Kent Bush | @KentBush
Kids these days.
They get on their Youtubes and iTunes and have access to really good music with a Christian perspective. I remember walking through three miles of snow-packed roads uphill both ways to merely purchase one of the four “pop” music cassette tapes at the local Christian bookstore.
We didn’t have it as good as kids these days.
We had Petra. They were good – compared to everything else.
We had Stryper. “To Hell With the Devil” was interesting. But 1980s Christian rap included the Rapsures spitting rhymes like “We’re the Rapsures and we’re rap rap rappin’ about the rapture.” Get it rap-sure, rapture? I dare you to try to find 1980s Christian cultural assimilation that is any better. The Rapsures made the 1985 Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl shuffle sound like rap gold.
They also had a song about Jonah featuring some radical synthesizer solos. It was awesome in a truly satirical sense. “Jonah and the whale. Somebody get me out of this jail. Lord don’t get uptight. So dark in here I can’t see the light.”
It was a long and difficult road between 1986 and 2016 for contemporary Christian music. That road was paved with Michael W. Smith’s “Friends” and Amy Grant’s “Fat Baby” as well as heavy metal groups like White Cross, Ruscha, and Petra. The rap side had the Grits, and D.C. Talk. But we listened to it because we believed in Psalm 150:
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; Praise him with loud clashing cymbals!” Psalm 150:1-5
Now we have D.C. Talk’s TobyMac as a solo act and finding and producing many new young artists. We also have D.C. Talk’s Michael Tait taking over as the lead singer for the Newsboys and helping to make and promote Christian movies.
Some of the best rap today is coming from the 116 Clique guys featuring Lecrae who actually appeared on the Tonight Show. The Rapsures weren’t going on the Tonight Show. Johnny Carson wasn’t having any of that.
WinterJam is one of my favorite events of the year. Will Rogers had a famous quote about living in Oklahoma, “If you don’t like the weather,” he said, “wait 10 minutes. It will change.”
That is true of WinterJam too.
You get 10 artists throughout a great night of worship, rock, rap and any combination of the three.
The Rock and Worship Roadshow – now known only as The Roadshow – uses the same multiple artist for a miniature price format.
Kids these days don’t know how good they have it.
They have traded Stryper for Skillet. They never had the Rapsures. They have Trip Lee, KB and Canon and so many more.
Instead of Smith and Grant, they have MercyMe, Newsboys and Matthew West.
When I was at a high school basketball game where the team played MercyMe and For King & Country during the pregame, I heard a student ask, “What is this (expletive deleted)?”
Seriously? Compared to the junk he hears on his knockoff Beats by Dre headphones all day, he has the nerve to criticize these artists? Compared to the Christian music I had to listen to 30 years ago, it’s like the Beatles compared to a junior high garage band.
Kids today have all of the advantages, but sometimes they aren’t appreciative.
It reminds me of Luke 17 when Jesus healed the 10 lepers. He healed 10 of them but only one was appreciative of the gift he had been given by the Savior and returned to thank Him. When the Samaritan (the Back Row Baptist of the day) fell at Jesus feet in gratitude, Jesus asked a funny question.
“Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” Luke 17:17
Don’t be one of the nine. Crank up K-Love, Air 1, The House FM, Way FM or whoever puts today’s Christian music out where you live. It wouldn’t kill you to send them $20 during a pledge drive.
Show your appreciation for the common grace that brought us all from 1986 to 2016.
Kent Bush is the Publisher of the Shawnee News-Star and a nationally distributed columnist through GateHouse Media's More Content Now news service. He writes about 150 columns a year. Some of them are funny. Sometimes that is on purpose. You can follow him on Twitter at @KentBush.