Last weekend, I attended Help Portrait, which I’ll have to post about next week. While I was there, a few of the photographers and I were discussing music. A couple of them were surprised I didn’t know who someone in the Christian music world was, and I asked, “What kind of music is it?” They said, “A lot like this.”
And then it made sense. You see, they were playing over the speakers the kind of worship music that’s recorded with a bunch of people singing along to songs like… How Great Is Our God and Lord, I Lift Your Name On High.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with those songs, but I hope you’ll hear me out.
I responded, “I don’t really listen to this kind of Christian music.”
Then I was asked, “What kind of Christian music do you like?”
I thought about it. And I thought about it.
I got nothin’.
So I said, “Christian music doesn’t really do much for me.” And the look on the faces ranged from confusion and possibly just having been slapped in the face to what looked like pleasant surprise (by someone who, from their silence every time Christianity arose as a topic, probably felt a bit out of their comfort zone in a Christian church, with Christians, discussing Christian music).
Here’s the thing. I DO like some Christian music. But it’s kind of sad that the first band that came to mind that is actually out there and on the radio was one who’s frontman had to step down because of an affair. I just didn’t feel like throwing that band’s name out, because now when I hear them on the radio, I’m too distracted by what I know happened to really feel the truths about God being lifted from their songs.
Then I thought about some of the people who sing at my church. They’re awesome. When they lead worship, I genuinely love joining in and praising God. Some of them have CDs, and others don’t. I wasn’t sure their names would be recognized, so I didn’t mention them.
And occasionally, I find a song on a Christian radio station that I really like. While I know several bands and artists’ work, in that particular genre, none just screamed to me that I loved to just listen to them. And honestly, that radio station is usually the last one I check when I want to listen to music because of that.
So, when I got home, I felt kind of bothered. I am not anti-Christian music. But like I said, I wasn’t sure how well received or understood my “it doesn’t really do much for me” comment was.
And as I thought it over, I thought I might just throw this blog post out there. Because I know people who have said that Christian music shouldn’t have to “do” something for you because it’s not about you. It is praising God, so you should like it if you really are a Christian.
Umm…No. I have to disagree.
Let me ask you this, does everyone who is a Christian like rap? How about country music? Rock?
Well, then, you wouldn’t expect everyone to listen to the genres they don’t like, would you?
“Irrelevant,” you might say.
So, too bad if you don’t like those genres. They’re about God. So by the previous “logic” you have to like them if you’re a Christian.
I think it’s fairly clear how ludicrous that sounds, so I won’t keep pushing the point.
But I wish I had been a little more thorough in my explanation to the new friends I had made. It’s not that I don’t like any Christian music. It’s not that I don’t love to sing along at church and worship God. It’s not like a few songs or people don’t come to mind as people who sing Christian music that I like.
It’s that there are so few of them. So few artists, so few songs, that come to mind. The thing about Christian music is there is so little originality in the Christian genre in both the lyrics and the music itself. It makes it boring to listen to after a while.
So I hope people understand that, while I don’t hate Christian music, it’s never topped my list as a favorite genre. And unless there’s a total overhaul in what gets the most radio play, I’m not sure it ever will.