July 1, 2011

The Theology of K-LOVE

I like music, sort of a lot. I especially like live music and going to shows. I also like to think I have a decent ear for good music and that is partly why I have never been a big fan of contemporary Christian music.

So, over the past few weeks I have been making a concerted effort to listen to more Christian music, which has meant a considerable amount of time with the nationally syndicated station known as K-LOVE (WKLU 101.9 FM in my area). Overall the music has been fine, at times I might even say good but my biggest struggle has been the seemingly shallow theological message that is being communicated.

I understand K-LOVE's message of being "positive and encouraging" but it seems as though this station, with its millions of listeners, has the potential (and arguably responsibility) to establish deeper theological roots. Of course individuals can find encouragement from the message of the Gospel but to fail to mention the call of discipleship to service, suffering, and sacrifice does not convey the whole message. Without a proper understanding of these components of a relationship with Christ, the message teeters on the 'prosperity gospel' cliff.

*If you or someone you know works for K-LOVE or has some connection with the station and believe I could help in any way or want to talk more, feel free to contact me.


Katie Kermeen Swisher said...

So true. It saddens me that so many things that are labeled "Christian" (movies, music, books, etc.) are about half lame. No wonder people don't want to come to church. They think we all believe that and talk that way!

PJ Zeilstra said...

I think that you are being a little harsh on KLOVE. I don't think they say anything that is necessarily wrong. It seems that you might be likening them to a prosperity gospel or something like that. If you have enough faith, Jesus will buy you a Mercedes or something.

The message I get from them is that life can be rough but Jesus can get you through it. They are always talking about the pastors they havon staffff. I have never spoken to one, but I would hope that is where they get a little deeper.

I feel that KLOVE's goal is to edify existing Christians through music and to be a stepping stone to Jesus for non Christians.

If I want to learn theology, I listen to Moody radio. If I want to be able to listen to music and not have to analyze the lyrics to every song to make sure that I don't have to change the station, I listen to KLOVE.

That being said, there are some stations that label themselves and Christian Music that play similar music, but their DJ's don't act any different than secular DJ's. Those are the ones that are dangerous. I specifically think of TotalAxxess with Wally.(http://www.totalaxxess.com/index.php ) This is a specific show, I am not sure if he is syndicated or just on a particular station. He plays typical contemporary Christian music, but if you just listened to his monologues, etc. you would have no idea he is a Christian. That is dangerous. At least the DJ's in KLOVE try to have a good message and talk about Jesus and not what happened on American Idol like this Wally guy does.

Scott S. Semester said...

Like I've said in our Twitter exchanges, it would be cool to talk to Lisa and Eric here in Indy, to get their perspective on their roles in the K-LOVE ministry and the overall ministry. How do we make that happen for Matt? :)

And PJ's comment reminds me that they do occasionally mention pastors on their staff for people who want to call in. I wonder if they've intentionally chosen for the approach to be more incoming than outgoing...

Lately, I've noticed they've been talking about a ministry dealing with HIV/AIDS in Africa. I don't know if this is a continual ministry partner for them or the one for July or what. Does that maybe fit with what you're talking about, or are you looking for more support and encouragement for the individual listener and his or her family to more aggressively engage in these other expressions of faith (service, sacrifice, etc)?