Stop Listening to Christian Music

Have you ever met a person that only listens to Christian music? I am always confused by this kind of person because the idea itself seems rather limiting. Regardless, I think the heart of the Christian-music-onliest is in the right place usually, not wanting to taint their soul with the viles of pop-culture. I'm not one of those people and I thoroughly enjoy some Migos when the time is right, but I genuinely understand the sentiment. Where I take issue with the Christian music listening community though is the sense of superiority that you find all over the internet.

Justin Bieber's most recent (but not recent) 2015 hit, banger album of the year, masterpiece, lays down some spicy Jesus references throughout, yet received all kinds of criticism from the evangelical community, calling him a fake Christian. Looking at the recent controversy with Lauren Daigle, we see a woman who has dedicated the last several years of her life to making Christ-centric content, yet when her views on homosexuality are revealed we have an uprising and she is no longer Christian enough. Rappers like Lecrae and NF take a secular turn in their music and fans rebel because they don't talk about God enough.

I honestly don't think that the critics of these musicians actually care about Christ being magnified at all but are rather wrapped up in a legalistic worldview that attributes proper theological understanding or "right living" with being a follower of Jesus. In the case of Justin Bieber, the dude seems to be genuinely in love with Jesus and uses his massive platform to promote the gospel. Why would he get so much criticism for filling up the void of his existence with a focus on the most meaningful being ever, Jesus? Why does Lauren Daigle's improper doctrinal understanding invalidate the years of God-glorifying music?

I don't think the actions of any musician that seeks to promote the gospel is working a net-negative. In fact, supporting artists, across the musical spectrum, that bring light to the gospel, should be encouraged! Those who err, like Daigle this past year, should have Christians come alongside her, encouraging her to dig into the Bible and reconcile the apparent conflict that she is having. Christians are already so marginilized and though we may feel empowered in a western context, across the world, Christians are hated and killed for their faith; therefore, careful consideration must be taken in the way that rebuke and instruction is handled, especially against our own. Let's take the example of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and encourage one another and build each other up in Christ, which I believe comes through careful consideration of the issue being assessed and the intention of the one who needs to be built up.

Ultimately, I think the internal strife within the Christian music fan base could be alleviated by abandoning Christian music. Stop listening to Christian music and just listen to music that brings glory to God. If you become a genre purist, you will always be disappointed since your identity and entertainment tastes are not based on isolated songs or artists but on the identity of the music. Did you get mad when Drake released the song "God's Plan" because it cursed and did not accurately portray the providence of God as conveyed by your exegetical hermeneutic of Romans 9? No, you probably did not care because Drake is a secular artist. When I listen to Shai Linne, I am evaluating the songs and albums as individual pieces of art and honestly, have little concern beyond the value that the work brings to my life.

Look to what glorifies God and through doing so you will land into some awesome pockets of the Christian music genre, but you also won't get bogged down by external factors that are unrelated to the individual piece of art like Lauren Daigle's view on homosexuality. If she makes a song about how homosexuality isn't a sin and your worship pastor plays it for the congregation as a form of worship I would start beefen, but if not, come alongside her with encouragement, leading to truth. When Justin Bieber sings a song about Jesus, don't blast him with hate because he has also been featured on songs where curse words are used. Determine if his work is work for the benefit of the gospel and not if he perfectly fits into your conceptualized vision of Christian identity or what Christian music should be.

To learn more about this topic listen to the freeform podcast below or on any of the podcasting apps.

Follow us @webasicbible on everything and leave us a review on iTunes.