Over the last few years there has been a renewed desire among this generation for experiences with God. Tired of religion and cynical about the general fakeness of the church in the West, this generation hungers for authentic ways to interact with their Creator. This desire for intimacy has fueled, in part, the worship movement of the last decade or so. Unfortunately, that worship movement has been affected by the music industry and its uncanny ability to turn everything into a commodity, flooding the market with lukewarm releases.
There are those, however, who prefer to seek communion with the Lord in ways that allow for Him to move while staying away from the hit-making machine. Radiant is one of those groups. A worship band from Texas, they gave up the comfort of full-time jobs and cushy ministry appointments to pursue the dream that God put in their hearts: to lead their generation into authentic worship and to fan into the flame that the spirit began. After a Radiant event, I had the chance to speak to their front man, Richy Clark, late into the night about his vision for the group, the prophetic and the miracle of his son.
[RELEVANTmagazine:] What is Radiant all about?
[RICHY CLARK:] Radiant is about knowing God and communicating to Him in a modern way. Really, it’s just about giving people an experience with the Lord in worship. (The Bible) says that He inhabits the praises of His people, so we want God to inhabit our songs and draw people to Himself.
[RM:] What brought you the place where you wanted to worship musically like you do?
[RC:] I think that so much of it came out of my own personal desire to be pure before the Lord. I came out of so much sin and perversion that when I actually touched God and knew God, I just wanted to be with Him…radically in His presence. I wanted to know God as much as a human can know God and the music was shaped out of that.
[RM:] Would Radiant play out at bars or clubs?
[RC:] We’ve done it before. They put us in the wrong place…it was sort of a hip-hop joint…I don’t know why they put us there… But, yeah, I definitely am for that. Some of the greatest worship services we’ve been in have been, like, half the people are unbelievers and they’re already crying out to God. …I don’t know that we’re in that season right now (playing secular venues), but I definitely have a heart for that.
I do think that eventually there will be songs on secular radio that are anointed and God’s presence will be on them and they’ll touch lives. You know, the world can’t replicate truly anointed music because they don’t have the spirit of God. I think God’s bringing forth music that the world’s going to try to copy but they won’t be able to do it!
[RM:] So, why has Christian music been so bad?
[RC:] The church has been trailing the world and trying to make the Gospel “cool” or whatever, but it already is cool in its raw form. Because we’ve been following the world around, we’ve lost the power, the life and the creativity. A lot of the church has been afraid to step out of the set boundaries and do things that are not like the world and set their own pattern, their own pace. I believe that God wants to release sounds that the world doesn’t have yet. I don’t think we’ve heard Christian music yet, or what God wants to bring.
There are groups like P.O.D. whose stuff is really anointed. I’m not a hardcore fan, but some of their songs on the radio like “Youth of the Nation” or “Alive” are touching people’s hearts. I believe that’s just a forerunner of what’s coming.
[RM:] There’s a lot of the prophetic in your music. Where does that come from?
[RC:] I think that it’s real simply just pursuing God’s heart. When we’re in a worship situation many times we’ll just feel what God wants to say or do that night. Of course, that’s a type of prophetic that depends on the situation. The prophetic nature of the band as a whole is kind of the “John the Baptist, prepare the way for the coming of the Lord” type thing. God’s graced us with the vision to affect people’s lives. So, really, a lot of what comes across as prophetic is simply speaking what’s on God’s heart and speaking what God is saying to our generation and just calling people to His heart.
The prophetic is, in my mind, real simple. To me it’s not all that scary. I believe that the word prophetic has been abused in the body (of Christ) and so people are kind of afraid of the word. In it’s raw form, prophetic is simply speaking God’s heart.
[RM:] You were a youth leader for a long time?
[RC:] Yes, we (Richy and his wife, Jess) did that for seven years.
[RM:] Was it all pizza parties and foosball?
[RC:] No, (we said) no more games. The world can do entertainment. Jesus says, “Come and die.”
[RM:] Can you tell me about your son?
[RC:] Yeah. In 1999 our son was born four months early and there were complications. The doctors told us that he was going to die in a few weeks. They said if somehow we were able to take him home he would be a vegetable and wouldn’t live very long. After about a month of suffering, pain and confusion … God’s grace came on us and we just began to claim his life. We would prophesy and pray over our kid and we put little Bible verses in his crib there at the hospital.
Well, he’s now 3 years old and he’s a medical miracle. When we brought him home he was completely blind and now he’s got 50 percent of his vision. God answered our prayers and has been progressively healing our son. The doctors have been giving him a whole lot of attention. They’ve put him on some programs that showcase him…because in their minds they did a great job. We obviously see it as the hand of the Lord because he’s like one of the happiest kids you’ve ever seen.
At one point the doctors said that he would have no brain function, but if you saw him today you wouldn’t believe it. He’s a very hyperactive kid. He’s still behind his real age, but God has just been so faithful in that situation.
[RM:] Do you think God has used the events of your son’s life to form you?
[RC:]…Definitely. A lot of it was just understanding God’s heart for me. I grew up without a father, so to have a son and feel my love for him…even before I really knew him as a person…it…well, for me personally it gave me an understanding of God loving me in my weakness. You know, if he never grows up beyond this, I’m going to love him just the same. And that’s the same as God’s love for me: I’m blind and powerless before God and he just continues to always love me, just the same…
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