Christian Rock - Joyful Noise or Sata...

Christian Rock - Joyful Noise or Satan's Symphony?

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“The Voice of Reason”

Since: Jul 07

Topeka, KS

#1 Dec 23, 2009
It used to be easy. When I was in high school (about 30 years ago!) I listened to Christian radio almost exclusively. Most of my friends were in agreement that secular music sent messages that weren't helpful to teenagers who were trying to develop a strong faith and a closer walk with God, and it seemed like the lyrics in Christian songs were more explicitly spiritual then than they are today. Of course secular radio was playing mostly disco music and lame ballads by artists like David Gates and Gordon Lightfoot, while Christian music was finally making the transition (10 - 20 yrs behind secular music) from country gospel quartets and folk music to real Contemporary christian rock, so It wasn't much of a sacrifice. It was the start for bands like Petra, Ressurection (REZ) band, and artists like Larry Norman, Amy Grant, Keith Green, etc.

The belief back then was that Christian artists could use a popular entertainment medium (rock music) to promote an evangelical christian message to a secular audience. Throughout the 80's and 90's, as production values and musicianship improved, and CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) became more popular among young believers, the industry bagan to realize that, no matter how much it sounded like secular music, only Christians were listening to it.The Lyrical content turned more and more toward edifying the body of Christ, with themes centered on things like prayer and praise, fellowship, steadfastness and spiritual growth, and less and less toward winning new converts to Christ.

Now, it seems there are a lot of bands that straddle the line between the secular and the sacred, achieving commercial success on both sides. Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith were the first Christian artists to crossover and garner hits in the secular market, but on the other side there have been secular bands with spiritual themes in their songs going all the way back to Kansas, Bob Dylan, U2, The Alarm, Mr. Mister, After the Fire, etc.

Today there are a number of bands that are achieving secular success with spiritually centered music. Just this week on the (non-Christian) Billboard charts you can find Christian or Psuedo-Christian artists Skillet, Flyleaf, Chevelle, Barlow Girl, Creed, The Fray, The Almost, and Daughtry. Others with recent hits include Switchfoot, P.O.D, Lifehouse, Relient K, Mercy Me, Sixpence None the Richer, Anberlin, and Jars of Clay. With many of these bands, you wouldn't know they were CHRISTIAN, if you didn't KNOW they were Christian (if that makes any sense).

Which, finally, brings me to the point of this thread. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Does it matter that Christian bands are getting their messages out on secular radio if audiences don't even recognize that their messages are Christian? Some bands (Mercy Me - I Can Only Imagine, and Jars of Clay - Flood, for example) have continued to put out albums with strong Christian messages, but have failed to achieve much secular success other than the lone single. Other bands have watered down their message so much that most people wouldn't recognize them as Christian artists, and many of them don't WANT to be labeled as a Christian band, brcuse they fell it would limit their audience, and stfle their artistic freedom to write about non-spiritual everyday topics.

There are entire radio networks that play positive, family friendly music (K-Love, Air One), but not neccesarilly exclusively Christian Music. There are record labels (Tooth & Nail, Frontline) that exist to "allow artists who are Christians to create their art" but don't consider themselves as Christian labels.

What are your opinions of Christian music, and do you listen exclusively to Christian stations, mostly secular music or a combination of both?

Feel free to add any other Christian music related thoughts you have here.
ccrider

Owensboro, KY

#2 Dec 23, 2009
Responding to KaraokeRoy:

Let me make a couple of points.(1)For some reason, it seems that some people like certain types of melodies (or tunes) versus other types. Whatever the reasons, some people may like contemporary type melodies versus say old country type melodies. Saying that, that may help influence the type of music (be it Christian) that a person is attracted to.
(2)Here is a very important point: I think that Christian music (even the music ministries in CHristian churches) have compromised by trying to put Christian lyrics in secular music....be it rock, rap, contemporary, etc. Some of the churches have drifted away from the classic hymns which have deep CHristian meaning. Christian music is becoming more like the "world"; and that is bad.

I personally do not like contemporary music of any type nor do I like rap, hip hop, etc. I do tend to lean toward old country and gospel bluegrass. However, even in these genres we need to be attentive to what the lyrics actually are saying. So many of these old songs (even some church hymns) are about going to heaven while saying VERY LITTLE about Jesus' death and resurrection, etc.

Melodies that are of the rock genre, etc. may convey other than Christian connotations even if they contain some CHristian lyrics. Many years ago Jerry Lee Lewis got kicked out of bible college for playiing a boogie woogie version of "My God is Real". Such things were frowned upon back then. What kind of message does playing Christian music with worldly melodies convey to today's young people?
Adam

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#3 Dec 23, 2009
I must admit, I find Christian rock wrong.

I listen to different sorts of contemporary music. But for Church I think traditional psalms, hymns and carols are best.

I think Christian rock is trying to make Christianity more palatable to teenagers. But I see little difference between this, and 4th century Rome allowing pagans to keep their idols, but changes the names to Jesus, Mary, etc.
Hart Westford

West Hartford, CT

#4 Dec 23, 2009
Joyful Noise or Satan's Symphony?

Neither.

But very often, in my humble opinion, Christian rock sounds overly earnest; shallow - and it doesn't always rock.
Christian pop is even worse [and I say that as a saved believer].
It sounds like an ad for air freshener most of the time.
The White Horse Inn said it best when they called it "Jesus-Is-My-Boyfriend " music!!!!

On the other hand, George F. Handel - now HE ROCKED in the name of the Lord...

The doctrines of Grace TOTALLY rock.
treehugger

Ozark, MO

#6 Dec 23, 2009
I am not opposed to new melodies that praise God. I do object however to the 7-11 songs (repeat 7 words 11 times) But it's just my opinion.
ccrider

Owensboro, KY

#8 Dec 23, 2009
I don't care for the 7-11 songs either. Good point.
Wayne

United States

#9 Dec 23, 2009
Just a bunch of racket to me. Give me the old, time tested spirituals like "Just As I Am," "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," "How Great Thou Art," songs like that that actually touched your very SOUL, not your sense of beat and rythm.

“The Voice of Reason”

Since: Jul 07

Topeka, KS

#10 Dec 23, 2009
ccrider wrote:
Responding to KaraokeRoy:
... I think that Christian music (even the music ministries in CHristian churches) have compromised by trying to put Christian lyrics in secular music....be it rock, rap, contemporary, etc. Some of the churches have drifted away from the classic hymns which have deep CHristian meaning. Christian music is becoming more like the "world"; and that is bad.
CC, you make a good point, but what is wrong with putting positve Christian messages in the type of music that young people want to listen to anyway? Isn't it better for kids to at least have the option of being able to listen to songs (with music they like) about living righteously, instead of songs about the carnal pleasures of indiscriminate sex? And just because we know have modern rock/rap/metal music that attempts to communicate Christian themes, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy traditional hymns and praise music as well. Those songs still exist, and, for me, nothing lifts me more spiritually than to be in the midst of 100 or so believers praising God, lifting up their voices in harmony.

I love the Hymns but I also love listening to Skillet, Switchfoot and POD. Why can't I have both?
ccrider

Owensboro, KY

#11 Dec 23, 2009
KaraokeRoy wrote: <<you make a good point, but what is wrong with putting positve Christian messages in the type of music that young people want to listen to anyway? Isn't it better for kids to at least have the option of being able to listen to songs (with music they like) about living righteously, instead of songs about the carnal pleasures of indiscriminate sex?>.

I can see your point, but I think there is a fine line there. Sometimes with music, it's the beat that could bring up bad thoughts/desires or perhaps it distracts from the real meaning of the song.

I can see both sides of this issue, but I think we can take this a little deeper. For example, what is the motivation of people performing Christian songs? Is it to glorify God? Is it to bring praise to the musicians/singers? Is it about career advancement? These 3 questions could apply to all genres of Christian music.....including Southern Gospel.
Samson

Milan, MO

#12 Dec 23, 2009
Good posts. A biblical point that is being ignored in the christian rock scene is that a person's spirit nature cannot be reached by going through the flesh nature. The bible says that the spirit nature and the flesh nature of man are opposed to each other. Suppose that you had a group of scantily clad women dancing in front of a group of young men while singing Amazing Grace, would any of the men get saved? In order to touch the spirit of man you must go in the opposite direction of the flesh nature of man.

“The Voice of Reason”

Since: Jul 07

Topeka, KS

#13 Dec 23, 2009
ccrider wrote:
Sometimes with music, it's the beat that could bring up bad thoughts/desires or perhaps it distracts from the real meaning of the song.
CCrider, you and Sampson, both seem to be implying that rock music is satanic, that the beat is inherently evil. This argument was popular in the 70's and it was being made by people who grew up listening to showtunes and country music in the 40's and 50's before the birth of rock and roll. Their parents said the same thing, I'm sure, about the music they grew up on and their parents probably said the same thing about the "big band" music they were listening to in the 20's and 30's.

Just going on my own experience, I've listened to a lot of Christian rock and none of it put evil thoughts in my head or hypnotized me into wanting to have sex with a stranger. I doubt that I am much stronger spiritually than most sincere Christians so let's try to stay away from the "rock-music-is-evil" argument.

I am more interested in discussing the lyrical content of "crossover" bands in particular. Bands like Casting Crowns and DC Talk are clearly targeted at a Christian audience and that's fine. But bands like Skillet, Flyleaf, Switchfoot, Lifehouse and Anberlin are doing very well in the secular market. Anyone with even a little Christian background can see the spiritual messages in their songs even if they don't use the word Jesus much specifically. But are the lyrics too vague to have an impact on the secular listener? Although their songs may not lead people to salvation with a strong evangelical message, don't they still present positive healthy messages about life? Do they "open the door" to further discussion about Christianity. Aren't they, at least, a positive alternative to much of the sin filled, profanity laced lyrics that permeate popular music today, especially in the alternative rock and rap genres?

Why is this "bad?"
Samson

Milan, MO

#14 Dec 23, 2009
KaraokeRoy wrote:
<quoted text>
CCrider, you and Sampson, both seem to be implying that rock music is satanic, that the beat is inherently evil. This argument was popular in the 70's and it was being made by people who grew up listening to showtunes and country music in the 40's and 50's before the birth of rock and roll. Their parents said the same thing, I'm sure, about the music they grew up on and their parents probably said the same thing about the "big band" music they were listening to in the 20's and 30's.
Just going on my own experience, I've listened to a lot of Christian rock and none of it put evil thoughts in my head or hypnotized me into wanting to have sex with a stranger. I doubt that I am much stronger spiritually than most sincere Christians so let's try to stay away from the "rock-music-is-evil" argument.
I am more interested in discussing the lyrical content of "crossover" bands in particular. Bands like Casting Crowns and DC Talk are clearly targeted at a Christian audience and that's fine. But bands like Skillet, Flyleaf, Switchfoot, Lifehouse and Anberlin are doing very well in the secular market. Anyone with even a little Christian background can see the spiritual messages in their songs even if they don't use the word Jesus much specifically. But are the lyrics too vague to have an impact on the secular listener? Although their songs may not lead people to salvation with a strong evangelical message, don't they still present positive healthy messages about life? Do they "open the door" to further discussion about Christianity. Aren't they, at least, a positive alternative to much of the sin filled, profanity laced lyrics that permeate popular music today, especially in the alternative rock and rap genres?
Why is this "bad?"
Some folks believe that all music is absolutely neutral and it just depends on the words, in other words one could be playing "Shake it up baby" and as long as it had words that said positive things about God that it would be good for a christian to hear. I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. Music itself has the power to ignite feelings from the flesh nature of man or feelings from the spirit nature of man. The flesh nature and the spirit nature are clearly going in opposite directions according to the bible. Rock music definitely came from the world and not from God, so does God need His people to borrow the music of the world? Don't drag me out and stone me folks,but the truth is that the flesh nature of many people loves to be titillated by worldly music and so they call it christian in order to hang on to what God wants them to turn loose of.
Jesus is

Doncaster, Australia

#15 Dec 23, 2009
Adam wrote:
I must admit, I find Christian rock wrong.
I listen to different sorts of contemporary music. But for Church I think traditional psalms, hymns and carols are best.
I think Christian rock is trying to make Christianity more palatable to teenagers. But I see little difference between this, and 4th century Rome allowing pagans to keep their idols, but changes the names to Jesus, Mary, etc.
Adam, can you prove to us what type of music God likes?

“The Voice of Reason”

Since: Jul 07

Topeka, KS

#16 Dec 23, 2009
Jesus is wrote:
<quoted text>
Adam, can you prove to us what type of music God likes?
I would pose the same question to Sampson. How do you KNOW God prefers the music of "Onward Christian Soldiers" To that of "Saviour" by Skillet? The Melody for "How Great Thou Art" came from a Swedish Folk Song. The Melody for "Amazing Grace" comes from "New Britain" A popular pub song from 1835. Where do you get your information that this is the kind of music God likes? I can't find it in MY Bible. If your talking about the lyrics rather than the music, U2 put out a song called "40" that was taken almost word for word from Psalm 40. Is That acceptable to God?

If, as Sampson would have us believe, an instrumental played in a certain style, with a certain beat would give some Christians impure thoughts or lead them to sin, then those people need to ask themselves WHY they are so weak spirutually as to be so easily led astray.
Adam

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#17 Dec 24, 2009
Jesus is wrote:
<quoted text>
Adam, can you prove to us what type of music God likes?
No I cant. On reflection I dont think it matters too much. My personal preference is for traditional hymns.

Songs of praise are a beautiful thing.

Psa 33:1 ΒΆ Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous:[for] praise is comely for the upright.

Psa 33:2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery [and] an instrument of ten strings.

Psa 33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

“so tell me......”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#18 Dec 24, 2009
Musical preferences are likely to be generational. What appealed to my parents does not appeal to me.
Simon

Tampa, FL

#19 Dec 24, 2009
christian rock = torture music for guantanamo (and everyone else for that matter)
littletree

Riverview, FL

#20 Dec 24, 2009
KaraokeRoy wrote:
It used to be easy. When I was in high school (about 30 years ago!) I listened to Christian radio almost exclusively. Most of my friends were in agreement that secular music sent messages that weren't helpful to teenagers who were trying to develop a strong faith and a closer walk with God, and it seemed like the lyrics in Christian songs were more explicitly spiritual then than they are today. Of course secular radio was playing mostly disco music and lame ballads by artists like David Gates and Gordon Lightfoot, while Christian music was finally making the transition (10 - 20 yrs behind secular music) from country gospel quartets and folk music to real Contemporary christian rock, so It wasn't much of a sacrifice. It was the start for bands like Petra, Ressurection (REZ) band, and artists like Larry Norman, Amy Grant, Keith Green, etc.
The belief back then was that Christian artists could use a popular entertainment medium (rock music) to promote an evangelical christian message to a secular audience. Throughout the 80's and 90's, as production values and musicianship improved, and CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) became more popular among young believers, the industry bagan to realize that, no matter how much it sounded like secular music, only Christians were listening to it.The Lyrical content turned more and more toward edifying the body of Christ, with themes centered on things like prayer and praise, fellowship, steadfastness and spiritual growth, and less and less toward winning new converts to Christ.
Now, it seems there are a lot of bands that straddle the line between the secular and the sacred, achieving commercial success on both sides. Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith were the first Christian artists to crossover and garner hits in the secular market, but on the other side there have been secular bands with spiritual themes in their songs going all the way back to Kansas, Bob Dylan, U2, The Alarm, Mr. Mister, After the Fire, etc.
Today there are a number of bands that are achieving secular success with spiritually centered music. Just this week on the (non-Christian) Billboard charts you can find Christian or Psuedo-Christian artists Skillet, Flyleaf, Chevelle, Barlow Girl, Creed, The Fray, The Almost, and Daughtry. Others with recent hits include Switchfoot, P.O.D, Lifehouse, Relient K, Mercy Me, Sixpence None the Richer, Anberlin, and Jars of Clay. With many of these bands, you wouldn't know they were CHRISTIAN, if you didn't KNOW they were Christian (if that makes any sense).
Which, finally, brings me to the point of this thread. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Does it matter that Christian bands are getting their messages out on secular radio if audiences don't even recognize that their messages are Christian? Some bands (Mercy Me - I Can Only Imagine, and Jars of Clay - Flood, for example) have continued to put out albums with strong Christian messages, but have failed to achieve much secular success other than the lone single.
Only christian fundamentalist see and hear this illusion called satan, music is life, listen and enjoy, it all, its neither good or evil, its just music, only christian that walk in fear, go around scared of their shadow hearing voices, believing everyone else is nut and immoral except them, TRY LISTENING TO "THE MAN IN THE MIRROR" BY MICHEAL JACKSON....PEACE..
treehugger

Ozark, MO

#21 Dec 24, 2009
littletree wrote:
<quoted text>Only christian fundamentalist see and hear this illusion called satan, music is life, listen and enjoy, it all, its neither good or evil, its just music, only christian that walk in fear, go around scared of their shadow hearing voices, believing everyone else is nut and immoral except them, TRY LISTENING TO "THE MAN IN THE MIRROR" BY MICHEAL JACKSON....PEACE..
Love ya man, you're such a cute little guy. School's out now, huh?
littletree

Riverview, FL

#22 Dec 28, 2009
treehugger wrote:
I am not opposed to new melodies that praise God. I do object however to the 7-11 songs (repeat 7 words 11 times) But it's just my opinion.
Stagnation is for the dead and let the dead bury the dead, we live in a creative universe, if we dont exercise out creative potential we suffer and die, this is true of music and life itself, repetition dulls the mind, done in vain..PEACE..

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