Nathan Finnochio has quickly become one of my dearest friends.
He loves my kids, my family, and me.
In that order.
He is also one of the most brilliant people I know.
We got to talking about the Michael Gungor blog post, that I retweeted because I thought it was amazing, and the dialogue dug deeper.
Nathan had great thoughts on what Gungor wrote and because I value conversation I asked Nathan to write a guest blog on Ragamuffin in response to Gungor and his opinions on the Christian Music Industry, Disingenuous Sonic of Christian Music, and Christian Social Drinking.
Take heed. I know Micheal and Lisa personally and have nothing but respect for them both and honestly agree with what they wrote. That’s why I couldn’t write this. I had to have someone else write it.
This is why we dialogue…
Hey guys. Nathan here. I have three simple questions for Michael Gungor and everyone else:
1. Why are we having worship nights at bars, knowing full well that Christians are going to come and stiff the bar, but also expecting them to stiff the bar because, hey, maybe you should NOT drink at a worship night? Let’s be honest: it’s mainly Christians that go to these worshippy shows in bars. I say worshippy cause I don’t really know what they are. They’re like… quasi-worship but more but not… I don’t know, I’ve always been really confused at these events. I saw Gungor in Toronto earlier this year at a church. I’ve always loved his worship stuff, but I didn’t get his show. It was so damn good but it felt confusing. I was wishing it was less Christian or more Christian. I know that makes no sense to some people philosophically, but practically, it makes a lot of sense. I just think the guy belongs in the general market AND church worship market, and not a mix of both. I also think that would eliminate the frustration at the alcohol toting venues. And I promise I drink more than Gungor (he said he rarely does), so I don’t have a problem with alcohol and Christians, or people who have achieved wisdom and righteousness superior to Jesus and therefore abstain.
2. Can you decipher the authenticity or reasons of the heart by genre or sonic? If you sound like Sufjan Stevens does that mean you’re disingenuous? It sounded like Gungor doesn’t like CCM. Who does? CCM doesn’t even like CCM. They’re like their own dirty secret. And screamo? Bro, I think Underoath were legit, not a bone of insincerity in the whole band. And let’s be honest, 50 years ago Rock N Roll was considered the devils music and Christians who adopted the genre were considered anethema. Mike both Rocks AND Rolls. Unfair.
3. Should Christian music that isn’t congregational or overtly devotional even exist? I don’t think so. I think Christians that don’t do music expressly for spiritual devotion (Keith Green) or congregational worship (Chris Tomlin) should just do general market stuff. Why? Influence and Creativity, two concepts antiquated evangelicalism has given up on and almost completely abdicated in society altogether. And THAT is a completely different topic.
If you’re a Christian worship leader, please don’t do a Christian side project. No Christians want that. Just do worship music and general market music. Your general market stuff will be enjoyed by both Christians and non-Christians alike, and maybe God will give you influence in places you never dreamed.
But i mean seriously, Nathan plays Father Abraham on a daily basis. He’s a softie.