St. Dylan

bob-dylan-s-greatest-hits-2-picture Bob Dylan probably did more to spread the message of Christ than Billy Graham, Billy Sunday, or any other famous evangelist.

Want me to prove it?

Quick: Quote any sermon you’ve ever heard.


Okay, ever hear this?

How many times must a man look up Before he can see the sky? Yes, ’n’ how many ears must one man have Before he can hear people cry? Yes, ’n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows That too many people have died? The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind The answer is blowin’ in the wind  

…or this…?

We got so much in common We strive for the same old ends And I just can't wait Wait for us to become friends I feel a change coming on And the fourth part of the day is already gone 

…or this…?

Old lady judges watch people in pairs Limited in sex, they dare To push fake morals, insult and stare While money doesn’t talk, it swears Obscenity, who really cares Propaganda, all is phony 

…or this…?

Once upon a time you dressed so fine You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you? People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall” You thought they were all kiddin’ you You used to laugh about Everybody that was hangin’ out Now you don’t talk so loud Now you don’t seem so proud About having to be scrounging for your next meal How does it feel How does it feel To be without a home Like a complete unknown Like a rolling stone? 

…or this…?

The line it is drawn The curse it is cast The slow one now Will later be fast As the present now Will later be past The order is rapidly fadin’ And the first one now will later be last For the times they are a-changin’            

…or this…?

Maggie comes fleet foot Face full of black soot Talkin’ that the heat put Plants in the bed but The phone’s tapped anyway Maggie says that many say They must bust in early May Orders from the D.A. Look out kid Don’t matter what you did Walk on your tiptoes Don’t try “No-Doz” Better stay away from those That carry around a fire hose Keep a clean nose Watch the plain clothes You don’t need a weatherman To know which way the wind blows 

…or this…?

Through many dark hour I’ve been thinkin’ about this That Jesus Christ Was betrayed by a kiss But I can’t think for you You’ll have to decide Whether Judas Iscariot Had God on his side  

…or this…?

Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son” Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on” God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?” God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but The next time you see me comin’ you better run” Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?” God says, “Out on Highway 61”

…or this…?

Oh, the leaves began to fallin’ And the seas began to part And the people that confronted him were many And he was told but these few words Which opened up his heart “If ye cannot bring good news, then don’t bring any”

…or this?

You might be a rock ’n’ roll addict prancing on the stage You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage You may be a businessman or some high-degree thief They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You’re gonna have to serve somebody Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you’re gonna have to serve somebody 

Bob Dylan probably did more to spread the message of Christ than any evangelist even before he formally became a Christian and to people who would otherwise be resistant to the gospel.

All of his music, all of his lyrics were informed by a strong Biblical point of view, and it was clearly evident even before he formally announced he was a Christian that Robert Allen Zimmerman had spent a lot of time reading and meditating and thinking upon the message of Jesus Christ.

His songs stick in everybody’s head. They’re not the watered down papulum of Contemporary Christian Music, they are not the bland platitudes of Christian publishing, they’re not the soulless / gutless crap that represents most Christian attempts at pop culture.

They’re sincere. They’re raw. They’re from the heart. They’re searching. They’re yearning.

They’re not afraid of asking questions.

And they tell you the answers are something you have to seek for yourself.

And that you will not be excused for failing to search.

People take Dylan’s songs into their hearts, they echo through their lives. They sing them day in and day out.

They live.

Every sermon is dead and buried as soon as the congregation walks out the door.

The gospel -- if the congregation was fortunate enough to have a pastor who could impart some of it through his plethora of words -- lives.

Not in memory verses, not in concordances, not in apologetics, not even on the printed page, but in the heart, in the mind, in the soul.

They just gave Bob Dylan a Nobel Prize for literature.

You don’t get that for empty threats and pointless propaganda.




“Blowin’ In The Wind” © 1962 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1990 by Special Rider Music

“I Feel A Change Comin’ On” © 2009 by Special Rider Music and Ice-Nine Publishing

“It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music

“Like A Rolling Stone” © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music

“The Times They Are A-Changin’” © 1963, 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991, 1992 by Special Rider Music

“Subterranean Homesick Blues” © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music

“With God On Our Side” © 1963 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991 by Special Rider Music

“Highway 61 Revisited” © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music

“The Wicked Messenger” © 1968 by Dwarf Music; renewed 1996 by Dwarf Music

“Gotta Serve Somebody” © 1979 by Special Rider Music


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