Matt Chandler: Lame Christian Music

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Matt Chandler: “I didn’t necessarily want to give up my Run DMC record for a DC Talk record.”

Practical Idea: Use this clip to introduce a discussion on whether Christian art, music and work should be second-rate.

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  • Tracy

    I was in high school during the 70’s and graduated in 1980. I thought DeGarmo and Key, Sweet Comfort Band, Russ Taff, Phil Keaggy, 2nd Chapter of Acts and many others were out of this world, insanely amazing. I was one of those crazy people who listened almost exclusively to Christian music, not because I was told to or because I attended some kind of “secular music bond fire burn” :-) I simply loved what the Christian artists sang about compared to the Eagles, Pink Floyd and Elton John were singing about. Content and heart trumped musical excellence to me, even though I really did like the quality of the Christian bands. With that said – I agree with the “craziness” of things like “I heard a demon hiss when I burned that Led Zeppelin record” and stuff like that. Anyway – great post, enjoyed the thoughts.


  • Nick

    So how is Christian music today compared to secular? I am curious to how Matt would see that. I do agree though that some of the early Christian music was “lame” but how much of that was actually music or the fact that the vast majority of people didn’t listen to Christian music and as a kid/teenager you want to be listening to what everyone else is. I’m only 22 and music is a huge part of my life as a worship pastor and I can say growing up I wanted to listen to secular music just because that’s what everyone knew. Even now I almost exclusively listen to Christian music but there’s still a few secular bands I have on my iPod.

  • Tom

    All music takes on a life of its own. In various genre there’s that “beginning period” that is radical and at the same time it’s being misunderstood. In the last 40 years so much has happened in “worship” music that I hardly want to try to give a historical analysis. However, having said that, music in the church is like pop music…up and down, good and not so good. Music is one of those “private” things. Music is one of those “private” things. We all like some kind of secular music because good music is like truth, it agrees with certain realities such as harmony and meter.

    Considering “worship” music, what was written before we were born is often accepted. What is introduced is either acquired or retired. I personally like songs that make me think about my faith or the personal attributes of God. I do not like short repetitive chorus lines. I’m usually out after four repeats. I’d rather sing the whole short song over three times than say…power…power…bless…bless.. Lord…Lord…whatever (hopefully you get the point)

  • Beth

    I agree, sometimes Christian music all sounds the same. We should make sure that complex and original Christian music is being produced. But here’s why I’m OK with it during a worship-service: accessibility and participation. Often worship bands are trying so hard to “not sound lame” that they leave the congregation completely out of their worship. I have a music degree, and sometimes I struggle to sing along to the highly stylized worship music at our church. People don’t want to come to church for a concert on every song. They want to be able to join in – and if the music is too technically complicated or if the leader phrases his lyrics like an indie-hipster artist – people end up sitting and watching. If people can’t participate, we sit and daydream or think through our to-do lists. There’s a fine balance…take cues from the congregation.

  • Daniel

    Never confuse your personal taste in music to God’s, in 20 years you will look back and be embarrassed by what you thought was good music in the mean time God will raise up new artists to speak to a new generation.

  • Daniel

    Run DMC is not great music, it is childish and immature pop culture nonsense. I hate when pastors talk about music when they no nothing of great jazz, orchestral, or world musics.

    • Gamer_Czar

      That is certainly your opinion Daniel, but there are plenty of people who think it is great music. I know many people, unfortunately, who think jazz is ridiculous and self-serving because the soloists are only “showing off” their skills. I think when we get to a point where we start ignoring the musical tastes of others only because we dislike it, we are in danger of losing the ability to connect with others. Just my opinion ;-)

  • Rev jeff

    Have did the comment about reformed theology need to be made here? What is it the new reformed theologians that they feel the need to broadcast their label so much lately? It was completely unrelated to the comments about music. It is a nervous fall back comment so that they are able to relate to a sect within general Christianity.

  • the_atm

    I think the normal steryotype for christian music ruins it for people. I’ve heard people say “Christian music is singing stuff like ‘God loves all, read the bible, Jesus died for you'” and that sterotype really pushes people away. But bands like RED are heavy metal and they are Christian and they still have great lyrics.

  • Chip

    Seems that the music isn’t the only thing that’s lame.

  • John Collier

    I was right there with him until he equated “Reformed Theology” with “Grace”. Calvinists act as if they are the only Christians who believe in grace. EVERY TRUE CHRISTIAN BELIEVES IN AND TRUSTS IN GOD’S GRACE!!! How condescending.


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He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? —Romans 8:32