I can’t tell you how much I love Michael Jackson’s music. I really feel that we all lost a part of our lives when Michael died. Outside of his eccentricities 3 things stand out to me, Michael the performer, Michael the singer and Michael the innovator. Innovation is the element of Michael that I really loved because he pushed the envelope and tried things musically and in dance that had not been done. “Off The Wall” which I still feel is his best body of work was not bound to what people thought was pop or R&B it was just great music.
Michael was not satisfied with just staying stagnant musically he tried new things. He experimented with meshing different genres from rock to hip hop and more. He worked with different artists and producers. As a result, Michael’s body of work was and is amazing. All of this great music came from not conforming musically to what some would deem traditional R&B.
I can’t tell you how much it bugs me when contemporary Christian Artists are criticized for pushing the envelope musically. It’s sad but I believe so many people would be shocked to hear the music playing in heaven. I think some people think that God’s presence can only be felt when there is a good buck and shout. Others assume that God’s presence can only be felt with more ethereal music that involves acoustic guitars and piano with hands raised and eyes closed. God can be experienced in those forms of music, but it is not the sum total of what praise and worship should be.
I love evolutions in music because I believe music is organic. Michael understood this but many Christians don’t. A lot of Christians retreat to saying what is and is not Christian music rather than just choosing the music that fits their taste. I may be radical but I think that all music comes from God. I think that some lyrics are a different story. Lyrics, I believe are an expression of the heart, mind or wallet of men but music comes from God.
This may be radical but I think all music is divine. I think that Classical, Jazz, Punk, Metal, Hip Hop and more are forms of praise and worship music. I think there are so many songs that are hits on secular radio that could honor God if the lyrics were different or if the music played by itself. The track or music I feel comes from God because no one can say where it comes from. Different producers and musicians may have different motivations but the musical choices that involve chord changes, melody and rhythm are pulled from a source. Influences play a part but it is so much more. This may sound crazy but I feel the Devil only has the power to pervert or corrupt, he can’t create. Satan doesn’t make beats or place chord changes in the hearts of men, he merely influences how they’re used.
If more Christians understood this I believe more Christians would have larger palates musically. This would have an interesting effect on what many would deem Christian music. Imagine going to a Christian club and dancing to banging Christian Hip Hop. Think about it, do you think God is merely this stoic person that sits on a throne and that’s it. I imagine God grooving in heaven and through us. Imagine the party in heaven. Imagine Heavy Metal and banging urban beats going simultaneously as people dance around. I don’t think a praise party looks like the praise parties I’ve seen at most churches. I don’t think folks are in heaven doing stiff praise and worship I think people are moon walking, spinning and jumping on their toes.
I believe dance comes from God as well. Satan has perverted what should be praise. I think B Boys and Alvin Ailey understand true worship through dance and Michael like in his music meshed the two. If the overtly sexual movements were removed I believe we witness what praise and worship through dance looks like in a lot of Michael’s movements.
I think as Christians we should become less inhibited and more expressive artistically in music and dance to show our adoration for the God of all that is artistic. R. I. P. Michael Jackson.
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