“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 NKJV
Bryan was ecstatic as he was entering backstage to meet Kelly Clarkson, and the moment was brief, but Kelly is genuine and a pro, and she knows how to make the little time mean something. And meeting superstars is not something everybody gets to experience, so on the way-out Bryan’s excitement level had risen to disbelief of what had just happened. “It doesn’t seem real, I can’t believe I just had a face to face conversation with her,” he uttered in a haze.
I chimed in, “Bryan, want to know why that happened?” He bit down on the hook, and I said sincerely, “Because God loves you.”
Bryan’s reaction to those words was as if he had to take a moment to get his breath, almost a gasping for air, but when he could gain composure, he said, with a slight wetness in his eye-sockets, “Wow, nobody’s ever said that to me before.”
And THAT hit ME as if I had to take a moment to get my breath, almost a gasping for air, but when I gained my composure, I replied, with condensation collecting in the corner of my own eye, “Well it’s very true, Bryan, He is in love with you.” Bryan is gay.
Pictured Rob Wagman and then future wife Sara Lee with Kelly Clarkson (center).
Putting Away My Idols
As a believer, we hear it so often that we lose sight of the magnitude of what it means to be loved by God, but on this particular day, Bryan got to experience two amazing things; a face to face with American Idol’s first superstar, and for the first time in his life, the truth that there is a God and that not only does He exist, but that, indeed, He is in love with him.
As a child, I idolized rockers and musicians and radio DJs and PDs, but even while I was still nineteen, in an internship with CBS radio Chicago, I began having the opportunity to hang with the likes of Alice Cooper and Cheap Trick and Foreigner and children of the Beatles, but around seven years later in 1991 at age 26, God answered my broken heart and came in and offered rest from a lifestyle that had turned abusive and potentially deadly.
Yes, from the rest, healings begun to take place, and from the patience He had with me, up until that time, not to do me in, which is what I deserved – but instead, with His incredible kindness, He drew me in completely.
To quote a line from a song from Ray Boltz, “I am a life that was changed.”
Favor, not Fervor
It is extremely disheartening to see the favor of God upon someone’s life, but then see those who call themselves children of God, attempting to take down that person, simply because they deem them not perfect enough for the role. And let me be clear, a role that God himself has shown them great favor in.
I watched this same spirit when Amy Grant began making hit songs for the secular world, a world I was still working in, and thriving in, thank God, despite being Born Again just three years earlier. The muttering amongst Christians about Amy Grant abandoning her faith, which she didn’t do, although she was burned at the virtual stake, before she could get a fair trial was quite mind numbing.
It felt like 1994 all over again when Lauren Daigle’s You Say began popping up on Top 40 and Hot AC radio stations from Nashville to Milwaukee and then quickly everywhere, and not even before we knew if the world was going to be as accepting of this song as the Christian world was, did we start hearing that same muttering that Amy Grant went through twenty-five years earlier.
Lauren’s opportunity to be showcased on the Ellen DeGeneres show created a fury of outright hate from the church who were appalled that Ms. Daigle would appear on a show of a human being who was outwardly homosexual.
Test All Spirits
There were several instances in the bible where the religious groups would attempt to trap Jesus with questions to disprove that He was who He said He was. That’s also a spirit, but not the Holy one… and sweet Lauren Daigle, who is in this shining moment, with an anointed song drenched with Holy Ghost power and healing for the ears that will be opened to it, is faced with the same spirit putting a microphone in front of her face and asking her to pick sides, “Are you a Christian artist or a regular artist?”
She was nicer than I would have been, as I would have stolen the words of John the Baptist and Jesus, who both used the phrase, “You Brood of Vipers…” and that’s why I don’t have hit songs that will lift up our savior Jesus and be welcomed on secular platforms, because that’s not the right response either.
We are close to the time where fire will reveal the foundations of our faith, and those built with wood, hay or stray will be decimated like the breath of the big bad wolf huffing and puffing. But, until then, we have a battle of spirits, attempting to rile up angst, confuse messages, and diffuse the reality of the One thing that will change a heart from whatever is drawing us away from a God who is so in love with us, that He is patient in his pursuit, blowing off every one else just to get to me, no matter what.
There is more love shown on the Ellen DeGeneres show daily than is exhibited in most churches who claim Jesus as their savior. But, no, it’s time to strip Lauren of her clothing and begin the flogging because apparently, her saying YES, to a platform that was offered to her, means that Lauren, like Amy Grant, has decided to kick Christianity to the curb.
Exercise Is Key
The next trap set for Lauren was for her to answer a question about homosexuality and whether it’s right or whether it’s wrong. That’s a trap and a spirit. Why is it so important for the Christian world to go after gay people, when the divorce rate in the church mirrors that of the world, when so-called believers can’t keep the marital bed sacred, and while they drink like their drunk neighbors, but NOT with them, heaven forbid.
The mindset of modern Christianity is about the justification of faith, not the genuine exercising of it. ‘Pornography is rampant, but as long as I’m looking at images of the opposite sex, I’m half way to the gates of Heaven, but woah to those caught up in homosexuality.’ It is disturbing to see the church at the mercy of the spirits which create wars and divisions, instead of being examples of God’s love.
Pictured Lauren Daigle with Owen Bear Wagman.
It is God who opened the door for Lauren to be on Fallon, to be on Ellen, to be Top 5 at Mainstream Hot AC and growing rapidly at Top 40, that is God. And that song of hers is telling a broken world that the lies that they hear in their ear gate are just that, Lies…and this ONE little song is going to the top because God anointed it and gave it favor, and in heaven Lauren will meet many who get to say, “I am a life that was changed.”
As former Christian artist, Ray Boltz struggled with his feelings inwardly, he wrote a song that God blessed in a massive way; a song about lives that were changed by people exhibiting God’s love. God anointed that song and it changed lives. God knew Ray fully the whole time, and was not surprised when Ray came out, nor did He stop loving Ray.
And that, is a love that surpasses all understanding.
Since 1991, Rob Wagman has been known first by his faith, and then by his skills in the secular side of this Industry, and now is known by his versatility, having succeeded in both radio and records in multiple formats from Christian Contemporary, Rock, Alternative, Top 40, Rhythm, Urban and Hot AC, in various roles from On Air to Programming to Marketing and Promotions.
Wagman has worked in all of the Top 3 markets, LA, NYC and Chicago, and returned to LA in 2012 as his entry way into CCM, in PM Drive at KFSH, 95.9 The Fish before becoming the Network PD for WAY-FM.
In 2013, Wagman launched Straight Path Media + Entertainment, a consulting firm which hyper focuses on talent and each station’s greatest need for growth, supplying a la cart programming services for branding, from music strategies, promotional and marketing think tank brain storming, promo and imaging creative, talent coaching and airchecking. Wagman presently coaches 27 air talents, consults 13 stations plus 4 clusters.
Contact Rob Wagman at StraightPathMandE@gmail.com