Since I began my journey away from religion, whenever a religious song (not a hymn or even worship, just religious) pops into my shuffle I've begun to immediately skip it. I can't bring myself to get rid of them because I love the music, but the message just irks me now.
I'm just curious if anyone still listens to their Christian music just for the love of the music. It feels sort of hypocritical for me to listen to it and enjoy it but I mean it is just music.
I have ONE Christian song in my collection. I had heard it on the radio one early morning on my way to work and eventually downloaded it some 12 years ago. I liked the tune, and the vocals were alright. The song itself is just a cry to God for peace and happiness for the world, and that makes it really sad. I still listen to it, but only because I like the song itself. Not because of its message.
It really depends on the band. Some of it just sounds terrible now, but some bands I go back to every once in awhile, just to reflect (ie., Anberlin, MuteMath, Thrice). If a song's anywhere near preachy though, I can't listen, no matter how great it is.
It's OK to love the music but hate the sinner///words. I have been known to sing a whole collection of hymns with words that no longer make sense, just to keep me awake while driving home late at night (4 hour trip from a major city to a country town late at night.)
I listen to praise music rarely, now,but when I do, I feel nostalgic for the community I once felt a part of and sad at the loss of that connection I experienced during the time when it was meaningful to me; 10-15 years ago. When I go to a church wedding or funeral, I can't/won't sing the words - they are usually too ridiculous. I still like Handel's Hallelujah chorus for the music, though, and will sing every word with no ill effect - haha.
Music through the ages has myriad examples of religious connotations. Possibly even before religion was formalised: I can imagine primitive man humming a simple ditty to call on the rain gods to bless his crop. Then you have those magnificent operas and symphonies' by people like Bach, Mozart, Handel etc. to today's pop music, gospel, and choral pieces ...what I abhor is the abuse by shops playing religious tunes (Little Drummer Boy) to boost sales. The same argument applies to cathedrals and works of art dedicated to some icon or god; the creativity of man in the pursuit of religion is actually quite breathtaking if it wasn't so misdirected.
I don't listen to much music at all. I prefer audio books or listening to podcasts. In general, I don't listen to religious music, but I admit that a few songs (Amazing Grace is one) still move me, despite having given up on religion half a century ago.
I never had many religious songs to begin with but the one's I have I still listen to and really enjoy. I don't think you need to be religious to enjoy good music! For example Avenged Sevenfold have a song called Dear God, which I think is fantastic, it has a great melody and is just easy to listen to! I think music is open to personal interpretation and you can take whatever message you want from different songs!
The first album I ever owned, back when I stared believing in Christianity, was Jars of Clay's Much Afraid. I will to this day put that album in my car's CD player and sing my heart out.
And I still love Rich Mullins' Songs 1 and 2. And Jars' Eleventh Hour and Caedmon's Call's 40 Acres.
And if Leonard Cohen counts as a religious musician, or at least if Various Positions counts as a religious album, I'm guilty there as well.
I can't hate the words any more than I can hate the melody. It's wonderful, earnest, rich stuff. Not getting the God they're singing about doesn't change that at all, just like not getting the gist of love songs when I was younger didn't bother me.
The only guy who ever wrote a decent song about God was Billy Preston.
For what it's worth, one of MY favorite songs is "The Little Drummer Boy".
Can't help it. I just love that song.
Obviously, I don't believe the lyrics tell a true story. But then again, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" isn't exactly describing reality, either...
[In my case, it may help that I was NEVER religious -- so I don't have any memories of listening to it and BELIEVING it, to make me feel weird.]
I occasionally enjoy MxPx. I do find myself picking up on their jesus messages more often though, which kind of turns me off them a bit.
I still like some religious songs like that one "Eat my body, drink my blood...." dont know why exactly but there are lots of christmas songs I like just cause I like the beat, etc... My song for my son is Simple Man by Lynnyrd Skynnyrd and it has a line "and remember my son, there is someone up above".....he knows I am atheist and knows that I am not referring to God or that he should believe in him. Its just that the entire rest of the song is exactly my statement to him as my son.