In the Name of the Holy Trinity. Amen.
Last Thursday, November 29, this examiner wrote the article “Moody Radio, Let’s Keep the Music Christian” in response to the increased presence of non-Christian Christmas songs on their station. Moody Radio was kind enough to send the following response:
Dear [Mr.] Love-Andrews:
We were made aware of your post on rootshed.com, and we do appreciate your concern. Believe me, we have considered and discussed this a great deal over the years and are confident that we’ve come to a good middle ground in terms of programming our Christmas music.
One of our goals in offering Christmas music is to be an effective outreach to non-believers…when they tune in, we want them to primarily hear songs about Jesus and his birthday, and we also share evangelistic information to encourage them toward faith. We have found that playing one or two of the traditional/holiday centered Christmas songs in an hour helps increase the appeal of the music mix to draw them in, and honestly, most Christians we hear from enjoy that variety as well. We only play songs performed by born-again believers, and you won’t hear any of the Santa, Rudolph or Frosty songs. We also distribute cards to our listeners to share with friends inviting them to turn to Moody Radio for Christmas music that focuses on the real reason for the season. And that’s what we are programming.
So, we do play those few songs purposefully…and we feel it’s a balanced approach for Moody Radio to reach out to share the gospel message of Christmas to people who need to hear it.
We hope you recognize that we do carefully guard our ministry platform, and hope you understand our purpose in using our Sounds of Christmas as an outreach. We wish you and yours a joy-filled Christmas season!
As diplomatic as Mr. Nugent was for responding to the concerns of the article in question, the content needs addressing. First, he said that Moody broadcasts no songs about Rudolph or Santa. Oh, no? How about on 12/5/12 at 8:09 AM, when they played “The Christmas Song,” which includes “They know that SANTA’s on his way. He’s bringing lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.” Not only are they are wrong, but they are sending mixed messages which will, again, confuse listeners with consumerism and a false idol. After all, since the myth of Santa Claus as a figure for Christmas was invented, he and Jesus Christ have been fighting for the position of Lord of Christmas. Now, Mammon (or the Almighty Dollar) has joined the fray in trying to take Jesus’ birthday away from Him. By insisting on including secular music in their broadcast, they are basically making Christ share the same pedestal with His rivals.
Second, Nugent discussed the importance of reaching out to unbelievers. This is why we have contemporary renditions of traditional hymns, as well as Christian rock, ska, pop, and even hip-hop–to entertain AND enlighten. Also, Moody’s attitude of selling out to bring more believers into the throng is what is wrong with many churches today. Too many people want politically correct congregations or, just as wrong, rich congregations. While it is very important to minister to unbelievers, it is equally important to minister to believers and not confuse them. Sure, many Christians enjoy some secular Christian songs, and so does this examiner. On the other hand, many Christians also enjoy death metal and rhythm and blues songs with suggestive lyrics. Should we also include THESE songs on Christian radio stations—for the same reasons? Unless an unbeliever is truly thirsty for truth, he or she will most likely listen to the secular song and then tune out when the songs become too Christian or when the Christian talk shows begin. Who is Moody Radio kidding?
This examiner is sad to realize that perhaps Nugent and his station does not take the concern for the purity of the Christian message as seriously as he suggests in his letter. Is there an ulterior motive to them “mixing things up?” Has the station been taken over by a non-Christian? Have they lost rights to use a variety of Christian Christmas songs, thereby forcing them to resort to secular filler songs? One does not know. What is obvious, however, is that Moody Radio has betrayed their more pietistic listeners. Any reader that agrees with the opinions expressed in this article are welcome to contact Moody Radio and tell them how you feel. If this does not produce results, you are free to join the examiner in considering other Christian radio stations for Christmas music, such as WYLL 1160 AM, and many others in the Chicagoland area. Perhaps a loss in listener-ship will help them re-evaluate things. One can only hope.