I’ve written about this before, I’m sure, but I don’t listen to a lot of “Christian music.” Most of it doesn’t challenge me, especially musically. That’s not to say I don’t listen to any of it; I like a lot of what’s happening in contemporary worship, and there are quite few Christian songs from over the years that I’m very fond of.
I’m just more inclined to listen to and be interested in Christians who are making music in the general marketplace. Artists like Over The Rhine, Bill Mallonee, Melanie Penn, and Peter Mayer generally have a more to say about life in general, so their music is more interesting and challenging. Much of that is because they don’t have to keep it “safe” for the Christian marketplace.
It seems like there’s a lot of mediocre art of all kinds out there with the “Christian” label on it. Why do we believers let that happen? Why do we let so much make the cut that wouldn’t make it anywhere else? Why should we as Christians sacrifice excellence for content?
I’ve said it many times before…and it’s not a thought that originated with me…that we who are believers in Jesus Christ ought to create the most compelling, beautiful, and interesting art. If we serve and love such a creative God, we should be creative people. Christians who are artists should realize that all of their lives belong to God and that they honor Him through excellence, not through how many times His name is mentioned or how many scriptural truths are shown or quoted. I believe that art that purports to bear the name of Jesus Christ but is mediocre is no art at all and that anything a believer does that is less than excellent does Him a disservice.
It’s long overdue for Christian artists to step up and achieve excellence, and it’s high time that Christians expect excellence in every creative field.