I am not one of those people who can listen to a song without really listening to the lyrics. Such bliss it would be if I could be one of those people! But I’ve been this way since I was a teen so I guess I’m hopelessly stuck in this rut for life.
Lyrics can be beautiful and lyrics can be ugly, they can be uplifting and they can be irritating depending on who wrote them and what their intentions were. Sometimes the meaning is obscure and those can really drive me nuts at times. I think the completely obscure ones actually don’t bother me too much however. I can listen to them without concern because no one can figure out the meaning; such as the lyric which says, “I’m a scary gargoyle on a tower that you made with plastic power, your rhinestone eyes are like factories far away.” What does that mean? Nothing. So it doesn’t bother me like some lyrics do.
My all time biggest pet peeve is with Christian Pop Music. I try to avoid it as much as possible; but when you don’t like the sound of a ringing alarm clock and prefer a clock radio to awaken you each morning, well, what else can you do? Maybe I should just condition myself to listening to the buzz of an alarm instead.
Currently, my two least favorite Christian Pop songs are Someone Worth Dying For by Mike’s Chair and Human by Natalie Grant. What I dislike about these songs and virtually all Christian Pop songs is the glorification of man instead of Christ. Which brings to mind another, older pop song which illustrates this point so well: “You (God) make everything glorious. And I am yours. What does that make me?” – David Crowder Band
Now, I know that God will glorify his saints one day in Heaven, but still, here is a song that focuses mainly on God and His glory and then shifts ever so slightly, the focus is taken off God for a moment, and the singer seems to say, “Wait a minute! What does that make me? Oh glorious Me, Me, Me! I’m pretty Special! What’s that? Oh yeah, I was worshiping God and got distracted with myself. You’re glorious too, God! Let me try to re-focus on You.”
Enter the two newest songs to rise to the top of the Christian Pop charts. Someone Worth Dying For centers on mankind, telling the listener that Christ died for you because you are worth dying for, which means you aren’t THAT bad of a sinner, you are mostly GOOD and therefore worthy, and if you are worthy then God actually OWES you salvation. Glorious You, You, You! Except…the gospel of the Bible does not back up this human sentiment expressed in the song.
Speaking of human sentiment. Natalie Grant’s song Human is a human wonder in and of itself. It is simplistic, a gifted five year old could have written it, and yet it is a glorious anthem of Humanism. God gets a small part, very small, as it mentions God’s children…once again the focus of the song is on man after all! The gist of the song is this and I quote: “I’m human. You’re human. We are human.” Do you see the simplicity of this lyric? The rest of the song encourages humanity to “do better than this“. Why is that, Natalie? “It’ll be what makes the difference. It’ll be what makes us human.” Oh, OK! But wait, Natalie! I thought God was the one who is supposed to make the difference through sending His Son to die on the cross offering undeserved mercy and grace to His children. It seems to me that the focus of the Bible is on God and His glory which He says He will not share with another. He seems to be the central character in the Bible and the central theme is about what He does, not about what we humans do. We kind of messed up long ago in the Garden of Eden and we’ve never been able to overcome that no matter how much we try to “do better than this“.