The Newsboys Address Racial Tension in Album “Love Riot”
By Nathan Andersen, Contributing Writer
The Newsboys, a popular Christian rock band, contributed to the 2014 movie “God’s Not Dead” by making a cameo appearance as themselves and performing a song in the soundtrack. Fans will be delighted to know that the band has similarly participated in the sequel “God’s Not Dead 2”, set for release on April 1st. However, the Newsboys this time won’t perform their hit single “God’s Not Dead (Like a Lion)” but instead “Guilty,” a new song that aligns with the movie by exhorting Christians to proclaim the gospel even under the threat of government persecution. The lyrics include the following chorus: “If serving you is against the law of man, if living out my faith in you is banned, then I’ll stand right before the jury. If saying I believe is out of line, if I’m judged ‘cause I’m gonna give my life to show the world the love that fills me, then I want to be guilty.”
“Guilty” is also notable for being featured in the band’s eighteenth and latest studio album, titled “Love Riot”. In an interview with The Christian Post, the Newsboys’ drummer Duncan Phillips shared that the album is intended to help inspire the American masses to love one another amid recent racial tensions. Phillips said, “I think we’ve seen enough rioting over hate, about hate, or because of hate. As a band, I think we’re over it,” and also “Black Lives Matter, which they do, but then if I look at my Bible, every life matters.” This conviction led to the band deciding that their album should emphasize God’s love as revealed through the Gospel. In the drummer’s own words, “I think what we want to say with this record is instead of all the hate we’ve seen, instead of all the wackiness we’ve seen… let’s have a love riot. Our faith is a faith of love. It’s the ultimate love that our Creator, our Maker, our Savior came down from the right hand of the Father out of love. Truly out of love, for no other reason, and made that bridge between us and our Father God.”
Whether through “Love Riot” or “God’s Not Dead 2”, the Newsboys are rather active right now in supporting contemporary concerns. More importantly, the biblical truth that all people must submit to Jesus Christ’s grace and authority unifies both the band’s call to set aside racial differences and to promote religious liberty. On an extra note, the Newsboys’ participation in the “God’s Not Dead” series attests to how a soundtrack can significantly help to shape not only a movie’s mood but also its worldview.
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