Blog Break (07 Aug 13)

It’s been awhile since I last posted links to great reads to enrich your minds and hearts. I apologize, busy days. Well, here are a few that I just couldn’t keep to myself. Enjoy:

  1. ON WHALES AND WORSHIP LYRICS  Jen Wilkin tackles a subject I have been thinking a lot about lately; music and entertainment in the church. Her article also sheds light on the basis of my Lyrical Reviews series: “We live in a time when music, church or otherwise, serves our personal taste, and where lyrics are often an afterthought … A worship song is “anointed” if it moves us deeply, whether the words communicate anything coherent or not..
  2. A REVIEW WITH A TWIST  This is an interesting review of the book “Zealot” by Reza Aslan … “You know what? Yeah, this guy, Aslan, is a pretty slick writer. But I’ve heard it all before. There’s nothing new under the sun. Some things are just too complex for humanity to wrap their wee little minds around. Take Jesus, for example.” 
  3. IN PRAISE OF THE LOW-MINDED CHRISTIAN I enjoyed reading this: “I’m talking about the low-minded Christian. Everybody knows one. Or two. They send you chain blessing emails. (Send this back to me and 5 other people, or you’re a mean pud who doesn’t like God) … They probably believe the earth is 6,000 years old. They’re Christians primarily because they don’t want to go to hell. They want to go to heaven primarily to see their grandma.”
  4. ARIEL CASTRO’S PORN ADDICTION James Conley: “Ariel Castro belongs in prison. Last week, he was sentenced to serve more than one thousand years. But despite the depths of his depravity, when Castro stood shackled in a Cleveland courtroom, he confessed a common American problem. “I believe I am addicted to porn,” he said, “to the point where I am impulsive, and I just don’t realize that what I am doing is wrong.”” As a supporting read, I found this article on The Independent quite interesting, on Castro’s sentencing.
  5. “WHO AM I TO JUDGE?” WHAT THE POPE REALLY SAID Al Mohler: The key sentence in the Pope’s remarks is this: “If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person?”” The papal remarks put the international press into a frenzy. But what did the pope really say/mean?

That ought to do it for the week. Have a blessed read.

Cornell.

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Music As Christian Entertainment?

Music, like food, can be enjoyable. But that’s not its primary purpose. The “entertainment” aspect is a secondary and incidental outcome, not to be pursued as an end in itself. This does not mean that the entertaining effect of music is unnecessary, just as the taste of food is not unnecessary. The problem lies in our finite need to understand things in limited and distinct categories.

I don’t think we ought to classify something that happens to be “entertaining” as “Entertainment” because that would be establishing the identity of something by what it does rather than by what it is.

By definition, I am not a writer, I am a human being who writes. I am not a blogger, I am a son of God who blogs. I am not a sinner, I am a saint who sins.

If you don’t see the ridiculousness of classifying music (Christian or otherwise) as entertainment, consider the idea of classifying a theological book that happens to be humorous as “Christian Humor”. The problem is that the moment we define the book as such, we’re bound to have people reading the book solely for the “humor” in it. To define is to confine. We must therefore be careful with our definitions lest we put our borders too restrictively on ideas that are bigger and more complex than our finite minds can comprehend.

FOR THE GLORY OF GOD

There are many things that we can do for the glory of God. I believe that it is in the process of seeking to glorify and delight in God that we find ourselves delighted and entertained. However, the devil wants to replicate the same “felt” outcomes of delighting in God and achieve them through misguided and misplaced purposes. For instance, while sex is enjoyable, that does not mean that enjoyment is the primary purpose of sex.

When we make the enjoyment the end, then any means of attaining that enjoyment becomes acceptable e.g. pornography and masturbation. In the same way, romantic feelings are an incidental part of the whole package of marriage. However, if we make those feelings the sole basis for a marriage, then there’s nothing to stop us from pursuing them in misplaced objects, e.g homosexuality. There will also be nothing to stop us from getting divorced once those feelings fade. Continue reading Music As Christian Entertainment?

Lyrical Review: Mateke by Size 8 […And Some Tips for the Artist]

The popular local secular singer/actress, Size 8, finally “came out” and confessed that she has been a Christian for a while. For a long time, she had struggled with the apparent contradiction between her music and her faith, and she finally decided to make the switch. As she explains in a recent interview, “I have been born again for quite some time and my songs were in conflict with my faith. As much as I was making big cash and commanding a massive fan base, my heart was not at peace.”

There has been a myriad of reactions concerning her announcement. The pendulum swings from skeptics (believers and unbelievers) who are convinced that she is only in it for the money in Gospel music; to the other extreme of Christians who are unreservedly celebrating the entrance of one more lost soul into the Kingdom. There’s also an apprehensive minority who have chosen to reserve their comments, wait it out and see if Size 8’s new found faith will stand the test of time.

If you’re wondering where I stand in that spectrum, I think these words from Paul best describe my current stand: Continue reading Lyrical Review: Mateke by Size 8 […And Some Tips for the Artist]

Blog Break (22 Mar 13)

Here are a few interesting reads to keep your mind occupied throughout the weekend:

  1. YOU DESERVE THIS POST, This is satire at its best, make sure you get it! Mike Leake; “Finally. After 31 years of trying to convince people, someone finally gets it. I am awesome and I deserve awesome things.”
  2. SINGLE, SATISFIED AND SENT, This one’s for the single boys and girls out there, Marshall Segall: “If you’re single, Satan is after you.” Read on and find out how to evade him.
  3. F.L.E.E. – A STRATEGY FOR PURSUING SEXUAL PURITY, I found this article quite helpful; “So how are you doing at fleeing? Maybe you are fleeing into sexual immorality. Or maybe you’re just thinking about it . . . all the time. You’re already there, of course. Maybe you’re running, but in circles. Images are glued to the walls of your brain. Or maybe this whole subject just adds to the feeling of shame.”
  4. Lastly, I agree that this is THE BIGGER ISSUE IN CHRISTIAN HIP HOP DEBATE, Alex Medina; “A Christian who desires to make an entire album about nature and it’s beauty is not being unfaithful to the Gospel of Christ. They need no justification to create art. They are free to create art about everything that belongs to their God, everything.”

That ought to keep you nourished for the weekend. Have a blessed day, friends.

Lyrical Review: WANAJUA by Mwenyehaki ft Pitson

This song reminds me of an earlier post written on a related subject, Volunteers in Hell, in which I noted that “God doesn’t send people to hell, they volunteer.” Woe to the man who has grown up hearing the law of God, and the call of the Gospel, but still chooses to ignore it. Here’s a YouTube link to the song in-case you haven’t already listened to it.

The first verse reminds those who grew up in a Christian subculture, attending Sunday School and constantly being bombarded by Christian messages; that they have no excuse for ignoring God. They cannot claim ignorance. The song is in Swahili, so, here’s (my best effort at) an English translation: Continue reading Lyrical Review: WANAJUA by Mwenyehaki ft Pitson

Lyrical Review: Conqueror by Joyce Omondi

Many are the times when I’ve sat down to write on the beauty of the Gospel only to find that the news in my Gospel doesn’t sound so good. Even more are the times I have written about the freedom that we have in Christ, only to find myself complicating the freedom and making it sound like just another jail-cell within the same prison. At such times, I usually stop and ask what it is I am missing. What’s wrong? If what I am writing about is the greatest news on earth, shouldn’t there be a little more excitement in my verbs and a little more exultation in my adjectives? Why the grave tone? Why the sad fonts? That’s when it hits me, some joys cannot be contained in carefully constructed sentences that are afraid of offending people. I should be dancing unashamedly like David. I should be singing, not mulling. I should be praising, not prodding. I should be doing what Joyce Omondi does so well in her song, Conqueror.

It is a simple song that celebrates the victory that believers have in Christ. Continue reading Lyrical Review: Conqueror by Joyce Omondi

Lyrical Review: Appointment by Jimmy Gait ft Cece

I will say it up-front, Jimmy Gait’s new song, “Appointment” is both simple and beautiful, I guess that makes it simply beautiful? As usual, I will go straight to the lyrics, for that’s my niche in these reviews. I have not been able to locate any online links containing the lyrics. But I wrote them down and translated them into English for the sake of this review. The first verse describes how, in our human society, even if you may be close friends with a VIP, you will still need an appointment to see them in your time of need. This is because their office and the system requires it: Continue reading Lyrical Review: Appointment by Jimmy Gait ft Cece