I know this isn’t much of a post to kick off writing again; especially since this sort of thing isn’t as helpful as a lot of broader though most all-consuming topics, and since the male (not female-generally) blog world thrives on criticism of things that never make any difference. But I need something to get the blogging oil back into my blood, so that I can get back to regular writing once I’ve finished my Hervey paper.
If you were to browse my categories that I use on this site, you’d come across one I’ve neglected to delete (as of yet) entitle “CCM.” for those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, that stands for “Contemporary Christian Music.” No kidding. Because I used to be so hip on that stuff, that if a Christian song were to come on the radio, I’d be immediately able to spill off the name of the artist, the name of the song, and possibly the album from which it came. in a word, I was immersed.
From the start, Christian music held unusual attractions for me because it was in some instances insanely sentimental and in all instances it was a medium through which I could enjoy the same music and lyric style that everyone else likes, under a Christian guise. Plus, there were guys who had what I thought was “good theology” (meaning there was the absence of the bad) who I could make my personal band that I follow (aka Third Day) buy every album they put out, read their blog, watch their videos, etc. etc. etc. That obsession (which, however much I may say about, it is, I am finding, nice-homeschool family certified) somehow leaked it way into this blog in a number of ways. So….
Well, at this point, I hardly think that Christian music is inherently bad. But I’m seeing, especially after I’ve taken the glorious opportunity to meditate over some of the older hymns, that what you sing, or in my case listen to, becomes your theology. It works its way, intentionally or not, into your view of the Word, your prayers, quiet times, and what you do. And that’s a good thing. But it must cause a strain to hear some breathy voiced feelings-oriented singer say things that sound so good, but ever to rise above our little inner problems into the realm of what Christ has done; or someone that pushes “purpose driven-ness” but they are so focused on ‘me’ that it must surely make one’s blood run cold. To really listen to song like “That’s What Faith Can Do” and flip through the album covers and band names in the average Christian catalog, the prevailing question that’s burning is, “Does it represent Christ well?” I’m not trying to sound like a completely narrow-minded jerk, but the more you know Him, the more suspicious you become of anything that bears His name and doesn’t look like Him. Whether or not the theology is good, and there are groups like Casting Crowns that say some very good things, this question prevails: you can get up on stage and “Jesus saves, hallelujah” and act like you’re trying you’re best to imitate AC/DC. (Don’t get me started on Rap).
Okay, so yes, I was looking at the C** Music Catalog, and I became agitated. I don’t like getting agitated, but I’m more flexible than I deceive myself into thinking I am. But you can always bring this close to home: however the Christian artist represent Christ is a far-off secondary issue: how we look is to be our chief concern. If we could consistently look at things we do, the things we enjoy, my word the things we like most to watch, the music we listen to, whether it be Christian rock, Rap, or if we make an idol out of Organ music, it all that were looked at through the lens of how it represents Christ, without us making excuses, than we’d match up in a lot of areas far better.
And again, I’m not getting so bored of writing that I’m looking for things to criticize; in fact, I listened to a modern Christian singer earlier today, and in fact, for any of you who like contemporary music, I highly recommend Steven Curtis Chapman’s album Beauty Will Rise (it even reminds me to pray for some of my best friends in all the world, who have it so much harder than me that I can barely even imagine what it’s like). This is just an embodying of something that been going on personally. But some things are worth thinking about, even if they are put forth by an imperfect mind in an imperfect way.