Thursday, 24 September 2015

Why are you listening to...

UCB Radio?

That was the question Nick asked me when yet another Christian pop song, of a style i'm not a fan, came on the radio.

The answer is, of course, a long story.

I don't listen to secular music stations anymore, and barely any secular music on CD.  On the occasions when an old favourite of mine comes on the MP4 in the car, I remember why I don't listen to it.  

From the Backstreet Boys, through Ocean Colour Scene and Paul Weller, to Dido, Faithless and Massive Attack, run my emotions as a teenager and young adult.  Mostly these emotions were related to my idolatrous heart, and most specifically about the boys and men I worshipped and desired.  Every pop song wove its way through my mind and heart and related itself to someone.  Perhaps musical lyrics don't have that effect on you, but they certainly do to me.  

So when I hear a song from my early 20s which was related to any specific person, I am overwhelmed by a return to all the emotions of that time.  So how can Iisten to it now?  I can't.  It is wrong for me to return to the past. 

So that's why no old secular music.  Why no current secular music?  Because I am incapable of not singing along, and since I only want the truth to come out of my mouth, how can I sing the songs now in the charts? How can I give my mouth emotions which aren't mine?   As I said, if music doesn't have this effect on you, listen to it, but I just can't.

So.  Back to UCB radio (a digital radio station.  Our car has a digital radio, which I guess they all will eventually).

There are 2* reasons why I listen.

1.  Because many of the songs are awesome!  Josh Garrels, Phil Wickham, Strahan and Izzy Ray are people I never would have come across without UCB, and I love to sing along with their tunes.  Because I am happy for my heart and my mouth to be singing songs devoted to Jesus.   Because even if I am feeling nothing, my mouth gives voice to truth.  

2.  Because I won't listen to secular music, my children also don't. Nothing wrong with that, but I do want them to experience the best of the culture we live in.  Through UCB they have heard dance music, pop music, folk music, rock music.  And Cliff Richard.   At a (listening) glance the songs are indistinguishable from what you might hear on your local radio station.  But the songs have words of truth, so any joy in the music can also teach them the joyful truth of the gospel.

3.  Because they broadcast news!  And they have a particularly christian focus on what is happening in the world, which I like.  I haven't stopped listening to BBC news, but it makes a great change to listen to UCB.  

4.  Because the presenters find infinite matters to discuss on air which are cheerful, upbeat and inoffensive!

The slight downside to UCB is that you sometimes have to listen to Christians taking the bible out of context.  It's not all relentless truth.  But it is mostly.  So that's why!

* i realise there are now 4 in the list.  As I wrote I realised there were more than 2 reasons.

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