Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Newsboys - "Born Again" - Right Between My Eyes

The lyrics you can find on-line are different, and mostly
wrong. I didn't buy the CD. I downloaded the MP3.
So I didn't get the CD insert. But I spent a lot of time,
listening and lip-reading Tait on videos, to get these words.
I'm a musician. My mother put me in front of a piano at the ripe old age of three. She kept me taking piano lessons until I graduated from high school. I had an excellent high school music director in Merlin Haukoos (pronounced 'ho-kus), who demanded excellence. His choirs and groups never performed with music! After it all, though, I'm not a pianist. For me, piano is a learned skill, not a talent. I also "played at" the guitar off and on for years. Now I've switched from "playing at" the guitar to "playing with" it, hopefully on my way to mastering it at some level. Then I might be able to accompany myself when singing. But here I go, off on a tangent before I even get started.

What makes me a musician, more than any skill or talent I may have, is my appreciation for all forms of music. (That doesn't mean I "like" all kinds.) Some song is in my head all the time. I listen more to the structure and form of the music, more than the lyrics. But sometimes the words hit me. I know the lyrics of songs affect lots and lots of people. That's the only explanation of how some really bad songs get to be hits.

I haven't found any good music commentary on-line, particularly about Christian music. So I've decided to provide that service from time to time. Christian music can have a profound effect on people's lives. Just because a song is a popular hit, is it really good?

I've picked "Born Again" by the Newsboys today. Why? Because it hit me right between the eyes when I first heard it. It expresses what I feel, but it tells me something about how I should be, too. It both confirms me and challenges me.

"Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." John 3.3.

Many times have I have examined my own life, looked at myself in a spiritual mirror, and didn't like what I saw. I have seen myself go off on my own, then wonder why God's blessings weren't following. Like the old inspirational poem "Footprints in the Sand." It's a favourite because it makes people feel good, but doesn't demand anything. Myself, I can't read it without changing the last line. It's much more real to read, "The Lord replied, 'The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when you went off on your own.'"

There is a lie that is easy to fall into, that you can go through life living like you want to. Even worse is the idea that you can live the way you want because you believe in Jesus Christ. Christ demands something in return for the life he gave for you. He demands your life in return. You can't go solo anymore. He expects you to give him the best of everything you have and everything you are, for the remainder of your life.

People who show Christ in action are frightening to others. Not only to those who don't know him at all, but also to church people who think belief is enough. Myself, a long time ago I got sick of the message of how things should be, of how easy it is to be saved. It's all a bunch of hype, exaggerated ease, that leads to hypocrisy. People see that and don't want to hear it. They want more than empty, easy words. They really want something solid to believe in, something that demands commitment. All people-- even simple believers that I call "church people"-- are sick of hearing about how things should be, with words that require nothing. The worst part is, you can download that hype into your brain and you think you're in. Then you don't want to hear any more.

Well, like it or not, I'm gonna tell you what I believe. I have to. This is what it is. This is who I am. This is where I stand.

View the official Born Again video by clicking here. Watch it. The Newsboys are telling us very directly that being Christian requires more than just belief. Please consider helping our work with widows by becoming a sponsor.

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