Saturday, July 30, 2005

Saturday, July 30, 2005

I write this not as a disgruntled songwriter, but as a zealous Christian.
The company that I write for, Spring Hill Worship, had absolutely nothing to do with the song evaluation mentioned in this entry.
 As a professional writer, a big part of my work involves placing my songs on a whipping post to see if they stand up to the scrutiny of my peers and employers. I realize that every song I write is not the next big hit and some in fact, are complete misses. Learning to take rejection comes easier with practice. Most criticisms I get have to do with a song’s commercial value… “will a lot of people like this?” Some work, some don’t, but in all of them I pray that two things hold true. That God would anoint the song to draw people to Him and that every lyric is Biblically sound. If I can get that done, I’m happy, commercial or not. There are days however when commercialism and political correctness bleeds over onto song evaluations and the light on the hill grows a little dim. Today that happened…in-fact, as far as I am concerned, we had a total black out. Consider the following lines…
“See the virgin is delivered, in a cold and crowded stall
Mirror of the Father’s glory, lies beside her in the straw
He is mercies incarnation, marvel at this miracle
For the virgin gently holds the glorious impossible”
 “The Glorious Impossible”. I wrote this song with two great writers, Joe Beck and Wendy Wills. Our company submitted this song to a magazine, for worship leaders, to be included on a CD the publication produces. The CD is a companion to the magazine and designed to help churches discover new and emerging songs for worship. It goes out to over 20,000 worship leaders each quarter of the year (you figure out which magazine). The songs are submitted and then reviewed by a panel to make sure they’re appropriate. After our song was reviewed, it came back rejected and taken off of the CD. No problem. What makes this a very big deal, is the reason it was yanked. It was a bad song or poor recording, it was not a bunch of drivel that could as easily be about your girlfriend as Jesus. It was based on the Bible. People, who work on a panel for determining quality and lyrical content in worship songs, pulled the tune because of the reference to the Virgin Birth. The Virgin Birth. Am I taking crazy pills here? My “Christian” song gets the snub because it mentions the Virgin Birth? That’s like giving Lance Armstrong the snub because he likes bicycles. They’re a big part of what he’s about. They are an essential part of his identity and achievement. The Virgin Birth of Jesus is central to the entire faith of Christianity! Hello? How is that offensive? Christians not only believe Jesus was born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit, but we’re into it! We think it’s awesome and that it highlights the dual nature of our Savior. It displays from the very instant of his entry to this planet that he was God and Man. It calls attention to the purity of Christ and highlights that he was the seed of perfect God, not sinful man. It was a miracle. It is a foundational belief of ancient Christianity and included in numerous creeds of the Christian faith. We’re not talking about wether or not you can cut your grass on Sunday or if your mom should be a deaconess. Who cares? Go fight that out at some convention, but don’t diminish God’s great and glorious plan of redemption by dressing it up in a sleazy politically correct costume.
My rant will soon draw to a close, but not before I take my stand. The Church has suffered long enough with cowards and sissies who worry that the Gospel is offensive. Offended? Good. I’m not worried nearly as much about offense as I am about highlighting Jesus and his great love for mankind, His great humility in submitting to human flesh, entering the womb of a teenager and making the way of redemption. I pray that every artist, songwriter and worship leader who reads this will go out and create something beautiful that highlights the gloriously impossible work that Jesus accomplished. Make music that calls attention to Jesus, to his miracles, to his birth, death, and resurrection… if it’s commercial, fine. If it’s not, fine too. But what ever it is, make sure it’s truthful and full of a passion…and never, never, allowing your mind or art to be stripped of conviction and truth.
I love you…Carl Cartee (Matt:6:33)


Anonymous said...

Amen brother! Preach it! Not that you posted this to preach or even get on your soap box, but I'm glad to see soemone standing up for what we believe and consider awesome.

I could not agree more with your comments about cowards and sissies and the fact that the Virgin birth is crucial not only to God's perfect plan of salvation, but of OUR salvation!

Write more songs like that. It's great.



You wrote this song????
I heard a GVB version of it...
Can we use it for our quartet???

Blessings from Chile

Anonymous said...

Very well said!!! I praise God for "true Saints" who are "strong" in the LORD about the "right" things!!! I LOVE the song, it is very well written! Thank-you, and I pray the Lord will continue using HIS people for HIS purposes!!