Tuesday, August 01, 2006

the only thing we have to fear is what we hear on christian radio...

singer/songwriter andrew osenga makessome brilliant observations on his blog about fear in the christian media. here is an excerpt, i strongly encourage you to read the whole thing at

What’s been really interesting is how the buzz word in all of these
advertisements is “safe”. This is a “safe” station, watch
our “safe” TV channel or use our “safe” web browser.
It even gets into things like “a ’safe’ place to buy
a car” or a “’safe’ online singles community” you know,
to meet that “safe” significant other when the Saturday
night service has dried up.
It’s been shocking to me to see how often this word gets used.
It’s obvious that marketing dollars are being spent to get this
word associated with products, and that only happens because
the market research shows that people are looking for that
identity with said product.
And I’m left with the question: what are we afraid of?
What is it that has us, or at least this demographic, so scared?
This is a radio station for believers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The one who told us to have no fear. “There is no fear in love”,
He said, “perfect love drives out fear.” Over and over, Jesus tells
us that we have nothing to be afraid of. We are held tightly in His
hand. Bombs may fall, disease may ravage, our innocence
will be plundered, our stocks will crash. These things don’t
matter. We are new creations with the living God within us.
Death has no sting!

Why, then, must our radio be “safe”??


Melissa said...

The word that really bugs me is "positive," followed closely by "safe for the whole family." I think it makes Christianity sound like watered down root-beer, safe even for an infant. Nothing wrong with family friendly, goodness knows, but that is not the point. Any secular outlet can do "positive." Why not present media that admits, "This may just challenge your worldview and shake up your complacency. You might start getting hard questions from your kids about God. You could even find yourself getting convicted and growing!"?

Of course, usually after I say something like this, I get slammed with conviction during the five minute children's sermon. <><

stephen lee cavness said...

i agree melissa.

i dont think andrew would say that wanting to protect your family from some of the vulgarities of the world is a bad thing. but i think there is an extreme defefcit of the challenge to be *in* the world. we , as christians, and magnified in christian media, love to speak often of not being *of* the world, but that is only half of it!
we cannot be salt and light to a lost world that we never engage because we are scared of it.

thanks for dropping by melissa.

Christ Cavness said...

Good point Stephen, and I just want to add that you have been a huge encouragement to me of how to be both halves of that statement. I am humbled to do my life's work with you and know that we share a heart to affect the world with God's truth, not hide from the world .

Christi Cavness said...

Sorry...my name would be "Christi", not "Christ"!

G. F. McDowell said...

And it would appear that this article contains a nice summation of why my relationship with "christian" radio continues to be one of love/hate.

stephen lee cavness said...


don't worry... christ is *in* you.. so maybe it still counts...

thanks for coming by.
obviously there are good things that christian radio can do, so i often try to remind myself not to ignore those positive things. but unfortuantely, i think, a lot of times, it fosters a very unhealthy "us vs. them" mentality, meaning, we are christians who get it right, so we need to have our own radio station with our own spin on current pop culture... and everything is an imitation of what is supposed to be so harmful.. except for the imitation isnt done very well.
it reminds me of the perfumes and colognes "if you like "tommy... try "bob"..."

convincing its listeners that the only safe place to be and safe thinsg to listen to are people who only speak and sing and write about what we already agree with, or how good we are for removing ourselves from the world, are only fostering an attitude of pride, fear, and disobedience (that whole "great commision" thing...)

Ashley said...

I totally agree Stephen. I can understand having a "safe" internet browser program or whatever it's called. But if we only listen to safe radio stations, read safe news articles, watch safe TV, go to safe home school, then we are not sharing the gospel like we should! These items by themselves are not horrible, but when we distance ourselves altogether from the world, we are not being obedient! It's as if after an unbeliever dies and goes to hell, we can say, "Well, at least we were "safe," from whatever evil disease they have. Now, of course we would never say that or think those exact words, but we live that way through our actions.

Andrew never said...

Weird....we have Christian radio??