Admittedly, I do not listen to a whole lot of CCM radio. I've outlined the “why” in several blogs before (Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here and Here). The main reason is that Philips, Craig and Dean are prominently played and promoted and PC&D being heretics I cannot support that. A second, and close, reason is that the DJs are really “squishy” with what they say. Well, “squishy” is putting it mildly, they are sometimes heretical, and so I don’t listen. If CCM radio, in general, were to do away with the DJs and cut out the heretical songs and artists, then I might listen more often.
This past week was different in my listening of the radio. I basically worked alone in the office, so I pulled out my trusty boombox and turned on KLOVE. I did have to turn it down a few times, but being in and out of the office all day the turning down of the volume knob was few and far between. I was pleasantly surprised….. Except for one issue that has been being pushed this whole week; the 30 day music challenge.
On the surface we all say, “Yes, listen to Christian music exclusively and you’ll ‘feel’ better. You will ‘be happier’. You will ‘smile more’. You will ……..”. And therein also lies the issues, the music is being pushed as a cure to whatever ails you, wherever you have shortcomings in your life will miraculously be cured. Poof. That also opens up the true issue, pointing to music to change one’s life instead of pointing to Christ. Why can’t these DJs and stations (not only KLOVE – AFR does some of the same things) give a clear representation of the Gospel each hour instead of pushing their agenda to get people to listen to their station more? Why can’t a “Christian” station not promote Christ instead of what could very well be some great side benefits of an actual relationship with Him?
You see similar issues through the year, most notably during their pledge drives. This is where they set aside a few weeks a year to guilt their listeners into donating money. What happened to God supplying the means in His ministries? Instead of “God has supplied” it has turned into “our listeners make this happen”. This is a firm, yet subtle, insistence that “we” humans make things happen and we are to be praised for it. Wrong. Hudson Taylor put it greatly when he said, “God’s work done in God’s time will never lack God’s supply”. Taylor’s words should ring true to all Christians that instead of a focus on funding and all of the “what can I do” thoughts, we should place our focus on God and let Him bring in the support. That would take a huge burden off of all those involved, that is if you actually believe God will support His ministries. It probably wouldn't be a stretch to say there are a lot of “ministries” out there, radio stations, shelters, food banks and even churches that a long time ago took God out of the equation and He has decided to stay out. What is sad is that these ministries keep on chuggin’ along, trying to make ends meet, doing a lot of “good” but doing it in their own power, which doesn't glorify God and may actually be sin.
It would be really good if KLOVE were to say, “Listening to CCM music may make you 'feel' better, but the only One that can change you is Jesus Christ”, then go into a full Gospel presentation. That is something that is noticeably absent from “Christian Radio” - the Gospel. When all that a ministry is is to share the Gospel, not relaying the Gospel really shows a lot. Of course “Jesus” is mentioned from time to time, but for the most part it is a lot of “Do, do, do” and works, like M.A.D. Monday (Make a difference Monday). M.A.D. Monday is the idea of just being “good” makes a difference in someone's life AND you don't have to say anything about Christ in the process. Sure, paying for my lunch in the drive-thru may make a $5 difference in my checking account, but how is that impacting the Kingdom? How is doing something for “goodness sake” letting someone know about Christ? This kind of thinking goes along with the quote from St. Francis of Assisi, “ Preach the gospel and use words if necessary”. It sounds good , but it is detrimental to the Kingdom. (See this article)
I really want to like CCM radio, I really do, but I just can't in its present state. I can't like the fact that know heretics are promoted, I can't like the fact that works seem to be a major focus, I can't like that funding is shilled like carnival barker coaxing patrons in with promises unfounded. Why oh why can't the focus be on Christ? Why can't the pledge drives talk about how great Christ is and therefore how great an honor it is to join in His work, instead of telling people how dependent the station is on them? Why can't listeners be encouraged to share the Gospel, with words and in tangible ways that will make a positive impact on the Kingdom? I guess my listening to CCM radio will continue as normal, sporadic, with glimpses of hope that one day they will realize their focus is blurred. Until then, I will continue listening to my music via my phone's MP3 player 99% of the time, all the time having hope that God will one day be the focus of radio stations that claim to follow Him.