Our loyal readers know that the Evangel Society for
some time wrestled with the concept of Christian rock music and
the possibility of crossover success. Our most controversial article
to date challenged Christian radio stations to remove Project 86
from their airwaves. You can read more about that here
Our main quarrel was with Christian bookstores and radio stations
that had not tested the content of the music they were promoting.
Well, the issue of what should be played on Christian
radio continues to be unclear. One of the year's modern rock anthems
was Chevelle's "The Red." They were on a secular label
and their content had nothing explicitly Christian, yet that song
received regular airplay on most of the Christian rock stations.
Why? That is easy. Chevelle first signed with Steve Taylor's label
Therefore, when Chevelle toured in Ozzfest this summer,
them on it. My colleague Michael
Francisco questioned how they could have a Christian
witness while in that environment unless they clearly offered something
different from the stage.
But later reading this, I began to doubt Francisco's
analysis of the situation. Were they just a secular band that had
hooked up with Steve Taylor? I feared that the Evangel Society had
committed the same sin that we had accused Christian radio stations
of committing; judging a band by its label.
There is much confusion about the bands religious
leanings. Right now, our first article about Chevelle is the number
one page on our site. This traffic is the creation of the hundreds
of fans out there who hear someone say, "Chevelle is a Christian
band," and then do a Google search to determine the validity
of that claim.
I also googled this issue extensively and now feel
that Michael's initial diagnosis was flawed but not ungrounded.
Chevelle's members are
Christians but have never viewed their music as a ministry.
That is disconcerting because I believe Christians are called to
share the gospel, but it does clarify the issue. I still believe
that followers of Christ should have a problem with some of their
company at Ozzfest, but I also know that Jesus did not come to heal
the healthy. I pray that the guys in Chevelle are able to share
their faith within the often godless world of showbusiness.
That being said, our call for Christian rock stations
to analyze their content must be sounded again. Christian music
must mean more than "music without cussing." Unfortunately,
Today review of Chevelle's Wonder What's Next
did just that saying,
Unlike the hardcore/nu-metal company the band keeps, listeners
will find nothing offensive or crude on Wonder What's Next,
showing that Chevelle has stood their ground when it comes to
their faith and wholesomeness.
Keeping the lyrics free of profanity is not the same
thing as being true to the faith. Let us find a higher standard.