The Issues with Christian Music

By Benjamin Denen, Contributor
January 11, 2018

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– Part Three

The Issues with Christian Music – The Christian Music Industry Part One

A brief overview of the series taken from my second post:

In this blog series my goal is to explore some of the issues that many people in American Christendom seem to have with Christian music these days. It is in no way meant to be a fully exhaustive commentary on the recording industry or state of corporate worship in American churches. My goal is simply to use my experiences in both the Nashville recording industry and church world to shed some light on a few of the more common topics. Since this is a series, I strongly encourage you to start with the first post in the series and catch up as each post builds on the arguments of those that precede it. As always, my prayer is that in discussing our differing opinions we can be brought to a deeper place of unity as described in John 17:23.

The Christian Music Industry

In preparation for this post I read Michael Gungor's recent blog post in which he discusses his self-described angry rant that went viral. The original controversial post was written a couple of years ago, but is still alive and well in the complex world of social media. A number of my friends on Facebook have been reposting it recently. I encourage anyone who has read the original piece to read his recent answer to it as well. It is full of humility and a deeper understanding of a Christian musician's role in the universe. That said, I do actually believe that Michael Gungor touched on some relevant subjects in the original rant. I do not necessarily agree with all of them, but I say that they are relevant because I see many people agreeing with him or simply ranting along the same lines.

At the core of the post and other such rants is the idea that the "Christian" music industry has "sold out." Instead of pursuing life changing ministry, art, or whatever is perceived to be lacking, it is after what will make it the most money. The same has been said about all forms of the "Christian" entertainment and publishing industry. The product that it is putting out is overly simple, bland, and otherwise uninventive. Again, these are the words of the rants not my own. Before you read this post, you would be best served to read my previous two posts on the Sacred vs. Secular and Hymns vs. Contemporary Worship debates. They lay the groundwork for these final two posts in the series. In addition, I recommend that you read my post from a couple weeks ago that looks at what I believe to be a new critical spirit that is quickly replacing whatever used to be the American spirit. It also, speaks to this particularly issue.

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