Episode 47 of Street Dreams
It was the morning after the jukebox party at Harold Peyton’s house. Herbie Schultz’s eyes opened to see an acrylic painting that he had been working on. It was only about two -thirds finished. A few days ago Herbie was browsing through a local thrift shop when he decided to check out the store’s used music collection. Sometimes, if one was very fortunate they might stumble upon an old LP that was a real gem, but was presently out-of-print. This rare find occurred to Herbie on very rare occasions, but like an eager fisherman, he enjoyed the hunt. Some of these albums and CDs that were available for sale on Amazon.com or on eBay, but usually had ridiculously expensive asking prices. For example one might find an out-of-print Larry Norman LP in near mint condition selling for $700. If the collector was able to find the same record in a thrift shop or at a flea market, they might be able to buy the item for two dollars or less. Therefore the excitement of the hunt.
Last Monday afternoon while Herbie was searching through a pile of LPs, he was shocked to see an album cover that Christian rock artist Larry Norman wearing what appeared to be a skin tight lion print body suit.
Herbie was not a Christian, but he once had a young male roommate who was a believer. His friend often played Christian rock records and CDs for Herbie. Herbie’s roommate had a few modern Christian praise and worship records, but most of his collection consisted of rock ’n’ roll. His friend’s favourite Christian rock ’n’ roll artist was the founder of Christian rock, Larry Norman.
Herbie didn’t realize that there was a sub genre of rock ’n’ roll music known as Christian rock. He discovered that he really liked a lot of the records that his roommate, Peter Edwards, played. Herbie was soon asking Peter many questions about the music and artists they listened to.
One afternoon, Herbie asked Peter about Larry Norman, “Hey Peter, what’s the story on this guy, Larry Norman. His music is really good so why haven’t I heard of him before?”
Peter was pleasantly surprised by Herbie’s question. He turned towards his nonbeliever friend and said, “The reason that you haven’t heard of Larry Norman before this is that his albums rarely gets any radio play and you won’t find his songs or his videos on Much Music. Larry Norman is rock ’n’ roll, but he’s also a Christian who is not shy about sharing his faith. I don’t think that a lot of secular radio stations are even allowed to play Christian music, with the exception of a few Christmas carols.”
There are, of course, several Christian radio stations, but they tend to play music by artists that they consider safe. They don’t want to upset their Christian listeners with songs that will make them think,” Peter answered.
“I think I’m beginning to understand,” Herbie said. “When I start thinking about the lyrics on some of Larry songs, they appear to challenge some of the practices of the church. Norman songs often are very political as well,” Peter added.
“You know something Peter? God has blessed me with a very sharp roommate,” Herbie said.
“Thank you. Now, answer another one of my questions, if you don’t mind. Why don’t Christians like rock ‘n’ roll music?” Peter asked.
“There are likely several reasons. They may sincerely believe that rock ’n’ roll corrupts young people’s minds and puts sin into their hearts.”
“What kinds of sin are we talking about here?” Peter asked his roommate.
“Good question, Peter. They think that rock ’n’ roll promotes sins such as sexual immorality, the use of illegal drugs and the loss of respect for authority figures. Some of them honestly believe tht listening to Christian rock music and being a follower of Jesus is an impossible contradiction,” Herbie answered. Peter left the kitchen table to make some coffee. He turned his head toward Herbie and said, “Here is my next question . I’ve listened to several of your Christian albums, but I have yet to hear any lyrics that encourage any of these sins,” Peter stated.
Herbie laughed, I didn’t know that you paid that much attention to the content of the lyrics on my albums. You are right. There are many older Christians that have great problems with the musical sounds produced by rock music. These people believe that there is evil in the loud,pounding drumbeats, the thundering baselines and screeching lead guitar solos,” Herbie answered.
Episode 47 of Street Dreams