The Most Interesting ChangeJanuary 24th, 2012 | JonFaulkner
How Secular Music has helped me as a Christian Writer
I remember sitting in the Living Room one summers day before my Senior Year of High School. My older sister was home from college and I had just returned from a summer in Michigan working. I don’t remember the song but she came into the living room and played something, it may have been Death Cab for Cutie. I remember liking the song, then she said “See not all secular music is evil.”
It’s sad to look back on it now but that’s the way I thought. Raised in a Conservative Christian Family, working at a church with an abusive pastor and in my personal life I’d become a Legalist. This of course carried over to music, causing me to follow the belife that all secular music was evil. Here’s the funny thing though, before The River ever went on the air, before I was ever introduced to Christian Music I listened to two things. The oldies, groups like The Mamma’s and the Pappas and The Zombies and the old Hymns and worship songs we sung at church.
Somehow I went from listening to Oldies to hating anything that wasn’t Contemporary Christian Music and eventually Christian Rock/Metal. I don’t think it was the fact that after The River came on the air we started listening to only Christian Music, that wasn’t the case at all, until they opened in Columbus we listened to Oldies when we were up there. Maybe it was the fact that at that time in my life I was angry at the world and everyone in that Christian Music became a vice, something that set me apart, something I could cling to.
As High School went on this attitude got worse, eventually if it wasn’t Christian I wasn’t listening. I didn’t attend several High School dances because I didn’t want to have to listen to some of the music I knew they’d be playing. I suppose as a young Christian I felt like I had to listen to Christian Music, I saw the behavior of my friends and blamed their behavior on the music they listened to. In my legalistic mind I was better than all of them. My Christian Rock and Christian Rap were the answers, they were much better…at least in my mind.
Then, in college, I started to discover one of the most significant truths about my Christian Faith, that I wasn’t better than anyone, that I was just as bad off as everyone else. I started to discover that The Bible told me I was broken and sinful, not perfect in any way as I thought I’d achieved. Slowly I began coming around, M&M released a song not to long ago called “Like the Way you Lie” which I actually liked. Bands like Train, Three Days Grace and others began to catch my attention. Right now I’m sitting here listening to John Lenon, something I never would have done three years ago. My love for the Classic Rock has returned, and taken a stride similar to that of the Christian Classic rock bands have taken.
I still listen to and Love Christian Rock, I will never change that opinion, that will always be my main form of music, but things have changed. Even though I still don’t like listening to music about drug use, sex and Alcoholism but I find beauty in an innocent Love song.
So why do I tell you this? I’m a Christian Music Critic, I always will be, nothing is going to change that. But there is talent far outside of my area of expertise, yes Christian Music is complimented by one of the greatest drummers of all time and certainly some of the greatest guitarists. But where would music be without The Eagles? where would rap be without M&M? Where would punk rock be without Lincoln Park? I feel like this realization has made me a better critic and certainly a more rounded individual.
What’s the lesson here? listen to something from every type of music, don’t be afraid to listen to Christian Music if you hate it, you never know it could change your life.