I’m a recovering contemporary Christian music listener. I grew up on it. It was stuff that I listened to in my room, because it was almost sacriledge to listen to it in church. How dare there be drums in church? Ironically, the church I grew up in now has drums and a guitar.
Back in the day (like, the late ’80’s), I listened to a lot of Christian artists. When I finally started listening to “secular” stuff, I noticed a huge difference. Christian music producers were frickin’ scared. There was no edge to “rock” groups. Everything was slickly polished. Everything was over-produced. Even some of the Christian metal artists I listened to (yes, there was such a thing) seemed to be held back in the studio. It was as if the record companies didn’t want to offend the old people in church. I rarely listen to “Christian” music anymore. If that’s your cup of tea, awesome. It’s just not mine.
Many old school Christians would claim there’s nothing redeeming about “secular” music. I beg to differ. Big time. Many secular songs have great spiritual undertones to them. Take a listen to songs like “Savin’ Me” by Nickelback, or most stuff by Evanescence, or a tune like “I Saw God Today” by George Strait. Those are just a few. Many of those songs express a longing for something bigger, a need for healing from brokenness or pain. Some, mostly country tunes, straight up talk about it.
God has put His fingerprints everywhere.
Psalm 96 is all about giving glory to God because of His awesomeness. The Psalm opens with these words: Sing unto the Lord a new song. Most Christians, however, haven’t heard a new song in years. There’s nothing wrong with old hymns–heck, I’m a fan of some of them. Even on the contemporary side, churches seem to be wearing out stuff from the late ’90’s. There’s not a lot of “new songs” being written. At least any that take any artistic risk.
God is all about creativity. He takes a lot of pleasure seeing people create in Jesus’ name. Check out some of these artists–Christians who are creating and writing new songs for God. Both of these are currently doing folk music. The second artist, however, does everything–from rock to reggae to his current incarnation, folk. It’s not exactly my preferred genre, but they’re doing their thing. The third guy, Joe Heilman, is the music guy at Forefront Christian Church in VA Beach. He writes all of their music.