Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Music . . . The Church's Gift to Humanity

Okay, I didn't know much about Katy Perry except that she had kissed a girl . . . and she liked it. I recognized her by her blue hair . . . but that was about it.  I assumed that she was a novelty singer, you know, one with okay talents but much more hype around it. Or a "brand" in the order of Madonna.

Then, about three months ago I was driving through Seattle at 4 AM.  I was scanning the radio stations looking for something that could keep me awake at that ungodly hour.  Jazz couldn't do it.

I stumbled onto a pop-rock station that, at least during the night, was playing 4-5 songs in a row and then doing a brief introduction and commercial.

One song was played, whose vocals blew me away. It was as incredible as the first time I ever heard Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You."  I patiently waited through some no-so-fantastic songs until the break came. "That was so and so, so and so, so and so, Katy Perry and so and so."

"Katy Perry!" I thought to myself. That girl really can sing.  The song?  Fireworks. I don't know the lyrics or the meaning but I assume it is about being unique and the value in each of us. Yes, two men kiss. But the point I'm making here is pure and simple . . . the beauty of her perfect octaves.

So here is my point.  I remember an interview with her on the Today Show a year or so ago during their summer concert series.  They discussed the fact that she was raised as an Evangelical (father is a pastor I believe) and that was juxtaposed to the fact that she has a bad-girl image now. After hearing her, really hearing her, for the fist time, it got me thinking again.

I think we grossly underestimate the gift of music the Church has made to the world.  I know, Perry isn't being played on the Christian radio channels (thank goodness. I would hate to see that talent hidden under the bushel of praise music).  I don't know what her personal beliefs are and she may be even a hard-core atheist. That's not the point. I'm not talking about "Christian music" but just music.

If it wasn't for the celebration of music within the Church would Katy know that she could sing?  Maybe not.  Nor would Whitney, Britney, Elvis, Aretha, Beethoven, Little Richard and the list could go on and on. Yes, many of them move on, philosophically, from their starting point as Christians. They were probably not given another choice.  But it doesn't diminish the beauty of the music.

I'm not so naive to think that the Church has a cornerstone on music.  Great music has come out of Islam, Hinduism and purely secular sources. But I just want to say, despite all my criticism of the Church, one great contribution and redemption to the world has been the art of music. 


Tapji said...

speaking of music. you should listen to Nirvana!

jmj said...

Haven't listened seriously to them despite living in the NW. Which song is a good place to start?

jmj said...

I'm listening to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as I'm typing this. Is this a good sample?

Paul said...

Listen to "come as you are". and after that , i suggest listening to "dumb" or "man who sold the world"