A Message from Tai of the Rock Band "Third Day"
We're out here on the road working hard on tour. It's street week. So, we're hitting it hard. We've been doing morning radio, interviews, autograph signings, television, and, oh Yeah! Big Ole Concerts every night.
Last night, Mac, Mark, and I got on the bus and were reading through some of the lyrical criticism of the new project. We fully expected the criticism. So, we weren't surprised. We also feel more passionately than every that we have made the record that we needed to make so I'm not going to apologize for the record in ANY way.
I would like to address one aspect of the criticism in an undefensive manner I love worship music. I love worshipping God through music. In about 10 minutes, I'm going to go worship God through sweat at a Habitat for Humanity build in Dallas. I really believe what we tried to convey at the Dove Awards when we won the award for Praise and Worship album of the year. I believe that worship is so much more than music.
You know, there are times when I love hearing very bold statements and declarations of faith. There are times when we absolutely need to speak the name of Jesus, the only name under heaven by which we can be saved. But has anyone stopped to think that maybe we unknowingly use our Lord's name in vein? I mean we print the name of Jesus on Tee shirts because we know they'll sell. We let it roll off our tongues without a 2nd thought (Well at least when we're around other Christians.) I think sometimes we say his name without any reverence whatsoever.
Over the last few years, when worship music has become so huge, we all sing and say a lot of things that we don't really think about. It's easy to say 'em, but it's cliche'. I mean, unlike some of our critics, I'll look at myself first. I sing along to Show Me Your Glory and the line...."I want to see your face." Do I really mean that? If I did, I should be shaking when I say it... Because God's glory is something to behold. I'd probably just drop dead. Even Moses only got a glimpse of the backside and he glowed for days.
The thing with cliches is they're easy to say, but they don't always require thought. There is a time for bold, obvious statements. But there is also a time to be real. I don't live in a Christian utopia. I live in the USA. You might have missed the memo, but this isn't a Christian nation anymore. The name of Jesus is powerful, and it calls for a response. It's controversial. It's never something to be ashamed over. But, we should speak His name reverently and purposefully.
God has been calling us in the band to step out. We were meeting with our road pastor yesterday, and he reminded us of how this process has been years in the coming. He reminded us of all the prayer and study that has gone into this process. You know what, I think he's calling us all out. With our record, and in our upcoming concerts and interviews, we want to create art that challenges us all to think about what Jesus did for us. Sometimes that requires more than just spewing out an easy statment like, "Jesus died for your sins." and crafting a song, a parable if you will, like Innocent which paints a picture that those outside of our Christian "country clubs" might be able to understand as well. (Who else tended to speak in stories and in the language of His culture?)
We're stepping out. We're going to do whatever we can to get our music and the message of our music out into our culture. I'm tired of complaining about the stuff I see on the news. I want to start shaping the news. I'm tired of complaining about Janet Jackson superbowls. I want our music and message on the superbowl. I'm tired of complaining about a culture that's decaying. I want to be the salt that preserves the culture. I'm not ready to retreat and go to my Christian church, school, home, radio station, tv station, etc.
I want to change the world. So, who's with me? You can point the finger at us. That's what "religious" people do. Or, you can join us. You can step out too. It won't be safe. The world will hate you.
Guess what, even more hurtful, your brothers and sisters in Christ will question EVERYTHING you do. But, you know what... God never said this life was supposed to be safe. Maybe if you're faith isn't attracting any criticism, that should be a wake up call because our Savior promised that it would come.
This is an invitation. join us on the wire. Walk out there with us.
Try and balance being in the world and not of it. you can't do that safely. The big slogan of a Christian radio station in our whole town is "Safe for the whole family." Well you know what, that's all fine and good, but I think God has called us to be ...
DANGEROUS FOR OUR WHOLE CULTURE!