Of One Chord

Our BreakPoint commentary of February 6, which warned that the church may be amusing itself to death by moving from worship to entertainment, has drawn more than the normal share of controversy. I have received emails, calls, and other communications from a number of Christian broadcasters suggesting that I am being ungrateful by criticizing their programming decisions at the same time that I am being broadcast on their stations. I hope that isn’t so; rather, I think it is a healthy thing to raise critical questions for Christians to think about. It was certainly done in love. I am anything but ungrateful for the wonderful support I have had from Christian broadcasting. Since BreakPoint began, just fifteen years ago, we have enjoyed and continue to enjoy a great partnership with the broadcasters. I think the world of Christian broadcasting and recognize what a vital role it plays in keeping the Christian world informed. It’s the primary means by which we have bypassed the organs of secular media that are usually lambasting Christians or ignoring us. I can also greatly appreciate good Christian music, which, as I have written, reaches the imagination, while didactic teaching reaches only the mind. Neither one can replace the other. In addition to the criticism, I have also received some very gratifying responses. Some broadcasters say that it is about time we had a discussion about what we are carrying on the air, and that it is a fair question to ask whether things are getting out of balance. I fervently pray that this commentary will be used to encourage a wholesome and open discussion among Christians as to whether we are dumbing down the Gospel. I think that is an extremely important question, one made all the more important by the polling data that seems to confirm that Christians are not thinking the way we used to—and that we are losing our grounding in solid doctrine. In view of all the communication, I have re-read carefully my BreakPoint commentary. I think it is very clear to anyone reading it that I am a supporter of Christian broadcasting, that I recognize music to be important in the life of a church—but it can’t replace solid teaching. I can’t imagine anyone not agreeing with that. It is also a demonstrable fact that college graduates are losing the capacity for analytical analysis. The reason is apparently the fact that we are subjected to emotional stimuli more than intellectual. We are learning from pictures and sounds rather than studying propositions. So to teach and contend for propositional truth is more vital than ever. I regret the fact that I may have upset some folks with this commentary. I hope and pray that from it will come a good soul searching on all of our parts. I think it is very much needed. Click here to read the Feb. 6 BreakPoint Commentary.


Chuck Colson



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