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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Music can be a bit of a touchy subject in Christian circles, especially in Fundamental Baptist circles. What constitutes good Christian Music? And especially, what constitutes good Christian music for church services? Now, I could be considered by some as too liberal in my music. As far as church music, I love hymns, country gospel, southern gospel, and some CCM. However, there’s very little CCM that I enjoy. And I can’t get too into some southern or country Gospel.
My personal music tastes as far as church music tends to reject music that is too loud, too rocky, or too repetitious. Much of CCM is theological fluff, and too repetitious, even if you reformat it just to be played on the piano or a guitar. And if there’s anything that I hate more than too much repetition in singing, it’s songs that are theological fluff. Allow me to post a video that explains this a bit more eloquently than I can.

Now, not all CCM is theological fluff. Some CCM songs contain great theological truths that put them on the same level as the great hymns of the faith. These songs contain great truths about who God is, what His attributes are, and how Holy He is. Much of CCM is man-centered however, it’s about what “God has done for me” and never gets beyond that, or it focuses on “what I do with God.” And I think in some cases, this reflects where somebody is in their spiritual walk. If somebody never moves past the songs that are spiritual pablum into music that has theological depth, can it really be said that they are maturing as Christians? Now, we must be careful not to judge someone’s spirituality based on what type of Christian music they are listening to in their car. It could be that they are going through a rough time, and God is using that song in their life. Christian music can play a great part in the life of the believer, and so we must be careful that we are not listening to theological tripe.

An example of theological tripe that has made it into CCM music. The following song is done by Brooks and Dunn, a country music duo. But this song is now being covered by Contemporary Christian Musicians. The song is theologically inaccurate, and nothing more than tripe. You can watch the video below(it has rather soft music in comparison to a lot of CCM songs if you’re not sure if you should listen to it or not). If you’d prefer not to watch the video, the lyrics can be found here.

In opposition to a song like the above, we have the song “In Christ Alone” which was written I believe by Keith Getty. This song is much more theological in nature. It’s lyrics contain great depth into who Christ is and what He did for us. Listen to it below, accompanied only by the piano, and read the lyrics here.

In Christ Alone stands in striking contrast to much of what is churned out by CCM musicians today. Of course, when many of the hymns were written, there were other songs put out during those times that were considered theological tripe and that did not stand the test of time. We do not today have the whole of the songs that were sung by Christians throughout the ages, but much of what we do have has stood the test of time and has proven itself to be an asset to the church. Of course, we do have some hymns that really need to be kicked out of the hymnal, since they are theological tripe. While perhaps having some value as folk songs, they don’t deserve to be in the hymnal. I’m sure you’ve heard the following song before. I don’t necessarily have a problem with the song for camp-meetings or what-not, but as a church song? What precisely is it’s value to the church that it gets included in a hymnal? Lyrics here.

In short, Christian Music should first and foremost be theologically correct. It should also contain theological depth, particularly when used for congregational singing. It probably shouldn’t be overly repetitious, as that’s just boring. I’ve watched people’s faces many times as we’ve sang a song that had 7 words sung 11 times, and they just look bored to tears. I know I am. I don’t want a congregational song that’s going to go on for seven and a half minutes because the song leader wants to keep going and going like the Energizer bunny. Use songs that are tried and true, and be wary of the newer music. Listen to it, and match it up to Scripture.

As a parting bonus, here’s one of my favorite hymns of all time. It’s sung by an English singer named Michael Ball here. This is a shorter version of the hymn, but nonetheless very beautiful.

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