Thursday, May 22, 2008

Christians Where You Wouldn't Expect Them

When I was in college my roommate had an acoustic guitar. Out of sheer boredom I decided to try and learn it. I learned basic chords and sometimes would learn to play a part of a song if I could get someone to show me. I've played off and on since then. Recently I managed to learn "More Than Words" by Extreme. This is the quintessential "get laid" song. Learn to play this and you improve your odds of scoring. Of course I'm not looking for that as a happily married father of two, but heck, my wife is impressed and there's nothing wrong with that.

Learning this song prompted me to look into the band Extreme just to learn a little about them. I'm really not much of a music connoisseur. The reality is I was always too cheap to spend money on CD's and concert tickets. My parents disapproved of this music anyway. The expected us to not listen to secular music in the car as teenagers driving around by ourselves. They kind of knew we did anyway, but we would never have a rock CD laying around the house. Me and my siblings were a little isolated from the music industry because of this. Which doesn't bother me. It was a waste of money.

But I learned that the lead singer is a guy named Gary Cherone. I went to his website and immediately a song started playing called "Need I Say More." This is exactly the kind of song that I like best. I love sad songs and I love acoustic guitar instrumentals. This song has an acoustic instrumental and is just as sad as can be. The first thing I did when I had the opportunity was to grab my own guitar and try to learn it. I'm working on it.

So I was very impressed with Cherone. I think his voice is great. This is the same guy that was the lead singer for Van Halen briefly.

So here's what surprised me. I was poking around online trying to find the tabulature for this song "Need I Say More" and it turns out Cherone is a Christian. And not just a Christian. A pretty hard core anti-evolution Christian. He's even come out heavily against abortion. Of course I think that's just great. But I'm surprised by this. Apparently Extreme has a song called "There is No God." And when I was a Christian while I thought "More Than Words" sounded great, it kind of left me feeling a little bit sinful for enjoying it, because I figured it had helped encourage some girls to sin. I'm not quite sure how this squares with his Christianity, which apparently is somewhat conservative.

It's all good I guess. His music still sounds great.


Jason said...

A couple of books that might be interesting in light of your discovery of Cherone's faith: Hungry for Heaven by Steve Turner and The Rock & Roll Rebellion by Mark Joseph.
Turner is a Christian and I don't recall if Joseph is or not, but they both discuss rock music and religious faith from interesting perspectives while sharing many artists' stories. Turner argues that much (if not all) of rock music can be seen as a yearning for some connection to a spiritual something or other, while Joseph holds that Christians turned their backs on the rock market - to the detriment of their own careers as well as to rock music as a whole - and essentially formed the CCM ghetto because of a silly sacred/secular polarizing mentality. (That sentence was tedious - sorry)

You'd likely be surprised by other artists who are Christian... or were... depending on your perspective.

My house wasn't too keen on the "secular" music either, but my parents were oftentimes lax, allowing me to amass decent CD collections. But alas, I would inevitably be convicted during a youth group sermon and decide to destroy all of my ungodly music.

Being a pretty big music fan in general though, I couldn't go too long without good tunes.
I'll bet there are close to 75 CDs that I've purchased a minimum of three times due of the youthful oscillations of piety and worldliness.

There's that waste of money you mentioned...

Jon said...

That's hilarious. As a cheapo I'd find friends with the good tapes and I would copy the song to a blank tape. I think I destroyed one out of piety. I then re-made most of it as I suppressed or rationalized the guilt feelings.