Being a fan of many musical genres, it seemed only a matter of time before I began listening to Christian rock/rap/r&b/gospel/etc. I was first exposed to Christian artists such as Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman. As my "secular" tastes changed, however, I wanted to explore more of Christian music's offerings. I found early on that most Christian artists who didn't sing gospel music were usually carbon copies of mainstream, secular bands who didn't sing about sex or drugs. Thankfully, the good Lord saw this and brought along groups such as PFR, the Newsboys and DC Talk. These groups sang their own style of music and revealed to us that Christianity isn't always good times at the church social, but an ever-changing lifestyle that brings with it persecution, humility and pain beyond mortal man's imagination.
Perhaps that is why I was originally drawn to "Jesus Freak" and a multitude of albums from other artists who were brave enough to stand up to the preachers and say, "You've got to reach out to people on terms that they understand."
You won't here Twila Paris or Sandi Patti singing about racism or how your personal image can destroy the impressionable minds of others. DC Talk does.
"What If I Stumble" is a question that I see very few so-called Christians asking themselves these days. With no intent to sound preachy or high and mighty, most folks these days who claim to be washed in the blood seem to wash their hands of those people that they should be reaching out to. I used to be a Protestant, but I grew weary of the hypocrites that I saw in the bar on Saturday and then the pew on Sunday. Now a Catholic, I realize that hypocrisy bleeds over into all religious belief systems, because there are just as many hypocritical Catholics as there are Protestants.
Moving on, "Jesus Freak" is the ultimate, in-your-face testament to being a Christian. But even it begs the question, "What will people think?" In the end, however, we learn that it doesn't matter what others think so long as we are living the way we should. There is no hiding your true self, advice which many Christians should heed.
"In the Light" is a Charlie Peacock tune that shows us a Christian struggling to be more like Jesus, and less like a man. It shows a person just how complicated internally that a real Christian can be.
"Colored People" may seem like a song about race on the surface, but its underlying theme is that we should not only get along with each other, but embrace each other for our differences instead of looking down on people whom we feel are less than us.
This album throws chinks in the armor of Christianity. It reveals the doubts and fears of true Christians, something rarely sung about in contemporary Christian music. Once again, it took rock n' roll to reveal what TRUE Christians are made of. They aren't perfect, and they know it. Yet they don't badger those who may not "look" as Christian as they do. You quickly realize that TRUE Christians are not some snobby group of people who try to force their beliefs on others, but they have fears and concerns like everybody else, and they do not alienate themselves from others because they are different. As a matter of fact, a true Christian WILL be in the bars on Saturday, but he'll bring a few friends to church with him on Sunday, instead of trying to hide from the other churchgoer he saw plastered on the sidewalk of a local dive.
Buy this album if you want a taste of real Christian concerns, and not the plastic Christianity that so many of us have to deal with each day.