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Customer Discussions > Christian Music forum

why does christian rock suck?

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Showing 1-25 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 19, 2007 4:44:42 PM PST
KAA says:
Now come on ~ I know there's a few of you in here brave enough to acknowledge the genre of "Christian rock" hasn't had too many break out artists. Amy grant left, Stryper was cool for 6 months in the 80's, haven't heard much since, Evanescence was maybe, but i think amy lee is a naughty little sinner now.

Mind you I don't go out of my way to listen to "Christian rock" but you'd think if there were somebody who was truly talented I would have heard about them.

My theory is you can't write a cool song with the following words:

Faith, jesus, god, the virgin mary, jesus, god, faith and jesus.

Try a different format?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2007 6:19:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 19, 2007 6:21:54 PM PST
The reason you feel the way you do is because you don't have a real relationship with God ,Plus it seems to me you haven't heard enough real Christian music . Truly fall in Love with Jesus and Christian music will sound a Lot different to You

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2007 6:42:48 PM PST
K. Meyers says:
Because Christian radio gets a bit bland, but there are actually MANY talented artists of faith out there. You just need to look a little harder.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2007 8:37:19 PM PST
Lawa says:
I had to laugh when you said you couldn't write a cool song that contained certain words. Those words are in "secular" music all the time- even when you take out when they are used to curse!

As for not hearing any good Christian artists- I blame Christian radio. I grew up in Tulsa which had a Christian University, a Bible School, was the home base for several nationally known ministries and youth programs, etc and we STILL couldnt get a Christian rock program on the radio! It was attempted sometimes, but usually only for an hour at 2 am during the week. So there is no way to actually hear any of these bands unless you purchase the CDs- and I dont do that without hearing them first. Christian stores made an effort to have demo CDs available which helped increase exposure to good music when I was a teen 15 years ago. Now I can preview bands on internet sites to find determine the good/mediocre/and bad music. There are some amazing things going on in Christian music- you just have to find them. And if the fan base has to search it out- no wonder nobody outside the fan base has heard of it!

The fact is, no matter how great an artist is, they wont be known outside of their fanbase unless they receive exposure. Exactly how many radio programs and late night shows do you see showcasing Christian talent? Once in awhile someone manages to slip in because their song was big enough to cross over. But overall djs dont play music deemed religious. Not every Christian song has those words in it- some of them are really just about things everyone cares about like being with your friends or having a bad day or whatever. Those songs dont make it on the radio though because they are already stereotyped. Im not sure if its the record labels fault for not promoting bands in all formats or if it is because dj's and radio stations refuse to play something by a Christian band. You have to admit that you can play music by a band of any religion without a murmur from the public but play a song by a Christian band (even if hte song doesn't say anything of a religious nature) and people go bananas about not forcing your religion on people.

On another note- I think alot of it will depend on the artist intent. For many bands/musicians who enter the Christian music market, their primary goal is to give out music that serves God first and foremost and the musical side of it is the medium in which it is done. Those who do not view music as a ministry may move into the secular market. For example- a couple of members of Lifehouse are Christian (not all) but because they were not using music as a ministry they were able to go into the secular market.

Finally- you have to remember that this is a business. Christian artists have to kowtow to record labels just as much as any other artist. Unfortunately the Christian labels seem to think that the market cares more about having the name Jesus than they do about music so they confine artists.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 9:44:59 AM PST
Bill Mobley says:
I think too that sometimes in the world of contemporary Christian music we don't let God in inch-wise. I mean God can't give anybody any great songs because we already have it in our minds what christian Rock should be. It's as if we're afraid that if we turned our music over completely to God that He would have us all singing hymns. But while I'm a bigger fan of folk music (Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie type stuff), I find that the songs in simple hymn books are often better, in their own way, than much modern contemporary Christian music.
We have preconceived notions about how christian rock should sound, and God is sort of letting us have it our way. I believe that's why there's little originality in the music.
Have you heard those "City On A Hill" releases (especially the very first one)? This CD always gets 4 stars in Amazon. I bought it a few years ago. I wasn't that thrilled.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 12:10:20 PM PST
Amy K says:
Check out Casting Crowns. Awesome.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 12:50:15 PM PST
Well, what do you mean by "break out artists?" You're talking about a specific sub-genre of rock music that, for the most part, targets a specific demographic of listeners. So, I'm not sure that you necessarily would have heard of current Christian artists if you aren't making an effort to look for Christian music.
There are some great "Christian" bands, but what do we mean by that label? Are we counting bands only on Christian recording labels? Do we count bands like P.O.D. who started on a Christian label, jumped to a mainstream label and still have songs with religious/spiritual lyrics? Honestly, you could make the argument that U2 is a "Christian" band. They're song "Forty" borrows heavily from Psalm 40.
But, definitions aside, I would recommend Day of Fire, Demon Hunter, and Underoath if you're into hard rock/metal. Casting Crowns, David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall and Chris Tomlin are pretty decent too.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 1:17:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2007 1:21:40 PM PST
What exactly do you mean by Christian Rock?
I think THIRD DAY has an almost "Classic Rock" sound with screaming guitars, & an incredible drummer, not to mention Mac Powell's soaring vocals.
When I started listening to Christian music exclusively, Third Day was the band that made the switch effortless for me.
Try their live "Offerings" CD. If "Consuming Fire" and "Agnus Dei/Worthy" don't rock you, nothing will !

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 7:53:29 PM PST
Lawa says:
Some good points are being made here.

To respond to Bill- are you saying that by trying so hard to make the music people are forgetting to let God lead them in the creation of it? I would agree with that to a point.
However- I also think that music serves many purposes. Some music is specifically praise and worship for me, other songs really get me thinking about something - its more intellectual, and some songs are just for the fun of it! All of these end up for the glory of God in some way- but serve different purposes.

I think I'm weird though. I believe that God sometimes allows for creativity in these that dont necessarily point a finger back up at Him. Sometimes He allows for his spirit to be a hint within something and not a blaring neon sign. I dont see this as God being less involved, but rather God speaking to people in a different way and allowing us to bring Him into every part of our lives.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 7:55:13 PM PST
Lawa says:
Thanks to everyone offering suggestions of good bands. I haven't heard of some of htese so I will have to check them out!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 8:45:50 PM PST
I didn't know Amy Grant ever rocked. Seriously though, go and listen to the band Disciple. I personally guarantee they will rock your socks off.

"Christian" artists aren't trying to "break out" or "be cool". It's a genre like any other. If you don't listen to much of it, you will never know. If you have access to XM radio, listen to The Torch.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2007 5:54:17 AM PST
Yes, Casting Crown's latest album, The Altar and the Door, has amazing lyrics as well as great tunes. My 14 year old son enjoys them as much as I do!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2007 12:06:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 25, 2007 7:27:25 PM PST
Bill Mobley says:
Yes I do believe that some artist try so hard to make what they feel is good music, and sometimes (non-intentionally in most cases) forget God's leading.

It's strange. Songs are so much more fun and interesting when a christian artist doesn't try to be Holy. They are often more natural and sung with a geniuine feeling. I think of artists like Carolyn Arends, and the group Out of the Grey. But Jeremy Camp sounds great on ballads with a lot of strings behind him (I.E. "I Will Walk By Faith" and "I Still Believe").

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2007 6:55:53 PM PST
Check out Skillet. They're pretty awesome (and also my favorite). Also Demon Hunter (yes, Christian!!!), Seventh day slumber, and Pillar.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2007 7:17:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 21, 2007 7:20:13 PM PST
Julie Sapin says:
just to name a few.....

12 Stones
4th Avenue Jones
7 Places
Against The Ten Horns
The Almost
Andy Zipf
Audio Adrenaline
This Beautiful Republic
Big Dismal
Building 429
Chasing Victory
Curious Fools
David Crowder Band
Day of Fire
DC Talk
Demon Hunter
Edison Glass
The Elms
The Evan Anthem
Falling Up
Family Force 5
Farewell Flight
Fighting Instinct
Five Iron Frenzy
FM Static
The Fold
Further Seems Forever
Future Of Forestry
Gasoline Heart
Hawk Nelson
House Of Heroes
Jeremy Camp
Johnny Q Public
Kevin Max
Kids In The Way
Last Tuesday
Lucerin Blue
Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster
The OC Supertones
Our Heart's Hero
Paul Wright
Peace Of Mind
Run Kid Run
Sanctus Real
Seventh Day Slumber
The Showdown
Slick Shoes
Something Like Silas
Starflyer 59
Third Day
Thousand Foot Krutch
Watashi Wa

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2007 6:17:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 22, 2007 8:28:46 PM PST
K. Meyers says:
Casting Crowns? Pfft. They've got a great ministry, but the music is just lame. I swear, every song they've put out sounds like a carbon copy of some MercyMe or Coldplay song (with the exception of the two good songs they've put out, being "Voice of Truth" and "Who Am I?")

My problem with the Christian Music Industry is that in reality, it is an empire of ourselves but record labels act like it's this big ministry. Whatever. That's why you are marketed to....Christians. That's why the people who come to your concert and buy your records are...Christians. That's why the people who don't even know you exist are...nonbelievers. Not to say that it isn't a ministry, because it has shown me many fantastic artists who have changed my life through music, but all in all, many CCM artists aren't really reaching anybody who needs to hear the Word of God, and if there are ever artists who do break into the mainstream market they are seen as "sellouts" regardless of their behavior or even their message. Stephen Christian, the frontman for Anberlin (which is a band who gets criticized by nonbelievers for being too outspoken about their faith and by Christians for not being outspoken enough) has a great point about this fact. He claims that the true sellouts are those who write certain things and put them in a song for the sole purpose of selling, and that if he were to put the name of Jesus in the song a bunch of times just so it would sell, it would be the worst thing you could do...selling God for money (he's said many times how this makes him sick when people don't sing about God because they want to honor Him, but simply to make money). He also has said that in reality, there is no such thing as a secular job and that if you are using your God-given talents to honor Him in any way, then you are living a life of worship. Because think about it, what if you are a Christian but you are a plumber? You aren't going to be walking around all the time saying "Jesus loves you man, now what pipes do you want fixed?" It's silly. Christians hold their fellow believers who are musicians to these rediculous standards and they place too much importance on how many times they say "God" in a song and not enough on whether or not they make great music and/or live Godly lives.

Sorry, but this is an issue that frustrates me. We should be praising these musicians for reaching people who have never heard the word Jesus used in a way that is not blasphemous, not criticizing them for not being "Christian" enough. The worst part is, many people who do the criticizing are the ones who turn off nonbelievers and have never brought anybody to Christ.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2007 8:05:26 PM PST
S. Letarte says:
I spent over four years on the road (AD / DeGarmo & Key / Petra, Sacred Fire) and chased after the nightly "evangelism call". I agree with those that speak of CCM being more of a business than a ministry (however, there were those out there that were true to the ministry, and honestly were called to minister). I had the chance to work with some great musicians who loved the Lord ... sometimes they spoke of that during concert, sometimes not.

I believe that, no matter what we do for our vocation, our calling in life is to "take dominion" ... we are called to do that every day in whatever we do, whether we are a janitor, an engineer, a musician, a dad, mom, husband, wife, or any other discipline that God calls us to. What makes it so much more "holy" for us to be publicly paid to play, and then give testimony? In my opinion, the calling of God is to have integrity in our lives throughout all of our walk, not just when we think someone's looking (or listening).

So, in summary, just as it's OK to minister in our daily touch of others, it's also OK to minister and be a musician - the question is not what man will measure us by, but what God measures us by.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2007 8:24:53 PM PST
K. Meyers says:
Basically I agree with everything you said 100%

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2007 9:03:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2007 5:20:52 AM PST
A few thoughts...first you say that Casting Crowns has a great ministry, but their music is lame. Then in your next paragraph you say that Christian musicians really don't have a ministry if they are not reaching non-Christians. So if Casting Crowns is not reaching non-Christians, how can they have a great ministry?

(I just reread your earlier post and realized you did say, "Not to say that it isn't a ministry..." and went on to say that many Christian artists have changed your life through music. So perhaps I jumped to my earlier conclusion because I was feeling defensive about Casting Crowns, but it's still hard to follow your logic.)

I do not believe that you need to equate ministry with evangelism. Music ministry COULD include evangelism, and I believe you underestimate how many teens from Christian homes, but who may or may not have a strong commitment to Christ, are influenced by Christian musicians. However, I also think that music ministry can include the building up of the believer. I know from my own experience that the right song at the right time has encouraged me to make right choices in my relationship with the Lord. I have been encouraged especially by Casting Crown's "East to West". I struggle with the bad choices I have made and still make can Jesus still love me and use me? This song comforts me by reminding me of God's grace and that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.

As for the music of Casting Crowns being lame...well, that is your opinion, but my best friend and I both really love their music as well as the lyrics. I prebought The Altar and the Door after hearing "East to West". I was not disappointed with the rest of the songs. In fact, as I enjoyed the music for the first time, I also read through the lyrics and found myself in tears. The first one reminds Christians to be authentic, and to not expect regenerate behavior from unregenerate people. The second one reminds us that everyone: your waitress, your kid's teacher, etc., all need Jesus, and they need to hear that from you...I was reminded of this when I was out with some Christian women the other day when the waitress was apologizing for not being able to meet their request for a larger table...they were so reminded me to assure this woman that we were fine and could make room at the table...all because of a song I listened to. It ministered to me. Another song addresses pornography and the example we need to set. Don't tell me Christians don't need to hear that message. A former elder confided to my husband and I that he struggles with internet porn. I know he's not an isolated example. Another song challenges Christians not to sit on the fence: "Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle."

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Ministry can be for building up Christians so they can go out and share their faith authentically. I think too many Christians think evangelism is for professionals...the big fishermen...bring your friends to church within reach of the pastor's fishing pole. Bring the non-Christian to a Christian concert and get him within range of the altar call. It is Christians equipped by Christian leaders that should be living lives so extreme and humble that people want to know what's different! The people we meet find us irresistable...because we are authentic. We admit weakness, we show love, we know we are the same as they are, only we have God's grace.

I do not take issue with Christians being in bands that are not blantantly Christian, though, as long as they are still examples for Christ, just as we all should be. I just believe that is a different kind of ministry, if it does in fact do outreach to non-Christians.

A final word from the Word: "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2007 10:49:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2007 10:52:45 AM PST
K. Meyers says:
Okay, well, it's a ministry, but it seems like a ministry to Christians only. That's why it makes me angry to hear bands such as Anberlin, Switchfoot, Relient K, etc. criticized when they actually have nonbelievers who are inspired by their lyrics and lifestyles (not to mention Stephen mentioning how when Anberlin tours with nonbelievers, he and the other band members tell them about Jesus and encourages them to read books such as "What's So Amazing About Grace" or "The Ragamuffin Gospel". Fall Out Boy never really heard about Jesus until they toured with Anberlin.) And another favorite band of mine, the Paul Colman Trio, played in churches and pubs in Australia, to all different kinds of people, but Paul Colman, who is an amazing, deep, and Godly man, has talked about how he, Grant, and Phil have been criticized from both sides because of them being too Christian or not Christian enough, even if those who criticize them like the music they are putting out. But they have said that they are not a Christian band because their music is for everyone, they are only three band members who love Jesus and because they love Him, he shows up the music. For me, I just love good music, and I find God in music that's written by nonbelievers as well (I'm not one to believe that He reveals himself in only the work of those who believe in him). I just want great music that makes me think, smile, laugh, that I get something out of really.

As for the Casting Crowns thing, I know I'm in the minority so I don't care if you disagree, but they are the most overrated band in Christian music in my opinion. The messages are very good, but since Paul Colman and Mark Hall have similar messages in the songs they write, I can say that I have listened to songs that both of them have written about the exact same topic and I've always found the music that Paul writes so much more multi-dimensional and thought-provoking. (But perhaps it's not a fair comparison, since he's practically a guitar-wielding poet.) Just look up the lyrics to The Banquet Table (Paul Colman Trio) to see what I mean.

Sorry for getting off-topic, I just had to explain why I don't like CC. I have their first album though, however I lose interest after the first four songs.
(I should probably mention that this post and the previous posts in here were made by K. Meyers' daughter who can't get her own account)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2007 11:35:53 AM PST
R. Rickard says:
You need to try East-West, Showdown,or Fused (which has the lead guitar player from Black Sabbath and the lead singer from Judas Priest)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2007 1:43:33 PM PST
Q. Moreno says:
Wow. Where have you been! POD and Pillar are definitely Christian Rock! And they rock hard. Fireproof from Pillar is the ultimate kick butt song for Christians. And I think the other person is right. You're not really trying that hard to have a relationship with God so you're not paying attention to the good music that's out there.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2007 2:01:00 PM PST
SnowDog3000 says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2007 2:48:15 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2007 4:48:24 PM PST
tanndaman says:
Dont forget red, they are a newer band and they rock!!!
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