Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "UNbelievable," June 17, 2000

Troubling trends

Your story on contemporary Christian music was great ("Salt or sugar?" May 13). I am not concerned about whether CCM artists should sing for Christians or try to bring the Christian message to the world. But I am deeply troubled by two trends: the desire of companies to shape musicians and their message into a mold that will make them the most money, and the increasing tendency to accept the less-than-biblical lifestyle of some CCM "stars." For Christians, the desire for money must not shape the message, and CCM artists are role models, whether they want to be or not. - Larry Lobdell Jr., Coopersville, Mich.

The world is winning us

Finally someone has exposed the corruption in the so-called Christian music business. Thanks for the gutsy article which is really about a distorted view of who God is and the need to get back to a biblical theology. Our music reflects our belief system and the present dilemma only verifies that we are not winning the world, but the world is winning us. - William J. Finnigan, Warren, Ohio

Tremendous opportunity

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CCM songs have shown me areas of my life that need work, taught me about God, given me hope in hard times, and reminded me to praise the Lord in good times. I also believe that CCM has a tremendous opportunity to be a witness. In this dark world, people will be drawn to lyrics that offer hope, love songs that don't end in heartbreak, and musicians that don't appear to be depressed and angry. - Sharon Pelletier, Troy, Mich.

Different gifts

When we as a radio station put forth a positive message, folks look forward to turning on the radio. We are all called to use our gifts and abilities in the way that God calls us, and God will lead us to do differently. Let's stop questioning the call and ministry practices of our brothers and sisters and spend our energy in ways that edify the local church body. - Mark T. Giles, WPSM Radio, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

As commercial as McDonald's ...

The CCM industry calling itself a ministry is like McDonald's calling itself a hunger-relief organization. CCM was "legal" entertainment for me as a teenager, but its rhetoric of reaching the world through sanctified rock 'n' roll only united religion with rebellion. - Brenda Huber, Conestoga, Pa.

...and about as healthy

While I have long enjoyed contemporary Christian music, I am troubled by the lack of depth and the cryptic lyrics that proliferate in recent offerings. I am more troubled that some Christian radio stations broadcast spots touting their programming as a reasonable substitute for personal Bible study and validate tithing to their ministry. Would they also recommend a diet based on Snickers bars and Cocoa Krispies? Maybe we in the church should think this over-or just turn off our radios for a while. - Mike Anderson, Woodburn, Ore.

Set apart

I believe there is an important place in music ministries for both those who evangelize the lost and those who feed the saved. If Christian artists want to truly have an impact in the secular world, though, they must be set apart and hold strong to biblical beliefs. Revealing clothes and divorce, among other things, do not show the lost that these Christian artists are any different. - JulieBeth Lamb, Knight's Ferry, Calif.

God or mammon?

Word president Roland Lundy's statement that "if we don't make money, we don't make a profit, and then we have no ministry," should make us shudder. The CCM industry has made it very clear that when a choice has to be made between the true gospel of Christ or profits, then the gospel will have to go. - Ronald Healy, Big Timber, Mont.

Would Jesus water down the wine?

I have often become acquainted with Christian artists with a wonderful message, only to be disappointed by their entrance into mainstream music. Michael W. Smith was right that Jesus wouldn't just "feed ... our own little club," but Jesus wouldn't water down His message to increase sales, either. - Michelle Johnson, Cottage Grove, Wis.


Your article broke my heart. I always suspected that when the secular companies bought out Word, Sparrow, and the rest that compromise would invariably follow. How painful to see it played out in the lives of Christian artists. - Janice Scott, Tucker, Ga.

Sinking of Amy's Titanic

The divorce of Amy Grant and Gary Chapman struck an emotional chord with me ("Contemporary lifestyles," May 13). I have followed her career since she was a high-school student releasing her first album. Her songs have often revealed personal milestones and family relationships, notably a line, "It takes a little time to turn the Titanic around." Alas, her marital Titanic struck an iceberg and sank. Regardless of the circumstances of the divorce, we who have followed her life are saddened. - Ron Brown, Crystal River, Fla.


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