Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ryan Seaton In Concert

Day 204 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" Series

Had the opportunity to see Ryan Seaton in concert here in Paducah this evening. I have seen him 5 times before, but all with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound. Tonight he was solo, as he is no longer with Signature Sound. Why? I have no idea. I can only speculate. I know his leaving Signature Sound (SS) did play into my decision making process to not listen to SS any longer.

I weigh out my music choices carefully. While I do not have a formula for doing so, there are some things that consistently play part in if I listen to a group or artist or not.

First and foremost is:
Does their music glorify God?
This is really straight forward and there are often variations to some people that use this same question. My thoughts are that if the music itself, lyrics and instrumentation, do not glorify God, especially lyrically, then I will not listen to it. Period. End of story. This disqualifies a lot of groups that claim to be "Christian artists", especially in the CCM genre.

Next question is: What other groups influence this group? Who do they listen to and endorse? One thing that Lifeway does now is really neat (yes, condoning Lifeway for a change). For some new releases they have a little Q&A with the artist and ask who they sound like, who they were influenced by and what they are currently listening to. I will be the first to say that I will not listen to a group that lists blatantly sinful musicians as influences or as their "listening to now". This goes especially to those that list U2, Coldplay and Tom Petty. This is a long list, believe it or not. I saw one artist today list all of these and proudly say he had 16,000 songs on his iPod and was listening to the new U2 CD constantly. Really? Really.

That's pretty much my criteria. I will not listen to any secular music now, by choice. I am forced to hear it at my job a lot, but I find myself blocking it out and seeking the Lord when I am exposed to it.

One other thing that is really important, that a lot of Christians seem to overlook. Is the person singing really a Christian? It is sad to have to even ask this, but so many people out there making music claim to be Christians, but lack some really important doctrinal beliefs. The main group? Phillips, Craig and Dean. These guys are Modalists and deny the Trinity. They are Oneness Pentecostal preachers that use songs that are sound, but the fact that they sing them makes them un-listenable to me. Their music is lulling people and enticing them to follow them. They in turn indoctrinate, eventually, their fans into thinking that their heretical religion is the same as a true Trinitarian denomination. It is not and it is dangerous.

The Ernie Haase story pretty much is Ernie did not glorify God. On his Facebook page he constantly made updates, but never mentioned God. He constantly talked about basketball and his concert dates. The only mention I can remember was on Easter, one line, something along the idea of "Remember what we are celebrating today". I am not saying this man is not a Christian, but by his posts he did not glorify God. So, that was the beginning of the ending of me listening to his group. Then came the release of Ryan Seaton for reasons unknown and seemingly shocking Ryan.

I do not believe for one minute just because someone sings gospel songs they are children of God. Actually if you listen to most Southern Gospel songs lyrics you will see that a large percentage are very man centered. So, I pick and choose carefully in that genre especially. The CCM field is riddled with heresy, so that genre is doing to the younger kids what Phillips, Craig and Dean are doing to the older crowd. Groups that sing about relationships with their boyfriend/ girlfriend and try to pass it off as Christian music? Come on! "Christian radio" playing Daughtry just because he claims to be a Christian? Get a clue (KLOVE).

I just want to ask you to be more discerning in what you ingest into your body. What goes in effects what goes on internally. Just like the food you eat, the entertainment that you consume has implications, good or bad, in your spiritual life or lack of. Be careful and seek diligently what will glorify God. I am sure that if you weigh what you are partaking of in the light of scripture you will soon be pruning some aspects of your entertainment choices away. It may be painful and you may not like it, but it is necessary for a child of the living God to shuck these bad things away. Seek God and lean not to your own understanding, let God lead you instead of you making excuses and defiling God's Name.


Whitt Madden said...

Very interesting. I am curious what you use for qualifications for the first thing mentioned. Does their music glorify God? Does a particular style glorify Him, or is it in the lyrics? Or the heart and intentions behind the band?

I listen to a lot of various 'styles' of 'Christian' music, and I am learning discernment in what bands I listen to. The tag of "Christian" doesn't hold much merit to me in the music industry.

I listen to a lot of hardcore music. There are a lot of bands labeled "Christian hardcore" that I will not listen to, who make no mention of God, but instead try an "uplifting" message, and there are some who are in the same realm of Chris Tomlin lyrically, Spiritually, but are a different style. I am curious what your take is on Christian Metal.

Jeff said...

I, too, listen to a large range of music. Everything from Southern Gospel to some of the heavier stuff. One criteria is if I have to look up the lyrics because they are indecipherable, then I would put it in a not very glorifying category. I have looked at some lyrics of the hardcore genre and some hold some solid truths, but to Joe Schmoe on the street they see the same as any mainstream band. This genre is actually the one that I listened to mostly before my conversion. I do see the viability of this genre though, but as long as the lyrical content is to glorify God and the music itself is just a minor player in conveying the glorification of God.

As far as the "pop rock" kind of music, you see a lot of professing Chrisitian groups that are that in name only. They cover mainstream artists in their concerts and their songs are usually very me-centric, what can God do for me kind of mentality. Mercy Me covered 3 very unChristian songs when I saw them a few months ago, presumably to "relate" to the audience. It had the opposite effect on me. It is pragmatic at best and really dangerous. It fives the impression that listening to those groups is okay for a Chrisitan when in fact it is a slippery slope and when justified as "just music" will eventually be followed by a lot of "it's just only....".

One genre that I really don't care for musically is rap. Not a big fan. But I do listen to some rap artists because their music is very solid lyrically. A these artists pack more theology in a 3minute song than most preachers do in 6 months of sermons.

I have actually been doing a little research over the past months to write a post on music. Profession Chrisitan artists and what their message is, how they do/ do not glorify God, etc. It may be a good time for me to actually start pulling it all together.

But I see nothing wrong with hardcore music or pop or rap or country or bluegrass or metal or opera as long as Gid is properly portrayed for who He is and the music takes a back seat to that.