Article by Rolf Eikeland, Oshawa, Ont., CANADA
The Port Perry concert (17th Nov 1995).
LARRY NORMAN CONCERT NOV. 17, 1995, PORT PERRY, ONT. CANADA (APPROX. 1 HOUR NORTH-EAST OF TORONTO)
Just like in Oct. 1994 when Larry played here last, the conert Friday, Nov. 17, 1995 was a great success. You could tell from the crowd that a new generation of fans exists. A Larry concert in Southern Ontario is no longer an "above 30 event" only. Yesterday's crowd was a mix of children, teen-agers, young adults and people in their 40's and 50's. Larry delivered an evening full of not only great music of timeless quality, but also a refreshing new look at the gospel and the christian life. He probably spent more time talking than he did singing, but no one seemed to mind. The show lasted over 3 hours.
Larry mentioned the recent CCM article in which his integrity and saneness is being questioned. Without being rude, he simply asked how the sources of these statements came to their conclusions when they have not seen or spoken to him lately. He also expressed his deep love for the church, the body of Christ, to put to death the many persistant rumours saying he harbours bitterness against the church. He admitted that he in the past may have said things he shouldn't have out of frustration with legalistic christians, but also talked about the love he experienced in fellowships in the past, and the need for more love between brothers and sisters in Christ today. Larry spoke at length about the need for "giving up our favourite sin" and how God always provides and escape from the sin in the form of a distraction, leaving us with a possibilty to chose right or wrong out of our own free will. As always he appealed to christians to understand that none-christians are not to be written off and condemned, but to be loved and understood as unique individuals, possibly on their way towards God's plan for them. He also encouraged christians to seek a deeper relationship with God, "leaving the elementary things behind", seeking the baptism of The Holy Spirit and growing in love.
I know for a fact that quite a few people who once were christians, but for unknown reasons went a different way since, attended the concert and were deeply touched by Larry's simple message of God's embracing love for all, even the worst sinner. Even if you have heard some of his lines before, in the end you are always left with the impression that you have just heard a truly gifted communicator. His ability to say things the way they really are without using cliches along with his sense of humour and God-given insight and experience into life's many aspects makes him a prophetic voice in our generation. Who cares if the gospel industry doesn't pay much attention to him, the body of belivers does, and that is all that matters.
After the concert Larry stayed up til the early hours of the morning talking and praying with people needing guidance. Another proof that the man has a ministry far beyond playing guitar and singing.
Here is a list of the songs he did:
The Great American Novel
Peace, Pollution, Revolution
Six Sixty Six
Sweet Song of Salvation
Woman of God
Why Should The Devil (have anything ?)
Rock The Flock
Long Hard Road
Elvis Has Left The Building
I Wish We'd All Been Ready
If I Were A Singer
Down The Line
Why Don't You Look Into Jesus
The Rock That Doesn't Roll
Put Your Life In Jesus' Nailscarred Hands / Hallelujah
P.S. Continue to pray for Larry's health and ministry.