Sunday, 10 March 2013

What Makes Christian Music "Christian"?

After reading Jay’s post a couple of weeks ago on “What sets Christian Music Apart?” I felt called to share my thoughts on what Christian music IS exactly.

Whilst doing work for varsity on my computer, I magically landed on Facebook (as one does), and then Twitter...and then Youtube...before I knew it, I had spent almost two hours doing absolutely nothing but fooling around, commenting, liking, sharing, (insert another social networking verb here). With the project deadline creeping ever nearer I decided to do the right thing... I procrastinated even more. Now, I don’t know why I started surfing the web for people’s thoughts  on Christian music, but I did... it’s interesting to note that despite us serving the same God, all people’s relationships with Him are different and they worship HIM in varying ways.

I read an article (I’ll keep it anonymous) where the author describes any worship “music” short of Gregorian chanting as “of the devil”. There is a huge debate as to whether Contemporary Christian Music is “good” or “evil”. He stated that Christian music has now conformed to secular methodology. “How can music that came from evil, now be used to worship our God?” – speaking of Christian rock. ‘Drugs, sex and rock and roll’; a catchphrase from loooooong before my time, but one that definitely fits that era and still rings true in the secular rock world today. Rock star David Bowie said, "Rock has always been THE DEVIL'S MUSIC."

I did more research on what other people’s thoughts were and came across people saying that drums have historically been used in various cultures to induce trances and brainwash people etc, resulting in its classification as “of the devil” (I’m not convinced in the slightest). Some people even say that instruments in general distract you from your worship and focus on God... again, I’m not convinced. 

An interesting point that is made, however, refers to the Contemporary Christian music industry and how it is “celebrity-driven”. The example used is a Michael W. Smith concert and how teenage girls scream their affection for HIM and not our God. Would you focus on worshipping God at a Red concert? Skillet? Thousand Foot Krutch? I’m not insinuating you wouldn’t, I just want you to think about it... Be honest with yourself. I know that personally, I caught myself out at the Switchfoot concert. I was so excited to see the BAND that I forgot why I had started listening to them in the first place...

As I’m typing this I’m slowly realising how MASSIVE this topic is, and should probably break it up into smaller bits over the next couple of weeks... I just want to end off this post with a personal experience of mine.

In December 2012, I went on an outreach to an orphanage in Kwa-Zulu-Natal, here in sunny South Africa. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I’m counting down the days to the next one. On the last evening, we had a typical South African braai (a barbeque for those overseas readers)  and afterwards we emptied out one of the halls, put up giant speakers and pumped the LOUDEST, CRAZIEST music we had... We played some Christian rock music, electro, dubstep... You name it, we played it. We then ended off with Passion’s White Flag album. I’d go so far as to say that we created a Christian club! Not a hot, smoky, sweaty, drunk person-filled club, but one where people were dancing, singing, worshipping, praising our God the whole night long...

I’ve spoken to a few of my friends who were on the outreach and they agreed with me. We were all dancing, but not to show off, not to impress, not for ourselves, not for anyone but God... I’d never worshipped God in dance before, but that night I did...and it was unforgettable! Whether it was to Christian Hip Hop, Dubstep, Rock or Praise and Worship! I felt so incredibly close to Him, singing his praises whilst jumping round a room, not caring about the fact that I probably looked ridiculous to spectators.
Music is such an incredibly powerful tool... I have no doubt of that. And yes, the devil does use it for his own purposes, but I personally believe that God can be present in any genre! I just want to pose the question “What makes Christian Music ‘Christian’?” Is it the lyrics? Then how could a bunch of volunteers dance in worship to the crazy sounds of “Christian” Dubstep where there are barely any words (other than the odd “God” or “Jesus” or something?) Is it the instruments? Is it the genre? Listen to Brian Head Welch’s testimony and tell me that Christian rock is evil... I’m going to stop there.

Guys I haven’t really answered any questions...but that’s the point!! I just want you to think about all this yourself and then COMMENT!! Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions!!

Peace and Love everyone


  1. Great post! Keep it up :)

  2. Worship is a lifestyle. Not just the action of singing to our God. Yes, We sing and play our instruments in worship of God, but does that mean it has to stop when we are not doing those things? NO! Not in the least.

    Living life in a manner of worship. That's where I wanna be.
    Sean Out.