I just got an email telling me that the Delirious? song 'History Maker' is now at number six in the UK music charts. This is largely down to the huge Facebook campaign 'Christian music topping the UK charts', which now has well over 50,000 fans (many of whom have changed their Facebook profile picture to an advert for the campaign). Every day for the last week or so I've had multiple invitations to join this group, whose aim is to get the single to #1 for Easter.
I keep getting invited because I keep rejecting the invitations. There are a few reasons why I haven't joined the campaign, but before I outline them I'm going to say what's really good about it...
The email I got said that "Delirious fans started talking about how great it would be if this Easter there could be a song up there in the charts that raised the flag for faith in Jesus." (I note that even these official people dropped the question mark from the band name). I'm not sure what the flag metaphor really means, but I think it's good that people who are anticipating the demise of Christianity in the near future might just hear a Jesus-song on the radio.
I was also informed that "Delirious? will be donating their profits from the UK single downloads to Compassionart projects that bring relief from poverty where it is needed most." (The question mark is back. This is an ongoing dilemma). So if several thousand people download the track then that's lots of money given to a charitable cause - great!
But I haven't bought it yet. Firstly, History Maker is probably the song that Delirious? play most, which means it's on three of the seven CDs of theirs I own, so I don't really want another version.
However, I do have a more philosophical reason why I haven't yet signed up to the campaign. While I do think it has honourable motives, and will be pleased if it succeeds, I'm not sure it's the best way to reach out to people who don't love Jesus. Does it seem slightly aggressive to you, that we're hi-jacking a system in order to promote our brand of music? The music chart is secular system that usually exalts Godless rubbish, so can we use it to exalt Jesus Christ? I don't relish the idea of trying to compete with the world, when Christianity is not of the world.
Someone will probably tell me to stop being a grumpy curmudgeon and celebrate the fact that lots of people are going to hear this on Radio 1:
Is it true today that when people pray
We'll see dead men rise
And the blind set free?
Yes it's true and I believe it
But what would make me really happy is if God mercifully brought revival to the UK, and every week Christian music topped the chart, not because of a Facebook campaign, but because everyone wanted to worship the King. That would be awesome, but I don't think it's going to happen unless we get on our knees and pray for it.