I love it when God uses unsaved worldly people to unconsciously share His gospel to the world. All people are created by God and thus cannot help but unintentionally communicate His message, even when they are directly opposed to it. In the case of the successful mainstream band, Good Charlotte, it’s hard to hear their new ablum released in late 2004 and not hear its dripping theological overtones.
The album, The Chronicles of Life and Death, clearly communicates that band is searching for something deeper and more meaningful in life, and by doing so they unintentionally point to God as the answer to their search. Check out some of these lyrics:
The doctor cuts your cord.
He hands you to your mom.
She sets you free into this life.
And where do you go with no destination, no maps to guide you.
Wouldn’t you know that it doesn’t matter, we all end up the same.
— Chronicles of Life and Death
As a Christian, I have a pefect map to guide me and a plan that’s been determined specifically for my life, making me unique and different from anyone else in this world.
Separate my soul
With all the things we shared
Iâ€™m fallin’ to pieces now
Say a prayer for me
When you go to bed
Iâ€™m in need of your faith now…
Pray for me now
Iâ€™m in need of faith
Pray for me now
Iâ€™m in need
— Walk Away (Maybe)
Man, they don’t even try to hide it, do they? Their lives are falling apart, so they just come straight out and ask for prayer. They seem envious of those who do have faith. Apparently someone’s been living as a positive example in their lives. Are you a Christian that’s publicly demonstrating a faith worth being envious of?
I’m lost here
I can’t make it on my own
I don’t wanna die alone
I’m so scared
Holding on to everything I know
Need some help
Scared of death and the unknown of what lies ahead, they’re reaching out for anything they can get their hands on. The song sounds like a desperate cry for something meaningful and purposeful in life, even something relational with someone who can provide that! “Dying now” are strong words — they need help and they know it.
The whole song, Ghost of You, deals with the reality of death. The lyrics indicate that someone close to them has died and has left them with a huge loss. Is death just a time for us to “sleep eternally together” or do we become ghosts or maybe just slip into nothingness and leave behind only memories for other people?
In the back, in the closets of your mind
Thats where skeletons and dirty secrets hide
And I’ll rip out my insides
And leave them on display for you tonight
Oh man, how many Christians should take this advice? How many of us are just hypocrites walking around pretending like everything is okay? We go to church, work, school, and home wearing a difference face at each place. We all change to become whoever we need to be in order to be accepted and approved in these different arenas. I wish Christians could start setting the example of what it means to “be real” and transparent the way Good Charoltte values.
Turn on channel seven at a quarter to eight
You see the same d*** thing it’s just a different day and
No one really knows why this is happening
But it’s happening…
But the world is black
And hearts are cold
And there’s no hope…
People always tell me this is part of the plan
That God’s got everybody in His hands
But I can only pray that God is listening
Is He listening?
— The World is Black
The age-old question of “If there’s a God, then why do so many bad things happen? Is He really in control or does he just choose to let the world become such a dark place?” It’s a great question that everyone has asked at some point in their lives. I’m glad Good Charoltte is publicly asking questions like this and in-turn challenging others to do the same.
I wasn’t on a mountain
When it came to me.
All my life’s been wasted,
Chasing shallow dreams.
Years go by
And nothing’s slowing down the time
Years go by
And then they’re wasted.
All this time
I thought that I gained everything,
If you are not mine
I’m so empty.
Okay, a slight diversion from the focus of the album so far, huh? They know they’re empty and in need of something deeper, and they’re even heading in the right direction to finding it in a relationship! But they make a wrong turn and look to an earthly relationship to fill that void instead. :-|
There’s a woman crying out tonight
Her world has changed
She asks God why
Her only son has died
And now her daughter cries
She can’t sleep at night…
We are all the same
Human in all our ways and all our pain (So let it be)
There’s a love that could fall down like rain (Let us see)
Let forgiveness wash away the pain (What we need)
And no one really knows what they are searching for (We believe)
This world is crying for so much more…
So this world
Is too much
For you to take
Just lay it down and follow me
I’ll be everything you need
In every way
— We Believe
Aww man, they get so close to the answer! Yes, this world is full of pain and questions of “Why?” bad things happen so often. Yes, we’re all human and experience pain. Yes, there’s a love that could fall like rain! Yes, forgiveness is what is needed to wash away the pain! And yes, the world is crying for so much more! But why do they stop there?! Following what almost sounds like a direct quote from Christ Himself about laying “it” down and following Him, they say, “I’ll be everything you need.” I don’t see any other explanation for this other than another reference Christ, even if it’s unintentional. I hear this song and I become excited about the message being communicated, as if the band has almost reached the point of trusting Christ. They at least seem to understand His message, huh? But the excitement is quickly extinguished by the next song on the album.
I will try to believe in the things I cannot see
But my faith is shaken now like it’s never been before
When I call
And you don’t come
I don’t know what I should do
Should I call?
Should I even count on you?
— It Wastn’t Enough
Man, my heart sinks. They were so close. Asking tough questions like this can be good and healthy, but they almost seem to reject faith in God rather than honestly search for answers. They seem to know the answer to their pain, lonliness, and emptiness but I guess they’re having a hard time trusting Him. They cry out for help but receive no apparent response. Should they keep trying? It God even trustworthy or dependable at all to answer our cries?
In This World (Murder) seems to speak either against abortion in our country or the war in Iraq. They call the act of taking innocent life “sin” and “murder.” They furthermore say pretty strongly that those who take innocent life will never make it to heaven.
The album goes on to discuss in songs like Meet My Maker and Wounded how they plan to give up on life and (flipantly) meet their maker. They sing about the continual bleeding they feel in their faith-stretched soul until death comes to offer relief. It’s a disappointing ending. :-(
Personally, I really enjoy Good Charlotte’s music and their artistic abilities to communicate through modern music. They do a great job in this album of communicating three things that Christians need to take very seriously:
First, people are experiencing deep pain and struggles.
Second, the pain is causing them to ask tough questions about God and faith.
Third, they’re looking for answers!
What’s even more exciting is that people are not even entirely opposed to God being the answer. They’re searching for something, some meaning, something kind of relationship fill the empty void. We have the answer they’re looking for. They want and need to hear about it, so let’s not keep the answer to ourselves. It’s time to be transparent and real about our lives and our faith. Based on Good Charlotte’s album, The Chronicles of Life, it sounds like an unstoppable combination to winning our world to Christ.
Posted on August 23, 2005