2016-05-23

Have you been aghast at the direction popular music is taking? Sexually degrading lyrics? Profanity? Violence? Satanism?

“Award-winning gospel artist Natalie Grant left the Grammys early, refusing to say why,” writes Tyler O’Neil in the Christian Post. “Bloggers speculated that she left in response to Katy Perry’s “satanic” performance or because of a mass wedding of 34 couples that included homosexuals.

1Satanic-themed Grammy performance (YouTube screenshot)

“We left the Grammy’s early. I’ve had many thoughts, most of which are probably better left inside my head,” Grant tweeted that night. The artist kept her message positive, however, declaring, “I’ve never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I’ve never been more sure of the path I’ve chosen.”

4Natalie Grant on her popular CD cover

“Before Grant walked out, Katy Perry and Juicy J performed the song ‘Dark Horse’ in a manner widely described as ‘satanic,’” reported O’Neil.

Perez Hilton praised the performers as “fiery Satanists,” adding that “we hope KP’s parents weren’t too mad at that Satan-themed performance.”

E! Online tweeted a revealing question, “um, did we just witness actual witchcraft during Katy Perry’s #Grammys performance?”

CatholicVote asked the question ”didn’t you hear Satan attended this year’s Grammy awards?”

Here's what Natalie tweeted:

2Grant’s Twitter message

The problem with popular music is deep and troubling, but there’s a great solution, says Christian author. Al Menconi.

“Are you up for a challenge that could change your life?” he asks. “I’m excited to tell you about my new Christian Music Challenge. You’re probably wondering, ‘What does Christian music have to do with

finding and keeping peace and purpose in a chaotic world?’ I’m glad you asked. The answer is, ‘Everything.’”

The challenge, says Menconi, is to break your addiction to degrading music that is dragging you down.

al's promo hatAl Menconi (provided by Al Menconi)

“Think of all the pressures and stress which can happen every day in your life,” says Menconi. “Do you ever feel that God has given you more than you can handle? In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the Bible clearly tells us that God is faithful and will never give us more than we can bear. We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can change how we respond to our circumstances.”

Such music giants Michael W. Smith and TobyMac think Menconi is onto something. They and many other Christian leaders all endorse Al Menconi’s new book, The Christian Music Challenge.

3Menconi’s new book

Several Christian radio stations inspired by Al Menconi’s book are encouraging their listeners to listen to more Christian music, but there is so much more to this Challenge than simply avoiding negative entertainment choices and listening to Christian radio.

“We know that, as Christians, we are not immune to the daily trials of life,” says Menconi. “We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can certainly change how we respond to our circumstances.

“You might be thinking, then why is life so hard? May I suggest there might be an outside negative influence monopolizing your thought life? That’s definitely not what God intended.”

He says the outside influence is degrading music.

7Jars of Clay album cover

“God has promised all of us a way out. Do you realize that godly music

can help us live our lives peacefully, in the way He designed for us? That’s good news,” says Menconi.

“The Christian Music Challenge is not hard. Avoid negative entertainment for 30 days and listen exclusively to Christian music during that time. Negative entertainment is defined as entertainment that encourages a lifestyle that is against biblical values. A general rule of thumb is: If in doubt, leave it out.

“For some of you, this will be a ‘walk in the park.’ For others it will be like pulling teeth. The bottom line: Are you at peace, do you understand God’s purpose for your life? Does the fruit of the Spirit rule and reign in your life? Then why not try the Christian music challenge for 30 days? What do you have to lose? 30 days? And it could be the decision that changes your life for eternity!”

How does it work?”

5Michael W. Smith album cover

“By eliminating all forms of entertainment that are against biblical values. Listen exclusively to Christian music for 30 days while eliminating all forms of entertainment that are against biblical values. That’s all there is to it,” writes Menconi. “It sounds simple and for many it will not be a big deal.”

_Al speakingMenconi speaking to a group (photo provided by Menconi)

For them, it will simply reinforce what you are presently doing. For others, he admits, the challenge “will be a traumatic experience, as it illustrates how tight a grip entertainment has on your life. For many giving up ‘ungodly’ entertainment – even for just 30 days will be like kicking drugs. But like the druggie who is addicted to drugs, take it one day at a time. You can do it! Don’t give up!”

Menconi has even set up a website to encourage those taking the challenge.

But what about the person who asks: Couldn’t I just cut down on the bad entertainment and entertain myself with good entertainment?

“Yes you could,” answers Menconi, “but the reason I suggest such a drastic lifestyle change is to give you an opportunity to experience life from a biblical perspective. Research shows the vast majority of Christians are so immersed in the values of this world through our entertainment choices that we often we unable to discern the difference between what is offensive to God and what is not.

6TobyMac album cover

“We need to completely withdraw from this immersion of entertainment to see it from God’s perspective. I’m afraid Christians often make entertainment decisions without a thought of how they might affect our spiritual lives.

“The Bible commands us to set our mind on things above. Music is a mind-setter; why not allow it to set our minds on life from a godly perspective? As we do, at the same time, we need to make a stand against negative entertainment.

“It is our hope you will begin to see life from a biblical perspective,” writes Menconi. “Remember, we are not saying the answer to life is Christian music. Nor is secular entertainment the problem!

“The answer is Jesus.”