So this Sunday as we were driving into church I happened to glance over at one of the church signs we passed. Usually these signs contain what the sermon topic of the week is going to be or some ridiculous quote that makes me slightly queasy. For example, one week this sign proudly pronounced: “Scooby dooby doo, God loves you.” Seriously, that’s what it said. Proceed with heavy groaning.
Anyway, this Sunday’s epithet was an advertisement for a service that would utilize Christian pop rock. I don’t get it. What does that mean anyway?
First, a disclaimer- I personally enjoy listening to varieties of both popular and rock music. I also like cotton candy, but I don’t eat it for breakfast, that would be neither appropriate nor healthy.
Okay, back to Christian pop rock. It seems like this term is an oxymoron, or it should be. First, the term pop: popular, was Christianity ever meant to be popular? In our society, popular also means secular, what is accepted by society at large. Popular music is born of a worldview that holds up the pillars of “instant gratification,” and “give the people what they want.” What do these things have to do with Christianity? In my mind: nothing. In fact, these ideals are downright anti- Christian.
Rock: the term in itself implies the heavy rhythmic force that drives this style of music. In the days of the Patriarchs, pagan music was vehemently spoken against and mainly on these grounds: the music of pagan worship used extremely loud instrumentation, which rendered the words used superfluous, and the rhythms were meant to encourage frenzied and sexual dancing. Sound familiar?
Another disclaimer: I was a drummer in high school; I love driving rhythms. I also love to dance. I am not saying Christian music should have no rhythmic interest or that Christians shouldn’t dance, but how should these gifts be implemented in the church? The medium you use to get your message across becomes part of that message. What is the message of Christian pop rock? Is it one we wish to propagate in the sanctuary?