Search

The Jesus Music


This is the movie all fans of The Wildman & Steve Show must see! The Jesus Music presents the development of Christian-themed music from the 1960s to today, and it is nothing short of fantastic. Now, your first thought will be, "Umm...hasn't there been Christian-themed music since, well, the time of Jesus?" The answer, of course, is yes. There have been great hymns and all the variations on what we today call gospel music, but this is about something else. This is about a movement. It is about people who encounter the living God and surrender the musical gifts He has given them back to Him. And it is about God working through forms of music that some thought could only serve Satan and showing that indeed all things can work together for good.


The Jesus Music presents the development of Christian-themed music from the 1960s to today, and it is nothing short of fantastic. Now, your first thought will be, "Umm...hasn't there been Christian-themed music since, well, the time of Jesus?" The answer, of course, is yes. There have been great hymns and all the variations on what we today call gospel music, but this is about something else. This is about a movement. It is about people who encounter the living God and surrender the musical gifts He has given them back to Him. And it is about God working through forms of music that some thought could only serve Satan and showing that indeed all things can work together for good.


The film is chronological in its portrayal, beginning with Calvary Chapel and the Jesus Movement in the late '60s and early '70s. As hippies and non-hippies alike came to discover that God loves even counter-cultural, long-haired, young people, these newly baptized followers of Christ took their fondness for the music of Zeppelin and The Doors and used it to share the gospel.


Explo '72


During this part of the film, I could not help but think how wonderful it would be to see such revival spread across the country and the world. It would undoubtedly look different than it did at Explo '72, but the thought of people catching the fire of the Lord and spreading it passionately through music and art, word and relationship, makes me yearn for it. This is not a nostalgia thing, but as this film presents a powerful reminder of what once was, it also kindles the idea of what could be again.


From there the film takes us through the MTV-era of the '80s, the rise of CCM as a musical genre, and the development of the Christian music business in the '90s and 2000s. The story is told through interviews with major artists from each era and music industry leaders, often circling back to Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant, who are also executive producers.


Stryper, circa 1980s


Far from being a rose-colored look at the glory days, The Jesus Music does not shy away from the human, and therefore of necessity, the sinful element in even the Christian music business. Money can corrupt anything, and the musicians bear witness to this. Nor does the film shy away from the judgment that some artists experienced, both from within and from outside the body of Christ. Yet it also touches on the power of the gospel shared through music to bring healing to even the most hurtful issues such as racism. As was said by one of the artists, "There's something about music that touches you like someone talking to you can't."


Steve and his son Austin


On a personal level, I (Steve) could not have loved this more. There was no way when I was enjoying many of these bands and artists for the first time nearly forty years ago that I could have imagined one day showing up at a movie about my favorite musicians, much less that I would still be wearing a Stryper shirt or that my son would be wearing a for King & Country hat in support of his own favorite Christian band that was heavily influenced by the bands of my youth.


And if that were not enough, nine guests on The Wildman & Steve Show appeared in the film: Glenn Kaiser (Rez Band), John Cooper (Skillet), John Schlitt and Bob Hartman (Petra), Michael Sweet and Oz Fox (Stryper), Les Carlsen and Michael Bloodgood (Bloodgood), and Mylon Lefevre (Mylon Lefevre and Broken Heart)!


With great music and wonderful stories, this is definitely a movie to see in the theatre. With its look at what God has done and continues to do with the creative people made in His image, it is one to share with friends, especially the young people of our day. Perhaps they will be inspired to lead a new generation of "Jesus Freaks" who will share the good news of Jesus in compelling ways through music.




82 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All