Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Christian Secular Musicians

Right now the whole "blogosphere" is on fire about Justin Bieber's new movie and the Bible study that goes along with it. Yes, you read that correctly, the film studio partnered with someone to put together a Bible study that goes together with Justin's new movie. I'm not here to say that it's good or bad. I'm just here to make sure that any new converts as a result of this Bible study get issued a "New Beliebers Bible". Lots of people forget that Justin openly calls himself a Christian. And I can lead you right into the judgment trap by reminding you that he never saw worldwide fame until he partnered up with Ludacris. Sound like Robert Johnson to anyone?

But this whole thing has gotten me thinking about our attitude towards artists who call themselves Christians but perform largely secular music. Performers like Amy Grant and P.O.D. get a certain stigma attached to them for appealing to secular audiences or releasing non-Christian albums. It's even worse when a secular musician makes a profession of faith in Christ - think Bob Dylan, Lenny Kravitz, Dave Mustaine, that one guitar player from KORN, and countless others. What often happens is that a successful artist converts, then releases a Christian album or two, sales decline, and then they go back to the secular music world and usually their career never fully recovers. And so many of us Christians just smugly sit back with a smile and chalk it up to an ingenuine conversion.

But can you imagine the satanic attacks they face? You and I would be lucky to have the opportunity to share the Gospel with one person per day. When a successful artist releases an album of Christ-exalting music, there is potential and likelihood for that message to reach millions. Don't you think that gets Satan's attention? For those artists who have truly come to a saving relationship with Christ, they find themselves on the front lines of spiritual warfare very early in their conversion. Is it any surprise that, in an industry fueled by record and ticket sales, they are so discouraged in their new faith that they are drawn back into producing secular music? Few of us would immediately send a new believer out on his own into a mission field without any support or training. Even Paul, after his conversion, spent years in training.

Maybe we should try to be a little less judgmental of those high profile celebrities and artist who profess a faith in Christ. Maybe we should spend more time praying for them. Maybe we should be praying that as God transforms their heart, He would also transform their career into a ministry. Maybe we should be praying that God would present us with more opportunities to share the Gospel. Maybe we should be praying that God sends us to the frontlines of spiritual warfare - and share a little bit of that satanic load.


  1. True statement Christopher. It's so easy to become judgmental. Just like a missionary in a foreign country needs a good prayer base at home, we should provide artists like that with a good prayer base. Honestly, I think their mission field is a more difficult field than going to a tribe in the middle of nowhere...I'd take the tribe any day.

  2. I agree Chris. For decades I have said it was hypocritical that Christians will applaud a notorious sinner wearing the traditional black hat... for including a "Christian" song on an album, or ending their concert with a hymn. But a truly Christian artist better start off with secular songs and move to spiritual after getting established if he wants to avoid a lynching/crucifixion. A Christian who makes music that appeals to everyone is considered a sell out otherwise. And once again, we shoot our own.

  3. An afterthought.. decades ago I went to a "Christian coffee house" and Terry Clark did impressions of what it would sound like if well known secular artists became Christians. He did a hysterical impression of Bob Dylan singing Amazing Grace. A couple of years later I was listening to my Christian music station and thought,"that sounds just like.. no it couldn't possibly be.. no, that totally HAS to be.. Bob Dylan." And I laughed and laughed. You never can guess what God will do.