Contemporary Christian Music is Trash…?

So, my wife and I have been going back and forth for a while now about contemporary Christian music. She really likes it and has a number of artists she follows. I still listen to my copy of “Jesus Freak” by D C Talk and haven’t moved past it. She tells me that I am really missing out on some great music, and I say it sounds too much like every artist is trying to write the next big worship song.

We’re both right. There is some great music out there today. She just introduced me to a new song by Sidewalk Prophets called “You Love Me Anyway.”. What a great song!

Yet, too many churches put this music into worship, thinking that it will make them hip and relevant and enjoyable. They use music to entertain and bring people in, when they’ve forgotten that the true purpose of music in the service is to teach about and give praise to God. When the song is about us and not the Lord and what he has done, then it misses the point of the service. Sunday morning worship is the time in which God gives to us all of the things we need and desire from Him: forgiveness and the strengthening of our faith through Word and Sacrament.

Too many times the purpose of contemporary Christian music is to build up our emotions and uplift our earthly spirits. That’s a blessed and much needed thing throughout the week. When I’m feeling down or I need to get the blood going, I like to use music because of it’s cathartic nature. But I can’t rely on those emotions to get me through the crisis of faith when it arises. And they certainly don’t give me the faith I need, because that faith comes from Scripture directly, not the personalized, me-centered pop music of today’s Christian artists. “Faith comes by hearing” as Paul says in Romans; and he means the actual, true, inerrant Word of God.

So, I agree, the answer to the title of this post is, “No, contemporary Christian music is not trash. Shame on me for implying so.” But keep it out of worship and let it do the job it was meant to do (which is sell records…or in today’s world, downloads for iTunes). Sunday morning music must, as the old spiritual says, “Give me Jesus!”

3 thoughts on “Contemporary Christian Music is Trash…?

  1. Appreciate your thoughtful comments. There is room for many types of music in worship services but all need to be evaluated. We treasure certain hymns because they make us “feel good”, whatever “good” may mean for us at a particular moment in time. Perhaps “good” means “comforted by the promises in God’s Word to which they direct us, and which point us to Christ and what He has already done”.


  2. To finish my prior comment, even organs & our traditional hymns were all “contemporary” at one time. They Holy Spirit can certainly work through many styles, types, genres, or other description one may give to a certain categories of music in and out of a corporate worship setting. Worship leaders should always be faithful to scripture and the confessions and purposeful when planning & selecting music. And scripture does command us to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord”. Personally, I treasure and enjoy the greats hymns available to us and generally prefer them. However, I am very thankful for the many opportunities I’ve had in recent years to simply make a “joyful noise” unto the Lord through the words & music of many “contemporary” hymns within corporate worship. As much as we try to say it isn’t about emotion or how we feel, it is ultimately our feelings and emotions that propel and motivate us to have an opinion about where a certain kind of the music belongs. There is room for many types of “joyful noise” music in corporate worship. Lord Jesus, thank you for the music!


  3. nice post!!
    As a programmer of a Contemporary Christian Music on the radio and the internet I can tell you that many hundreds of people find a lot of strength and encouragement from the music we play!
    sometimes it’s a memory of something you were going through at a rough spot in your life.
    Music is a powerful force and should be one for Christ!



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