Finding God on the radio

One of my favorite radio segments, Faith in Culture, takes place on SiriusXM's Busted Halo show, which airs on The Catholic Channel (159 on Sirius and 117 on XM).

What is Faith in Culture? It's a simple concept. Taking "secular" music and finding something spiritual in it. It's finding God in a song that isn't necessarily written about God. After all, since God is present all around us, it makes sense that he'd be in song lyrics that you least expect Him to be.

Which is such an amazing concept. Growing up, people at church would say, "Don't listen to "secular" music, lest you inherit evil influences of the world and cease to be a good Christian.

Bah! What a horrible concept. True, there are some rotten songs out there, but to say that non-Christian music can somehow replace God's presence in you with sin is just crazy.

Since I've never been a fan of the praise and worship music shoved down my throat at the yearly Super Summer camps at Ouachita Baptist (not that there is anything wrong with it!), I welcome such a concept.

For example, take alt-rock band Chevelle's song "The Clincher." Played on "secular" radio stations, you wouldn't think of it as a "Jesus" song. But read some of these lyrics.

"Could we have known, Never would I, helped to nail down, With nothing to gain, Here's the clincher, this should be you."

Sure there are so many interpretations, but when I first heard that song back in college, it made me think of Christ getting nailed down to the cross. If I had known what my sin caused (Christ's death), I would have done my absolute best not to sin, knowing what I would cause. And here's the clincher: Christ had nothing to gain from dying, it was all for us. It should have been me.

Or take the classic Foo Fighters song "Learn to Fly,"

"Hook me up a new revolution, Cos this one is a lie, We sat around laughing, And watch the last one die. I'm looking to the sky to save me, Looking for a sign of life, Looking for something help me burn out bright."

I just read those lyrics and see a man longing for something more than this life has to offer. A new way of doing things, of living his life.

Chicago's "Feeling Stronger Every Day?" The title says it all. We get our strength from God each day we decide to trust in Him. The Cure's "Just Like Heaven" may be a steamy romance song, but I imagine that Solomon might have written something similar if he decided to add another chapter to "Canticle of Canticles" (or Song of Solomon, depending on your translation).

And Dido's "Here with Me" is a perfect example of a song not being about God, yet finding Him in song lyrics. "And I won't go, I won't sleep, I can't breathe, Until you're resting here with me," the lyrics read. While God is eternal (and therefore needs no sleep), God still wants us with him, walking with him every day. His desire for fellowship is even greater than Dido's desire for her lover.

That's how great God is. He's around even when we don't look for Him. After everything He's done (creation, dying on the cross, guiding the Church for 2,000 years), is it really a surprise that he might pop up in a song by U2 or The Roots?

Christian music and church music are both great. As I type, I have Jars of Clay (the second best band of all time, right behind Pink Floyd and a hair above Led Zeppelin) cranked to 11. But before you turn off the rock station because you need to spend time finding God, turn the lyrics up (up to 11 if possible) and prayerfully medidate. You just might be surprised.


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    About This Blog

    A blog for the masses, if by masses you mean myself and family members who probably read this out of pity.

    I'm dustin Faber, the 16-bit Catholic. This blog is an amusing, sometimes thought-provoking look at my life and the world around me. Poetry, cooking recipes, gaming, faith, things that make me go awww, things that make me go grrr, and my obsession with a good glass of root beer can be found here.

    If you're looking for gaming-centered posts, check out catholicvideogamers.blogspot.com. If you seek the blog I keep with my fiance, check out thecatholiclovebirds.blogspot.com

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