Monday, March 29, 2010

Musical Interlude - Nichole Nordeman

Since this is the week leading up to Easter, I thought I'd pick a Christian song that more directly discusses faith. (Although I'd argue with you that most of the stuff I've posted already for my Musical Interlude Mondays has a Christian message of some kind within the lyrics...but I digress...)

This song always makes me think of my apologetics-practicing husband, and the people he ministers to on a daily basis. He's good at asking people questions, to get to the bottom of what their stumbling block is with coming to Christ, and sometimes (as I think is the case in this song) it comes down to a matter of the heart. You can give all the facts and proofs and arguments for the Truth of scripture and Christ and the gospel story, and people still will choose not to believe, because there is an emotional issue keeping them from surrendering. Often times, with friends, after I've answered argument after argument that they've brought up about God, and they're still not satisfied, I've wanted to ask them the same thing Nichole does in this song..."aren't you tired of running away from God?"

I saw Nichole Nordeman in concert, and she told the story behind this song, "What If", before she played it and I wanted to include that story here. In fact, if you're interested, I found an article online, here, with her discussing the meaning behind all her songs on the Brave album. (I love the album and highly recommend it!) I also want to point out that, although I agree with her that no one was ever "argued" into the arms of Christ, I would clarify that idea slightly, and say there's a right way and a wrong way to talk to people about issues of faith and Truth. It doesn't have to be a heated argument, but that also doesn't mean you can only talk about your faith in an emotional sense. There are good reasons for my faith, and there's nothing wrong with sharing them in a loving way, being respectful and tender to the heart of the person you're talking to. I also think different things bring people to Christ. Sometimes it is an intellectual argument, sometimes it's an emotionally powerful event in their lives, most times it's a combination of the two (always with the working of the Holy Spirit). The good news is that Jesus meets you where you are. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)  Happy Easter indeed!.

So here's her story behind the song, in her own words, with the video and lyrics following.

I’ve never felt comfortable arguing about God. That’s not to say I haven’t done it. Trust me, I’ve engaged in more than my fair share of full blown, take-your-corner, gloves up, ten full rounds of Bible beating with people. It’s so embarrassing and humiliating to remember. Especially since my victims probably never set foot in another ring, (and not because I was such a formidable opponent, I just had this nasty habit of always hitting below the belt). Winning an argument for God was a big deal...  But I don't argue anymore. Nobody ever got argued into the arms of Christ. Nobody gets brow beaten or humiliated into a relationship whose very foundation is mercy and grace... When every argument and piece of well defended evidence sounds empty to a hurting heart, it is the love of Jesus that comes rushing in and changes things. I wrote this song for a friend who I believe strongly will run out of arguments one day, and straight into the arms of Jesus.


Laura said...

I agree, the entire album is amazing. A-MAZ-ING. I often think of the song I shared with you on our trip to CA last month about not waiting to speak to loved ones about Christ. It's so easy to think the timing's not right, I don't want to offend anyone, they already know how I feel, blah blah. It's all excuses to make ME feel better about being a big chicken when it comes to being honest about Christ and the surrender required when coming to Him. I know we grow into that position of complete surrender, but we have to understand that it is coming at some time... that he wants to be everything.

I pray I can do what this song is calling, to just say to someone "what if you just stop running and rest, waiting for God to find you? He WILL find you, he's right behind you, he just wants you to turn around."

Sounds easy enough, but I still find it difficult. I should heed my own advice and say out loud the words in my heart that call out during conversations with those I love. It's a pretty sure bet they won't be brought to Christ by a stranger but by a loved one. Why shouldn't that be me?

D.L. White said...

Thank you for sharing your heart on this Laura. It's been weighing heavy on my mind too, especially with Easter approaching, as my thoughts have been dwelling more on Christ's sacrifice and just what exactly we're celebrating with the Easter holiday...

I keep thinking, if someone was walking out into busy traffic on the freeway, I'd scream and do everything I could to save them from death. Why don't I have the same kind of urgency about sharing about Christ? Why can't I see past my fears, and just act, and try to reach out and help others?

I took a tiny step in that direction this week. Instead of sending simple Easter cards out this year (like I typically do), I sent what I call "preachy" cards - ones that briefly explain exactly what Easter is all about and include a small scripture verse. I sent them to my believing friends but also (and maybe more importantly) I sent them to my unbelieving friends too. My unbelieving friends would typically get a card from me every year anyway, but it'd just be the generic "Happy Easter" type variety in the past... for fear of not offending them. And like you say, "they already know how I feel...blah blah blah"

I know it's a very passive thing to do, to just send a card. But maybe it will start a conversation? It's one baby step towards being more bolder in my faith.

Kristi said...

Nichole Nordeman is one of my favorite Christian artists. I saw her in concert about eight years ago--she was at a church on a Friday night and it was just her sitting at the piano. One of THE best concerts I've ever attended--it wasn't about the flashy lights or fancy music. It was simple and pure and more about the act of worship than anything else.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the background on this particular song--and for the call to be bold in sharing our faith.