Where Christian Music Fails Me

It’s been a long day.  It’s one of those days where it seems like the world is out to get you.  I’m worn out from putting out fires and feeling abused.  I’m put out, fed up, and downright perturbed.  It’s one of those days where a younger, less mature, and impulsive me would put a fist through a wall (thank you Amare Stoudemire for reminding us how dumb that is).  The drive home lets me think about it.  Stew about it is more like it.  I need something to help me move past it.  I turn on the radio.  Sports talk is just irritating.  Next up the Christian radio station.  I get half way through a “Newsboys” song and that’s not helping.  Three stations later, I find it: Foo Fighters.  I feel my body relax even as my heart rate picks up.  

I’m a worship leader, a strong Christian, and just all around love music (most of it).  But I will also be the first to admit that Christian music fails me far too often on those days where you just want to be mad at something or someone.  Christian music doesn’t have angst.  It doesn’t give a person release to yell, scream, and let lose of the frustrations in their life.  It doesn’t express hurt and pain.  Disappointment, sorrow, bitterness, resentment.

Skillet, Newsboys, and Hillsong are calming and soothing.  But many times I need to get the pent up energy out before I can truly be calmed and soothed.  I know there are people who understand what I’m talking about.  They’re the same people who after “one of those days” hit the gym hard.  They aren’t going to go home and read a book at the end of that day.  It’s the same thing.  There’s just something that Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) can do that Chris Tomlin can’t.

Christian songs always have a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s going to be alright, God’s in control out clause.  They only reflect one side of the human emotion lexicon.  It’s almost as if they cover the 5 stages of grief (Shock,  Guilt, Anger, Depression, Acceptance) but skip over the Anger part.  Because we all know people who get angry aren’t Christian.

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One thought on “Where Christian Music Fails Me

  1. Ah….so true. After our son died, I found that there was very little Christian music to which I could listen. It just seemed so trite and lacked the depth I felt in my grief. I could barely sit through the praise and worship portion of church – and eventually quite going to church for quite a while – because of the “notify your face to smile” philosophy of Christianity…when my heart was so broken and no one seemed to really care. I also noticed that Christians were more likely to “send” encouraging Scriptures to us than to actually “be there” for us. It sometimes seemed easier for Christians to want to look for the escape clause – the God is in control clause – and to skip over the unpleasant things and face to difficult situations with fellow Christians.

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