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.
My wife and several of our friends (all atheists) love to get together and sing gospel music! I, being Catholic, only knew Latin hymns.
I grew up singing in the church choir, occasionally playing piano for the offeratory, etc. (it was a small congregation). So whenever those commercials for some Ultimate Collection of Favorite Hymns comes on the teevee, I can't help but sing along (much to the chagrin of hubby).
After my deconversion, I did have a hard time enjoying christmas songs - until I decided that it's no different to me to sing O Little Town of Bethlehem than it is to sing Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I enjoy the traditions, but it's all mythology.
My ipod playist is quite mixed (from YoYo Ma to Tool) but the only religious music I can think of that's currently on the playlist is Sweet Honey in the Rock. It's about the vocals, and the stories of the women singing. I can accept that their beliefs are wrong without discounting the truth of their experience.
There is one hymn that still kind of gives me trouble - it was a favorite - It is Well With My Soul. It resonated so strongly within me for so long, that I sort of feel like I can't sing it without reliving the struggle of shedding the chains of faith.
lol, my guy doesn't like it when I play the typical religious Christmas music, so I can understand where you're coming from on the spousal annoyance thing. lol.
Much like with Petra I think the Christian Christmas music is very nostalgic for me. It's all innocent. I don't have to believe it to like it, I guess. I too appreciate the tradition.
It is Well With My Soul is beautiful! Take it out of a religious context (at least with the main line itself) and it doesn't have to relate to religion at all.
That might end up being the way it goes... I hope not, but who knows.
The closest I get to "Christian" music is Mellencamp. He strikes me as different because not all his songs have some sort of religious theme to it, and even the ones that do aren't overbearing to me. Human Wheels is still one of my favorites.
Other than that, I find the "Christian" variants of any given genre to be...well, safe. Too safe. None of them want to expand beyond singing about stuff in a book, there's no risks involved...It's boring to hearing Christian song after Christian song rhyme "voice" with "rejoice".
It'd be like me making an entire genre devoted to singing songs about Harry Potter. After awhile, stuff is going to all sound the same and mush together.
I know what you mean. Some of the Christian music I listen to isn't worship-style so they're not all specifically about religion so much as, like you said, "safe." Unfortunately though they're at a much lower tier than other bands I like because of that. There's no diversity.
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.
I have a few songs like that, that are just nice on the ears. I'm not sure which ones I'll keep.
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.
I know what you mean. A lot of it is just... horrible. Even when I was a Christian I remember scoffing at most of it.