It’s hard to put my finger on the exact reason for it…but in a nutshell, I know that I...well, let’s say…I think slow on my feet.
I'm not the smartest bear in the woods, I admit it. I’m a salesman’s dream. I can be talked into all kinds of things, and of course when I am, I later regret my decision. It’s not that I’m dumb or careless or foolish. I just need a minute to process my thoughts, before acting. I’m a little slow on the draw, as they say. But when I have time to think, I can come across as fairly intelligent. Unfortunately, in real life, pondering isn’t always possible.
Last night, I was invited to be the musical guest on the Atlanta Live show, a talk show formatted program on the Christian WATC Network. I’ve been on there several times now and always love the people and the atmosphere there. Great bunch of folks, and one of my favorite places to appear.
This time, I worked with a host whom I’d never met before. Robert Moore. Nice guy, passionate, well spoken, musically knowledgeable. We just didn’t know one another. And consequently, I had no idea how we’d interact during a chat. So when we took a few minutes to talk, of course he didn’t ask me the standard “So what’s up with you lately” questions. Threw me completely off.
And so I felt compelled to write this blog, partly to make sure I’m not misunderstood on this. This one particular subject came up during our chat, and I wanted to be clear on my thoughts…now that I’ve had a minute to let my thoughts mellow.
Rob asked me how I felt about Christian artists who were also writing and performing secular music. The implication was that there’s a negative view of these artists, by some Christians, and Rob, assuming that I subscribed to that position as well, wanted me to weigh in. And of course, I felt the pressure to give an answer and agree with the accepted view.
Looking back, I stumbled around, looking for what I thought was the “right answer”…a practice that always leads me to regret, and embarrasses me as I dishonor Christ with my fumbling. Because when I try to come up with the answer that I’m “supposed to give”, it rarely matches up with what I truly think. And I don’t know if you can tell…but I can.
To begin with, my answer is my answer. Ricky’s answer. It’s my opinion, reasoned out and rationalized through what I personally believe and know and THINK I know. Some of the things I do NOT know are another person’s heart, their feelings, their thoughts, God’s plan for them, and God’s plan for others who may encounter them. And with all that lack of knowledge, I accept the fact that my opinions may be pretty flawed at times.
Part of my answer last night had to do with not following two paths and that I felt the need to commit to one or the other. And in some ways, I really do feel that way. As a matter of fact, I know that I have a tendency to lose my own focus when I try to concentrate on more than one thing. It’s just the way I ‘m built. And for that reason, in a lot of areas, I’m encouraged to stick to one thing.
However, I should’ve added that, as most of you already know, I AM an artist that dabbles in genres, outside of just Gospel or Worship music. And I’m comfortable doing that. I’m not tempted or distracted by it. No, I’m not Boot Scootin’ at the local bar, but I write and record all kinds of stuff…children’s, new age, instrumental, classical, folk & country, pop and a host of material for TV & film use. And, I also lead worship at our church, write and record Christian and Worship songs and appear periodically on the occasional Christian TV program.
Does my “multi-faceted-ness” make me a less-respected Christian? I don’t know…I hope not. How do I measure up now? Does that make me less “real” in God’s eyes? I don’t think so. Does it make it appear that I’m just in the Christian side of things, for the added publicity or money? Again, I don’t know, but I hope not.
I guess I should’ve made sure to make these points during the broadcast, and to remind everyone that a secular song isn’t inherently bad, just because it’s secular. Just like a Gospel song isn’t “good”, just because it’s Gospel. A Martin D1 isn’t a fantastic guitar because of the music it plays. Your Bible is no less truthful when it comes from Walmart. And a singer isn’t “right” or “wrong” just because of the style of music they perform.
At the end of the day, in my eyes, it comes down to “fruits”. Jesus said that we would know a tree by the fruit it bears. And so it is with doctors, preachers, politicians, plumbers, brick layers, grandparents, circus clowns, truck drivers, professional athletes, and yes…musicians.
I just wanted to clarify my thoughts on that, because I believe I was grappling with my words and honestly, flubbing up what I really wished I had said.
So with that…if you tuned in to the broadcast, thank you! And I hope you were blessed by what you heard. And I hope you felt like Christ was represented in that hour! I’ll be spending a little more time think, think, thinking BEFORE we go on air, the next time! :-)