Volume. XIX, No. 50
Sunday, 26 June 2005

From the pastors heart: To identify CCM

To continue our study about CCM, we need to know the definition of contemporary Christian music. CCM promoters have said that people like me are traditionalists who do not like any new things, and who do not like to change. Behind this name calling, there lies a charge against traditionalists that they do not like new things and hate any change. Thus, traditionalists lay false accusations against CCM. It is a serious charge because, for example, I [let me call myself as a traditionalist] do not intend to bring you back to more primitive society of 2000 years ago. I do not oppose to any new things simply because they are new. Am I too ancient to be fixed? To understand the thoughts behind CCM, we need to know what CCM really means or stands for. Ill list a few examples of definition of CCM

Example 1 (http://www.afn.org/~mrblue/ccm/ccm.html): This websites name is Contemporary Christian Music Hot Page.

The name Contemporary Christian Music was coined to distinguish this style of music from the more traditional forms of religious music. The word contemporary has proven to be an appropriate description of this music over the last twenty years, as the styles have kept up with its secular counterpart. The ever evolving state of C.C.M. includes such diverse and contemporary styles as rock, jazz, blues, dance, metal, rap, alternative, new age, grunge, punk, thrash, death, gothic and industrial. Yet regardless of the form, the essences of all Contemporary Christian Music is the same-to share God's love to the current generation in a way that can be both understood and enjoyed.

Example 2 (http://www.freedomministries.org.uk/ccm/index.shtml):

Contemporary Christian music did not start in the church. In fact, Dr. Bruce Engleman, a professor at Texas Baptist College in Longview, Texas, has studied the origins of CCM and says today's entertainment medium got its start when a young man from Mississippi took the music world by storm in the 1950s. If there's one man that we can point to, it would be Elvis Presley, Engleman says. Engleman is of the opinion that Elvis laid the foundation for CCM with his early gospel recordings. Not only did Elvis Presley combine the styles of jazz, blues, Southern gospel, and black gospel, but Elvis Presley began singing gospel music, he says. Then in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Jesus Movement spread on college campuses, bringing long-haired, barefoot worshippers who had their own style of music. That movement eventually became a multimillion- dollar industry, having a profound and undeniable impact on the Church

Example 3 (http://ccmwhatisit.bizland.com/history_of_ccm.htm):

A common acronym used for the words 'contemporary Christian music.' Describes a style of music that first became popular in the 1970s (known then as 'Jesus music'), that combines popular musical sounds and genres of the times with Christian lyrics. Can only be performed by Christian artists. Encompasses the following Christian music genres: pop, rock, alternative, metal, ska, swing, hip-hop, rap, and others.

Example 4 (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Contemporary_Christian_music):

Contemporary Christian music (CCM), or Christian pop music, is a sub-genre of Christian music. It is called "contemporary" because it is distinct from traditional Christian gospel music and southern gospel music. Because it can be difficult to define what is and what is not considered Contemporary Christian Music, the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (2002) defines it as "music that appeals to self-identified fans of contemporary Christian music on account of a perceived connection to what they regard as Christianity".

It is worth noting that the history of CCM is born of secular music according to wordiq.com. It says:

Contemporary Christian music first came onto the scene of popular music during the Jesus movement revival of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Musically, it was birthed out of rock and roll. . . . The term "Contemporary Christian Music" originated in 1976 when artist and album reviewer Ron Moore used it to describe an album by Richie Furay. The industry itself began to emerge as early as 1975, when Myrrh Records started signing Christian rock acts. In the late 1970s publisher John Styll began a magazine which focused on the genre, appropriately called Contemporary Christian Music Magazine. . . . By the 1990s, though, many Christian artists rebelled against the imposed stereotypes of the industry. Artists such as the Lost Dogs, Starflyer 59, Vigilantes of Love, and joy Electric were creating compellingly original music, and some artists were even leading the pack in certain genres (third wave ska and rapcore, for example). Also, beginning in the mid-90s with releases from Amy Grant, dc Talk, and Jars of Clay, the lines between CCM and mainstream music were beginning to blur. Several artists found "crossover" success and received Top 40 radio play.

We can find a few common characteristics of CCM from above definitions: (1) It has styles (not just in its religious lyrics, but music styles such as rock and pop), (2) Its styles are not different from secular counterparts, and (3) It attempts to be accepted by mainstream secular music. Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines contemporary as an adjective in four ways: (1) Belonging to the same time; existing or occurring together in time, (2) equal in age, (3) occurring at the same moment or during the same period, (4) Modern or ultra-modern in style and design. Contemporary simply means to live in the same period of time. Thus, all of us are contemporaries. Therefore, music being contemporary is nothing wrong itself. However, if we compare the dictionary definition with definitions by musicians themselves, we find that they are not much in common. What I want to say is that opposing CCM is not the same as opposing everything contemporary. There is good contemporary music that is neither CCM nor worldly. CCM versus traditional hymns is not an issue of new and old, but bad and worldly style of music and good style of music. There are good contemporary musicians whose music may not go to Christian Top 40 charts, but do not follow popular culture, either. Their music is rarely heard from Christian radio because they do not attract a large crowd to their concert. The criterion of good CCM today is its sales record, not good style and quality of music. Is CCM new because it is contemporary? No. CCM is contemporary in terms of its imitation of contemporary popular culture and music. As there is only one truth nothing but the truth, so there is only good music whether it is old or new. There are good musicians making fresh and new material even today. Which CCM are you following?

Lovingly, Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question 107: What doth the conclusion of the Lords prayer teach us? The conclusion of the Lords prayer, [which is, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen.] teacheth us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him. And, in testimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen.

Please pray for Gods healing for Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Bro Kevin Tye; Sisters Wendy Gong, Myung Ki, Luan Price, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Aylin Hanin, Melissa Wong, Angie Yuen, Giok Yeos sister-in-law, Mrs Doreen Dunning, Mrs Irene Turner, and all others who have been afflicted with winter illness. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (1Pet 5:7).

Please pray for a) Pastor Ki - as he ministers Gods Word in Korea; b) Cambodia Missions: Rev & Mrs Stephen Choi, & Glory BP Church (Phnom Penh), Preacher Chang & Mandarin Ministry (Sihanoukville); Bros Joseph Lo & Matthew Thomas (Ebenezer BPC) as they serve the LORD in Phnom Phenh & Siem Reap; c) Bro Hai Seng Lim Sketch n Tell ministry; d) Bro Surish Dharmalingam exams in Laotian Language this week, and for financial support. e) Expectant mothers good health for Sisters Michiko and Katie; f) Provision of job Bro Simon Yeo; g) Journey mercies Ps Ki (Adl), Bros You Wen Yip & Yick Ho Lam (Spore), Bro Jason Tan & Sis Min Yen Chia (Melb); Sis Wendy Gong (Kalgoolie); Bro Chee Chong & Sisters Angie Chen, Jasmine Chua, & Wendy Wong (Adl), Serene Wong (Spore), Mr Kurt Briels (WA), & BPCWA young people going to Melbourne; h) Bro Chris Budimans wife and child to join him soon in Adelaide; i) High school and Uni students - assignments & exams this week; j) Sis Wendy Gong - for Gods guidance & protection as she starts a new job in Kalgoolie, WA; k) Bro Gabriel & Sis Grace Lee as they shift to the USA; l) Bethel Youth Winter Bible Camp next week.

Praise and Thank God for a) Blessed Prayer Meeting & Bible Video Show on Wed, YAF/Teens Bible Study on Friday; b) Journey mercies - Bro Raphael Ng (Spore) & Sis Serene Wong (Syd); Sis AyLi Chong (Adl); Mr Kurt Briels (Perth), & BPCWA young people (Adl); c) Recovery from surgery - Sis Angie Yuen (at St Andrews); d) Working Bees yesterday.

20th Anniversary Committee to be organised. Please see Dn Ngie Joo Gong, if you can assist.

July - September RPGs, English & Mandarin editions, available on the literature table. Donation: $1 per booklet.

Church Directory to be updated. Please give your details to Sis Josephine Lee for inclusion in the new directory ASAP.

Looking Ahead: Annual Congregational Meeting on Sat 30 July at 7:30 PM.



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