When looking at my music collection, I was thinking back to what my first piece of music that I owned. I owned a cassette tape (I might have just told my age) of country music star Joe Diffie. For some reason I was obsessed with the song, “Prop Me Up by the Jukebox.” As time went on I decided it was time to move on from tapes to CD’s. At the time I was going through an extreme nerd like phase, and the first compact disc I owned was the Star Wars soundtrack (I was a super nerd). Time went on, I finally bought in to some popular music. My mom gave me some pop music, I guess she was hoping I would not turn out like “The Comic Book Guy” from The Simpsons. Later I discovered classic rock.
I went to a small Christian school while growing up. I had Bible teacher who did a thing on the evil that will come from listening to secular music. Even showed my class a movie called “Hell’s Bell.” According to this film, if you play a lot of rock music backwards, you hear a hidden message from the devil. Well that spooked me. I did not want the devil to take my soul, so I decided to buy my first piece of Christian music.
At the time, Walmart and other department stores did not have a lot of Christian music, and Amazon did not exist yet. So I went to the local Christian book store. I found the latest Stephen Curtis Chapman CD and bought it. I put it in for the first time, and I felt good. After listening to it for a while, I did not feel so good. It was not my style of music. I know what you are thinking, it is not where near as good as the Star Wars soundtrack, but I just did not enjoy it as much as did my Eagles CD. I felt guilty about this. I kept thinking to myself, if I was a true Christian, I would embrace this music, and want to burn my evil secular CD’s. I kept suffering through listening to Christian music, but over time I decided I did not like it as much as I thought. I ended up listening to my evil music again, and for a while I would ask God to forgive me for listening to such evil things.
Well I went to college, and my on again off again relationship with Christian music. Over time, I noticed the music got better. I found it easier to listen to it, and I actually started to enjoy it. I even mixed it up with my evil secular music. The guilt had gone away, and I listen to both. The biggest change in my music preference as when I started to enjoy a more contemporary style of worship. The style of music matched my own musical tastes. It is not that I do not enjoy the old hymns, in fact I love the lyrics. I find them to match the depth of the Christian faith (one of my new favorite CD’s write now is a collection of hymns matched with contemporary instruments and cords). I grew up in more traditional style of worship, but I have found that I prefer a more contemporary. Now I am not the type that jumps around, hands waving, and spinning for Jesus. I am more of the tapping foot type. If I am really into it, I might tap both feet at once.
I look back at my journey with Christian music, and I have evolved with it. When I used to play the stuff in the car, and someone else was with me, they would cut it down. Today, I often play it at work, and people ask me who it is, and where can they buy it. The band Newsboys is the best example of this. There music has changed over time, and while I did not prefer their earlier albums, I actually enjoy the music they put out now. I don’t think my tastes in music has changed too much (I still like movie soundtracks), but I now seek out music that I prefer. As Christians, I think we need to embrace each others musical preferences, and focus on finding things that bring us closer to the Father.