Is there such a thing as ‘Christian rock (or pop) music’? The way to begin answering that question is this: is there such a thing as ‘Christian music’ at all? What do we mean by the phrase? Are we describing the music? Take a sheet of music from a ‘Christian song’ and one from a ‘secular song’. Are they essentially different? Is a B flat in a hymn any different from one in a bawdy rock number? Can you tell a Christian quaver from a non-Christian one? Is there such a thing as godly guitar, a sanctified saxophone or a born again bassoon? Nobody is questioning the point that one can have Christian musicians, but the simple fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as ‘Christian music’. There are Christians and there is music; there is good music and there is bad music (and that statement has nothing to do with taste, style, culture or the age of the performer or listener); there is music that reflects God’s glory and music that does not. We can take it further: there are Christians who write and play bad music, and non-Christians who write and play good music. Music is not ‘good’ because it is performed in a religious context, any more than music is ‘bad’ because it is being performed in a ‘secular’ context. All these divisions tend to blur the truth. Music must be judged not by its context but by its content. Beautiful flowers can be found in a dusty desert and poisonous plants in a lovely garden.
(Pop Goes The Gospel, John Blanchard withPeter Anderson & Derek Clave, Evangelical Press, 1983, p. 21-22.)