Christians are musical archeologists. When we hear a new song that we like, we like to dig in into the lyrics to ascertain if it may or may not be Christian.
We search through metaphors, brushing off the dust of the melody to see if we can hear a glimmer of “I love Jesus” somewhere in there.
Mumford & Sons is an obvious example. U2 doesn’t count because Bono has clearly and explicitly spelled out the nature of his faith in Christ. (Let’s see if we can start a fight with that sentence!) But I will never forget the funniest time I played the “Christian song game” while waiting for church to begin.
One Sunday, my wife and I were at church sitting in our seats as the service slowly started. As people walked to their seats, they played a song over the speakers by the band, Our Lady Peace. They’re not a Christian band, but their song, “Somewhere Out There” kind of sounds like a God song. I mean this part does:
That’s great. We’re down, which means you’re UP in heaven. And garbage could mean another word for sin. But then, in the middle of church, with thousands of other people, I hear the singer say this:
Hope you remember me, When youre homesick and need a change. I miss your purple hair,
OK, I think to myself, that’s a little weird. I’m not sure Jesus had purple hair but you know, when the sun is setting just right over the Dead Sea maybe it was kind of purple. The old testament mentions pomegranates a lot. Maybe they died their hair. I was willing to let that one go until the next line:
I miss the way you taste.
I had a hard time tying that directly to Jesus or God. End scene.
Have you ever wondered if a song is Christian? Which song?