Monday, April 05, 2010
Delirious Number 4! Is christian music right?
A number of weeks ago a friend of mine started a facebook group called "Anyone up for getting Delirious to number 1?" the concept behind his original idea was: we like them a lot, they have inspired us over the years, this would be a nice present for us fans to give the band and it would also be comedy!
Personally I thought it was genius, I really like delirious, we had them at our church back in 96 when they were just starting out, I have preached at one of their gigs and been to many others. I have had the chance to hang out with one or two of the delirious lads over the years and I can tell you they are genuine, humble, enthusiastic guys with a passion for a music and a passion to express their faith through music. I thought that a gift a of high chart place from their fans would be a lovely way of showing appreciation.
I agreed with Fraser McAlpine from the BBC when he heard about the idea and wrote this article
He said: "Delirious? have massively devoted fans, and they are very passionate about their band and about how they have been handled by the media in the past. What I would hope is that this gesture, this seasonal gift, is left unspoiled by any sense of righteous vengeance, or desperate Facebook spamming. It's not what this kind of thing should be about.
The chart success of 'History Makers' is just a really nice gift to give some people who made some music together, and made a lot of people very happy. "
The problem was that there was a lot of desperate facebook spamming! a few uptight christians got a little wound up and a few other "too cool for school" type christians rubbished the campaign.
About a week into the original campaign along came another guy with the same idea, excuse my cynicism but I initially struggled with this retrospective brainwave! however it soon became clear that this guy was a zealot for the cause of promoting christian music and with out his fantastic work the band would probably have never got to number 4. He initiated a website called Invade The Airwaves and the rest is history!
A guy called Ben Edson decided to have a minor pop about it all, but then he was too cool a christian to even have listened to delirious. Obviously Ben is highly intelligent and deep and finds christian music to unsubtle and shallow, he's probably a fan of Rihanna!
Another blog by Tractor Girl had this fantastic comment: "I find nothing more depressing than seeing a church full of people singing “I’m gonna be a history maker in this land” and knowing that its unlikely that even one of them will be." there has been lots more said out there. Facebook comments have been vicious and some christians have been more harsh than the general public who, I would imagine, have a sense of humour!
My own thoughts are this:
1. It was a fun idea
2. It was a gift to the band (no one was forced to buy it)
3. It raised over £20,000 for charity
Thats where it should have ended.
For me I dislike the concept of Christian music, I find the idea of invade the airwaves strange. I believe in worship music; music written to enhance sung worship, I enjoy a good sing song and so do a lot of other people. A song should get into the charts because it is good not because it is Christian.
Foy Vance gets played on Greys Anatomy not because he's a christian but because it is good music, people love U2 not because a few of the band are christians but because it's good music. Daniel Bedingfiled does well in the charts because people like his music. None of these guys and many others set their stall out as christian music, they are just Christians who make good music. We have to move away from the concept that having a "Christian" band in the chart will somehow advance the kingdom of God. I really don't think it will, when was the last time a song changed the world?
I believe Delirious are a good band and great musicians, History maker doesn't fully highlight the band, but that doesn't matter.
I love what Rob Bell has to say on this subject: "It is possible for music to be labelled christian and be terrible music. I could lack creativity and inspiration. The lyrics could be recycled cliches. That "christian" band could actually be giving Jesus a bad name because they aren't a great band"
I'm not worried about dodgy music making the church look bad, we have been playing dodgy music for years and I quite like it. I am more worried that energy is expended on a cause that moves us into some form sacred and secular divide. Where we end up with Christian Music and Worldly music that would a nonsense.
I could go on and will do tomorrow!