Friday, July 9, 2010

Two Christian Artists

The other night, I was driving the family home from vacation, listening to some tunes, and of course thinking.  It's interesting that out of all the Christian recording artists, two of the ones who took some of the biggest stands, died early.  There's been much written about how God took them/didn't take them/accidents/free-will over God's hand of protection... and that's not what I want to cover.

Keith Green died in a plane crash in 1982.  At the time, he was what I listened to the most.  I was an impressionable 17 year old and this death hit me like what I guess it hit die hard fans of Lennon in 1980.  Keith took a lot of stands-- and in the budding CCM industry, none shook like when he decided his albums would be for whatever a person could afford.  That didn't sit well with the "business" side of things.

Then there's Rich Mullins.  His death came in a vehicle accident in 1997, one in which his Jeep rolled and he was killed when he was ejected.   Rich was another one who did it extremely different.  Rich setup all his earnings (which there had to be much) into a trust, in which he drew a poverty line salary from.  The rest went to charities.  Here was a famous Christian recording star who would give his shoes away at the drop of a hat.  He lived what he sang about.

Actually, that best describes both-- they lived what they sang about.  I've known some Christian Recording stars through the years, and if you haven't watched "The Imposter," it might come as a shock to you, but there are lots of imposters out there singing one thing/living another.

Now, these two aren't to be idolized.  But Paul did write to "imitate me as I imitate Christ."  So for you budding Christian recording stars, I encourage you to imitate Keith and Rich as they imitated Christ.

So were they perfect?  No.  Keith, through a moment of Ego, led his two oldest children to death, and abandoned his wife and two younger children, depriving them of a father and older siblings.  His Ego moment was to show off the ranch to a visiting family in an airplane, and further that Ego, by carrying an air of invincibility over the laws of nature.  (The plane was seriously overweight).

Rich, fortunately didn't leave  or abandon a family.  A seatbelt might have saved his life.  Or maybe not.

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