How many of you have heard Keith Green’s worship music? If you have never heard of Keith Green, do yourself a favor and listen to some of his music on YouTube. While you’re there, watch The Keith Green Story.
To give you a short biography of Keith Green, he was a hippie-ish looking Christian of the 1970’s/early 80’s who really loved Jesus and loved telling people all about Him through his music. Green was not always a man of God, however. He was raised in a Christian Science household, and he had Jewish roots.
According to Wikipedia, Green was very much a part of the worldly culture of his time, from experimenting with drugs, “free love”, and studying eastern mysticism. After what Green called a “bad trip,” he stopped doing drugs. It was then that Green started studying theology. He met his Jewish wife, Melody, when he was 19 years old. Keith and Melody wed after a year of dating. Green rejected Christian Science and became a Jesus-believing Christian, and Melody accepted Jesus shortly thereafter.
It is not Green’s past that most people recognize him for. It is his “No Compromise” approach to the Gospel which shined through every one of his songs. In fact, the name of one of his albums and songs is No Compromise.
According to the Last Days Ministries website, Green originally wanted to be a successful secular musician. God chose to make Green successful as a Christian musician instead, and his first Christian album was at the top of the charts. Green was humbled about his Christian “fame,” and he preached against people being star struck, calling it “idolatry.” Green was adamant about walking the Christian walk, not just talking the talk. You can read an article Green penned called So You Wanna Be a Rock Star on the Last Days Ministries website. In the letter, Green said he would stop being a musician if God wanted him to do something else to reach people for Him. Imagine giving up your life’s passion in obedience to God!
Sadly, God called Green home to Heaven in 1982 when he was just 28 years old. Green died in a tragic small plane crash, and two of his children also perished in the crash. God spared Melody and two of their children, one of whom Melody was pregnant with, as neither of them were on the plane that day.
In Green’s short life, he accomplished much for Jesus. His music is still helping people grow in their faith to this day. I’ll admit, when I first listened to Green’s music, I did not like it. It was because I did not have the Holy Spirit. I was not truly saved. Years later when my heart changed, I started listening to his music. Let me tell you, Green’s music helped me get through some really difficult times in my life. I could feel God’s presence when I was all alone through Green’s music. His music is not only enjoyable to listen to, the messages in the songs will compel you to grow in your walk with Christ.
If you read through the comments of some of Green’s music on YouTube, you will learn just how on fire for God he was. People who were actually at a Keith Green concert shared how he was able to preach the Gospel in a brutally honest way, just as Jesus intended it to be shared. Yet, Green also had a sense of humor which shows through some of his songs such as So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt.
Green’s message was not a popular one, but Green knew being in the Kingdom of God is not about popularity. It is about worshipping God, having a personal relationship with Him, and bringing other people to the Kingdom through sharing the good news.
I believe Green accomplished exactly what God wanted him to accomplish in his short, Gospel-filled life. He was not a part of the popular Christianity of today. He was a genuine, Jesus-loving Christian who was not ashamed of the Gospel nor singing and preaching about it. Green’s music was kept uncorrupted by the false Christianity that is so rampant today.
Though Green’s passing was difficult for his family, friends, and even people who grew in their relationship with Christ through his music, we can all take comfort knowing Green is worshipping God in Heaven. Even in today’s culture, Green’s music is helping people grow in their walks with Christ. As Green said in his So You Wanna Be a Rockstar article, I truly believe God told him, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant” when Green met Him in Heaven.