Is The Modern Christian Music Genre Dangerous?
Being a musician, I admire and worship along with some of the new Christian “praise and worship” songs, both on Christian radio and in the churches. Many talented artists have perhaps changed their music genre from where they were to where they are now. Maybe some of the artists are just taking advantage of the newfound popularity of Christian music. But if you have followed my writings, you know my Scriptural motto is “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thess 5:21 As I sing along, I read the words and wonder if they truly do honor and praise the ONE who gave His life for us.
The Psalmist writes , “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, in all the lands. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing.” Psa 100:1,2
Some of the words and phrases are a bit unbiblical and lacking substance, more of a feel-good message, but I do believe that they are written with best intentions. How do I “prove all things”? By comparing them with the Word of God. If a song doesn’t align with The Word, it doesn’t mean blasphemy has been committed, or that the Holy Ghost had been grieved. It may be ignorance, or something as stupid as needing a word to “rhyme.” Certainly, we must be careful of what we read and listen to. What goes in our hearts becomes part of us.
The old gospel hymns always seemed so real and heartfelt, though it wasn’t my style of listening music when I was a reckless heathen. Now, I have an appreciation for them more than ever.
As for my song-writing ability, I admit I never considered myself a songwriter at all. But since I became a born again Christian, I have yielded to the Holy Spirit; lyrics and music have poured out from my heart onto paper and the fingerboard of my guitar. Hallelujah!
One popular song that I do have an issue with, among a few, is one in which the hook lyrics repeated throughout are “reckless love of God.” Artistically, it is a marvelous song and I enjoy it. But we have to be careful what we hear. Is God’s love really reckless? Absolutely NOT! He knows exactly what He is doing! His love for us is very intentional, with His will and purpose—that is not reckless! Personally, I would have used a different word, maybe “wonderful” or “magnificent,” but maybe that is the word that grabs everyone. It makes me wonder what was going on in the writers life to come up with that word. Does he know the magnificent love of God? Discernment is always important.
Today’s Christian music is very popular and the musicians go on national high-energy tours, just like your favorite secular band. I have gone to several of these and the arena/stage production mirrors that of your favorite rock group. I must say that I am impressed. Some have criticized these tours as becoming too commercialized, too much about grossing the big bucks. The popular songs end up being played by the local church’s praise teams. Too much? Yes, there has been criticism.
These songs and Sunday morning church performances may be the drawing power to attract the younger generation in to church, to hear the preacher teach/preach the Word of God. That part is great, as long as the lyrics are in accordance with the Word of our Savior. Then, the power of the Word truly activates their inner-spirit to transform them by the renewing of their minds to become a “new creation in Christ,” born again Child of God. That may be the biggest shortfall, not in the worship portion of the service but in the subsequent message that lacks Biblical truth, distortion of what a new creation really is, absence of a repentance-salvation message, and what it means to live in the spirit, not in the carnality of our sinful flesh.
So, what is my point? Since the creation of man, music has been an important form of communication. Traditionalists may have issues with today’s Christian music, as they do other genres, but what is more important is the foundation of life—the living Word, the truth, that must live in us for eternal life. The message from the pulpit, that is what we must be concerned with using Biblical discernment. Pastors and ministers are held to a higher standard; there is a lot of responsibility in what they speak, but do not assume that just because they have the microphone that what they say is good food for your soul. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” Amen.
And what do you think?