Friday, March 22, 2013

In Defense of Christian Music

Man I've been wanting to say this for a LONG time, and there hasn't come a perfect time to unleash my fury than now.... It's been itching, screaming, and clawing it's way out of my heart. A lot of people don't know this, but when I hear this I may look totally normal on the outside, but inside I am all

You guys have no idea

The topic is Christian music. Ah, yes, the musically formulated "Christian" cheese whiz for your ears. The rip-offs of famous hits with "Jesus is Lord" sprinkled throughout. The kind of music that ALWAYS gets played at the emotional parts of movies or TV shows. The thing that Christians and atheists alike love to criticize. Yeah, I'm not too crazy about it myself.

This isn't everyone's favorite topic to pick apart, but tonight I am going to whole-heartedly defend it's cause! A bit of a shocker, considering that I seem to be the type who wouldn't do that. But what I'm about to write about is something I am quite hardcore about. *Lawlz I used the word 'about' three times in that sentence*

Let's start by addressing a very problematic article on the internets:

I know darn well how Marc Barnes (AKA the Bad Catholic) pushes the envelope when blogging... Heck, that's his specialty, if he got paid for doing that he'd be a millionaire. Usually his articles are well-written and, being as brilliant as he is, he generally constructs very solid, well-grounded points throughout. Sometimes I disagree with him, but..... asdfghjklqeixzzcmnbx..... ARGH. I mean, sure he was right about a few things, but the whole core of the article was screwed up and I don't think I've ever disagreed with him 100% before. I'm talking about one of his more recent articles titled, 5 Reasons to Kill Christian Music. *Yeah, you can see where this is going already...*

His #1 reason was "Writing a “Christian” song reduces Christianity to a modifying adjective".

Opinionated, much? The word "Christian" is an adjective... And that'sssssssssssss...... bad? 

That point was lame to begin with. Anyway, moving on.

My mother made an excellent point when she reacted to this page, notably over Marc's second reason to "kill" Christian music. She said that there's always gonna be that woman or man (and you know who I'm talking about) who has a house full of made-in-China Jesus statues everywhere, or cliched inspirational posters, or "Jesus Rox" shirts, etc, and they're living all out for God, but why put that person down? Marc's point is basically the same thing as saying it is better to have a pornographic image on your wall than a cheap plastic Jesus statue because it's "real art", and God made "real art". Again, another lamazoid and surprisingly not-well-thought-out conclusion.  

I remember a friend of mine poking fun at the over-joyous-and-fake-laughs-over-every-caller's-comments DJ on KLove, how annoying it was that they were pushing the whole "positivity and smiles all around" message. Well, what if, just imagine with me for a minute, that that message actually means something to someone? And *big shocker* it DOES. Lemme tell you something:

Once there was a little girl whose family was experiencing a nasty divorce. Because of this, the family wasn't going to church at the time. She got made fun of at school. The girl felt so much pain, confusion, and sadness that it was indescribable. Who could she turn to? What was the only encouraging thing she had in her time of suffering? Christian radio. That was the closest thing to church she could get. She would listen to that, listen to the messages, and pray with it...

While I have friends who roll their eyes when that Casting Crowns song comes on the radio, I have other friends who sing it worshipfully, remembering and thanking God for the moment He spoke to them through the music. Ok, maybe I am more likely to listen to a "secular" radio station over a "Christian" one, but I can't help think of what good it has done to people. I have had a friend who was very close to my heart whose life was turned around just because she decided to listen to Christian music one day. Her views had changed, everything had, and she was became serious about her faith. All because she had tuned into Spirit. God spoke that day, and it was in a way that she could hear and understand.

The Catholic church also teaches that even if the motives are wrong, the pith, the core, is valid even so. For example, if a priest was secretly living a totally messed up life, that doesn't mean that the root of the mass he is leading was dug up. The Eucharist, the sacraments, the blessings, were all still holy. The same can be said about Christian music. 

Besides that, everyone's walk with Christ is completely different from each other. Different things matter to different people. For guys like Marc Barnes, Christian music simply isn't going to cut it, but for others, like my good friend, Christian music is vital. And that is perfectly alright whether you agree with it or not. It'd be equally wrong if a Christian music fan said that people like Marc Barnes should "kill" their Mumford and Sons because it isn't explicitly Christian. See? 

Still aren't convinced? Here's SCRIPTURE for you that makes the EXACT SAME POINT...

Philippians 1:18:

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice...

In yo FACE, suckahs.

If Christ is being preached, that's all that matters, in every way

YES Christian music is cheesy! YES a lot of Christian artists are simply in it for the money! I completely agree with that, BUT THE GOSPEL MESSAGES AND PRAISES ARE STILL VALID. Before you make fun of the fakey-ness of it and use it as the scapegoat, or rather, the excuse, to listen to Ozzy, stop and think for a second. Look at the whole picture, not just your opinionated one. Those are real people, telling real messages, whether they're actually in it for the message or not. There is a fine line between pointing something out and being flat out judgmental. Sometimes our own opinions can seem like the strongest truth in us, but no matter how you slice it, truth is... truth! Thus let's not say we "should stop making Christian music", and let's certainly not kill it. OK? Game over. 

STILL don't agree? 

Fine then.


God bless you all.

PS: All the stories about those people that I talked about are 100% real. I just didn't include all their names so that I may respect their privacy. 


  1. I agree with you that we shouldn't make fun of or think less of people who do take meaning out of Christian music and listen to K-Love and all that…you're right there are some people where that does something for them and they get a lot out of it and if it brings them closer to God then that's great, and we shouldn't discriminate against them. I do think Marc did write a pretty strongly opinionated post, however I did agree with him on most of it. I think his message was taken the wrong way or misunderstood by a lot of people. What I think he was trying to say was that Christians shouldn't have to be a genre because Christianity *is* reality…it's as real as you can get. I think he was saying "guys, let's get back to the source instead of trying to make our religion look 'cool'" because we don't need to, our religion is already awesome, we don't need to cheesy it up and make it nice so people will join. I don't think we should "kill" Christian music, however I agree with Marc that we should *be* Christians and write music that's good where our faith leaks into it instead of turning it into a genre. I don't know if that made any sense. I enjoyed reading your opinion on the matter–good post!

    1. I got that drift from him, and I knew that's what he was saying, but I still disagree. I think he's right in that relevance is a very dangerous thing, but you also have to congratulate singers who dedicated their talents, their albums, and their voices completely to God. There are, of course, all-out Christians who still choose to sing their songs completely about boys and human things without mentioning God. That's great, but how will people get the true message? If your whole life is the reality of Jesus' life, how will all your fans get a taste of that if they never get to meet you? That's just my opinion.

      But what I think is true is that he just got the accusation wrong. Marc probably is leaning towards how much of a dangerous thing relevance is, and THAT would've made a lot more sense and would have proven his point with the problem with Christian music beautifully. Instead, it seems he blames the whole picture, rather than identifying the root of the issue (relevance). Anyway, so glad you liked it!!!

  2. I get what Marc was saying, and what you're saying. My mom would also be quick to defend Christian media, saying that it touches lives and all that. I know it does. I wouldn't say it doesn't. However, I wish more media, both Christian and non-Christian alike, were written well. I dislike normal pop and Christian pop both about the same. It's not that I don't think the message shouldn't go out... I just wish it would go out in a more... real way. It's not only the Christians who are suffering from lame music. I think that if there was more Christian music that was well written, more people might be genuinely drawn in by it.

    1. Well that's another thing that I didn't like about the post, music itself is cheesy as heck. This issue is very very complex, and it probably doesn't need to be. I wrote this post to defend, not necessarily the genre itself, but those who were offended by Marc's post. I myself am no Christian music fan. I think all genres of music have their faults somewhere.


So... What do YOU have to say about THAT?

Teal Moustache