Christian Music Sucks

I think Tom Chick, in his latest podcast, wondered aloud why Christians have the worst music. If it’s classical, modern or even Christian rock he is wrong:

From Berlioz. Right off the top of my head.

Not from any Catholic, Lutheran or old school tradition:

Add your own.

Much like death metal, I can enjoy christian rock quite a bit, but I find the lyrics to be silly and absurd.

TobyMac is fun. He’s about the only Christian artist I can listen to.

Most of it is horrible but there are a few gems here and there. I always liked Afrikaans by Resurrection Band (1979). From Wikipedia:

Rainbow’s End is significant for being the first album by an American rock band to address the racist system of apartheid in South Africa, a full year before Peter Gabriel brought the issue to the world’s attention with his classic song, “Biko.” Resurrection Band would eventually become known for grappling with a variety of social and political ills in its music, from the evils of the military-industrial complex to the corrupting influence of American materialism to racism, homelessness, AIDS, drug addiction, prostitution and many other issues that the band personally confronted in their ministry to their surrounding urban community in Chicago.

Plus their singer Glenn Kaiser has always had a great, gritty voice.

I’m not just talking about Christian rock! Mozart, Beethoven even Gorecki!

Do Christians have the worst music? This is Tom’s opinion.

How does Tom define Christian music? Obviously a tremendous amount of great music has been made by people who self identified as Christian, with a worldview strongly molded by a Judeo-Christian perspective, but I’m not sure how you define “Christian music”. Is it music that talks about God or faith explicitly?

Yes, Christians have the worst music, I thought this was a given? That doesn’t mean that it’s ALL the worst music though.


Baba Yetu and Ave Maria are pretty good. Give us a Hindu hymn. Or even something that approaches the most ordinary Russian hymn.

You can keep naming classical pieces, but none of it makes up for Amy Grant.

As are the religious works of Bach and Haydn, Gregorian chants, and much more.

Classical music is not Christian music. When’s the last time you were in a church service and someone busted out some Berlioz or Mozart? Okay, maybe you got a bit of quick Bach, but you also had to listen to about five or six dirgeful dreary hymns sung by a roomful of droning people who can’t sing. Find me a Stryper song that’s not awful. Or shall I bring up Bob Dylan’s Christian album?

Anyway, in the context of the podcast we talking about the movie The Apostle and the hymn at the end of Night of the Hunter. They both had those sort of Jesus-loves-me-yes-I-know hymns that sound all alike to me. But, yeah, many Christians have historically created great music, some of it even about Jesus, God, and whatnot. That stuff doesn’t suck and I hope all the Moslems and Israelites are suitably jealous of it.


Someone needs to tell Tom. “Christian” music is quite good, unless proven otherwise.

Oh, the one great gift of Christian music is the song that made a child think there was a cross-eyed bear named Gladly. I remember reading in one of those cute Reader’s Digest snippets or whatever about a child asking her mother to tell her about Gladly and why he was cross-eyed and what a bear had to do with church. The mother had no idea what the child was talking about.

“You know, momma, the song we sang at church: Gladly the Cross-Eyed Bear…”

So, yeah, that’s what you get when you’re stuck at your grandma’s house with nothing to read but Reader’s Digest. Thank you, Christian music!


Since I’m an agnostic who hasn’t attended church in decades, my only consistent exposure to Christian music is the good classical stuff that I listen to voluntarily. The hymnal dirges? Not happening ;-)

Hey, Christmas has some good Christian songs. Jingle Bell Rock, Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, the Muppet 12 Days of Christmas.

Sounds like a “Why Do You Have Shyphilis?” pamphlet. That is not Christian music, Cross-eyed Bear.

I’m an athiest and I’m a huge fan of David Eugene Edwards/16 Horsepower/Woven Hand.

I suppose my answer to that is what are the demographics of the Christian church? The Catholic church I grew up with: a huge pipe organ thunderously playing Bach such that your whole chest vibrates in tune. Way cool. Yeah, had to eat some boring Latin chants to get there sometimes. Primarily white Protestant: I think this is the drek you are referring to. Can’t stand that stuff. Black Protestant Gospel is musically dynamic and fun (if still not quite my style lyrically).

But then, I’m a Who fan, and will undoubtedly burn in hell for it.

The hymn “Onward Christian Soldier” is pretty memorable and catchy.

Way cool indeed. The Duke Chapel has a 6 story pipe organ, and the Bach recitals there were amazing.