When we think about integrating into the prevailing thought, idea, or group, we turn to music. I am a big fan of Christian music—have been for years. I was listening to Contemporary Christian Music before it became CCM. I understand the argument given by many in the industry that we are trying to reach a group of people with the gospel message in a manner which they will listen to. In other words, for those who like country music, we encase the message in a country music format; for metal-heads we see groups that scream and shout to loud guitars; and for the rap-lovers in the audience, we write Christian rap.

            What I’ve observed is that, over the years, Christian musicians who have opted for the concert-stage setting have also opted for the fame and fortune route. I got that impression as I read through the devotion-style book This Is My Story in which David Liverett collected biographical stories of Southern Gospel stars to accompany his portraits of them. The artwork is good, most of the writing is worthwhile, but many of the stories focus more on the music arena than the Lordship of Christ.

            Does the emphasis on putting on a show that is comparable to those you see from “mainstream” groups take away from the message that Christian artists are supposed to be singing about? Does the desire to infuse the style of music with a message of hope in Jesus overwhelm the message itself? Or, like the guy from my high school class (years and years ago) claimed, is there something satanic in the beat of the music itself? What do you think?