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Church News

March 17, 2012

The Times Should Be A Changin’

— I was listening to some classic songs the other day and I was reminded of a quirky characteristic that seems to always rear its head in popular music. Let me explain.  Sometimes an artist comes along and writes lyrics that change the way people think or act. They in essence change an entire culture. They wake us up to some social wrong and set us thinking on loftier ideals. Bob Dylan is one of those artists. Lyrics like “come gather round people wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown and accept it that soon you will be drenched to the bone...” really got the young people thinking of how they had better start making a difference, that they better learn to swim or end up sinking like a stone. These are lyrics that speak an important message. However, not all songs fit that role. Sometimes people do nothing but try to simply find words that rhyme. Today’s music is littered with words that rhyme but that don’t do a thing to change our hearts or change the way we think or act for the better. They do seem to change a culture but in a negative way. But this phenomenon also applies to those who have the ability to change things but simply choose to rhyme, like Dylan. In fact, Dylan himself wrote the lyrics, “man in the coonskin cap by the pig-pen wants eleven dollar bill - you only got ten.” Now I know there are probably PhDs out there who wrote their dissertation and have made it their life’s work to negotiate the social implications of Dylan’s political rubric in the song Subterranean Homesick Blues, but come on let’s face it - it just rhymes, nothing more. Here’s my point: Bob Dylan had the ability to write songs that changed the way people thought and acted, he helped repaint the cultural landscape and broke the status quo with the power of his lyrics, but other times he just tried to find words that rhymed. And this certainly reminds me of the state of Christendom today; and it reminds me of Scripture.

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