Jesus Rocks?

10346922Christian rock music. This is a topic that has interested me for quite some time. I’ve always thought it strange that while such a huge percentage of this country is Christian, Christian rock music has failed to make any dent in mainstream popular music.

So what’s the deal? I’ve heard many Christian rock bands, and they’re not bad…I mean, for those who like the warmed over, watered down sounds of Matchbox 20 or The Gin Blossoms, a lot of Christian bands have that same sound. So is it the lyrics? Do church-goers not want to hear the same stuff that they hear every Sunday coming out of their cd players? The only cross-over in recent memory would be Creed’s album from the late 90’s which featured “Higher.” That was a wildly popular song and Creed did very well for a time, but then faded from the scene. So why did they get any recognition while everyone else has not? Is it because the lyrics to that song aren’t overtly religious and the masses didn’t realize it was “Christian”?

Is it that people go to church out of guilt and fear, but people listen to rock and roll because they like to be sinful?

In other words, people don’t like to mix their religion with their fun stuff too much. There are crazy born-again types that might go for Christian Rock, but most Christians were raised as such and don’t want that shoved down their throats when they’re trying to have fun.   Of course a lot of the songs I’ve heard aren’t evangelical – the lyrics aren’t about sin and hellfire and such. They’re uplifting spiritual songs. Basically take the lyrics from a Counting Crows or Jason Mraz song, and replace the word “baby” with “Jesus,” and it’s the same song.

Maybe it’s that they might not really want to be Christian, but figure there’s a slight chance that Hell actually exists and don’t want to risk it. So they go to church and pray and repent or whatever the hell it is that they do to keep their asses in saved status, but want to keep the rest of their lives secular.

What do YOU think?


2 Responses to “Jesus Rocks?”

  1. October 24, 2009 at 12:05 AM

    Hey, it’s your prodigal cousin! Greetings from Brooklyn.

    I think you’re underestimating the popularity of Christian rock — an easy enough miscalculation, as it’s one of those scenes that can be pretty invisible to those not partaking. While crossover success on mainstream radio might be elusive, there are plenty of Bible-referencing, Jeebus-lovin’, power-chord-abusing, premarital-sex-eschewing bands out there that do very, very well on tour, filling huge venues.

    Also, I hate to say it, but Creed is BACK. And people are excited about it. Gross, I know. As an aside, them boys ain’t as devout/spiritual as their music might suggest, as I know from personal experience back in their heyday, when I worked (okay, interned) for their record label.

    • 2 ericstraus
      October 25, 2009 at 4:30 AM

      I understand that some bands within the genre are quite popular, but my question is with the genre as a whole being so far removed from the mainstream. A friend of mine suggested that the reason might be that the bands just suck, the music’s no good. And while I personally agree, I hear little difference, musically speaking, between the Christian rocks bands and secular groups like Matchbox 20 and Third Eye Blind, who are both wildly popular.
      I’ve even heard some Christian death metal bands that basically sound just like secular death metal bands…and the lyrics are barely discernible anyway, so why are they not on tour with Cannibal Corpse or Lamb of God or whoever? Because philosophically they can’t get along?
      See, so many questions, so few answers…

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