the Third Commandment and Shaun Groves' Blog

Shaun Groves got ahold of my last post and wrote a very insightful and thoughtful post about some of the things I mentioned. I'll be sure to start reading his thoughts more often. Seems like some great and interesting stuff is going on there. Some discussion followed over his last thought, and I added a post of my own. What I wrote is below. Follow the link to read Shaun's post and its comments.

Andrew Osenga said...
Wow, Shaun posted over on my site to tell me about this conversation, and I had to come over and see it. It's encouraging to see this kind of discussion about this topic.

I feel like I may have been a bit misunderstood by some of the posters on here, though, and want to answer those comments.

My post was not really intended to be a "Christian music sucks" rant. I've felt that way at times for sure, and have made that rant many times as well, but, for the most part, I'm learning to leave that kind of thinking about it behind.

The nature of my post was to point out my own sin, honestly. The truth is that most of the music that is popular to the general Christian audience doesn't really say anything to me, or is often downright offensive to me, whether in its quality, theology, or lacks thereof. What really troubled me was how, when money got a little tight I was going to try to contribute to it just for money, and might have written things I knew I didn't believe. That was very wrong of me.

However, I wasn't pointing fingers at other artists, at least directly, nor saying that I think I don't get what I deserve. The Lord has provided faithfully for my family through me playing music, and I would never say that I deserved even that.

I have been on both sides of the success coin in Christian music, in a band called the Normals that sold about seven albums, and in Caedmon's Call, which has sold a lot more than that. The dilemma and conversations were the same in both bands. What we hear on the radio doesn't reflect what we believe. That's the real problem, and because money can ride on our acting like we believe it or not, things can get even hairier.

I want to make sure that my confession didn't come across as whining. God has called me to make music, and the longer I do it, the more I doubt my calling is so specifically to the church. They sure haven't felt too called to buy it!! Sorry, couldn't resist. Anyway, I appreciate this discussion and it is my sincere hope that artists who are believers will create, whether for commercial consumption or not, music that is honoring to the truth and magnificence of the Glory of God. Guys like Shaun and me who talk about this stuff aren't trying to say we're the best and everyone is beneath us, just that we are aware that not everyone is approaching their art with an honesty and purpose that line up with the Gospel. It is our desire to spur more people onto that.

But we are pretty darn good.

Thanks for reading this.