Skip to comments.Contemporary Christian Music's Sinking Witness: Lack of depth and reverence to the Almighty
Posted on 08/04/2014 8:38:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Admitting the problem is the first step towards recovery. So let's admit it: if we swop the lyrics of a Taylor Swift ballad with some of today's contemporary Christian worship songs, no one would know the difference.
Others have noted the "Jesus-is-your-boyfriend" style worship songs clogging the airwaves of contemporary Christian radio and Sunday morning worship sets lack depth and reverence to the Almighty. They're right. But there's an even bigger problem when contemporary Christian songs downplay, even scold Christian's public witness for the sake of couch-potato Christianity.
Last week a fellow pro-life, pro-family activist turned on his local "family-friendly" contemporary Christian radio station while driving his kids to camp. As his kids were belting the words to a new hit, my friend was shocked by the lyrics.
The song was Family Force 5's "Let It Be Love," number #14 on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs list. Of course this means it is one of 20 songs that local contemporary Christian radio programs play over and over ad nauseam. The song's lyrics go:
I've never seen a soul set free Through an argument I've never seen a hurt get healed In a protest It's not about the stand we take But the grace we give
For my friend, the first line "I've never seen a soul set free through an argument" couldn't be further from reality with the conservative Christian movement. In addition remembering that the Apostle Peter urged Believers, "[A]lways being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15)
My friend witnessed a life changed from a same-sex lifestyle to a redeemed follower of Christ thanks to a bold, counter-cultural argument presented at a Parents and Family of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) event. A young gay man made the decision to offer over his life to Christ after listening to Robert Knight, Senior Fellow for the American Civil Rights Union, described God's love for humanity and purpose for sexuality and marriage.
Most devastating is the lyric's second line, which reads, "I've never seen a hurt get healed in a protest." I'm not sure what kind of protests these band members have attended, but they must not have been pro-life oriented.
A beautiful example of lives transformed at a protest is told by Wendy Wright, former President of Concerned Women for America and Vice President for Government Relations and Communications. Wendy spent many days peacefully protesting outside of abortion clinics. She and her fellow protestors not only offered hurt women prayer and side-walk counseling, but worked to save the lives of their unborn babies.
Wendy was blessed to come face to face with a young woman whose mother protected her from abortion because of Wendy's abortion protest. "After speaking to Generation Joshua home school students, telling stories of rescuing babies from abortion," explained Wendy. "A young woman asked, "Have you ever met one of those babies that you rescued?"
Shaking her head no, Wendy explained that while she hadn't she would love the opportunity. "I was rescued from abortion and adopted because of you," the young woman told Wendy.
Lives are changed, in part, through vessels willing to "contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God's holy people" (Jude 3) Sadly you wouldn't know that based on the premise of this "Christian worship" song.
To be fair, Family Force 5 is correct that grace is a necessary component to lead others to salvation in Christ. But it alone it is not enough. Grace without substance is pity and nothing more. Behind our compassion must be a willingness to share the totality of Christ's character and His command to turn from sin.
Contemporary Christian music has a tremendous ministry opportunity that expands beyond the borders of the local church. Christians cannot present half-truths for the sake easy listening and broader audiences. As followers of Christ, we can do better. Or at least turn off the radio.
-- Chelsen Vicari serves as the Evangelical Program Director for the Institute on Religion and Democracy. She earned her Masters of Arts in Government from Regent University and frequently contributes to conservative outlets
It is just ridiculous.
We must encourage modern hymn writers, like the Gettys.
:: grace is a necessary component to lead others to salvation in Christ. But it alone it is not enough. Grace without substance is pity and nothing more. ::
And, Chrysostom spins in his grave!
Ephesians 2: 8-10
Taylor swift also said same sex marriage is ok, so I would not look to her as a role model for Christian singers. Amy Grant also has also joined the world we are to come out of. I’m sure there’s others who’s fame and money means more than following Gods word.
Good for children under 7, like “Jesus Loves Me.” IMHO. I personally would like an indepth hymn about the Return and the annihilation of all those who are against Him. Peace on Earth promise fulfilled.
Thanks for using the correct word. Contemporary “song” just turns me off.
Any way that does not bring discredit upon God seems fine to me. Although I take my own sacred music usually in a more classical vein.
The first example is something that goes way beyond just contemporary music, which I have no problem with in general - but that is this phony notion that “love” and “grace” means never disagreeing or expressing an opposing opinion.
My wife is on some “Christian women” forums, and a lot of them have bought into the liberal talking points of “love” and even “social Justice” and so on.
So many Christians are so deceived.
You know.... here’s a thought. Most of us here have jobs that are secular. We work for all sorts of people and we go about our jobs trying to live a life that “shows Jesus” to a lost world. We try to live lives of of obedience. But we do things that are secular. So we have a singer, songwritter, musician or whatever. If they use their skill set for anything except Christian songs we decide that fame means more to them then following God’s word. Some of us need to read the part about the plank in our own eye.
I find that when Christian Pop comes on, there is way too much “Hallelujah don’t we all love Jesus so much” and too little “Life sucks for me this way, and my evil gets me punished” like Johnny Cash.
Johnny was far more effective for Christ than all the pablum dished out on Christian Pop.
I’ll take the classical hymns any day. Forget the contemporary!
there is no reason to think that King David, nor the church of Acts, used anything other than contemporary music (at that time) .
There are some great hymns, and Amazing Grace is anointed beyond a doubt .but I gotta tell you, the tired old organ and the bored rote hymnal singing of mainline churches leaves me cold as a fish.
Oh dear Lord you just left a mark on half of FR .
Somebody is straining to find problems. What I like about modern Christian music is it addresses real life issues and turns them over to God - like the Psalms. Much of old hymndom is one dimensional lyrically and cumbersome musically.
I consider Amazing Grace contemporary. I will not sing it.
I know.... people need to get a clue. We praise Johnny Cash for his christian stands. And that’s good. But he made his fame with secular songs. And we accept that he does both because we like Johnny Cash music. But we don’t like “POP” style music... so we hold those artists to a different standard. Its hypocricy... and if it leaves a mark... then so be it. It drives me crazy.
has anyone called you the Pharisee’s pharisee before? You do know Salvation is thru grace, and not laws?
How old does a hymn have to be to fit your rather narrow criteria?