Famed gospel musician performs in Los Banos

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comJanuary 10, 2013 

Christian music artist Carman has played Texas Stadium, the Oakland Coliseum and now Bethel Community Church in Los Banos.

The gospel music hall-of-famer brought his blend of singing and evangelizing to town Saturday as a last-minute addition to a gig in Merced.

He told the audience of 150 that Christians have to fight for what they believe, because if they do not society will institute contradictory laws such as taking prayer or the Ten Commandments out of schools.

"They don't want to post thou shalt not kill on the wall because it may offend somebody. But I think we'd rather have offended kids than dead kids," Carman said.

He said the problem today's Christians have is they don't have enough people advocating their side to lawmakers.

Carman, 56, has been making Christian music since 1980. He's sold millions of albums and was named the Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year by Billboard Magazine in 1992 and 1995.

Carman said young people are important to the Christian movement because they fight for change.

"In Vietnam it was the young kids that were (protesting). Old people were sitting at home watching," he said. "When we don't have the youth of a nation living for Jesus and fighting those wars for everybody else, you're lost."

Among other tunes, Carman performed "Sunday School Rock," "Radically Saved," "I Feel Jesus In This Place" as well as James Cleveland's "Jesus is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me."

Concert attendees rejoiced in the lord as Carman sang, but also took in the message he preached between songs.

Carman warned audience members against going to church and caring more about what fellow parishioners are doing wrong in their lives than they care about praising God.

He also warned about taking on other people's secrets and burdens, whether it be a relative, friend or fellow church member. Carman compared it to drinking poison.

He said people should be particularly careful when money is involved.

"They (people to whom one has loaned money) can never just be your kid, your brother or your friend. They look at you as one huge walking invoice. If they can't pay you back they got to kill you off emotionally or socially."

Carman, whose latest endeavor is using the Internet to teach people how to evangelize, told the Bethel Community Church crowd that he believes the next group of Christian leaders will be creative and likely versed in the arts.

"When somebody wins a Grammy they don't wheel out the record. They wheel out the person who made the record, because creation testifies to creator," he said. "As long as we see birds and trees we'll look up. Our new evangelists are our artists, they sing the songs and do the dance and the theater. These are the ones that will win souls for Christ."

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563 or by email at cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563 or by email at cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

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