Introducing: “Christian Music That Doesn’t Suck” Mondays!

Let’s face it: a lot of Christian music isn’t top-notch. It isn’t even middle-notch, or upper-bottom-notch. It can kind of suck sometimes. Either the music sounds like it was produced by Mr. Rogers, or the lyrics sound like they were written by one of Oprah’s screenwriters. But alas, not all Christian music was made this way. It is possible to listen to “positive and encouraging” music that doesn’t sound like it was made to be played over a speaker in a Joann’s Fabric or your grandma’s kitchen. (No offense, Grandma. I love you.).

So, on Mondays I will be posting a different song from a Christian band I find to be encouraging and refreshing. Lyrics should be chalk-full of biblical truth that is encouraging and convicting and expounds on God’s nature and character. And the music should be well done, creative and diverse, with zero hoaky-factor. I’ll post the song, the lyrics, and share a few brief thoughts about why I enjoy this song. And you may totally think the music I post here does in fact suck. And that’s fine. We can just agree to disagree on it, and praise the Lord to different tunes.

So, for the inaugural post, I would like to share one of my favorite songs, “How Long” from a very talented band, Wayfarer. The band reminds me a bit of Fleet Foxes, but minus some of the angsty Americana-feel, and supplemented with creatively redone hymns. The song “How Long” is a remake of an old hymn from the 18th century called “Love Constraining to Obedience” by William Cowper.

Lyrics:

To see the law by Christ fulfilled, to hear His pardoning voice
Can change a slave into a child and duty into choice
No strength of nature can suffice to serve the Lord aright
And what she has she misapplies for want of clearer light

How long, how long beneath the law I lay
How long, how long I struggled to obey

Then to abstain from outward sin was more than I could do
Now If I feel its power within, I feel I hate it too
Then all my servile works were done, a righteousness to raise
Now, freely chosen in the Son, I freely choose His ways

How long, how long beneath the law I lay
How long, how long I struggled to obey
How long, how long in bondage and distress
How long, how long I tried without success…

Why I Think it Doesn’t Suck:

The song is telling of the age-old struggle that a Christian faces with the Law. We wrestle with attempting to earn God’s love and favor by meeting the standards that the Law imposes on us, yet always falling short. And the more we fall short the more we feel frustrated and struggle, till it really feels like we are “in bondage”. This is because God’s Law is perfect – absolutely, wholly and totally perfect – and we are wholly and totally NOT perfect. And this is why Christ coming incarnate is so important to us. Christ came, as a man, and fully obeyed God’s law, perfectly. And when He atoned for our sins on the Cross, He took all of our imperfection and guilt onto Himself, and credited His perfect record of obedience to us. So now, instead of trying to use God’s Law as a means to earn God’s favor, I orient myself to God’s Law as someone who has already earned God’s favor – because Christ earned it for me. So now, I desire to follow God’s Law, not out of obligation or duty, but of my free choice. Think of a husband who loves his wife: he chooses to maintain their marriage vows not out of fear or obligation, but as the natural outpouring of his love for his wife. He isn’t trying to earn his wife’s love – he already has it! And that’s why he maintains his vows. It’s the same with God. If you are obeying God out of fear, duty, or obligation, and not out of love, you have missed what Christ came to do.”Freely chosen in the Son, I freely choose His ways.” That’s powerful.

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. – Romans 5:18-19

This is from their album The River, and the whole thing is solid gold. They are on Spotify, and here is a link to Wayfarer’s bandcamp:

http://wayfarerseattle.bandcamp.com/album/the-river

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s