Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Dangerous CD

Back in the day I fell in love with a college band from Texas named Caedmon's Call after hearing them play an outdoor concert (at Duke of all places). I especially appreciated the lead guitarist, Derek Webb, and his songs on their CD's were always my favorite.

He has since left the band and has released 3 CD's, the latest of which is an amazing thing to listen to. "Mockingbird" is a challenge to the Church to be doers of justice and lovers of mercy, and challenges the fusing of the Christianity and politics.

Listening to this CD makes me very uncomfortable, and I happen to agree with much of what Derek says, so I can imagine how it might sit with someone on the other side of the fence. At a recent concert on a college campus, a full three rows of students walked out after he sang these lines from "A King and a Kingdom."

there are two great lies that i’ve heard:
“the day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die”
and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class republican
and if you wanna be saved you have to learn to be like Him

It's safe to say that you won't here his music on K-Love (Christian radio), and I think that it is a shame. The Christian subculture, from music to books, has become so homogenous in what is presented to us as good, there is little room made for a message like Derek's that might challenge the status quo. But why should we fear ideas and theology, especially from a fellow Brother in Christ, simply because it challenges our own belief system? Below are some more lyrics, but first a quote from Derek in the recent issue of Relevant magazine.

That said, Webb doesn’t believe that getting involved in social justice issues is an absolute requirement of faith. “I’ve heard too many of my brothers and sisters who also have a heart for Africa say, ‘ God is going to judge us based on how we respond to the emergency in Africa.’ But I believe that’s an outright lie. God has already judged and punished Jesus for the fact that we don’t love people well. That’s very good news, but it also calls us to be about the Lord’s business, which right now I believe is in Africa."

A New Law
don’t teach me about politics and government
just tell me who to vote for
don’t teach me about truth and beauty
just label my music

don’t teach me how to live like a free man
just give me a new law

i don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy
so just bring it down from the mountain to me

My Enemies Are Men Like Me
how can i kill the ones i’m supposed to love
my enemies are men like me
i will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
my enemies are men like me

(vs. 2)
peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication
it’s like telling someone murder is wrong
and then showing them by way of execution


iacntspell said...

The church has for large part given away it's spiritual relevance and power in exchange for political relevance and power. We couldn't handle feeling powerless in our ability to change the environment around us, so we gave up on waiting for Christ to do it and began to change it ourselves. We've exchanged morality for relationship because one is cheap and easy to identify while the other's boundaries are much more difficult to discern. If you're trying to organize a movement you need to know who's in and who's out, right? The world is dying for life and we give them a cheap imitation. Frankly, I'm ashamed to be identified with "The Church" because it's ideals seem to be so different from Jesus'. The ironic thing is this: people know. People know we're faking, they have an inate sense of it. This is the reason why non-christians are so pissed off by organized religion: they know they're being cheated out of something beautiful, something relevent to their lives, a remedy they have a deep yearning for. It makes me sick to think about it.... Enjoy the next voter registration at your nearest church.

Marshall said...

How do you really fell, Nick? :)

Marshall said...

I mean "Feel"

Burly said...

I can't believe that people think Jesus is a white, middle class Reblican, because he's not white.

Willis said...

Nice spotlight on Derek Webb, Marsh. We saw him last year here in Charleston in this great, intimate venue. And we get to see him this Thursday again in that great, intimate venue.

Definitely a good show to catch.