Greatest Christian Artists
I've been rather harsh with Christian "entertainment" recently. And while there is good cause to be critical, I'd like to take some space here to honor some people who have been labeled as Christian "artists" but are actually more than that. Their personal and public lives have the integrity that Christ intended, and you get the sense that were they in front of a crowd or at the back of one, they'd be the same people on fire for the Lord. Here is a short and rather incomplete list of what I'm talking about ...
Keith Green. Wonderful voice, great musician and songwriter. Was more interested in evangelism and truth than anything else. You could hear it in his songs and in his voice. You can still feel his heart for the Lord and the salvation of others as you listen to his recordings.
Rich Mullins. The guy could have been a star and made a host of money. His songs are still hits for various artists. But he made sure he was paid a lower middle class income and lived on a reservation teaching music to poor kids. This guy was for real.
Michael Card. Ben said it best the other day. His songs are like listening to scripture. He is also an amazing musician and songwriter and vocalist. He still ministers, teaches. He has a radio program that you can check out on the web that I've heard awesome things about.
Smalltown Poets. Great songwriters. I remember when they were Villanelle and my brother and I put on a show with them at our old high school. As they waited for the show to start, we could hear them singing old hymns in perfect harmony, just praising the Lord. Humble and pure of heart is how I would describe them.
Third Day. Wildly popular, I've known these guys for years, although I haven't spoken with them personally in some time. Before they broke onto the Christian scene, half of the band was headed off for mission work. They take their ministry seriously and still do after all these years.
Disciple. Heavy metal version of Keith Green. Although their lyrics aren't quite the liquid fire they used to be, I would still put them in this class of real ministers who happen to rock. There are some deep messages on their last album.
Charlie Peacock. In my opinion, one of the greatest songwriters of all time. He had three albums there that expressed a real human struggle to know God as he is. I still have to listen to Secret of Time every now and then. And I shake my head at the truth expressed in his music.
Frank Peretti. His two books about spiritual warfare changed the perspective of thousands of Christians ... and they were pretty well written books. The salvation scene in Piercing the Darkness from the perspective of the unseen realm was amazing. The Prophet was also pretty cool. His message at Atlanta Fest one year was one of the best I'd ever heard.
C.S. Lewis. One of my personal heroes, the Narnia books are amazing. But the Screwtape Letters? One of the most creative things ever written and full of truth ... from the mouths of demons! His life is also an incredible testimony to grace.
Pocket Full of Rocks. I wouldn't put these guys as "entertainment", per se, but you really can't tell the difference between entertainment and a lot of praise music being manufactured these days. These guys are the real deal. They worship with abandon and spontenaeity. And from testimonies of others who know them well, they are humble and on fire for worship.
With most of these people that I've listed here, I hope you see a pattern that their artistic expression is only an extension of a life lived sold out to the Lord. God is pretty creative, and we should celebrate creativity from the Body. But we should remember that our creativity isn't just "entertainment" to be like the world. We are to be in the world but not of it. I think the people on this list are great examples of people who might use the creative language of the world but are obviously not of it through personal testimony and message.
Anyone else you'd like to put on this list? It is not comprehensive by a long shot!
Labels: misc messages