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Unread 08-13-2009, 03:26 PM   #1
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Question 'pseudo-Christian bands' are taking advantages of Christian audiences?

Just today, me and my cousin got into a hot debate on certain music being labeled Christian music in order to take advantages of Christian audiences, bands such as Killswitch Engage. He said the way they take advantage of Christian audience is that they play Christian music and that they use language live on stage. I'm sure it's happened before, but I don't think my cousins reasons are valid [taking advantage of Christian audiences by playing Christian music and using language]. What are your thoughts on it?

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Unread 08-13-2009, 03:35 PM   #2
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I definitely think there are cases of this happening, but overall I don't think this is a primary mode of operation for most Christian bands.
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Unread 08-13-2009, 03:46 PM   #3
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Killswitch Engage has never called themselves a Christian band.

I'm sure there are bands that have done this, but I don't think it's as widespread as some people think. Evanescence might be an example, but they've said in interviews that they never intended to portray themselves as a Christian band.
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Unread 08-13-2009, 03:55 PM   #4
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I don't know any bands who call themselves a Christian band and aren't. It's an industry stigma most bands wouldn't want.
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Unread 08-13-2009, 10:48 PM   #5
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There are definitely local bands in my area that either portray or hint at being Christian just so they can play in Christian venues. I don't know about nationwide acts, but it happens a lot in the local scene in the area of Texas I am in.
I have played with so many "Christian" bands, who in fact weren't, or seen them live, that it is ridiculous...
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Unread 08-14-2009, 03:43 AM   #6
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You could say that the entire Christian Music Industry is taking advantage of Christian audiences...
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Unread 08-14-2009, 08:20 AM   #7
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You could say that the entire Christian Music Industry is taking advantage of Christian audiences...
Agreed.

Now that the CCM genre is a popular and inviting industry, there are millions to be made. When there are millions to be made, people will follow. I think that there are bands who write their lyrics just to sell to the CCM audience because it'll make money. I think that happens to local bands more than anyone else because there is more money to be made playing churches than there is playing bars and clubs in many communities (such as my own).
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Unread 08-14-2009, 08:26 AM   #8
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Attack Attack really disappointed me at warped. I've always thought they were a Christian band, having read their lyrics, but then they're up there swearing like every second word.

Again with them, they've never claimed to be Christian, but I don't know how you can glorify God with your lyrics one moment and glorify the world in the next. It just seems hypocritical to me.

What I see happening more often than non-Christian bands taking advantage of Christians is bands made up of Christians who put their faith aside so that they can get more fans from the non-Christian market.
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Unread 08-14-2009, 08:41 AM   #9
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On the one hand, I'll easily believe that there are plenty of bands who hop into the Christian industry without giving a second thought or care to what they're singing.

On the other hand, though, musicians (like anyone else) have themselves and often their families to feed, and it's a little annoying when some Christians act like any Christian band who cares about money at all is "selling out" or "not really ministering." There seems to be this fantasy that any "true Christian artist" should be so entirely motivated by fire for God and the desire to worship that they would still give up the majority of their lives and energy to go on year-long tours even if they didn't make a single penny from it. Obviously, one can care too much about profit, and the spirit in which a musician plays is important, but at the end of the day, it's also a job. A Christian who's a musician is not selling out for wanting a paycheck any more than a Christian who fixes cars is selling out for wanting customers to pay for their repairs. Save for a select, lucky few, being a professional musician is a tough living -- just ask my uncle.

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Attack Attack really disappointed me at warped. I've always thought they were a Christian band, having read their lyrics, but then they're up there swearing like every second word.
I realize that Christians have different opinions on profanity, but I hate assumptions like this. When did the number of cuss words a band uses become a litmus test for how "Christian" they are?

I'll grant that there are reasons why it might be a good idea for Christians in a band to keep a lid on the language in certain venues, but I'm still disappointed by the idea that some listeners are willing to second-guess a songwriter's faith on the basis of a couple questionable words.

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What I see happening more often than non-Christian bands taking advantage of Christians is bands made up of Christians who put their faith aside so that they can get more fans from the non-Christian market.
I agree that this sometimes happens, but I also think it's an accusation people are too quick to make. The second a semi-mainstream band puts out a hit single where the lyrics are slightly more ambiguous, or if the band decides to write an album about things other than explicit praise songs, they get called lukewarm and a whole host of other things. Christians don't need to sing about God every word any more than they need to talk about Him every word. What's more important is that in everything they do, they live their lives as His followers day to day.
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Unread 08-14-2009, 11:37 AM   #10
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I'll grant that there are reasons why it might be a good idea for Christians in a band to keep a lid on the language in certain venues, but I'm still disappointed by the idea that some listeners are willing to second-guess a songwriter's faith on the basis of a couple questionable words.

I agree that this sometimes happens, but I also think it's an accusation people are too quick to make. The second a semi-mainstream band puts out a hit single where the lyrics are slightly more ambiguous, or if the band decides to write an album about things other than explicit praise songs, they get called lukewarm and a whole host of other things. Christians don't need to sing about God every word any more than they need to talk about Him every word. What's more important is that in everything they do, they live their lives as His followers day to day.
I agree that Christians can write and perform things other than "Christian" songs. THere is a lot of good music out there (as well as a lot of garbage). I am fine with a "Christian Band" or a "band full of CHristians" performing or writing songs that are not explicit praise songs, etc. But let's face it: There is lyrics or subject matter to lotsa songs that if a band (or person) sang them, I would question not (necessarily) their salvation, but maybe their walk with Him. LAnguage is the same way. The Bible does talk about how we should communicate. What comes outta our mouths is a reflection of what is happening inside. I am a sinner, saved by His grace. I still sin. Among those sins is I sometimes say things I should not. I am working on NOT doing that, but I do sometimes. When I do, His grace is sufficient to cover me. I do not lose my relationship with Him. But I do not glory in it. I think a Christian (whether musician or "civilian") should control the communication that comes outta their mouths. Just my opinion, but one that has some backing in scripture, I believe...
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Unread 08-14-2009, 11:46 AM   #11
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I agree that Christians can write and perform things other than "Christian" songs. THere is a lot of good music out there (as well as a lot of garbage). I am fine with a "Christian Band" or a "band full of CHristians" performing or writing songs that are not explicit praise songs, etc. But let's face it: There is lyrics or subject matter to lotsa songs that if a band (or person) sang them, I would question not (necessarily) their salvation, but maybe their walk with Him. LAnguage is the same way. The Bible does talk about how we should communicate. What comes outta our mouths is a reflection of what is happening inside. I am a sinner, saved by His grace. I still sin. Among those sins is I sometimes say things I should not. I am working on NOT doing that, but I do sometimes. When I do, His grace is sufficient to cover me. I do not lose my relationship with Him. But I do not glory in it. I think a Christian (whether musician or "civilian") should control the communication that comes outta their mouths. Just my opinion, but one that has some backing in scripture, I believe...
Please refer to this thread. There is plenty in the Bible about controlling one's tongue, but nothing about avoiding a list of "naughty words."

That said, it does show a lack of discernment for a band that claims Christianity to swear openly in a situation where some might be offended. That is not because those words are inherently wrong, but because of the offense they might cause. In any case, that may show a lack of self-control, but not a lack of Christianity.

If anyone wishes to continue the discussion of swearing as sinful, please take it to PMs. First, I would really recommend reading the thread I linked above. It has some very interesting discussion on this topic.
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Unread 08-14-2009, 12:57 PM   #12
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You could say that the entire Christian Music Industry is taking advantage of Christian audiences...
Heh.

I'm not sure of your intended meaning, but I can read that sentence at face value, without taking into account the negative connotation of "taking advantage of", and it makes perfect sense.

Economics is all about exploitation, in a totally non-negative way. Where there is an audience for a particular type of music (Christian, pseudo-Christian, secular), it will be "taken advantage of."

What a very strange thread.
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Unread 08-14-2009, 01:07 PM   #13
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Heh.

I'm not sure of your intended meaning, but I can read that sentence at face value, without taking into account the negative connotation of "taking advantage of", and it makes perfect sense.

Economics is all about exploitation, in a totally non-negative way. Where there is an audience for a particular type of music (Christian, pseudo-Christian, secular), it will be "taken advantage of."

What a very strange thread.
I actually took the same meaning out of Jon's post
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Unread 08-14-2009, 01:29 PM   #14
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That said, it does show a lack of discernment for a band that claims Christianity to swear openly in a situation where some might be offended. That is not because those words are inherently wrong, but because of the offense they might cause. In any case, that may show a lack of self-control, but not a lack of Christianity.
I can agree with this. While I don't think it'd be a terrible thing for audiences to grow more comfortable with the idea of a Christian who occasionally cusses, I'll grant that in certain environments, the band would do well to tone it down.

That said, the attitude I was referring to still disgusts me -- it basically amounts to, "I know this person professes to be a Christian, and their writing reflects a strong faith in God, but the fact that they used language I find distasteful is enough to discredit all of the above." Like rfclef said:

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I am a sinner, saved by His grace. I still sin. Among those sins is I sometimes say things I should not. I am working on NOT doing that, but I do sometimes. When I do, His grace is sufficient to cover me. I do not lose my relationship with Him.
We all mess up. Even if swearing in a certain situation is wrong, or unwise for a Christian to do, questioning their faith or Christian walk because they slipped up is not only rude, it's offensive, and I'm sure none of the people who do this would want it done to them. Because if slipping up or offending somebody is enough to get yourself accused of not being a strong Christian, none of us is immune, regardless of how "clean" our speech is.

Basically, if you don't like the way a band conducts themselves -- and we're all perfectly free to take personal issue with someone's language -- then don't listen to them, and don't go to their concerts. But don't presume to know the condition of their hearts, especially not on the impersonal basis of their behavior onstage.
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Unread 08-14-2009, 01:29 PM   #15
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Heh.

I'm not sure of your intended meaning, but I can read that sentence at face value, without taking into account the negative connotation of "taking advantage of", and it makes perfect sense.

Economics is all about exploitation, in a totally non-negative way. Where there is an audience for a particular type of music (Christian, pseudo-Christian, secular), it will be "taken advantage of."

What a very strange thread.
It's true. The Industry gives an important product to the Christian community, but the Christian demographic gives them millions of dollars in return. Christian radio, Christian television, Christian festivals, Christian record labels, Christian music awards, Christian bookstores, they all cater to the Christian demographic.
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