Ernie has his own group (Signature Sound?) I’m no longer on Family Life staff.

But…oh, what a Savior!

EVERYone is “wonderfully made”…and..”forgetting those things that are behind and straining forth…”

As anyone who knows me or reads my facebook knows, I am obsessed with the sound track of “The Greatest Showman.”

I took my bride to see the movie, doing the sacrificial husband thing. In my mind any movie without tenseness and/or body count is not worth seeing.

Though I thought I’d sleep through part of the movie, I thoroughly enjoyed it…

But..like so many others, I’m absolutely enthralled by the soundtrack; particularly by two songs.

“This Is Me” has, unfortunately, been adopted by the GLBTetc crowd; apparently to complement “Born This Way.”

I’d like to change a couple words, but the song and lyrics are great in and of themselves.

Here it is, direct from the film:

The other song is “From Now On.” I don’t think I’m the only Jesus-follower who immediately thinks of “…forgetting those things that are behind and straining for the things that are ahead..” when the music is heard. The song flat preaches.

Here it is with the lyrics:

And here it is from the movie (with Japanese subtitles; I can’t locate another one)

And, finally, here is a clip from the “greenlight” session when the cast was presenting the music before the money guys…and Hugh Jackman, who had just had throat surgery, was NOT supposed to sing…he couldn’t be silent…