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Christian music popularity linked to lyrics

Christian music, formerly confined to the radios of religious individuals, has recently earned respect in the secular realm and garnered popularity among music fans. Yet, due to the increased popularity, many wonder exactly what defines Christian music.

“Gospel music is music in any style whose lyrics are: substantially based upon historically orthodox Christian truth contained in or derived from the Holy Bible; and/or an expression of worship of God or praise for His works; and/or testimony of relationship with God through Christ; and/or obviously prompted by a Christian world view,” Frank Breeden, president of the Gospel Music Association, said in an online statement. (http://www.av1611.org/crock/smithcan.html)

Many students embrace Christian music for they know the lyrics are wholesome.

“I don’t always listen to Christian music, but when I do, it’s nice to know that I don’t have to worry about what the lyrics say,” Whitney Ensom, ’05, said. “I love lyrics, and when I listen to Christian music it is like hearing a poem. Listening to the music encourages me and lifts me up.”

Several Christian artists recently have taken their music into the secular world. According to the Billboard Top 100, P.O.D., a Christian alternative group, holds the number 41 position on the chart.

“I really like P.O.D.,” Chris White, ’05, said. “I like being able to hear songs by P.O.D. on secular radio stations like New Rock 104.1. It’s cool how a Christian group can use their music to reach others.”

Many credit Christian music’s newfound popularity to the attacks on Sept. 11. According to The Fresno Bee, since the attacks, Christian music sales are up by more than 20% over 2000.

“Sept. 11 was a tragic event for our country,” Josh Bruce, ’04, said. “It has made people think more clearly about important things. It has also left people searching for something, and one of the things they have discovered in their search is Christian music.”

While many students embrace Christian music, others believe that it is lacking a variety of music styles.

“I don’t really listen to Christian music that much,” Laura Wiens, ’03, said. “It’s not that I don’t like it, it is just that Christian music doesn’t offer the style of music I like. I feel that Christian music is limited in the styles it offers.”

Christian music has evolved over the years, changing its sound to make it competitive with secular music. Although many think the genre still has a way to go, some feel Christian music is being used as an effective witness tool in a secular world.

For more information on Christian music and its artists, visit www.ccmmagazine.com or go to www.christianrock.net.

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