About a year ago, I began listening to Anthony Evans. He is a gospel singer with an R&B vibe that I enjoy. His songs ministered to me in my times of despair. Silence: “Questions left unanswered. Feels like my prayers are hitting these walls… Maybe You’re speaking through the silence. Maybe it’s all I need to hear. Give me the patience through the quiet, I need to rest here, and be okay to wait.” Forgive Me: “Forgive me I need Your mercy. I am not worthy without the cross. Oh Lord come and wash me from my head to my feet, I need You desperately.”
I listened to a radio interview that he did, some months ago, but it was new to me. He spoke about his struggle with depression, and how he was close to “hanging up the mic.” He was singing songs, and lacking faith, and belief. He released a new album recently, Back to Life. This album is supposed to be all about his being authentic, honest, and transparent. Right on! Right? Yes and no. He referenced a quote that C.S. Lewis supposedly said, although I could not find it in the same context, I found it in reference to writing books, but whatever… He quoted, “We do not need more songs by Christians about Christianity, we need more songs by Christians about everything else.” So, with this in mind, he has been renewed, and brought Back to Life, and has his excuse to release R&B music, as a “worship leader.”
The purpose of music is to illicit an emotional response – specifically a positive response. We know that the Song of Solomon is filled with what we consider “love poems” or “songs” to his beloved. His “first love” – his wife. Some preachers try to make it symbolic to mean Christ’s love for the church, but is that truly so? Or was it included to demonstrate a few things to us: a) the love of a man for his woman. b) proper use of songs that do not necessarily glorify God.
We know that Lucifer – Satan – is the ruler of the skies, and music. He has taken music, and perverted it. He has also taken the glory away from the Lord, so we have to be very careful when we listen to something that does not glorify God. Where do you draw the line? Music is such a powerful tool that can illicit such powerful emotions. Consider the tears that you may shed when you hear a song, that brings back memories of a time, and place.
When I examine the music in my life, I consider the effect it has on me. I was cruising FaceBook yesterday, and a friend had a post about a Brantley Gilbert song, You Promised. It’s a new song. Her post was: “Listening to this on repeat” with a sad face… Me, a glutton for sad, sappy… Like and idiot, was like, “Oh, let me listen!” So, I did. “Can hear her screamin’ now / No baby don’t, you’re making my heart hurt /Don’t say those words / Take it back / You know you don’t mean that / You swore when I wore your ring / It meant forever / I’ve got it on baby / How can you say I lost it / Oh, you promised.” That’s the chorus. Boy, it brought tears to my eyes. So, I bought it. Then, I got in my car to go to work, told Siri to shuffle my music, beginning with that song, and wouldn’t you know, she automatically played sad, sappy songs all the way to work. I was taken back to being left, abandoned twice by Brian. Left by Chris. How sad I felt. Oh, yesterday was such a hard day. Then, I stayed in bed all day today, and slept. No will to live.
Isn’t the power of music something. I disagree with Anthony Evans. I do not think that we need more songs about everything else by Christians. There are tons of songs about everything else. The songs that he sings about Christ have their own unique perspective that touched me right where I was/am… And reach me where I need. The world has so much of everything else. I don’t need that in the church too. When I heard the words in his songs, they touched me in my brokenness, in my depression. It is sad that he feels the need to go outside of Christ’s presence to fill a void within himself. That should tell him that he is far from His presence. We are tempted and drawn away of our own lusts. I am sad for him.