Christian Music

Sunday 10 February 2008

About two years after I became a Christian, a guy was having a garage sale down my street. I was overjoyed to find him selling some Christian music tapes - thus betraying the fact that I have been a Christian for a little while, but also that technology moves fast :) He was getting rid of them because he'd upgraded to CDs (see, it wasn't, like, centuries ago. CDs had been invented. But the internet had just been born, email and blogging weren't even thought of, and Jeff Buckley had just drowned). My car had a tape deck so I was rapt. This was Christian music, stuff I'd never heard before. Petra and some other stuff I don't even remember now.

So I took it home with great joy, feeling like I'd just hit pay dirt. Ten new bands to discover, all for ten bucks. Beauty. Problem was, I was a music lover, and much as I tried to pretend for a couple of days that this stuff was good, it was just ... well, crap. Bland, schmaltzy stuff with a few Jesus references thrown in. Apologies to any Petra fans out there, or any CCM fans, but the whole bag really makes me blanch.

A few years ago my dearest of dear cousins, Ms Andrea, asked me to go with her to see a Christian band called Third Day play. I was a bit reticent, them being a Christian band and the location being - shudder - the Richmond AOG. But go along I did. Now, some people would probably argue that Third Day are no less Christian contemporary than Petra, and they might be right, but I don't know what it is about this band, but these guys were kinda alright, you know? Okay, so they sit somewhere near the middle of the road, not too far away from The Eagles, but that's alright, even for a musical Nazi like myself. They could play, they had melody, the lead singer had the most beautiful voice, and I found myself worshipping God. At the Richmond AOG.

And I don't usually get right into bands I haven't heard before but I really got off on this. So much so that when they came out a couple of years later there we were again. And I now have three of their CDs.

I have to be in the right kind of mood to listen to them. If I'm not, they can sometimes bore me. They're no Over the Rhine, who for me are just good music no matter how close to God I'm feeling. But Third Day - when I'm in the mood, it's like a light floods on. I cry to God via their songs. I've stood there, with tears running down my face, in the middle of my lounge room, doing that outstretched arm thing, to their songs before (but no flag waving. I stop at flag waving, even by myself. I'd just feel kinda - dirty, you know? ;)

So I am an opinionated musical Nazi. I'm sorry.


  1. Sue, music is an interesting thing for sure. I really haven't listened to any CCM in several years other than popping a single song on once in a blue moon if one comes to mind. I think it was Jars of Clay that were the last ones to hold me. I did see Third Day doing their worship songs and it was good.

    Yesterday I found myself wanting to listen to some music. I had not listened to anything since I got sick. I'm scrolling through my Ipod to find something and REM seemed to be what I was in the mood for. So I clicked on LIFE'S RICH PAGEANT. It felt like healing to my body and mind.

  2. Maybe because I swallowed this stuff for years and years...and I did LOVE Third Day, seen them twice in concert...but I can't hardly go there anymore...CCM makes me cringe. That's a generalization, I'm sure if I turned on the CCM station and listened to it for a day or two I would find something I could stomache, but why go through that? You have to remember I swore off secular music almost entirely for 8 years for CCM...and ironically the CCLI US is like a mile from my house, drive by it all the time and it makes me cringe, too. That's the place that licenses CCM songs so churches can use them in worship.

    I understand why you like TD and I'm not knocking it at all...but today I prefer Linkin' Park.

  3. my husband is the real music nazi in our house and even he has a few third day songs on his i-pod. just listened to "king of glory". yep! it's good stuff. i wouldn't want a steady diet of only it, but it satisfies the taste buds every now and then.
    going to check out over the rhine, now...

  4. Andi - from one musical nazi to another, I say, in good traditional bible thumping fashion, shame, shame, shame on you. Shame.

    Over the Rhine are so different. I really do think of Third Day as worship music, I guess, whereas OTR are just ... music :)

    Kent - I haven't really gotten too au fait with REM over the years, except for the when Mocca used to listen to them, but I like what I've heard. Their take on life is unique and Michael Stipe is such an intelligent man. I am listening to the song you mentioned now - cool stuff! My sentiments exactly. It makes me want to move to the country and eat a lot of peaches.

    Erin - I totally get where you're coming from. Eeek. Actually that's why sometimes I can't even listen to Third Day. If I'm not in the mood, they feel too CCM for me also but when I am in the mood I swim in them. It's very strange. I totally agree with your complete aversion and say, amen :)

    Lucy - well there you go. Third Day has passed muster for 3 musical nazis I know of now - they must be alright. No, I wouldn't want just a diet of them ... probably wouldn't want just a diet of anyone, really, even the bestest of stuff. Variety, spice, all that :)

  5. Sue, the whole recording titled Life's Rich Pageant is soooo good.

  6. I have Christian friends who I think find my aversion to CCM quite amusing or bemusing Im not sure, I think they'd rather listen to a cd of veggie tales than any secular church Im very vocal about some of the crappola stuff they sing, so if I think it's an insult to God's intelligence and mine, I dont sing ;) Noone cares, but it's my little protest.

  7. Andi - keep up the fight. Someone has to. God must be on your side. I can see him cheering you on, trying to get one lot of his people to stop singing that horrendous tripe.

    If I was God, I'd go satanically insane listening to thousands of such groups of people singing crapola every week. How horrible for him :)



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