Thursday, June 07, 2007

Church Music at Liquor King

"Come on down and meet your Maker...",

I heard faintly as our family finished our lunch at the mall.

The phrase sounded familiar; but the music still faint.

"Don't say I didn't warn you; this prophecy
is coming true.." was the next snippet I heard.

Ah, yes..."The Stand" by The Alarm, an 80's classic by that God-haunted band (who are stll around, by the way).

Here's the dated (at least big-hair wise)video below. These guys absolutely rocked when I saw them open for U2 in 1983. I knew nothing about them, but within seconds of their first song's opening, my brother and I turned to each other; knowing this would be an amazing concert; and said "These guys are Christian, aren't


Whether they literally are or not is precisely not the main point.
Which is that God has been using music...especially by God-haunted speak to people where they are.

It's a centered set culture we are living in.

I got chills in the mall, as I watched the punk rockers at the next table (ironically, they looked like The Alarm in the 80s) as the music (and evangelistic invitation) washed over them.

Whether they heard and heeded it or not is up for grabs.

But I actually think they are more accountable on Judgement Day beacuse God spoke to them at a fish palace at the mall one day through a song which may or may not be "officially" Christian.

It was an altar call.

That the altar was a table at Burbank Mall full of beer bottles didn't bother The Maker one bit.

When I teach my Ministry Skills class on "Penetrating and Plundering Culture," I often start with these opening case-studies to make this same point:

1)My daughter and I were singing along to that well-known worship song lyric, "Jesus, You are my King..." We were transported into God's presence...there at church..

Actually, at McDonalds. The Newsboys were leading worship over

the sound system!

2)"My Creator...You gave me life, now show me how to live!" was the passionate prayer by the worship leader. That cut-to-the-chase honest plea seemed to make the presence of God almost palpable. Our family
received it, and "amen-ed" it; there at church..

Actually, we were at Extreme Pizza. The Audioslave song "Show Me How to Live" was playing.

3)"I dare you to move..dare you to pick yourself up off the floor....salvation is here!," the evangelist begged with all his might. I stopped in my tracks; and almost fell to my knees.

All around me where desperate, even drunk people; whose lives were "on the floor," and needed to be dared into salvation..

By the lead singer of Switchfoot as he issued the challenged through the ceiling speaker of the church building...

Actually the
ceiling of Liquor King. Where I had entered (to some embarassment, hoping no parishoners saw me) to pay a uitlity bill at the back counter...of a liquor store.

I am aware some would "complain" that only #1 above is a "Christian band."

#3 is all Christian guys, but on a secular label. "We are Christian by faith, not by genre," the singer often explains.

Which is the ONLY reason their song was allowed in a liquor store.

Which is exactly the kind of place where Jesus is making himself quite at home nowadays. He is the King of Liquor King, after all.

Great days we live in.

Mall, McDonalds, Liquor King, Extreme Pizza.

"Church buildings ARE sacred...

.Mark Driscoll says; finishing the quote with a flourish:

" everything else in creation.


  1. I can now understand why Jesus poised the question as to whether He would find faith on the earth when he returned.

  2. Steve..amen..i am guessing you mean this in the same way i interpret it:

    Just like in Jesus' day, he found more
    traces of "faith: in the "pagans" tahn the religious folks. If he comes back in our day, it wouldn;t be surprising if he finds more "faith" in the pizza parlors, liquor stores than in "houses of worship?

    21 And Jesus went away from the Pharisees and religious people and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith!

  3. obviously not this steve. My, only, comment to you would be asking for a deletion of this blog. It seems that your only concern is mention as many "big names" as possible in order to draw readers into "Your tent". Once "in your tent" they read, then run from you and your vague thoughts.

  4. Good to hear from you, Stevie. I thought it was you. Love you, too!

  5. wainscott, I would, in no way, engage you in conversation unless: 1. you were offering to pay me back. 2. start to make amends to all that you owe amends to...and you need to stop lying as you do not know the world "love" and I have no "love" for are, of the one "loves" the devil...

  6. Show me how to Live is a great song. I agree that a band doesn't have be labeled "Christian" to teach a spiritual truth.


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!