Sacred vs secular music

Christian crossover band
Christian crossover band

Reading a fellow blogger’s post, I came across this interesting article conversation and wanted to join. Not only am I a pastor and an author, I’m also a musician and producer. Although I never pursued music into a career path, I have been blessed to play for and work with several grammy-award winning artists. I secretly desire to write a dove-award winning song or even a produce a hit-song that stays on the Billboard charts for an entire year!

Those artists I worked with were in both the “secular” and “sacred” arenas of music. The traditional view of music is that a Christian can ONLY sing “Christian” songs or songs that make reference to the name of Jesus. If not, your spirituality will be in question. This hot topic has drawn debate for years. Can a Christian write love songs? Or feel good songs? Switchfoot, the American alternative band out of Sand Diego California known to be a Christian band are no longer singing “Christian” songs and are receiving heat for it. Their response to critics are astonishing. Here’s some of lead singer Jon Foreman‘s reply:

“To be honest, this question grieves me because I feel that it represents a much bigger issue than simply a couple SF tunes. In true Socratic form, let me ask you a few questions: Does Lewis or Tolkien mention Christ in any of their fictional series? Are Bach’s sonata’s Christian? What is more Christ-like, feeding the poor, making furniture, cleaning bathrooms, or painting a sunset? There is a schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds.

The view that a pastor is more ‘Christian’ than a girls volleyball coach is flawed and heretical. The stance that a worship leader is more spiritual than a janitor is condescending and flawed. These different callings and purposes further demonstrate God’s sovereignty.”

What are your views? Do you believe a person with a “Jesus Mind” can sing secular songs?

*Complements to CTK BLOG

5 thoughts on “Sacred vs secular music

  1. I would argue against your sacred/secular division. Plato once posited that all art is divinely inspired and, therefore, sacred. Plus, many, many musical artists from all across the genre spectrum and from all corners of the globe address spirituality, whether or not it comes from a Christian perspective. That said, I don’t think your question is much of a question for real music fans, who care about the quality of the work, not artificial divisions. Bob Dylan made a “Christian” album; artists such as Stryper and Amy Grant crossed over to the pop market. The only real divisions are in the minds of listeners and marketers.

  2. Enjoying music is different for each christian. A time for worship is mandatory and it includes a time of praise to God. Hymns and new music can glorify God, and it should bring us closer to knowing the presence of our saviior. .

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