John J. Thompson
July 24, 2012
Let's not forget the 77s ~ a band that used "appropriate" profanity years ago and were censored repeatedly by the CCM gatekeepers.
Why not show some love and review some of their recent releases? I'm counting something like 5 in the past 5 months. Some are re-releases, but totally expanded, and some are live from all the years they played Cornerstone. Show some support!
I knew you'd cover this and as always, I agree with your take. Anyone who is agonizing and withdrawing support from P.O.D. over this should spend a week on the road with the band and witness who they're speaking to. I hung out with them after a bar show in May, and fans did not censor themselves when conveying how much P.O.D.'s music brought them closer to an understanding of God - "you guys are F-in awesome! Your F-in music makes me cry. I F-in love you guys." Stoners, alcoholics and hardcore metal-heads. Breathe deep, indeed.
Even if it wasn't intentional, I see "I Am" as a calling out of believers to respond. People are crying out "I Am" each one of the things listed and we (myself included) often can't get past their language or their smell to find the image of Jesus in them and love them anyway. Keep writing, JJT.
In fact, outside of a Lust Control, Derek Webb, MATW or Tonio K. recording, I counted at least 10 words in "I Am" that you'll never see on a CCM record.
Of course, that's because "Murdered Love" is not a CCM record.
Rocket failure: FYI, JJT is most likely the biggest 77s fan outside of their moms. ;) So it would be up to thinkchristian.net to review or not review their recent releases.
To be sure, I don't believe that this is music that is appropriate for my 8 year old son - and I'd be annoyed if they were playing in in Kid's Church this Sunday. But that doesn't mean that there is never a time to get intense. I also think it's fine for the label to put a version sans "I Am" at Christian retail so as to avoid further controversy - but I think that fans that buy it there will be irritated to find out they didn't get the whole album. I just don't understand why Christian Bookstores can't offer products with "mature" subject matter that is consistent with a Biblical worldview... Oh wait, they do sell Bibles still - so we have that going for us.
JJT the "biggest 77s fan outside of their moms" ~ that made me chuckle. Anyway, if it truly is up to "thinkchristian.net" I doubt 77s reviews will happen. CCM still equals safe.
Just trying to interpret your comments here. Do you mean you're doubtful we'd review the 77s at Think Christian because they're not CCM enough, or because they're too CCM?
Josh Larsen, TC editor
Not CCM enough. And before you respond, you gotta understand something ~ as a longtime fan of the 77s and Michael Roe, The Choir, DA, The Lost Dogs, etc, you basically get used to the fact that no matter how good the music is, because it's not being hyped at a youth group, played on CCM radio, or part of the whole "praise and worship" thing, it's just not going to get reviewed or promoted unless it's done by the fans. In the end it's disheartening as a fan, and you just wish for more.
Ah, I see. Well, we actually hardly ever review CCM music (as you'll see from our Music landing page - http://thinkchristian.net/category/music - our last couple of reviews have included The Beach Boys, Cold Specks, Amadou & Mariam and Jack White). We tend to lend theological reflection to mainstream music more than anything else.
As for the 77s, they're almost too Christian for TC for lack of a better phrase, but that doesn't mean we won't get to them some time down the road. Next up for JJT, though, is the Zac Brown Band. (See, we like to mix it up.)
Thanks for reading and commenting,
Wow ~ the 77s "almost too Christian" ~ that needs to be a t-shirt or something. Anyway, thanks for responding, and for the laugh, intended or not.
This idea that seems so prevalent within evangelical culture that anything that isn't appropriate for a 9-year-old to see, hear, or talk about, isn't appropriate for *anyone* to see, hear, or talk about is one of the (many) reasons I left evangelicalism. That attitude is evident in things like Liberty University's restrictions on their students (adults one and all) watching R-rated movies, as well as in the continuing fear of "Christian bookstores" to stock anything that has even the slightest of adult themes for fear of the Wrath of the Church-Lady Army.
If evangelical Christians shy away from emotionally-honest conversations and reflections on culture, violence, sexuality, language, and relationshipsâ€”all of which generally, among adults, have some aspects that we wouldn't want a 9-year-old to see, hear, or talk aboutâ€”then those conversations and reflections are only going to happen elsewhere, and Christianity will only look less relevant and less applicable to the real lives of real people despite the protestations of well-meaning young adult pastors with goatees and tattoos, and weak attempts to start "coffee shop ministries."
I have not heard the song nor the lyrics but one has to wonder just how necessary it is to use profanity, even in 'context'.
Â Let there be [r]no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, [s]which are out of place, but instead [t]let there be thanksgiving.
(Ephesians 5:4 ESV
Thank you John.
I love this song. I often listen to it a few times in a row before hitting repeat on the the album. For me it is a reminder of where so many others at.
I just heard the song for the first time today, by all accounts it's edited out but in truth it's not, at least not on the version i heard. but reguardless i don't see a problem with it given the context it is used int. the first time i was like what is this but then listened to it again and completely agree. I was listening to christain rock long before i was christian, bands like skillet and 12 stones and of course pod. as long as they are not using gods name in vain then i don't see a problem with it. I mean after all i see christians on a daily basis that use the f word and sometimes even shit. swear words are a part of our personality and again we're not using gods name in vain so i don't see what the big deal is with it.
'I AM' is the best Christian track ever written. It's real, important and desperately needed. How many have been turned away from Christ by the fake, prim and proper suit and ties sitting in their pews on a Sunday Morning? The people who would preach the Gospel to your face then tear you down behind your back. Those hypocrites that are so far divorced from reality as to make others sick. Leaving a horrid taste in their mouths when it comes to the mention of God.
Christianity. TRUE Christianity is about the real struggles of life. The imperfect trying to be something better. Yearning for a better way. Looking up at the stars while they lay in the gutter. It's about love and hope. Striving to be that change they want to see in the world.
True Christianity is for the lost. The poor. The rejects of society. And 'I Am' captures that perfectly.
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