Tomlin brings a refreshing change to Christian radio

Posted: September 3, 2008 in Above the Fold, Inside 411, Keep it real, Networking, Snap, Crackle and POP Culture, WWJD
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I love music – good music, back in the day when folk had talent.

Regardless if that music consists of balladeers like Luther Vandross and Teddy Pendergrass, classic jazz like Keith Jarrett and Coleman Hawkins, dulcit tones like Michael Buble and Harry Connick, Jr., and the winsome sounds of one-named genius like Ella, Billie, Ray and Prince.

And then there is worship. That’s music on a completely different level. Most the songs from Vineyard, Hillsongs, classic Gospel and anything from the Spirit Songs collection captures the heart of God like none other.

Suffice to say, I’m a fan… of my CDs and iPod. Christian radio? But that’s could be another tune all together.

When I read that worship leader giant Chris Tomlin is creating songs for CCM radio, I had hope for the future of an industry I love so much.

And that got me thinking: Are “Christian” radio stations compromising in the face of ratings and commercialism by playing “secular” music?

Listen to your local Christian leader sometime and what do you hear? American Idol winners, anything by U2, Top-40 cheeseballs and other folk claiming to be Christian. Does CCM stand for “Contemporary Crossover Music” these days?

Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing Mercy Me and the amazing Third Day on commercial radio, but no one can hear that music and NOT know for which they stand. No one. However, if I turn on my Christian radio station and hear “Home” by Daughtry… um, is that heaven or just some dude’s address? Who knows?

Here’s the rub:

Music isn’t Christian, people are. They put their soul into the tunes they write, the melodies they sing. If music was saved, there would never be a question about sanctified house music, which does exist but I still can’t tell the difference between Moby and Prodigal Sons. Words make a message, and if they are ubiquitous and milquetoast, why pass yourself off as Christian unless the quest is just about cash?

Now, I’m nowhere near the advocate for removing all secular music and replacing it for an all-sacred diet. You really think a Bryan Adams song will send you to hell? Frank Sinatra bring up evil thoughts? What about Boyz II Men and their live sacrifices in concert? Come on!

So, despite what the music sounds like – rave, hip-hop, metal, SKA, pop, rock, et cetera – it’s the message that counts. It’s the words that create inspiration, elicit emotion and develop meaning. That should be the determinant factor as to what gets on CCM, not the artist saying, “Um, yeah. I’m saved. Trust me.”

And when those songs of psychobabble get into our churches and worship leaders are wailing “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” because it oculd be construed as a soul’s journey, we have much more than a problem, Houston… we have a travesty!

  1. […] Everything in the Church is becoming commercialized these days. From marketing to music, it seems the ubiquitous Joneses the Body of Christ seems to be keeping up with is the world as a […]

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