Recently, in Frank Marron’s guest blog entry on Chemnitz and the Council of Trent, you left the following comment in response:
"Hey, I enjoyed your blog. Thanks for being honest and open about everything. I love Jesus and love reading about people who know him too. I am a musician and I would be honored if you would check out my music. All my music is free for download. Anyway, I don't mean to be a pest, just thought I'd share.Thanks,-Seanwww.SeanDietrich.com"All my muisc is free."
I was initially suspicious your comment above is spam. I found your same comment on two other blogs. While, I don’t think you are bulk spamming Blogger, I do think your comment still qualifies as spam. You’re advertising your music on blogs by responding to articles that have nothing to do with the topics. Now, I visit other blogs and comment sometimes. Out of respect for the hard work people do in keeping up a blog, I comment on what they’ve written.
Of course, you are welcome here to post comments, or even direct folks to songs you think are relevant to the discussion. I’m not against music- I began playing guitar when I was 13 (which means I’ve been playing for a long time). I have a Gibson Les Paul and a Gibson L-4. In the last ten years I’ve been interested in mastering an instrument called the Chapman Stick (pictured Left being played by Emmett Chapman).
But, the insight for you comes from Frank Marron. Frank responded to your music using Luther’s Glory/Cross paradigm, a paradigm that I find profound and most Biblical:
I checked out your tunes. Thanks for inviting me to listen to your music! I am a gust blogger on this site, and so I may not speak for everyone who reads and posts here. But since you asked my opinion, let me be honest with you.
First, you are obviously a talented musician with a God given gift for music. I am not blessed in this department, although I sing to the best of my ability in church each week.
I was not born a Lutheran, but joined the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in 1978. I did not enjoy traditional Lutheran hymns at that time and when I relocated back to Seattle for job related reasons in 1984, it wasn’t long before I left that church body. I spent several years in different church homes and was very satisfied with a musically inclined Charismatic church, where the music was contemporary Praise and wonderful. Years and a lot of heartache later I rejoined the LCMS for theological reasons. I came to realize that most contemporary church music, while appealing to modern ears, is theologically incorrect and not in tune with orthodox beliefs. I maintain that if a talented individual such as yourself could ever bridge the gap between modern tunes and Word-of-God lyrics, the product would be tremendous. Don’t get me wrong, there are certain modern songs that are just fine, such as Josh Groban’s hit a couple of years ago(You Lift Me Up). Let me explain. Your tunes and voice are just great, but the lyrics will not appeal to a Lutheran because they are the words of a Theology of Glory. Your words largely exemplify Decision Theology rather than the Theology of the Cross. Here are some examples:
1. “I Wanna Be A Christian”. Certain lyrics used indicate that if you don’t do what God says in His Word you are a fake and not a true Christian. This is Theology of Glory, not the Cross because God’s Word says no one can keep God’s Law the way he must, which is perfectly in thought, word, and deed. In fact, the Law of God, although perfect, is intended primarily to show us that we cannot keep it and to drive us to despair and ultimately Christ! Obedience to God’s commandments does not determine if a person is a Christian, but rather REPENTANCE over their sin and constant awareness of the need for the Savior, Jesus Christ. Christians are no different than other people, except they are aware of their sin and are continually REPENTANT over this.
2. “Will I Give My Best”. This song’s lyrics indicate that a person should give his best for Jesus because Jesus did that for him. Once again, this is Theology of Glory stuff. The Scriptures are clear that all we have to offer God is our sin. That is the only thing we really have to offer. As the Psalm says, God does not want sacrifices and offerings from us, but rather a broken and contrite heart. God is interested in an entirely New Creation, because our old self prior to conversion is only worthy of condemnation.
3. “Here I am”. There was one good line here “Nothing you can do can make Me love you less”. This is true. God IS love and has shown this by dying for sinners who were hostile to him, not “good” people who welcomed him. However, the line that contained the words that God wants to be our friend is theologically lame. God is our Father.He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for us. He doesn’t merely want to be an earthly “friend” but our Savior. He wants to clothe us with His blood, His Righteousness, which becomes ours through the vehicle of Faith. Which in turn comes by hearing the Gospel.
4. “Nothing Special”. I wasn’t sure of the lyrics here but kept hearing “I’m nothing special…it feels so right”. Theologically, since Christ died for us, we are extremely valuable. We are His adopted sons, inheritors of all the promises of God, which are Yes! And Amen! In Christ. Our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. Christians are indeed very special to God. We are His holy nation, chosen people, where He lives on earth, etc…
I hope you take these comments in the manner they were intended, which is in Christian honesty and love. You see, a lot of Christian denominations will love your songs, including the lyrics. But not Lutherans, for the reasons mentioned above.
Sean, take the time to read through Frank's comments and digest them, and by all means respond to them. Don't simply think Frank's comments are "sectarian". The better your theology is, the better your music will be. I suggest getting involved in a church with pastors who can read over your lyrics to make sure they're theologically correct. Also take the advise from Churchmouse:
"Have you read Steve Camp's The 107 Theses: A Call for Reformation for Contemporary Christian? I think you will find it very interesting. If you haven't done so already, you can read it here."