Christian Music For Non-Believers?

September 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm 2 comments

As I’ve stated before, I’m not a religious guy. And to be frank, must Christian music really doesn’t do anything for me. Well let me rephrase that, most MODERN Christian music doesn’t do anything for me (I’ll listen to Locus Iste any time). But I’m something of a cultural collector. An internet anthropologist if you will. I tend to have this view that almost everything in every genre of music is crap, but within each genre there are pearls waiting to be found. To give an example I’m not a big fan of rap, but 2Pac’s “Brenda’s Got A Baby” is a gem amongst dirt.

So I’ve often thought, what about the Christian music? The contemporary stuff. The stuff I haven’t heard because I really didn’t get into music until just before I got out of Christianity. Are there any gems there? Is there Christian music for the secular? So I did some digging. There was a lot of crap (that’s par for the course) but there was another issue I came across. As a non-believer the use of ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ out of nowhere can be quite jarring. A song that is not suffering musically can be completely ruined by lyrics that you deeply disagree with (Such as John Lennon’s Imagine, which I can’t stand).

This made me start to think that maybe I wasn’t going to find any Christian music that I really cared for. Maybe the mere fact that the world view innately present within the songs were so different from my own meant that I just wouldn’t be able to enjoy or connect with any of them. Thankfully I pressed on, and was saved (no not SAVED saved, just saved from not finding any modern Christian music I like) by this song:

First the music has that late 80s early 90s feel where synthesizer and post-production have been used, but only to the effect of adding a slightly unnatural feel to the song. It’s synthetic sound, but as synthetic sound instead of posing as real instrumentation, and that feel completely synergizes with the lyrics (did I just use the word synergize unironically?) Meanwhile, the lyrics work on multiple levels, so that while the intended Christian message is clear, if one were not aware of its Christian origins it could be taken simply to call for a perseverance, to resist group thought, cynicism and nihilism. It’s a call to hold on to one’s identity and inner strength, but it assumes that the listener knows that its talking about Christianity, and because it never explicitly states that, it works for anyone with convictions.

is there other Christian music like this, quality music that non-believers might like (and no not in an ‘ironic’ way)?

Entry filed under: Good.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. worldslaziestbusker  |  April 29, 2014 at 11:34 am

    A good find, and one I would not have persevered long enough to come across. I salute your stoicism in this project.

    I enjoy many songs which make allusions to Biblical material, but which I doubt carry any Christian message. Leonard Cohen’s material comes to mind.

    My use of religious language in one of my songs has seen me accused of some vague and impossible to prosecute crime against something or other. Sue me. And remember that if someone uses such language to denigrate the glory of God, in any way, they are guilty of the sin of blasphemy ahead of any “Gotcha – see, you really do believe in God” Freudian slip of the lyric.

    After listening to “Numb”, I’ve a taste to dig up some Machines of Loving Grace.

    • 2. andrewclunn  |  April 29, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Just be ready for A LOT of crap. Then again, that’s true of any genre of music.


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