Friday, June 16, 2006

gimme that new law...

in honor of the conclusion of the 2006 annual meeting , i dedicate these lyrics by derek webb to the southern baptist convention....

don’t teach me about politics and government
just tell me who to vote for
don’t teach me about truth and beauty just label my music
don’t teach me how to live like a free man just give me a new law

i don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy
so just bring it down from the mountain to me
i want a new law
i want a new law
gimme that new law

don’t teach me about moderation and liberty
i prefer a shot of grape juice
don’t teach me about loving my enemies
don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit
just give me a new law

what’s the use in trading a law you can never keep
for one you can that cannot get you anything

do not be afraid

do not be afraid

do not be afraid





-stephen (afraid)

6 comments:

Diet Coke Mania said...

Those are some good lyrics. I need to get my hands on that CD.

stephen lee cavness said...

it's from his c.d. "mockingbird". overall its a good album, a bit too political for my blood in spots, but derek is always trying to make people think... and he accomplishes that.

he's a stand up guy and a great singer/songwriter. his website is www.derekwebb.com

thanks for stopping by diet coke man!

-stephen (more of a dr. pepper guy myself.. but hey. its all about diversity right???)

Morgan Owen said...

Hey Stephen,
Hope seminary is going good. How much longer till your done?
Anyway, just checking out what's going on in your world and stumbled upon this posting.
Personally, I appreciate what Derek Webb is trying to say, but most of the time he comes off pessimistic. I believe that while the church needs to hear challenging words, they need to be in the tone of a Keith Green. He spoke truth in a very plain way, with encouragement---i.e. "To Obey is Better than Sacrifice", "Asleep in the Light", "Pledge My Head to Heaven", and "So You Want to Go Back to Egypt."
I actually came to this conclusion when we invited Derek to UTM for the concert in 2005. Many in the crowd oohed and ahhed at the show. I walked away, well, discontent. No altar call. No gospel presentation. In fact I heard more about Woody and Arlo Guthrie than I did about Jesus. Just my 2 cents worth.
Morgan

stephen lee cavness said...

Hey Stephen,
Hope seminary is going good. How much longer till your done? Anyway, just checking out what's going on in your world and stumbled upon this posting.


hey there morgan. seminary is going well. i have been here for over two years now, and have about 2 more to go.(52 hrs. into a 94 hr. degree) i have been enjoying it so far. i have learned a lot inside and outside of class. i have been keeping busy, teaching every week at church, preaching here and there, and various other things. thanks for stopping by, i hope you will come back from time to time.

Personally, I appreciate what Derek Webb is trying to say, but most of the time he comes off pessimistic. I believe that while the church needs to hear challenging words, they need to be in the tone of a Keith Green. He spoke truth in a very plain way, with encouragement---i.e. "To Obey is Better than Sacrifice", "Asleep in the Light", "Pledge My Head to Heaven", and "So You Want to Go Back to Egypt."

well, believe it or not, i don't completely disagree. there have been times when i have thought that derek's not so subtle lyrics could enflame bitterness, as opposed to encouraging change.

but, at those times, i think back to conversations i have had with him. i have had the privilege of having several late night conversations after caedmon's call shows, some of his own solo shows, and even after performing myself as his opening act a couple of times. i know that his heart is to motivate people to think, and to seek the truth in scripture about issues he writes about. i have even asked him if he is trying to intentionally shock, and his reply was "yes and no". he doesnt want to shock for shock's sake, or simply to be controversial, but to encourage critical thinking and engage people in conversation, and hopefully be a catalyst for the people who have heard his music to run to christ and the scriptures.
i know these things not just from the countless concerts i have been to, his music, his interviews and other interactions, but i know it from personal conversation. yes, i will agree that if taken alone, some of his songs can leave one with a "half empty" flavor. but looking at the entire catalogue of songs derek has written,recorded, and performed, songs such as "the church" "take to the world" "the truth", "lover", "the strong, the tempted, and the weak","she must and shall go free", "awake my soul", and "thankful" give more than adequate evidence of the love, mercy, and grace of our lord.
in fact, the entire album "the house show" has entire tracks of derek speaking about the grace of god!
i realize that it is entirely possible that you may not have heard some of these, and if that's the case, i strongly encourage them!


I actually came to this conclusion when we invited Derek to UTM for the concert in 2005. Many in the crowd oohed and ahhed at the show. I walked away, well, discontent. No altar call. No gospel presentation. In fact I heard more about Woody and Arlo Guthrie than I did about Jesus.

i had heard that he played there, and i am glad that he was received well. i am sorry that you walked away from it discontented. but the question i would ask is, "what were your expectations?"
derek is a musician, not an evangelist. yes, he has a message that comes through in his songs and in his banter between songs, but at the end of the day, he is a musician. i have never gone to any concert and expected an altar call. i go expecting to hear music and the stories behind and the reasons for each song.

as far as "no gospel presentation", again i would appeal to the content of his songs. the lyrics to his songs only make sense in the context of the gospel. and i must say, i have seen derek play many many times, well over 10, and each time he spoke of the gospel explicitly.
he may not have said "if you are not a christian, here is how to be one", but the content of the gospel, and how we respond/ don't respond, and how we live in light of it is what most if not all of his songs are about. so as for "no gospel presentation", i wonder if it would be more accurate to say "he did not explicitly ask for people to accept christ right then".

which again, brings me back to the point of he is a musician, not a preacher or an evangelist. if we go to a christian dentist, we don't expect him to put "christian fillings" in our mouth, nor do we expect the cashier at wal-mart to put our groceries in "christian bags", or to ask for a decision for christ to each person who hands them money.
obviously, by the nature of what derek does, he has more freedom than these others, but what he is paid to do is write songs, and perform them. i am fairly certain that the contents of his contract ryder say something similar.
i was in a band for awhile. we were all christians. we played at churches, at b.s.u.'s, at church events, festivals, outdoor concerts etc. but we also played in coffee shops and bars, and non-christian college campuses and festivals. being christians obviously impacted the way i wrote songs and their content. while playing concerts, i would often speak of what inspired a song or why i wrote about a specific topic. but i was never obligated to spend the time to preach or teach or do anything other than play music and talk about the music, which is what the people came and paid to see and hear. (and this is coming from someone who is being licensed to preach in 3 weeks!!)
all of that to say, derek is a singer/songwriter who intentionally left the "ccm" industry because they wouldn't let him talk about the gospel in a way that they didn't already have a template for.
as far as not hearing enough about jesus, again, i defer to the content of his lyrics. as far as hearing about other musicians goes, i know as a music fan, i am always interested in hearing about the music my favorite musicians like and learn from. that is something i not only enjoy, but expect to hear in such a setting.i know more than one person who has let down some of the defensiveness *against* all things christian because of derek's speaking about artists who are believers that are not sold in christian bookstores. because these people have been mistreated or ignored by so many, they have associated all things "christian" as negative. but to hear derek talk about the faith of bob dylan, johnny cash, and others who *insert christian retailer* would never sell, opens up the door for conversation and interaction that had previosuly been slammed shut. i have seen it and experienced it. am i saying we shoudl go to great lengths to not talk about christ? by no means. but i know that derek doesn't do that. he talks about what he knows and what he does... faith and music, and sometimes that mixture is played on "secular" radio.


Just my 2 cents worth.

by all means! i hope you'll swing by here often! i am looking for interaction about things other than earwax! thanks for causing me to think through some of this.
i know that your heart is to see people led to the lord, specifically the college students at u.t.m. believe me, i know what that feels like. i was there for 7 yrs.! i appreciate your desire to see people come to know the lord.

thanks again,
-stephen

Freddy T. Wyatt said...

No alter call? No alter call? My goodness, that's how you get saved isn't? Coming to the alter? Of course not, we know that.

Stephen, were you in the band plus one? I think I may have got your autograph if that was the band you were in.

Freddy T. Wyatt said...

i repent for my tacky comment about the band. i actually did not have the privilege of hear Ebonezer(sp)much. Just amazing solo opennings for derek by stephen which was kickin awesome!