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02 Mar 09 Christian music. What's that?

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Did you ever wonder what Christian music most Christians actually listen to? Over the years, I have conducted brief (very non-scientific) surveys of some Christian friends to ask that very question. Here’s what I found out.

Among other things, Christian music is music about Christ, His teachings, or Christian living, and Christians, of course, profess a belief in Christ. So, you might expect that Christians listen to “Christian music”, and we all know what Christian music sounds like, right? That’s that. Not so fast. First of all, what IS Christian music?

Christians are a diverse group of people united by faith yet divided by religion. While each Christian religion professes faith in Christ and His teachings, each has its own unique combination of doctrines, dogma and practices. And, the stories and messages of Christian music are as varied as human nature itself, because Christian music is more than just songs preaching a particular life or faith. It is a collage of colors, shades and textures painted by individuals on an ever-changing canvas called life. Christian music reveals or promotes a Christian truth, sometimes by telling a story about life and other times by telling a life story. It promotes the good even though it may tell of the bad. It gives us a better understanding of who we are as individuals, societies or even as a race. Christian music, however, does not teach against Christ.

Not surprisingly, then, the spectrum of subgenres of Christian music available these days reflects the beliefs of the many different Christian religions. The songs are painted with the brushstrokes of cultural and ethnic diversity and include styles such as acoustic, folk, contemporary, alternative, gospel, praise & worship, pop, heavy metal, dance/techno, punk, hip hop, rap, rock, R&B, and more. As far as I know, Christian teachings or messages are represented in every type of music known.

So it is that, I and many of my friends, and maybe you and yours, own MP3 players loaded with songs that might not be classified as “Christian music” per se but which nonetheless reveal Christian truths. So it is that, we own songs performed or written by questionable characters not necessarily recognized as Christian. So it is that, we justify our continued ventures into the many genres of music in hopes of identifying new Christian music and performers.

I invite you to continue on your Christian music journey and share your thoughts and ventures with us at the Texas Music Journal on-line. I hope to hear from you.

God bless.

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