The Problems I Have With Modern Christian Music

Found this post over at Arminian Today.  All I can say is AMEN!  I have had many of the same concerns.  I really have a problem when people focus more on the songs or music than on God.  Read his post at the link below. 

Arminian Today: The Problems I Have With Modern Christian Music


9 Responses to The Problems I Have With Modern Christian Music

  1. Athanasius says:

    So… Why is it impossible to care deeply about the words that one is using to worship our God and also to care about the quality of the music? How is it a valid assumption that music is a priori neutral per se in this regard? Did God choose the forms of the Psalms – with their rich and subtle poetic beauty – randomly? Why can’t we look at elements such as beauty, form, excellence, gentleness, purity when we’re discussing music? The fact that people automatically assume that music is morally neutral is because we live and breathe in a post-modern world, and even if we consciously reject post-modern relativism as true, I think unconsciously we still think about a lot of issues within the template of post-modernism. This is a summary beginning, there is a lot more to say on this issue…


  2. l3rucewayne says:

    I’m just struck by the fact that I actually know about who Athanasius was. I wonder if this means I’m socially hopeless?

    On the comment, I could be mistaken but I don’t think Tom was saying its wrong to give any attention to things like beauty in music. Rather it is wrong to focus more on that than on God. Key word being “more”.


  3. Athanasius says:

    I guess a simple reading of what Tom wrote conveys your take on his meaning,

    1) However, if you are right, this would perhaps explain why no one has bothered to respond to this post for well nigh 2 years, because
    a) The vast majority of Christians would not quibble with the statement that God is more important than either words or music, having created them both (along with everything else).
    b) This is a non sequitur for Atheists, they don’t even believe in God, so for them words and music are simply what they are (and usually in their view convey no real meaning), so Atheists are not going to bother with this.

    So, if that was all that was meant, it’s not much of a topic. However, this point that Tom raises doesn’t come out of the ether. First, |3rucewayne (who is that, name sounds familiar?), did you happen to read the article to which Tom linked? My (admittedly brief) response came as a result of reading that article, statements such as:

    “I don’t care if you are singing to God through hymns, Southern gospel, black gospel, Hispanic gospel, or praise songs. To me, the key element of my singing should be my focus on God and his Word. People get hung up on styles rather than substance.”

    This kind of statement contains assumptions which are not explored by the author, and ones which I think contribute to the concern/problem which he is having. In addition to this, when people say such things as “I really have a problem when people focus more on the songs or music than on God.”, I find that more often than not what they really mean is “It doesn’t matter what kind of music or what kind of words one uses when worshiping God, as long as the heart is right”. Now, from what I’ve read of what Tom has written, he is quite a good fellow with many laudable qualities, so I don’t want to imply that I think he meant that, however, it is an interesting discussion (in my view) if these are some of the issues discussed, but if all we mean to discuss is whether God transcends music, words, or what-have-you, then this discussion is done, and I agree fully with the statement that God transcends (infinitely so) all.


  4. Tom Shelton says:


    Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to leave your comments.

    First, let me say that I am not opposed to music. I think it is and can be a vital aspect of our worship. It can help bring us to a deeper worship experience. It can really set the mood, so to speak. But, worship is so much more than the music and it seems that too many people today think that when the music stops so does the worship.

    Let me also say that I enjoy contemporary praise music. There are some really good praise songs out there. I like to see drums, guitar, and other instruments (including the piano and organ) used in the worship service. I enjoy some good old fashioned southern gospel, the old hymns, and some of the new hymns.

    I guess what really gets me is that music should be a tool to help lead us into true worship in which we focus on God. Much of what is promoted as contemporary Christian music today does not do that. The songs sometimes seem to become the focus. As and example, I have heard youth leaders teach based on what a song means or says instead of using God’s word as the basis for the lesson. When it gets to that point, we have a problem.

    I hope that clears up my position. I can’t speak for the author of the article that I linked to though.


  5. Daniel says:

    In my younger years, I found myself justifying (and quite often defending) listening to Petra, Russ Taff, Jars of Clay and so on. The accusations of it being “not God based” or “too secular sounding” stunned me when I could clearly here “God” and “scriptures” in the music. Now, forgive me, but as I quickly approach 50, I find these arguments creeping into my own thoughts on some (and clearly I do mean some) Christian music today. I won’t point a finger at any group in particular, I don’t feel that would be right. When listening to a “Contemporary Christian Song”,
    I shouldn’t have to ask myself “Is that Avril Lavigne?”, because the message of the song could go both ways.


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