It's always bothered me when Christians say they don't listen to "Christian music"* because there's nothing good out there to listen to. I've always had an inkling of why this bothered me, but could never fully vocalize my feelings on the subject until now. The fact of the matter is that I feel that to say there is nothing good out there is inadvertently dishonest at best, and an outright lie at the core. The way the music industry works is that often times what is popular and what is good music is not always the same. Sometimes finding the good music takes painstaking searching, but most music lovers agree that the discovery makes the effort worthwhile.
"Christian music" is no exception. Bands like Skillet, Pillar, and Demon Hunter are not the only rock bands playing "Christian rock." They are the mainstream of "Christian rock" and do not reflect the whole of "Christian rock." My younger brother is really into rap music, but I hate the message that the typical scene is sending to such an impressionable youth, so I encouraged him to try setting up a Pandora radio station dedicated solely to "Christian rap." He set up a station based on Lecrae and is now discovering hundreds of artists with similar stylistic qualities, but none of the negative messages.
Frankly, I think that while it may not be apparent to the people who say that "Christian music" isn't as good as worldly music, I think the real reason they don't like "Christian music" is because their flesh enjoys worldly music. The flesh will always prefer music that encourages drugs, illicit sexual relationships, and drunkenness over the truth of the Gospel. We'd rather make excuses about how the beat is all we listen and that the lyrics don't really have an effect on us, but in all actuality we're putting garbage into our hearts and minds; eventually that garbage is going to start coming out of us.
I struggle with worldly music, because I'm not ready to say that all non-"Christian music" is bad, but I'd certainly say that you need to be on your guard about what you listen to and how much you listen to it. This past week I've been fasting from my two forms media that I get overexposed to: music and television/movies. It's given me a lot to think about, especially about how much time I normally spend doing those things and what kind of stuff I'm filling my head and heart with. Even when I'm driving to the grocery store just five minutes away, I often turn on the radio, but in that five minutes I often times get caught up in the emotions and deeper meanings of one song or another... Yeah, I'm that intellectual about even the most base-level music out there.
Hoc est verum,
* I put parenthesis around Christian music, rap, and rock because I question the validity of calling it Christian, for more about that you can read my entry, What is Christian Music? What is a Christian band?