CCM: Is the lyric, “You may silence me, but the cross forever speaks” (from “The Cross” on Echoes) a way to represent how we’re kind-of misinterpreting the message of the cross?
MM: Well, in some ways, that song was written as a prayer from the point-of-view of someone being persecuted and writing it to their persecutor. And in some ways, there’s a permissive nature in that phrase of saying, “You may silence me.” Saying, “It’s okay, because ultimately, you can’t unring a bell.” I couldn’t imagine this, but if I hated Christianity, one of the most annoying things might be is that I couldn’t build a time machine to undo what God has already done. The cross is a 2,000-year old event, and we’re still talking about it, we’re still singing about it, and there’s still 2-billion people in the world living their lives defined by it. So that will not change.
In light of that, and in light of the cross, how do we begin to look at the challenges that we face in the world as believers and how do we respond to them? Because it’s not just, “Everybody’s going through a hard time in Western culture.” It’s, “We’re not just in the midst of a humanitarian crises, we’re in the midst of a crisis of humanity period.” And these events that keep happening, in a way keep peeling back the layers of sort-of unveiling how big the crisis actually is. So, I do think the group of people that need to be mindful the most about how they choose to respond are Christians.
It can be weird, and it can be difficult. It’s difficult as a parent, and yet, I’ve got this thing called an iPhone that’s like a soapbox for the world—I can go on at any moment I want and I can say something… Or now, I can film myself doing anything and it can be watched all the way around the world. It can completely distract me from being a husband and a father, or being present with the people that I’m with or…it’s just crazy. It’s just a weird time. And so it is this hard thing of, “How do you be mindful of what you choose to throw out to the conversation?”
CCM: [Sigh] Guilty as charged, but it also seems like there was a pivot-point when the iPhone came out…
MM: That’s my point. When you turn on the television and you’re seeing children in Myanmar getting butchered to death, but I can film myself, or animate emoji’s with my face, and I’m supposed to be happy about it? That’s when I go, “Okay, this whole thing has jumped the shark.” We’ve officially hit peak technology as entertainment, and I think that’s the part that’s really harmful.
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