I hate the bands that you like

Generally speaking I’m not a big fan of Christian music. Usually because it’s a cheap and nasty rip off of perfectly acceptable (if not sanctified) secular music tailored to a gullible Christian audience who will fork out money for poor quality material thus perpetuating the existence of bad Christian music by creating a market for it. Wake up people. Stop buying bad Christian music just because it’s Christian.

Here’s some of the baddest Christian music ever released (at least judged by the album art) – while these are all thankfully stuck in the past there are modern equivalents who were no doubt performing at Easter Fest over the weekend. And will be turning up at a Youth Alive event near you.

I wanted to follow up my post on humility with a reference to possibly the most arrogant Christian brochure I’ve ever read – where a guest speaker – a youth worker from Townsville – was hailed as a “voice of a generation” and a “once in a lifetime evangelist” – and I’d never heard of him. And I live in Townsville. But instead you get these.

And – if you like the heading of this post you can get it as a shirt from the Red Vs Blue store.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

14 thoughts on “I hate the bands that you like”

  1. I once listened to “Christian music” religiously. Obsessively. Eventually I realised it was trite, embarrassing when I couldn’t tell my friends the bands I liked, and okay, a multitude of reasons.
    But there are probably two bands, maybe three, that I still really like as bands, regardless of their branding. Five Iron Frenzy and Jars of Clay. And maybe Third Day, but only on the right day.

  2. I think maybe when one of your ‘missions’ as it were is to be completely unoffensive you really can’t push the boundaries musically.

    Or perhaps, for the most part, they are just tripe.

    I will second the Jars of Clay, and add a Switchfoot. But pretty much that’s it.

  3. You can push musical boundaries without offending anyone. Music doesn’t offend, lyrics do. It’s just that most Christian bands don’t push those boundaries. Then again, neither did Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys or The Spice Girls… and they all are/were offensively popular.

    I’ll second Jars of Clay and Switchfoot. But I also like Bethany Dillon. And yes I’ll admit it… Relient K. They’re fun.

  4. I probably should have said unoffensive in the sense that it doesn’t challenge anyone. But that doesn’t help either.

    I am talking about music offending in the way that the introduction of ‘rock and roll’ offended the ears of the previous generation, ie musical tastes being unchallenged.

    So, to clarify, the local ‘Christian family’ radio station here is absolutely crippled because it is trying to play music that appeals to young children through to an older generation, meaning basically it is all entirely unchallenging ie boring.

    Clear as mud? Yes, well, it is early in the morning.

  5. I have it!
    Inoffensive musically in the sense of easy listening is what I was trying to convey.

    Can you tell I have been worrying over this all day! Sorry Leah, I wasn’t trying to insult you. I just think differently about meanings and words to everyone else.

    So, for clarification – it seems to me that the sort of music that gets airtime on ‘Christian’ radio stations is of the ‘easy listening’ variety which will appeal to all ages, and thus a lot of Christian music is written for this market, and therefore it is generally awful. Or it is a blatant rip off of ‘popular music (read: manufactured pop)’ and again, is awful. Which basically says what Nathan was trying to say in the first place, rendering my comments irrelevant.

  6. Music does offend. Music has always offended, even without lyrics. Stravinsky very famously offended his audience with ‘The Rite of Spring’. It has no words. There was a movement in the 1600s to categorise everything about music, and to demonstrate that music could be technically good without sounding good. That offended.

    It was predominantly the electric guitars that offended when rock and roll broke onto the scene.

    I think the roots of Christian music is something important to consider, and that it started out as a way for a) musicians to express their faith through song b) to provide a ‘clean’ alternative for Christian young people to listen to. I don’t necessarily think that the same thing is still happening.

  7. Music does offend. Music has always offended, even without lyrics. Stravinsky very famously offended his audience with ‘The Rite of Spring’. It has no words. There was a movement in the 1600s to categorise everything about music, and to demonstrate that music could be technically good without sounding good. That offended.

    It was predominantly the electric guitars that offended when rock and roll broke onto the scene.

    I think the roots of Christian music is something important to consider, and that it started out as a way for a) musicians to express their faith through song b) to provide a ‘clean’ alternative for Christian young people to listen to. I don’t necessarily think that the same thing is still happening.

  8. I think the roots of Christian music is something important to consider, and that it started out as a way for a) musicians to express their faith through song b) to provide a ‘clean’ alternative for Christian young people to listen to. I don’t necessarily think that the same thing is still happening.

    Probably around the time record companies realised they could make a buck out of it, I’d reckon. Or *cough* Hillsong.

  9. Yeah music does offend but it shouldn’t. It’s not criticising anybody. Using music to prove or disprove something would offend too.

    And I guess it also depends on what you mean by ‘offend’. If you just mean it doesn’t agree with someone, then yeah, a lot of things could offend. But I think that generally when someone terms something ‘offensive’, they mean the thing is causing some sort of attack upon something (whether it’s a person’s morals or a society’s structure, etc).

  10. Whether something is an ‘attack’ on something they value pretty much always is going to be defined by an individual.

    Maybe you can sum up the whole thing with the idea that when you try to please everybody (in this case, with Christian music), you are pretty much going to fail.

    1. I think I can count the number of bands that define themselves as “Christian” ie not “bands of Christians” that I like on one hand. One finger even. Sons of Korah – and only because they restrict themselves lyrically to the Psalms which rules out any form of triteness.

      For me the jury is still out on Casting Crowns.

  11. I always like the Supertones, a) because I liked Ska and b) because it was obvious from their lyrics that the writer was theologically minded. (They were perhaps, with Caedmon’s Call, one of the few ‘reformed’ bands).
    Jesus Freak was an awesome album to this sheltered 12 year old.. and the new goatee records tribute cover album is quite cool..

  12. I don’t like Casting Crowns because I can’t stand them musically. If I hear that ‘Who Am I’ song again, I may scream.

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