I sometimes hang out on the William Meme Craig discord channel, chatting with the Christian philosophers I find there. One of them likes to suggest interesting posts that I can write about. Her latest find was this article about Kevin Max, a long-time member of the famous Christian band, DC Talk. I have one of their CDs from the 1990s. Here’s what happened to Kevin.
Kevin Max, a member of the popular Christian band DC Talk, announced over the weekend he is now “exvangelical,” noting he’s been “deconstructing” his faith “for decades.”
The singer dismissed some on social media who claimed he is no longer a Christian, saying he “didn’t say that” and clarified he follows “the Universal Christ,” although he didn’t explain what that means.
[…]In another tweet posted Monday, Max described himself as “anti-war, pro-peace, anti-hate, pro-live, pro-LGBTQIA, pro-BLM, pro-open mindedness, anti-narrow mindedness, pro-utopia, anti-white nationalist agenda, pro-equality, pro-vax, pro-music, anti-1%rs, pro-poor, pro-misfit-pro-Jesus, etc…”
He’s not very interestef in defending God’s existence using logic and evidence. He’s more interested in aligning himself with the new vision of morality, provided by the secular left. Whatever they tell him is virtuous, he is all for it. The secular left clearly knows more about moral issues and economics than Christian scholars like Ryan T. Anderson, Jay Richards, Robert P. George, Voddie Baucham, etc.
The article says:
Max’s comments come not long after former DesiringGod.org writer Paul Maxwell announced he is no longer a Christian, which he said in April “feels really good” and has made him “really happy.” Former Christian recording artist Jonathan Steingard has also left his Christian faith. In May 2020, he said, “I am now finding that I no longer believe in God.”
One of theologian John Piper’s sons, Abraham, has also been open about abandoning his faith, saying he just doesn’t believe ultimate meaning exists.
I wrote about Jon Steingard before. I also wrote about how John Piper compared Trump’s mean tweets to Biden’s infanticide and LGBT extremism, claiming he couldn’t decide which was worse. Jon Steingard and John Piper were never respected by Christian apologists who deal in reason and evidence. Piety and music are entertaining, but they don’t have much to do with finding truth.
The example of Katy Perry
Let’s take a look at two parents who run a ministry that is based around passionate preaching, prayer and Bible verses. Their famous daughter is named “Katy Perry”. Perhaps you’ve heard of her?
Consider these books from their web site…
Mary Hudson “Smart Bombs”:
Smart Bombs is a book which will show you practically and with true life examples how to take God’s Word and let it explode strongholds in your life. When you read the Bible, He quickens particular passages or verses to your heart. You know it is God talking to you about your situation. Or when you receive a prophetic word, you sense in your heart this is speaking to you. But what do you do with these words when they bear witness with you? Let them fade away and disappear off of your memory? No, Smart Bombs shows you how to go on the offense with the anointed word of God, how to demolish strongholds and take back everything the enemy has stolen from you.
This easy read is a must for anyone who is looking for clarity on their destiny.
Easy read. Uh huh.
Keith Hudson “The Cry”:
The Cry will reignite you with new fire. Christians lose their passion when they let go of their zeal for God. We come into prayer meetings and we are so polished and perfected. But the Lord wants to hear the cry of your heart. The church has lost its cry: God is about to restore it. Why did the thirty people gathered for the Azusa Street revival have such a move of the spirit of God in their day? Because they had a cry in their hearts and in their prayers. The Cry will release a desperate longing in you for Gods intervention in your life. It goes way beyond your natural thinking into a spiritual hunger from your innermost being. When everything else has failed, a desperate cry touches the heart of God.
Desperate cry. Fascinating.
Do you think that parents who write books like that will produce the same kind of children as parents who read William Lane Craig, Stephen C. Meyer, Jay Richards, Michael Licona, Nancy Pearcey, etc.? Of course not.
Here’s an article from Christian Post about what they produced.
Katy Perry, the 29-year-old singer and songwriter, is revealing that while she prays she no longer identifies with Christianity.
“I don’t believe in a heaven or a hell, or an old man sitting on a throne…,” she told Marie Claire magazine recently.
[…]Perry, who took the Billboard charts by storm with her hit song “I Kissed a Girl” in 2008, told Marie Claire that she no longer considers herself a Christian despite being raised by Christian ministers.
[…]Despite her decision to perform music that may seem controversial to the Christian community, the chart-topping singer has never shied away from crediting the Christian church for giving her a start as a performer.
“The atmosphere I grew up in was 100 percent Christian,” Perry said her “Part of Me: 3D” movie which was released last year. “I started singing in the church, I never really had another plan.”
The atmosphere she grew up in was 0% Christian, and 100% anti-intellectual. And that didn’t prepare her for stable Christianity.
Katy Perry writes songs to promote homosexuality to young people. Katy Perry also married a heroin-addicted leftist non-Christian. Tall, dark, handsome and a famous comedian, too. That’s what her childhood of feelings and experiences taught her to look for in a man. That’s the legacy of spiritual gifts, God opening doors of mysticism and charismatic anti-intellectualism.
I’m just wondering whether tootling, (tootling is my term of derision for Christians who major in singing and dancing, and minor in reason and evidence), should be seen by the rest of us as an indicator of grounded, stable Christianity. Or should we start to assume that people like Kevin Max and Katy Perry are unstable Christians? There are plenty of good scholars with stable worldviews that we can read instead of paying attention to the tootlers.
16 thoughts on “Do people who sing songs about Christianity know whether these things are true?”
So many churches produce christians who’s roots are about as deep as paper is thin, and as soon as a light breeze comes along they are uprooted and tossed to and fro. This is, of course, after those same churches and church leaders convince them that the bible has actually prevented them from becoming all they can be! If we could just break free of those archaic concepts of male and female, husband and wife, head and body, then we can be truly free to serve the one true god – ourselves!
And what is it about pastors feeling the need to ensure christians are constantly self-flagellating? Can no christian ever feel comfortable and happy about their walk with God? Must we constantly be demeaning ourselves and telling ourselves what horrible wastrels we are and moping about? I am saved! I am loved by the Creator of the universe! If I am keeping His commandments then I have plenty of reason to rejoice and there need be no horrid “cry from my heart”. I made the cry, God responded, I am saved! I guess there’s not much profit in that, though, eh?
Yeah, I would be VERY concerned about “worship” leaders and bands. They are entertainment-oriented and thrive on the applause of the congregation. Most of the modern “worship” songs are basically 70’s songs with the girl replaced by Jesus. 7-11 songs, we call them: 7 words repeated 11 times. No depth, no theology – like the hymns of old.
American churchianity is 0% Christianity – you are correct about that, WK. Pastor’s kids often rebel from their parents for sure too. But, it’s easier to do so when you aren’t being challenged intellectually. Then again, Rachel Slick.
Here’s what Katy Perry is up to, and keep in mind that this is the “best” of the show – it was MUCH more degenerate than this. (I do agree with the toilet imagery, but not the direction she went.)
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Re: Max’s self description – he’s hitting all the buzzwords in there!
I think we Christians have made a big mistake in losing ground in the arts and literature. This is where people’s hearts and minds are inspired – or should be! We have music, paintings and sculptures that are hundreds of years old that are awe inspiring testaments to the greatness of God. We have no more JR Tolkiens or CS Lewises writing books that both entertain us, and use allegory to instruct us on important philosophical and theological concepts. It’s a running joke that “Christian” movies are universally bad: lame writing, poor acting, cliché and uninspiring story lines.
The more time goes by, the more I am convinced that Christians need to start producing more art. Good art that instructs, inspires and challenges. Art is a huge part of culture, and we are losing the culture war, big time.
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I don’t know if this really counts as art, but I have Christian buttons that I have designed for me based on some of the heroes and heroines of the Faith. I give them away. Some are abortion themed, and they usually tell a little bit of a story in pictures and limited words.
I also have some neat dropcards that I seed everywhere, for Gospel and abortion purposes. They are definitely artistic, but rely more on existing imagery. But, they have inspirational phrases and all.
I agree though with your points!
Like any endeavor, there are some Christian artists whose faith is shallow, and some who move away from the faith they professed. I would certainly be hesitant to broad brush the entire industry with this sort of thing. By all means, point out those who do, but don’t project these failures on others.
The point of my post is to question whether we should be looking up to these people as celebrities on the basis of their skill at tootling, when skill at tootling seems to be entirely unrelated to the formation of a stable evidence-based worldview.
I’m asking rank-and-file Christians to reconsider who their role models should be.
I agree as long as you’re pointing out specific examples, not necessarily broad brushing the entire enterprise.
It’s certainly worthwhile to evaluate one’s role models, but as individuals, not as members of a group.
I agree that there are saved Christians in the industry, just like there are saved Christians in the NFL and NBA, but it’s extremely difficult to be strong given the nature of the industry.
For instance, can you give me an example of a popular Christian artist (key word “popular”) who speaks out against child sacrifice in the womb, sodomy, transgendering children, the violence, and sheer hypocrisy, of BLM, the unholiness of the jab, and Marxism?
Remember when Christians, and I mean strong Christians, thought that Amy Grant was a Christian? Now they are burning their Ipods of her songs. Same thing with Hillsong – I even fell for them myself early in my walk based on their music. Remember, these people are entertainers first. They are performers. They seek applause and immerse themselves in it. There isn’t a lot of “pick up your cross, deny yourself, and follow Me” in it. They might TALK about such things in their songs, but they rarely LIVE it. Yes, some can do it. But, it’s extremely difficult to do while maintaining one’s popularity.
I think he’s just being disingenuous. Deliberately not noticing the difference between people who sing and dance on stage and what skill set that requires, compared to people who have to interact with evidence in the real world.
I do think that there are lesser artists who are born again followers of Jesus Christ and that there are more major ones who do too, but keep a bit too quiet on the social issues. I do however think that it was easier to be an entertainer AND a strong Christian when Charles Wesley was writing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” than it is now. I take that back. It wasn’t any easier at all: they were just more committed for a variety of reasons that went far beyond their artistic talent. They had depth.
So that maybe goes back to what you said: artists can do both – they can create great art AND do the difficult intellectual work. But, it’s rare. Charles Wesley is a great example.
I’m not even talking about social issues primarily. I’m talking about whether skill at tootling is any reason to believe that a person has a rationally grounded faith that can endure the pressure of the secular left culture. I don’t see how tootling is related to apprehending truth and defending truth. And then I wonder why Christians celebrate professional clowns over scholars like the ones I mentioned.
Well, when you put it THAT way,… :-)
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We don’t agree. I think your view is irrational and you’re not honest. There’s nothing about singing and dancing that equips a person to be able to detect truth. On the other hand, the scholars I mentioned in the post are much better equipped because they deal in evidence. Therefore, the people who do us more on scholarship rather than tootling ate more stable and reliable. Christianity is a knowledge tradition, not a tootling tradition.
There have always been amazing worship teams going back to the 80 s and 90 s I know of that had skilled musicians but they were carnal.
Being good in arts mean you are more likely to be emotionally ruled which can lead to carnal Christians.
At the same time those that are solely ruled by only logic with no prayer or following of the spirit of God can follow down useless trails similar to the idea of being an expert in OT genealogies with no emphasis on salvation.
But as one that is quite logical and yet I am good musically I see what is good in both areas, yet alone being art minded or logic minded alone doesn’t work.
The saying of knowing God in spirit and truth is good. Or to saying leaning the word of God and having a spiritual relationship with him too
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