Note: I understand that not all CCM makes the following mistakes.
1) The Contemporary Christian Music Scene is full of self. Our culture is adamant about promoting self. Everywhere we go, we are bombarded with the idea that one, beyond all things, should love one self. We are told that the self is good, if we can just bring about those attributes. Christianity on the other hand teaches that the self is sinful. That the self, or who we are by nature, is diametrically opposed to all that is godly. Ergo, opposed to the one and true living God. Christianity teaches that we should reject self, and love God. The world teaches that we should love “God”, but that god is whoever you want him to be. Unfortunately, so called “churches” are now promoting the same message that the world promotes- this is evident in the CCM scene. The songs that are written are full of lyrics about the way we feel, about what we want to do, and about our problems. This leads to a Christianity that is based on emotional experiences, rather, than the truth of scripture. Depending on how loud the guitar is strummed, that’ll dictate how loud I sing, and whether I cry or not. And If they aren’t based on our failures, they are drowned in lyrics about what we want to do for God. Doing things for God is good. But even better are the things that God has done for us in Christ Jesus. Those are the things that we ought to be singing about! If we compare the area of focus of the scriptures vs the CCM scene, we can see that one is focused upon God’s work, and the other on man’s. Psalm 147 captures this completely:
Praise the LORD!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The LORD lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the beasts their food,
and to the young ravens that cry.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
(Psalm 147:1-11 ESV)
2) The Contemporary Christian Music scene is void of any theological richness. “Jesus loves me”, “God is great”, etc, etc. These propositions are true (though how Jesus loves or If He loves the unbeliever is an issue Calvinists differentiate in). As true as these propositions may be, they are void of any theological meat. It is true that God loves me, but, the ultimate question is in what way hath God demonstrated His love? O’ God IS great, but in what ways is He great? The simplicity is outstanding. The hymns of old, spoke in detail about God’s goodness towards His people. There could have been no confusion as to what God they were worshipping, because they hugged the cross in their lyrics. They sang about the attributes of God, His providence, election, His work in creation, His Tri-Unity (when was the last time you sang a contemporary song about the Triunity of God? Beside here).
3) The Contemporary Christian scene gets the Gospel wrong. ” God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” is what I like to call “The Osteen Gospel”. And this gospel pretty much sums up the gospel of the CCM scene. Nothing about the ultimate manifestation of God’s love- where Christ became man, taking man’s place on that cross, bearing the full weight of God’s wrath in order that sinners may be reconciled. Rather, the content is filled with a lonely god who desperately wishes that sinners may come to him, because he has a wonderful plan for their lives. Lets face it, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is missing in most of this music. This is the ultimate flaw. If we are not united by that message, then our worship is in vain. Artists who do not make the cross their ultimate focus in their music, are surely bowing the knee at another alter.