Friday, June 1, 2012

Just another Casting Crowns endorsement (no, I'm not getting paid to say this)

The new casting crowns CD is next to the only music I’ve been listening to lately. It incredible and convicting and honest and… you get the point. I’m constantly amazed at Mark Hall’s lyrical ability. I really don’t think there’s been a song that he’s written that I haven’t liked.  Their music has gotten me through a lot in my life.

I’d list the songs that have really impacted me, but it would be shorter to list the more “okay” songs.  Casting Crowns’ newest CD, “Come to the Well” has three songs in particular that really stand out to me: City on a Hill, Jesus Friend of Sinners, and My Own Worst Enemy.

“City on a Hill” actually made me cry the first couple of times I listened to it. It’s kind of a warning to the church in general to work together, in whatever gifting individuals have, as the body of Christ, instead of breaking apart over differences and/or superiority complexes.  This song is in reference to:
Matthew 5:14- “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
The light that we are supposed to be showing the world fades when churches break apart, because they are no longer showing Christ, they are projecting sinful, divided hearts.  If we, as a church body, don’t shine God’s light so the world can see the way to salvation and hope, all they’re going to see is darkness and will have no hope.

“Jesus, Friend of Sinners”; this song brings to mind the kinds of “Christians” that protest funerals and make hateful picket signs.  We know what they’re against, but not so much what they’re for. These lyrics reference:
Luke 6:42- “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank that is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the plank out of your eye and then you will be able to see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
“Jesus, Friend of Sinners”  is an extremely convicting song about the dangers of legalism and judgmental hearts and the appeal to God to help us love people like Christ and open our eyes to our attitudes toward others in order to fix the damage that’s been done.  I’m sure everyone has known someone that has been hurt by the church, which is why I think this song is able to resonate so deeply with any audience. I know it really affects me and makes me stop and think “Is this what my life looks like, or am I living faithfully like Christ?”

“My Own Worst Enemy” is basically prayer to God to help him break free from his old self and his past that he’s having difficulty escaping. I think every one of us can relate to that on one level or another.  In this song, Mark Hall talks about how he thought he’d buried his past, but it had found its way back out. I don’t know about you, but that sounds familiar. I think it’s a great song in that it alludes to:
2 Corinthians 5:17- “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.”
I always love that Mark Hall's lyrics so obviously point to scriptures that aren't hazy or difficult to pinpoint and look up. I also love that there's no sugar coating; I think that's why they can be so believable and relatable. This new CD seems to have a song for every occasion or mood that you happen to be in and they are all filled with amazing, humbling, encouraging truths. I definitely put it at the top of the recommendation list.

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