thoughts on TAN

27 05 2008

so i just got the new cd from tenth avenue north, or as i prefer TAN, in the mail yesterday.  yeah, so i still get cd’s through the mail and such, i’m semi-old school like that.  i’d heard there stuff from an album preview about a month ago and though it was great, so i decided to pony up the cash to buy the cd.  i’ll admit that i honestly wouldn’t always go for the typical pop-rock worship idea, but this time that’s the case.

what struck me about these guys, and made me buy the cd as opposed to just passing it off and listening on myspace, was why they are doing this.  we live in a culture of instant stardom, overnight celebrities founded through reality tv, myspace, youtube, you name it.  everyone wants a piece of fame and stardom, and we’re making the 15 minutes available to everyone who wants it, so they can pump themselves up.  we’ve lost our taste in what really is good in this world because we surround ourselves with everything and water-down what we really have that is great.  this translates to Christian music, and as anyone that listens to this stuff knows, there’s a ton of it out there, and a lot of it really is airy-fairy, and often not that good.

Mike, lead singer of TAN (i like that more and more now), describes the issue this way:

i feel like a lot of people are sort of fed-up with Christian music because a lot of it deals with truth, but it doesn’t deal at all with the wrestling, the struggling to believe that.  you know, and Jesus says that there is gonna come a time where true worshippers will worship in spirit and in truth

this resonates on so many levels.  there’s nothing wrong with the praise and worship, and stuff about daisies and dogs and miracles that we listen to, but doesn’t it feel like it just avoids the issue of doubt or suffering that the Christ follower goes through?

personally, i have had my own seasons of doubt, times when i’ve searched and asked questions of God that just don’t make sense to me.  stuff comes up that makes you wonder about this whole idea of faith and what it really means.  doubt is a healthy exercise to go through from time to time, because when you investigate and wonder aloud about what you’re doing and going through, you understand more about it and what it truly means.

there is one song on the cd entitled by your side.  Mike again draws reference to the aspect of doubt in the Christian when he is describing what the song is attempting to get across.

by your side is just a call to anyone who is struggling, anyone who is fighting against God, thinking that they have to work to earn it.  and it’s calling them to stop looking at what you can do for God, and fix your gaze upon what God has done for you, and let that motivate you to love Him back.  you know, we love because He first loved us

in a world where the top dog who worked through the system and got to the top is the model for everyone to follow, the grace of God contradicts everything.  there is nothing that can be done to earn grace or to get more of it from God.  it’s a gift that no matter how hard we work to try to do great stuff and attain holiness, grace is not going to come through anything other than the love of God.  God is standing with us offering grace on a daily basis regardless of the crappy choices that we might make and the doubts we have.  there’s nothing that we can do through works that will get us more grace or limit God’s grace in our lives.

when i think about the questions we direct towards God and the doubts that we have, the Steven Curtis Chapman situation comes to mind.  if you don’t know about it, basically his youngest adopted daughter who was 5, was killed late last week after being struck in the driveway of their home by one of his teenage sons.  devastating tragedy.  they have handled the situation masterfully, and although the hurt and pain is fresh and will continue to be there for life, the family has shown their trust in God in the midst of it all.  in light of that, the lyrics of this song stand out more than ever.

i’ll be by your side wherever you fall, in the dead of night whenever you call, please don’t fight these hands that are holding you, my hands are holding you

God has not left the scene; He hasn’t abandoned those who are hurting, struggling, doubting Him.

i’d say we need more stuff like this in a world where we struggle to see a loving God that is always here.  there’s a lot more that i could mention about the cd, but i’ll let you discover that yourself.

check them out here and here.

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2 responses

4 06 2008
Chris

Nice – I’m glad I found your blog. You’re a man of mystery 🙂

I love the CD too – thanks for reminding me about it.

16 07 2008
Chris

We did “Love Is Here” on Sunday.

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