This, I believe, should be the last word. One more e-mail:
In principle, I agree with the reader who quoted Hank Hill. Most Christian Rock stinks because it ignores the music – it really isn’t “Rock.”
OTOH, there is a great body of Christian Rock out there by bands who don’t try to market themselves as “Christian Rock” – U2 (have you listened to “Grace,” “With or Without You,” “Pride (In the Name of Love),” etc?), King’s X, and so on. Look at the 80s band Mister Mister – their big hit was openly Catholic and Religious – “Kyrie.” Give a listen to “All You Zombies” from the Hooters – explicit references to Exodus. Dylan, the Byrds, the Beatles – all of these were unafraid to turn to Judeo-Christian themes in their music. Heck, even Ozzy Osbourne, once you get past the flamboyant stage act, actually has a message that is quite consistent with Judeo-Christian values – take a serious listen at “Iron Man,” “The Ultimate Sin,” or “Crazy Train.” What is different is these acts don’t focus on the church niche market, but try to sell the music to the mass market. As a ministry tool, it means that the message gets to a broader audience, and it also forces more of an emphasis on music, as they are forced to sell that rather than the religious lyrics due to the nature of the market.
Yes, it may be true that I will quote any reader who cites Mr. Mister. But beyond that: Christian rock is worth doing, IMHO, if you can penetrate the mainstream, without too much compromise, by being yourself. That may mean you don’t make explicitly Christian rock. It may mean you’re just a popular singer who doesn’t glorify bad choices who maybe explicitly talks about faith in a song or two. Or who doesn’t ever explicitly discuss religion.
I have a similar view of Hollywood. If you are Christian and want to take Hollywood by storm, you might have the deepest impact by just infusing the secular with good values. You don’t have to make documentaries on God to have a good impact on the culture. And you’re more likely to another way.