Derek Webb is not scared of controversy. Here’s a line from his latest censored album. (this is the uncensored version, so if language offends you, now would be the time to click the “funny” link to your right)
“Meanwhile we sit just like we don’t give a shit about 50,000 people that are dying today.”
“You say you always treat people like you’d like to be, I guess you love being hated for your sexuality…”
And my favorite:
“…’cause if you really believed what you say you believe, you wouldn’t be so damn reckless with the words you speak.”
His record label wouldn’t let the song make it out of the gate, so he released it on his website.
I love this song. The title of the song is “What Matters More,” and the controversy that has ensued has proven the words to be nearly prophetic. A segment of the Christian community has freaked out more about the words of the song than the content of the message. It is far more reckless to marginalize one group of sinners (homosexuals) while welcoming others than to use the word “damn.” What does matter more? The gospel, or a social agenda? The fact that people are dying and going to hell, or that we avoid saying the word “shit?”
If you’ll permit me, I want to step in in defense of Derek, and say that he is not saying that only the gospel matters, and so we should just walk around using the same language as the culture, with no regard. He’s just saying that if he had to choose what matters most, it’s not going to be language or targeting homosexuals.
My prayer for this song is that it will make it to the ears of listeners who will actually be shocked by it. I have been around Derek’s music for long enough to not be shocked by him using a “bad” word. But the concepts he hits on in this song are something that the American church needs to deal with.
Here’s the (very well done) video for the song in question.