Christian music without Christ

What is the definition of Christian music? Wait, what is the definition of Christian preaching? If Christ is not present in the preaching, is it truly Christian? If Christ is not present in the music, is it Christian? A good portion of what I have been hearing on the “Christian” radio lately does not mention Christ. Sometimes there is a mention of God, but is this the Christian God? A lot of songs are singing about “Him” or singing “to You” but with no mention of who this person is. If a preacher came to an orthodox church and began preaching the way some “Christian” artists sing, they would be run out on a rail.

I was disappointed a couple of different times recently by CD purchases. I heard a great song on the radio and thought that a Christian artist put out a Christian album. I was mistaken. Instead, some people that call themselves Christians put out some inspirational music that is labeled Christian. On another occasion, a Christian artist with a good many Christian albums already released put out another album. I mistakenly thought this one would be Christian as well. What a disappointment to find a complete lack of Christ, God, and any scripture in every single song except one.

What are they singing about? More Christian artists are singing songs that are relational in nature. Quite a few are singing about their spouses, or in some instances, their girlfriends. Some are singing about friendships. Some are singing about getting through a rough time without mentioning the name of the Saviour. Some are singing about their childhood. There is nothing wrong with singing about these things, but there is something wrong with what is missing, the name of Christ.

When we hear lyrics like

“consume me with your fire”

“make something beautiful of my life”

“you are my everything”

“I can’t live without you”

“don’t be afraid”

“that’s what faith is about”

“believe in love”

“can’t we try a little bit harder”

“all you have to do is believe”

could these songs be mistaken for another faith besides the Christian faith? Why would we eliminate the focus of our faith from our music? Is there a song in the Bible that fails to mention the name of the LORD in some way or another? The psalms are rich with the identity of the God of Israel and everything He accomplished for them. It’s like they didn’t want their music to get mixed up so they included LORD (Yahweh) almost every chance they got. They constantly rehearsed all the deeds that the LORD did for them from creation, the flood, slavery, the exodus, the plagues, the wilderness, the slaughter of their enemies, His grace toward their sins which are named specifically, the choice of David as King, etc. etc. etc. There was no mistake that this music was about the God of Israel. Music fragments are rare in the New Testament excepting Revelation, but consider the very short verse of I Timothy 3:16. Yeah, go ahead and turn to Revelation and see what they are singing about. It’s not about how my wife makes me feel.

I don’t see anything wrong with singing about every day ordinary things. But when people make Christian music, it needs to be truly Christian. I like CCR as much as the next guy, but if John Fogerty makes it to heaven, he certainly won’t be singing Proud Mary.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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3 Responses to Christian music without Christ

  1. Michelle says:

    It\’s the "Jesus is my boyfriend" mentality of Christian music that you\’re talking about…and it\’s really sad, in my humble opinion.And, by the way, since you mention it, how DO I make you feel? *fluttering eyelashes*

  2. Larry says:

    I began working for a Christian radio station in 1979. We were playing Amy Grant, DeGarmo & Key, Keith Green etc. Some of the music even at the roots of Contemporary Christian Music have always had lyrics that were somewhat "generic" In the middle of the song you were made to wonder, "Is this guy talking about Jesus or his girlfriend?" The "love" terms could have gone either way. My conviction now (at age 50 and as a pastor) is that there is room in our cultural expression for both kinds of Christian music–that ministers to the spirit and to the soul of a person. There is certain room for distinctive expression and for a more generic sort that might capture the attention of a listener who is unaware he is listening to a Christian artist. I remember where "Beat the System" by Petra was being played on "secular" stations in the 80\’s without many people noticing that the group was primarily Christian. In the late 70\’s Chuck Girard had a number #1 hit on the secular stations in the Philippines. The song "Love Song" was picked up and played and went to number 1 on the secular charts. They did not notice the words were directed to Jesus–specifically. I do understand your feelings about the subject though. Blessings

  3. Darrin says:

    Hey Larry, thanks for the comment. I understand and agree. All things have been created by God. It just irks me when I buy a "Christian" album and the name of Christ isn\’t mentioned once on the whole thing. I\’ll get specific in my comment here and say that I was disappointed with Needtobreathe\’s latest album. Some of the songs have very racy themes in them. So I listened closer to some of the songs that I thought were Christian, and they really aren\’t. The other one is Sara Groves, who happens to be my favourite artist. Her latest album, Fireflies and Songs, is so disappointing from a truly Christian standpoint. Only one song on the whole album is Christian.This one-two punch to my gut launched me into an internet rant. Sorry you got caught in the crossfire.Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13-The Orange MailmanP.S. But I really feel that if we are to make Christian music, we should copy from the Bible and not from the world.

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