Many times in my homilies and presentations I have mentioned how much I enjoy listening to contemporary Christian music. This love is shared by Julie and we just attended the TobyMac Hits Deep Tour 2020 three weeks ago in the Target Center with 13000 other fans. We really enjoyed the show, TobyMac has always been a favorite of mine from his DC Talk days (Jesus Freak). The icing on the cake for me was that Jordan Felix was part of the tour. Jordan is a newer star in this genre and I have grown to be quite a fan of his music. At the concert another band I really enjoyed was "We Are Messengers" and they are now on my playlist.
While I find listening to contemporary Christian music a prayerful part of my day I know there are some that would scoff and say only the old hymns or Georgian Chant are appropriate. To those that think that way, I would offer that Jesus was very much a contemporary man. He lived within the framework of his times and his teaching methods used the same methods as his fellow Rabbis. We as Christians are called to live in the world and leverage what is good to proclaim God’s message. In reading “Spirit of the Liturgy” by Pope Benedict (writing as Cardinal Ratzinger) I was struck how he lamented where are all the Catholic artists and musicians? He said there was a time that the Church was a leader in supporting and promoting new artists and musicians.
Should you venture into listening to current contemporary Christian music I would advise you to be aware of a couple of differences from our Catholic world view. One is the concept of a “Tribal God”, which takes us back to Old Testament times when people referred to each tribe or nation as having separate Gods. Many times you will hear lyrics like “Our God is an Awesome God” from the iconic worship song by the late Rich Mullins. Another is a world view that sees worldly things as bad and that we are worthless beings. Both are contrary to our Catholic teachings and worldview. We believe there is one God for all, and that creation is good and that all people are inherently good. The good news is that the lyrics of current contemporary Christain music songs are tending to move to a more Catholic world view.
So you are all ready to listen, how and what artists? As with any music, one person’s favorite style and artists will not be another’s. To start I would recommend listening to the radio station KTIS, 98.5 FM (https://myktis.com/). You can also listen online via their app from your cellphone.
Here are some of my favorite artists and a sample song for each.
TobyMac, of course! https://youtu.be/QurQEiOAQjA
Mercyme, Julie and I were all set for their April 3 concert :-(. https://youtu.be/N_lrrq_opng
Jordan Feliz, his lyrics are so on target! https://youtu.be/pgJFUW3VenY
Newsboys, a long time favorite. https://youtu.be/S_OTz-lpDjw
Mandisa, I think every young woman should listen to her uplifting and empowering songs. https://youtu.be/7FpHv5ZhyCs
King and Country, an appropriate song for these days. https://youtu.be/lA7n7TwPDmw
Rich Mullins, profound lyrics. https://youtu.be/3vzx4iUHQqk
There are so many others to choose from. Now that you know my preferences, I would love to hear about your favorites.
Even in good times, I find listening to Christian music uplifts my soul and reminds me of God’s truth and love. During these days of turmoil, it is a source of deeper comfort and hope.
Peace, blessings, and prayers,