As both an artist and listener I've noticed something fairly peculiar about Christians and their critiques of another artists music. I don't really see it among so-called "secular" audiences or any other music subset. What is "it" that is so different? Its this:
People feel like they can't just NOT LIKE the music.
Have you ever asked a Christian their opinion about another Christian artist? ESPECIALLY artists that use an urban music style? 8.5 times out of 10, if they don't like it they won't say "I don't like it." They have to give these deep, theological reasons as to why they don't like it. "Its not enough meat in it for me" or "they don't rep Jesus hard enough for me." What the heck does that even mean?!?!? Is there a Jesus quota to be Jesus'd enough? Do you have to quote Albert Mohler or something or have an RC Sproul sermon as the hook to be meaty enough? Do you have to have a song entitled "substitutionary atonement" to be deep enough to be considered Christian?
But really, here's what I think it is. Christians GENUINELY desire to love each other. Its in our new spiritual DNA. And most people see a strong connection between the people we love and the faith we believe. Musically, we see a connection between the artist (the person) and their art (the music) and subconsciously we think if we don't like art then that must mean we don't like the artist. And how can I not like the artist if we have a connected faith? So, in order to justify not liking an artists work we must disconnect them from what I believe. Then we create crazy reasons as to why we don't like an artists work that 9 times out of 10 have ZERO to do with balanced, biblical views. We say silly stuff like "He rapped over a secular beat. He's being a friend to the world!" Yeah, well you rapped over a secular microphone so what does that make you?
So, allow me to free your mind from the silly disputes you have in your car, church parking lots, Twitter and website message boards with this thought:
It's okay if you don't like it...really.
If you don't like their style, music selection, sound or just don't think that its good...that's okay. If you don't think they can sing, don't think they can rap, don't think they do good graphic design, don't think they can color...that's okay! You're not a "hater" if you don't like it. You just don't like it. And if the artist gets offended that you don't like it then tell Mr./Mrs. artist to either quit music or toughen up.
We don't have to vilify people we don't like in order to feel good about not liking their music. Its been said to "love people, hate their sins" Well, you can also love people and not like their art. Just because you agree with their message doesn't mean you have to like them and just because you don't like their music doesn't mean you have to find reasons (or even worse CREATE reasons) to not like their message.
Its okay to not like it...really.
What do you think? Post your comments below.