Written by Faye L.
If I were to think back to when I began listening to music, I would have to go back to when I was two, three, four years or so old. I was nothing if not predictable: Veggie Tales™ CDs and Disney’s The Jungle Book soundtrack. Over and over and over again. I could pride myself in knowing all the lyrics to Want to be Like You. And Veggie Tales™? Well, I couldn’t live without those genius-created ditties! Even today, Belly Button brings a tear to my eye. No, seriously. I continue to love Veggie Tales™ ‘till this day.
Though I’ve always enjoyed music, aside from my Veggie Tales™ and Jungle Book days, I’ve really never been that into music. I had never (and have never) played a single instrument… though, MAYBE one day I will consider the banjo or ukulele!
More recently, my good friend, who is a huge Newsboys fan, recommended listening to K-Love radio. I had always heard varied opinions on K-Love, so I was more or less expecting to find boring, secular Christian music. However, I knew if my friend was listening to the station, it had to be fairly good! Never the less, I was surprised to find myself enjoying the Christian Contemporary music… and encouraged.
I know well how most view Christian music: Boring, uncreative, not even close to theologically deep, and a genre you cannot even dance to. While a couple years ago I would have probably agreed with you, I would now have to disagree.
Under the umbrella of the label “Christian”, there are many different genres. Just like non-Christian, there is rock, there is rap, folk, country, etc. I have found that you have to dig just a little deeper to find a handful of creative songs and groups.
Is CCM (Christian Contemporary Music) all about mushy Christian love instead of really packing a punch theologically? I will answer this simply by saying some songs are really thoughtless. While a certain song may sound good, the lyrics will probably not be quite as deep as the hymns "of old”. On the other hand, there are some songs and groups that are extremely biblical and theologically profound. Quite frankly, it all depends. I know you must love that answer! Okay, I’ll further my answer… begin listening to CCM. Go ahead and turn your radio station over to K-Love, download the Moody Praise and Worship app or the Shine FM app and listen. God will lead you from there to the song you need to hear at the precise moment He deems necessary. I can testify!
As far as “liking” Christian music and dancing, I would have to remind you that music is not and was not ever created to satisfy our own desires and feelings, but instead, to bring glory to God. Concerning praise in general, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Praise completes our enjoyment…in things we love.” Reread this quote, this time applying it to praising God. Wow! I don't know about you, but this definitely has a huge impact on me! Only the other day I was reading through psalm 119. The entire premise of the psalm is delighting in God and His word. When we sing praises to God, it draws us closer to Him. It makes us delight in His law and it completes our enJOYment in Him. If godly music has shown me anything, it has shown me God’s joy. Let me just tell you, real, flawless joy is a beautiful thing!
Music has the potential to become dangerous, as we pretty much all know. While not perfect, Christian music is usually always safe. You won’t hear sex, drugs, and drinking glorified in Christian music. You won’t be induced by suggestive, provocative lyrics or melodies. It has been scientifically proven that music effects our brains. We accurately are what we listen to. Praising God takes us away from our pity-party thoughts and replaces those feelings with thanksgiving.
One of the biggest things that music has made me realize is that worshipping and serving God is far from boring! We are brought into the presence of God’s joy… and amazing things happen when placed in His joy! His joy is our strength, therefore we can praise Him with a broken heart (Psalm 147:1, 3), we can shout for joy (Psalm 98:4), we can sing at the top of our lungs (Psalm 92:1-2), we can praise Him with our hands lifted (Psalm 134:2), and we can praise Him in dance (Psalm 149:3). God has given us the awesome and humbling privilege (and blessing!) of bringing glory to His name…let’s not waste our chance!
I am not saying that life isn’t hard. I am not even saying that we have to be happy and joyful all the time. I am definitely not saying that music is the only way we can draw close to God. But I am saying that music is one of the many tools God uses to bring us through the pain, remind us that He is in control and worthy of our praise, and a tool He uses to revert us to Him at all times. Godly music is not the god, it is merely a muddled reflection of who God is.
I have found Christian music (whether the new-stuff or old stuff) to be extremely encouraging, motivating, and sometimes even challenging. The way it turns one’s thoughts from themselves to God is breathtakingly beautiful. If you are new to the Christian Music realm, I would love to share with you some of my favorite songs and artists! I hope that these songs prove to be just as encouraging to you as they have been to me and that they will draw you closer to Christ. Even if you already listen/sing to CCM and hymns, maybe one song on my list will be just what you need to hear today! Enjoy!
Not only are they my personal favorite group, but they're from Northern Ireland... and we all know that everything Irish is just that much better! ;) Rend Collective's vision and music is a breath of fresh air. They preform using an array of instruments including banjos, ukuleles, and a jingling johnny!
Rend Collective is on fire for God and His church. Their hearts and passion are unbelievable. This is a group you must see live... their shindigs are picturesque of God's family and joy (like a glimpse of heaven on earth).
Honestly, I cannot pick a favorite Rend song. God has used many of their songs to impact my life in mighty ways, aide me through difficult times, and I can always count on their lyrics to get me praising God and giving Him all the glory... even when I don't 'feel' like it. This is a group I've recommended to friends and family time and time again.
If you are interested in more of Rend Collective's music, I suggest looking into either their album, The Art of Celebration, or their newest album, As Family We Go.
MercyMe, though more on the side of rock n' roll, is another one of my favorite groups. Their music is so God honoring. I definitely recommend looking into their album, Welcome to the New. It truly shows the heart of this group. While all of their songs are beautifully poignant, Greater is unquestionably my favorite song by them.
More recently I've come across this group. Both my mom and I absolutely love their music. Rivers in the Wasteland is an excellent album and a great place to start. You may have heard some of their music, both Multiplied and Brother being played regularly on K-Love and Moody as well as other popular Christian radio Stations.
'music is not and was not ever created to satisfy our own desires and feelings, but instead, to bring glory to God'
If you have favorite songs and/or groups, The SLAH would love to hear from you! Please comment below and let us know your thoughts and perspective on music in general as well as specific songs.
*Here is the official Build Your Kingdom Here music video, written and performed by Rend Collective. This gives you a glimpse of how creative and fun Christian music can be!