Monday, October 13, 2008

Christian Music?

Okay, I have been driven to write this post because of what is going on in our house and the recent posts of 1) a friend, and 2) an acquaintance.

We have become tired of the “contemporary Christian music” that is played on the local radio station. It is fluff and family friendly and all that other blah. Most of it doesn’t seem to line up with the real Christianity that I read about in the Bible or live every day. Where is the suffering? Where is joy in Christ despite the crush of sin and oppression?

We have attempted to survive by turning off the radio and listening to good music with deep Christian themes from the likes of Derek Webb, Sara Groves, and Sandra McCracken. But I have noticed that the current iTunes playlist has more Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Hootie and the Blowfish, and the Wallflowers than Christian music.

So here are my questions: 1) where did the good Christian music go? 2) Which decade of secular music was better, 70s, 80s, or 90s? 3) Do you think I am a bad Christian because I actually stepped outside the box and have listened to secular music? 4) Why do most Christian radio stations play fluff instead of deep lyrics grounded in the Bible and theology?

I know that more than two people read this blog (the three of you know who you are), so I would love answers in the comments.


Stephanie G. said...

I certainly agree that local Christian radio is family friendly, but not theologically grounded.
1) The good Christian music is out there, it just isn't played on the radio stations.
2) I will cheat and combine 2 decades, late 80s/early 90s. I think we tend to relate best to the music that was around in our formative years.
3) I don't believe being a Christian requires us to only listen to sacred music. Just as I don't believe we can only read non-secular books. I think the questioning comes in if the secular music is keeping us farther from God or causing us to stumble in some way.
4) I think stations play so much fluff because they are being seeker-sensitive. I feel the local stations may be toeing the fine line between being in the world and being of the world. The advertising campaign of being "family friendly" is not as inviting to me as an advertising campaign centered around theologically sound and growth friendly music would be.
Well, that's my 2 cents.

Matt C. said...

1. Was there ever a preponderance of "good" Christian music? Just askin.
2. The 60s.
3. No. There is no box.
4. Because this is America, man. It's all fluff.

Hope this helps.

P. S. Re: #2 above. Not only Dylan, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc., but the greatest years of John Coltrane and Miles Davis, hands down.

Jabell said...

1. Both your answers to #1 incline me to think that maybe there isn't a preponderance of good Christian music out there - especially if you have to dig to find it. But I remember a time when all I listened to was CCM. The conclusion I draw, then, is that my discernment in what I am listening to has changed.
2. I prefer 70s rock myself, but with a strange fascination for 80s pop. And one particular rock band that started in the 70s and kept rocking into the next millennium.
3. I agree that I used to live in a box of my own making. But at the time, all the other people I knew were in the same box.
4. My best attempt at answering #4 may be a bit cynical. I think it is easier to sell music/airtime with happy-fluff music than music that speaks to our suffering. People want to escape from reality, they don't want to face the depth of sorrow and pain that is life. Unfortunately, they are also missing out on a depth of joy that is not available otherwise.

matt C. said...

Dude, "kept rocking" is surely a relative, purely subjective judgment.