Reposted with permission, this article is as relevant to us here in Australia as in the USA. Anyone spot the similarity between the LA station and our own local Melbourne one?
From Delight in Truth…
In the Los Angeles area where I live there are two contemporary Christian music (CCM) radio stations, Air 1 and the Fish.
They play a variety of Christian bands and songs, including some Christian crossover bands like Switchfoot and also some more mainstream bands like Lifehouse (whose lead singer is a professing Christian).
Some songs have an overtly “Christian” worship message like songs by Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman which we occasionally sing at church, while other songs seem to have positive lyrics without mentioning the name of Jesus.
I do not have a problem with their choice of artists and songs. It’s a free country and radio stations are free broadcast what seems fit for their audience.
But these radio stations are labeled as Christian.
This is where the disappointment comes in.
The Fish advertises their music NOT as Christian music, but music that is “safe for the whole family.” Why not call it Christian music for the whole family or CCM?
Air 1 advertises itself as the “positive alternative.” Why not the Christian alternative?
The answer most likely has to do with ratings and audience capturing. People are not as likely to listen to a station that plays Christian music, even if the music is really good. So they compromise the message a little to avoid the Christian label.
Because it is offensive to be an exclusive, Jesus only, one-way-to-heaven believer which is how the evangelical Christian is viewed (and should be viewed).
We are diluting the way we are representing ourselves in society, to make ourselves more palatable for it. Instead of Christian we call the music “positive.” Instead of using specific terms for God like Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit we resign to using generic, inoffensive terms like “god.”
90% of Americans or more believe in god, but just try to mention the name of Jesus in a secular context and see how poorly received it is.
Christian music now is positive music.
Because the term “Christian” is not politically correct.
It is in fact offensive.
From the Delight in Truth blog
Oh sure, but that’s LA I hear you say. What else can we expect? Surely our station here in Melbourne is okay. Right? Um…
A quick breakdown for you. Last Monday, the song list contained about 218 songs (yes, I counted them). Of those 218 or so songs:
137… were secular songs, including singers such as Michael Jackson, U2, Kylie Minogue, Justin Bieber (yes, he of the “Smoke Meth & Hail Satan” hoodie) amongst many other equally fine role models for your children.
That’s over 60% secular songs on a supposed Christian Radio station. The rest is classified as ‘positive’ yet I fail to see how this is discerned. Is Guy Sebastian singing about ‘Jesus, Mary, Muhammad all getting along’ classed as Christian, or merely positive? When Justin Bieber sings about praying, does LightFM clarify for their listeners who he is praying to. Given his regular public behaviour and the fact that he even owns a shirt that says ‘hail Satan’ on it, as a parent you can understand my reluctance to turn my children over to this ‘positive alternative’. Do you share that reluctance?
Of the remaining songs, many are barely Christian in their content and are clearly unbiblical in their lyrics, yet are branded as Christian. I realise some who read this article won’t realise the false teachings that many of the bands on Light FM are a part of, and actively promote. If not, browse my blog and links for an alarming education.
I haven’t even delved into the actual lyrics of these songs, many of which I do actually know. Perhaps that is for another post. For now, I just want to raise awareness among believers that these radio stations are not a ‘positive alternative’ for your family. Positive sounding songs about sexual immorality, unbiblical relationships, partying, narcissistic self-esteem, pursuing happiness or vague references to prayer or a higher power are not Christian.
I have rather a strong feeling that ‘I just liked the tune and didn’t really pay attention to the words’ is not going to cut it with a holy God who calls his people out from the world, to be in it but not of it.
Another issue, perhaps for another post, is the unbiblical sermons that are broadcast each Sunday morning. I have listened to several of the recent ones, only to discover a blend of false teachings from the charismatic/word of faith/prosperity gospel blended with emergent social gospel. I also read through the ‘daily devotionals’, again disappointed to find a blend of psychology/law of attraction teachings mixed with incredibly erroneous and out-of-context interpretations of Scripture passages.
So brothers and sisters in Christ…a loving warning.
LightFM does not preach the gospel. In fact, it studiously avoid using their amazing opportunity to do what all Christians are called to do. It mostly uses The Message, a new age ‘paraphrase’, rather than the Bible for it’s ‘Words to Live By’. It avoids any mention of salvation, sin, or any other Christian doctrine that the world would naturally find offensive. It plays programs from ‘Focus on the Family’ who have been spreading false teachings and the poisonous ‘self-esteem’ gospel for many years. It compromises in every area of its programming, including in its choice of secular music.
I challenge anyone who truly considers themselves to be a sinner saved by grace, who listens to LightFM and defends it as ‘better than the other stations’, to spend a week really paying attention to the station. Then ask yourself, why are there so many musical artists with sordid lifestyles represented on this ‘Christian’ station, with no warnings or guidance in discernment offered? Why is there no gospel preached? Why are only the charismatic and emergent aberrations of ‘christianity’ promoted? Why has Chanel 9 so willingly partnered with the station, to broadcast it’s news at 6pm and advertise this partnership on its TV channel? After a week of listening, do you still think it pleases the Lord that we fill our minds (and our children’s minds) with the content on LightFM?
Friends, if the world loves LightFM (and clearly it does)…it belongs to the world. That means we need to separate from it.
If you are still not sure what all the fuss is about, I urge you to turn off LightFM for a week and listen to some downloaded sermons from sermonaudio.com, in the car or at home, when you would normally listen to the radio. Perhaps download or dig out a classic hymn album (e.g. Selah, Chris Rice) to satisfy your music cravings and hear the gospel preached in song. Then play spot the difference…
(I have done both, and wow…what an eye opener. I wouldn’t ask you to do it without trying it first!!)