God’s Not Dead, He Is Surely Alive…but, What About Contemporary Christian Music?
EDIT April 15, 2014: This post is generating a lot of views since the release of the movie “God’s not Dead.” While I stand by my premise that CCM is on the whole rather shallow, if I had written this now, instead of two years ago, I probably would have taken a different approach. Spoiler alert – this has nothing to do with the movie 🙂
The last song I heard this morning before exiting the minivan for work was “God’s Not Dead.” By the Newsboys. It is quite catchy and has been stuck in my head all day…ALL DAY!!! All day I was humming and singing it. The song is true in sense…God is not dead, that much we all agree on as Christians. But as I sang this song, I thought it was quite shallow. In fact, ANY person could sing this song, Christian or not… any person, except the atheist I suppose.
The only real scriptural reference in the song is to Hosea 11:10 “They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west.” And even with this short reference to an obscure passage in the Old Testament… I am not entirely sure what that verse has to do with the premise of this song. Let’s read the lyrics:
Let love explode And bring the dead to life A love so bold To bring a revolution somehow
Now I’m lost in your freedom And this world I’ll overcome
(Chorus x 2) My God’s not dead. He’s surely alive. He’s living on the inside. Roaring like a lion. My God’s not dead.
Let hope arise
And make the darkness hide
My faith is dead
I need a resurrection somehow
Now..Now I’m lost in your freedom
Now..And this world I’ll overcome
Chrous x 2
He’s roaring He’s roaring He’s roaring like a lion. He’s roaring He’s roaring.
Let Heaven roar. And fire fall. Come shake the ground with the sound of revival.
Let Heaven roar and fire fall. Come shake the ground with the sound of revival…
Chrous x 2
He’s roaring. He’s roaring. He’s roaring like a lion…Roaring like a lion.
Yes, my God is not dead. Yes I pray for “revival” that is I pray for Gods spirit to move in the hearts and lives of all people, both inside and outside of the Chruch. This song intruigued with this verse …“my faith is dead, I need a resurrection somehow.” But it never carries on with the line of thought. What is it that will resurrect my dead faith?
Ok. I admit this is not a “worldly song,” it mentions God, it mentions faith …but is this really a Christian song? In my estimation it is not. There is no mention of Christ, of sacrifice…of the resurrection, of sin or redemption or our response of thankfulness. The song is catchy, very catchy…and I readily admit that I would sooner let my children listen to this than to the popular music of today, it is surely better than the sex-focused, party music you will find on the “top 40” stations.. But… this is not a Christian song.
Let me clarify, we cannot expect to learn the whole counsel of God in one song. Imagine how long the song would have to be! 🙂 However, for a song to be “Christian,” it must, at minimum, present the gospel to some degree, and it must glorify God. The last song I really remember on “Contemporary Christian Radio” that presented us the gospel was “Glorious Day” by Casting Crowns. I am sure there have been others, but none as “popular” as this. Let’s review the lyrics. Notice how exceedingly different these lyrics are from the previous song:
One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a Virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed
(Chorus) Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him
The grave could not keep Him from rising again
One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my beloved one bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine
This is a Christian song. The only thing I would change perhaps is the focus on our selves when singing it. ( but then it would not rhyme 🙂 ) Jesus did not come just for me, but for you and me, all his covenant children.
At the end of the day, I do enjoy the Newsboys song, and I would let my kids listen to this song, and to Christian radio, rather than to popular radio. To answer my question…no, christian music of today is not dead, but it is on the whole rather shallow. I just want a return to the gospel in Christian music, I want truth in my music…so stop trying to be like the world…please?
I have had a few requests to where these songs can be heard; here a some links: