"Confusion in Christian Music?"

jammin-jesus

by Ron Rhodes

Serge Denisoff, sociologist at Bowling Green University, said: "If you want to reach young people in this country, write a song, don't buy an ad" (Newsweek, 30 December 1985, p. 54). Christians have long recognized that music can be a powerful platform from which to communicate God's truth to the masses. Of course, music can also be a powerful platform for communicating wrong interpretations or misrepresentations of God's truth.
Though lyrics in most contemporary Christian songs fall within the boundaries of orthodoxy, a small but growing percentage of Christian songs have lyrics that are either shallow, confusing, doctrinally errant, or even blatantly unbiblical. To illustrate this, I will cite specific examples of lyrics which fall short in one way or another. Since I have no desire to go on a "witch hunt," however, I will not mention any Christian artist's name. I would also like to mention that some of the songs I will cite are performed by artists who–for the most part–sing perfectly orthodox songs. But singing orthodox songs most of the time is not enough.
To begin, I am seriously concerned about lyrics which portray Jesus as either less than fully divine or inferior to the Father in some way. One song declares that Jesus "was just an ordinary man–just a carpenter from Galilee." Since I am familiar with other songs by this artist, I know that he believes in the deity of Christ. In His incarnation, Christ also had a fully human nature, which is what I think this artist meant to say. But Jesus was certainly no "ordinary man." Jesus was God in the flesh!
Since Jesus is God, He is all-powerful. Yet He is often portrayed in a less-than-omnipotent way. One song–a testimonial–laments that "the Devil was in me. There wasn't enough room to let sweet Jesus in." Another song about Jesus' second coming says: "If you see a Man in sandals, please send Him down my way; It might be my Master, He's coming back some day; If you see a Man in white that's like no one you've seen before, won't you let me know, That's the man I'm looking for. And if you can remember, ask Him what's His name; And if He tells you Jesus, say, 'We're so glad you came'…Then send Him on to me." This is a description of the King of kings and Lord of lords coming in glory?

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   Confusion in Christian Music (by Ron Rhodes)