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November 06, 2004

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I remember lying in bed as a teenager, having left the radio on when I fell asleep -- waking up to the secular radio station DJ announcing the news of Keith Green's death. I remember laying there wondering what it all meant.

His music has made a huge impact on so many -- and yet his preaching offended so many! His in-your-face style of telling people of they didn't go to the mission field it was sin. Maybe he was a little heavy-handed. But maybe he was just a little immature in his communication skills and the message he had was right on the money.

We balk today at the idea of offering people a "ticket into heaven" -- but in the final analysis, there is a heaven and a hell and will there be some who don't go to heaven because one of us didn't tell them it was there waiting for them?

Hard words for a hard time.

Thanks for this Chris!

~ Keith "proud to have the same first name" Seckel

...and still no one today is making the kind of music Keith Green was blessing us with 25 years ago.

I am the Christian I am today largely because of Keith Green and the band of people he ran with. He was Emergent before there was such a thing. He was an ordained Vineyard pastor back in the early days of that influential movement, but he kept one foot rooted in the great preachers of the faded past. Green introduced me to Leonard Ravenhill's writings and preachings, and Ravenhill pointed me to A.W. Tozer and the history and wealth of the Welsh Revival.

Green has always been a "love him or leave him" figure in the Church. While his voice is definitely prophetic, if you read his biography you realize that much of Green's prophetic ire was directed back at himself. He never lashed out at the complacency of the sleeping church without a keen sense that he was just as asleep as everyone else. Call him a prophet with feet of clay, but his stern call to something better than what we were/are experiencing in the life of the Church in America is unmitigated, nonetheless. We would do well to wake up, just as he said.

Green brought streams of Christianity together, too. He incorporated the holiness movement, the charismatic movement, the Jesus People movement, the missionary movement, the worship movement, and old-fashined tent revivalism into one foundation. I can't think of anyone in recent memory who was able to pull off this feat so well. That we lost him at so young an age, and eventually watched the ministry he founded go adrift, is a loss that has not been overcome yet.

Lastly, and this is almost a minor aside, but Green wrote music for adults. He and Rich Mullins, also tragically lost too young, wrote music for people who wrestled with life and faith, not for popsters and teenyboppers. I heard "Asleep in the Light" played on the local Christian radio station at 3AM a couple days ago, 3AM being the only time they could get away with playing it without offending anyone. What a sad comment on where Christianity is today. Oh that our music was more offensive and less pancreas-destroying!

Thanks for noticing how important Green still is. Hopefully this generation will look up his works and take them to heart.

QUOTED:
"He never lashed out at the complacency of the sleeping church without a keen sense that he was just as asleep as everyone else. Call him a prophet with feet of clay, but his stern call to something better than what we were/are experiencing in the life of the Church in America is unmitigated, nonetheless. We would do well to wake up, just as he said."

Great thoughts, Dan. If alive today, I believe Keith would certainly in the middle of the emerging church fray, deconstructing and challenging the movement as much as the overly commercialized, institutionalized, and out-of-touch segments of the Church elsewhere.

His youthful, earthy and often untempered honesty would sure seem to fit in with today's emergent landscape.

I agreee with everthing said here.

Something I have often wondered about is if Contemporary Christian Music would have traveled down the same path it did if he was alive? His death came around the same time that people like Amy Grant and Micheal W. Smith jumped onto the scene. His views were so radically different from the majority of musicains alive today. His last album he gave away for free, after Sparrow Records let him out of his record contract. He hated the idea of making money and profiting from the gospel.

QUOTED:
"He hated the idea of making money and profiting from the gospel"

Luke, I'm glad you pointed this out. It's something that even the emerging church continues to struggle with (though few, I fear, will admit it).

Great thoughts. I still hold on to a letter Melody Green wrote after his death. In it she prophetically listed the hopes and dreams of a similar "mantle" falling on an emerging generation. I remember holding that letter and praying for the chance to be an apart of this emerging generation.

I pastor today and in moments of great outpouring I often feel that "prophetic aftershock" seeking to animate and awaken a generation to the purposes expounded in such music, teaching and the life of Keith. It's obviously not just the man but thank God for such men for such times. I pray we see more...that I would aim to be more.

On a side note: I was listening to a compilation CD form HARD MUSIC called the Mother Of All Tribute Albums. On it Spy Glass Blue does an excellent cover of "Song to my parents" by Keith Green. I loved it.

The Keith Green Memorial Concert back in the 80's impacted my life.I remember wanting to sell out totaly to Jesus because of the passionate words of Keith Green.This was one wild but REAL guy who was pounding and weeping at his piano.Keith Green wanted nothing more than to pluck people from the edge.His songs are almost errie, he was and truly is a prophetic mouthpiece of God!

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