Matt Papa’s Prophetic Take on Christian Radio

Christian singer-songwriter, Matt Papa, has begun a series of posts on Christian radio that will be worth watching.

Since my earliest Christian memories have DC Talk’s Jesus Freak and Smalltown Poets Prophet, Priest, and King playing as background music, I will be very interested in what he has to say.  With Mr. Papa, I am one who is frequently sickened by the shallow, trite, and godless banter that fills Christian radio.

Just this week I heard a K-Love disc jockey preach a gospel of self-salvation: “When I encounter hard times, I remember all that I gone through before and I endure.”  What kind of non-Christian non-sense is that?  It would make Paul stand up and say, “Oh, you foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?!”  Or perhaps, it would incite a conversation like this, imagined by Matt Papa:

Imagine with me: The apostle Paul, John the Baptist, the prophet Isaiah, St. Augustine, Martin Luther, and Hudson Taylor all sitting in a room together.  The year is 2012, and they’re listening to a mainstream christian radio station.  After listening for an hour, someone finally speaks up:

Isaiah:  um….

Paul:  wow.


Augustine:  Did that song just say ‘God you are super neat’?!?

Taylor:  Haven’t heard a song about the cross yet.

John:  This is embarrassing.  (bites into a bug)

 Over the next month or so, I’ll be writing a series of posts about the current state of the christian music industry, more specifically, the current state of that which spearheads it, namely christian radio. . . .

Mr. Papa continues,

As you might have gleaned from the title, what will follow will be a hard, honest, word of rebuke.  I have no idea if anything I say in these posts will mean anything for the sake of change, but someone has to say it:  Mainstream christian radio is altogether banal and shallow in both a musical sense and a spiritual sense.  The songs are man-centered and the DJ’s and radio programmers are man-pleasers…..they play the songs that will attract the most listeners to their station, period.  Christian radio is like Joel Osteen in musical form….safe, happy, and untruthful.  It is the TBN of music…a large-scale, embarrassing presentation of Christianity to the world.

After this, he lists seven caveats that promise to make his posts not simply angry rants, but thoughtful examinations of a broken system.  See his seven reflections.

I look forward to seeing what Mr. Papa will say, and what will be said in return.  I am sure it will ruffle feathers, but I pray for good.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss