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August 26th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Missing Keith Green

This past Sunday we sang the Keith Green worship song “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful.” Our worship space is pretty acoustically active, and we are blessed with many men, women, and children who love to sing, and who sing well, and I confess I got goosebumps at one point. “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful” is a simple and beautiful song of worship, and the words flow out of the Christian’s heart as naturally as the rain falls from the sky.

I miss Keith Green. Not all of his music was what we today would call “worship music.” There is a decent amount of good worship music being written today, but for the most part contemporary Christian music is as tepid and tasteless as a good glass of warm water.

Keith Green would not make it today. He called the Christian and the church to repentance and to obedience. He called Christians away from the shameless empty hypocrisy that had become the Christian Church.

I was extremely fortunate to have seen Keith Green several times in Columbia SC in the period from mid 1977 through mid 1980 when I left for Vancouver. There was a Christian radio station in Columbia that was a big supporter of Keith Green, and he came and played bunches of time, usually just him and his piano. I saw him a couple of times in the Dreher High School Auditorium. I was a young but serious minded Christian and Keith Green’s music spoke powerfully to my heart and life. He called me to something better. I wish there were more Keith Greens around these days.

Once Madison Avenue got hold of and control of the Christian Music Industry that was pretty much it. The music got safer and safer. Keith Green bowed out of the game. He started giving away his music. And he got better and better until his untimely death in August of 1982.

Last night I spent about an hour listening to Keith Green songs on You Tube. It was pretty emotional, not in a nostalgic sense, but just remembering how my heart used to burn, and how I am beginning to feel it burn again. He had a kind of raw passion about him that raised his music to a level higher than mere voice and wordsmithing.

If you don’t know Keith Green’s music I might recommend to you three You Tube clips. The first would be him singing To Obey Is Better than Sacrifice – one of my favorites.

Another is Make My Life a Prayer to You.

A third would be Asleep in the Light.

Keith Green had a silly side too, and a bit of an entertainer’s streak. All that comes out in the clips.

All of these songs and many more are a click away on iTunes. Do yourself a favor and download a dozen Keith Green songs. Can’t think of just what? He’s a starters dozen.

Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful

Love Broke Through

To Obey Is Better than Sacrifice

Make My Life a Prayer to You

Easter Song

There Is a Redeemer

Song for Josiah

My Eyes Are Dry

The Lord Is My Sheperd

I Don’t Want to Fall Away from You

Scripture Song Medley

Prodigal Son Suite

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