The Apathy Series Part 1: “Good Enough Just Isn’t Good Enough”

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Why is it that we can turn on the radio and nearly instantly know if the song we’re hearing is a “Christian” or “Worship” song?  There’s something wrong with this; something deeply and fundamentally wrong.  I can hear somebody reading this and already saying to themselves, “but we’re supposed to be set apart and stand out from the world”.  Please don’t give that thought any more of your energy, it’s ridiculous.  It would be one thing if you heard Christian music and said, “Man, this is so progressive and new, mainstream music has nothing on this.”  But let’s be honest, none of us has ever said that.  Occasionally, and only very recently has there been anything from the Christian music world that I’ve even been able to say is relevant and progressive on at least the level that mainstream music is.  So I ask again, why is this?  I certainly don’t have all the answers and I’m a terrible songwriter myself (I can’t even sing) but I listen to a lot of music; a lot of different genres, a lot of different time periods, from Christian to underground rap.  The point is I like many of us can appreciate good music for what it is fundamentally.  The picture above is the album cover for Dustin Kensrue’s (Formerly of Thrice and now the Worship Director for Mars Hill) latest release.  It is a worship album built for The Church with the excellence and musical relevance of the mainstream.  It’s incredible.  It’s relevant, progressive, excellent, theologically sound and singable by The Church at large.  It is exactly what Church music should be.  Recently there have been some better releases, Zion by Hillsong, some of the Something Like Silas and Digital Age stuff and a very few others but none of them fire on all cylinders.  Dustin had this to say about the state of Christian music, “I would have told you that I don’t even like worship music. I didn’t like how so much of it was full of unhelpful and unhealthy theology. I didn’t like how much of the worship music culture was insulated and backward-looking that it no longer had any relation to any music outside of its own bubble. I didn’t like how much of it seemed more focused on getting played on the radio than equipping and edifying the church.” And I fully agree.  Why are we so damn dispassionate about the apathy in The Church?  It’s not just the music, but we’ll save that for the rest of this series.  We constantly allow for a lack of excellence in our churches and it reflects on the whole Church.  We’ve become content with the mold that has been set and it sucks.  It just does.  We’re talking about gathering before and worshipping our Creator and we’re constantly settling.  But why?  Why do we allow Christian music to be what it is?  Just because it’s Christian and sometimes edifying?  Look, if you love all of the last thousand songs Chris Tomlin wrote because it’s all your church has challenged itself too, that’s your prerogative and I’m not saying they’re bad (some of them really are though).  Maybe, just maybe though we’re called to something greater in the way we praise The Lord.  Maybe there’s Christian music good enough to not just be good enough for The Church but for everyone.  Good enough just isn’t good enough.  Think about it…I would bet there’s at least one band or artist you really like/appreciate that you’ve wished was Christian and made music for our God.  Maybe that’s just me but what I’m suggesting is that maybe the Christian music world should just catch up…quickly.

 

Ryan

 

 

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