Keith Green: Look How Much the Christian Music Business Has Changed!

Keith Green.   His music was the soundtrack of my early Christian walk.  His lyrics inspired me not only to follow Christ more faithfully, but to go into pastoral ministry.  And that was AFTER his tragic death.  Most people who have been walking with Christ 20+ years nod their heads in agreement when his name and christian music are mentioned in the same sentence.  He was such a tremendous blessing to the body.   I don’t know anyone in the CCM scene that even remotely comes close to him.

I recently came across an album of his (while slumming at The Goodwill!)  I bought the album called “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt…”, because it reminded me of the stark difference between today’s Christian Music business that is all about profits, and not quality lyrics, and Keith Green.   I have uploaded a picture of the album cover.  You will find it at the bottom of this post.  I have also included a live video of Keith singing “Your Love Broke Through.”  Notice the words on the bottom right…

“THIS RECORD MAY NOT BE SOLD!

1980 Last Day Ministries

This recording may be copied for private or ministry use only-Copies may not be sold at ANY price!”

Keith Green believed the gospel.  He believed that his gospel saturated “music ministry” could  impact all who were exposed to it.  He felt so strongly that  he talked his record company into letting him give the records away.  On top of that, he gave everyone the right to copy the records and hand out free tapes to anyone they were ministering to.  How did he support his family?  I don’t know.

I think this is one of the reasons God used him so much.  If you are involved in the Christian Music Ministry business, would you, could you to the same thing?  We miss you Keith!   If you loved Keith, share one or two of your favorite songs with the rest of us.  Three of mine are “Asleep in the Light” and “Song to My Parents.” “Then Your Love Broke Through>”

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About Jim

Not For Itching Ears is a blog dedicated to discussing the American Evangelical church. It is a place for people to share their thoughts on a host of issues relating to this subject. Jim is available to speak at weekend services, and retreats at no cost to churches in Florida. Contact us for more information.

Posted on January 17, 2011, in Christianity, Worship and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Favorite Keith Green song? There are a lot…perhaps “Make my Life a Prayer to You,” “My Eyes are Dry,” “Asleep in the Light,” “Dust to Dust” to name a few.

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  2. I love his Easter song. I became a Christian after his death, but his songs and ministry and his wife’s magazine encouraged me as a new believer and through the years. And now there’s his song/sermons on Youtube. Thanks for liking my Keith Green post. You’re the first “Liker” on Gloriadelia. 🙂

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    • I have the same story with Keith’s and his music. The thing that strikes me about his songs is that they were not entertaining per se. They challenge me to take my discipleship seriously. They convict me and at the same time call me to follow Him. They are like mini- sermons that cause me to reflect on how great a savior we have and how I want to live for Him, and not myself. Most of today’s christian music is entertainment, and doesn’t even come close to making the type of impact Keith did. I wonder how he would feel about today’s Christian music business?

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  3. I agree for the most part, but some of the songs today are very worshipful and moving. Like the “Revelation song”, and “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”. There are others, too. Oh, Fernando Ortega’s songs, like “Give me Jesus”, and I love his duet with Mac Powell : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c0jJt_XKbw

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  4. I enjoyed all of his songs.
    We still occasionally sing “Oh Lord, you’re beautiful – your face is all I seek, and when your eyes are on this child, your grace abounds to me.”
    Maybe though, the second verse is more relevant today – “O Lord, please light the fire that once burnt bright and clear, replace the lamp of our first love which burnt with holy fear”.

    I wonder where in our churches today is the true ‘Fear of the Lord” that is the beginning of wisdom?

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  5. I think that maybe the closest CCM artists today that do what Keith Green did, in terms of preaching and moving in the Spirit, would be Casting Crowns or Jason Upton. These are just my personal opinion and certainly subject to error, but I will go into why I find them inspiring.

    Casting Crowns’ music is generally “preachey”. Most of the songs I’ve heard on their albums are messages not ditties, like “If We Are the Body”, or “While You Were Sleeping” that remind me of Keith Green’s “So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt”. In a similar way, “Lifesong” might be comparable to “Grace By Which I Stand”.

    I’m only somewhat familiar with the music of Jason Upton but I bring him up because the music from Remember such as “Fly” or “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love”were both so annointed musically. And maybe that’s really what set Keith Green’s music apart from most CCM.

    Even non-Christians must sense that his music is “powerful” and that is due to the heavy annointing of the Holy Spirit on his music. Maybe that is what makes it so memorable and relevant, even today.

    What are your thoughts?

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