777th Post

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In honor of reaching post #777, I couldn't resist coming out as someone who was a big fan of Stryper growing up. I saw them live on the In God We Trust tour in 1989. I had all their albums and thought they were much better than similar bands at the time (Poison, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, Runs & Noses). I still do. When you compare it to what I listen to most of the time (Kansas, Yes, classic Genesis, King Crimson, Spock's Beard), there's not much to be said for them, but at the time it was one of the few things like it. I especially liked their outlandish costumes and in-your-face lyrics, which seemed directed in a better direction than most rock groups. Whatever else you might say about them, they were all quite skillful on their instruments and had excellent harmonies, something utterly lacking in heavier music since Nirvana and Pearl Jam made it unpopular for a band to sound as if they actually put work into how they sound.

The Soldiers Under Command cover was my favorite, but the original uncensored To Hell With the Devil cover was also nice.

The lyrics were almost all cheesy, especially their attempts to veil Christian references as love songs but about God, just making them abiguous enough that the casual listener might not figure it out. My favorite Styper lyric, though, was More Than a Man. Compared to most CCM today, this is a breath of fresh air merely for being doctrinally sound (though imprecise, particularly when addressing God and saying "you died for me") while still making theological claims:

Long ago, there was a man who came
Came and died for you
You, you say you don't want to know
But I've got to tell you the truth

God, I will follow you because you died for me
Gave to me your life to set me free
Anyone who asks shall receive
Jesus in your heart
It's time for you to start
Giving God all the glory

More than a man, God almighty
He created you
He's the One, the One who rules the land
He is the One I choose

All of the glory today
No matter what some people say
All of your faith
And your life will start to change

7 Comments

Interesting. So what was your 666th post? :-)

I don't even remember. There may be a way to count back to what is now my 666th post, but I've moved my commentary review post a couple times as I've updated it, since I wanted to keep it with the same URL because people link to it at commentary review sites.

Honestly Jeremy.... now I really don't know what to think about you!!...BUT... if you can tell me that you honestly have heard of the group called David and the Giants... I might forgive you for liking Stryper. Since you knew so much about the relatively obscure artist, Rick Cua, I am guessing you know about them, too.

For the record I never would have gotten into CCM if it wasn't for Eric's constant obsession with collecting guitar stuff... of course tops on that list was always Phil Keaggy and we saw him in concert in the middle eighties.

I've heard of them. I never had owned by them, but they were probably one of the better Christian bands of the time. People often mixed up that David Huff with the one who was the drummer for Whiteheart along with his guitarist brother Dann, who is now one of the most sought-after session guitarists. The two Huff families of Christian music, both with a David, could get confusing.

Phil Keaggy was always way ahead of his time. It amazes me to listen to any of his old stuff for the first time, because I always estimate it to be 5-7 years later than it really was. Despite his friendship and collaboration with Kerry Livgren (Kansas, Proto-Kaw) and Neal Morse (Spock's Beard, Transatlantic), Phil is down on progressive rock music too often for my liking. I appreciate his music, but that's something that bugs me. What's worse is that Phil's band Glass Harp, which has reunited, toured, and recorded again in the last few years, is a lot like the early prog bands.

I've got a few Stryper albums kicking around - they're still great fun if you're in the mood for some "big" music.

David and the Giants - got 'em.
Phil Keaggy - got him
Rick Cua - got him (and saw him in concert a few times recently - he plays bass for a lot of worship artists it seems)

Umm, I'm afraid you're wrong bro, when you say that Stryper is imprecise by saying that God "died for me." Take a look at Acts 20:28. I'm not defending Stryper by any means, but I'm defending scripture which directly states that GOD bought the church with His own blodd.

That expression can be translated as "the blood of his own", and most commentators think that's the most likely translation here.

Even if the translation you favor is correct, that doesn't mean I'm wrong. I said the statement is imprecise. If the statement is following scripture, and scripture is equally imprecise, then I'm not wrong. If that's what Luke records of Paul's speech (which undoubtedly was much longer), then Luke's record of it is imprecise, which isn't really a problem because it's already imprecise in not reporting everything Paul said.

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