A Christian music analyst contends that when Christians gave up their position in the secular music industry decades ago, they effectively isolated themselves and created their own "ghetto." Therefore, he reasons believers shouldn't be surprised at what happened during the Grammy Awards this week.
The 56th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night featured 33 same-sex and traditional wedding ceremonies. Along with Mary Lambert and Madonna, entertainers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis presented their hit song Same Love. Queen Latifah then officiated over the "weddings." In front of stained glass windows and a church setting, the performers bashed conservative pastors and argued they "preach hate."
Each year, artists in the Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music category are awarded top honors at the Grammy Awards. But what happened Sunday night has some commentators wondering if Christian artists should stop pursing awards from organizations that mock the very God they praise and sing about.
Al Menconi, author of The Christian Music Challenge, wouldn't go as far to say Christian artists should decline their Grammy nominations, but that those artists need to produce material that can compete in the secular marketplace.
"The Hollywood industry is run by Hell because we chose to leave – and it's the same with DVDs," he tells OneNewsNow. "[Now] we realize the mistake that we've made as a Christian community and we're saying that we've got to get back in there and have a presence there."
Menconi maintains that Christians isolated themselves in the 1950s – claiming performances by entertainers like Elvis Presley were too perverse – but now realize his material was tame compared to today's music. And Christians shouldn't be surprised, he adds, with the growing element of perversion in entertainment because those presenting the gospel message cloistered themselves years ago.
"When they started the contemporary Christian music scene, we in effect created our own ghetto," he states. "Well, we're in this situation because we hid ourselves from the secular community and said we don't want to be associated with that."
According to Menconi, creation of a separate Christian music industry has ultimately done more harm than good.
At least one well-known gospel singer may not agree with Menconi. According to Christian Today, gospel singer Natalie Grant left the Grammys early - and while she chose not to explain why, she did later tweet: "I've many thoughts about the show tonight, most of which are probably better left inside my head. But I'll say this: I've never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I've never been more sure of the path I've chosen."