No Number One

For the last few weeks the British Christian blogsphere and Facebook have been working up a campaign to get the song ‘History Maker’ by Delierious? to be number one in the UK charts over Easter. Well, yesterday when the charts were announced the song predictably wasn’t at number one, but it did get to a respectable number four.

So what does this tell us? One obvious lesson is that Christians don’t have the cultural marketing power of a disparate group of people who are united only in their dislike of the X Factor. That in itself is a rather salutary lesson and one that we need to learn from.

But what is the eternal significance of all of this? Actually, I don’t think there is any. I don’t think that the Kingdom of God has been harmed by a song only reaching number four any more than it would have been advanced if it had reached number one. This is essentially a side show, it doesn’t matter. I’ve got nothing against the song and if people like it enough to buy it, that’s great, especially as some of the money will go to charity (there are better ways to support charities though).  However, as I wrote about these sorts of campaigns a few weeks back:

when we start to invest these things with an eternal significance, I believe we are on dangerous ground. In the wilderness, Satan tempted Jesus with popularity and cultural power without spiritual authority. Jesus resisted that temptation, and today we should resist falling into it on his behalf.

Our call is to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God; we demonstrate the truth of our message through love, obedience, humility, justice and truth. If we have those things, we don’t really need Facebook groups to show that the Gospel is real. And if we don’t have them, then all of the Facebook groups or number one singles in the world, won’t convince our generation of the truth of the Gospel.

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2 replies on “No Number One”

“We preach not ourselves, but Christ crucified.” There’s a great danger that for whatever the undoubtedly well meaning intentions here, we can get easily beguiled into sub-Christian ways of thinking. Islam and most other human-based religions gain their credibility by demonstrating worldly power. If the religion is seen to be followed by a visible majority, whether by enforcing dress-codes or whatever, then it is proved true and right. And we can think if we get a Christian message heard in the mainstream media, a Christian song on the radio, a Christian contestant on Big Brother, a Christian prime minister or president etc etc then the world will look and say “Oh, you Christians are great, you must be right” and join up. And funnily enough, God in his wisdom has decided that’s almost exactly the opposite of his way of working.

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