Over the years there has been increased marketing to the nation’s Christian audience, which has led to a seemingly profitable arena for many. We’ve seen the rise of a “Christian” category of music that had never existed before, and the creation of a market that is tailored to believers. What does this mean, and why should we be worried?
Many Christians attempt to avoid the “secular” world by immersing their everyday lives into a Christian one. This means listening to a Christian radio station, buying Christian-brand clothes, and only conversing with fellow Christians. Now, not all things labeled “Christian” are truly of God and this is where many uneducated believers lose their footing in Christ. The enemy tries to lure you into a wrong understanding of what God defines as good, and what a Christian life should consist of.
The “Christian” market is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. While there are so many great things that are created due to its existence, there are some pitfalls that believers may not be aware of. For example, take the recent incarceration of Tim Lambesis (former As I Lay Dying).
In a tell-all interview with Alternative Press, Lambesis admits to a lapse in faith during his career in As I Lay Dying. While this can be thought of as a personal matter between Tim and God (and it is), there is still a startling revelation… The band continued to profit from the “Christian” market even though Lambesis was no longer a believer. Born-again Christians looking for alternatives in music may have been deceived into thinking that As I Lay Dying’s recent release Awakened was a viable option. Lyrically, Lambesis admits to this album being a strong departure from previous As I Lay Dying albums.
A similar falling out occurred when The Crimson Armada vocalist Saud Ahmed confessed to the band not technically being a strictly “Christian band” though many believed their lyrics said otherwise. Upon examining their music more closely, one can see that the name “Jesus” is never mentioned in their music and the lyrics are speaking in general terms. Still, Ahmed (and perhaps the rest of the band) continued to profit from this market, even using a faith-based tour entitled “Scream the Prayer” as a platform. Their CDs were also sold in Christian stores (Lifeway), which may have also been deceived into thinking their music was about the same God they believed in. After The Crimson Armada disbanded, Ahmed funneled his talents into an anti-Christian project called The Holy Guile. This project was clearly an attack related to his experiences with Christians that only showed “hate when they say our God is love.” What do these incidents within the Christian community tell us?
For one, some non-believers just don’t take genuine Christians into consideration. Someone in an elevated position (such as Tim Lambesis or Saud Ahmed) have not only the ability but also a responsibility to mold young minds and educate a generation in a way that only they can. When this is taken for granted we are left with mobs of hate-filled “Christians” who were only searching for Godly alternatives in a secular world. This gives the enemy the foothold he needs to divide the Christian community and push non-Christians away from any sort of religion. Isn’t that the opposite effect our lives should have on others? While the Christian market may continue to thrive for years to come, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves on the things we allow into our lives. And what is the best way to educate ourselves in this matter? Read God’s Word because that is where wisdom comes from.
Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgement. (Proverbs 9:10 NLT)
God is our best source for guidance on matters such as these. All of this isn’t to say that non-believers don’t have uplifting things to say. Their lyrics, or beliefs, could still be thought of as a way of glorifying God. It is our interpretation of their actions that matters the most. The corrupted use of this “Christian” market is where the problem lies, and that is why we should be aware of these things.