I don't know that I have a problem with musicians being paid. I do like Keith Green and Steve Camp's approach. They moved on faith. I think that is the best way to be in music ministry. But I remember Dana Key (formerly of Degarmo & Key) saying once "I'll go anywhere and preach the Word for free... but if you want me to play my music, that's my craft and my livelihood." I can see where he's coming from. He now pastors a church in Memphis.
But todays CCM is in sad shape, and in worse shape then it was when Steve Camp challenged it a decade ago. No one listened to him, and in fact basically ostrasized him. So typical of the church today.
People argue that coupling with secular record companies give CCM artists a chance to reach the world more effectively... but my observation is that the world has reached CCM more effectively. And the drivel I hear on Christian radio is just that... drivel. No creativety what so ever. It seems to be all about mugging for the camera, selling more records, etc etc. Ecumenism runs rampant, bad doctrine in a lot of the music, vague when it comes to mentioning God...
I'm sick of the whole genre.
What I wouldn't give for another Keith Green to come on the scene.
| 2005/6/23 8:51|
What I wouldn't give for another Keith Green to come on the scene.
I'm too young to have ever heard Keith Green when he was alive. But I do listen and enjoy his music. After having read "No Compromise" (by Melody Green and David Hazard), I suppose that there is a major difference between ministering and entertaining. Keith Green didn't feel that he should charge so much (and live the life of a celebrity) if the purpose of his music was to minister. The bulk of today's music seems meant to [b][i]sell CDs[/b][/i].
There are still some great songs available today. But I believe that there will not be any great changes to the CCM industry anytime soon. Youth in today's churches were given CCM as an "alternative" to today's secular music. And it has become just a modified version of the same industry, with albulm sales climbing. Last year, Ithe NYTimes stated that the Christian Music Industry is the fastest growing music genre in America. Sales are growing year-after-year, and the secular industry realizes this. There have been reports of a few singers actually "crossing over" from the secular music market to the christian music market. According to their own testimony, this was not a burning desire to play christian music, but an economic decision.
I was looking through iTunes the other day, and I stumbled across the "Celebrity Playlists" section. This feature allows you to see the music that celebrities are listening to. It also includes comments by each celebrity as to why they like the songs they listen to. I noticed that some of the more "spiritual" Christian bands and singers were listed on it. I read their song selection, and their comments. I think that many people would be "shocked" to read their choices. I'm not saying that they are right or wrong -- but it did destroy that certain "spiritual pedastal" that alot of us place our favorite singers and musicians on.
Anyway, I do wish that there were more Keith Green's and Steve Camp's around.
| 2005/6/23 13:36||Profile|
Seattle, Washington, USA
Ecumenism runs rampant, bad doctrine in a lot of the music, vague when it comes to mentioning God...
I'm sick of the whole genre.
That's why I stick to black gospel (absolutely love it) and Praise and Worship. There is plenty in those two groups where you can find great stuff.
Anyway, I'd rather listen to music that I could worship to than some other stuff that is just talking about whatever, even if it is about the Lord. I love music where I can lift up my hands and bless the Lord.
A lot of Keith Green stuff was prophetic. Not all. But I can't listen to it all day. I need to go grab my Fred Hammond or Martha Munizzi or Donnie McClurkin or Hillsongs after a while. If you know what I mean.
| 2005/6/23 18:09||Profile|
| It's not all bad... it's just not "all good"|
There are too many "Weird Al" wannabees in the Christian music scene today. What I mean is... the second you hear them, you can immediately think of the secular band that they sound like. Keith Green was not only original, but he had substance. Style over substance is the common theme these days in sermons and in music. I like Hugh Hewitt's book "In but not of". That is what bands these days need to be... In the music scene but not of the music scene. Perfect example... MXPX!!! Did they fall off the map or WHAT??? I saw them as a kid and thought they were on fire for God... once they sold a few albums, they went secular and I haven't seen them since...
| 2005/6/23 19:49||Profile|
| Re: It's not all bad... it's just not "all good"|
Quote:[/b]Hi there, nickcarr.
[b]The problem, I think, with the greatest respect, is yours, Chris...
you are Judging...which is a mistake..you are in no position to judge the opinions or preferences of somebody else, let alone someone who produces gospel music presumably in good faith.
look to yourself and make sure your life is as pure as you expect your musical influences to be.
While I don't know which post that you are referring to, I apologize if it came across as sounding "judgmental." Since I haven't written very often about music, I suppose that you are referring to my post in the Keith Green section. I was actually just [u]agreeing[/u] with remarks made by several of the other posters (as well as comments by Keith Green and Steve Camp) that were already included there. Perhaps if you reread the post, you will notice that I was not judging anyone's "opinions or preferences." I'm actually quite neutral on the subject. But I do stand by what I said concerning what I believe about today's CCM music industry.
Here is what I wrote:
[b]There are still some great songs available today. But I believe that there will not be any great changes to the CCM industry anytime soon. Youth in today's churches were given CCM as an "alternative" to today's secular music. And it has become just a modified version of the same industry, with albulm sales climbing. Last year, Ithe NYTimes stated that the Christian Music Industry is the fastest growing music genre in America. Sales are growing year-after-year, and the secular industry realizes this. There have been reports of a few singers actually "crossing over" from the secular music market to the christian music market. According to their own testimony, this was not a burning desire to play christian music, but an economic decision.
I was looking through iTunes the other day, and I stumbled across the "Celebrity Playlists" section. This feature allows you to see the music that celebrities are listening to. It also includes comments by each celebrity as to why they like the songs they listen to. I noticed that some of the more "spiritual" Christian bands and singers were listed on it. I read their song selection, and their comments. I think that many people would be "shocked" to read their choices. I'm not saying that they are right or wrong -- but it did destroy that certain "spiritual pedastal" that alot of us place our favorite singers and musicians on.[/b]
The topic of music is obviously very controversial among Christians. While I haven't written as many posts on this web-board as my time here might indicate, I have [u]read[/u] many posts. I've noticed that the topic of music ignites alot of fire in the hearts and minds of posters. To some believers, all secular music is wrong. Yet to other believers, there is nothing wrong with secular music. My current position is actually that both sides are, to some extent, correct. As a result, I have been accused of being judgmental by both sides. I have been considered [i]too strict[/i] by the "non-secular" crowd, while at the same time being considered [i]too loose[/i] by the "anything goes" crowd.
My tastes and convictions concerning music have changed over time -- especially as I have grown as a Christian. Ironically, I sometimes listen to some secular music. While I don't listen to verbally suggestive or questionable lyrics (like some Christian musicians included on iTunes' Celebrity PlayLists), I listen to some songs that make me smile (mostly "oldies"). Yet I am still questioning my own position on music. I sometimes feel torn between the two positions, and I am diligently seeking God on the matter.
The reason that I currently don't see anything wrong with it is because I find it in the Bible. Solomon wrote a song about his love for a Shulamite woman. Even some of the psalms written by David included a preface, specifying that the song be played to certain commonly known tunes. And while some believers may [i]oppose[/i] secular music altogether, they sometimes [i]embrace[/i] poetry. In essence, a song is actually poetry written to music.
To many on both sides, the issue is not the lyrics, but the music. Anything sounding remotely [i]secular[/i] is often passed off as "sinful" by the "non-secular" crowd. Many on the other side of the coin believe that music is neutral -- neither good nor evil. I tend to feel that music is a language. Like any language, it can be used as a voice for good. And sometimes, a "shout" can be both [u]neccessary[/u] and [u]useful[/u]. But also like any language, music can sometimes be used as pointless noise. And ever-so-often, I hear Christian music that so blatantly uses a secular groups' particular "sound" in hopes of being [i]acceptable[/i] to the world, that it reminds me of a [i]country boy[/i] using [i]city slang[/i]. It just sometimes can sound so...fake. Of course, only God can make that determination. Like I have posted many times before, we can never judge the intention or motivations or a person. We can only "test" actions and words by what is written in God's Word.
Thus, I believe that Christians should always be examining themselves. As imperfect vessels, we should not give up on our quest to be pleasing to Christ. Many Christians have received an attitude that, since they are not perfect, they should not try so hard. While we will never obtain such perfection before Christ returns, we should always strive to become more pleasing to the desires of God. And this often causes us to question our beliefs, actions and words.
All of these questions concern the legitimacy of acceptable music for Christians. But Christians should not get so defensive when such questions arise. I know some believers that are turned off [u]immediately[/u] by any question about their behavior. Others are eager to examine their beliefs -- in order to grow in the faith. I think that it is always beneficial to be like the latter.
nickcarr also wrote:
[b]basically.. Get a life! don't waste your time complaining about others' musical taste, listen to their choices and make your own decisions...by all means...but you do not have a right to castigate others for their choices in life or in music, no matter how holy you think you are.[/b]
Again, I apologize if you misunderstood my original post. I agree with what you say concerning making our "own decisions." But as believers, we must do this only through the Word of God. My desire is to see Christians "test everything," no matter how firm they feel their beliefs are, in hope of becoming more and more pleasing to our Lord. I do not think that I am perfect. In fact, I constantly wrestle with the understanding of how [i]imperfect[/i] I am. It is only by God's marvelous grace that I stand. And it is through this understanding of His grace that I view those around me.
And that is the purpose of such a place as these forums. It is a chance to discuss and challenge our beliefs on all such matters. With the right attitude, we can use these forums to grow. Many of these posts have greatly challenged my own personal "status quo" and challenged me to both change and grow as a believer. And I am still changing each day. I am still yearning to be more like Christ -- and I may change many more of my beliefs in a hope to please him more. Even my conceptions of music may still change, as I seek the Lord's mind in this. I am willing to give up [u]anything[/u] and [u]everything[/u] in order to become more like Him.
As I said in my original post, I agree wholeheartedly with those who wished that there were more musicians with such incredible passion and zeal for Christ as Keith Green and Steve Camp. Keith Green helped to challenge a generation -- and the fruit of that labor is still evident today.
Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns. If you ever feel a need for clarity, just drop me a PM. And don't worry, I won't be offended. In fact, I might just learn something. Have a wonderfully blessed day!
p.s. - Sorry for the extreme length of this post.
| 2005/6/23 21:55||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
The quotes referred to below came from a post that was removed as it was posted alone originally. In the mean time Chris had responded to it here.
| 2005/6/23 22:28||Profile|
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
| Re: It's not all bad... it's just not "all good"|
Sometimes walking down the middle can be like walking on a razor blade, tread very carefully.
| 2005/6/23 22:38||Profile|
| razor's edge|
Amen to that brother Zeke!!! Compromising never works... Did anyone else read No Compromise???
| 2005/6/23 22:42||Profile|
I agree totally. I am so sick of the rape of the church by "christian artists". I love the music and I need the music, but why the world like ticket prices. I wanted to take my children to a show last fall.. the tickets were $37 each. We are not in a bracket to afford such a price for no act. What about the times Billy Grahm would come and set up and charge no one a single dime, yet would have a gifted musician sing and encourage, and then a give a message that thousands were saved.. I would love to see a time like that again. I have nearly shut myself off from the ......$$$$$$minded church.
| 2005/6/23 22:56||Profile|
Billy Graham now preaches a compromised Gospel and uses CCM artists to meet the fleshly needs of those who attend his so called crusades. Check out the schedule for who will be appearing with Graham in New York. [url=http://www.billygraham.org/NYCrusade_Schedule.asp]Woe!!![/url] Bibleman?!? I reject anything that appears on TBN and that includes Mr. Graham.
Now read [url=http://www.cmcentral.com/artists/764.html]Steve Camp's biography.[/url]
HELL IS BURNING WHILE THE CHURCH SLEEPS!!!
We don't need eccumenical evangelists in this day. We need sold out believers who will NOT COMPROMISE in this desperate hour! Let's live dangerously in the hands of God. We have the truth of God's Holy Word. We don't need one man, we need an army of God's Sold Out Soldiers earnestly contending for the faith.
I leave you with these timeless words from our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Revelation 3:15-22, ESV
Living In Laodicea,
| 2005/6/24 3:35||Profile|