Rite of Passage

It can sometimes be tempting to believe that receiving a ‘cease and desist’ is a rite of passage for bloggers. If it is, then mine came today as Brian Mayes made a claim that I have been making false statements (apparently Christian Music Makeover is not controversial in the slightest) and threatened to contact his lawyer should I “continue to make false statements, slanderous comments or personal
attacks.” Make of that what you will.


  1. That’s interesting, he seemed so charming before. Oh well, at least you’ve gained some notoriety. The closest I’ve got so far is to be blocked by a friend’s school computers on content grounds…

  2. Hey, da Man is giving you lip. You must be doing something right . . .

  3. Wow – that Brian is seriously terrified of any potential audience for the show being exposed to any criticism of it, isn’t he? That’s really sad. It’s emblematic of what’s wrong with CCM, though – no one in the industry allows any real criticism of it to get through.

    If he’s so convinced he’s got a good product, why doesn’t he let people hear various opinions about the concept and then let people decide for themselves? If it’s really all that, it will stand up to the critism and those who cast doubt will be put to shame.

    Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.

  4. I suppose if you really believe in godly music, and that it’s inspired by the Lord, then you will instinctively filter anything which might puncture that certainty. It’s a kind of self-fulfilling alternative reality, that guards itself against any varience by guarding against open discussion. Such a shame, and quite anathama to free open creativity in my view…

  5. Thanks guys. To provide a little more context, I have been emailing the writers of other stories about Christian Music Makeover to alert them to my concerns, to point out that the theology of this campaign is controversial, and to suggest that we work together on ensuring their readers get both sides of the story.

    Most have ignored those emails, at least two have forwarded them to Brian. He accused me of self-aggrandizement and I replied to say that I believe that the CCM industry is theologically bankrupt, and that I believe that Christians should be encouraged to engage in debate about these issues.

    In the world of CCM there is no substantial controversy. What passes for controversy is about as serious as the contents of the celebrity gossip magazines found by supermarket checkouts. Substantial debate doesn’t happen in CCM simply because CCM reconfigures itself if such debate looms to exclude those who would invoke it. In this case, any questioning of the theology or encouragement of debate was taken as personal and slanderous….

    It’s a sad, sad, self-perpetuating bubble at this point. It’s also difficult to judge from the outside whether it is still as resilient as it once seemed. I for one definitely hope it isn’t.

  6. James gets a cease and desist

  7. Well Done!! I’m proud of you… you must be doing somthing right and hitting a raw nerve if they’re running scared.

    Jude xx

  8. to a ‘real’ badass son of a preacherman

    My friend James is a real badass son of a preacherman. At least he’s a badass in the colloquial sense of evangelicalsim (evangelicalists are kind of like satanists only more focused on greed…they’re also different from evangelicals, most of the time…

  9. legal action????? ROTFL. What a loser. for God’s sake (literally), what on earth does this moron think he’s doing? So you’ve said that CCM is moral bankrupt and a crappy watered down version of real art. So where’s the controversy. Maybe the sea will sue you for suggesting that it makes you wet and contains salt.

    Sweet Jesus, this is classic – Brian, if you’re reading this, you win my vote for schmuck of the year. I knew the show was going to blow anyway, but I didn’t realise how low you’d sink. I had a sort of sneaking respect for you for attempting the debate in the first place, but to theaten to sue A BLOGGER when you don’t like what’s posted – you really are ‘The Man’. So much for following Jesus. Who needs to stand and be counted when you’ve got lawyers who make it unneccesary.




    love ‘n’ kisses


  10. Wow. You go, James. I’m proud of you.

  11. At ccmbuzz, we have always made it a point to not pander to the ways of other industry publications. We have posted a story about this ridiculous cease & desist and are encouraging others to think for themselves regarding this issue…

    Best wishes.

  12. Man, you can put me on the list of possible defendants . . . When CCMBuzz first reported this, I also wrote a highly critical piece on my blog.

  13. We are all behind you, James. People need to start standing up against the out-of-control Christian Industry. I have grown up with this industry, and have been more and more disappointed by there careless and tasteless acts.

  14. Read I Corinthians 6. After reading that how can you take your fellow Christian to court? I do believe the Christian Music Industry is in moral decay, but we should support those who are faithful and enrich our spiritual lives. How pathetic is making entertainment out of a “Christian” makeover. I think that is stepping across a lot of moral lines.

  15. This situation might be funny if it wasn’t so sad. I am constantly amazed at the tactics of the CCM Industry and even more amazed at the public who just doesn’t seem to understand that ‘Christian’ or not, it’s all about the money. Thanks, James.

  16. Very interesting discussion. I was just browsing off the JP blogspot and this really piqued my curiosity.

    I abandoned “CCM” (ala Amy, MWS, Petra, etc.) years ago in favor of “alternative” CM, whatever that means. However while it suits me better overall, it at times is just as bankrupt, or at the very best theologically opaque. The very nature of alternative tends toward doctrinal fogginess.

    But at least it hasn’t gone as far as an
    alternative makeover yet. That might be because CCM is big business and alternative is for the most part relatively poor. The largest CCM labels (Word, Sparrow, etc.) were bought years ago by large corporate conglomerates, so the bottom line is pecuniary, not spiritual.

    Don’t let these guys bully you into silence. And I’m totally on the same page with lawsuits as it’s clearly spelled out in 1 cor 6. But that’s assuming these guys are really saved…

    Peace to you, brother.

    John A.

  17. WOW! If Brian can’t stand the heat in the kitchen he needs to get out.Hang on James the LORD will vindicate you,this I have faith in…….Your Sis in CHRIST Beaux,Motorcity’s serious keeper of the Faith.

  18. Hmmm… we got some e-mails from Brian Mayes today due to our coverage of this; it sounds like there was some misunderstandings here regarding the cease & desist.

    Regardless, it doesn’t change the heart of the matter.

    Anyway, view his response at http://www.ccmbuzz.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1016. As a journalist, I try not to be one-sided; hence, the apology regarding the lack of fact-checking.

  19. I’ve posted a comment over at ccmbuzz and another in response to Brandon’s question on:


    And now, I’m rather hoping that debate can move on from this very particular situation, to a more general critique of CCM, its insistence on dogma, its insularity, and other associated ills.

  20. In my opinion, CCM has faded because of its lack of substance (even its style can’t compete). I’m very concerned that the Worship Industry (Integrity and the like) is also in danger of becoming monolithic and mammon-driven (if it hasn’t already). Will that genre follow CCM to a similar shallow irrelevance? If it does, what will happen to actual worship? Uh-uh-uh– I just got a shudder. Come quickly, Lord.