Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Spirit FM, WMCU off the air... a bad thing?

On September 30, 2007, WMCU, aka Spirit FM, signed off the air after 37 years on the air.


I'm not so sure what to make of this. I think Christian radio stations are a wonderful thing. Historically, these radio stations have been instrumental in encouraging, teaching, and ministering to people all over the world. Because of Christian radio stations, people are introduced to inspiring messages and worshipful music. I can remember times when turning on a Christian radio station, at home or away, reminded me of God's love for me, maybe at a moment when I doubted it, or forgot about it.

If I'm honest, I will admit that WMCU had that effect on me throughout my life growing up here in Miami. Were it not for WMCU, I would not have heard Steve Brown. Were it not for WMCU, I would not have heard....

.... well, that's it. Steve Brown.

True, there were times when I heard a "buck up little camper" type message on WMCU to perk me up a bit. But, what exactly did WMCU provide us with, besides a rooster crow at 7:30 am?

WMCU became the focal and central source of information, teaching and spirituality for South Florida Christians. That is a reality, and it is a SCARY reality. WMCU was the source of spiritual food for many South Florida Christians. In other words, if you didn't hear it on WMCU, it wasn't "worthy". Again, in other words, if Chuck Swindoll, Tony Evans, John MacArthur, or the myriad of the other now erstwhile teachers weren't preaching it, then it probably wasn't "kosher" ( I purposely left Steve Brown off that short list because I think most Miami Christians tuned him out. I was probably one of the handful of Christians in Miami who wasn't offended by him. The only reason he was still on the station is probably because he was grandfathered in.)

Whether it was purposely done or not, WMCU became the hat on which many Christians in Miami hung their hats.

Case in point, here are some comments I picked off the stations website from well-meaning people in South Florida, upon hearing the news of WMCU's demise:

"Your station and all who work there have become a daily habit for me. The programs and music you have offered over the years have been edifying to so many and glorifying to our Heavenly Father. This community needs this station!!! "

"I'm sure Satan is rejoicing at the hole he has blown in South Florida."

"This has created a great void in many lives."

So the question is this: Has Christendom as we know it come to an end in South Florida?

Hell no! Satan blows, but he can't blow a hole in South Florida, brothers and sisters! Sure we'll miss having the same songs repeated over a 10-15 year period! Sure, we'll miss having a station trying to sound like secular station, playing music that is trying to sound like secular music! Sure we'll miss... uh... Steve Brown! But look on the bright side:

- 20 years of hearing the song I believe in Jesus by Degarmo and Key, a song recorded in the 80's, as a segue song to 'lead us into the news', are over.

- Once again, Third Day will be okay to listen to, in the knowledge that there is at least one less 65 year old grandmother in Miami, who will no longer be moving her body to the rhythm of their latest song, thinking that her 15 year old granddaughter "just has to hear this".

- John MacArthur is off the air in South Florida.

- The worship leaders in your church are now free to expand there repertoire of worship music outside of Casting Crowns, as part of their regular worship music in your church. They are no longer bound by the ecclesiastical rule of "thou shalt not play music not approved by St. Steve James, or his successor Sister Mary Ann Perdomo. All other music is unworthy, so sayeth the code of the dove".

So, "buck up little camper"! There is life after WMCU. Satan has not given a blow to South Florida, and the fat lady isn't singing yet (Hey! There's another good thing... Sandy Patty's off the air in South Florida, too!).

When something so many people relied upon for their spiritual walk is removed, then we have to know that God has done it for a reason. This is a good reason. God calls us to rely on His word. He gives us instruments, through the media, written word, and the arts to use as an expression of his word, but in the end, he wants us to think for ourselves, and rely on Him alone.

WMCU was one of those instruments. For those who saw it as more than that, give thanks that it is gone. You'll be a better person, and Christian, for it.


Anonymous said...

Good piece ‘Cubanaso’!
You have made me laugh… 1 for – John Mac is off the air! 2 for - Sandy Patty is off the air! And 3 for reminding me of Steve Brown’s awesome laugh, and how much some just simply hated him, yet he is worth every single penny listening to.

The sad and realistic part of all of this is that just like this ‘out-dated/over-rated’ radio station came to its end, so will many churches in our city come to their end as well.
I’m so glad God is in charge!


Marquito said...

Exactly. God is vibrant, cutting-edge, and new everyday. He doesn't need OUR old ways, or OUR innovation. Ministries come and go all the time. I'm sure we will "survive".

Anonymous said...

You know. Some of us LIKED the rooster...GALLLL!!

W Sofield said...

Nice piece of work, marquito.

Another Christian told me this news recently, and I said, "What? I don't know that station. I listen to NPR mostly." They were flabbergasted. I laughed.

It may be the grace of God for the Christians of South Florida.

Berkeley Rican said...

as we know there are 20 million reasons that WMCU was sold. one of the reasons it was sold was because it wasn't profitable. one of the big mistakes that continues to get repeated in Miami is trying to market evangelical (anglo) ministry in a hispanic market. we should take some lessons from El Zol - 95.7 and La Kalle - 98.3 (Al has some Biblical Reggaeton to share if i remember correctly). Those stations do well in Miami and they make money.

For example how's Pastor Ed and Fellowship Church doing in Miami these days?

Anonymous said...

It went something like this ....

"Dame la sana doctrina
A mi me gusta la sana doctrina
Quiero sana doctrina .... "

Julio Rey said...

Well, I let my kids listen to WMCU now...

Pastor David said...

I had a church in Miami in the mid to late 80's and I appreciated the ministry of WMCU. It was a daily ritual. I loved the "Good morning" song and sang along with it.

Some of the preachers I missed, but the messages always gave me seed thoughts to prepare messages.

The one thing I can not remember is the last line of the "Good Morning" song. Anybody know it?