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Well this week I’d like to talk about what could be a pretty touchy subject with a lot of people, & that is what exactly is “Christian” music? We all probably have our own idea of what that is when we hear the term, or maybe what it isn’t too. I feel that as Christians we are so divided on this topic, which is really a shame because something that should unite us as believers is more often what separates us. So being that what I do for a living is “Christian” music lets take a deep look into this, shall we?

I often share the story to my “Half & Half” album, that the reason I created it was because so many pastors tell us that their church is split on the music they like, half like the old songs, the other half like the new ones & most of the time there is no meeting in the middle between the two. It’s amazing how divided even churches are on music, they think they can only “worship” God if it’s the kind of music they like or are accustomed to. What a crazy idea that we can only worship our Lord & Savior who gave His life for us, if the song has a certain sound or lyrical pattern to it, how disappointing that must be to God! I say we need to get over ourselves & realize it’s not about us anyway, it’s all about Him, or at least it should be I guess that’s the whole problem we’re not making it about Him it’s become all about us!

God has been teaching me so much over the last few months about so many things that pertain to this topic, such as what true worship & true ministry is & what God has shown me ,was that I had so many wrong ideas about a lot of things & God has had to completely restructure my way of thinking to prepare for what He wants me to do. Let me talk about a few of these things that God has made so clear to me to me personally. Sometimes it’s hard for us to admit when we’re wrong, but let me say it first, I was wrong in much of my thinking & God is changing me & correcting me & I’m thankful because I know from this I will be able to reach way more people looking through the perspective that God has given than from the perspective I used to have which was beaten into my head by doctrine & tradition that was wrong.

Let me start around this passage of scripture I just read today right before I wrote this blog, which was just more confirmation to me from God about these ideas. It’s found in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 Paul says this, “19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” The whole idea here is that Paul does what he needs to do to speak the language of the people he’s trying to reach with the Gospel. I used to be against this idea in a way because the church I went to for many years taught that everything was evil if they weren’t doing it. They spent so much time condemning others that they were missing opportunities to really reach people. Our church basically taught us, if it wasn’t 4 guys wearing matching suits, a bluegrass band with 8 acoustic guitars or a family group with women who didn’t wear makeup who’s skirts drug the floor, then it wasn’t really “Christian” music. The longer I’ve been in the music industry & ministry I’ve learned that couldn’t be further from the truth! So of the most evil, fake & ungodly people I’ve met in my life are well know traditional Gospel singers, that seem to look & sound the part to a lot of church people but definitely are not walking the walk of Christ. On the flip side some of the most sincere, humble, true Christians I have ever met didn’t at all look like or sound like what I was taught a Christian had to look or sound like. Paul realized something that many Christians & churches are missing & that is this, if we want to win this world the things we want mean nothing, it’s got to be about reaching THEM that don’t know Christ & they are not attracted to the same things that the church from 50 years ago are into. This whole “we’ve always done it this way” mentality doesn’t work anymore, that’s why churches are becoming empty & in many cases closing.

We’ve got to find a way to be relevant to today’s society. “well Jimmy, you’re telling us to compromise” I can already here someone saying, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I used to have these same arguments with other people except I used to be the one who was so brain washed by tradition & religious thinking, I was on the other side of the argument but as I said earlier God has so clearly showed me I was wrong. Jesus himself found ways to be relevant to the world around Him in His ministry, sure he had persecution, but who was it usually from? That’s right the religious crowd, the little 75 year old lady who grabbed her purse & walked out of the church on Sunday morning because someone sang a song with a guitar, lol.

I recently read a feed on someone’s Facebook page where 2 people were arguing over Christian Rap music. The one person talked about how excited the kids were at VBS about the music, the other person condemned it saying, it was “trash.” That was the kind of person I used to be, but God has showed me that that ”trash” has a huge ministry in reaching people that not everyone can reach. It goes back to being a body of believers, every part of the body has a different purpose & ministry, & their ministry is speaking someone’s language that won’t listen to a album of hymns from 4 guys in a quartet. One of the most influencing things in my decision to becoming a Christian was a Christian Rap group called DC Talk, I thought they were the coolest, until someone in our church told me it was wrong. “That’s not Christian music” they said, “That’s the music of the world.” But yet those same people week after week sang songs & listened to songs that sounded like Elvis & Johnny Cash but that was “Christian” music? Kind of a double standard huh, & that’s usually what we see, it’s Godly if we like it, if we don’t like it than it’s not Godly. Well I say this if it presents the Gospel & glorifies the name of Jesus, doesn’t matter what the musical structure is, God is pleased with it & will use it to touch lives.

Remember when Jesus told the disciples whosoever if not against us is for us? That’s what God has shown me, stop wasting our time deciding what is “Christian” & what’s not, doesn’t matter what we think anyway, God uses all kinds of music & ministries to touch all kinds of people. The Gospel does not return void, if the message is going out, than rest assured God is suing it in some way to speak to someone. So lets stop letting things divide us that should unite us & let’s stand as one as a body of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I know may of you will have your own opinions, please feel free to agree or disagree with your comments & feedback, thanks

Comments

June 17, 2011 @09:26 pm I do believe that God think that speakes to us threw our songs and music,I think sometimes God gives us a specail message that is meant for someone who is going threw a trail or loseing a love one and just in time God shows up and gives us a specail song .I know there was a time I was feeling defeated,and I felt like I was ready to give up and then i got your email and I started to play your songs.I heard this message just hold on God is gonna bring peace come morning.I love liveing for for God and I love singing his Praise.Plese Pray for me my husband is lost and this road is hard and at times the devil says just give up its okay things will be better.Im reminded that God said he never said the cross wouldnt be heavy and that the road wouldnt be hard but this is my best part just hold on My God Will Show Up Just In Time .Thank God he will show up just when we are going under.Just Pray for me.May God Bless You. naomi
June 16, 2011 @01:16 pm "a bluegrass band with 8 acoustic guitars" haha I was in seminary with some indie label musicians who pointed out that mainstream pop music has a "cooling period". After a few years (it used to take about ten), it cools off and somehow loses its sinfulness. After this time it shows up as "cool" in Christian pop. I've noticed that it takes longer for styles to "cool off" in some circles than others. :) This is a big, complex issue in the church. I'm glad to hear you grappling with this--it's a sign of growth. You have potential to "be the change", my friend. steve gunno
June 16, 2011 @10:46 am so true Jimmy and glad to see it.I am with you ,whether it be hyms or christian heavy metal to just plain contemporary if it speaks truth about Jesus and God,its good!!!! dave mccullough
June 15, 2011 @08:45 pm Seven last words of a dying Church. "Well we've always done it this way." Very good post Jimmy. Kris Theobald

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