Like I was saying....

Too Christian?

I got this story from Rick’s blog about Derek Webb‘s new disc, She Can and Must Go Free. But it appears that a major chain of Christian Book stores have pulled the cd off of their shelves because the theology presented in the lyrics are too mature for teens and kids. To be honest, Derek does use some pointed words (such as referring to the Church as a whore), but when taken in context of the rest of the lyrics they are accurate. Again, visit the story, give it a read, and tell me what you think.

Derek Webb was a founding member of Caedmon’s Call and a great song writer. I was able to chat with him a little in Philadelphia at the National Youth Workers’ Convention a few years ago. Also, check out his wife, Sandra McCracken’s site as well. She’s gotten some great reviews at Grass Roots Music.

6 Comments

  1. Rhonda

    It is quite the debate. On one hand they lyrics are technically accurate, but the music is being marketed to an age group that does not have the cognitive skills to discern the deep symbolism. All a 14-year-old kid is going to hear is the word WHORE. There will be no attempt to discern the meaning based on the context of the lyrics. It is a question of age appropriateness. You would not feed your daughter nor would I feed my three-year-old niece a couple of t-bones. They do not understand what to do with it nor can they digest it. The lyrics of this CD are the same for kids and teens. These lyrics might have deep, symbolic and vaild theological meanings, but the group that is buying the lyrics cannot digest them.

    On a related note, another Christian retail chain has pulled the CD of the group EVANESCENCE from their shelves. I found this groups lyrics to be "dark" and a little more than depressing. Is this really what we want to present to young people as what God is?

    What is wrong with the lyrics of Michael W. Smith . . . and friends are friends forever if the Lord's the Lord of them, and a friend will not say "never" cause the welcome will not end. Though it's hard to let you go in the Father's hands we know that a lifetime's not too long to live as friends."

    What is wrong with the lyrics of Ray Boltz . . . "As you step into the unknown, I know you're frightened. You feel alone. There's something you should understand. You are my child. You're in my hand, and i will never let you fall. This is a promise to believe I will never let you fall further than your knees."

    What is wrong with the lyrics of Rich Mullins . . . "When He rolls up His sleeves, He ain't just putting on the ritz. There's thunder in His footsteps and lightning in His fists. The Lord wasn't joking when He kicked 'em out of Eden. It wasn't for no reason that He shed His blood. His return is very close. And so you better be believing that our God is an awesome God. Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from Heaven above with wisdom, power, and love. Our God is an awesome God!

    What is wrong with the lyrics of the Crabb Family . . . "I found me a reason to wake in the morning and face the world all day. I have a friend that holds my hand with every step I take. Despite the bad weather we're traveling together, The Son just keeps shining on. I've made up my mind, with the past behind, thank God I'm traveling on." (had to add that one)

    You do not have to be vulgar, deep, dark or depressing to convey the mighty power of God and His love. I do not believe in portraying just goodness and light because God does have consequences for the things we do wrong, but when I talk about God, I want people to know about his goodness. I don't get that from either of the CDs that were banned, and I don't think kids and teens would either, but that's just my opinion, and we know that everybody has one.

    I did not intend to get this carried away in your comments, but I just had this same debate in an outlet of one of the chains that banned the CDs.

  2. rick

    one problem is that this album probably would not be marketed to 14-yr-old kids. the album art and style doesn't fit the PlusOne-JaciVelsquez-StacieOrrico stereotype. if my 14-yr-old son is into caedmon's call, however, i'd get this album for him. would he understand it? that's up to me and him (my son's 7, and he doesn't like much that's not disney or spongebob – that might be problem #2).

    i understand your point – except for MWS's "Friends" which is a meaningless song for so much overkill in almost twenty years. to say that one doesn't "have to be vulgar, deep, dark or depressing to convey the mighty power of God and His love" does not convey that one CANNOT be those things in singing/writing/playing what's coming out of your own walk with God. from what i've read, derek's been walking out a real love for the church, something definitely lacking in our buildings today. it's a voice that deserves to be heard. and anyone who can listen to cuts #9 and #11 without getting heartstrings ripped out just doesn't get it.

  3. giddy

    Christians SHOULD "champion the Truth, spoken in love", but that doesn't change the fact that retailers DO have the right to choose their product. I agree with Rhonda's comment on the 14-year-old kid who will focus on the word "whore" but will probably not comprehend the message of the SONG.

  4. rick

    i agree, to the extent that we're raising a beavis & butthead generation…. "heh heh, he said whore…. heh heh…"

    sorry – hope that comes off funny rather than offensive. maybe i'm too naive, but the 14-yr-old could quite possibly seek out the meaning of what's going on, maybe even having to explain it to the parent, you think? wouldn't shock me to see a teen blogger wrestling with this same issue.

    but you're right – in the end, they've got every right to choose their stock.

  5. Blake

    I liked the point that there are other products in most Christian bookstores that deal with subject matter just as "edgy" as some of the lyrics on the cd. The Bible is one of those. There are mentions of prostitutes, emasculation, homosexuality, murder, adultry, and others.

    But I guess it is the right of a store to sell or not sell what they want with in the bounds of the law.

  6. Aaron

    Because money cannot buy
    a husband’s jealous eye
    When you have knowingly deceived his wife
    — from the same song

    If I owned a Christian bookstore I probably wouldn't sell this CD. But it would have nothing to do with the use of the words whore and bastard. It would have more to do with the commentary the song in question makes on Christian subculture and the consumerism therein. Why carry a song that condemns your enterprise?

    Following some of the logic given above, should we tell our kids not to read certain passages of the Bible?

    For instance: "There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses."
    — Ezekiel 23:20 (NIV)

    I don't know that I have an answer to that. But it does scare me a bit that if we say certain things must wait, then we are making facts (though perhaps not Truth) the property of only those who we personally deem are old enough or mature enough.

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