Friday, July 01, 2011

What's your favourite Contemporary Christian Music?

Many friends have shared about their favorite Christian hymns. From the comments, it seems that the most favored one is 'Be Thou My Vision', which its original lyrics is traced back to the 6th century A.D. Ireland when it is sung in Irish folk song's tune. The song was 'hymnized' in the early 20th century by Welsh musician David Evans.

Now, I wonder what's your favorite Contemporary Christian Music (commonly abbreviated as CCM)?

CCM is, as described in wikipedia, "a genre of modern popular music which is lyrically focused on matters concerned with the Christian faith." The famous CCM artists are Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay, Steven Curtis Chapman, Casting Crowns, and others.

This is my favorite CCM, a song with vivid observation of evil, exploration in theodicy, self-criticism, pastoral exhortation and a deep yearning for the apocalytic:

What's wrong with the world, mama
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma
Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin'
In the USA, the big CIA fightin'
The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK
But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah
Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek
Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love

Where is the love
Where is the love
Where is the love
The love, the love

It just ain't the same, always unchanged
New days are strange, is the world insane
If love and peace is so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong
Nations droppin' bombs
Chemical gasses fillin' lungs of little ones
With ongoin' sufferin' as the youth die young
So ask yourself is the lovin' really gone
So I could ask myself really what is goin' wrong
In this world that we livin' in people keep on givin' in
Makin' wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respectin' each other, deny thy brother
A war is goin' on but the reason's undercover
The truth is kept secret, it's swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love
Where's the love, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the truth, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the love, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek
Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love

Where is the love
Where is the love
Where is the love
Where is the love
Where is the love, the love, the love?

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' our wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema
Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found
Now ask yourself

Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love?

Sing with me y'all:
One world, one world (We only got)
One world, one world (That's all we got)
One world, one world
And something's wrong with it
Something's wrong with it
Something's wrong with the wo-wo-world, yeah
We only got (One world, one world)
That's all we got (One world, one world)

What is your favorite CCM?


achorusofehoes said...

And they cry
And they call
As the wayward walk alone

City lights
Urban sprawl
In a place no one should know

Shown no grace
Shown no love
These mean streets are meant for none

Take them back to the start
Let the purest of heart
Know their worth is still spoken

As they fight to exist
We neglect and resist
Let this circle be broken

Broken homes
Broken lives
They repeat themselves in time

It's passed on
Down the line
Till we heal the wounds inside

It's not too late
To make things right
Dress wounds with loves pure light


They're still waiting
They still cry
They still want to know they'll be all right

All I'm saying
Can we try?
To bring the wayward ones back home tonight
Bring the wayward one back home tonight


this is my fave CCM song called "wayward one" by alterbridge. hope that counts hehe.


Sze Zeng said...

Hi Jonathan,

The song has a consistent tone to reach out. What counts or not depends on how the Holy Spirit led you to appropriate it :)

chewhongjie said...

Hi there.

One of my favourite hymns would be "Heal the World" by the late Michael Jackson.

A call to social justice, compassion and the Christian message of bringing healing to the world.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi chewhongjie,

Yea, that's a classic! I like that song very much too, from the 'king' himself. :-)

Martin Yee said...

Sze Zeng,

Btw Chaplain Mike on has made this interesting insights on CCM:

"For three Saturdays now, we have posted Michael Spencer’s series on “Worship, CCM, and the Worship Music Revolution.” A foundation has been laid for further discussion.

The American evangelical church has come a long way since 2002, when Michael’s articles first appeared. It is my opinion that the “revolution” is mostly over. We can look back over the past ten years with even more perspective. Doing so, I feel comfortable making the following general statements:

In terms of style, “contemporary” music has clearly triumphed and is the music of choice among a majority of evangelicals and their congregations.
In terms of content, contemporary music has been maturing, and some of it is characterized by more biblical and theological depth. This includes more adaptation and use of hymns and traditional songs in contemporary styles.
In terms of presentation, there are still many problems. Some of these grow out of a deficient understanding of corporate “worship.” Others grow out of the “concert” setup and style of presentation.
Commercialization is not driving worship music as much as it used to, but it is still an issue.
I remain saddened by the lack of imagination in contemporary church music. At no time in history has the church had more access to historical information, other Christian traditions, the world Christian community, facilities in which music and the arts could be studied and practiced, and technologies which make all kinds of creativity possible. And yet music is used for two primary purposes: (1) to make our churches accessible to people we want to reach who we think won’t like anything “traditional,” and (2) to “touch the hearts” (i.e. guide the emotions) of Christians. Music in many churches is primarily a pragmatic tool for church growth and revivalism, and thus the range of music we use and the ways we present it are incredibly limited. Music in the Christian community ought to be the most diverse, creative, and excellent music in the world."


Sze Zeng said...

Hi Martin,

Thank you for sharing Mike's post. It seems to be a valid observation.

I think from consumer's point of view, CCM serves two different purposes: (1) informal consumption, and (2) formal consumption.

The former is for personal listening, singing, concert performance, and small group singing. The latter is for Church's service and other formal meetings.

If I read Mike correctly, his observation is on the latter. Since I'm not too familiar with Church's liturgical use of CCM, yet I do noticed some valid points he made, particularly the way music is used for pragmatic purposes to expand Church's membership (in similar way as Church of England's 'Fresh Expression' movement).

In terms of consumption, it is worth asking what kind of nutrition is CCM providing for informal and formal setting? To that, individual and individual's Church has to sort it out.

Interesting area to explore further :)