Friday, August 29, 2008

Lil'E wrote a rock song last night

American Idol Happy Meal toySo there I was last night, home alone with the kids, playing with my five-year old daughter while my 18-month old son wreaked havoc about the living room. Her chosen game, as usual, involved some sort of humanoid construction of plastic and cloth - in this case, they were the American Idol dolls from Happy Meal toys that came out in the recent past. You raise the arm holding a mike to their face and music plays. Rock on!

Also natural to this playtime, Lil'E decided we had to put on a show (by we I of course mean the toys whose persona's we had assumed). We had to put on a rock show and sing rock songs. Being the naïve parent, I knew no rock songs; but the world-wise kindergartener knows all. She bust out with an original offering that went something like this:

I am singing my rock song
And I've got my rock hair
And I'm wearing my rock clothes
Apparently, if one says the word "rock" enough times in a song then it is by definition a rock song. And it doesn't hurt to yell the words when you sing.

Read more . . .
Don't you love kids? Their ideas so simple, so straightforward, set out so that everyone can understand and join in - after all, the more the merrier when it comes to playtime, right? Maybe I should get her to set down these lyrics for Shaun so he can get back on the charts? (To be fair, he's already got the hair and clothes.)

Here's where I switch subjects on you, in a way. I can look at Lil'E's great effort at making a rock song and recognize it as simplistic, childish even, for insisting that it is the use of the word "rock" that makes it a "rock song". Can you guess where I'm going with this? Yep, I'm thinking about "Christian music".

I was recently reminded how, to many people, a song cannot be called "Christian" unless it uses (frequently) the name of God or Jesus. That's right, they're using the same definition as is my five-year old girl for how to classify a song. Funny how in one case it can seem like an inane, senseless definition but in the other it is deadly serious. Which is which in the last sentence? Which application is inane and which accurate? Both are in the eye of the beholder, so should both be taken seriously?

For Lil'E, when I started singing a song and didn't say the word "rock" within ten seconds I got buzzed and corrected. The same standard applies for the person who believes that only in through explicitly evoking the name of God can you be talking about God. Do a web search and I'm sure you can find a host of people who talk about Christian artists like MercyMe and Michael W. Smith (or fill in the blank) being of the devil because they don't say "Jesus" enough (or a host of other reasons). As if intoning a word or phrase distinguishes between carnal and holy. I think Jesus actually said something about that, along the lines of calling on His name does not guarantee salvation. But we still insist on the trappings, the formula, as though it will lead to salvation in and of itself.

Of course, there are nice examples in the bible that would fail the "does he say Jesus enough" test. Take the classic Psalm 1, beautiful and well known, often quoted, and only gets around to mentioning the Lord at the very end. Were that a modern worship song it would find criticism for only putting in God's name as an afterthought; but as it is a Psalm (capital "P") it is accepted. Or, of course, there's the whole book of Song of Songs with nary a mention of God in it - but it is considered canonical. We could even talk about Paul and Philippians 4:13 - "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." You may be thinking you remember it as "through Christ who gives me strength" but this is the KJV, and the early manuscripts do not have Paul saying "Christ" but "him". His intent is unmistakable, nevertheless, and we know that it is Jehovah who gives us that strength, be it through His word, the Spirit, Christ, or even through His body on earth. Paul did not narrow his definition, likely for a reason, but we do to seek comfort in formula.

Anyway, I'm not too sure why I got off on this topic. Maybe Lil'E's song got me to thinking about simplistic definitions and the vitriolic websites I've seen passing judgment (in flashing, multi-colored, 128-pt font) on others for things such as this. The song Lil'E sang was nice, though - I really liked it.

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Cristy said...

What? No video? Made me smile even without the video.

euphrony said...

Did I mention that a tornado in the form of an 18-month old boy hit while we were playing? No video available. I was reaching for my cell phone to at least record it, but the moment passed.

Cristy said...

Yes, the moments are fleeting at that age, aren't they?

Melissa said...

I just thought I would share this with you.

Blessing to You,


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