My “day job” is that of a Christian music journalist, so I have google alerts set to deliver anything based on Christian Music to my email.
Over the years, I’ve gotten used to seeing things from places like Yahoo Answers where one of the favorite troll questions in the faith section is “Why is Christian music so _____ (fill in that blank with lame, annoying, bad, awful, etc.) I call those “troll questions” because the people asking don’t seem to have any actual complaints (ie. lyrics, chord progression, musicality, etc.), they just want a response and let’s face it – bashing anything Christian is a pastime for some folks.
Since I’ve seen said bashing for close to a decade now, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the headline that was delivered to my inbox today … “Can Our Christian Rock Band Leave the God Ghetto For A Secular Career?” My first thought was, “Wow! You call yourself a Christian band, yet by the end of the sentence, you’re using the term ‘God ghetto?'” Further investigation found that the band in question (never named in the article) didn’t use that term at all. They asked how they could become “born again in the eyes of the secular music press” after leaving their Christian record label. The “God Ghetto” label came from the author of the blog.
Perhaps she was trying to be witty. Maybe she was going for a snappy headline to grab reader’s attention. Or, of course, there is a possibility that she is just very “anti-Christian” and never misses an opportunity to bash anything Jesus-related. Even after reading where she answered the question, “What book you are most ashamed never to have read?” with “The bible. Started, never finished,” I don’t know. You don’t know. But believe me when I say, “God knows.” On the day of judgment, He will present her with that headline. I don’t think the number of publications her byline appeared in will sway Him.
The point to this is more than just proving that I can still be surprised by humanity and the lengths we will go to in order to get attention. The point is to remind you that your words have power. A single sentence can ricochet off the person you said it to and end up who knows where. In this particular case, this woman’s “witty turn of phrase” could feasibly impact young Christians thinking about forming a band. We all aspire to achieve and being told by a “music critic” that Christian music lands you in the “God ghetto” certainly has the power to make you question your direction.
Words hold so much power that the Bible talks about nearly 150 times. So be careful about what you say because “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
Edited to add: In the time it took me to write this and publish it, another writer picked up on the “God ghetto” term and freely used it in a piece he wrote about another band that has left the Christian music genre. The internet makes your words available around the world in a mouse click.