The History of ‘Christian’ Rock?

Posted: May 19, 2011 in Entertainment/Media

A few nights ago I found myself watching one of those infomercials on the History Channel following a failed attempt at finding a worth-while program to consume.  It was the Time Life History of Rock-and-Roll DVD box set, and Neil Sedaka was the host…I recognized him because I just saw him on American Idol the night before!  Sedaka and some other music-legend-of-the-past were promoting the DVD box set…and doing so with really bad acting! 

Anyways…so this morning I came across an article from Christianity Today titled The History of Christian Rock: Well, sort of. More accurately, the musings of one music fan who was weaned on the stuffNow I’ve been a music fan since…well…since I can remember listening to music.  I’ve listened to it all…country, jazz, pop, R & B, latino, hip-hop, top 40…and yes…christian rock.  So when I saw an article with a snappy sub-title like that, I just had to dive in and see what this writer had to say about the origins and history of the so-called Christian music industry.  Now you have to understand something about me…I’m a bit of a harsh critic when it comes to ‘Christian music’ because;

  1. I’m not so sure there really is such a thing as ‘Christian music’…I mean really…do they use ‘Christian’ guitars, sound mixers, mic cables and drum skins?  Do you have to sing about God to be considered a “Christian’ artist…or just have a faith claim?
  2. If you’ve ever listened to any Christian tunes from the 80’s & 90’s…you’ll know there have been plenty of  ‘doozers‘ released in the name of ‘art’!  The earlier days of the Christian music industry churned out a very fair share of music that can only be described as the ‘little 3rd cousin-in-law of secular mainstream music’

Okay..maybe I’m being a little too harsh here…it’s not like the mainstream industries haven’t gifted the music world with crates of ‘fromage’ music either!  It just seems that, until the past 7-10 years (over the broader landscape) the Christian music scene has had such a tough time creating its own identity apart from the ‘secular‘ music scene, and has been pegged as the little brother along the way.  I think the problem is that there’s been too much attention given to trying to create that identity and divide between ‘Christian’ and ‘non-Christian’ music.  To me, music is music…its all played with similar instruments, rhythms, chords and melodies.  A song doesn’t make you any more Christian than holding a wrench makes you a mechanic.  It’s the heart, faith and mind of the artist(s) that makes a song/artist ‘Christian.’  Its whether or not they are living out the story of their lives within God’s story, and are walking in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! 

Okay-okay, enough of the music preaching/philosophy…that’s for another day, topic and several pages!  Fortunately, there is some GREAT music out there by artists who just happen to also be Christians!  But just where, and when, did ‘Christian’ music arrive on the scene?  Well…give the article a read to gain a little insight, and humor, for yourself!

**Bonus…don’t know where to start in the quest to find some quality, Christian-influenced tunage?  Click here for a handy-dandy music comparison guide to match the sounds you’re familiar with, to the ones you haven’t heard yet!***

Bye-the-way, I’d love to hear what songs are on your Top 10 Worst list…Christian or not!

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