Christian Music and Chris Tomlin
I would gather to say that when asked if they would rather listen to Christian or non-Christian music that the general population would choose the latter. Christian music is looked upon as having a dry and bland type of style, one that lulls you to sleep rather than the adrenaline pumping and soul shaking music that you get from most alternative bands. A problem that Christian music artists seem to have is trying to gather popularity for their product.
Unlike the MTV bands, where sex sells, the Christian band keeps close to its values of clean wholesome music that glorifies God. Unfortunately the general population hardly shares these same views, and attendance for concerts and record sells are always down. Up until a few days ago I was under the category of non-Christian music over Christian, and was like everyone else thinking that no way could Christian artists stand up to those who were not. I have since seen that these thoughts could not have been farther from the truth.
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Artists like Chris Tomlin and his band not only bring to you the rhythm, beat, and noise that has come to be generally expected at rock concerts, but his type of “soul shaking” goes much deeper than others and keeps you in tuned with the Lord the entire time. So this brings about the questions, “What type of style do artists like Chris Tomlin bring to their concerts that intensifies the general perception of Christian music? ” “Where does Christian concerts have benefits over non-Christian? ”
I was lucky enough to attend a Christ Tomlin concert this past weekend. Needless to say the experience blew me away along with my perception of Christian music. The atmosphere was just incredible the entire time I was there; such a sense of unity and friendship for one common goal seemed to permeate the room. The concert itself took place in the Nokia Center in Los Colinas, Texas, and there was not any empty seat in the room. Everyone there was with a common goal, to praise Jesus with song, and strengthen his or her relationship with Jesus.
One thing I found interesting about this concert was that Chris included a guest speaker. This is something you will definitely not see at any other concert. Louie Giglio was the speaker’s name, and after and hour of singing he provided a nice change of gears with a powerful message talking about how big God is and how small we are along with our problems. Using the songs just sang, he pounded in a teaching that brought about a whole new meaning to those lyrics. There was a silence that filled that room unlike any I had ever heard before.
People were sitting concentrating on the message that had just been delivered to them and trying to understand its meaning and how it applied to their life. You would never hear any type of silence at a non-Christian concert, or be privileged to listen to a guest speaker. Most of the time it’s seeing how much beer you can drink, or weed you can smoke and maybe listening to some music every now and then. Never is your attention focused solely on the stage following every word spoken or sung.
Even with a room full of people the atmosphere at a Christian concert allows you in your mind to be by yourself with God. The quality of the music and sound was comparable to any rock concert that I had been to, helping erase my prejudice towards non-Christian music immediately. Chris had a tremendous voice, accompanied with his guitar and piano playing he was nothing short of astounding. He had a good group of guys playing alongside with him, all very inept in what they played.
If the lyrics hadn’t been praising Jesus you would have thought you had bought tickets to see Green Day. If the singing and instrument play wasn’t enough, Chris did a great job of keeping the audience into it. He would have the entire crowd do certain things such as flip open their cell phones and hold them up while swaying back and forth. 10,000 people’s cell phone lights were swaying back and forth creating and awesome spectacle and a sense of bonding time with God and each other.
While singing was going on, pictures would be flashed up on the screen showing nature’s beauty and Jesus on the cross. This reminded people of God’s creation and the sacrifice that Jesus suffered for us. The clapping almost never stopped as people started to really get into the concert. Others were moving down to the front of the stage and were jumping up and down with the rhythm of the song. Not just teenagers, I’m talking about full grown men and women some in their mid-thirties to forties, jumping and yelling like it was some mosh pit at Ozfest.
Instead of screaming profanities though these people were praising God. This type of celebration seemed to carry on for another hour or so, just singing and dancing, all for the glory of God. You could tell then that things were starting to wind down as Chris played a couple slow songs in succession, and people started moving back to their seats. They ended with the song “Indescribable” and towards the end of the song the stage went completely black and you couldn’t hear Chris sing any more only the crowd.
When the song had finished the lights came back on and the band was gone. This gesture struck me the most. When do you ever see a band walk off without saying anything, or acknowledging the applause by the audience? It was because it was important to them. All the glory is given to God there. God is the one that makes that concert possible and they made sure that He was the one glorified, not them. I asked my friend that I had went with, if this was the best Christian concert he had been to. He responded with, “Best?
They are all like this. ” It is just not Chris Tomlin that runs his concert like that; many other Christian artists share these same views. Though others still claim that Christianity a cult and that its music is just promoting a singular view. Whatever the reason, Christianity must be applauded for the giant leaps it has taken in the music industry and the quality of its songs. Musicians like Chris Tomlin must continue to be a beacon as a quality performer and God-fearing man to those seeking success as Christian music artists.