what you win them with you may lose them with

My friend Eric Strattan sent me this link. It is long, but it deftly explores the progression of contemporary Christian music and its effect on discipleship and the church.

The money quote comes in the last paragraph:

“Despite all the affected teenage rebellion, I continued to call myself a Christian into my early twenties. When I finally stopped, it wasn’t because being a believer made me uncool or outdated or freakish. It was because being a Christian no longer meant anything. It was a label to slap on my Facebook page, next to my music preferences. The gospel became just another product someone was trying to sell me, and a paltry one at that because the church isn’t Viacom: it doesn’t have a Department of Brand Strategy and Planning. Staying relevant in late consumer capitalism requires highly sophisticated resources and the willingness to tailor your values to whatever your audience wants. In trying to compete in this market, the church has forfeited the one advantage it had in the game to attract disillusioned youth: authenticity. When it comes to intransigent values, the profit-driven world has zilch to offer. If Christian leaders weren’t so ashamed of those unvarnished values, they might have something more attractive than anything on today’s bleak moral market. In the meantime, they’ve lost one more kid to the competition.”

5 Comments

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  1. That post says it all, it also explains why the church isn’t growing much in America but is growing inside America’s prisons. In prison I can walk up to a guy who I know is a believer and speak about the deep things of our faith. I know that he’s praying and reading the Bible, his identity is in Christ, and most importantly he’s being tested and tried on a consistant basis by unbelievers if his faith is genuine.

  2. Lots of good posts in that article (read the whole thing), but it’s clear that she was just a cultural Christian by any measure even before she “ditched the Christian label.” If we’d had better music, she seems to think, we’d have kept her from jumping ship. No. If she were regenerate she would not have gone out from us. She went out from us and so she was not one of us. She could have just as easily been a cultural Christian who dug Fannie Crosby’s hymns.

  3. Let’s try that again, NOT at 2 AM:
    Lots of good points in that article (I read the whole thing), but it’s clear that she was just a cultural Christian by any measure even before she “ditched the Christian label.” If we’d had better music, she seems to think, we’d have kept her from jumping ship. No. If she were regenerate she would not have gone out from us. She went out from us because she was not one of us. She could have just as easily been a cultural Christian who dug Fannie Crosby’s hymns.

  4. Jonathan Shelley May 27, 2012 — 8:50 pm

    Right as usual, Z.

  5. Dave Carpenter June 11, 2012 — 7:23 am

    Good article. I am also concerned that “christian” radio stations endorse and give a platform to artists by playing their songs (intentional or not). e.g. Phillips, Craig & Dean are members of, and “ministers” in the United Pentecostal Church which is a cult because it denies the trinity. I wonder how many people think they are “christian” because they heard their music on WCSG et al and encourage others to attend their concerts and altar calls? I now see the lyrics of “You are God Alone” in a different light! How did they end up on “christian” radio stations?

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