Night time radio personality “Wally “of Total Axxess Christian Radio responded passionately on the evening of August 16 to a complaint sent to the station the night before via email. Sent from an angry pastor who was not named, the email expressed the pastor’s disapproval of the show playing the popular mainstream song “I’m Going Home,” performed by American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry’s band, “Daughtry.”
In his email, the pastor explained that he did not like Chris Daughtry’s music and that it was his belief that a Christian radio program should not be playing the now famous song. While these types of complaints are a matter of opinion and are welcomed by the show’s DJs, Wally got on the air to address what came next in the letter.. The pastor then proceeded to state that he would be praying for Chris Daughtry and his band to find and follow Christ.
After some hesitation on how to respond, the radio station gave Wally the microphone, allowing him a chance to defend the station’s stance. Understandably upset, Wally told listeners that this kind of attitude was exactly what turns non-believers against Christianity, and ultimately against God. Addressing the pastor himself, Wally went on to say that this sort of mentality is not going to keep people in church, and that it is this kind of behavior that turns people away from the Christian church in general. To prove that Daughtry is not an unwholesome band, Wally proceeded to play old recordings of Chris Daughtry’s former band playing Christian songs for church congregations. To top it all off, Wally pointed out a scripture from the Bible that references the sin of judging others. Instead of praying for Chris Daughtry and his band to find Christ, Wally stated that he would be praying for God to forgive the pastor for being so judgmental.
Playing uplifting and positive secular music has become increasingly popular with radio stations and churches across the nation in recent years. Some of the most popular mainstream songs being played in churches and on Christian stations as of late include The Fray’s “How to Save a Life,” P.O.D.’s “Youth of the Nation,” and Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life.” This more modern movement in the Christian music scene is about involving all forms of music that can be considered an art form and are about the human soul, life, and real emotions.
The music, when played in Christian congregations, is understood to be pertaining to God rather than a human being, or to the beauty and passion of the soul. For example, in “Bring Me to Life,” it is understood that the lyrics are to be interpreted as a cry out to God for salvation or a rescue of some sort. When songs are not transferable to a Christian theme, many still honor music that examines life in a realistic yet positive manner. Although not completely accepted, especially among older, more traditional Christians, the hope behind this movement is that believers will begin to broaden their horizons and view all forms of wholesome art, not just those directly related to a Christian theme, as a display of God-given gifts and talent. The purpose of this movement is to incorporate positive influences into all aspects of life, and not just those that are church related or of a “religious” nature.