Christian vs. Secular Music
I love music. I love almost all music, the two exceptions to this is heavy metal and certain kinds of rap. I can listen to TobyMac often and enjoy cranking his stuff up. The rap I dislike is, the rap where they are just angry and swearing prolifically throughout about how their lives suck, the police should be killed, that kind of garbage.
However, despite my love of all music in 2004 I made the choice to keep my music solely Christian. I enjoyed then and still enjoy Air1 and Wayfm. But with this new deployment I felt the pull of secular music and it re-entered my life. I enjoy Taylor Swift, Daughtry, Pat Benatar, GLEE!!!!!, and most kinds of music, I even like Katy Perry's Waking up in Vegas song (the clean radio version). With this new advent in life though I have discovered that as I've gotten older I also have certain types of music I absolutely don't like anymore. I can't listen to songs about making love with people who aren't your spouse - it makes me crazy and makes me want to scream at the radio or cd player, "Heeeeelllllooooooo!!!! What are you doing? Don't you realize that kids listen to your crap and take your advice?????" That last statement especially goes for teens who pose naked for Vanity Fair and repeatedly do stupid stuff and wear clothing that her parents should never let her leave the house wearing! Yes, Miley Cyrus, I am talking to you sweetheart.
As I've made these few changes though I have also realized something that I find disturbing about secular music. For instance, their incessant ability to glorify premarital sex, sing about how they need some man like they need a heartbeat, or and I say this by pre-empting this with I love Lady Antebellum's song, "I Need You Now". Granted I couldn't stand it at first, but the whole premise of the song and the beat kind of get to you and you find yourself singing it, just ask one of my besties who is not happy with me because I played it for her and she catches herself singing it. I hate that these songs & often their videos are blatantly encouraging todays youth to exploit their young bodies so that they begin having sex at an early age. I realized why I quit listening to the secular radio and went to strictly Christian music. So here is my list of differences.
In secular music, you constantly have singers getting addicted to drugs, alcohol, etc . . . Often the headlines are covered today with stories of secular artists who are going to jail because of battery, or who have gone completely crazy. These are the people our children watch? No thank you. I love that my daughter's can look up to the Barlow sisters who have made a promise to God to remain chaste until marriage. Secular music has song lyrics that continually talk about getting drunk, or how their lives are over because someone broke their heart, or some girl got knocked up and she had an abortion anyone remember the song by Bens Fold Five? These songs sometimes are good in music, and yet once these people open their mouths, I have to change the channel. I know when I listen to Wayfm or Air1 or KLove my kids can listen to the music AND the deejays too without worrying about what they may accidentally overhear. For example: recently a young Christian woman recording artist came out of the closet. Instead of openly talking about this issue, I was very impressed with Deejay Donna Cruz and her ability to discuss it w/o letting small children know what was going on and raising too many questions. While from time to time, there are Christian artists who make choices that stun us all (Sandi Patti, Michael English, Amy Grant & Ray Boltz to name a few) it is few and far between. I love knowing that the people my children listen to and enjoy will most likely not end up as tabloid fodder. There are always going to be those who fall, but guess what, we all fall. No one is perfect, Romans tells us, "There is no one righteous, no not one."
Saying all this, I will also talk about a disturbing trend that can go to both extremes. While secular & those who chose the world often may fall, I have noticed that people tend to forgive them readily. Sadly, this is not always the case for those who are in the Christian arena. Michael English, Sandi Patty, & Ray Boltz have almost all but disappeared from the music scene since their falls. We actually asked Michael English to give back his Dove Awards! Yes, they disappointed us, but does that really mean that we must shun them so harshly that they are unable to work their way back into grace. God's grace is limitless and his love comes without strings attached, He loves us and wants a relationship with us, but we are unable to give the same love and grace to those who disappoint us, while our secular counterparts find more forgiveness from the world we are supposed to be in but not of? I find that trend somewhat disturbing, actually I find it extremely disturbing.
I realize that Christians aren't perfect, I also know that I have heard a lot of people lately talk about how the church is full of hypocrits. My response, is this, "yes there are hypocrits in the church, but there are hypocrits out in the world too." But people expect more from us because we are Christians and yet we can't seem to offer forgiveness and grace to our own kind.
Okay I'll get off my soapbox now. I know that not all people in the church are like this, these just happen to be some things I've noticed lately and found somewhat disturbing. While I don't think we should be like the hippys and make love not war, I do think their ability to forgive is one we should consider. We are called to be Christ to the world, Christ was forgiveness, and yet we find ourselves unable to forgive those who let us down and disappoint us.
Love in Christ,