Friday, August 01, 2008

What Can Christian Radio Learn From Linkin Park?

If someone asked me, "Why do you listen to secular music, you're a pastor?", my answer is fairly simple. "Because most Christian music is really, really bad music." There is some good stuff out there in the Christian genre. I still love Keith Green and a little more contemporary I listen to Switchfoot on a regular basis. However, much of what is played on "family friendly" Christian radio is nothing but "happy clappy" garbage that doesn't deal with the real issues of life, much less than being biblical.

Perhaps my favorite "secular" group is Linkin Park. Their two latest singles really touch on why. I'm speaking of the songs "Shadow of the Day" and their latest release, "Leave Out All The Rest." Both of these songs deal with the reality of death. The first in a more general way while in the second song the singer deals with death from the perspective of preparing a loved one (perhaps a wife or girlfriend) for his own death. The song actually begins by saying he dreamed he had died (or was missing, but death is implied), the loved one was distraught, and nobody cared. Does that sound familiar?

Christian music/radio could learn a thing or two from Linkin Park. When I listened to "Leave Out All the Rest" I asked my wife, "How come more Christian music doesn't deal with death?" I'm not saying that there are no Christian songs to deal with the reality of death, but you don't hear it too much, at least not on the local Christian radio where I live. That kind of music wouldn't fit the "positive and encouraging" label that so many Christian radio stations want to have. The problem is that life is not always positive and encouraging. Sometimes it really sucks. I appreciate that Linkin Park deals with life in this way. I hope they find Jesus if they haven't yet. I hope that the church can learn from them and not be afraid to deal with the real issues of life, especially death.

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