Thursday, March 25, 2010

Talk Thursday // Ashamement

When I tell people about the thing I'm about to share, often the look I receive is one of disgust, of utter sadness, of confusion...some of hatred. Because of these reactions, I tend to not share this particular thing about me. It's not pretty, it's not cool - not even that it's so not cool it's almost cool, kinda like being able to sing the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" theme song (which incidently I've sang like 87 times in the last 2 weeks...).


here is my confession:

If prompted, I could probably sing the entire works of one Carman Domenic Licciardello. Otherwise known to most people as "Carman that weird Christian singer guy who now waxes his chest." This really shouldn't be something that I share with people or even that I really want people to know about me. But it's the truth.

For some reason, I have this weird phobia of people thinking that I like/listen to contemporary Christian music. It doesn't bother me when people know I love southern gospel or 80's praise and worship (cause honestly, who DOESN'T love themselves some Maranatha music?! For shiz.). But current Christian music, especially if it's played on the Christian music station makes me feel "unhip" which is no bueno, because I am indeed so "hip" (the mere fact that I just used such words, especially with "" calls into question the validity of that statement).

This sprang up in my mind because tonight I'm going to a Christian concert - Family Force 5, Fee, the David Crowder Band, Mercy Me, Francesca Bastistelli (to name a few). However, I haven't really wanted to admit to anyone that I actually want to go. And it's not that I'm ashamed of Jesus; but we Christians have produced some pretty awful music and I think I view it like everyone else with just a shade of disdain. Even though these particular bands are quite good both lyrically and musically.

So the question today is 2-fold:

* How do you view Christian music? Especially in light of other FAR more talented acts out there who aren't Christian.
* What things are you going to claim ashamement for?

(Yes, I know, lexical nerds...ashamement isn't a'll be strong)


Ms. Colbert said...

I dislike MOST Christian music. I find it cheesy and trite (oooh big word :) ) and maybe it is partly rebellion after I have had it shoved down my throat at "Jesus Tech" aka SBU as well as had Churchy people (ministers and yp's) claim that secular music was apparently going to turn me into a depraved sexed up lunatic....or something like that. :)

As far as my "Ashamement" goes I am going to admit that I watch ABC Family's Make It or Break It and love every minute of that corny show. I also listen to the soundtracks to musicals like RENT, Wicked, and even Phantom and sing along at the top of my lungs as I drive down the road.

Christopher Maples said...

*I like some artists in the CCM genre, but I'm more into the more off the wall stuff. Falling Up especially, some Future of Forestry. I deleted all my Chris Tomlin stuff. :D I like almost anything Bethany Dillon does. Basically, if it's not the same stupid lyrics over and over about what we do for God, I'll probably be OK with it at best.

*I have Lady Gaga songs on my mp3 player. They're just so catchy.

Stephen said...

Music is spiritual. The music business is not.
-Van Morrison

The best book I've read on this topic of "Christian music" is Music Through the Eyes of Faith by Harold Best. Excellently written.

My philosophy of music ministry says, "Music itself is morally relative and has no inherent ability to express belief, creed, or worldview. Styles of music ministry in the church change with culture. However, music ministry should consistently be accessible to the entire congregation, based on biblical principles, and ultimately focus on glorifying God."

I agree that some music in the CCM industry lacks the appeal, and even the musical excellence, as music in the secular market. On the other hand, some popular music lacks the lyrical quality found among some CCM artists.

I think it all comes down to purpose. The motive of the music industry as a whole is financial. The purpose of music in the church, however, is to glorify God, edify believers, and spread the Gospel. (Hence the focus on lyrics.) Artists like Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Tommy Walker mostly write congregational song, which must be singable by a congregation. I personally think these guys do a fine job of it.

Now the important part... My shameful confession is that when I'm in the car with Heather, I sing along to songs by the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift and the Glee cast.

SCC said...

But what about me, Sarah? I really though we had a thing going.

JD said...

i'm not a huge fan of ccm, but am going to give my ashamement early: most of my itunes collection is ccm. but, in my defense, most of it is multiple albums of audio adrenaline, dc talk, derek webb, caedmon's call, shane and shane. you know, the good ones.

anyway, caedmon's call has put out some really good stuff in the past few years. my particular favorite is "share the well," though "undressed" is great also. derek webb has some great stuff, even though he's gone a little off the deep end, lately.

personally, i find spirituality in most music. the truth is, everyone is looking for something higher than themselves. and most secular musical artists put this in their music and sing about it quite heavily. my favorite artist recently where i've found this has been dave matthews. his latest album is an album of searching. from saying it out right to his allusions to scripture and christian traditions, he has more spirituality in one song than most ccm stations have in a day's worth of air time.

i've always found duke's dissertation on ccm a bunch of bunk. music is important in shaping a worldview, but it certainly isn't everything.

Heather said...

Here is how I feel about "christian music". There is some good stuff out there, I'm sure, but I don't know that personally, because most of what I hear is the same 20ish songs played on CCM radio... I don't buy CCM or listen to it unless I can help it. Really, the only CCM I have on my iTunes or on CD is really old: SCC, Point of Grace, Avalon, Soup Deep, Plus One... And I am not ashamed to say that most of it is cheesy and, in the case of Plus One, totally lame. But anyone who knows me well knows that I have a deep love of bad music, movies, etc... This is also why most of my most played music I get mocked severely for... Miley Cyrus, 80's music, and bad "musicals" like Grease 2 and From Justin to Kelly.

As far as ashamentment goes, I can only think of one small thing. I'm ashamed that I've read the Twilight series more than once. I don't even like for people to know I've read it once. I always make sure I qualify why I read it: "It's because it's mindless reading. A way to pass the time while I'm looking for a job. I don't actually like the books." Which is all true, but the reason I feel like I have to qualify it to the people I tell is because I'm a little ashamed.
(Btw, I had to ask Stephen what I was ashamed of and he couldn't think of anything... )

Juanita said...

I love just about any music that makes me think of God and because I absolutely love God and music, most music makes me think of God. I don't think I have the ability to discern what is good music - other than: CARMEN - no embarrassment for me in that admission because it was so brazen and out there.
Avalon - cause those harmonies just make me want to sing at the top of my lungs
Nicole Nordeman - love her heart
and others...........
I know that I probably had a hand in causing you to hate ccm because I wouldn't listen to much of anything else in the car, but oh I did so introduce you to Carmen and Sandi Patty and for that I am happy.

Sarah Lewie said...

@ Mom: even though you may have bludgeoned me in the head with CCM growing up, you did bring Sandi into my life. And I can't be bitter for that. =)

@ SCC: don't worry, SCC...I will always love you. You taught me how to Dive, go on a Great Adventure, to Dance with the Dinosaurs and generally be Speechless. I'm speaking more the the MWS's of the CCM world (ooohhh!!!! Burn!!!) =)