I hope you’re all enjoying your Sunday. If you’re looking for some music to jam to, something that explores some of the biggest questions of life with a Christian heart, I’ve got a recommendation for you: Mumford and Sons.
They’re not Christian themselves (or, at least, don’t claim to be any more) but the band has a strong Christian background and you can’t deny the overwhelming influence the faith has had on their music. Just take a look at some of the names of their songs: Babel (Genesis), Rose of Sharon (Song of Songs), Thistle and Weeds (parable in the Gospels), Roll Away Your Stone (Lazarus, Jesus), Broken Crown (of Christ), Timshel (literally “thou mayest” in Hebrew), The Cave (reference to St. Francis of Assisi), Believe, Awake My Soul, Lover of the Light. Even in songs that are not specifically about the Bible or faith, their way of expression is the language of faith (Babel is about putting on false selves and failing to communicate, a call to take off the mask and tear down the wall. What better way to capture this situation than to invoke the tower of babel?)
When I listen to their music, what I hear is a band that once knew faith quite well, that was excited for the mission of Christ. And then the world happened. And then doubt crept in. (And then being labeled “a Christian band” and being associated with the Christian Music Industry would have killed their success.) So they say publicly that they are people of that don’t consider themselves a part of the Church. Who am I to judge, but I still think they have Christian hearts influencing everything they do. Just because you hit a patch of doubt and go on a wayward journey doesn’t make you no longer a Christian.
No matter what they say, I think they’re furthering the mission of Christ. Subtly, they are opening the door for people who would never come to Church to engage with topics like faith and doubt, sin and grace, shame and redemption, hope and despair. You don’t need to use the name Christ for the mission to grow, and I think they’re doing just that: helping it grow.