The lyrics of Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) has gotten so bad, for the first time in the 30-year history of the Dove awards, the Gospel Music Association (GMA) Awards and Criteria Committee has created criteria for eligibility of Dove Awards based on lyric contents. The definition states:
"Gospel music is music in any style whose lyric is: substantially based upon historically orthodox Christian truth contained in or derived from the Holy Bible; and/or an expression of worship of God or praise for His works; and/or testimony of relationship with God through Christ; and/or obviously prompted and informed by a Christian world view."
The only previous requirement for Dove Awards was simply Christian retail store distribution. In other words, if it was sold in so-called Christian stores it was eligible.
One of the main reasons for the action by the GMA was last year's Dove Awards song-of-the-year winner Bob Carlisle's secular "Butterfly Kisses". According to industry insiders, the GMA was embarrassed that a song without any "Christian" content was voted the coveted "song-of-the-year".
GMA President Frank Breeden stated, the new "lyric definition" would help the GMA to "put up our guard against music that might be contradictory to Scripture. We want to make sure that 'spiritual' or 'inspirational' music in the broadest definition is not mistaken for 'gospel' music. . . we cannot have a song nominated for a Dove Award that is clearly a secular song . . . we were concerned about the integrity of the awards process; not only our telecast, but the integrity of the award itself."
And what were some of the songs the GMA deemed not "Christian"? What were some of the songs the GMA "canned" because they did not qualify for a Dove Award?
How about Michael W. Smith's song "Love Me Good"?
What's so ironic about the GMA's "canning" of Smith's song "Love Me Good" as the coveted Dove "song-of-the-year" is that it was the best-selling CCM single in 1998. It was Number One on AC and CHR Christian radio. And get this Smith opened the Dove Awards last year with guess what song You guessed it "Love Me Good"!
It should be canned (along with about 99% of CCM) as being non-Christian! Here's some of non-Christian "Love Me Good":
Sometimes I feel like this world
Also, "canned" by the GMA was Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me" and Wes King's "Thought You'd Be Here".
Is just one big, gigantic merry-go round
You gotta hold on tight
Or you get hurled thru the air
Yea, life is a 3 ring circus
With clowns and freaks and camels and such
And you never know when you might be attacked by the bears
Give me love, give me love
Love me good
Before some of you get excited and think CCM and the GMA is "cleaning up their act", of over 1600 entries only 13 were disqualified. Not only that Michael W. Smith, received 10 other nominations that were not "canned". Only the highly-visible "song-of-the-year".
Breeden also made this statement about the wonderful name of Jesus Christ:
"I would caution people not to assume that this is a restrictive force. I hear these debates saying, 'Do you want us to put Jesus every other word?' Of course not."
Of course not! We don't want too much of the Lord Jesus Christ in the lyrics! As we have documented many times, one of CCM's mission is to remove the Lord Jesus Christ from Christian Music!
Wayne Kirkpatrick, co-author of Smith's "Love Me Good", (among many other CCM's songs like Amy Grant) says, "he fears the criteria will have a chilling effect. From a creative standpoint, if they keep this box going, the creative side of music will suffer,. . . People will write within this parameter that the industry has set, and the music is going to be stale and uninteresting."
So according to Kirkpatrick, if you write about the Lord Jesus Christ and His wonderful grace "the creative side of music will suffer" and you'll produce music that is "stale and uninteresting." "Stale and uninteresting music" like "Amazing Grace", or "Jesus, Lover of My Soul", and the thousands of other Christian songs that came from a heart overflowing with the "love and grace" of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Real Christian music needs no "lyric definition"! Real Christian music is a "song from the heart".
The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 12:34:
". . .for out of the abundance of the HEART the mouth speaketh." Matthew 12:34
To read the latest news on the Dove Awards Criteria (YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS!)
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
And he hath put a NEW SONG in my mouth, even PRAISE unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Psalms 40:2-3