An Interesting Question from a Reader – Why are those who Listen to Contemporary Christian Music Bolder in Their Faith? by Pr. Rossow

Here is a comment over on the “Sources of Contemporary Music” post that I thought deserved its own string. Richard, who appears to be a confessional Lutheran, in comment 6, says that it is a curiosity that he finds bold faith among his friends who listen to contemporary music. I have published below two of the following comments because they are very insightful. I will also include my own thoughts below. Here is Richard’s quote:

There is an interesting situation that the contemporary versus traditional controversy overlooks. Among my friends, all of whom are members of our confessional, liturgical LCMS congregaton, many who enjoy modern Christian music are actually those individuals who have what I consider to be the strongest, boldest faith. They listen to Christian radio when the other members are listening to secular music. They often home school their children or send them to parochial school while the rest submit their kids to secular eduction. They speak about Christ to their friends and neighbors.

In many cases the members who enjoy modern Christian music are those whom we are thrilled to have involved in the day-to-day life of the church. And they can’t understand how their life that is defined six days per week as faithful Christianity is rejected by the Pharisees on Sunday morning.

Kelly in comment 7 wisely responds:

Listening to secular music and having children in public school is indicative of having a faith that is not especially bold or strong? There you go.

By the way, if I have my “Kelly’s” right, she is one of the essayists in Jim Pierce’s anthology of confessional Lutheran conversion stories titled “Wittenberg Confessions.”

Lloyd Cadle then adds this in comment 12, again speaking wisely.

I have actually grown in my zeal for the Word of God and in my study of theology since I gave up Christian music many years ago.

Put me in the camp that would say, “I became a Christian and gave up secular music. I became a Lutheran and gave up Christian music.”

The poor theology found in the songs on Christian radio can really screw up your faith and your concept of the Triune God. It would take a heavy dose of Lutheran liturgy and songs out the the hymnal to get back on track again.

Dumb theology makes dumb Christians. (Please listen to Christian radio!)

I listened to contemporary Christian music for years (from age 16 to almost age 40) but gave it up when my Biblical discernment for good doctrine finally overcame my desire for a pleasing musical sound with semi-biblical lyrics. My answer to Richard is this. When you get beat up by the law all the time by Contemporary Christian music, which almost to a performance, demonstrates no proper distinction between Law and Gospel, you will start performing good works and give the appearance of a super Christian. (What is a “super Christian?”) The pharisees are not the liturgical folks, although there are certainly Pharisaical liturgical types. The pharisees are the ones doing the good works by motivation of the constant droning of the law in Contemporary Christian music and doing the pseudo good works of home schooling and shutting down those bad people like Abba, Chicago and The Who. (Thanks to Kelly for that last insight.)

For the record, on my short 4 minute ride to church this morning I heard a really “groovy” Abba song on the radio and turned to my wife and said, “You know, I think everyday should start with an Abba song.” Only after Luther’s morning prayer routine of course.

So there you go. Richard offers a provocative curiosity. Let’s see what you have to say about it.

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