Saturday, February 18, 2012

Contemporary "Christian" Music

Are most contemporary Christian radio stations trying to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ? Sadly, no. They are trying to keep their average listener, the 38 year old soccer-mom with 3 kids, from changing the station. Recording artist Matt Papa writes:
Christian radio plays songs for Becky. The labels know that in order to sell music, they have to get songs on radio. Radio = Becky. So the labels coerce their artists and bands to all write and record songs for Becky….songs that will make her feel good. Songs that tell her she is good. Songs that are “safe for the whole family”. Songs that remind her of her snow-flake-ness and tell her to turn that frown upside-down. Songs that focus on love and hope. Songs that aren’t confrontational. Songs that aren’t theological because man, that stuff is up in the clouds. Songs that don’t talk about blood and crosses and depressing stuff like that. Songs that focus on Becky and her busy life. And if the artists or bands want to write songs for another demographic or another purpose, that’s fine, they can just make music somewhere else. There is money to be made.

So, here we are. Bands/Artists who want to be heard write songs for Becky. Christian radio, therefore, is for the most part an altar where chipper, inauthentic, boring, unscriptural, untruthful, gospel-absent, ear-tickling, man-centered songs are offered to an idol named Becky.

I’ve been on a couple labels in my short musical career, and I testify that this is (sadly) how things work.

I love Becky. I really do. That’s part of the reason I’m writing this. Becky needs to be ministered to just like I do and just like everyone else does. But Christian radio/industry people: please MINISTER TO HER!! Stop giving her what she WANTS….GIVE HER WHAT SHE NEEDS and that is the GOSPEL….or stop calling yourself “christian”. There is NOTHING “christian” about telling someone who has cancer that they are ok. Stop tickling her ears. Becky is a human being who needs to hear the truth of Christ, not an object to use for your financial gain. Woe to you. And here’s a novel idea: Why not target other people besides Becky?!?! The gospel has no demographics! Christ shed His blood for all people everywhere and you have mis-represented Him. I pray with all my heart that the money tables in your temple would soon be overturned.
Over the next few months, Papa will be writing a series of posts on the current state of the Christian music industry. The article featured here is part two. You can read part one here.

(via A Twisted Crown of Thorns)

2 comments:

The Blainemonster said...

Looking forward to these posts. I had "positive, encouraging" radio on in the car today (lapse of judgment, I typically avoid it) and after only five minutes I heard a testimonial from someone about how their whole life changed when they started listening to the station "24-7". *sigh*

Dave said...

I agree that the "feel good" music caters to an audience to make money, and that sadly sums up the experience of many modern evangelicals ; But how is that really a compromise of the gospel? Its a reflection of societal Christianity, its a fruit not a root.

Why are parents trusting music stations to teach their kids God's truth in place of scripture? I dont think any band or station has ever made that claim, so why do we foister it upon them ?

A bands CD is not a corporate worship service thus it is not up to us to pick it apart in the same fashion that we would if it were.

We need to see contemporary music as what it is, commercial music written by people in the Christian Community. It works for some people and not for others, yet it is not and has not claimed to be the sole bearer of the gospel, only a motivator to Christians. If we re-introduce a higher place for doctrine and exegesis into churches, this will iron itself out as its already done in the shai linne, lecrae, tedashi arena...

Bottom line ; I wouldn't hold it to a standard higher then it is.

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