Is there such a thing as Christian Music?
What is it? Is it the sound that automatically results when a Christian musician picks up his (her) guitar (bagpipes/keytar) or is there an extra critical ingredient?
I wanted to look at this topic after seeing this post about Owl City and reading the kicking Adam Young got from some of the commenters.
This post is a departure for me because, like a bad lawyer, I’m asking you questions I don’t have the answers to.
In the last 25 years I’ve played secular music, instrumental music, Christian music and VERY Christian music – the whole gamut from hair metal through traditional Iranian bagpipe music and contemporary gospel to leading worship.
I’ve been a pagan musician, a musician who “happens to be a Christian,” a Christian musician and all points in between and I still haven’t figured it out.
So help me out. Here’s a bunch of questions. Pick your favourite(s) and give it your best shot.
1) What makes music ‘Christian’? Artistic intention? Lyrical content?
2) Can instrumental music be Christian? Is an instrumental version of a Christian song still a 'Christian' song?
3) If there’s an objective criterion for what makes a song 'Christian' could a backslider, an atheist or a Muslim write one? Could Diane Warren produce ‘em to order?
4) Is music that is explicitly Christian more valuable than implicitly Christian music, or music that is simply moral? Are Christians squandering their talents (or even dishonouring God) writing something other than ‘Christian songs.’
5) Are the rules for creating Christian music different from Christian painting? Or Christian plumbing? Why?
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