You should know by now that I *heart* Christian music. I love music–all kinds. Many of you probably didn’t know that. I always think it’s funny when I’m in someone’s car or something and they ask me if their music selection is ok because they don’t want to offend me. I appreciate the thought, but to be honest, as long as SOMETHING is on in the background I’ll be fine. I actually learn a lot from mainstream music–mainly what not to do lol. Do you know what else I notice about mainstream music? (I’m trying to stop saying “secular music” because that term is just soo churchy!) Most mainstream music starts sounding the same after a while. Not the actual music (i.e. tracks, beats, etc.), but the lyrics. After all, the lyrics (message) are really the only differentiating factor between Christian and mainstream, right?
I’m no expert on mainstream music. However, when I listen to it I feel like I hear the same songs over and over again. I thought about it one day, and it occurred to me that there is a limited supply of content one could write about. Most songs are either about love (the feelings, making love, falling in love, etc.), someone you’re in love with (the way (s)he looks, experiences with that person, what you want to do with that person, etc.), possessions/fame, dancing, having a good time, music, or general life issues/experiences. There’s probably more, but I think that pretty much sums everything up. Sure, there are several subcategories that create the variety and make songs “different,” but at the core it’s all the same. It’s the same concept I wrote about a few years ago about freedom in Christ. I said that people who are not Christians have the appearance of being free because they look like they do whatever they want. However, whatever they do is all they can do because they are enslaved to sin. The life of a Christian appears to be restrictive to those who do not understand what real freedom is. I believe this same concept holds true to mainstream music! True, there’s a wide variety of things to sing about, but that’s all there is.
Christian music is limitless! Think about it. Our lyrics are about God, or inspired by a God who is infinite! Wouldn’t an infinite God provide an infinite array of experiences to write about? Think about it! God has so many names and so many attributes…how do you begin to capture it all? I bought Fred Hammond‘s latest CD last night. INCREDIBLE! Now, here is a guy who is known for solid lyrics for worship that just released a love CD. Some people would say, “Why would a Christian artist make love songs?” Ehhhh…why not?! God IS love! God CREATED relationships, marriage, and sex! Why is that such a conundrum? Because people put God in a box. A Christian artist can and should write about anything and everything. I wish artists would get that and stop redoing the same songs over and over again–especially the gospel ones, but I’m not going there again. God is involved in every area of our lives, so why not the music? The CCM folks get that more than the gospel folks. There’s a song I hear on the CCM stations here in Atlanta that is a prime example of this. I think it’s by Sanctus Real. Anyway, it’s pretty much a plea from this man’s family asking him to be more of a leader in their home, and he asks God to help him with that. Look at some of these words:
Lead me with strong hands.
Stand up when I can’t.
Don’t leave me hungry for love,
Chasing dreams that I could give up.
Show me you’re willing to fight,
That I’m still the love of your life.
I know we call this our home,
But I still feel alone.
Not sure if I got the words in the right order, but you get the point. See, you don’t have to say JESUS JESUS JESUS for a song to be spiritual. Whatever God ordains/commands/prescribes is great material for an awesome song! God can get glory from anything, so let’s get more creative in our praises. An incredible God does deserve an incredible praise, but I submit to you that infinite God deserves an infinite praise!