Friday, May 16, 2008


A little over a year ago, I posted an article in which I argue in favor of listening to Contemporary Christian Music. Click here if you would like to read or re-read the article. Some Orthodox thinkers believe that Orthodox Christians should not listen to this music, because almost none of the artists are Orthodox. I must respectfully disagree.

Recently, I re-discovered a band that I frequently listened to in my missionary days, the Newsboys (link). Their music is upbeat, energetic, sometimes whimsical, and a lot of fun. And it always carries a positive message. Everyone in my family enjoys their music, and I commend them to you.

Here is one of their latest videos. Post a comment and let me know what you think of it!


Anonymous said...

I would hate to think that I had to give up Bach and Mozart because they were not Orthodox, or had to stop listening to my 28 Joan Baez CDs. I thoroughly6 enjoyed the Newsboys' tract.

Clint said...

That song was pretty good. I am not a big listener of CCM. Having said that, I have heard Point of Grace and FFH in concert...

I really like FFH and have a couple of their cds. My wife and daughter love POG (the reason we went to the concert, where FFH opened).

Back in the day, I listened to Stryper.

But I find that I tend to either listen stuff that I liked growing up (70s and 80s) or else the radio stays on country music.

Katrina said...

One of my concerns with CCM is not so much that these artists are not Orthodox, but that some of the lyrics border on the heretical. I heard a song once on K-Love that was about "the rapture". I guess it's like anything else though, if I don't like it, then shut it off and wait for something else to come on. I take the same stance with secular music. I have three children and it is my duty regulate what they hear and see.

My other concern is that sometimes these songs are too whimsical. Christ becoming incarnate and being crucified and resurrected is certainly a cause for joy, but not for silliness. Jesus Christ is our King, our Joy and our Saviour. He is not some dude who is like your best bud and will "play football" with you in heaven. (The words in quotes are actual lyrics from a song I remember hearing once on K-Love). I don't get a sense of reverance of God. The other day I went into a "Christian" gift shop and although they had some really nice items, they also sold skin-tight tank tops for women with religious symbols and catchy sayings. Yuck. It's no wonder that some people think that Christianity is a joke.

To be completely honest, I really love the sound of Mac Powell's voice from Third Day. However, even some of their lyrics are iffy to me.

Maybe I'm just a fuddy-duddy kinda girl. Sorry if I have offended anyone, it certainly is not my intention. Just an opinion.

Katrina said...

Forgive me Father James. I didn't follow your simple request as is obvious from my rambling opinion in my comment above.

You asked for our opinion on the video.

This video by the Newsboys was uplifting and non-heretical (wink-wink)! I really did like it.

Have a beautiful day!

Michael said...

I personally liked the video.

While at a conference at Holy Archangels Monastery in Kendalia, a guy gave a speech on Orthodox Christians abandoning the good things that were produced by the west (I often referred to them as uber-Orthodox). This was specifically on art and culture. He said that they were throwing away the baby with the bath water. And I tend to agree. As he said, "Just because I'm Orthodox doesn't mean that I cannot listen to Led Zeppelin." I have to admit, we all laughed at that one. Even Fr. Dositheos gave a belly laugh.

I quite honestly haven't really listened to Contemporary Christian Music. Growing up Roman Catholic, I already came from a liturgical background, and a pretty conservative one at that. Panis Angelicus, Ave Maria, etc. were the songs I knew. It wasn't until my church became very "low churched" with the Mass that guitars, drums, and other things were brought in that I was introduced to it.

While I have no problem with artists praising Christ in their songs (Van Morrison, one of my favorite artists does this frequently in his songs), I do have a problem with it being used liturgically. Let me give you an example. One time I went to a mass where the communion hymn was "I Don't Know How To Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar. While it is a beautiful song, I don't think it is appropriate for a communion hymn.

Some of it is just too sensational. Christ is my Emperor and an emperor should be treated regally.

I think if we all use good judgement and sense, we can find music that is both modern and wholesome.

James the Thickheaded said...

Love the music. Not sure I'd want it at the service... but accompanying a reception... sure. I like this piece... reminds me of the upbeat 1960's pop music I grew up with.

As to the bigger questions, let me just say that as a former heretic somehow unsinged by the flames... it's a full life. I think it's good for a priest to sometimes remind us to be normal people... like Fr. Tom Hopko's list of 55 things. So thanks!