Why I might let myself care about CCM

For quite some time I’ve pulled away from the bizarre world of “Contemporary Christian Music.” Having spent a lot of time writing increasingly critical reviews of much of the dross released through that industry I got burned out and pulled away almost completely. But of late I’ve been reading a few more news sources from that world and as anyone who reads this blog will know, ranting at length about some of its more distasteful initiatives.

Since writing my entries about Christian Music Makeover I’ve emailed the editors of a number of CCM news websites to ask if they’d consider adding a note about the entries when they run stories on CMM and this week one of them said she thought such conversations should remain private and copied their reply to Brian Mayes, who accused me of using his campaign for my own publicity. I replied and told him that I was sending these emails because I consider the CCM industry to be theologically bankrupt. Too much that is dreadful is allowed to pass in that ghetto because its not politically correct to criticise, and because those of us who would offer critique find much more worthwhile uses of our time looking elsewhere.

As I’ve reflected on these emails and the existence of CCM I’ve come to realise that it may just be worth caring about. In many ways the cultural arbiters of CCM share a lot of ground with the gatekeepers of evangelicalism. Those who would argue that Christians should use their money to buy propaganda posing as sub-standard music often overlap with those who would argue that to be a Christian means to vote however James Dobson tells you. And the same lack of critique, retreat from debate, and genuflecting to a set of assumptions that allows people to buy this dross, gently supports an uncritical acceptance that God takes partisan sides.

So I’m wondering whether there’s cause for a sustained critique of CCM? One that engages with what’s happening in that space and constantly asks questions. One that hopes that by opening up questions of any sort people can be spurred into asking questions of all sorts. Is there any space for such a critique? Is there any chance that it might have an impact?



1 comment

  1. I think you will find there is A LOT of collaboration between the CCM industry and Dobson et al. They are basically, like Amway, in the market to sell promotional products.

    With recent ‘secret business dealings’, such as those between the newsboys and Every Nation cult/church in Nashville, this is only going to get worse. ccm is the new battlefront.