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Music from the crevasses of the soul


Is that music Christian? Secular? Authentic? Does it matter? Hmmm

Picture from Wikipedia

I recently (May 2010) discovered the music of Mumford and Sons, a folk/bluegrass group from London.  What first attracted me was the great music and outstanding use of the banjo–they are fun.  But as I have begun listening to the lyrics, I keep adding more of their music to my collection.  Some of you will likely be offended by at least one of their songs.  As Relevant magazine said about their music, Mumford and Sons sing about “doubt,” their songs “question or confuse” and their songs “speak about God in a way we don’t always hear,” Their music expresses “authentic feelings of spirituality.”

“The feeling of not being clean enough and asking for the truth is a notion that is often too close to home for some Christians—both new and old. But it exists, and is often ignored—particularly between the parallel lines of contemporary worship music. And if we ignore that which aches inside of us, where will we be with our God?

With all the doubt, the longing, the uncleanness—all the things we believe Christ can conquer—what do we do when we’re still frustrated?”

Ok, they do use profanity in Little Lion Man as they describe someone regretting that they “messed” up. As shocking as that was the first time I heard it, that is not the reason I like their music.  I am aware that some are offended (my wife) and I need to be sensitive that they may not want to hear such words (put on headphones!).  But these guys appear to be reaching an audience out there that other christian music does not touch.  Does that justify their language?  I guess you need to decide for yourself. Liz Rigs writes (again from Relevant Magazine)

I’m not saying we bring profanity into the church, or that we all express our frustrations with faith using swear words. Rather, we can take a look at how a moment such as this can be so deeply rooted in a relationship with Christ. And isn’t that how our relationship with God works sometimes? One second we feel the need to curse, to shout out in frustration and confusion and plea for insight or answers, and the next second we praise, or maybe we glimpse a moment of understanding and truth. And yet, most of the songs we sing—out of the hymn book or the WOW worship mix—don’t address a lot of the feelings we inevitably come across in our relationship with God.

Here are the words from one of my favorites, Roll Away Your Stone.  I found the lyrics on a lyrics site–don’t remember which one and they had reversed the meaning in two lines (in blue) by adding  “not.”  A Christian understands the struggle about which they sing.  No easy solutions, it does not always work but I keep on trusting!  A number of their songs are out there on youtube if you want to try them out.

Roll away your stone I will roll away mine
Together we can see what we will find
Don’t leave me alone at this time
For I am afraid of what I will discover inside

You told me that I would find a home
Beneath the fragile substance of my soul
And I have filled this void with things unreal
And all the while my character it steals

Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think
Yet it dominates the things I see

It seems that all my bridges have been burned
But you say ‘That’s exactly how this grace thing works’
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive with every start

Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think
And yet it dominates the things I see (x2)

Stars hide your fires
For these here are my desires
And I will give them up to you this time around
And so I will be found
With my stake stuck in the ground
Marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul (x2)

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