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We play quite a lotta secular stuff at church, often with lyrics changed to Christian content. Which is great as many people recognise them and enjoy them

I see a lotta people here don't listen to secular music. So i just want to see what people feel in general about playing secular stuff in church?

Any comments welcome :)

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Hey Ryan

Thanks for your comments.

We do play far more Christian music than secular music so there is certainly not any leaning towards secular over Christian.

As much as i do agree with you that worship is about leading people to focus on God, why should they not enjoy it while going about it? Being a Christian is awesome! The way i see it, it should be a good balance between serious worship and good fun praise.

And as for the melody bringing to mind the secular lyrics - can it not work the other way around? Perhaps when someone hears the song on the radio they can remember the Christian lyrics ;)

Don't get me wrong - we are in no way taking Jesus out of the church. But a friend of mine said, if Jesus is in EVERYTHING, doesn't that make Jesus secular?

Thanks again Ryan for your comments, I am glad to get someone else's opinion on the subject (",)
Mark, so you worship "God" but not "Christ"?
May I ask what specific doctrine/religion/denomination you belong to?
Just trying to understand your position better. Thanks!
~M
"Perhaps when someone hears the song on the radio they can remember the Christian lyrics ;)"

At the moment, my two sons are thoroughly convinced that Justin Timberlake's sexyback is really called 'babyback', that he got it wrong and their Daddy got it right. :)
I think the use of secular music in church can be a powerful tool. A good song is a good song no matter what the origin or intent. If the song speaks to the theme and communicates well then use it. Cheers!
I see nothing wrong with changing the words to some secular songs and using them in the church, if that is how you are being led. However I am with Ryan, I don't have any shortage of worship songs to pick from as the Spirit leads. I have never felt a need to use secular music. I do wonder, though, if using those songs and changing lyrics doesn't cross the line on copyrights. The CCLI license would not cover them, would they? Just a thought.
Thanx guys for your replies.

First i just want to clarify something . . when i say we play a lot of stuff that means we have a variety, we dont play secular stuff every time we set foot in the church :)

I never thought about copyrights. However wouldn't that only be a problem if we wanted to record them?
That is for sure, without the CCLI license, would your chuch to be audited, you could face fines.
"I do wonder, though, if using those songs and changing lyrics doesn't cross the line on copyrights. The CCLI license would not cover them, would they? Just a thought."


Very practical and insightful concern, wish I thought of that myself. It would make the church look bad if secular artists started to sue us for copyright infringement. Bad testimony... :)
Since when is a sermon given for profit? Oh wait, I forgot about Bob Tilton and the name-it-claim-it folks.

Even so, I believe you can perform any song ever written without concern for royalty - especially if it's performed at a non-comercial event like church regardless of how many are present. Of course if you record and sell it, then that's something different. Not sure about a concert for which tickets have been purchased.

Guess I need to clarify all of this with Jay Pilkington before I do the song of his I'm working on, eh?
This isn't correct. Money or not, it's still a public performance of the song.
This has been discussed at length. You CAN'T use OR modify songs without permission, PERIOD.

:)
Case in point--Edelweiss from The Sound of Music had new lyrics put to it several years back for use as a benedictionary song ("May the Lord, Mighty God, Bless and keep you forever..."). A couple of churches got sued by the estates of Rogers and Hammerstein for copyright infringement...and lost...
I'd be delighted if someone adapted my song for some good purpose -- what a compliment!  But we do have such a thing as song ownership in this world (notice the term "international copyright secured").  It's not new -- among native Americans in some locations, an individual had a song that they made up, or inherited from their father or friend or chief.  No one else could sing that song without permission.  One English composer made a fortune by securing the crown's copyright on music PAPER (can't remember which - Dowland?  That's it tidbit from long ago in music history class).

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