Heroes of Christian Worship: J.S. Bach & Keith Green KEITH GREEN PASSED 40 YEARS AGO TODAY!! Plus 25 things you didn’t know about Keith!

This weekend, I honored the anniversaries of the deaths of the two musicians I consider most formative in my understanding of worship: Johann Sebastian Bach (July 28, 1750) and Keith Green (July 28, 1982).

The Bible refers to singing more than 400 times and has 50 direct commands for us to sing to God. Its longest book, the Psalms, is exclusively a book of worship. Moreover, it’s virtually impossible to imagine Church history without music. Martin Luther’s view of music as the synchronization of sound and theology led him to believe that, “Next to theology, music deserves the highest praise.” The chants, hymns, and worship songs sung through the ages serve as the hallmark of many services and have uniquely drawn billions of people closer to Christ. Just as God is multifaceted, singing multidimensionalizes our theology. It mysteriously imbues our words with emotion. Both Bach and Green used their musical talents to powerfully engage the politics and the culture of their times.

Johann Sebastian Bach is enshrined as one of the greatest musicians in history. The Baroque composer’s music beautifully exemplifies the dualism of the luxurious majesty of royal society and the intricate calculation of the Age of Science. His crowning genius was his amalgamation of devilish melodic structures to develop sublime harmony. He stunningly portrayed God as high above the heavens reaching down to care for His creation and, in doing so, built a cornerstone of many worship traditions.

Orphaned at age 10, he fought continually and often bitterly with town councils that claimed he was a stubborn loon who refused to relinquish his obsolete music. He died in obscurity, foregoing fame in pursuit of fidelity. It’s all the more astounding that Bach, a liturgist in his own rite, wrote his greatest music in his most trying surroundings. A sustaining Lutheran faith and love of the Lord is displayed in most of his chorales that are heavily influenced by a lifelong study of Scripture. Friedrich Nietzche, one of Christianity’s harshest critics, confessed that upon listening to Bach, “One who has completely forgotten Christianity truly hears it hear as Gospel.”

Keith Green was a hippy vegetarian recovering from a youth of drugged disillusionment and cultural chaos. A classically trained child prodigy, he spent the majority of his years on a troubled quest for spiritual significance that culminated in an abounding love for Jesus Christ. Convicted by the evangelist Charles Finney’s calls for  devotion and action, Green confrontationally and often controversially rebuked the Church for its lazy complacency in the cultural malaise of 1970s America.

Green modeled what he prayed for by housing prostitutes, the homeless, biker gangs, and pregnant women considering abortion. His wife, Melody, was an instrumental part of his success, and together, they proclaimed the Gospel as urgently and often as possible.

His countless compositions have pierced thousands of hearts. Traveling across the nation, he challenged Christians to follow Jesus and to give their lives in service of missions. Several leaders of Operation Mobilization and YWAM have stated that he was a primary motivation of thousands of missionaries that joined these organizations. A leader of the charismatic Jesus Movement of his decade, he’s widely regarded as a father of contemporary worship. Many Christian artists today cite him as a foundational inspiration. His raw anointing and spontaneous sermons never fail to convict me and strengthen my relationship with Jesus. He died as he lived when his plane crashed at the tragic age of 28 while showing church planters the facilities of his ministry.

When we think of the heroes of our faith, we list missionaries, theologians, and pastors, but often overlook musicians. Christian history is deeply indebted to both men and will forever be enriched by their transcendent legacies. They redeemed the complexities of their times and offered themselves as sacrifices of praise. Below are excerpts from some of their classics. I can’t wait for the day when we harmonize together around the Throne. Until then, I’ll keep singing here below.

Bach Cantata 39

Break your bread for the hungry, and those who are in misery, bring into your house!
If you see a naked person, then clothe him, and do not recoil from your flesh.
Thereupon will your light burst forth as the red dawn of morning,
and your betterment will quickly grow, and your righteousness go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will embrace you.

The bounteous God casts His abundance on us, we who without Him do not even have breath.
He gives only the use, although not so that we alone are refreshed by His treasures.
They are the touchstone whereby He makes known that He has dispensed poverty,
We need not return, for His loaned good, interest into His storehouse;
mercy that is shown to one’s neighbors can reach His heart more surely than any gift.

Keith Green, “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful”

Oh, Lord You’re beautiful, your face is all I seek,
For when Your eyes are on this child. Your Love abounds to me.

Oh Lord my body is tired, but You keep reminding me,
Of many holy tireless men who spilled their blood for Thee.

I want to take Your word and shine it all around, but first help me just to live it Lord.
And if I’m doing well, help me to never make a sound, except to give all the glory to You.

Oh Lord my faith is small and I need a touch from you,
Your Book of books lies undisturbed, and the prayers from me too few.

Oh Lord please light the fire, that once burned bright and clear.
Replace the lamp of my first love that’s fueled with holy fear.

My favorite Christian music artist of all time is Keith Green.

Keith Green passed away on July 28th, 1982 almost 39 years ago to the day!!! I want to remember him with a series of posts!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Keith Green – (talks about) Jesus Commands Us To Go! (live)

Uploaded on May 26, 2008

Keith Green talks about “Jesus Commands Us To Go!” live at Jesus West Coast ’82

You can find more info on http://www.keithgreen.com

If you want to buy this DVD go to the online shop on his website.

And if you want to know more about this man and why he followed Jesus look at my profile for the video about his life.

______________________________________________________

You are called to go
Keith’s concerts were evangelistic and exhortational. He was the Lecrae of the 70’s. Here is what he has to say about the great commission:

“The world isn’t being won today because we’re not doing it. It’s our fault. This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth. And no where in the world is the gospel so plentiful as here in the United States. No where. And I don’t want to see us stand before God on that day ans say, ‘but God I didn’t hear you call me.’ Here is something for all you to chew on, you don’t need to hear a call, you’re already called. In fact, if you stay home from going into all nations you had better be able to say to God, ‘You called me to stay home God, I know that as a fact.'”

Keith Green – Asleep In The Light (live)

Uploaded on May 26, 2008

Keith Green performing “Asleep In The Light” live at Jesus West Coast ’82

You can find more info on http://www.keithgreen.com

_________________________

Keith wasn’t messing around, watch his biography and see how he backed up what he said with his life:

The Keith Green Story (FULL)

Uploaded on May 14, 2009

Keith Green was an intense and radical man of God. He was taken from this Earth at a relatively young age. His legacy lives on through his music and his sermons. This video is about his life.

25 Things You Never Knew About Keith Green

Wayne and I were very close to Keith from 1978-1982. We both served on the leadership of Last Days Ministries, and have many wonderful memories of Keith and those developing years of Last Days Ministries. Here are some inside Keith-facts.

1. Did you know that Keith wore flip flopseverywhere he went?

2. Did you know that Keith always had to share his food with everyone, because if he liked it, he knew you would too? It was the Jewish mother in him.

3. Did you know Keith was a real family man? He couldn’t stand to be separated from Melody or his kids for long.

4. Did you know that Keith was very soul searchingand could be harder on himself then he was on others?

5. Did you know Keith would sometimes cut his own hair; and even played barber shop with some of the other brothers at the ministry?

6. Did you know that Keith was a real night owl? He often got his best revelation late at night and would commonly call people at 2-3am to share his fresh insights.

7. Did you know that Keith used to mow the grassin Texas on a big tractor as a way to relax and to clear his head?

8. Did you know that Keith invited so many family and friends to witness the birth of his children, that it nearly became a public event?

9. Did you know that he always had a team of people praying while he was in the studio? Along with his talent, there were hours and hours of intercession that went into each album.

10. Did you know that Keith had a deep love for people and would get really involved with people he was ministering to?

11. Did you know that Keith would read the bible in the bathroom and got some of his best revelation in there?

12. Did you know that he loved to play racket ball? He also played tennis and ping pong, and was very competitive.

13. Did you know he loved to try new things? He learned to milk a cow, drive a tractor and run a printing press.

14. Did you know that he loved to go to auctions, and was able to furnish our facilities in East Texas saving thousands of dollars?

15. Did you know Keith shaved his beard when we moved to East Texas from California, to avoid offending the locals.

16. Did you know that Keith could type faster with 2 fingers than most of us can with 10?

17. Did you know Keith was really close friends with the famous revivalist, Leonard Ravenhill, and often went to him for counsel and advice?

18. Did you know he was the same off stage as he was on stage? With Keith, what you saw was who he was, he was genuine, sincere and real in all he did.

19 Did you know that Keith once drove the bus off the road in Hell’s Canyon, Utah leaving it dangling over a 2000 foot cliff? It took 2 bulldozers to lift it back onto the road.

20. Did you know Keith borrowed money on his house to sponsor the “So You Wanna Go back To Egypt”album so we could make them available to people for whatever they could afford?

21. Did you know Keith never received a salaryfrom the ministry?

22. Did you know that in spite of his success and popularity Keith lived a very simple life?

23. Did you know Keith loved to walk when he prayed? He could often be seen in an animated prayer walk going along the edge of our ministry property.

24. Did you know Keith led worship every Friday night at a prayer meeting led by Leonard Ravenhill near our ministry in East Texas?

25. Did you know Keith had a vision to do a restaurant that would offer food for whatever you could afford as a ministry outreach to the community?

Did you know Keith wasn’t perfect, but he held nothing back in serving Jesus and bringing others into God’s Kingdom.

Related posts:

My favorite Christian music artist of all time is Keith Green.

My favorite Christian music artist of all time is Keith Green. Sunday, May 5, 2013 You Are Celled To Go – Keith Green Keith Green – (talks about) Jesus Commands Us To Go! (live) Uploaded on May 26, 2008 Keith Green talks about “Jesus Commands Us To Go!” live at Jesus West Coast ’82 You can find […]

Keith Green’s article “Grumbling and Complaining–So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt?” (Part 4)

Keith Green – So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt (live) Uploaded by monum on May 25, 2008 Keith Green performing “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt” live at West Coast 1980 ____________ This song really shows Keith’s humor, but it really has great message. Keith also had a great newsletter that went out […]

Keith Green’s article “Grumbling and Complaining–So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt?” (Part 3)

Keith Green – So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt (live) Uploaded by monum on May 25, 2008 Keith Green performing “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt” live at West Coast 1980 ____________ This song really shows Keith’s humor, but it really has great message. Keith also had a great newsletter that went out […]

Keith Green’s article “Grumbling and Complaining–So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt?” (Part 2)

Keith Green – So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt (live) Uploaded by monum on May 25, 2008 Keith Green performing “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt” live at West Coast 1980 ____________ This song really shows Keith’s humor, but it really has great message. Keith also had a great newsletter that went out […]

Keith Green’s article “Grumbling and Complaining–So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt?” (Part 1)

Keith Green – So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt (live) Uploaded by monum on May 25, 2008 Keith Green performing “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt” live at West Coast 1980 ____________ This song really shows Keith’s humor, but it really has great message. Keith also had a great newsletter that went out […]

Keith Green Story (Part 9)

Keith Green – Easter Song (live) Uploaded by monum on May 25, 2008 Keith Green performing “Easter Song” live from The Daisy Club — LA (1982) ____________________________ Keith Green was a great song writer and performer.  Here is his story below: The Lord had taken Keith from concerts of 20 or less — to stadiums […]

Keith Green Story, includes my favorite song (Part 8)

Keith Green – Asleep In The Light Uploaded by keithyhuntington on Jul 23, 2006 keith green performing Asleep In The Light at Jesus West Coast 1982 __________________________ Keith Green was a great song writer and performer and the video clip above includes my favorite Keith Green song. Here is his story below: “I repent of […]

Keith Green Story (Part 7)

Keith Green – Your Love Broke Through Here is something I got off the internet and this website has lots of Keith’s great songs: Keith Green: His Music, Ministry, and Legacy My mom hung up the phone and broke into tears. She had just heard the news of Keith Green’s death. I was only ten […]

Keith Green Story (Part 6)

The Keith Green Story pt 7/7 I remember when I first Keith Green. He had a great impact on me. Below are some quotes on Keith: Quotes   “It’s time to quit playing church and start being the Church (Matt. 18:20)” — Keith Green, as quoted by Melody Green in the introduction to A Cry […]

Keith Green Story (Part 5)

The Keith Green Story pt 6/7 When I first heard Keith Green in 1978 it had a major impact on my life. Below is his story: LEGEND   Keith Green CBN.com – When musician Keith Green died in a plane crash on July 28, 1982, the world lost a special man whose heart was aflame […]

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: