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At the Crossroads
[ Charlie Peacock | 1999 ]

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At the Crossroads - Click to view!With uncanny vision and flawless logic, songwriter/producer Charlie Peacock explores the many complicated issues Christian fans, industry leaders and artists are facing At the Crossroads...and the insufficient truth that got us into this whole mess. Modern Christian music traces its roots back to 1967 and the Baptist Sunday School Board (smell a rat already?); apparently, three old men thought "the kids should have something" and, in typical Baptist fashion (no offense), wrote a youth musical. Even with its stale, derivative, big band and orchestra-based music, they fought legalists all the way through its production! As the idea took off, more musicals followed until that gave away to the Jesus music of the 70s and the first Christian labels: Word, Myrrh and, in 1976, Sparrow Records. "While important concepts for that time, youth musicals are not an accurate or comprehensive starting point for music, ministry or commerce," Peacock declares. God's view is a kingdom reality, a way to perceive, think and truly live with His Spirit and His principles as the center of your life. During the birth of CCM, overemphasis on "corporate worship, the evangelizing of young people, the gifts of the Spirit, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ" resulted in a lack of branching out into a genuine artistic honesty with an indwelling of true Biblical doctrine into the music. Theology is the key. But it's been so distorted the word has lost meaning; it's basic definition is "God-thoughts," or pondering the existence of God and His real impact on my life. Insufficient theology is not knowing what God knows about Himself--or any other subject, from nuclear physics to ska music. Anything not coming from that seeking, pursuing and learning God and His Word is selfish, flesh-centered thoughts originating only from our own desires, or, as one industry leader firmly believes, demonic inspiration. I certainly don't deny the spiritual blindness pervading much of the Christian A/C industry. Peacock's point (and mine in this review) is that "it's impossible to be into Jesus and not be into theology." At the same time, music is a creation of God, and ministry should not be the sole justification of Christian music--for while worship to God is the best use of music, communication between humans about important emotions is vital to a comprehensive kingdom perspective. That's the basis of all of CP's informed, well-reasoned and prayerfully considered commentary and arguments. Another driving point is that the "Christian" industry and the "Christian" Doves and the "Christian" market should all be abolished--make Point of Grace and all the other el cheeso divas compete in the real world. Make Christians actually go into Best Buy and talk to unbelievers (gasp!) for a change, and, for Heaven's sake, have Sparrow spend some cash promoting their artists in Rolling Stone and Billboard (do I hear an "amen" delirious? mailing list members)! Thankfully, Charlie isn't railing against the establishment like many are. At the Crossroads is a must-read for anyone seeking to be a voice in the arena of Christian music opinion, any writer, or anyone involved in the arts. I'm challenging all CMW and QUORUM readers to get a copy and contemplate Charlie's words, paragraph by paragraph. You'll be all the wiser and more informed for it.
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