The Luciferian Divide: Why Does Christian Music Have to Sound Like “Christian” Music?

The Luciferian Divide: Why Does Christian Music Have to Sound Like “Christian” Music? September 1, 2023

In the heart of Walmart (Bentonville, Arkansas), the 11th annual Amplify Music Festival occurred in mid-August. It’s the country’s largest–and free-est–of its kind, so the gathering of musical artists was fantastic. But the message of evangelist Nick Hall is why it mattered this year. 

The founder of PULSE is a dynamic preacher who has even had Chance the Rapper at one of his events. The conservative among the brethren had an issue with that, but Hall stood up for a child of God who doesn’t get played on Christian radio. (And bravo, sir!)

He understands that the lost–and the found–need choices for music reflect what is heard on commercial radio and streamers. Hall said something about that stage, which deserves shouting from the stage so everyone sitting in overflow can hear it. 

“I think that for as many different people as there are on earth, there are as many different styles and expressions of creativity and humanity. I think creativity points to a Creator.” He added, “I think Christian music should make space for any expression that wants to point to the hope we find in Jesus.”

Just because you don’t hear a song on CCM radio doesn’t mean it won’t work to reach the lost. It’s time to drop the facade that all churchgoing, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving people only listen to the music you hear at church on Sundays. 

Creativity points to a Creator. Amen! So, how come the Church only seems to point its finger at people who don’t listen to “Christian music” exclusively? 

The Diversity of Christian Music

Diverse people enjoying Christian music
Does Christian music have to look a certain way to sound the right way? Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

According to the Audiophile Review (which reinforces studies on music with science), there are 41 primary genres of music, and within those primary categories exist 337 sub-categories of music. (Kinda’ sounds like the Church and all its many subset denominations, huh?) 

Among “Holiday Music” alone, there is a smattering of sub-categories. You may shout as loud as you can on Black Friday about your affinity for Christmas music, but what kind do you mean? 

  • Children’s
  • Classic
  • Classical
  • Comedy
  • Jazz
  • Modern
  • Pop
  • R&B
  • Religious – and from there is CCM or Worship
  • Rock
  • Showtunes
  • Easter
  • Hanukkah
  • Holiday: Other
  • Thanksgiving

We can’t agree on a favorite holiday tune, even during “the most wonderful time of the year.” Why? Music is relative and highly subjective. It’s personal, like a relationship with Christ. 

It brings up memories and brings down strongholds. It helps you work out when you’re awake and pass out when you’re tired after a long day. Music can also make you feel healthy or depressed, reduce stress or inflame anxiety. Whatever adjective you want, Christian music doesn’t have to sound how you think it should for salvation. 

Given the intimacy we strive to have with Jesus, it’s your walk. This is about you and Him, not “them.” Yet, when it comes to what goes in our earbuds, people in and out of the Church face the mind-numbing, non-sequitur debate: “Why does music have to sound Christian to be considered Christian?” 

The Decision of Christian Music

Lecrae and Chance the Rapper -- both represent Christian music
Lecrae and Chance the Rapper know music can be the best in and out of the Church. (Credit:

Your opinions work overdrive from listening to the radio or streaming on any device. You turn on a radio or dial up a playlist as a kind, demure individual. By the time you are done with whatever, you have messed up your hair, broken out in a cold sweat, and developed a canker sore or two. It’s all because “I’m not in the mood for that song.” 

Wherever you fall within the kid pool of 41 different musical genres, the deep end gets much more complex as 337 different subsets are waiting to wrap a tentacle around your blistered trigger finger and yank you down into a rabbit hole of choices of which you’ll never escape. And that’s a good thing. 

So, why are some Christians blasted for their musical tastes? 

There is more to music that praises Jesus besides having a choir and some off-rhythmic clapping. Did you grow up loving Hip-Hop? Jesus has that. What about hard rock? He’s got that too. From Blues to Pop, EDM to Jazz, it can all be found within the confines of the Gospel. 

Have you ever met someone who loved hardcore metal? Forget understanding why anyone would like that music. What’s important is they do, so let the Lord understand how to reach them. 

Have many attempts at “Christians” in those genres failed miserably? Yes, for decades. (DC Talk as rap artists and Petra as hard rock?! Child of God, please!) Is it true that some people don’t have to be “Christian music artists” to be successful at reaching people and being a living epistle for Christ? Absolutely! 

That’s why people like Nick Hall want those people, like Chance and others seemingly outside the Church, to be considered musical artists who happen to be Christian. Choices can damage a walk with Christ, but the plethora of labels people throw on God’s children cripples them. 

The Deity of Christian Music

the musical road to the cross is diverse
Music and Jesus: It takes all kinds

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

Matthew 11: 28-30 (NJKV)

It is important to note that Jesus said, “Come here.” He didn’t even say wipe your nasty feet at the door. Showing up to the Throne is half the battle; even the Son of God knew that. The point is that once you spend enough time in God’s presence, you will want to stop those things that aren’t sanctified. 

Lucifer was in God’s presence and still made a choice that cost him eternity with God. People don’t always listen to praise and worship. So what? As you may have learned, Lucifer created music, and that’s why music is so tempting “in the world.” 

While that may be true, it’s essential to know when Lucifer was the top archangel in Heaven, he was only responsible for the music. It was not his creation. It was the Lord’s! 

The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. 

Ezekiel 28:13 (NKJV) 

Lucifer was a musician, a virtuoso. He created beats, melodies, riffs, and rhythms better than anyone. Yet, God didn’t “give him music.” He gave Lucifer the power to lead people toward a purpose. The one we call Satan only used music to do it – not vice versa. 

The irony is that someone who creates music uses spiritual headphones to make you ignore the words of God about His children who don’t listen to the same music you do. The Holy Spirit is leading them to the work of the Cross by listening to stuff that would make their ears bleed. 

Following the afterglow of a rousing worship service, people listen to whatever is on their playlists. Even the “non-Christian” stuff. From Lenny Kravitz to Prince, Kansas to the Doobie Brothers, P.O.D. to Flyleaf, The Boogiemonsters to Chance the Rapper, God is big enough to get involved in “secular music.” 

If you listen to Nick Hall, now it’s our turn to do what many forms of Christian music have been doing for centuries in and out of the Church–reach the lost, edify the found, and celebrate our God’s creativity. 

About Shawn Paul Wood
For more than 20 years, Shawn Paul Wood has been a professional copywriter and ghostwriter for organizations and personalities inside and outside of the Church of all sizes. As founder of Woodworks Communications, he is coming back to his first love -- edifying the Church and educating God's people. You can read more about the author here.

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