Did The Beatles Kill Christian Music?

nuns with guitars
(AP Images/G. Foggia)

It was once rumored that video killed the radio star. Now, some are purporting that guitars have killed Christian music—and there’s no resurrection in sight.

Just weeks after Grammy-nominated gospel artist Shei Atkins announced Wednesday that she is leaving gospel music because the church is too judgmental, Will Edwards, a student at the University of Alabama, is stirring the gospel music pot with an assertion that Christian music is “genreless” and “unoriginal.” And he’s blaming the Church's response to The Beatles, in part, for its demise.

“The dawn of rock ‘n’ roll really opened the door for a drastic shift in the style of Christian music. The simple chords and ease of putting lyrics to them made it very enticing to write regular rock songs and just put Christian lyrics on them,” Edwards writes in an article he penned for The Crimson White.

By doing that, he argues, Christian music adopted a genre that already existed. Rock had a certain sound, and by copying it, he says, the Christian music industry created a second tier that it was immediately placed on. Getting even bolder, he says Christian music has been playing copycat to whatever is popular on secular radio.

“Look through a hymnal, and you’ll find that there used to be a genre in Christian music. It used to have a particular sound,” Edward says. “I personally believe that its sound fit its message, and many of the songs are still moving today, in music and in lyrics. That’s where Christian music should have stayed: hymns.”

Do you agree with Edwards? Should we stick to hymnals?

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