On our Sunday School class blog, some folks have been discussing the nature of Christian music by comparing it to mainstream music. It brings to mind a classic debate in the Christian music world. What makes Christian music Christian? In the music business, Christian is a label for a particular genre of music. There are Christian record labels and Christian distribution. There are Christian stores that sell the Christian music. But what is the unifying bond between all of the diverse styles listed as Christian music? A band like August Burns Red is very different from the David Crowder Band. Red tours with mainstream rock bands and plays in smokey clubs. Nicole Nordeman tours with other Christian artists and plays in churches and at Christian conferences. I’m not knocking on any of these artists. I’m simply making the point that there is a great deal of diversity in the genre of Christian music. So again…what makes a Christian artist Christian? It certainly can’t be about musical style. It must be the message. Yet some bands overtly write Jesus into their lyrics and others create hidden messages. We could certainly debate what we think about both approaches (as well as others). But here’s my real question:
Should we have a genre called Christian music? Why or why not?
I have a lot of things that I want to say about this but I will leave that for the comments and maybe some further posts.