By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen, First Baptist Church, Spearfish, SD
One of the most controversial subjects among Christians in more-recent years is what is known as Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). It is controversial because, in contrast to traditional Christian music, CCM puts Christian words to music styles that most Christians had previously considered to be objectionable due to the fact that they were used by musicians and singers whose lives did not express Bible-based Christian morals and beliefs, and often contradicted those morals and beliefs. For example, rock and roll and country western musicians often were known/are know for profanity, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and rejection of moral absolutes. Therefore, to put Christian words to their kinds of music seemed to be a joining of things that are contradictory to one another. It might be comparable to having a man well-known for wickedness read the Bible during a church service. Even Gene Simmons, a member of the rock group called “KISS” told a Christian contestant on “American Idol” that he should not go into rock music because it and the Christian faith don’t go together. I saw this on the internet, and you can do so yourselves. Here’s a link to it: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=200BCNNU
But now, rock and other kinds of CCM are commonly accepted by Christians. But should we accept them? That is the question considered in the book by Shelly Hamilton, who is herself an accomplished musician. I have carefully read the book, and highly recommend that it be read open-mindedly by those who see nothing wrong with CCM because, though the style of the music is radically different than previously was used to express the Christian faith, the Christian words justify the change. Not only should those who accept CCM read the book, so should those who don’t accept it, or who have questions about why it should not be accepted. Sadly, many who accept CCM are not willing to consider why Shelly Hamilton and many others object to CCM. The book is available from Majesty Music, and is only 103 pages long. Here are the chapter titles:
- My Musical Background.
- What Exactly Is Contemporary Christian Music?
- CCM Is Born
- Is Music Neutral?
- The Rock Beat
- The Pop Singing Style
- Intent And Motive
- Biblical Teaching About Music
- Rock By Its Fruit And Association
- A Musical Line
- The Power Of Music In The Church
- What Are A Christian’s Musical Options?
POSTLUDE BY FRANK GARLOCK