Jun 19, 2009

"Christian" Music

UPDATED with the Creed songs Kristi mentioned in her comment, and the MewithoutYou song Jennifer linked.

I don't listen to much "Christian" music in the official sense of the word. But I've found quite a few songs that have what I think are Christian themes or messages in their lyrics. Granted, some of them might be a stretch or a little abstract, but I think they're at least mediocre examples of finding God's Truth in our world outside of official Christian Bible/Church/Tradition/Whatever. Here we go ...

Life is Beautiful by Sixx:A.M.

The song as a whole is one of the most Christian non-Christian songs I've ever heard - both in overall theme and in specifics. The title and chorus is hopeful truth; I think Christians are somewhat unique in our degree of hope - for the world, each other, and all of life. And yet at the same time a lot of Christians have such a low view of living life, y'know?
"You can't quit until you try" reminds me of C.S. Lewis describing when reach the moment of "throwing up the sponge". "You can't live until you die" is almost a perfect modern expression of Romans 6:3-4, and I think paradox is a theme saturating the Christian message. "You can't learn to tell the truth until you learn to lie" is a summary of the "happy fault" of sin - that only by it have we experienced the overwhelming redemptive love of God. "A trail of blood to find your way back home" is exactly how Christ gave us God's redemptive love.

Somewhere I Belong by Linkin Park

The lyrics in this song speak for themselves, so I don't need to say much more than they do. Except maybe that this really struck a cord with me when I was first thinking about joining the Catholic Church - as that "somewhere I belong." I think when anyone hears this they can think of times where they've been screaming this as loud as Chester.

Hero by Chad Kroeger and Nickelback

I'm a huge Spider-Man fan, because I think everyone can relate to his humanity. At the same time, he's convicted with a huge social responsibility to help save the world. This song was the credits song for the first movie, and I think it sums up that sense of social justice and the need all Christians (should) feel about healing our world.

I also relate to the doubt of love - "love" is sometimes the incentive for some pretty heinous acts. I think as Christians we try to tap into *real* love more-so than any other group in the world. We have to love like Christ loved - the love of a hero.

Mad World by Gary Jules

In the same "social" vein as Hero, this song makes me think about all the time and effort and life we waste trying to make ourselves happy without love. It really is a mad world where we seem to run in circles - buying more and more things, or trying more and more counterfeit experiences to fill that void we all feel in ourselves. Trying to make ourselves feel good about ourselves - "running around like the idiots we are" as Lewis says - that we look right thru each other. Even teachers (or parents or others who are supposed to love us) seem more concerned with themselves that they don't see our real substance.

We've talked at Agora about people who use clothing or appearance to judge whether or not they want to talk to you. They may as well look right through you - they think you're not offering them anything they really want or need because you don't fit their profile of interests. How absurd is that? How common is it?

I can relate, in the funny way, to the "best dreams" notion - that being rid of this world is kinda sadly the best thing that can happen to us. When all these prefigures fall away and we finally embrace the "real."

Breathe by tr^ad

The lyrics to this song may as well be a post-modern Psalm. I think the questions it asks are exactly the questions our emerging generation are asking:

  • is this all I see?

  • will you wait for me while I struggle to breathe?

  • will you be there?

There are tons more, I'm sure. Anyone else have some favorite non-Christian Christian songs? Leave them in a comment and I'll embed them to this post if I can find them.

UPDATE: Here are the Creed songs Kristi mentioned in her comment, and the MewithoutYou song Jennifer linked.

Higher by Creed

Weathered by Creed

One Last Breath by Creed

In a Sweater Poorly Knit by MewithoutYou


Kristi said...

I'm a creed junkie. maybe becuase the depression and angst they sing about and with is something I relate to. But I love the song Higher, or Weathered, or Six Feet From the Edge.

Peter said...

I love looking for spiritual meaning in "secular" music ( I don't really believe "secular" exists...). As a youth ministry worker, I used to instruct the kids to bring in non-Christian music and tell me how God was speaking to them through it. "No Christian music allowed!" Some of them loved it. Some of them sent their parents after me.

luke said...

ooo, yeah. and that reminds me of more bands. this could probably be a regular feature on this blog. I'll get those creed songs and get them up here too.

Jennifer and Daniel said...

Have you ever listened to mewithoutYou? They're not exclusively Christian... but for me, someone who doesn't normally like "Christian" music... it's like a breath of fresh air.

They don't exist just to be a Christian counterpart to some secular pop music, they are truly original musicians - something that's rare in the industry.

Check out my favorite mewithoutYou song:


The lyrics are pretty awesome too.

luke said...

dang, my first impression is MewithoutYou has a very cool sound!! kinda like Flaming Lips - one of my favorite bands - and They Might be Giants. going to have to check them out.

also, Kristi has put me on a bit of a creed kick too. :)

Living A Liturgy said...

My husband just got me into mewithoutYou. I love their newest album, it's rich and awesome! We listened to it for hours straight one day. Very good stuff! My husband tells me that the lead singer was raised Muslim or something more Eastern but is now a Christian, but he has some Eastern leanings in his lyrics. It's very cool!