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Christian rock is bad. Over and over I hear this statement. How? If the children are listening, how can it be bad? The medium can not be bad, only the message. The methods that Jesus used to spread His message were not approved by the elders. But the message got spread. And that is what counts. No matter how good the message, if no one hears it...........
A personal view. My son dutifully went to church. That was it, a duty. He heard the songs, he heard the words, but not the message. Along comes a girl that introduces him to Christian rock. They start going to Christian concerts. I think a much better place than most offered by a city. Slowly I realize it is he that is bringing up religious conversations. No longer am I just his dad trying to teach moral views, we are discussing common ground, music. I listen to his music and he to mine. Old country, gospel, blues, and early rock. Through them all I trace how much religion there was in this music and the influences it had on me.
We talk of Elvis, and how he was vilified. A man that got lost, but a soul that never strayed. How Elvis had to fight to record gospel. How he sang it every night he could gather musicians around, and how if anyone ever listened to Elvis sing "Precious Lord", "In the garden", or "He touched Me" they would know that this was a man of religion trying to maintain grace in a world where his body was troubled.
We talk of the blues. How it was labeled the devils music, and how some of it was God's music, How the number one song of 1927 was "Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground", an instrumental by Blind Willie Johnson. How that today most have forgotten the song but back then everyone knew the words. He didn't need to sing them. How this blues man was actually a singer and preacher for the lord all his life.
We talk of Johnny Cash, The Carter Family, and old Country music. The trials of life. The sustainment of song.
We talk of folk music, the music of Commies and strikers. We talk of Woody and his son Arlo Guthrie. How Woody's life was definitely not a poster child for Christianity but how he still was able to pen a portrait of "Jesus Christ" in song. Of how a pot smoking Hippie could write "Last Train" and turn his life into a mission of support and caring.
Youth may listen and even remember what we say as parents, but they will never understand the message until they have heard it from others, in their language, in their world. Until they have felt the power we have felt in song and word, it is just that, words, not The Word.
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