10 Questions With: Robin Mark
- Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Mark: Revival in Belfast was my first album with Integrity, and it took me by surprise actually. And it’s still one of their best selling albums, five years after. I think part of [its success] was because it was an expression of worship from a church in another part of the world. And the style is maybe a little different than what people are used to. But I think the key thing is that for some reason God was in it. I listen to albums, and I think those are fantastic, that album is great, that’s going to be a monster album people are going to love that, and it disappears without a trace. It’s just God’s hand on something that makes it good or bad. I think for sure there’s something about the heart of what we express, which isn’t the same as what you hear normally.
For Revival of Belfast II, we just went back to our church, pulled together the new songs we’d been singing. And it’s our church singing again. And actually, for those of you who are techno people, our church has a very steady acoustic reverberation, it’s about two seconds so as a congregational church, it only holds about 400, but it’s a great place to record because the sound of the congregation really comes out. And so when people are worshiping, you can capture it. So, we went to do that again and we think we have.
S4W.com: You also recorded the album Come Heal This Land. As an American who isn’t too well versed in Irish history, I’m curious to know in what areas in what ways do you feel Ireland is especially wounded?
Mark: All right. Wow. I’ll give you my honest answer to that. We have a division in our country. There’s a Northern part and a Southern part. The Southern part is mainly Catholic, and the Northern part is mainly, not by much, Protestant. The Northern part wanted to stay part of the United Kingdom, and the Southern part wanted to stay part of Ireland and be independent. So the Northern people would say we’ve been wounded by Irish terrorists. When we see news about Al Qaida, etc., we say ‘Well we have the same problem, but we couldn’t convince anybody.’ And everybody thought that our police force was some sort of paramilitary, mad organization when most of them are Christians. That sort of stuff.
So, then the Southern people, they see this land to the North as being like, what’s the word for when someone comes in and takes over? I’ve lost my train of thought. You know, a land where an invader has controlled it and stolen it from them and they want it back.. So they have that hurt and pain. And the consequence of that people in the North, particularly the Protestant people, when the South says ‘Oh it’s been terrible what England has done to us.’ We go, ‘Oh get a life. It’s hundreds of years ago. Forget it. People did terrible things back then.’
So I’ve decided that I think we need to move on. I really do. When the peace process was working out, I got a word from the Lord, and it was from the book of Jeremiah. The verse says, ‘They that are left of the sword will find grace in the desert.’ Which basically means those that are left after the sword will find a place of rest. It’s a beautiful way of saying it. And I honestly think that Ireland needs to move on now and realize that we are in a place of grace. We are a mainly Christian country. We are arguing over theological niceties when Europe, a whole continent is dying and going to hell, if you want to be brutally frank about it. And we’re not doing a thing about it. I just think that we need to get over our wounding, bring it before God and say ‘Look, we were wounded but now we’re healed and we’ve got to speak to a wounded world.’ Of all the people that could speak to nations that are suffering from terrorism, we could do that. Of all the people that can speak to nations about having to overcome the anger and pain of years of conflict, we can do that. And we can also point out that it doesn’t go away and it’s always there. So there are a lot of things that we can bring to the world, and I think we need to do it.
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