Have you seen Jefferson Bethke’s video on Youtube called ‘Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus’?
No? Then you should.. Look it up now!
Yes? Good! It’s an inspirational piece of spoken word.
Bethke has written a book called ‘Jesus > Religion’ which is based on his spoken word piece. I thought it was a great read. I listened to be via Audible and I felt so uplifted and inspired after finishing the book. There was one point in the book that stuck out to me and I had never actually thought of before but it’s so true and that is that Christian worship songs and artists (For example, Hillsong, Jesus Culture and Worship Central) aren’t just songs anymore. The world has labelled them as Christian songs and Christian artists and now that is what they strive for. They are Christian Artists, not just artists.
Here is what Bethke said:
“The problem with the American-Christian subculture is that our art and glorification of Jesus begin to weaken because we lose all sense of comparison. For example, a lot of Christian musicians no longer shoot to be the best musicians; they shoot to be the best Christian musicians. The standards have been lowered. But the truth is, art can speak for itself. It is a reflection of the creation mandate, not the salvation mandate. Rather than making Christian music, we should make music with a Christian worldview just as atheists, Muslims, and others do when they make music. There is nothing about music that is Christian; it’s the worldview in the music that can be.” Jesus > Religion Written by Jefferson Bethke. Page 173.
When I read that, I went straight into my iTunes and looked at my ‘Christian’ playlist. All the songs I have on there that is written by a Christian person is labelled as Christian or Religious.
Now I’m not against Christian songs and Christian artists. In fact, in total I have 586 songs that a Christian has wrote in my iTunes playlist. But just imagine if we took that label away from music. All songs would be the same. Rap songs would be the same as Gospel and Rock would be the same as Classical. It’s not the genre that makes the song what it is, it’s the creation and the view of the music.
Bethke explains a good example of this in his book. Michael Jackson’s song ‘Man In The Mirror’ tells us to make a difference in this world, you need to look in the mirror and sort yourself out first before the world. It has a good message. But people see it as a Non-Christian song so God can’t get glory from it. But Bethke sees it differently and I can see why he does. The song reminded him that he has to concentrate more on his sins more than other peoples’ sins.
There are so many songs that aren’t sung or written by Christians but has a powerful, Godly meaning to them such as Footprint In The Sand by Leona Lewis and Hall of Fame by The Script. Just because it’s not labelled Christian, doesn’t mean God can’t find the glory in it.