Wednesday, November 4, 2015

An Incredibly Biased, One-Sided, and Tendentious Defense of Contemporary Christian Music

by Dan Jones

One of the things I have always strived for in writing this blog is fairness, balance, and respect for opposing points of view.

There are plenty of blogs out there that do no such thing.  From what I see of blogs currently available on the internet, the more opinionated and bombastic the blog is, the more followers that particular blogger generally has.

But it’s not my objective to promote myself. This is not the Dan Jones blog. This is the Kinship Christian Radio blog. The objective is to bring glory to God while lifting up, supporting, and encouraging believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  If readers who are not believers would find the love of Jesus Christ in the words the Holy Spirit grants me and come to faith, then let the LORD be praised!

And if what I write here fosters discussion and thought about what we believe and why, all the better!

That having been said, please be prepared for the most biased, one-sided, and blatantly tendentious blog I have ever written. (Yes, I purposely found a ten-dollar adjective to put in that sentence.)


Now, as a blogger for a Christian radio station, which plays Contemporary Christian Music, and which has opened my heart and my mind and my soul to deeper and greater faith, it’s abundantly obvious that I cannot possibly attempt to pass myself off as objective on this subject by any stretch of the imagination.

One of the chief criticisms of Contemporary Christians Music is that it creates an emotional response in people.

To this I say, “Well, I should hope so!”

I contend that songs that bring attention to God’s incredible glory, the awe-inspiring beauty of His creation, His boundless love, the incredible depth of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, the glorious victory in His resurrection, and all God has done for His dearly loved children are good things.  

I contend we should be emotional about those things. We should be shouting, “PRAISE JESUS!” and “HALLELUJAH!” in our cars, in our homes, and in our church services!

I’ve been in a church or two where the “worship” service seemed as dead and hollow and withered as a jack-o-lantern two-weeks after Halloween—and I’ll take a congregation singing “In Christ Alone” with hands raised in glorious praise over that any day.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (Romans 12:11 NIV)

So I don’t buy the concept that enthusiasm for the Lord is somehow “entertainment.” That enthusiasm derives from the awe I feel for Him, not from anything remotely like a Super Bowl® half-time show.

It also occurs to me that the Apostles were not lacking in an abundance of zeal and enthusiasm in those first days of the early church when the Holy Spirit came on them with a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire over their heads. (Acts 2)

And, I think that’s really what irks me most about criticisms of Contemporary Christian Music.

For example, one Sunday we sang “Come as You Are” by David Crowder in church. While that particular song does not have a complex theological message, the lyrics tell us the Jesus has mercy on the broken-hearted.

After the song, a woman of the congregation who had just lost her husband to a tragic accident came forward in tears and praised God because it was true that, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.”

The song ministered to her. It helped her heal. It blessed her. And that is Jesus touching and healing someone in need.

And that is the work of the Holy Spirit.

So if I am emotional, even zealous, in my admonition that we should by no means kill Contemporary Christian Music, it is because I see the work of the Holy Spirit in it and through it to change and bless and minister to the hearts and minds and souls of many in need of Jesus.

And for that, I will not apologize.

Today’s Praise
So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure
From “Come as You Are” by David Crowder.


3 comments:

PBJ said...

Amen! Great blog again Dan. To suggest that contemporary Christian music is little more than entertainment is to suggest that the Holy Spirit is not moving among Christian song-writers any more. Keep writing!

Dan Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Jones said...

Thanks again, PBJ! The glory does indeed go to the Holy Spirit--especially for His nudging to use the "delete" key in the initial drafts of this post.