It was my dream growing up to get signed to a Christian record label and tour the world with my music—a pipe dream for sure, but a dream nonetheless. Every time I lost hope, I would gain it back somehow and dive back into trying.
But then the final straw came. I lost a lot of heart at an event in which Christian record labels were present. The message I seemed to hear was: “We don’t care about your music. We’ll only sign you if you can show us how much money you can bring in without us.”
I mean, I get it: labels need money to continue being labels, but my heart was crushed in that moment. I wanted to be an artist, not a businessman. And if anyone in the music world understood that, I thought it would be the Christians. But there I was, hearing it from some of the leaders themselves: they could care less about music or art. The real question was: how much money could they bank on you? I guess it’s not all that surprising given that a lot (though not all) of Christian music sounds like money and mainstream mimicry.
Cue the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem—the place he prophesied would kill him (Mk 32:34). Not long after entering the city, he walks into the temple where the religious industry is thriving and starts flipping tables and driving people out of the Court of the Gentiles. From what I can see, he did this for two reasons: (1) they’ve turned God’s holy sacred space into a first century version of Wallstreet and (2) they have yet to understand that God is bringing the Gentiles past the outer court and inside the temple.
We could use a good table flipping today in the places where money runs Christianity; for in the end, these places often create more of a sacrilegious industry than a religious one.
Photo Credit: Adi Goldstein