What Macklemore’s “Neon Cathedral” Can Teach Christians

Until a day ago I had never heard of Macklemore. In case you are in the same boat as me let me bring you up to speed. Macklemore has been on the music scene since 2000 and has released a handful of albums. While doing this he has grown a noticeable online fan base. This fan base has only grown since the release of his latest project “The Heist“.

One of the more interesting songs, at least for me, on The Heist is a song entitled “Neon Cathedral”. In it Macklemore lays down powerful and profound lyrics that cut to the heart of the failure, in many ways, of the church. The song outlines a mans pursuit to drowned his feelings, fears and sins with hard liquor. In the song you hear a man that has traded the Christian Cathedral for the Neon Cathedral/Bar.

Macklemore weaves words together in such a poetical way that his point comes across both calm and strong. He leaves the listener feeling the pain that he sings about. His loss of faith seems genuine and because of that the song hits harder.

I read the Bible, but I forgot the verses
The liquor store is open later than the church is
Pured by their imperfections, everything that’s burning
To Hell with the confessions, all the “Lord Have Mercy’s”
Blessed in holy water, listen, oh Holy Father

Verses like this show a man that has given up on faith but only after being turned away from church.

Wouldn’t miss it for the world
Baptized in my vices and the bar is my church
Traded my artist and I pawned off the easel
Spend it all searching for God at the Neon Cathedral

Other verses like this show us a man that knows we are all worshiper but is lost in what to worship. This leads him to daily come to his “church” to “worship” and to search for a God that he has long since given up on.

If I had to suggest a song that you wouldn’t normally listen to I would suggest “Neon Cathedral”. I have listened to it all day and can’t get it out of my head. The questions I keep asking myself is, “How many people are there like Macklemore? How many people feel abandoned by the church and seek worship else where? How can the church, as a body, reach out to them?”

It’s time for those of us who claim Christ to get out of our holy huddles and start looking for ways to reach the lost.

If Macklemore’s words teach us anything it’s that the world is hurting and looking. The question is where will they end up?