Monday, October 09, 2006

Can't we all just get along?

This post is directed toward all my Christian friends, and those that I have the privilege of posting with on the national message boards, Radio-Info and Radioinsight.

I have long wondered why one style of music is right and another is wrong when they both are used to glorify God?

A little bit about myself, at least as far as my walk with the Lord is concerned, I accepted Christ as my savior on June 6, 1980. Immediately before that I was going to a Southern Baptist church with my wife and her family. My wife's family is from West Virginia, and their favorite kind of worship music is Southern Gospel. I grew up in the Lutheran church, where they played mainly hymns, or traditional music.

Anyways, when I went to church we heard quartet music, and when the congregation sang, it was in four part harmony. Most were blissfully ignorant, and felt that that was most honoring to God.

Most of the people that went to church there were from the south and came to Northeast Ohio to get jobs at Ford, Chevy, Republic Steel, and the like. They brought their musical tastes with them.

Personally, I am as Northeast Ohio as the day is long. My parents and all my Grandparents were also from this neck of the woods. When I went to broadcast school, I wanted to be a big time rock and roll disc jockey. I had a ton of record albums at my house that you only heard on WMMS.

I met my wife in 1977 and as we were going together if I wanted to be with her on Sunday morning, Sunday night, or Wednesday night, I would be with her in church. The church was the afore mentioned Southern Baptist Church. Like everything else I've taken an interest in, I jumped in with both feet.

At the time there were three Christian radio stations in the immediate area-WSUM/1000AM in Parma, WTOF/98.1, Canton, and WCRF/103.3, Cleveland. WSUM and WTOF were owned by Mortensen Broadcasting. WSUM played contemporary music, WTOF played (Southern)Gospel music. I listened to both these stations when I could, and enjoyed such artists as Petra, Imperials, Cathederal Quartet, Kingsmen, Inspirations, Bill Gaither Trio among others. I was very diverse in my musical tastes. I always respected the people I now went to church with, and for the most part their music of choice was Gospel.

Being a "Buckeye" I've had debates with my father-in-law, who is a very good man, but the whole time I've known him has been very set in his ways. He didn't like contemporary music because it "sounded like rock-n-roll". I said that gospel sounded like country. He then corrected me by saying that country sounded like gospel(BTW, he doesn't own a computer).

Through the years I've been on both ends of the CCM vs. Southern Gospel debate. I can give solid arguments for both styles, and I also like hymns. They are all used to glorify God. If we give glory to the artist, then we've lost our focus.

Fast forward to 1996. WTOF was sold to Salem Broadcasting. They dropped most of the Gospel music, changed the calls to WHK-FM and was mainly a teaching/talk station. There was a minor uprising among church members and singers alike. I was told that station management toldd those that called to voice their displeasure that if they wanted Southern Gospel, start their own station. Salwem later relented, putting their "Solid Gospel" package on WHLO/640, until the station was sold to Clear Channel. In all fairness, a big money format it probably wasn't. The demo was aging and moving back to the south. But in fairness to those who remain, they lost a valuable ministry when the format left. My question, rhetorical as it may be, when should a ministry become a business, and vice versa.

I have adapted, as I mainly listen to WCRF, as their focus is to the adult comtemporary crowd.
Some haven't. You can get Southern Gospel on the internet, but there are some, such as my in-laws that don't own a computer.

I've posed the question on the national forums, and I get alot of attitude and alot of finger pointing. Matt Smith, moderator on gave an excellent response to a question I posed(however I forget to put a "t" in question, and didn't realize it until I couldn't edit my mistake). Click here for his response.

We have to learn how to minister to others, and sometimes that means going outside our own preferences.


Tim L said...

I think your testimony is quite fasciating and mirrors mine somewhat..I had gone to church with a friend of mine in School when I was a teenager and gotten saved in August 1977 at Canton Baptist Temple. WTOF was not all Southern Gospel but I really enjoyed finding WCRF as they played songs I KNEW from church..They were much traditional then. As years went by I discovered Southern Gospel and that has become my preference along with the Hymns. Was disappointed when Salem took off Southern Gospel from the airwaves and sold out 98.1 to the "Rock and Roll Crowd" I found that more and more even WCRF felt they had to be more "Contemporary"..I feel disenfranchised because Very few in Christian Radio thinks the Conservative, Older Christians account for much anymore.

I have taken to buying a Shortwave radio and listening to a Station in Newport North Carolina that simulcasts its FM programming on Shortwave..This Station is Fundamental, KJV Only..With Hymns and Gospel Songs(Knowing you wont see anything aaproaching this station in NE Ohio. In saying all that I dont mind some contemporary songs, but the words have to bve understandable and Glorify God..

Sorry for rambling but as mentioned another time there is a definite bias against Conservative Music and thought on the national radio boards..

God Bless
Tim Lones

RIPJoelRose said...

Wow WIXY! You have impressed me. I really have enjoyed your blog. I just now got the nerve to comment to you. Keep it up! God Bless you. Is there a way to contact you via email? Levi says hi!

anotherguy said...

I'll just quote part of what I had posted in the same thread:

I don't listen to Southern Gospel, but I'm not against it as a musical style. What I am against is the bias that some people in SG have against CCM. I know that there is probably some bias by pro-CCM people against SG, but I don't hear anyone on the pro-CCM side accusing SG of being from the Devil, and trying to tear down SG ministries and radio stations.

I may never like SG personally, but those who are blessed by it should be able to enjoy it. Just please give those of us who prefer CCM and Christian rock the same courtesy.

Tim L said...

(Quote)I may never like SG personally, but those who are blessed by it should be able to enjoy it. Just please give those of us who prefer CCM and Christian rock the same courtesy. (Unquote)

I have no problem with those that enjoy contemporary music. I will admit to being biased as far as music that blesses and uplifts me..Some Contemporary music is fine (for me)..

74WIXYgrad said...


Thanks for your kind comments. I added a link to my e-mail in my profile.


I am in agreement with your comments for the most part, as I listen to most kinds of Christian music. I am working on a related post about this topic.


Thanks for your continued support. There is a BBN repeater station out of Wooster at 91.9.

Thanks everyone,