I grew up in a Christian family who listened to Christian music for as long as I can remember (Keith Green anyone?). However, what I found in my church and Christian high school was that Christian music was rarely promoted. In fact, more often than not, it was actually brought up with caution. I'll never forget a pastor who once told me that he preferred to listen to secular music since that way he didn't have to worry about false doctrine sneaking into his music without him being aware of it. I've also heard that contemporary music can't hold a beacon to traditional hymns because they are just full of fluffy, repeated phrases with no content. Well I'm just going to say it: That is just plain RIDICULOUS!I love Christian music and it has become as much a part of my day as coffee and trips to the potty with toddlers!
Now if there is one thing I've learned the past few years, it's that people don't like to be challenged on their music choices (and TV shows for that matter, but that's another blog for another day). I'm going to be very clear here. I am NOT saying that it is a sin to listen to music not written and performed by a Christian artist. I'm not saying that at all. However, I will say that we like to think many things in this world are neutral, they don't really affect our faith, but the Bible is clear, they do. What you put into you mind/heart/brain will either draw you closer to the Lord or pull you away.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” - 1 Corinthians 15:33
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. - Philippians 4:8
You see, secular music can't offer me what Christian music does. Christian music isn't anything special in itself. It's just a song, but the truth is it has a huge impact on my mood, my day and my life for one huge reason: it's based on the unchanging, powerful, truth of God's Word. It reminds me of the promises God has given us. It challenges me to press on when I'm worn because redemption will win. It reminds my kiddos that living for God is more than just happily singing his praises, but rather of a life of action.
Christian music keeps my perspective and my eyes focused on God rather than myself, and most hours of most days, I NEED THAT REMINDER!
If you've never given it a shot, if you've heard a few songs and they didn't impress you, or if you just prefer to tune into the popular hits on the radio, I'm leaving you with a challenge today:
30 days of NOTHING but Christian music.
If you have no idea where to start, there are many different genres and styles of Christian music: traditional hymns with arrangements from bands like Koine, and Page CXVI, contemporary music like Tenth Avenue North, Casting Crowns and Chris Tomlin on K-love radio, indie Christian music from Karla Adolphe or Josh Garrells, and more beside those. If you'd like to hear songs reviewed by a Pastor take a look at Pastor Scott Martz's blog, Strong Worship Songs. He features songs that have strong lyrics that can be used in contemporary or blended worship.
Kevin Bueltmann, who commented on a different blog's post, described the variety of hymns and songs this way, "Picture a wooded scene with trees and flowers. The trees represent the hymns and songs that have stood the test of time over decades and centuries. The flowers are those beautiful hymns and songs that were great, but after a while they disappeared and made room for newer hymns and songs.
Unfortunately, right next to all those trees and flowers are also weeds. These are the songs that creep in that have theological problems. For some people, instead of just pulling the weeds, it is much easier and faster to just come in with a big mower and cut them all down. This is those people criticize all contemporary music.
The problem with that is in and amongst those flowers and weeds are also baby trees that are just beginning to grow. These are the hymns and contemporary songs being written today that some day may grow into our new favorites that span the generations. Help save the baby trees."
There are many options that glorify our Lord!
When you are stressed at work and need a pick-me-up: Christian music. When you are running to the grocery store with your little crew in the car: K-love radio. When you are sitting around your house this evening drinking coffee with your hubby and talking on the couch: Christian music. Don't give up after day three or four. 30 FULL days. I can guarantee it will affect you; in a positive way. What have you got to lose? Give it a shot!
Will you commit today to the 30 day challenge? What are some of your favorite Christian songs or hymns? We'd love to listen!