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Location: Piqua, Ohio, United States

Former drummer for Gary Lewis and The Playboys and The Coasters. Tim has also played with Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster, Darlene Zscech and Hillsongs, Jeff Fenholt, SteveCamp among others. Tim founded The Simply Agape Project in 2001 to get free Christian music to the troops. Recordings have been made with Tim, and friends Alex Acuna, Abe Laboriel SR, Justo Almario,Steve Camp , Jared Ming and some wonderful Independant Christian artists.The Somebody Brave CD also features words of encouragment to the soldiers from Pastors, Moms, Dads, and Lt Col Brian Birdwell a Pentegon 9/11 survivor Tim is married to Donna Wirth and has four children Alan 25,Steven 23, Brittany 22, Bethany 21. Tim has played in numerous churchs as well as shows on TBN. Tim has also performed on JCTV on the show Generation Worship featuring worship leader Jared Ming. Tim has a book published worldwide titled "Pass The Plate And Let Us Prey" (My Search For Black and White Christianity in a Gray Nation)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Pop goes Christianity

This article is sobering and well worth reading. It was sent to me by my dear friend and brother in the Lord Ed Newby at the Berean Call-Thanks Ed, Tim





This article shows that even the secular press has figured out how
Christians should be behaving. ""You are the salt of the earth; but if
the salt has become tasteless,
how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything,
except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men" (Matthew 5:13).



Ed






Pop Goes Christianity


The deep contradictions of Christian popular culture.

By Hanna Rosin id="dateline_top">

Posted Monday, May 5, 2008, at 7:43 AM ET


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


One night, a couple of years ago, I walked in on a group of
evangelical college boys sitting on a bed watching The Daily Show.
I felt alarmed, and embarrassed, as if I had caught them reading Playboy
or something else they had to be shielded from. Jon Stewart, after all,
spends at least one-quarter of his show making fun of people like them.
But they eagerly invited me in. I soon learned that they watched the
show every night it was on, finals or no finals. So strong was their
devotion to Jon Stewart that I was tempted to ask: If Jesus came back
on a Tuesday night at 11, would you get off the bed?



Over time, I
came to understand this as a symptom of a larger phenomenon:
evangelicals' deeply neurotic relationship with popular culture.
Whether or not they were the butt of all of Stewart's jokes seemed
irrelevant to them. The point was that the high priest of political
comedy spent a lot of time thinking about them. Once, after I'd met Jon
Stewart, they all crowded around and asked the same question: What does
he really think of us?



At this point in history,
American evangelicals resemble the Israelites at various dangerous
moments in the Old Testament: They are blending into the surrounding
heathen culture, and having ever more trouble figuring out where it
ends and they begin. In politics, and in business, they've mostly gone
ahead and joined the existing networks. With pop culture, they've
instead created their own enormous "parallel universe," as Daniel
Radosh calls it in his rich exploration of the realm, Rapture
Ready! A
Christian can now buy books, movies, music—and anything else lowbrow to
middlebrow—tailor-made for his or her sensibilities. Worried that
American popular culture leads people—and especially teenagers—astray,
the Christian version is designed to satisfy all the same needs in a
cleaner form.



The problem is that purity boundaries are hard to
police in the Internet age. Show a kid a Christian comedian, and soon
he's likely to discover that the guy is a pale imitation of this much
funnier guy—Jon Stewart—who's not a Christian at all, and doesn't even
like Christians. Which might then lead to a whole new set of anxieties,
such as: Why are Christians so constitutionally unfunny? And, what is
the point of Christian culture, anyway?



In the '80s, Christians
were known as the boycotters, refusing to see movies or buy products
that offended them. They felt about commercial culture much the way a
Marxist might: that it was a decadent glorification of money and
meaningless human relationships. Then, sometime during the '90s, when
conservative evangelicals started coming out of their shells, they took
a different tack. The boycotters became coopters and embarked on the
curious quest to enlist America's crassest material culture in the
service of spiritual growth.



Most non-Christians are aware that
there is something called Christian rock. We've all had the slightly
unsettling experience of pausing the car radio on a pleasant,
unfamiliar ballad until we realized … Ahhh. That's not her
boyfriend she's mooning over!
But few of us have any idea of how truly extensive this so-called
subculture is. Reading Radosh's book is like coming across another
planet hidden somewhere on Earth where everything is just exactly like
it is here except blue or made out of plastic. Every American pop
phenomenon has its Christian equivalent, no matter how improbable. And
Radosh seems to have experienced them all.



At a Christian
retail show Radosh attends, there are rip-off trinkets of every kind—a
Christian version of My Little Pony and the mood ring and the boardwalk
T-shirt ("Friends don't let friends go to hell"). There is Christian
Harlequin and Christian chick lit and Bibleman, hero of spiritual
warfare. There are Christian raves and Christian rappers and Christian
techno, which is somehow more Christian even though there are no words.
There are Christian comedians who put on a Christian version of Punk'd,
called Prank 3:16.
There are Christian sex-advice sites where you can read the biblical
case for a strap-on dildo or bondage (liberation through submission).
There's a Christian planetarium, telling you the true age of
the universe, and my personal favorite—Christian professional
wrestling, where, by the last round, "Outlaw" Todd Zane sees the beauty
of salvation.



At some point, Radosh asks the obvious question:
Didn't Jesus chase the money changers out of the temple? In other
words, isn't there something wrong with so thoroughly commercializing
all aspects of faith? For this, the Christian pop-culture industry has
a ready answer. Evangelizing and commercializing have much in common.
In the "spiritual marketplace" (as it's called), Christianity is a
brand that seeks to dominate. Like Coke, it wants to hold onto its
followers and also win over new converts. As with advertisers, the most
important audience is young people and teenagers, who are generally
brand loyalists. Hence, Bibleman and Christian rock are the spiritual
equivalent of New Coke. Christian trinkets—a WWJD bracelet, a "God is
my DJ" T-shirt—function more like Coca-Cola T-shirts or those cute
stuffed polar bears. They telegraph to the community that the wearer is
a proud Christian and that this is a cool thing to be—which should, in
theory, invite eager curiosity.



Straightforward, if somewhat
crude, merchandizing so far. But there is also another level of
questions, which the creators of Christian culture have a much harder
time answering: What does commercializing do to the substance of
belief, and what does an infusion of belief do to the product? When you
make loving Christ sound just like loving your boyfriend, you can do
damage to both your faith and your ballad. That's true when you create
a sanitized version of bands like Nirvana or artists like Jay-Z, too:
You shoehorn a message that's essentially about obeying authority into
a genre that's rebellious and nihilistic, and the result can be ugly,
fake, or just limp.



The Christian rockers Radosh interviews are
always torn between the pressure not to lead their young audience
astray and the drive to make good music. Mark Allan Powell, a professor
who teaches a class on contemporary Christian music at Trinity Lutheran
Seminary, describes the predicament for Radosh: Imagine the Good Rubber
Tire Co. came out with an awesome rock song that just happened to be
about tires. Musicians wouldn't want to play it because they'd think,
"We're being used," Powell explains. Creative Christian types find
themselves in a similar bind: They want to make good, authentic music.
But they are also enlisted in a specific mission which confines their
art.



The entertainers in Radosh's book complain about watchdog groups
that count the number of times a song mentions Jesus
or about the lockstep political agenda a Christian audience expects.
They complain about promoting an "adolescent theology" of Christian
rock, as one calls it, where they "just can't get over how darned cool
it was that Jesus sacrificed himself." In his interview with Radosh,
Powell pulled out an imitation of a 1982 New Wave pop song with the
lyrics; "You'll have to excuse us/ We're in love with Jesus." This, he
explained, was the equivalent of a black-velvet painting of Elvis. Only
it's more offensive, because it's asking the listener to base his whole
life around an insipid message and terrible quality music.



For
faith, the results can be dangerous. A young Christian can get the idea
that her religion is a tinny, desperate thing that can't compete with
the secular culture. A Christian friend who'd grown up totally
sheltered once wrote to me that the first time he heard a Top 40
station he was horrified, and not because of the racy lyrics:
"Suddenly, my lifelong suspicions became crystal clear," he wrote.
"Christian subculture was nothing but a commercialized rip-off of the
mainstream, done with wretched quality and an apocryphal insistence on
the sanitization of reality."



Striking a balance between
reverence and hip relevance can be a near-impossible feat. Christian
comedians, for example, border on subversive, especially when making
fun of themselves. In one episode of Prank 3:16, the
pranksters fake the Rapture and throw their victim into a panic because
she's afraid she's been left behind. With true comedic flair, they're
flirting with opposition and doubt, and even cruelty. But "the
Christian is supposed to be secure in the loving hand of the almighty
God," one of them tells Radosh. So, even if they don't sanitize,
they're afraid to step over into the brutal, dirty truth comedy thrives
on.



The new generation of Christians is likely to be a
different kind of audience. Raised on iPods and downloadable music,
they find it difficult truly to commit to the idea of a separate
Christian pop culture. They might watch Jon Stewart or Pulp Fiction
and also listen to the Christian band Jars of Clay, assuming the next
album is any good. They are much more critical consumers and excellent
spotters of schlock. The creators of Christian pop culture may just
adapt and ease up on the Jesus-per-minute count, and artistic quality
might show some improvement. But in my experience, where young souls
are at stake, Christian creators tend to balk. It's always been a
stretch to defend Christian pop culture as the path to eternal
salvation. Now, they may have to face up to the fact that it's more
like an eternal oxymoron.

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