My take on Derek Webb’s "What Matters More" [PG-13]

Derek Webb has released a new song, through a rather lengthy controversy and publicity stunt, called “What Matters More,” originally meant to appear (and still may, who knows?) on his upcoming album Stockholm Syndrome. You can either listen to it on YouTube (see below) or download it.

Here are the lyrics:
You say you always treat people like you like to be
I guess you love being hated for your sexuality
You love when people put words in your mouth
‘Bout what you believe, make you sound like a freak

‘Cause if you really believe what you say you believe
You wouldn’t be so damn reckless with the words you speak
Wouldn’t silently conceal when the liars speak
Denyin’ all the dyin’ of the remedy

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

If I can tell what’s in your heart by what comes out of your mouth
Then it sure looks to me like being straight is all it’s about
It looks like being hated for all the wrong things
Like chasin’ the wind while the pendulum swings

‘Cause we can talk and debate until we’re blue in the face
About the language and tradition that he’s comin’ to save
Meanwhile we sit just like we don’t give a shit
About 50,000 people who are dyin’ today

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

My thoughts:
Some have read this as Derek denying the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. I’m not seeing that at all. Knowing that Derek usually has quite a conservative, Reformed theological perspective and knowing the context in which he is writing this (pay attention to the other lyrics), it seems like his main issue is the fact that it seems like “gay” issues are what the Church seems to focus so much of its attention on these days, without speaking about or taking action regarding the tens of thousands of people dying each day of starvation, thirst, famine, and preventable disease. Our vigorous attention to sexuality issues with total ignorance of world crisis is, I believe, the main provoker of this song. Moreover, some (such as groups like the so-called Westboro Baptist Church) have preached a message of hate against homosexuals rather than one of compassion for sinners who are just like us and need Christ.

Christ came to free us from sin and he gave us the Church to be his light and his caretaker of the world. Derek paraphrased a certain part of this song from a message given several years ago by Tony Campolo at Wheaton College. Campolo said (intentionally to shock), “While you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s more is that you’re more upset with the fact that I just said ‘shit’ than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”

So that’s my take on Derek’s song. I’ve met the guy several times, and he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I thank God for blessing him with some tremendous songwriting talent. What is your take on this latest effort?