Christian music has a poor reputation among the greater music circle, and ever since I discovered secular music, my tastes in this subgenre have changed.
To be fair, it was a bit of a downward slide, since “Christian music” comes in two flavors—“Praise and Worship” (music directly referencing God, Jesus, and Christian themes, e.g.: Rend Collective, Hillsong, or Third Day) or “Music by Christians” (more like surprisingly-clean rock/rap/metal/etc, e.g.: Skillet, Thousand Foot Krutch, or RED).
I got started on “Music by Christians” at a fairly young age and stuck to that genre for a long time, mostly because I was trying to get away from “Praise and Worship”. Around…I think ninth and tenth grade, I started making the switch over to secular music, spurned partially by my desire to find new music to listen to and my involvement in music ministry (which meant getting up and performing a lot of “Praise and Worship”).
But I’m not here to talk about why I made the transition from Christian to secular music, or my opinions on the genres as a whole, though I could devote a month’s worth of blog posts to it. I’m here to talk about some of the Christian songs that I like. These are in no particular order. In fact, they fluctuate quite frequently. If you want to check them out, they’re probably on Spotify. The only one I can’t speak for is Number 4, since I don’t use Spotify, but I found it on YouTube, so maybe.
5. “Great I Am” by Phillips, Craig, and Dean. Some of the songs on this list come from my time participating in music ministry. This one does come from that, but it also stems from looking at the other popular songs of that time. “Great I Am” (alongside, “Oceans” and “You Make Me Brave”) is one of the last new/mainstream “Praise and Worship” songs to be listenable. After this came “Good Good Father,” and its de-evolution “King of My Heart.” Songs with okay verses, but no effort on the chorus. My point is, if “Great I Am” is the last “good” Christian song, then I will be perfectly fine with that.
4. “Hard” by Rich Mullins. Having been involved in music ministry for over five years now, I have found that Rich Mullins is probably one of the more forgotten Christian musicians in the history of the genre. I personally think he’s one of the best–if you know him for anything, it’s for the songs “Awesome God” or “Hold Me Jesus.” If I could pick one of his songs, though, it’s “Hard,” just because of how relatable it is.
3. “Eternity” by Disciple. When I got started on the “Music by Christians” genre, Disciple was one of the first bands I found. They usually tend more towards the “screamo” side of rock-n-roll, though, so good luck finding them on your local Christian station. I enjoy a lot of their songs, but I picked “Eternity” for this list because it’s the most obviously Christian. (That is, without going to the lyrics booklets where they type out the scripture citations for almost every line of almost every song.) That, and I have a thing for people’s interpretations/speculations of what Heaven looks like. I don’t know why.
2. “You Are Good” by Israel Houghton. I seriously don’t know why I like this song. It has probably the most repetitive lyrics I have ever come across in my twenty-two years of listening to music, and that’s even factoring in my EDM phase, all the camp songs I learned, and “Good Good Father.” But still, this song is one of the most fun songs I’ve come across. Granted, this is partially because it’s (hands down) the most fun song to perform in a worship team.
1. “Be Thou My Vision.” (I prefer the Michael Card version.) Okay, I have a soft spot for Celtic/Irish music. (I mean, one of the two instruments I play is tin whistle.) So, of course my list would include a song of Celtic/Irish origin. That and it’s a song that has solid theology and is over a hundred years old and has been translated into a dozen languages, and lyrically it’s a prayer to God asking Him to help us in our daily life, as we look forward to the eternal reward of heaven.
I mean, I like it.