Friday, July 4, 2008

Christian music retro

Recently I was in a Christian bookstore off of Nevskii and on impulse bought an old Amy Grant cassette. This was partly because it had one of my favorite songs on it, "Old Man's Rubble."

Although Amy's career got a little murky later on, I love these older lyrics of hers, and I much prefer them to contemporary Christian music's more cryptic lyrics (which, while edifying, are not always straight-forward about the Gospel and about which god they are supposed to be portraying).

I like how she puts simple biblical truths to music and asks questions that are convicting to believers. Sometimes I need that more than singing the same two words about God over and over and wondering if I actually mean them.


Are you living in an old man's rubble,
Are you listening to the father of lies?



Are you walking with unnecessary burdens,
Are you trying to take them upon yourself?
If you are, then you're living in bondage,
And you know that's bad for your spiritual health.

And are you trying to live by your emotions,
Are you putting your faith in what you feel and see?
Then you're living just to satisfy your passions,
And you better be careful 'cause you're being deceived.

Are you living in an old man's rubble,
Are you listening to the father of lies?
If you are then you're headed for trouble;
If you listen too long you'll eventually die.

Are you living in an old man's rubble,
Are you listening to the father of lies?
If you are then you're headed for trouble;
If you listen too long you'll eventually die.

Are you puzzled by the way that you're behaving,
Do you wonder why you do the things you do?
And are you troubled by your lack of resistance,
Do you feel that something's got a hold on you?

Well deep within you, there's a spiritual battle;
There's a voice of the darkness and a voice of the light.
And just by listening, you have made a decision,
'Cause the voice you hear is gonna win the fight.

Are you living in an old man's rubble,
Are you listening to the father of lies?
If you are then you're headed for trouble;
If you listen too long you'll eventually die.

If you're living as a new creation,
If you're listening to the Father of Light,
Then you're living in a mighty fortress,
And you're gonna be clothed in power and might.

But are you living in an old man's rubble,
Are you listening to the father of lies?
If you are then you're headed for trouble;
If you listen too long you'll eventually die.

If you're living as a new creation,
If you're listening to the Father of Light,
Then you're living in a mighty fortress,
And you're gonna be clothed in power and might.

11 comments:

  1. Come on... Amy has never been a good singer/musician. Why does everyone think she has been?

    I've been a musician myself since I was 7 and if you (the reader) have been too you will agree that she is not all that good. Am I wrong on this assessment?

    On a scale from one to ten where the ten is the highest, she is about two. You see, the state of Christian music, overall, has always been low. In the Psalms it says that we should glorify the Lord skillfully with a music that is DUE to His Name. What have we done instead? We have made Christian music all about us and not about Him. Take the best Christian music of today sung in our churches and it ALL sucks! I HATE the "THIRD DAY" with a passion. The most SELFISH music that is out there. The contemporary musicians of today and of the last twenty years have only cared about glorifying themselves. If you think I do not know what I am talking about, go to the MANSIONS they have built for themselves and see how they live, wallowing like pigs in the money you have spent buying their STUPID CD's. God the Father and Jesus Christ have no part in anything they do or have succeeded in.

    I'd rather buy a CD of the Psalms of King David's songs... Oh, wait, I can't find it in my local Wal Mart. I wonder if David should have traveled a bit more and hired more managers to make his Psalms more hot for me to buy them. "It's all about me, Jesus, it's all about me.... It's all about me, Jesus, it's all about me..."

    I am going to go now and reread Psalm 25 to calm myself down...

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  2. I love that song...nope, I am not a musician--but we all have different tastes--so don't be so hard on all the artists.
    Karen

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  3. Those are amazing lyrics. I don't think I've ever heard the song.

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  4. Brodie Stephens (see Facebook)July 10, 2008 at 1:39 AM

    Dear Elizabeth - I am the great grandson of Charles Cooke, and thus your cousin. I recently got back from a short-term mission to Cambodia with my son, Jedidiah. I'd love to communicate about your journey of faith - it seems as if the prayers of our forebears continues to resonate throught the generations.

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  5. In response to the Cooke thing:

    When will you start evangelizing the US? Your arrogance is astounding. Take the money out of the equation, what will you be capable of doing? Nothing.

    America is dying from sin and half-hearted Christians, yet everyone goes to other countries not knowing the cultures or the languages. How about giving the money you spend on the tickets to fly overseas to the starving Chinese pastors and then sharing the Gospel with your neighbor here in the US or wherever you are? I am sick of it. I have been in the US for over 11 years now. The world needs less missionaries from overseas and more their generous support (since God did bless you with money!). It is hard to preach on an empty stomach for Chinese pastors and when their kids have no clothes to wear. Have you though about giving money to them? Or supporting that old BABUSHKA in Russia who has no means to live a life appropriate for her age? No you have not!

    You can be whatever but if you do not know what Christianity is all about all your work for Christ is futile.

    Ok, Liz, if you think I am wrong delete this post. But if there's a doze of truth in it, please, keep it. I'd appreciate it.

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  6. It's not that you are wrong...it's that you are being super judgmental in shoes that you don't walk in. If one is called to "stay" or "go"--you are not the one to question. Please consider that although you are thinking you know people's hearts, only our God in heaven knows the hearts and minds of men. Please be very careful of judging where people should be location wise or even spiritually.

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  7. Anonymous, you can email me to vitalisbusiness@yahoo.com if you'd like to discuss this issue more.

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  8. Vitali-

    Everyone has different taste in music, and clearly the modern Christian music you have heard is not to your taste, but I think you are wrong to say that all Christian musicians are selfish pigs, that all missionaries work overseas rather than minister to their neighbors, and that all overseas missionaries have nothing to offer but money.

    I'm not sure where you get all your information, but you need to learn to look at individuals and not assume that people who are prominent in the media or speak the loudest in church are representative of everyone.

    Look at the person who writes this blog! She went overseas after spending years studying Russian and has been there learning how to function in a city that is not easy to live in so that she can follow her calling to reach out to orphans who have no one else to care about them. You don't know her, but I do, and I can assure you that the work she has done has value far and above the money of her plane ticket.

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  9. Anonymous, you should re-read Acts 3 where Peter and John heal the man who was born lame. After performing that great miracle Peter says, in essence, to the crowd that was gathered there: Listen, we didn't do it in our own power or might, it is the Lord Jesus who did it!

    Also, Paul always refused to get any glory to himself. He didn't want others to recognize what he was doing for the Kingdom, because he wanted Jesus to reward him, rather than people.

    Also, Jesus Himself says to the people who wanted to follow Him in Matthew 6:3: "When you give to the poor, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing..."

    You probably also recall when Jesus said, in essence: When you pray, go inside a secret chamber or closet and when you have the door closed securely, pray to your Father that is in secret and when the Father sees you praying in secret, he will reward you openly.

    What have american missionaries done (from almost any denomination)? The have trumpeted their going and staying, their "glorious" work and suffering, their victories for the Lord, their mighty works.

    It is so nauseating.

    Anonymous, I tell you the truth 99.9% of the Christian networks you have referred to are dissident. No? You don't believe it? Well... I can't help you then.

    But, yeah, keep getting angrier and angrier with every new post I post.

    I wouldn't mind if you called me stupid. C'mon! Do it!

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  10. One more thing before I quit posting here. Seriously, this is my last post. I do not want to make war on here.

    Anonymous and others, if you want to help one pastor in Russia financially, he and his family would appreciate if you do. I myself helped him in the past via WesternUnion. If you want to share in his work I am sure he will be very grateful to you all. Every month they have a special meal for about 50-60 kids at their church. Mostly, they spend their own money and the meager collections their congregation can afford.

    So if you want to share financially, contact me at vitalisbusiness@yahoo.com

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  11. Wow, readers! Why did you wait until I went out of town to start a heated discussion? I just got back, but I will try to answer some questions later.

    I only mentioned the song because I like the lyrics, as I tried to explain in the post. I believe that Christian artists, as all of us, will have to give an account for how they lived their lives. What Christian music "should" sound like is another topic.


    Brodie, thanks for stopping by, I have met some other missionary cousins "by chance" as well, and my uncle is living in Hawaii writing about the Cookes. I wrote a post about our ancestors a while back. http://lizinstpete.blogspot.com/2007/06/even-further-back-into-history.html

    Back to blogging soon!

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