Why Most Contemporary Christian Music Is Horrible

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Aristotleded24
Why Most Contemporary Christian Music Is Horrible

An inside look at how it's made

*Note* Since many posts fairly pointed out that my original title was too broad, I changed the title to more accruately reflect what I was trying to convey. Hope you all enjoyed the video.

bekayne
Pondering

Okay but what about this one...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi_3GtQN2IA

When your time comes you might as well be cheerful about it.

NDPP

Bach is rather nice.

Douglas Fir Premier

Counterargument #1: Black gospel music

Counterargument #2: Sacred Harp is dope

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Agree that Bach, traditional choral music from around the world, and Black gospel music are inspiring. And I do love many traditional and commercial Christmas songs. Everything else defined as modern Christian music sucks. (And I do not include Sufjan Stevens who has probably never made a Christian Rock playlist in his live.)

Misfit Misfit's picture

I'm a church organist. I hate a lot of Christian music but there is some contemporary music that I do listen to and enjoy. I'm very interested in this discussion.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Here is a mellow song by a heavy metal Christian rock band that many experts and music historians have rated as being one of the top ten or top twenty heavy metal songs ever recorded depending on who the assessor is. However, because it is a Christian song written by a Christian rock band many people have never heard of it. The song is called "Together as One" by Stryper.
 

It is likened to Kiss's song 'Beth'.  It is also commonly the song of choice by bikers and Hells Angels couples for their slow dance at weddings.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m2amKXUZThA

Ken Burch

laine lowe wrote:

Agree that Bach, traditional choral music from around the world, and Black gospel music are inspiring. And I do love many traditional and commercial Christmas songs. Everything else defined as modern Christian music sucks. (And I do not include Sufjan Stevens who has probably never made a Christian Rock playlist in his live.)

  Now and then, Van Morrison writes music from a Christian perspective.  It's a compelling as anything else he does, if you like Van's music.

Ken Burch

laine lowe wrote:

Agree that Bach, traditional choral music from around the world, and Black gospel music are inspiring. And I do love many traditional and commercial Christmas songs. Everything else defined as modern Christian music sucks. (And I do not include Sufjan Stevens who has probably never made a Christian Rock playlist in his live.)

  Now and then, Van Morrison writes music from a Christian perspective.  It's a compelling as anything else he does, if you like Van's music.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I do like Van Morrison a great deal.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Here is a song that seems to fit the stereotype that this thread targets which centers on cliche buzz words like affirm, praise him, and other hallelujah type inspirational themes.

This one by Rebecca St. James fits the bill exactly but I feel that it is very tastefully done. It's called "I will Praise You".

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jXET-duSRr8

 

Douglas Fir Premier

The way this is going, if we're not careful, this is quickly going to be co-opted into a Christian music appreciation thread! :-P

Misfit wrote:

Here is a mellow song by a heavy metal Christian rock band that many experts and music historians have rated as being one of the top ten or top twenty heavy metal songs ever recorded depending on who the assessor is. However, because it is a Christian song written by a Christian rock band many people have never heard of it. The song is called "Together as One" by Stryper

I was in a Christian metal band, and while I'm aware of Stryper, I can't say that I'd ever heard of that particular song either.

The funny thing about Stryper (ok... maybe just one of the funny things about Stryper), is that - at least from what I've observed anecdotally - they seemed to have a higher profile among non-Christians than Christians. They were on a mainstream secular label, which meant that while growing up I would see their albums at places like Sam the Record Man, Kmart, and Woolco; neither of the Christian bookstores in town would carry them. They were opening for secular bands and getting played on MTV, while at the same time they were being denounced by televangelists as wolves in sheep's clothing. I grew up in the evangelical church. I was into metal. I'm sure they had their share of Christian fans somwhere, but the couple people I knew who were into them were just your everyday areligious headbangers. 

The era of Contemprary Christian Music that I'm most familiar with is the period in-between peak Stryper and the beginnings of Rebecca St. James' career. While I'd never actually listened to any of her music before you shared that link, I do remember her being held up as the main poster child for abstinence and purity culture until Tim Tebow came along.

Oceans was one of the only direct references I got from the sketch in the opening post. 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Does Everlast count as a Christian contemporary rock group? I did love the theme song of the TV series "Saving Grace":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htLyYkyMudY&list=RDhtLyYkyMudY&start_rad...

Speaking of mainstream rock music, I LOVE the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows". An all star cast produced it for the launch of BBC Music a few years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqLTe8h0-jo

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

And what about Joan Osborne? Is she considered a Christian rocker? I do love "What If God Was One of Us":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gx1Pv02w3Q

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..first heard dry branch on coop radio in van a number of years ago and fell in love with their gospel harmonies. so it was a delight to when i saw they were on the van folk fest ticket. their main stage performance was awesome but i also saw them in the smaller daytime stage. the driving force behind the band, i forget his name, spoke of himself and his world back home. he spoke like a political activist describing struggles they faced. a left leaning activist to boot. i present 2 pieces. one re their harmonies and the other their instrumental talent. 

Dry Branch Fire Squad - I'll Be No Stranger

Golgotha

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..and i can't resist. sweet honey in toronto

Sweet Honey in The Rock - Wade in the Water

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Sweet Honey in the Rock is brilliant. I almost had a chance to see them in 1989 but the small venue concert was sold out.

 

Ken Burch

laine lowe wrote:

And what about Joan Osborne? Is she considered a Christian rocker? I do love "What If God Was One of Us":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gx1Pv02w3Q

That may be the best song produced by any pop-based form of religious music.  Imagine how decent this world would be if we all DID work on the assumption that anybody sitting next to us on the bus could be a manifestion of the divine?

Ken Burch

laine lowe wrote:

And what about Joan Osborne? Is she considered a Christian rocker? I do love "What If God Was One of Us":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gx1Pv02w3Q

That may be the best song produced by any pop-based form of religious music.  Imagine how empathetic, humane, and positive this world would be if we all lived our lives on the assumption that anybody sitting next to us on the bus could be a manifestion of the divine?

NDPP

Gospelfest 2010: Papa San Live

https://youtu.be/tuyJdgZgdo0

Hallelu-Jah!

Ken Burch

laine lowe wrote:

Sweet Honey in the Rock is brilliant. I almost had a chance to see them in 1989 but the small venue concert was sold out.

 

I've already decided that this song of theirs-a song which could probably be classed as "Animist"- will be played at whatever memorial is held for me when my time comes:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=YwLgxyVjwk4&feature=emb_logo

singh47

Ken Burch wrote:

laine lowe wrote:

And what about Joan Osborne? Is she considered a Christian rocker? I do love "What If God Was One of Us":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gx1Pv02w3Q

That may be the best song produced by any pop-based form of religious music.  Imagine how empathetic, humane, and positive this world would be if we all lived our lives on the assumption that anybody sitting next to us on the bus could be a manifestion of the divine?


You mean a statement so innocous & commonplace among the Dharmic faiths as to be completely uncontroversial?
Maybe if half the forum didn't cheer their genocide at the hands of Christ-Islamic forces, you'd hear more from them.

Lol, anyway this is a good one but not a message you'd like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX-o1VUxOY0

NDPP

Try me. What's the gist of it? Is it at all similar to this old Christian favourite?

https://youtu.be/O9DHgnKeAxo

 

Or this?

https://youtu.be/1Ku2VzS6540

Ken Burch

singh47 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

laine lowe wrote:

And what about Joan Osborne? Is she considered a Christian rocker? I do love "What If God Was One of Us":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gx1Pv02w3Q

That may be the best song produced by any pop-based form of religious music.  Imagine how empathetic, humane, and positive this world would be if we all lived our lives on the assumption that anybody sitting next to us on the bus could be a manifestion of the divine?


You mean a statement so innocous & commonplace among the Dharmic faiths as to be completely uncontroversial?
Maybe if half the forum didn't cheer their genocide at the hands of Christ-Islamic forces, you'd hear more from them.

Lol, anyway this is a good one but not a message you'd like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX-o1VUxOY0

There is no such thing as "Christ-Islamic forces", and the Muslims in India-a group which has as much right to stay in that country and  live without repression or harassment as any other-are not your enemy.  It's the Hindu fascists led by Modi who are your enemy.

And in any case, I see no reason why you would respond with such spiteful hostility when nothing I posted about that song was in any way an insult to you or your faith, OR why you would even think I would defend or endorse the New Testament militarism of "Onward Christian Soldiers".

To demonstrate to you what my actual opinion of that arrogant, bloodsoaked disgrace of a hymm, I'm posting these two verses of the great antiwar parody of that song, entitled "Christians At War",sung to the same tune. 

(note: I'm not posting the first two verses because they have rape references I'm not sure I can successfully contextualize). 

3. Onward, Christian soldiers!
Eat and drink your fill;
Rob with bloody fingers,
Christ O. K.'s the bill.
Steal the farmer's savings,
Take their grain and meat;
Even though the children starve,
The Saviour's bums must eat.
Burn the peasant's cottages,
Orphans leave bereft;
In Jehovah's holy name,
Wreak ruin right and left.

4. Onward, Christian soldiers!
Drench the land with gore;
Mercy is a weakness
All the gods abhor.
Bayonet the babies,
Jab the mothers, too;
Hoist the cross of Calvary
To hallow all you do.
File your bullets' noses flat,
Poison every well;
God decrees your enemies
Must all go plumb to hell.

singh47

Ken Burch wrote:

singh47 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

laine lowe wrote:

And what about Joan Osborne? Is she considered a Christian rocker? I do love "What If God Was One of Us":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gx1Pv02w3Q

That may be the best song produced by any pop-based form of religious music.  Imagine how empathetic, humane, and positive this world would be if we all lived our lives on the assumption that anybody sitting next to us on the bus could be a manifestion of the divine?


You mean a statement so innocous & commonplace among the Dharmic faiths as to be completely uncontroversial?
Maybe if half the forum didn't cheer their genocide at the hands of Christ-Islamic forces, you'd hear more from them.

Lol, anyway this is a good one but not a message you'd like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX-o1VUxOY0

There is no such thing as "Christ-Islamic forces", and the Muslims in India-a group which has as much right to stay in that country and  live without repression or harassment as any other-are not your enemy.  It's the Hindu fascists led by Modi who are your enemy.

And in any case, I see no reason why you would respond with such spiteful hostility when nothing I posted about that song was in any way an insult to you or your faith, OR why you would even think I would defend or endorse the New Testament militarism of "Onward Christian Soldiers".

 


Because Christianity & Islam are evil.

Ken Burch

singh47 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

singh47 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

laine lowe wrote:

And what about Joan Osborne? Is she considered a Christian rocker? I do love "What If God Was One of Us":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gx1Pv02w3Q

That may be the best song produced by any pop-based form of religious music.  Imagine how empathetic, humane, and positive this world would be if we all lived our lives on the assumption that anybody sitting next to us on the bus could be a manifestion of the divine?


You mean a statement so innocous & commonplace among the Dharmic faiths as to be completely uncontroversial?
Maybe if half the forum didn't cheer their genocide at the hands of Christ-Islamic forces, you'd hear more from them.

Lol, anyway this is a good one but not a message you'd like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX-o1VUxOY0

There is no such thing as "Christ-Islamic forces", and the Muslims in India-a group which has as much right to stay in that country and  live without repression or harassment as any other-are not your enemy.  It's the Hindu fascists led by Modi who are your enemy.

And in any case, I see no reason why you would respond with such spiteful hostility when nothing I posted about that song was in any way an insult to you or your faith, OR why you would even think I would defend or endorse the New Testament militarism of "Onward Christian Soldiers".

 


Because Christianity & Islam are evil.

Christianity and Islam are simply other religions.  They are not evil, and the Muslims aren't doing anything to justify your hatred of them.

 

singh47

Ken Burch wrote:

singh47 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

singh47 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

laine lowe wrote:

And what about Joan Osborne? Is she considered a Christian rocker? I do love "What If God Was One of Us":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gx1Pv02w3Q

That may be the best song produced by any pop-based form of religious music.  Imagine how empathetic, humane, and positive this world would be if we all lived our lives on the assumption that anybody sitting next to us on the bus could be a manifestion of the divine?


You mean a statement so innocous & commonplace among the Dharmic faiths as to be completely uncontroversial?
Maybe if half the forum didn't cheer their genocide at the hands of Christ-Islamic forces, you'd hear more from them.

Lol, anyway this is a good one but not a message you'd like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX-o1VUxOY0

There is no such thing as "Christ-Islamic forces", and the Muslims in India-a group which has as much right to stay in that country and  live without repression or harassment as any other-are not your enemy.  It's the Hindu fascists led by Modi who are your enemy.

And in any case, I see no reason why you would respond with such spiteful hostility when nothing I posted about that song was in any way an insult to you or your faith, OR why you would even think I would defend or endorse the New Testament militarism of "Onward Christian Soldiers".

 


Because Christianity & Islam are evil.

Christianity and Islam are simply other religions.  They are not evil, and the Muslims aren't doing anything to justify your hatred of them.

 


You're a monotheist apologist for Polytheist Genocide. This isn't a discussion or negotiation, you're being told things the way they are..

Any white male by your age has more than enough time & resources to learn better than to say batshit stupid and insane like what you just typed in the last few posts||

Good day, for those not amenable to Truth via the Tongue, There is Truth delivered by Teer, Tabar, Talwaar||

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾ।।ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ।।

NDPP

singh47 wrote:

 

To demonstrate to you what my actual opinion of that arrogant, bloodsoaked disgrace of a hymm, I'm posting these two verses of the great antiwar parody of that song, entitled "Christians At War",sung to the same tune. 

(note: I'm not posting the first two verses because they have rape references I'm not sure I can successfully contextualize). 

3. Onward, Christian soldiers!
Eat and drink your fill;
Rob with bloody fingers,
Christ O. K.'s the bill.
Steal the farmer's savings,
Take their grain and meat;
Even though the children starve,
The Saviour's bums must eat.
Burn the peasant's cottages,
Orphans leave bereft;
In Jehovah's holy name,
Wreak ruin right and left.

4. Onward, Christian soldiers!
Drench the land with gore;
Mercy is a weakness
All the gods abhor.
Bayonet the babies,
Jab the mothers, too;
Hoist the cross of Calvary
To hallow all you do.
File your bullets' noses flat,
Poison every well;
God decrees your enemies
Must all go plumb to hell.

NDPP wrote:

Thanks. We agree on the hymn. Delightful! Can you DM me an url for that?

Bacchus

Wow a bigot named Singh

Misfit Misfit's picture

To Mr. Singh47,

I cannot speak for all the posters to this thread. However, my hunch is that all of us think of Christianity from a critical perspective. We tend to analyze it from the lens that it has always been and continues to be an agent for extreme destructiveness both domestically and internationally.

We actually do understand and care.

I have not been to India and am lax on the intricate and detailed history so I am in no position to comment on your views of Islam. I personally have no issue with you calling Christianity evil. That is your reality and I think it is honest and fair. 

kropotkin1951

This is one of my all time favourite Christian songs. It seems very appropriate for 2020.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsWg0bt9kp4

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Hahahaha, Kropotkin. That is indeed a classic.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Back in the 90s my Dad got really into a group called the Common Cup Company, a Canadian group which consisted of three United Church ministers and one Anglican Priest. They played a very liberal version of Christian folk music. Here's one of their songs:

Common Cup Company -- Outside the Lines

We first encoutered their music in 1995 at Sorrento Centre, which is an Anglican retreat centre in the town of Sorrento, British Columbia (just off the Trans-Canda Hwy in the Shuswap Lake region). A few years later, Ian MacDonald, their banjo player and one of their singers and songwriters, became the United Church Minister at South Burnaby United Church a block and a half from our home. Ian sadly passed away a few years ago.

Back in the 80s, Ian and his wife had helped sponsor a South African refugee named Mimi. Common Cup Company have a song about it called 'Bringing Mimi Home'. Then in 2013, while Ian was still minister, South Burnaby United Church sponsored a Palestinian refugee named Marwa, the daughter of Palestinian refugees living in Iraq who was herself forced to flee to Syria in 2007 because of the Iraq war and then had to flee Syria due to that war.

I also saw Ian MacDonald in 2014 at a forum on Thomas Piketty's 'Capital in the 21st Century'. So they were bonafied members of the Christian left.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Interesting history, Left Turn. Sorry to hear that Ian MacDonald passed away - sounds like he was an amazing and compassionate person.

Ken Burch

NDPP wrote:

singh47 wrote:

 

To demonstrate to you what my actual opinion of that arrogant, bloodsoaked disgrace of a hymm, I'm posting these two verses of the great antiwar parody of that song, entitled "Christians At War",sung to the same tune. 

(note: I'm not posting the first two verses because they have rape references I'm not sure I can successfully contextualize). 

3. Onward, Christian soldiers!
Eat and drink your fill;
Rob with bloody fingers,
Christ O. K.'s the bill.
Steal the farmer's savings,
Take their grain and meat;
Even though the children starve,
The Saviour's bums must eat.
Burn the peasant's cottages,
Orphans leave bereft;
In Jehovah's holy name,
Wreak ruin right and left.

4. Onward, Christian soldiers!
Drench the land with gore;
Mercy is a weakness
All the gods abhor.
Bayonet the babies,
Jab the mothers, too;
Hoist the cross of Calvary
To hallow all you do.
File your bullets' noses flat,
Poison every well;
God decrees your enemies
Must all go plumb to hell.

NDPP wrote:

Thanks. We agree on the hymn. Delightful! Can you DM me an url for that?

That was me posting that, actually.  It's called "Christians at War".  Here's a link to the full lyrics (which I think are also in the IWW Little Red Songbook)  https://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/english/onwardc1.htm

Ken Burch

Misfit wrote:

To Mr. Singh47,

I cannot speak for all the posters to this thread. However, my hunch is that all of us think of Christianity from a critical perspective. We tend to analyze it from the lens that it has always been and continues to be an agent for extreme destructiveness both domestically and internationally.

We actually do understand and care.

I have not been to India and am lax on the intricate and detailed history so I am in no position to comment on your views of Islam. I personally have no issue with you calling Christianity evil. That is your reality and I think it is honest and fair. 


 
I wouldn't mind him calling Christianity and Islam what he calls them-but it's absurd that he lets Hinduism(and especially Modi's Hindufascism) off the hook for slaughter and injustice.   And in what universe does saying something positive about a song from one particular religious tradition equate to being an apologist for everything horrible that tradition ever did?

 

NDPP

Thanks Ken. I thought it might be wobbly made.