Ever since I made a concerted effort to explore the Christian music scene, and discover the “good music” that I knew was out there, I’ve been aware of the controversy of Christian love songs. Controversy? Yes, in between the awkward attempts and lame lyrics, there were a number of good sounding attempts (for their time), but I found, like many, they played on sophomoric sleight of hand with ‘God is my girlfriend’ lyrics. There are Christian songs that appear to easily swap out “Jesus” for “girl”, and vice versa, without harming the content in anyway. And if the lyrics stand on their own, some are so ambiguous as to cast doubt on who exactly is the subject of the love. Astoundingly, for a faith that holds love as the highest ethic and motive, there are woefully few good Christian love songs. Now, however, I think I’ve found a truly exemplary one: And, if you’re reading a blog like this, I’m sure you’ve heard it and probably already love it, too.
I’m not a frequent patron of clubs but apparently there’s a popular song making the rounds lately…
Titanium’s a great song, catchy, fantastic vocals, uplifting and inspiring, but I have a complaint: it’s wrong. It’s wrong in its statement and it’s wrong in its message.
It reminded me, by contrast, of a classic Thousand Foot Krutch song, Supafly…
While the former is a big club anthem hit, the latter is a small, eccentric, awkward, left field entry from a decidedly unmainstream and unhip Christian rock band – but Supafly gets it so right.
A few years ago, at one of our company’s Christmas parties, I was talking with two very pretty young ladies, who were the clubbing type, about their boyfriend woes and being unable to find a good man. I don’t know how wise I was then but I asked them a question, “Where do you find guys?” Clubs, was the answer, and I replied, “Well there’s your problem, what kind of guys are you expecting to find there?” There’s a lot of action at clubs and they’re going to attract most the type that are attracted to action for action’s sake. Somehow the conversation settled on recommendations from friends but, really, what I had in mind the whole time was this: the context of where you are defines the kind of people you’re going to meet.
I believed, and I still do, that the Christian has the foundation to truly love another person because they see them for who they really are – a soul, a spirit, God’s very own creation, His son or daughter.
But back to the songs in question. Listen to the lyrics of each. Titanium speaks of inner strength. Actually, more like an inner hardness – an unwillingness to admit personal hurt even if that’s what it actually is. Supafly, on the other hand, delves into the thoughts and actions of “dogs and cats” and, in what I consider its crowning and inspired insight, exposes the pretense,
You think ya somethin’ more ya so supafly,
To the fact you’re blind, you’re soft inside,
It’s hard for me to get this through to you,
To the fact ya blind, baby, blind, baby
To the fact you’re blind, you’re soft inside – that’s it. That’s it.
We like to think we’re strong. We like to think we’re invulnerable to the criticisms of others. We like to think a lot of things that aren’t true.
The truth is we’re weak. The truth is we’re broken and easily hurt. The truth is we try to hide the truth.
Supafly’s lyrics contain a reference to Psalms 34 that talks about our condition,
I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
Psalms 34:1-7, 15-20
We know that refuge is not found within ourselves. We might not know yet where help is, but God, who created Heaven and Earth, and knit you together in the womb, He’s calling to you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; \ Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing: \ For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; \ His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate, \ On earth is not his equal.
Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I have a serious faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross but they know also that I haven’t regularly gone to church in a number of years. I don’t have anything against church. I’m sure my absence is due to a few psychological issues and not finding a church that “clicked.” Well, this past Sunday I attended Bayfair in Pickering for the second time in as many weeks. The praise and worship was good. The pastor turned out to be quite biblically sound and much deeper than I thought he was before. But what happened in the closing hymn was something that I have rarely felt.
The (very) young worship team leader introduced the hymn as a very old one, 500 years old “but still good”. That hymn was A Mighty Fortress is our God (lyrics; youtube). Surprisingly, the young worship team sang through all of the verses and delivered excellently. The result was two hundred or so believers singing powerful doctrine together in unity. You could sense something special was occurring right then and there.
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.