I do not know what to call this article so I will just go on, write, and hope that my message would be passed across to the reader. I would also like to add here that this article is not for everyone. The article is for Christians and those that listen to Contemporary Christian music. When I talk of Contemporary Christian Music here, I am talking of ALL aspects of modern Christian music (Hip Hop, Rock, Pop, R&B and the likes).
I am not the model Christian even though it is what I strive to be, still I have loads of things I struggle with in my life and trust me it gets hard but I know what is right and what is wrong and I am trying to do right not by the world’s standards but by God’s standards.
I was online the other day and I was reading an article about a particular Christian group. They are one of the big names in CCM but they do not shy away from controversy. From regular collaborations with mainstream artists to some of the outfits they wear, the group has stood out both in CCM and in mainstream music. Everyone knows that this group do not play by the rules but it seems now that they actually want you to know this and they really do not care. A while back the group tweeted that they loved a song by a particular hip-hop artist who is known for is drug use and wild sexual habits. They (the group) said they loved the song and that their followers/fans should not judge them. (sigh).
My issue here is not with the fact that they were listening to the artist. I don’t know their reason for doing that so who am I to say anything; the Christian race is as personal as it gets so I don’t see any reason why I should condemn them or give them a pat on the back. What got me was the last part of the supposed tweet “don’t judge us”. That part raised my eyebrows.
I feel once you decide to be a CCM artist, you have decided to be a Minister of the gospel through music. It does not matter if it is for the Church or the World; you are still a minister so there should be a certain level of maturity in how you do things. Personally, why say “don’t judge” to your followers. What are you afraid of? You know the artist is not someone a genuine Christian should listen to (Phil 4:8) so why listen to the artist, tweet about it and add, “Don’t judge me”. How do you as an artist forget that many people are looking up to you for inspiration, guidance and even mentoring but you act like someone who is new in the faith? Like you are expecting judgement from the people you are supposed to be guiding?
I am not here to trash talk or bash any artist neither am I hear to talk about secular and gospel music. I think we all should be able to discern the kind of music that is good and the kind that is bad. At the same time, I feel that some CCM artist are getting too relaxed, forgetting that the moment they agreed to do Christian music they agreed to be ministers and do things different from the way other artists would. I usually have more respect for artists that say they are Christians doing mainstream music than the ones that claim they are Christian artists but refuse to be an example to their followers. It seems like we want to appeal so much to our mainstream crowd that we want to do things so much like mainstream artist. Kirk Franklin appeals to the mainstream crowd but you do not see him trying to do music like the average mainstream artist. Souljahz “The Fault is History” album was on point lyrically and artistic wise but the album still crossed over. We seem to forget that only God gives us the ability to be relevant both in the Church and outside the Church. Now it seems every Christian artist wants to minister to the “world” which is not bad but if everyone ministers to the world, who ministers to the Church? And even if you want to minister to the world, it does not mean you should water down the gospel to appeal to them. The gospel is in John3:16 (Believe Jesus because He loves you or perish). If you want to be a mainstream artist, be a mainstream artist (no one will hate on you; at least you can do the positive inspirational music you want to do like Switchfoot, Brooke Fraser or Owl City) and if you want to be a Christian artist be a Christian artist and do not sit on the fence.
In his letter to the Roman Church, Paul talked about the eating of meat. Some people felt it was cool to eat meat, others felt it was a sin. Paul said no one should judge the other because he that eats meat eats it to the glory of God and he that doesn’t eat meat also doesn’t eat it to the glory of God. Paul solves the issue by saying this “The right thing is to eat no meat or drink no wine [at all], or [do anything else] if it makes your brother stumble or hurts his conscience or offends or weakens him. (Rom 14:21 AMP)”.
You may have various views on what you can or cannot do as a CCM artist; I just want to leave you with the words of Paul. You (CCM artist) are a minister to God’s people and so let your life be that of example. Remember “All things are legitimate [permissible–and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life] (1 Corinthians 10:23 AMP)”.
I commend every CCM artist as they have broken boundaries and left the box that they have been put in for so long; Even at that, remember we all have to answer to God on judgement day. He is going to ask how you lived your life and the impact you had on the people he placed in your hands.
May God grant us grace.