When Blackout Tuesday took over social media it had an unlikely ally. That was CCM (Contemporary Christian Music). Sure the action was organized by music industry executives, but the Christian Music Industry and its artists generally avoids political discussion, controversy, and disputes. But not this time. Popular CCM artists like Chris Tomlin, for King & Country, Casting Crowns, Matt Maher, Elevation Worship and Kari Jobe and many others partook in TheShowMustBePaused initiative.
The celebrity pastors also shared their voice in support including Hillsong’s Carl Lentz and Brian Houston as well as Judah Smith, Chad Veach and Loui Giglio.
But as the black squares flooded Instagram of Christian artists on June 1st, so did the comments. And it was with a mixed reaction. Some showed support while others vowed never to attend a show again while threatening to unfollow them.
Although christian artists may seemingly support BLM there is a sizable population that view it as an organization tied to an American Political Party. For the CCM artist it can prove quite a conundrum finding the balance between church and politics.
Justin Bieber can enter the political fray, lose a portion of the audience and still have a viable career, whereas a CCM artist could be wiped off the map.
The network of Christian show organizers, churches and radio programmers can have a lasting effect on their ability to perform.
The biggest threat is the backlash from the christian community which is their only audience. It’s a small audience and 100% of their revenue stream.
Christian artists are not entertainers. They aren’t being paid for the song and dance. They are viewed as missionaries that visit churches with a song and a message. Many live off of funds and donations. It’s not uncommon for christian artists to walk away with thousands in funds for a three song set at a local church, while most of their supporters are conservative leaning.
The impact will be seen in late 2021 when touring resumes. Will they still have an audience that forks over money to support their mission? Or will they see them as political activists campaigning for social change mixed with politics. This is the talk in christian circles, and that’s what insiders are grappling with.
While christian artists are caught up in the crossfire of politics, some fear that the upcoming backlash could black out christian music.