On February 5th, Grace Baldridge released an album called “Preacher’s Kid.” It is hardly Christian at all, yet it topped the iTunes Christian Music Charts. Some Christians were outraged, others shocked, but most were surprised.
There was a lyric in her song “Bethlehem” that broke my heart, to be honest:
“Oh the mission trips are scams they do more harm than good
We’ve got fame-hungry pastors making bank in Hollywood
and more confused than I’ve been”
It was at this moment that maybe I understood her: I don’t believe this woman ever experienced the real Gospel. Maybe she heard the words, but I’m not sure she ever saw the Gospel from those in her life. The reason why the Gospel is centered around belief is that as much as it is taught, it is more so demonstrated.
She heard the Gospel, but the end result was confusion. This was not my experience. The Gospel I received changed my life. It pointed me in a new direction and gave me clarity. Life didn’t get easier. It got harder, but my direction and purpose were clearer than ever.
Maybe that’s the problem for those trying to understand. Whether we know it or not, we’ve done a number on Christianity. A famous quote by Richard Halverson goes as follows:
“In the beginning, the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.”
Some in and around the Christian music industry are shocked at what’s happening, but somehow, we have moved from sharing the Gospel to peddling the Gospel and the world has taken notice.
Maybe what is missing is genuine authenticity. Maybe rather than selling our books and songs and messages, maybe it’s time for a generation of believers to share the truth. Maybe the gimmicks that we thought would get people to the church building aren’t working anymore. Maybe they should have never worked but rather than demonstrating Christianity, we manufactured it.
Church, I beg you. The Gospel should be freely given. It is high time that our lives change so drastically because of the presence of God that our methods look different and our hearts look transformed. They may not like the message, but at least make sure it looks like the message changed us. Maybe when Jesus cast out the money changers in the temple, He was thinking of us. I pray the enterprise of Christianity falls. With that temptation out of the way, maybe we can really start living for Jesus again.