Swimming against the Mainstream

I was writing yesterday about saying goodbye to West Michigan Star 105.7, and more particularly Tommy and Brook in the morning. I'm reliably informed that they came from a Gospel Music Station 91.3 WCSG where they piloted their TOY programme under the less catchy title of "Drive Thru Difference."
Star 105.7 is a secular station, but one of the things that I can't get over is the general prominence of explicitly Christian music on this and other commercial channels and the pop charts in general. It all seems to be part of a strange pseudo-christian cultural musical mainstream, which perhaps reflects the relationship of religion and society in general here.
You have Marvin Sapp, who is both a chart topping singing sensation and pastor of the Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, then you have groups like MercyMe and their oft repeated "I can only Imagine", which I first came across at a funeral... More on that tomorrow...
And then there was the repeated interview with Bebo Norman about his song "Britney" which apologises to Britney Spears for what celebrity culture has done to her... The Christian content of this last song is more muted than most on offer, and he has been criticised for this from some quarters for watering down the gospel, and from other quarters for simply using Britney's name to get noticed...
In my opinion, as a pop song it is OK... as a piece of theological reflection it is as profound as most of my posts this summer.
But it is refreshing... swimming against the stream of the "build 'em up - knock 'em down nature of modern celebrity culture... and against the stream of sickly sweet, self-absorbed Christian music... It's worth a listen...


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