I recently read an article in defense of the Contemporary Christian Music movement. I’ve read a few books on both “sides” of the issue, but, just as we ALL do, I have my own presuppositions and opinions. I address the issue from my own anecdotal evidence.
And here’s my opinion…the music world is filled with prima donnas (in the slang sense of the term). A prima donna is—technically—the lead role in an opera, but the term prima donna has come to mean anyone who has a high, proud opinion of herself (or himself).
And why wouldn’t the music world tend that way, right? I mean…I’m the one who has studied at Juilliard, am I not? I’m the one who has practiced since I was five years old, right? I’m the one doing the singing. All eyes are on me, right?
The music world is about performance. Performance is about impressing an audience. Impressing an audience takes remarkable talent and extraordinary hard work in order to stand out. Remarkable talent and hours of effort often produce a “prima donna” mentality in musicians. After all…they HAVE done a lot of work, and they ARE better than 99% of the rest of the world. True. All true.
But—like God does so often—Christian music is different. Like…WAY different. Like…upside-down-backwords-180-degrees-opposite-completely different. Christian music isn’t about the performance. It isn’t about the performer. It isn’t about the congregation.
It’s about the audience…the audience of One, that is. Christian music is about God.
Do you think God’s impressed with air waves that vibrate over a guy’s throat? Nope. He created the throat. Do you think God’s impressed by a lady who can shatter crystal with her voice? Nope. He created the science to allow that to happen.
In Christian music, there’s no room for prima donnas because it’s not about little Donna. It’s not about us.
Here’s where my anecdotal evidence comes in, and where I tie this all into Contemporary Christian music (CCM). CCM is about using the best methods of today’s music (contemporary) and adapting them for worship music. The trouble is, the motivation is all wrong. At least…that’s my opinion, based on what I observe.
When I look at many CCM artists, I don’t see Christ…I often see the artist. I
often see what he or she is trying to promote. I often see lifestyles that embrace unbiblical lifestyles (homosexuality, adultery, divorce, drinking…). I often see a performer. Most of their goal seems to be to sell out concerts and promote their latest album. Most of their motivation seems to be money. They are working to be the best. To stand out. To be better than the next guy so that they can sell their albums.
I don’t know about you…I’m not a good enough Christian to NOT let that go to my head. I already struggle with pride enough, don’t you?
Thankfully, God has a good view of it. “Do it for me, and it’s good.”