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!
In the gray dawn of another day, I am spent. I can pray no more. There are no more words I can say, no entreaty with which to reach my Master. As the night shadows fade before the rising sun, I open my Bible. In the space between darkness and light, I need to hear His voice.
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