A litmus test for Christian music

I received several e-mails concerning my last week’s blog, “Identity crisis brewing in Christian music.” Many agreed that some music labeled Christian music simply is not Christian.

So what defines Christian music?

Someone guided me to the Fundamental Evangelistic Association‘s (FEA) Website. The group’s criteria are based upon Ephesians 5:19; “Three components of music comprise its nature when we are exhorted to speak to one another in ‘psalms and hymns and spiritual songs'”.
Christian Music according to FEA…

1. Lyrics -Lyrics should be spiritually oriented, sufficiently clear so as to convey spiritual truth plainly. The lyrics must also be consistent with biblical revelation. Most contemporary Christian music must be rejected at this point for its lack of true spirituality.

2. Score – The arrangement of the musical notes is a no less important ingredient in spiritual music. Studies have concluded that the score will affect the listener physically, emotionally and spiritually.

3. Character – Irreverence, universalism, a superficial religiousness, new-evangelicalism or a charismatic character may be presented. And because the character of music is not always readily apparent to the listener, it has the most insidious effect on believers.

Wow! Perhaps I’ve been listening to rock for so many years, I have brain damage. Every generation reflects back to the music of their youth and complains about other genres and styles. Many of the classical greats, including Bach, were bashed by critics in his day.

Christian music according to me means the lyrics should glorify God and never contradict the Bible.

Under no circumstances do I consider myself to be a liberal Christian, but Christian music is not mandated to speak the Bible verbatim. It is to reflect the walk of Christ. It is about story telling.

God allows circumstances to occur in our lives. As Christ-followers, we are to use these circumstances to glorify Christ and share it with others who need guidance.

As I wrote in earlier blogs, I could never relate to the hymns I experienced growing up in the Catholic Church. It wasn’t until I discovered contemporary Christian music that I returned to church and to a life with Christ.

One of my favorite songs is “Revelation” by Third Day. It completely describes my life at this moment in time. It reminds me to keep blindly searching for God’s will in my life. According to the litmus test of the FEA, Third Day should be banned from the airwaves.

Christ associated with the dregs of his day, tax collectors and thieves. They were losers who should have been discarded and written off by many first century Jewish standards.

Christ can and will use anyone, with any platform, if they study the word of God and stand for his kingdom.

Any band can write a Christian-type song, but do they reflect Christ in their lives and will all of their music.

How do you define Christian music?


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  1. 7Cubed.org said:

    We at 7Cubed agree. We know that Jesus went where the sinners were – and so to live the way He did we have to go to the people in need. Christian people who choose to play good music that may not follow this litmus test’s criteria are meeting people where they are and being a shining example of Christ – a light in this world. They also sometimes meet us Christians at a place in our lives where we are in need and they convey “Hey we lived through this too and here is our story.” Their story is in their song. This is no different than a Christian opening a bookstore or other business that is not primarily filled with Christian materials – but good and wholesome and smart minded materials. Christians are in all kinds of businesses that God blesses every day. We are very familiar with this need and it is global. The need to reach those in need “where they are”. Our ministry at http://www.7cubed.org is to help Bridge that Gap between the younger generation and God who is waiting for them to hear His message however they will hear it. They hear it with their ears countless times but it is when they hear it with their heart that they truthfully make a life altering decision. These are those who many times won’t listen to the typical, albeit great, Christian radio station or step a foot in church. We, at http://www.7cubed.org, provide artist interviews and reviews for both “Christian music” AND “a Christian’s music” to Bridge this Gap. Our goal is to introduce Jesus as a friend and music is a powerful tool to do that…let God take the airwaves back!

    June 24, 2009

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