Today I’m taking part in Blogging Against Disabalism Day (BADD). Why? Well five years ago I met Jemma Brown. Her super lovely guide dog Guss she was hard to miss at university. The three of us became friends. My view of disabled people had never been negative, but I had been ignorant of many of the specific challenges they face, and more importantly – what I could do to help and what I was doing that wasn’t helpful!
Able-bodied people won’t have a clue what discrimination disabled people are subjected to unless they take the time to make disabled friends. This may be stating the obvious, but it’s important to note right from the outset that the reason some readers of this blog haven’t heard of disabilism is not because it isn’t a problem. As you’re about to see, it is…
Thanks to Jemma I’m no longer ignorant of disabilism. I went from not giving a second thought to how to help disabled people to developing a more inclusive attitude – especially as I helped lead the university’s Christian Union society. This was a process. It took some time, and we didn’t get everything right. But I’m grateful that Jemma bothered to raise the issue again and again with me – both when I got it right and when I got it wrong. I’m still learning, and thanks to Jemma being so open and honest in the words below, you can join my on this journey right now…
So, without further ado, here’s the interview…
Can you set the scene on why a day like today (Blogging Against Disabalism Day) is so necessary?
BADD is now in its eighth year it’s important as it shares the every day life experiences of disabled people (both positive and negative) and encourages positivity towards disability.
Its also important for disability culture – I don’t think people without disability realise that as disabled people we have our own heritage, history and culture so its important for highlighting that too.
Able bodied people are often ignorant of the pressures and discrimination disabled people have to endure. How have you been affected by Disabalism?
Sadly it’s a whole life thing. Even at school when doing GCSE’s I had some teachers that although given the training, information, support and resources never made their teaching inclusive to me.
The story was the same at college and later at university, I eventually left my university due to extreme discrimination without finishing my degree which to this day saddens me as I grew up wanting to get a degree.
There can be days where it really piles up, today for example I stood at a bus stop waiting for my bus. I’m registered blind but have some vision. I normally use a Guide Dog as a mobility aid but 4 weeks ago my fantastic Guide Dog Gus had to retire suddenly so at the moment I’m using a long cane to get around.
So back to the bus stop today I’m stood there and I’m aware that there is a bus coming I turn around to ask the guy next to me what number it is and he simply tells me to “f*** Off”. On previous occasions strangers have told me its my bus when it isn’t I think I prefer being told to ‘f off’ than getting on the wrong bus and ending up in the middle of nowhere!
I’m told affectionately that I’m blinder than I look – I take that as a compliment (I think). But there have been times when I’m out and someone takes it upon themselves to start shouting abuse at me along the lines of ‘she aint blind she’s faking it…’ Once I was physically assaulted pushed up against a wall and told by my attacker that I was about to be stabbed because I was ‘faking scum’ and ‘People Like you make me sick”.
I cannot praise the police of Southampton enough for how seriously they take this. On the occasion when I was pushed up against a wall and threatened it was dark (I’m totally night blind meaning at night all I can see is lights like car headlights or streetlights I can’t get any information about my environment from this).
When taking my statement the police where incredible! I explained I was pretty sure it was a woman but I couldn’t see her at all so they asked me questions like ‘did the person have an accent?’ If I could hear other people around me and generally questions focused on my other senses not my vision. They then went into all the local businesses and asked them to look out for me.
Did the Paralympic Games change people’s attitudes towards Disabalism?
I personally don’t think there has been a change as a result of the Paralympics – I am however very pleased that Channel 4 made such an effort to cover the games and promote shows like ‘the last leg’ I think its great that disabled sport got a chance to be in the spotlight but there was very little about the day to day lives of athletes.
Is it fair to call government cuts to disability benefits Disabalism in action?
I think it is. My mum is totally blind she gets around with her guide dog Tara but her mobility is seriously limited. She can’t even send a text message yet alone use a computer (she attended lessons but struggled and eventually her class was axed by the government) yesterday she was told after an assessment by ATOS that she is expected to find work…The idea of my mum finding a job is ridiculous.
The UK’s benefit system is desperate for reform most disabled people agree that assessments for DLA are out of date but many are concerned about its replacement PIP (Personal Independence Payments) due to start being used this year.
Due to cuts in legal aid disabled people will no longer be able to challenge wrong decisions about there benefits in court because they will not get legal aid in the courts add this to the bedroom tax and the increased cost of living if you are disabled and we are getting a raw deal.
I do very much feel that as an unemployed disabled person people see me as a drain on resources. For the record I’ve been job searching for two years I was on BBC panorama highlighting how the government’s work program is failing disabled people.
So far every job I have applied for has turned me down due to lack of experience in some cases not even taking my voluntary work into account.
We have all seen stories in the papers about ‘benefits cheats’ and its led people to believe that disabled people are out to cheat the benefit system with their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) but the governments own cross party study found that less than 4% of DLA claimants were fraudulent.
Guide Dogs is a charity close to your heart. Tell me how they have helped you
I have a retired guide dog called Gus. Gus retired recently due to the psychological effects of dog attacks. Gus changed my life for the better. He gave me the confidence when I was a student to do all the things a regular student does. He enabled me to do everything from the local pub quiz to attending lectures.
My mum has been a guide dog owner for over 30 years – she is now on guide dog number six. Her guide dogs enabled her to be a normal mum doing normal things with her child. There are no words to describe the amazing work guide dogs do.
Its always been my dream to work for Guide Dogs but for now I give something back by volunteering. I volunteer as a speaker this means I go around to schools, colleges and businesses talking about guide dogs and the import and job they do. I also fundraise helping out at street collections the cost of a guide dog over its life time is around fifty two thousand pounds!
Technology has helped you and many other disabled people with day to day life. What future tech projects are you most excited about?
Future tech I’m most excited about has to be Google’s car that can drive itself – they have been test driving it using blind people although it probably won’t happen in my lifetime I dream of a time when I don’t have to ask friends for lifts all the time and can do more things and get more places on my own.
All Apple computers come with build in screen magnification and screen reader and I think the screen reader is a lot more user friendly than many that operate on Windows.
Apple were also the first to produce a touch screen phone with built in screen reader for blind people. The iPhone has literally transformed the lives of many blind people and I am one of them. The ability to look up the menu for a restaurant while I’m sat there on my phone is amazing my iPhone also has an app on it which for me turns it into a hand held video magnifier, meaning I can use the camera to enlarge the font of say a menu.
As a Christian, what have been your experiences of UK churches caring and providing for the needs of disabled people been like?
Sadly not always positive, I was once away from my home church and went to a different one with my guide dog I walked in and the person leading the meeting told me that dogs were not allowed, and in so many words asked me to leave.
You don’t expect to go to church and have to explain the equality act and that it is breaking the law to deny you access to church because you have a guide dog. At the time I was really upset by it I stayed for the service out of principle more than anything and left.
No one should ever be turned away from church/faith because of disability regardless of whether that’s blindness, learning disability or physical disability, but I learned sadly that day that it happens. I was a very ‘new’ Christian at this time and was so incredibly saddened by the thought that someone who does not yet know God could be in a sense prevented from going to a church because of access. I really feel that God allowed that to happen so that I could educate the church involved.
Since this happened I have been blessed to help many churches look at their policies and procedures to stop this sort of thing happening.
There is also a lot of stigma around mental health in churches which is incredibly widespread – mental health conditions are put down as a lack of faith rather than seen as a medical/biological issue with a faith component.
One week ago on Easter Sunday, George Carey decided to ask the above question. His piece in the Mail on Sunday immediately split opinion and managed to succeed in getting Christians to talk about all kinds of issues that had precisely nothing to do with the importance of the Easter period.
I have always lamented the way Christians are incapable of speaking with one voice. The Catholics say one thing, the Protestants say the other. And in between those simplistic categories there’s lots of noise too. We’re too busy infighting over secondary issues, is it any wonder that so many outside of the Church don’t know what those inside the Church stand for?
All that to say, I think that whatever you think of Lord Carey, his piece was ill timed. Perhaps he felt Easter Sunday was one of the few days in the year that his opinions would be listened to by the national media. And he may well be right, but that end doesn’t justify the means.
Persecution must be expected
Jesus said to his followers: “If they persecuted me they will also persecute you”. And sure enough, right from the start Christians have been persecuted. They’ve been burned at the stake, thrown to the lions, crucified, tortured, imprisoned and beheaded.
None of these things happen in the UK today. Some of them are happening in other nations. Thanks to the work of people like Open Doors these disgusting acts of violence against Christians are being challenged.
Because of the severity of this persecution in other nations, it’s my belief the word ‘persecuted’ should be reserved for this kind of physical attack. Continually being called names for holding Christian beliefs may still fit some dictionary definitions of persecution, but it’s nothing compared with being killed for your faith. There are other words like “marginalised” which may be more justified.
Left Vs Right
Christians who sit on the left (both theologically and politically) tend to criticize Carey more than those on the right. While those on the Right are often full on, brash and a little bit arrogant in shouting their religious views from the rooftops and expecting everyone to listen, those on the left have the opposite problem. They’re often wooly, pandering to whatever culture tells them and therefore willing to compromise on orthodox theology.
Because of the Left’s pandering to culture, is it any wonder that they see persecution as a less important issue? They simply aren’t encountering it in the same way as those on the Right who dare to tell people they’re heading in the wrong direction and away from God’s best.
In talking about persecution there is a danger Christians begin to navel gaze. But the positives should be spoken of as much as the negatives. We have a free press, a fair and just legal system and a fully operational and thriving democracy where everyone’s views can be heard. Neither our press, judiciary or parliament are perfect, but if any of you disagree with my last sentence, you need to spend some time in a country like Saudi Arabia where Christianity is banned. You’ll be less eager to complain about Britain’s treatment of Christians if you understand the state of the world outside our island.
The truth is there’s a huge amount of good being done by Christians at the moment. And we’re not persecuted for it. On the contrary, politicians and some portions of the media praise us for projects like Food Banks and Street Pastors.
I was shocked to read one person on Facebook recently say of the Bible “shame its two thousand years old really can we really still apply those scriptures to modern day morals?”
This person clearly knows even less about history than me! The sheer irony is what they call “modern day morals” are in themselves biblical! The Bible has given this country a clear concept of right and wrong. We have the Bible to thank that we’re a civilized society in the first place. Why do we believe murder, theft and rape are wrong? Some of this country’s greatest politicians read it in the good book and believed it. Arthur Pink (1886-1952) called the Bible “the mightiest factor of all in shaping the moral progress of the race.” Wilberforce was motivated to end slavery because of his Christian beliefs. I won’t bore you with numerous other examples I could pick out.
Is there a growing tide of secularism that would dispute this historic influence for good that Christians have had? Yes. And it’s why some Christians say they are “persecuted”. But they are not. They simply need to understand that our nation is no longer a Christian nation. With this huge change well underway a number of things will happen. One of them is Christians will continue to have a less privileged place in society. Our views will be questioned more than in previous generations. Our beliefs will be laughed about on primetime television. None of this is persecution. A lot of it isn’t new. It’s just increasing in severity. And we must be mindful of a slippery slope. Just because persecution isn’t happening right now, it doesn’t mean we aren’t heading in that direction.
What is Happening?
While Jesus told his followers to expect persecution, this is obviously not something any of us should be actively seeking.
The appropriate response is to campaign to see an end to persecution. Jesus said “the poor you will always have with you” but that hasn’t and shouldn’t stop Christians making poverty history.
George Carey did have half a point. I’ve heard of more than one convert from Islam to Christianity in the UK who has received physical abuse from Muslim gangs.
Some of the stories which the Christian Institute have taken on are worth considering. There have been a few real cases where Christians have been unfairly treated, just because they hold to Christian values, which are now in the minority. (But not all cases are justified. If you run a B&B, you can’t discriminate based on sexuality Christians should stop crying “foul” when they’re the ones in the wrong! We have to play by the rules.)
In conclusion, Christians aren’t for the most part persecuted in the UK. But we are often side-lined, mocked or ignored to a much greater extent than 50 or even 20 years ago. Rather than complaining about the increasing secularisation of our country, we must carry on doing good in our society. We have a right to kick up a fuss if and when we are unfairly treated or marginalised. But we should be wise in knowing which battles to fight. This debate should remind us of the millions of Christians whose persecution is so horrific, that a debate over what “persecution” really means is not necessary.
The late great CS Lewis once said: “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
Regular readers to this blog will know that while my faith often crops up, I (hopefully) avoid being too “preachy”. You won’t typically see me reviewing worship albums or writing long essays on why the Bible is true.
I like to think I’m open about my faith all year round. I certainly am always happy to talk about it when people ask. But today I make an exception. You haven’t asked: But I’m going to talk anyway.
On Easter Sunday I do go a bit crazy. This morning I shared a load of Facebook statuses and re-tweeted a lot of tweets about the resurrection.
And I make no apologies for that. Because if you can’t talk about Jesus on resurrection Sunday, then when can you?!
The centre of Christianity is not a debate about homosexuality, women bishops or creation/evolution. But you’re very much forgiven for thinking it was. And it’s not your fault for assuming these issues are of primary importance. If you consume any kind of media, you’d assume that quite quickly.
The centre of our faith is a message about forgiveness. It’s a message of love and hope.
Sometimes I think atheists are rallying against a system, structure or God that Jesus (and most Christians) never believed in. We Christians are to blame for that. All of us have mis-represented Christ in one form or another.
If you want to know what Christianity stands for you only need to one thing. Read. Don’t read my blog. Don’t even read a book about God. Read the book God wrote about himself: The Bible. Read this…
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
“God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God.
“Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” (John 3)
Christ arrives right on time… He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway.
“We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” (Rom 5)
“Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!” (Ephesians 1)
Questions? Leave a comment or click here
Not really, I was just on a date with Stacey.
Nevertheless, we did enjoy attending three separate and very different events to mark the day Jesus died for the sins of the world.
On the way up to London I listened to a sermon about the ancient Hebrew prayer known as the Sh’ma. The most memorable phrase from the Sh’ma is “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength”.
Sometimes you hear people say things like “I’m a very spiritual person”. But the writers of the Bible wouldn’t have understood such a claim. For them, everything is spiritual, even going to the toilet. Therefore the soul isn’t a part of you. It’s the whole of you. There isn’t a part of me that’s Christian. The whole of me is Christian meaning that my faith influences every area of my life.
And because regardless of what you believe, everything we feel, touch, see and experience is in some way spiritual, I am not embarrassed to tell you that after listening to the sermon, I switched podcasts and caught up with BBC Radio 4′s The Now Show!
A 90 minute long production of the death and resurrection of Christ was taking place. But we just caught the last half hour.
The first thing we saw were three men hanging on crosses and covered in blood. I was reminded that Christianity isn’t a ‘nice’ religion. It deals with the real-ness and gritty-ness of life. It’s not just a nice story, but an earthy hard-hitting message.
It was rightly difficult to watch as Jesus was beaten and crucified. I noticed some parents shielding their young children’s eyes and ears. I imagine parents at the time 2000 years ago would have done the same. There were many other similarities between the actual events, and the drama. Some mocked what was unfolding in front of their eyes. Some showed complete contempt for Jesus. As Jesus bowed his head and died, one young girl said in utter disbelief and shock “God’s dead?!”
The crowd reaction was as intriguing as the drama. When people think of Christianity they probably don’t imagine blood and guts but rather old men speaking soft, quiet words about ‘loving thy neighbour’. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for the latter but the Passion play reminded me that Christianity is fiery and real too.
Next stop was St Paul’s Cathedral. The website billed the 5pm service as “the most powerful service of the year”. It was my first time inside the great building and my gaze was immediately drawn upwards. 300 years on, the builders and designers should be proud of themselves. Their aim to construct a building which draws people’s gaze up toward heaven to remind them of God has succeeded again and again and again.
As for the service, I could have sworn it was being conducted in Latin. But we were quite far back and nearly everything was sung rather than said. Either way, I didn’t understand a word of it, so we left after 15 minutes.
Our final stop was HTB’s Queensgate. The small but pretty church looked stunning. It was a traditional building, but kitted out with modern lighting, instruments and people (the majority were in their 20s and 30s)!
Any description of the ‘Alternative Good Friday Service’ simply wouldn’t do the event justice. Rather than everyone facing the altar, the stage and the band were in the middle of the building and everyone sat in-the-round. There was a giant cross shaped container which held water. The congregation were invited to take a piece of dissolvable paper, write their sins on it and place it in the water. There was also an opportunity to light a candle, receive prayer and hear a talk from the Bible. The service was full of both reverence and joy. And the music was stunning.
The day reminded me that Christianity is alive and well in London. Thousands of people watched the Passion play. Many people heard the message of the gospel for the first time at HTB. All in all, it was a very good Good Friday.
‘The camera never lies’.
Err, yes it does.
For a start there’s a gazillion clever camera tricks they we’ve all seen before in the cinema. Even if you don’t believe the urban legend that ‘the camera adds 10 pounds’ we all know that Photoshop can add or takeaway as many pounds, spots or freckles as it wishes.
All technology, including cameras are flawed. Nothing will ever beat the clarity or truthfulness of the human eye (although admittedly even our eyes can be deceived by optical illusions)
In the 1950s Charles Van Doren won the quiz show Twenty One in America. The producers liked him so they began to rig all future episodes. He was coached on how to act during the show and fed all the answers. He won hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When the scandal broke, he initially protested his innocence before finally coming clean.
Fast forward 50 years, jump across the pond to the UK and switch on one of the most popular programs of the year.
Who Wants To Me A Millionaire. Charles Ingram wins £1 million. But the payout was suspended as him and his wife were charged with deception. Charles’ wife together with Tecwen Whittock were caught coughing as Chris Tarrant read out the correct answer from the possible list of four.
Surely Comic Relief is above deception? Not in 2007 it wasn’t. During a phone-in competition, a member of the production team was heard on air, answering the question correctly and winning prizes. And Children In Need was even worse when they announced a fictitious name as the competition winner!
And then there’s Top Gear. I really want to believe that the boys accidentally set a caravan on fire or that Jeremy Clarkson does his own stunts. But I just can’t. I’m becoming more and more convinced that nearly everything that happens is scripted for comedy value. The program doesn’t deserve to be categorised as “factual”. It’s a comedy, and a brilliant one at that.
A study led by Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Western Australia found that, “Weighing the plausibility and the source of a message is cognitively more difficult than simply accepting that the message is true — it requires additional motivational and cognitive resources.”
In other words, it takes more brain power to question what you see/hear. Some people (understandably) don’t want to use their energy questioning the accuracy of what they’re watching. It’s easier to just lap it up. And after all, ignorance is bliss.
That’s not to say people are gullible. Biases come into play. If you’re already bias against authority, then you may hear a politician’s words and immediately reject them. You won’t use up brain power trying to process the complex idea. You’ll just make a snap decision either way.
I’ve given all these examples of foul play yet I haven’t even mentioned journalism yet(!)
Here’s CNN pretending to report from the Middle East during the first Gulf War. They’re talking about what could possibly be a SCUD missile. Yet they’re thousands of miles from Iraq. They’re pretending to be reporting from Saudi Arabia, but they’re actually on top of the television studio roof…in the United States. But that doesn’t stop them having some fun (see from 3.15-4.00 and 6.45-7.30).
Do you know of any other examples of TV deception? Are you suspicious about the truthfulness of some programs? Let me know in the comments…
It needed to make up for their previous release: Keep Calm And Carry On.
In what can only be described as a highly embarrassing incident, the Welshmen managed to press the all-important record button on an album that featured next to no rock. When a rock band fails to rock, they don’t just have a problem on their hands but a crisis of identity.
It wasn’t just the lack of guitar driven noise that was an issue. I Got Your Number saw Kelly Jones count slowly from one to eight in every chorus. They weren’t exactly the most inspiring lyrics he could have written. The opening track sounded amateurish and the closing song began with more “riveting” words: “I pulled into a petrol station”. In between there were a few nice ballads, but overall it was a massively disappointing record.
The band that had released an album every two years, decided to take a break after Keep Calm. And it’s a good job they did. Waiting four years before daring to put any more music in their fans ears was wise. This month the band returned with Graffiti On The Train.
One of the first signs that Graffiti could be a suitable antidote to the horror of Keep Calm was this superb video for Violins and Tambourines:
The themes of violence and redemption captured in the video really deserve a blog post of their own. But we must move on…
Unusually for the band, it’s the latter songs on their new album that really hit home. This includes the above ‘Violins’ which is track 7 of 10.
The bluesy/acoustic feel of “Been Caught Cheating” (track 8) sounds authentic enough and penultimate track (and first single) In A Moment sees the band resurrect the same vibe that was responsible for their early success.
Stereophonics are going through a process of both reinvention and rejuvenation They’re moving away from their heavy roots and developing a milder side more reminiscent of Have A Nice Day…only better. Graffiti On The Train is an encouraging step toward a brighter future for these giants of indy rock. But as time goes on even that label grows tired and old. The band are now faced with a question: How do they stay ahead of the curve without completely selling out?
Graffiti On The Train doesn’t answer that question with overwhelming satisfaction, but it does mark a step in the right direction. Keep Calm’s memory can finally be buried. And for that fact alone, fans should be grateful.
Passion makes all the difference.
It was on the way back from last night’s historic event where Christian music finally got its own chart that one industry professional pointed this out to me: “The Edge could play an amazing guitar riff, but when Bono picks the guitar up, it doesn’t sound the same.” The comment was not a critique of Bono’s guitar skills but an observation about the way passion drives music.
Christian music is overflowing with passion because it’s not just the music that gets us excited, it’s the person we’re singing about.
Speaking at the launch, MD of the Official Charts Company Martin Talbot said that he has overseen dozens of charts “but I’ve never experienced the enthusiasm we’ve had from the Christian and Gospel labels”.
Later a representative from the same company told me she was staggered at the level of camaraderie and relationship within the Christian music world. Her comments reminded me of John 13:35 when Jesus said: “They will know you are my disciples by your love for one another”.
When the Official Charts Company launches a new chart they do it properly. When industry experts “discovered” (that’s their word, not mine) the Christian music scene they were gobsmacked. People simply didn’t realise such a huge market existed.
- More people go to Church every week than people who went to the London Olympics.
- Matt Redman’s 10,000 Reasons was the 4th biggest download of sheet music – 2nd only to Adele in the UK.
- 300,000 people went to Christian concerts and festivals in the UK last year.
- Katy Perry’s songs were played 1.4 million times on the radio last year. Chris Tomlin’s songs were played 3.12 million times in churches.
Christian music has come a long way in recent decades. No longer is the genre synonymous with poor quality cringe-worthy songs. In any genre there’ll be bad apples, but for the most part Christian music is top quality, and it’s getting better all the time.
Critics of the new chart worry a Christian ghetto is being created. But nothing could be further from the truth. Thousands of people sing Christians songs in the UK. Yet this beautiful picture of unified worship across backgrounds, races and denominations that Christians take for granted at events like Spring Harvest and Soul Survivor is hidden from the general public’s view. Having a Christian chart which is recognised and backed by a mainstream music organisation proves that Christian music is not some kind of strange side show for religious people, but a serious collection of great sounding, positive songs.
The Christian music industry is arguably set apart from how the secular world has traditionally operated. If you talk to the top worship leaders and record label bosses you will soon notice a common character trait. Real, genuine humility. I’ve interviewed many people within the Christian music industry yet I can’t think of anyone who has come across as only being interested in promoting their music. When they say they want to serve churches by providing songs that help people to worship, they mean it.
There’s a deep level of friendship even between representatives of “rival” organisations in the Christian music world. You could even argue the industry is not an industry at all but a community.
This chart has been a long time coming. I’m told there’s been plenty of debate behind the scenes as to what constitutes ‘Christian’ music. The organisers of this chart are not oblivious to some of these tricky questions. Some of the finer details are yet to be worked out. But what’s important and what should be celebrated right now is that Christian music has moved out of the ghetto. It’s been recognised as a legitimate, well-produced and relevant genre of music. If your a Christian this should excite you, and if you’re not I hope it encourages you to look into this world of great music. You don’t have to believe to belong. Let the future begin…