State of Play #006 "Unappealing and Nothing New" (Part 3) by Andrew Funderburk on 2015-03-13 09:48:14
This week we continue the thought processes that have been covered over the past two weeks. The foundational question to the thoughts are, "Why is there a creativity gap between Christian music and mainstream music?" This week we move forward to the questions, "Why...does the one [mainstream music] sound more appealing in presentation?" and "What is it that draws my ear, as well as many others, to the mainstream musical sound?"
For some, the answer may seem to be one-sided; however, it appears that the answers to these questions are multi-faceted. For the majority, it could be that the answer is rooted in one reasoning but with many branches coming out. One reason that I've found to cause me to gravitate towards mainstream music is honesty. There is an honesty in the way that many of the artists feel and express their thoughts, whether positively or negatively.
At times, it correlates with my own feelings, whether that is happiness, anger, sadness, frustration, struggles of being human, etc. Many times, when a song comes in story form, it automatically tunes the listener into what's being said. Tied closely with that would be the intimacy of hearing someone else's story. It makes me feel closer to the person singing the song. There are a few occasions where I hear true honesty of self-expression in Christian music, as well as, personal stories of the artists themselves. In saying that, though, there are some [Christian artists] who do open up their hearts and lives to the listener.
Due to the fact that much of Christian radio sounds the same, some may have the want for something fresh, rather than hearing the monotony that Christian radio might have. There is also an element of creativity that many mainstream artists have as well. They don't necessarily have to remain in one genre of music.
Already you may be nodding, saying, "That's it!!! That's why I listen more to mainstream music!" Some of those reasonings may be part of why you do gravitate towards mainstream music, but take this next paragraph as a check-in first. With the greater part of mainstream music being glorification of the flesh and its desires, the reasoning for gravitating towards mainstream music for others would be to "experience" certain aspects of the flesh without ever "doing it."
I think of Jesus when He said many times that if we so much as hold onto certain thoughts, we have already become guilty of that act (see Matthew 5:28). Furthermore, Jesus also says, ..."out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks," (Luke 6:45b). I don't think we can ever fully justify listening to some things in light of not being of the world. We can identify without jumping into the mud itself. We are called to a higher standard. In light of all of that, a question to ask that correlates to what the main topic is would be, "How can Christian artists remain true to glorifying Christ while discussing the struggles of the flesh?" Moreover, how are we as believers keeping ourselves in check in regards to what we are filling our hearts with?
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.
Slightly Obsessed #184: The Mark of Maturity
The infant finishes his bottle and smiles contentedly up at his mother. A trickle of milk courses down from the corner of his mouth. It’s a sweet scene because that’s what babies do. They are born with immature digestive systems and no teeth. Mother’s milk or formula are necessary for the child to survive and thrive. As they grow, their teeth begin to come in, their digestive abilities mature, and they can tolerate solid food.
Slightly Obsessed #183: He Knows Your Name
All sheep look alike to me. Defenseless, timid, and nondescript creatures, they tend to wander and get into trouble. When one falls, it needs help to get back on its feet. Its purpose in life is mostly to eat and make more sheep. It’s easy to see why Jesus equated them to humans. A line of sheep looks like a sea of wool and blank stares, huddled in a timid group behind their leader.
Slightly Obsessed #182 "When Speaking the Truth Makes You the Enemy"
The apostle Paul loved the people of God. After his conversion to Christ, he spent his life not only establishing churches, but also ministering to their needs. He often had the unpleasant duty of confronting issues that threatened the fledgling church, and his letters to the Galatians and to the Corinthians were especially aimed at keeping the churches rooted in the faith.
Slightly Obsessed #181 "The Moment before the Moment of Revelation"
The movie Ten Commandments famously depicted the rise, fall, and restoration of the Hebrew man who would one day lead his people out of Egypt. Set afloat as a baby in a basket to escape the wrath of Egypt, Moses was found by an Egyptian princess and unwittingly restored to his family to be raised as royalty. He was a man with a foot in two worlds, and his choice to follow the faith of his birth family cost him a king’s inheritance.