"Christian" Music

The whole idea of "Christian" music has bothered me lately. There is this whole industry that exists to produce and sell "Christian" music. It's as if the music itself could be Christian...I am pretty sure that music itself does not have a soul (well OK there is Soul music, but c'mon!). I prefer to think that music is just music, sometimes Christians play it, sing it or write it. What if Christians did not have the advantage of having Christian labels producing their music, or Christian radio stations playing their music and Christian book stores selling their music? I think it would be wonderful...I think there would be more "Christian" music on secular radio stations and in regular music stores. There would be Christian artists who are more prepared to be honest about their faith. There would be people outside the Christian circles who might be exposed to some good Christian artists (I think there are a couple of those!?). I think this would make a lot more sense.

I think that this whole situation is a symptom of a larger issue. Christians are so scared of becoming like the people "of the world" that they feel the need to separate themselves as much as possible. However, I believe Christians have a lot to offer the world and should therefore be entering into it as often as possible so that people can see what it is that Christians have to offer.


Anonymous said...

Well put. That's my beef with the whole idea of "Christian Culture." It takes our participation in the experience out of the equation and replaces it with a safe, pre-approved (and isolated) result. It's like walking through the gates of a private club. You will be pampered, not challenged, and you will be very comfortable. You will not interact with the those who don't enter the club. Jesus' love is not "members only."

roverT said...

The biggest issue for me is that "Jesus' love is not 'members only.'" We can't share it very well from a distance...especially in a culture that values relationships so highly.

Why have we done this in the first place? Is it just an easy way to protect ourselves? To feel good about ourselves? Or is it something else?

Pamela said...

Interesting...I don't know if I ever really thought of it that way. I appreciate the Christian radio staions because I know that what my kids will hear will be appropriate for them to listen to and have a message in the music. I guess I never really considered the music as "members only"

Kyle said...

Greetings from Texas. I stumbled across your blog, and this post really caught my attention. I grew up in a very conservative household and have been highly saturated with Christian music. I think that the reason there is a Christian music industry, is that the whole concept of singing music about Jesus is entirely exclusive to those that believe in Jesus. This, in my opinion, is an unavoidable aspect of the industry.

The problem I see is that bands, regardless of genre, that have started out with deeply religious songs and themes, move away from that in a effort to expand their music, and they are completely shunned by the purists for not being "true Christians". They are removed from the Christian bookstores, and youth pastors everywhere warn their kids to beware of "imitators of the faith." At the same time, the music industry shuns them for their Christian roots. They become "not Christian enough" for the church kids and "too Christian" for the secular kids. P.O.D., Blindside, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Lifehouse, MxPx, and Zao are all good examples of this.

Both sides of the music industry need to lighten up and realize that music, in its essence, is an expression of self and nothing more.

There are my two cents... have a great day.