What is Christian Music?
I frequently listen to Christian radio, and occasionally songs are played that originally were promoted as non-Christian, or secular, music. Questions arise such as, “I didn’t know that was a Christian song”, or “I didn’t know that musician was a Christian”. In reality, these songs are probably not Christian songs at all. There may be a pseudo-Christian or spiritual interpretation, but the song may have never been intended as a Christian song. What should define music as “Christian”? There are many diverse opinions on this topic, but I personally believe that Christian music is:
- Music that is written and performed to glorify God and Christ (as in praise and worship).
- Music that provides interpretation or insight into Biblical topics (example: MercyMe’s “I Can Only Imagine” provides an interpretation of Heaven).
- Music that gives examples of God working in life through storytelling (example: Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel”).
- Music that are songs of prayer, repentance, joy, or lamentation to God (example: Matt Redman’s “The Heart of Worship”).
There may be more examples, but I think that the heart and intent of the writer and performer of the song is crucial in classifying a song as Christian. While it may be possible for a non-Christian who understands Christianity to write a Christian song, it would be very hard for a song to be accidentally Christian. Christian music can also be classified as rock, pop, country, metal, etc. However, just because a song mentions God, Jesus, or the Bible does not make it a Christian song; for example, nobody would assert that “Stairway to Heaven” is a Christian song.
“Home” by Daughtry
“Home” is a 2007 song by American rock band Daughtry from their self-titled debut album. Chris Daughtry reportedly wrote this song shortly before had had appeared on season 5 of American Idol, which began in January of 2006. After only placing 4th on the show, he sang this song and won a recording contract. Ironically, “Home” became the send off song for exiting American Idol contenders on the show’s sixth season. According to Wikipedia,
” ‘Home’ charted on the Hot 100 weeks before its release as a single, and became the band’s second top-five single on the chart, peaking at number five. The song topped both the Billboard Adult Top 40 and the Adult Contemporary charts, spending ten consecutive weeks at number one on the Adult Top 40, as well as becoming the band’s first number one on the AC chart, where it spent ten non-consecutive weeks at the top. The song became an unexpected hit on the Christian charts as well, reaching number twelve on the Hot Christian Songs chart.”
The full lyrics of “Home” can be viewed Here.
So, is “Home” a Christian song? Some people believe that “home” is referring to Heaven, and “your” is God, most likely related to the lyrics:
Well, I’m going home,
Back to the place where I belong,
And where your love has always been enough for me.
However, the remainder of the lyrics don’t really support this theory, and the official music video made in 2007 definitely does not:
It appears that the song is primarily referring to a person coming home to his loved ones after being separated from them for a period of time. For example, at around 1:45 in the video the lyrics read, “The miles are getting longer, it seems, the closer I get to you” and it shows Chris Daughtry talking to someone on the phone. This most likely is not God, and it is very doubtful that he is singing about being closer to God. Throughout the video, he makes no gestures or any other indication that he is speaking to or about God, and neither does his adoring audience.
He goes on to sing, “I’ve not always been the best man or friend for you. But your love remains true”, and this most likely is a girlfriend or wife, because people typically do not refer to being a best man or friend for God, but rather a friend of God.
Finally, the lyrics, “I don’t regret this life I chose for me” might be misheard as “this life you chose for me”, because admittedly, the “I” sounds more like a “mm” in the song. A Christian might sing of the life that God or the Holy Spirit has chosen for him, being led or directed by the Holy Spirit. The Christian would instead regret the life that he chose for himself, if he had disregarded or neglected the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Conclusion: Is “Home” a Christian song?
The answer is a resounding “no”. Daughtry is not singing about God, Jesus, Heaven, or anything spiritual at all. Is it a good song? Many, including myself, would say that it is. It is a clean song, with an emphasis on faithfulness to loved one’s during a period of absence, and a longing to be reunited. It certainly could be played on a Christian radio station promoting these values, but care must be taken not to misinterpret what the song is trying to say.
Two examples of truly Christian songs referring to home include “Finally Home” by MercyMe, and “This is Home” by Switchfoot. In the case of the Switchfoot song, the song is associated with the Chronicles or Narnia. However, in a live performance of the song, the lead singer Jon Foreman states that “home” is indeed a reference to Heaven in the song.