Should Christian Artistes “Take Back” Secular Music?

secular-music-christian-musicA friend of mine once remarked that “if you mute the sound to most of today’s Gospel music videos, I bet you will not be able to tell whether it is a Christian or a Secular Video playing.” He was right, many Christian songs are increasingly conforming to the MTV standards of music videos. The days of congregational singing on videos are slowly becoming history. While one may argue that it is a general change in culture, I cannot help but notice that, even in the days of Ron Kenoly and Don Moen, secular videos were just as perverted. It is the Christian videos that seem to have conformed to the secular videos with the passage of time. While this may be  cause for alarm and concern for many, it is not what I am writing about today. Today I will be thinking through another equally common practice in the Christian music. “Take backs”. This is when Christian artistes take secular songs and remix them (redeem them) by changing the lyrical content to something more biblical and Christ-centered. The debates surrounding the issue range from those who are convinced that music is “spiritual” and secular music has “demonic” influence to those who think that the only spiritual thing in music are the lyrics. Continue reading Should Christian Artistes “Take Back” Secular Music?

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Plagiarized Spirituality – God or Google? [Part 2]

The problem with plagiarism among Christians is that the problem is not plagiarism in itself, but the false self-aggrandizement that it reveals. It is bad enough to be proud of an ability you have, what is to be said of taking pride in an ability that you don’t even have?

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith.” [Romans 12:6]

In my previous post, I brought to our attention one example of plagiarism that is rampant among Christians (though plagiarism is not a problem unique to Christians) on social media . It is my hope that you realized my focus was not so much on the fact that people post [unoriginal] status updates and tweets without citing the original authors, but that when an opportunity to accredit those words arises, many of us would still not do it. This was my major concern. I am not suggesting that we now have to cite the author of every witty spiritual quote we post. Most of the times we honestly don’t even remember where we read or saw that quote. Continue reading Plagiarized Spirituality – God or Google? [Part 2]

Plagiarized Spirituality – God or Google? [Part 1]

It’s a typical day at work or at home. You decide to take a break from whatever you were doing and log into your Facebook Account. You begin scrolling down the News Feed, skimming through your friends’ status updates. Then this status update posted by your friend, *Mike, catches your attention: “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” You immediately recall reading those same words in C. S. Lewis’ book, The Problem of Pain. It doesn’t really bother you that the person has not accredited those words to their original author. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even occur to you that he hasn’t. Not at first… not until you scroll down to the comments section. Continue reading Plagiarized Spirituality – God or Google? [Part 1]

15 Essential Facebook Attitudes

I was going through my archives of past writings and look what I just dug up! I had just joined Facebook and I was a new believer when I wrote this (2007 – one year into the faith). It still inspires me. I hope it inspires you too.

15 Essential Facebook Attitudes

  1. You and Satan are no longer friends (Born Again).
  2. You added Jesus as a friend and He is at the top of your friend-list. (Jesus is your closest Friend). Continue reading 15 Essential Facebook Attitudes

Faithful Stewards of Truth on Facebook

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” [James 3:1]

I am an avid reader. Over the years, I have noticed that the more I read books, blogs and other works of literature, the more I learn that a single work of art can communicate lessons that even the author of that work could never have thought of, let alone intend to teach. I am even tempted to be bold enough to assert that all art is essentially abstract art. Just because its human creator decides it should mean one thing, doesn’t mean it will mean that same thing to all who encounter it. I am slowly being persuaded that artists are to their artworks what parents are to their children – mere stewards of a greater work of God. But this is seen even more clearly in works of literature, at least to me.

While reading a book, I have not just been able to get what the author is saying, but also why he says what he says the way he says it. Whenever a friend of mine approaches me with a quotation from a book he’s been reading, I always find myself suddenly becoming acutely aware that I need to know the context of that quotation. Not just the literary context, but also the greater “target audience of the author” context. Continue reading Faithful Stewards of Truth on Facebook

Jesus in a Box: The Danger in Music Videos

Mediated Communication

We are living in an electronically mediated age. Communication is no longer what it used to be. On the up side, we have faster and more convenient means of communication, mediated by cellphones, the internet and other forms of  communication media. On the other hand, the down-side of these technological innovations are much more difficult to discern. This is because majority of these negative effects tend to be subliminal and secondary in how they manifest themselves.

For instance, while the cell phone has made it easier and faster to reach people on the other side of the globe, it has consequently reduced the need for face-to-face communication. Of course the innovators perceived this problem and came up with video-call technology. It is now possible to have a face to face communication with a person thousands of miles away from you via services such as Skype. Problem solved. Or is it? It depends on what we think the problem is. Continue reading Jesus in a Box: The Danger in Music Videos