As a GUBA (grown up born again) I invested in and ingested a vast array of CCM in the 90’s. A decade later as I rediscovered the CCM of my adolescence I realized that a lot of it really wasn’t that good. The recordings sound anemic and the songwriting isn’t up to par with their secular contemporaries. There were exceptions but they were few and far between, e.g. Poor Old Lu, Living Sacrifice, PFR, Jars of Clay. Even as an adolescent I recognized that something didn’t quite sound right, but I chalked it up to my own spiritual shortcomings and assumed there was something wrong with me since I preferred Pearl Jam and They Might Be Giants to Michael W. Smith and Carmen (does Carmen even prefer Carmen?). I didn’t connect emotionally or cognitively with what the majority of CCM was about lyrically.
I absolutely agree with Marc’s tagline “be christian. write music.” I enjoyed the article and agreed with Marc on several points, but he’s obviously oversimplifying things and ignoring (I think dangerously so) some vital issues, which I think has everything to do with worldview. In this case I think he lacks a worldview that accounts for the metaphysical aspects and influence of music. I think he makes an excellent argument but I think he needs to go watch the documentary Until The Light Takes Us – It’s brilliant – and revaluate his argument.
We are called to proclaim the Kingdom not in a vacuum, but as a city on a hill. When Christian musicians care more about creating a viable product for their demographic than they do about proclaiming Christ to the lost or calling fellow christians to worship the risen Christ they’ve lost the plot. We need to reinvigorate the truth that everything we do van and should be done as a right act of worship – as Boice said “you can pump gas to the glory of God.” We make far to much of style and genre and not enough of the act of right worship. It’s one of our weapons for warfare – keep the sword sharp and treat it with respect.