We don’t have an “anything goes” music standard in our church. Music in the church should be about the Lord, and what pleases Him, not what is popular in society today. It isn’t about being cool, or faddish. It isn’t about what makes me feel good.
There are other reasons besides that illustrated in the following for being careful about music. But the article which niddriepastor links is illustrative of one of the dangers of pursuing “cool”. I don’t know Mez McConnell or anything about him, so I can’t tell you how sound his teaching and ministry is, but I do know he is absolutely right on this point. First, his comment:
A post for all you saddos who were into ‘cool’ (not) Christian music groups with a salutary warning that the gospel of Christ will always outlast the latest fads. Read it here. I was in prison at the time and was probably better off in solitary than listening to half the stuff that Christian musicians and bands were trying to do at the time.
The tragic conclusion of the article to which he linked:
Despite all the affected teenage rebellion, I continued to call myself a Christian into my early twenties. When I finally stopped, it wasn’t because being a believer made me uncool or outdated or freakish. It was because being a Christian no longer meant anything. It was a label to slap on my Facebook page, next to my music preferences. The gospel became just another product someone was trying to sell me, and a paltry one at that because the church isn’t Viacom: it doesn’t have a Department of Brand Strategy and Planning. Staying relevant in late consumer capitalism requires highly sophisticated resources and the willingness to tailor your values to whatever your audience wants. In trying to compete in this market, the church has forfeited the one advantage it had in the game to attract disillusioned youth: authenticity. When it comes to intransigent values, the profit-driven world has zilch to offer. If Christian leaders weren’t so ashamed of those unvarnished values, they might have something more attractive than anything on today’s bleak moral market. In the meantime, they’ve lost one more kid to the competition.
We’re often told that we need to have music that “appeals to kids”, because it works. (It’s usually adults that tell us this, by the way.) Pragmatism is a flawed basis on which to make ministry decisions, anyway. But this gives at least one example of why the modern Christian music industry and approach doesn’t always work so well, either.
“Authenticity” (the author’s word) just means “Truth”. If we have it, we don’t need to be “cool” — the power of God will work. If we aren’t proclaiming the truth, it doesn’t matter how “cool” we are. And if we try to mix “cool” and truth, to use “cool” as a way to get people to listen to truth, we’re diluting our message (and is that really honest, anyway?). If people walk away thinking “cool”, they are thinking about the wrong thing, no matter how true our words were. We’ve shifted the focus from truth, if “cool” comes into it.
II Corinthians 4:2-6:
2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
We don’t have to try to get people to like our message. They aren’t going to “like” the truth, anyway. Their eyes have been blinded. Their only hope is for the light of the knowledge of the glory of God to shine in their hearts. “Cool” doesn’t come into it.