The Arts: Modern Christian Music – Advancing God’s Kingdom!

Christian Music, My Soul Among Lions, Petra Beyond Belief, Newsboys, Michael W Smith, Third Day, Brave Saint Saturn, Christian, Christianity, Creativity, Artist, ArtsWhen it comes to creativity and the arts within Christendom, I think Christian music is one of those areas that has actually flourished in more recent years. Of course, it’s a little more difficult to gauge the actual impact that Christian music has had on society as a whole. But even if someone’s work for Christ seems to not make that big of a splash, just a handful of lives changed for Him are worth it all! Following are some of the Christian groups, artists, albums and songs that I’ve personally found inspiring and motivating over the years.

Petra: I first heard Petra back in High School, and still clearly remember watching their “Beyond Belief” movie at a youth event. The impact this album has had on me over the years is clear, with such songs as “Creed” helping me learn the words to the Apostles’ Creed, “Armed and Dangerous” inspiring me to take a serious stand for Him and “Beyond Belief” warning Christians about potential ineffectiveness through getting too comfortable. Great stuff. And yeah, I think the Beyond Belief movie – despite having a pretty early 90s look, is still one of the coolest things out there!

Newsboys: With “Going Public” and “Take Me To Your Leader” as some of my favorite albums (and “Let It Rain”, “Thrive”, “When You Called My Name”, “Spirit Thing” and “Breakfast” as being amongst some of my favorite songs), you just can’t go wrong with the talent of Steve Taylor (responsible for many of the Newsboys witty lyrics) and Peter Furler’s iconic voice. This is music about Christ and His Kingdom that not only has an amazing sound, but is often very clever, poetic and full of a lot of deep truths when you actually pause to consider what you’re listening to.

Third Day: Mac Powell’s distinctive vocals, and Third Day’s awesome Southern Rock sound makes this talented Christian band another favorite. “King of Glory”, “Your Love Oh Lord”, “Cry Out to Jesus” and “God of Wonders” are some that stand out to me personally. But honestly, Third Day has so much great music that I’d be doing anyone a disservice by only recommending a few.

Michael W. Smith: I listened to Michael W. Smith’s i 2 (EYE) album a lot back in high school, and really liked “Secret Ambition”, Pray for Me” and “The Throne”. I especially think that “The Throne” has a really unique sound that is beautiful and other-worldly – definitely worth a listen in my book. “This is Your Time” is also a very moving song, as the Columbine tragedy (which the song is based around) was something that spoke to a lot of Christians back then.

As for other noteworthy mentions? How about Geoff Moore & the Distance: “Evolution Redefined”, Brave Saint Saturn (a little bit of rock, sci-fi and such greats as “Heart Still Beats”), DC Talk, Toby Mac: “Portable Sounds” album, Carman: “It’s Our Turn Now” and “Radically Saved”, and Audio Adrenaline: “Big House”? I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Ray Boltz and his song, “I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb”. Released in 1995 under the Album, “The Concert of a Lifetime”, the song takes the Pledge of Allegiance that so many Americans are familiar with, and turns it into a song about pledging our allegiance to Christ. With powerful and timely lyrics, the music video depicts various Christians being led away by secret police, or perishing at the hands of tyrannical Kings and violent mobs. While I understand that Boltz has sadly fallen away from Christ and His Truth in the years following the writing of this song (and is very much in need of our prayers), the song has regardless left an impression.

And last but certainly not least, My Soul Among Lions is what I’m listening to right now! This is such an easy recommend, that it’s not even funny. I came across this group very recently after hearing their music on Reconstructionist Radio, and was stopped in my tracks by their awesome bluegrass/folk sound. This literally has it all in one great album. With lyrics coming from Psalm 1-10, this music inspires and encourages through the word of God, with favorites like “Night and Day (Psalm1)”, “Every Morning (Psalm 5)”, “Rise Up O Lord (Psalm 10)” and “The Nations Rage (Psalm 2)”. If you’re feeling a little down by current events, politics, or any of the other nonsense the world throws at you, then I think you’ll be encouraged and motivated to stand for His Kingdom after giving My Soul Among Lions a listen. And don’t forget, they’re working on a new album, Psalm 11-20!

What are some of your favorite Christian Music artists, albums or songs? Do you think Christian Music has been very effective in advancing God’s Kingdom? Let us know in the comments section! Also be sure to subscribe to this blog (so you don’t miss any future posts) and check out my Artwork tab for great christian cartoons, illustrations and resources available to help share His Truth!

Business, Free Markets & Secular Tolerance

pieaxiomI was out mowing my yard the other day, and got to thinking about how businesses will sometimes try to use their “influence” to make a point. Don’t get me wrong, I believe a business owner should be able to operate their company as they see fit. If their customers don’t like it, they don’t have to shop there. If enough people don’t shop there, then the owner will either go out of business – or might take a hint to voluntarily make a change. You know, free market. Vote with your dollar. That kind of thing.

But when businesses or business owners go out of their way to force their political views on me? They should know that while some their customers might not care, there might be quite a few that aren’t in love with the idea. Maybe isn’t that big of a deal to some business owners. But come on, in a volatile market? Who wouldn’t be worried about lost profits?

For example, we used to shop at Target quite a bit. We bought clothing, groceries, toys, and household items – the whole nine yards. We gave this business quite a few of our dollars because we not only enjoyed the selection of cool stuff, but we also appreciated the design aesthetic and more comfortable feel of the place. In other words, it didn’t feel like a huge warehouse. And that’s important to a lot of people. Because if you go out and do a little shopping, or grab a bite to eat, you might be the kind of person who wants to go someplace that feels free from the regular grind and stresses of life. Which is why the recent bathroom situation with Target was such a turn off. It was almost as if Target was going out of their way to make some silly political statement and draw a public line in the sand. To go from being an entity that’s all about providing an unbiased service, product or experience – to saying, “Hey, we’re going to shove our customer’s face in this divisive public issue whether they like it or not. Because get this – it’s all about inclusiveness.” And the result? Well, like I said. It’s going to turn off a lot of people who don’t feel so “included” in Target’s campaign – and they’re not going to want to do business there for a while. All because the business has gone from being a non-threatening environment to one that is hostile to them. This is especially interesting, considering how businesses are so concerned with marketing to Millennials, and how Millennials (as are most people of any generation) may not be so keen on giving their business to an establishment that either doesn’t share their values, or is overly confrontational about their beliefs. Funny how it works both ways, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t seem necessary for a business like Target (or others, like Starbucks or Ben and Jerry’s) to take a very vocal and public position on divisive political issues and policies – when they could choose to remain silent and have a welcoming environment to ALL their customers, without the ridiculous drama. If they absolutely feel they must, well – so be it. But if you can accomplish being nice and offering a great service or product for your customer without making a bunch of them annoyed, doesn’t this make good business sense?

If you have thoughts on the so-called Target boycott, hostile business environments, consumer marketing, business ethics, secular tolerance, politics and business or anything else related to this subject, please let us know in the comments section! Also be sure to check out my Artwork tab, where a lot of awesome christian cartoons, illustrations and resources are available to help share His Truth! Have a great day!

Christianity Lite

Christian, Reconstruction, illustration, cartoon, modern christianity, progressive christianity, Western Christianity, God's Law, relevancy of scriptures

Hope you enjoy my latest cartoon – Christianity Lite! Do you have any thoughts on Modern Christianity, Progressive Christianity, Christian Reconstruction, God’s Law, the relevancy of scriptures, a watered down Gospel or even the state of Western Christianity itself? Write a comment! As always, don’t forget to follow this blog or share with a friend! Also be sure to check out my Artwork tab (where a lot of awesome christian cartoons, illustrations and resources are available to help share His Truth via social media and more), as well as the Artist Page (where you can find interviews with great Christian artists)! And don’t forget to check out our books and resources tab, as we’ve got some really great ebooks, pdf resources and outreach materials available for you to use for FREE! Until next time, have a great day!

A Christian Geek on the Death and Life of Artists

planets22016 has been a year that we’ve lost a lot of famous folks from accidents, sickness and other circumstances due to being human on planet Earth. From David Bowie (singer, songwriter and actor), to Jerry Doyle (actor, talk-show host, and Michael Garibaldi on Babylon 5), Kenny Baker (R2-D2 in Star Wars, as well as roles in Goonies and Time Bandits), Anton Yelchin (27 year old actor who played Chekov in Star Trek), Prince (Pop megastar), Muhammad Ali (Heavyweight champion of the world) and Alan Rickman (Actor and Professor Snape in Harry Potter), it always makes me kind of sad and reflective on my own life when these extremely talented and creative people pass on. For many of them, they not only helped bring beloved characters to life, created inspiring works of music, or were talented athletes – but were part of our own individual life stories through a culture that impacts in a variety of ways.

Life is Short. Over the years, as someone who has really appreciated art, creativity and the unique personalities involved in music, movies, games, books, television shows, architecture and more, I’ve seen a lot of talent pass from this earth. I mean, it really doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was a teenager and was also hearing about the death of Gene Roddenberry (creator of Star Trek), Jim Henson (creator of the Muppets) or Isaac Asimov (famous sci-fi author and philosopher). Of course in those days, it didn’t quite sink in like it does now. Sure, I’d day-dream about the future and wonder what might lay in store for me 20 years down the road. But death just wasn’t something that seemed to make as much as an impression as it does now. Perhaps it’s living long enough to see the pain in the world, and friends, family and other acquaintances who have passed on far before their time. Whatever the case, it makes me think how short life is, and that one day for each of us who are still living, our life as we know it here will come to a close…

axiomcity3What’s the Point? As they say, life is for the living. Those who have passed have had their time, and will possibly be remembered for a while. For some of those people that I’ve mentioned, I’m almost certain that living a life for our Creator and His Truth had no place in their lives. Which really makes their passing that much more of a tragedy. Sure, I’ve heard some famous people claim that the creative work they’ve done will hopefully be remembered in the years to come, and leave a lasting legacy for future generations. But even if they were remembered for a thousand, or ten thousand years, surely some future society would have their own abundance of works to occupy their time (thus caring little for work done in our time) – or the world would end eons from now and all that humanity has “achieved” would end with it. What would really be the point of anything that is done now, unless it were done for something much higher than ourselves and a pretty flimsy idea of human progress?

Pray for Artists and Creatives! That’s why when I look at people like Stan Lee (comic-book writer, and past president of Marvel Comics) or J. Michael Straczynski (creator of Babylon 5), Patrick Stewart (Picard on Star Trek The Next Generation) Bruce Campbell (actor from Burn Notice) and many others, I’m hopeful that I’ll one day see them putting their efforts towards things that are truly lasting. And if I don’t ever meet them here in this life, perhaps one day I’ll be able to meet them in Heaven. Sure, all these people have made mistakes and aren’t perfect. None of us are. But it’s never to late to turn to God and live a life for Him now – as well as in the awesome life to come. In the meantime, I’ll be sure to pray for these people. I’ll pray that somehow God will provide them opportunities to live a life for Him before life here on earth comes to a close. Because wouldn’t it be awesome to see these creative and talented people not as lost for all eternity – but as using their life and their gifts to create even more amazing and spectacular things?

As a side note, I get that a lot of people in the artistic community may have some serious concerns, confusion, or outright opposition to Christianity. Perhaps they met the wrong people, they were burned to it through some life experience it, or Christianity just was never lived, practiced or taught in such a way so as to shine forth in a darkened world. Either way, feel free to leave a comment if you have thoughts about Christianity, Christian reconstruction, actors and artists who have died in 2016, life of artists, being a Christian geek, or anything else on your mind. Also, check out some of the PDF resources AXIOM has tried to develop as a way to provide a simple introduction to living a life for God (Hope Flyer and What in the World Brochure). And lastly, be sure to check out my Artwork tab (where a lot of awesome christian cartoons, christian comics, illustrations and resources are available for sharing His Truth via social media and more), as well as the Artist Page (where you can find interviews with great Christian artists)! 

Are Christians Being Used by Political Establishment?

martin luther, cartoon, illustration, progressive christianity, reformation, christian, christianity, Hebrews 4:12Government can sometimes be a tough subject in Christian circles. So much so it seems as if sometimes Christians are more prone to completely withdraw from the subject all together, rather than commit to whatever effort might be required in understanding history, God’s Law, and what the Bible has to say on government.

However, as a Christian who is interested in a variety of subjects (including art, government, culture and entertainment), I’m naturally always interested in hearing what others might have to say about Christians involved in these various areas of life. For example, in Episode 574 of the Tom Woods Show, host Tom Woods had a pretty interesting discussion with Paul Gottfried on Neo-Conservatives in the Republican Party. During the course of this fascinating interview, the subject of Christianity and Christian involvement in the Republican Party also came up. Following is a brief excerpt of what they had to say… (Note: For those who may not be familiar, Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is a senior fellow of the Mises Institute and host of the Tom Woods Show. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Woods has appeared on CNBC, MSNBC, FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, C-SPAN, and Bloomberg Television, among other outlets, and has been a guest on hundreds of radio programs. Paul Gottfried, his guest for this particular episode, is a professor emeritus of humanities at Elizabethtown College and a Guggenheim recipient.)

Christian, cartoon, Romans 13, Ephesians 6, full armor of God, illustration, God and Government, Politics, Religious RightPaul Gottfried: I think a lot of it is simply the provincialism of the Neo-Cons. They despise the religious right, although they’re good on Israel or something like that. And they do provide the foot soldiers for the Republican Party. But I think they would be very happy if they could pull in Black and Hispanic votes, because that way they might be less dependent on these people in flyover country. I think they have utter contempt for the religious right. And the religious right have allowed themselves to be used so often, that I don’t blame the Neo-Cons at this point.

Tom Woods: They always huff and puff, and they threaten they’re going to walk out – it never ever happens. That’s one thing you can give credit to, is that the hard Left is not just satisfied with somebody giving a pretty speech and everybody in the audience knows the guy doesn’t believe it. They’ll sit in, they will disrupt things until they get what they want. Whereas you get out your copy of the Bible, and that satisfies these people. It’s almost like they deserve it. I mean, these are people who teach the total depravity of man, and they’re satisfied by a pretty speech. What is the problem here? It’s cognitive dissonance.

Paul Gottfried: There’s a total disconnect between their theology and their politics. Their politics assumes human perfectibility, that America is exceptional, that America is sinless and good and that we’re all living in the Kingdom of Heaven. Yet you’re right. Their religious view is based on total human depravity. I think they’re irreconcilable positions, but they’re probably not aware of the irreconcilability.

To listen to the entire podcast, check out: Episode 574 of the Tom Woods Show: Neocon says Word Neoconservative is Outdated Now. Also, be sure to check out our awesome Christian cartoons, artist interviews, and PDF resources on Christian Reconstruction, outreach and the communicating of truth! Just look through our tabs at the top of the page. Also check out Who Would Jesus Vote For? Have any other thoughts regarding western christianity or american christians? Let us know! Have fun!

Jesus Christ Comics

JCscreen

JCCLOGOI ran across Jesus Christ Comics on twitter recently, and received permission from the creator to share with you on Axiom! I was hoping to get an interview, but the creator (@jchristcomics) said that they wanted to keep the focus on the work, and not on themselves – which is awesome! But with such beautiful artwork that seeks to communicate the story of Christ, we really hope to one day be able to talk more with this individual and find out their story (or testimony) of why they seek to share His Truth through art. As for now, the artist twitter page for Jesus Christ Comics says that, “I tell Jesus’ story with COMICS! I love video games, comics, Adventure Time, Genndy Tartakovsky, Miyazaki, Moebius…and JESUS!” (Side note: We too really enjoy Tartakovsky’s work – particularly in the Star Wars Clone Wars two-part series). Meanwhile, the website states that, “The story of Jesus Christ is for hurting souls in need of healing. If the Bible is your Family Physician…then Jesus Christ Comics is one of those gummy vitamins. It’s tasty, but for best results contact your Physician.”

Check out Jesus Christ Comics. There’s new additions to the story every week! With the captivating artistic style, you won’t be disappointed!

As always, don’t forget to follow this blog or share with a friend! Also be sure to check out my Artwork tab (where a lot of awesome christian cartoons, christian comics, illustrations and resources are available for sharing His Truth via social media and more), as well as the Artist Page (where you can find interviews with great Christian artists)! And don’t forget to check out our books and resources tab, as we’ve got some really great ebooks, pdf resources and outreach materials available for you to use for FREE! Have fun!

New Cartoon: Christians and Public School

christian, cartoon, worldview, public education, christianity, illustration, theonomy, christian reconstruction, indoctrination movie

I recently listened to Colin Gunn on Reconstructionist Radio’s War Room Podcast (see the interview here). For those of you not familiar, Colin Gunn (read more about him here) is an award winning writer, director, producer, animator and game developer whose impressive work also spans a number of documentary films! In the podcast, Gunn discusses how the creative medium of documentary films can convey history and impact culture. He also talks about government school indoctrination (as well as his Indoctrination movie), the unfortunate response many Christians in America have towards attempts to educate on Public School (which inspired the above cartoon), national socialized medicine and a lot more. Also see: The Indoctrination Movie and Five Reasons NOT to Send your Kids Back to Public School by Pastor Voddie Baucham.

Colin Gunn, Christian, Christianity, Indoctrination, Public School, Meme, statism, Christian Reconstruction, Axe to the Root PodcastAs always, don’t forget to follow this blog or share with a friend! Also be sure to check out my Artwork tab (where a lot of awesome christian cartoons, illustrations and resources are available to help share His Truth via social media and more), as well as the Artist Page (where you can find interviews with great Christian artists)! And don’t forget to check out our books and resources tab, as we’ve got some really great ebooks, pdf resources and outreach materials available for you to use for FREE! Until next time, have a great day!