I’ve written before about that “You must not love Jesus” look I always get when I tell people I don’t like to listen to “Christian music” (because, you know, the music itself got saved and has a personal walk with Jesus every day). It’s not entirely true, of course, that I don’t like to listen to music with generally religious and/or expressly Christian themes. It’s just that, when most people ask me if I listen to “Christian music” or “Christian radio” (because, in like manner, the old Philco radio itself experienced faith and repentance), what they usually mean is today’s commercial Christian pop or “praise and worship” music, which is essentially Christian “lite pop.” I don’t like to listen to that, no.
Now, I do often listen to commercial pop or even “lite pop”, as readers of this blog will no doubt know by the frequent American Idol posts. I really like a lot of pop music, probably more than should be admitted in educated company. I really like a lot of jazz, too. But I don’t believe those musical forms do justice to the themes of Christian theology. A know that 99% of the evangelical world disagrees with me on that. So sue me. That’s how I believe. That is my conviction. I don’t judge others for liking Christian pop: don’t judge me as “not really loving Jesus” for not liking Christian pop.
I do, however, like to listen to what used to be called church music. Well, it still is called church music, but since you’ll hear everything under the sun in church now, the term isn’t very useful. What used to be generally regarded as “church music” as contrasted with Christian pop music (a category which would include not only Christian rock, Christian lite pop, Christian commercial country, etc., but also older styles of pop music, such as the Bill Gaither Trio) was a category of music that included hymns, metrical Psalms, anthems, organ music, organ with brass and/or tympani, etc.
Moody Radio has long featured an hour of great church music every day on its “Sound of Majesty” program, hosted by Greg Wheatley. St. Olaf College’s “Sing for Joy” program does too, as does Richard Gladwell’s “With Heart and Voice.” “Pipedreams” with Michael Barone features, obviously, organ music, but a great deal of that is church music, as the pipe organ was the church music instrument for many centuries. All of these programs are great sources of church music for those who also enjoy that sort of thing, as I do.
Now, Moody has a 24-hour, online radio station called “Majesty Radio.” It’s basically a 24-hour version of “Sound of Majesty.” Give it a listen.