Throughout the Old Testament, God continuously instructed Israel to send their worshippers into battle in advance of the army. Though much has changed about the details of warfare, some things have not as God continues to use musicians and worship leaders to inspire, challenge and encourage in the battle for social, political and spiritual advancement. Here are just a few of the modern day worshippers who are using their platform and talents to advance the cause for justice in today’s abolitionist movement through their lyrics and their lives.
Growing up in Wilson, NC, Meredith Andrews needed to look no further than her own house to see God’s heart for the least of these reflected in the faces of her three adopted brothers. Early plans to work in an orphanage gave way to obedience as she attended Liberty University and responded to God’s calling to become a worship leader. Soon she was serving at Harvest Bible Chapel, led by noted author and pastor James MacDonald, and she signed a recording deal with Word Records. At the 42nd annual Dove Awards, Meredith won the Worship Album of the Year award for her sophomore effort As Long As It Takes and Worship Recorded Song of the Year for How Great Is The Love. Her website MeredithAndrews.com reveals her inspiration, in which Meredith shares, “I never want to write songs just to write songs. I always want them to be about conveying the heart of God to people, whether they are people who walk with the Lord or people who don’t walk with the Lord.” “I think the best way to do that is to do it through His word. I always want my songs to be infused with the Word of God because if it’s my words, it’s null and void. What do I have to say to people that is going to change their lives? Nothing! But if it comes from the Lord, that’s what is going to change them,” she adds. Meredith is currently touring with The Desperation Band on the Free To Live tour, sponsored by international children’s Life Children’s Hope Chest. Inspired by Micah 6:8 (NIV), which states, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” A video promoting the tour promises a night to touch the Father’s heart and to bring freedom to the sex slave. As the images fade, the words “Worship is action, Prayer is movement” flash across the screen.
For more on Meredith Andrews and the Free To Live tour, please visit MeredithAndrews.com.
“When we live the love of the Gospel out loud, a revolution will occur.” – Grant
Natalie Grant is an award winning female vocalist, mother of three and a revolutionary. Her love revolution was launched in 2005 as she watched an episode of “Law & Order” that dealt with human trafficking. Shocked by the thought women and children were being held against their will near her suburban home, Natalie began to research the problem and to use her platform to educate, energize and to restore. A trip to India where she was given a tour of the devastating effects of trafficking as she and her husband met girls as young as five years old, only solidified her commitment to address the needs of these often overlooked victims. Since 2005, The Home Foundation, (Grant’s foundation) has raised over a quarter million dollars to fight the trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In light of statistics that suggest that more than 100,000 people have been trafficked in the U.S. with less than fifty beds in shelters available for them, The Home Foundation has announced a goal of establishing shelters in ten major cities and the establishment of a new Christian Trafficking Shelter Association to insure best practices are applied to the redemption and restoration of trafficking victims. With the release of her latest CD Love Revolution, Grant is once again putting her lyrics where her heart is as the project reminds us of “the simple significance of love and the revolutionary power that it carries.”
For more information on The Home Foundation and her efforts to end trafficking, log onto NatalieGrant.com
Take No Glory
Inspired by an article on human trafficking written by International Justice Mission, Take No Glory’s Johnna Utile felt like there was little that one person could do against such a pervasive problem. Johnna felt prompted by God to write a song about the life of a single victim. She wrote the lyrics of Beautiful Slave from the perspective of a young girl in forced prostitution: “Does God hear me? Does He see what’s going on? Will I ever be free? It’s takes a lot of healing and counseling to get through something like that but there is hope in Jesus.” Encouraged by Luke 4, which states that captives will be released, the blind will see and the oppressed will be set free, Johnna is convinced that each person who receives Christ has the promise that their past can be healed. “They can live in a fallen world with the promise of Heaven. This hope is what can spur on someone to live their life despite the things of their past,” Johnna adds. Take No Glory is a non-profit musicianary band offering all of their music through free mp3 downloads on their website. Take No Glory explains both their name and their unusual distribution system: “Our passion is to see Christians ‘take no glory’ nor receive praise from man, for what God has done. We have been bought with a price, and we are no longer our own, but Christ lives in us. Let’s not conform to this world, but let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” They look no further than the sending out of Jesus’ disciples in Matthew 10:8-10 for their business model, explaining that, “When Jesus sent out His disciples to minister to people, He explained that they should do it all without expecting anything in return. He was teaching them to trust in God for their every need. We know and believe that where God guides, God provides.”
For more on the band and to download their music free, visit TakeNoGlory.com
It’s an intriguing observation that captivity often gives rise to songs of worship. From the songs cited throughout the Old Testament as the nation of Israel was held captive, Paul and Silas singing praise to God in the midst of prison, songs birthed out of our country’s experience with slavery and the modern struggle for civil rights, songs of worship have served as a rallying cry for both the oppressed and those who seek to provide them freedom. The genre and the melodies are contemporary but the cry for equality and for the justice associated with the kingdom of God to be visible in the lives of those around us is ageless.
Anitra can be reached at anitrap@goodNewsfl.com