Friday, May 04, 2007

Christian Marketplace - Day 3

See Monday and Wednesday for the first two days of discussion on this topic. First I established the idea of the Christian Marketplace as encompassing fiction and music with an evangelical audience in mind. The next post talked about the paradox that authors face in trying to meet the varied standards of the public. I left off introducing the same problem that Christian musicians have by ending with a quote from Bethany Dillon. (Poor Bethany didn't know she was going to get dragged into this!)

In her interview at Infuze Magazine, she discussed writing straight ahead love songs, without mention of God.
But being attracted to someone and being wooed by someone and being affected by someone - those are so purposefully from the Lord to echo what He has for us. So I don't think there's anything wrong with enjoying a shadow of things, of the original. That makes me love the original better. So writing love songs and all those things, I put those on the record for that reason to give us a picture of what He's doing. I think that's an important thing to look at.

The controversy of a CCM artist discussing "wordly" subjects like love and relationships has been a problem in Christian music for a while. I remember the early 90's, where there was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth with Amy Grant's album Heart in Motion, which only had one song directly dealing with God, and most songs being nice pop love songs. After this Charlie Peacock released his album Love Life, which dealt with love both horizontal and vertical. He had a wonderful song called "Kiss Me Like a Woman", with the provocative line "We can lie naked and unashamed/ Made one by divine connection" in describing the relationship between a husband and wife in a Christian context. I remember an interview he gave where he said he wanted his son's idea of a love song to be "Kiss Me Like a Woman", rather than "I Want to Sex You Up" by the group Color Me Badd (think Justin Timberlake nowadays).

I think it is getting better in the CCM realm. There are bands like Switchfoot, Relient K, and others that write about a variety of topics without having a "Jesus loves you" chorus in every song - although it is still remarkable enough for Variety Magazine to write about it (see this interesting article! - hat tip to Thunderstruck)

My pondering in all of this is: what is a Christian artist to do? In exploring the problem, is there a place to go with all of this?

There is a purpose to this discussion - I promise. I am coming to a head, most likely on Monday (ignoring the groans of everyone who just CAN'T wait :P). In the meantime, check out this little Mac vs PC parody.

1 comment:

  1. I'm loving this discussion, Jason. I'll be sorry to see it end. But I will be looking forward to Monday! :-)