Brian McKay | @RealBrIanMcKay
I’ve listened to Christian music for about 12 years. Originally, I bought those compilations that you could buy at Walmart (featuring mostly Joel Engle…look him up if you don’t remember him). Eventually, I got bored with it. So, I moved on. After a couple years listening to almost exclusively secular music, I returned to the Christian music world.
I started listening to Casting Crowns. They were great. I loved pretty much everything about them. Their first two CDs helped me get through a tough 8th grade, and my love for them continued (and intensified) in high school. I actually got to see them in concert during my freshman year.
It was amazing. When they first came out and started singing, I freaked out. Like legit fan-girl stuff (well, I guess fan-boys are a thing too). The concert was great…it was basically a church service. They’re a band focused on the message of their songs and reaching people. But that’s not what the point of this post is.
The point is, the first thing I usually remember when I think about that concert is how crazily I freaked out. It was pretty insane. It was over people. I had put them on a pedestal, like they were something so amazing, they worth idolizing. It was like a church service, but I was worshipping the band, not the Lord.
And that, I think, is a big problem in Christian music. I love listening to a lot of contemporary Christian music, but it has some problems. We make these artists the focus of the music, instead of God. I do believe that these artists are truly trying to honor God with their work, but sometimes the ‘industry’ part of it gets too excessive.
I’m not the only one who has thought like this, either. In 1st Corinthians 3:3-7, Paul writes:
“…for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”
People in the church were aligning with Paul or Apollos (another Christian in the early church). They were focused on people more than they were focused on God. Paul’s response is basically that the people that God used to reach others were not important. God is important. God is the One who actually saved those people, not Paul or Apollos.
Comparatively, we should not get so worked up about Christian artists. We should want to glorify God, not the people who made the music. Is this difficult? Yes. Are there artists I prefer to listen to over others? Sure. Do I get excited when artists I like reply to me on Twitter? Waaay too much.
It’s not always easy, but I have seen progress. The last time I saw Casting Crowns, I was able to keep the focus on God and not focus so much on the artists. It was a beautiful event. So, when it comes to your life, whatever you love, whether it be an artist, a movie, a preacher, or any person or thing, remember to put God first, to only put Him on the throne of your life.
Well, that’s all I’ve got. Time to go listen to some music.
Brian McKay graduated from Penn State Erie with a degree in Communication. He likes working with radio, web design, and blogging. He loves narwhals, pierogies, and football. You can contact Brian on Twitter at @RealBrianMcKay (he wants to see if anyone assumes he's famous) or at reactivelyproactive.com.