Thursday, July 8

I hate Christian rock.

First, so that everyone's on the same page, I love Christianity. I love God. I love worship music. I am a music minister who loves to pray with music and connect to God through music. In no way is anything that I'm about to write going to undermine my beliefs in the use of electric guitar to worship God. Keep all that in mind.

Ok. So the back story is this. St. Louis has had a classical music station (Classic 99) for better than 60 years, but recently they sold their station (99.1) to Joy FM, a local Christian music station. There are literally novels that could be written as to how much of a tragedy it is to lose a free source of classical music, but that's another story. Because I now have access to an entire radio station that previously was very static-filled and otherwise not valid, I've gotten to listen to some Christian rock that I'd previously only heard tell of. And let me tell you, I'm not impressed.

What's spurred this recent post is that I just heard a song where the lyrics were "the beauty of Your majesty, the wonder of Your glory". What? Could you possibly pick a set of words that are any less cliche or made any less sense? I mean, I liked that song way better when it was called "Beautiful One" by Jeremy Camp (who is another serious offender...). But seriously though, what do those lyrics even mean? You can't just go "the (adjective) of your (adjective)" and call it a day. It's lazy, and complete nonsense.

I also hate that "Christian Rock" is called thusly because of the presence of electric guitars, but those guitars are being played...boringly? There's no aggression, no edge, no distortion of any kind. Just a generic, inoffensive wall of sound set way back in the mix. How is that rock? Soft rock, maybe, but soft rock sucks. I mean, when I'm real before God, it's pretty damn offensive. I'm a sinful dude. I don't like it, but hey, I am what I am, and by the grace of God, I'm trying to make myself more presentable to God, but no matter how well-dressed I get, He knows me, knows my faults, knows my ways, and knows my heart. I hate that "Christian Rock" is "family friendly". It's just too squeaky clean to be real. And I hate fakes.

And that's why I hate popular Christian music. You're writing music that is, frankly, bad, bland and uninteresting, and it's being sold solely based upon the merits of being "Christian". It's got all of the lyrical depth of a Ke$ha song, but because you're singing about God, it's legitimate music that sells records. That wouldn't fly in literally any other industry, but apparently it's okay for Christian music, because the average Christian likes bad music. And the average Christian feels better about themselves because they're not listening to "that crap on the radio". Come on.

(Pictured: That Crap On The Radio)

I'm with Michael Gungor on this one. If you're making good music, no matter what you're singing about, you're glorifying God. If you're making bad music, no matter what you're singing about, you're not glorifying anything. You might as well be singing about brushing your teeth with a bottle of Jack, for all that God cares. Harsh? Music is music, and it's either good, or it's bad. No label or name of a genre will convince me otherwise.


  1. Soooo true. Can say Amen to everything you said. I also hate this superficial, wanna be rockstardom and make money with christians stuff. Can't call it music.
    Any Coldplaysong is deeper and more worship than this bla.
    Thanks for writing this

  2. I came here when I googled "Joy FM Gungor" trying to determine if that radio station plays Gungor band songs, which I love. I am with you! I can't stand soft rock, and a lot of the "Christian music" I hear sounds like KEZK crap! (KEZK used to be a soft rock station in St. Louis MO, where I live... not sure if it still is.) Anyway, I'm going to contact Joy FM and ask them to incorporate some variety of newer, rockier music into their lineup. I don't know what the producers' goals are as far as listenership but they are going to lose their station in a generation or so if they only play washed out, easy listening, boring garbage. That stuff doesn't feel like worship to me at all.

  3. Thanks guys for reading! It's a problem that I can't stand, but who knows if it will ever change.

  4. I have the same problem. I am a worship leader and sometimes I find it hard to relate to the Soft Rock christian songs because they feel fake.

  5. My husband and my kid like this christian rock music, praise crap. They wanna drag me to a movie theater church next week. I just want to sing traditional hymns and be at peace with the music I've known for many years.

    I'm trying to figure out why christian rock just makes my skin crawl. It seems to have this holier than thou air to it...

    thx for posting your views, it helps to know others with similar feelings.