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Monday, August 4, 2008

I have my issues with Christian Music. . .

If you have known me for a while, I know I'm not a huge fan of labeling things with the adjective "Christian" since it has always appeared as a noun throughout history. Last week, I saw on the Collide Magazine blog an article asking "Is Christian Music Dying?" One quote I read that I have to agree with from insiders in Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) was the following
The best thing that can happen is for people to forget entirely that they once specified whether their music was ‘Christian’ or ‘mainstream.’ That divide has been the single most damaging idea to Christianity in the modern world. CCM may be as bad as ever or even going downhill, but that's ultimately a win for Christian art, because at some point no one will listen to it anymore. (See here for the entire article)
I agree with most of the article and thought it was well written. I then read another article today talking about pop star Katy Perry. You can read about her songs here, here and here. What does she have to do with CCM? She use to be a Christian Artist. According to Beliefnet, when she signed, she wasn't even modeling "Christian" life but still was able to sign the record deal because her parents were ministers. You can listen to her song here.

I know some will say I'm throwing the baby out of with the bath water and condemning an entire industry because of one bad apple. I personally think getting out into the industry is more effective then creating a sub-culture to protect our ears. I'm not against worship music because the purpose to point to God. Christian Music grew on the backs of Youth Ministers and Parents that want to protect their children from the evils of rock rather than truly go out and reach people. Plus, the industry is more about money than actually doing its shadow mission of reaching people for Christ.

If you don't believe me, listen to some people's story who were in the industy.
  • Blogger and Church Planter Chris Elrod use to be in this industry as a comedian. Read his story here and here.
  • Anderw Osenga (who happens to be one of my favorite artists) use to be in a "Christian" band called the Normals and now doesn't know what to call himself artistically. He also sings back up vocals for Caedmon's Call. Read his lament here and here.
  • Former Supertones Drummer, Jason Carson, is now a Youth Minister. Hear why here.
I hope is people start listening to what they listen to and see if it is God honoring or not. Just because it is Christian, doesn't mean it is Godly (in theology). Just because it is "Mainstream" doesn't mean it can't point out a spiritual truth. Don't take the easy way out by just labeling things one thing or another. I can't wait to hear Perry speak on this next week.

1 comment:

Kevin Davis said...

We've screwed up plenty of things. I'd love to get some of your thoughs on my personal blog (the third place) and even better, on one that we just started called Tomorrow's Church.