How Christian Radio Can be Bad

I just recently started listening to Christian radio. Well, I take that back. When I lived in Dallas, I listened to Power FM, but that’s not really the same as what I listen to now because they played hard rock Christian music.

What I’m talking about is the pretty standard cookie cutter Christian radio station. I never listened because I thought the music was just… bad.

But lately all of the other stations are really turning me off. The pop style (can you say auto-tune?) is just not my style, and even when I enjoy the sound of a song, the lyrics remind me of a broken and hurting world. Which I guess can also be a good thing. But it wasn’t in that way that I was hearing it.

So I decided to start listening to a new Christian station in town. I thought maybe it was my turning 30 this year or having kids, but maybe it was a call of the Spirit – to more align my thoughts with the thoughts of God.

The problem is – not all songs played on this (and the other Christian stations) actually reflect God’s heart. That is, the lyrics are not always Biblical.

For example, I was listening to a song today, and one of the first verses is

Still you call me to walk
On the edge of this world
To spread my dreams and fly

Being called to walk on the edge of this world is Biblical (John 17:6 and John 17:18). Spreading my dreams and flying? I don’t believe I’ve seen that in the Bible. In fact, I think I have seen the opposite:

Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, NETBible)

 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20, NETBible)

These direct commands from Jesus do not sound like spreading my dreams and flying. It sounds like I’m supposed to, by the power of the Spirit, align my will and my dreams with the will of our Lord – that every one of His children would turn to Him in faith.

Maybe you are a Christian and you spend time in God’s word. Maybe you grew up in church, and you know quite a bit about what’s in the Bible. If you do, you might be able to listen to Christian radio and discern which messages are Biblical and which ones are not.

But you know what? The people I know who listen to Christian radio? They are not strong in the Bible. They might not even embrace Jesus as their savior. They listen to it because it is “encouraging, positive, God-centered”….

This worries me for them! I don’t want them to believe that what is on the Christian radio is the word of God – just like what I write here is not God’s word. I strive to handle God’s word very carefully, but what happens when I fail? What happens when songs that have a Christian bent are thought of as “gospel”?

God’s word is misaligned.

Can you help me out? If you can think of a way we can combat this issue, add it to the comments below.

5 thoughts on “How Christian Radio Can be Bad

  1. Karyn

    Yes! I cannot tell you how much I agree. As far as how we can combat, I really don’t know. I wish there were more faith-based stations to choose from…more Christ and less “me” centered.

  2. Stephanie Post author

    There were so many good comments on the Facebook Page because my comments were broken for this post. Here are some:

    Lacy Bartlett
    Oh, this one has always been an issue of passion in our household. We had a worship pastor recently who really had Aaron and the team scrutinize Biblically based worship. Having married a guy who did the christian music scene for a living, …See More

    Saturday at 12:49am · Like.

    Jane Sadek I think the Spirit might have led you to blog about this because addressing the subject might be a regular feature of your blog.
    Saturday at 8:28am · Like.

    Stephanie Peterson Great comment Lacy!
    Thanks Jane!
    Saturday at 9:19am · Like.

    Gail Ann
    Perhaps they should be more restrictive in what they play. I believe some stations even claim this, unlike “other stations” we screen better, we don’t play mainstream, etc. That said, I have found one of those stations that claim this, the…See More

    Saturday at 9:42am · Like.

    Stephanie Peterson Good point Gail. Some secular music does have a bit of gospel!
    Saturday at 9:46am · Like.

    Gail Ann Is that what I said? I don’t know anymore. My head is too clogged to think straight 🙂
    Saturday at 10:23am · Like.

    Stephanie Peterson The comments on my site seem to be working again – yay!
    3 hours ago · Like.

    Robyn Rhinehart
    Oh yay! I meant to comment and it wouldn’t work. What I was going to say, more or less, was that Aaron and I have talked about how even worship music has changed for the worse in recent years. In, say, the last 10 years or so, there’s a muc…

    See More

    2 hours ago · Like.

    Shelley Kelso You’ll be happy to know our line up for Sunday is quite God-centered:
    Above All
    Glory to God Forever
    Our God
    Amazing Grace
    2 hours ago · Like.

    Steve Bergeron
    There’s no such thing as Christian Music… that’s is, there’s no grouping of “notes” that God has blessed so the type of music is irrelevant. There are Christian lyrics, but like Christians, they are not always perfect. It’s hard to know t…See More

    about an hour ago · Like · 3.

    Stephanie Peterson Good point Steve.
    28 minutes ago · Like · 1

  3. Stephanie Post author

    Becky at HappyChristianHome emailed me with this:
    I’ve thought about this issue before too. One time when I was ranting to my husband about “doctrinally incorrect” song lyrics, and his explanation was that these songs are written by people, and people are all on different levels in their walk. Even from album to album with the same artist, many times you can see their faith growing. I dunno. I guess many times, people can relate to where any particular artist may be at any given time. God can use it to draw them in. Ideally, people would think to read their Bibles and be part of a local body of believers, and not build their personal doctrine on some random song. And hopefully the stations have enough spiritual wherewithal to discern what songs to play and which songs to skip. I know Air-1 (and probably K-Love) has a “listener advisory board”- maybe you can try to become a part of that and let your voice be heard in that respect. You get to recommend songs and vote on which ones you like, etc.

  4. Stephanie Post author

    There were some great comments, huh? I love how Becky pointed out that God can use songs for people who are at different stages of their walk. I think that’s true!

    And, I also failed to mention that I actually really like the song I quoted (by Sidewalke Prophets) – it has a lot of Biblical truth in it, too. I might have to do another post on how christian radio can be good. 😉

  5. Sharon Piatt

    This is so true! I was wondering if I was the only one who noticed this…..I don’t have an answer, unless each day, they would choose a song and explain it theologically… this could be done in an interresting way…. and it would be very beneficial. Many people who attend church, listen to christian music, etc are not believers or are newbies… and the instruction would be good…. as well as a good reminder for us more “seasoned” in the faith.


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