Where do we draw the line on what we Christians can listen to as far as music?
Does God have a problem with song lyrics like “I like big butts…”?
I’m not sure about God’s view on that, but those type of lyrics do tend to make me uncomfortable.
So I tend to go with what I’m comfortable with in light of what God’s Word says and the direction of the Holy Spirit.
I know what I like when I hear it – from Johnny Cash to U2 to Leonard Cohen. I’ll throw in Twisted Sister’s “We’re not gonna’ take it” for shock value.
It’s not that I like any one artist’s entire catalogue of music. I stick with individual songs.
This narrative comes about by way of memories about the start of “Jesus Music.”
I started listening way back in the early 1970s before Chuck Girard split from Love Song to pursue a solo project.
A song I liked to refer to back then was “Why should the devil have all the good music?”
“I want the people to know
that He saved my soul,
but I still like to listen to the radio.
They say rock ’n’ roll is wrong,
they’ll give me one more chance.
I feel so good I want to get up and dance.
I know what’s right, I know what’s wrong, I don’t confuse it.
All I’m really trying to say is,
‘Why should the devil have all the good music?’”
“Why Should the Devil (Have All the Good Music)” – Larry Norman
In addition to Larry Norman I listened to Randy Stonehill, Love Song, Evie (okay, that was my sister’s) and Honeytree. Later, Keith Green blew me away.
And the big one I still listen to over and over (too many trips down memory lane) Daniel Amos.
Information about their 30th Anniversary here http://www.danielamos.com/ .
Of course, when driving down memory lane I tend to detour onto the Internet to find out what’s there.
For Jesus Music, I found http://www.one-way.org/jesusmusic/ . Has a great top 50. A sister site the site links to http://www.one-way.org/jesusmovement/ explains the Jesus Movement.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Although the media’s interest in the movement waned by the end of 1971, there was much evidence that the revival was still going strong. The Jesus People USA, an offshoot ministry of the original Seattle Jesus People Army, would soon find a home in Chicago ministering to street youth. In 1972 Campus Crusade organized Explo ’72 in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas where many of the movement’s top performers were invited to sing. In 1973 former Calvary Chapel pastor Kenn Gulliksen was just starting a string of Bible studies that would culminate in the Vineyard churches.”
My sister went to the famous Explo ’72 in Dallas and accepted Jesus as her savior. From her influence, I soon followed. But wait, there’s more.
Many years later – 1988 or 1989 – I went to a Six Flags event where Steve Camp and Degarmo & Key performed. I was there as photographer with a writer penning a story on Steve Camp.
Later, Steve Camp and Dana Key laid hands on me backstage and prayed for me.
What did Jesus Music ultimately get me? Wholesome entertainment? Education about the Christian Life? Instruction through Film?(Okay, that last is a Daniel Amos DVD I’m trying to get a review copy of).
Honestly, it just provided another way to please myself with occasional forays into real praise of Jesus Christ.
Where am I today? Ambivalent about the current state of Contemporary Christian Music. To me it doesn’t sound very contemporary – only like 10 years behind musically with a few exceptions.
Again, it has to be taken on a song-by-song basis.
Some inspire, some don’t and most make me want to turn to a station that, ironically, bills itself as playing “World Music.”
Either that or NPR.