Sunday, 24 February 2013

What Sets Christian Music Apart?

I know this may be coming a few posts too late, but for the purpose of this post, I think it’s important that we introduce ourselves. Let’s start with the “us” part of that shall we. The “us” refers to two men who are striving to spread the word of God. We are doing this through various methods, with the first being this blog. We will be bringing up topics that we have struggled with and questions we don’t know how to answer. Through this we hope to bring more awareness to music and the power it has to deliver a message. We want people to see music as another form of delivery, something that can speak to the heart. This is easier said than done; there are certain challenges that face us and we hope you’ll follow us on our mission. So let us jump straight into today’s topic…hold onto your toupee as we begin our journey into the colourful and wonderful world of the unknown.

When someone mentions Christian music to you, what is the first thing that you think about? Are there certain bands that immediately jump out? Of course there are; these are bands that are known throughout the world, and for very good reason. They are fantastic bands such as Hillsong who have been around for many years. They have provided us with most of the songs we sing in our youth services today, and we were totally stoked to be able to see them live when they were here this past week at Rhema! I want to leave Hillsong for now but keep a look out for a post on that incredible experience soon. I want to ask some questions that I’m sure many people have thought about, but perhaps have seldom answered: why is Christian music different? What sets it apart? Is there something about the music? Is there something about the lyrics? Or is there something about the feeling given off by the music? These are questions I have asked myself over the past couple of weeks and I have come to a conclusion; there is no way I can give my opinion on this without raising the eyebrows of some people. Some people will agree with me, some people will disagree with me – such is life. At first I thought that was going to be a problem but now all I can think is: AWESOME!! If I am able to stir up a debate that leads to people discovering and learning, then I will be chuffed. Anyway, enough about that, back to the topic at hand.

Think about your favourite band, secular or Christian, it doesn’t matter… have you got it? Good… I bet you are even singing along to one of their songs in your head right now. Now I want you to think about that band; what sets that band apart for you? What makes it so special? What makes it so different from all the millions of other equally good bands? I believe that it is the way that bands music makes you feel. It’s that smile you get on your face when you hear the radio play your favourite song, or it’s that sense of satisfaction when you are able to air guitar to the whole solo. Maybe it’s the way it reminds you of a memory? Whatever it is, there is something that ties you to that band that no other band does. And that is exactly how I feel Christian music portrays its music; there are no random lyrics in Christian music, there are no fleeting thoughts, every line is written because it has a purpose, and I believe it is that purpose that sets it apart. Let me explain…

I drive a car, go figure, and when I drive I often spend a while in the car and it’s there that I spend the most time listening to my music. I have noticed that when I am listening to certain bands I find myself banging on the steering wheel because the drumming is too intense to ignore, or perhaps I am feeling ridiculously sombre because the acoustics of another band make me feel a sense of calm. I sound like quite an emotional person, but what I am trying to say is that there is a band for every mood and that often it can affect the way you feel at a given moment. But that hasn’t answered the question; this can be the same for both secular and Christian music so what is it that sets Christian music apart? And here I may get controversial, but stick with me…I believe that any Christian song is designed to uplift; the type of upliftment that means you can listen to any band depending on your personal preference (heavy metal or worship for example) and the music might not always put a smile on your face but it will speak straight to your heart and help you reconnect with God in many ways. For me, that is what sets Christian music apart. Do not misunderstand me, I am well aware that secular is able to put a smile on your face, and indeed it does, and I have certain songs that I will jam to in my car. The goal of this post is simply to get you thinking; if I get you thinking about what sets Christian music apart, then I can ask you many other questions, and before you know it, we will have a pretty decent blog.

What do you think? Is there something that sets Christian music apart? And if so, how can we bring Christian music to the foreground? If you have read this, thank you, and I do hope you tune in for our album review of ThirdDay’s ‘Miracle’ on Wednesday.

Have a rocking week everyone


  1. Hey Jalex

    I agree with what you mentioned about Christian music having a deeper purpose. This is evident in a simple comparison of songs such as 'Call Me Maybe' and 'Gangnam Style' to the music of tobyMac or Relient K. Also, it is usually more 'serious' in content, for example, the concept of salvation, to 'that hot girl at the bar'. A lot of Christian music is extremely personal, for example some songs can be used as prayers, whereas secular music is more generic and can 'talk to' almost anyone for example 'Die Young'

    Secular music provides a brief reprieve from our daily troubles, it makes us forget our problems, but Christian music helps us to connect with God, and that in itself shows the difference between the two.

  2. We get too caught up in labels in my honest opinion. There is some secular music with more 'Christian' lyrics than what we sing in church sometimes.

    Take for example the song disarmed by thrice. "Where's your land slide. Where's your victory. Tell me now where's your sting. Now that you have been disarmed. We will cross over unharmed. " thrice. A secular band by all means. Those words strike me at my very core. Granted Dustin kensrue is a worship leader at mars hill church in America. But yeah. I reckon the big thing about music in general is that it hits you where you're at. Its very emotional and personal. God gave us music as a way to worship and also just to express ourselves. I may have not answered the question but. Yeah. That's what I feel about music

  3. Listening to Christian music is one of my ways to glorify our Lord God. I definitely connect to many of those songs, and I always find myself enlightened after listening to them. Anyhow, I love Hillsong. I didn't miss the chance to hear them live when I went to one of their concerts last year. Thanks for sharing this!