State of Play #004 "Unappealing and Nothing New" (Part 1) by Andrew Funderburk on 2015-02-27 10:02:51
On a consistent basis I flip on my local Christian music station to find music that encourages me and isn’t feeding me a trashy message. On the other hand though, I find that on an almost equally consistent basis I’m a little (or greatly) disappointed with the lack of creativity that I find on mainstream Christian radio stations.
I realize that hours of time are put in at the studio to produce what is heard; however, I listen to what many people term "secular” (which in this article will be referred to as “mainstream”) stations. And I think the same amount of hours are put into their music as well. Most of the music on Christian radio eventually all begins to blur together and sound the same. Sometimes something will catch my ear. As I listen to mainstream radio though, I find that it is catchy in rhythm, beat, as well as having lyrics that are well arranged.
Why then does the one that is less uplifting sound more appealing in presentation? What is it that draws my ear, as well as many others, to the mainstream musical sound? Why does Christian music on Christian radio all sound the same? Has Christian music become so focused on believers rather than reaching out beyond our borders? Why does there appear to be a creativity gap between Christian music and mainstream music?
King Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” This is definitely true of mainstream music. While there have been creative ways to say, “I wanna have sex” as of late (i.e. Hozier’s “Take Me to Church”), it’s still not a new message. At other times, mainstream artists take a hard hitting, gritty look at life (i.e. “The Monster” by Eminem or “Read All About It” by Professor Green). The same angle can be taken on Christian music. We don’t necessarily have a “new” message either; however, the Object of the message, within Christian music, gives mercies that are new every day (see Lamentations 22 and 23).
Believers can still experience newness of life from Him, because He still remains mysterious to our mortal minds. As far as getting gritty and realistically looking at life, I don’t always find that in Christian music. I do find a message that speaks to me, because I am a believer. But if I had no idea who Jesus Christ is, this music would have no appeal, due to my lack of understanding of the verbiage contained in the lyrics. Essentially, it wouldn’t impact me or be hopeful, unless some sort of miracle happened. In the coming weeks, the questions that have been asked will be walked through in an attempt to discover answers. Welcome to the ride!
As I sat at the red light, a pick-up pulled up beside me in the other lane. The window was rolled down, and the driver rested his arm lazily on the door ledge. A chihuahua fur baby sat perched in the crook of the driver’s arm, yapping with all its tiny might at the pickup in front of me.
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A Ugandan friend once told us that growing up in Sunday school, he quickly learned how to answer the Bible questions in class. “The right answer,” he said with a smile, “is always, ‘Jesus.’" As a child, no matter what question was posed in class, he always answered, “Jesus.”
Slightly Obsessed #214: Friendly Fire
In 1788, the Austrian army turned on itself and decimated its own ranks, allowing its enemy to walk in and take the city. Are we allowing the same thing to happen on the spiritual battlefield?
Slightly Obsessed #213: God of the Mountains
While life is so uncertain, one thing is: God loves us so much, and He will never abandon us. No matter what happens in the coming days, months, or years, God is in control. And He will give us the strength to overcome any trial that comes our way.
Jordan For Jesus #039: Find the GOLD in People
Find the GOLD in people. If you only see fault, error, wrongs, sins, and what is bad, in people, then you have no time to love them. You cannot judge people and love people, at the same time, which is why the Word of God instructs us to look for what is good in people. When we look for the good, in people, we are choosing to see people through the eyes of God.
Slightly Obsessed #212: Believe
Sometimes it feels like just getting out of bed sets us up for defeat. But we shouldn’t be surprised. God clued us in thousands of years ago in the book of Job when He warned us that we are born for trouble as surely as sparks from a fire will fly up into the sky.