Contemporary Christian Music (or CCM) is a term originally used in the 1970s to describe a new form of pop and rock music that was lyrically based in the Christianity. The music had its roots in Jesus Music which sprung from the hippie Jesus Movement of the early 70s. An entire Christian music industry soon sprang up, with Christian-only artists, record labels, radio stations, and record stores. By the 1980s, CCM was a large music industry with artists such as Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith selling millions of records.

Mainstream artists sometimes deal with Christian themes in their work, such as Bob Dylan and U2, but fall outside of the CCM genre.

Other Genres

Many Bands have also played music with Christian Lyrics in less popular Genres of Music, such as Christian Hard Rock/Metal, Christian Alternative Rock Music, Christian Punk Rock, Christian Hip Hop/Rap, and Christian Country Music. Bands that have played Christian Music in these Genres are:

  • Kutless (Christian Hard Rock/Alternative Rock Band)
  • Stryper (Christian Pop Metal Band)
  • TobyMac (Christian Hip Hop Solo Artist)
  • Divinefire (Christian Heavy Metal/Black Metal Band)
  • Narnia (Christian Power Metal/Melodic Metal Band)
  • Rob Rock (Christian Heavy Metal Solo Artist)
  • Demon Hunter (Christian Hardcore Punk/Hard Rock Band)
  • Skillet (Christian Hard Rock/Alternative Rock Band)
  • P.O.D. (Christian Nu Metal Band)
  • Brian "Head" Welch (Christian Nu Metal Solo Artist)


Contemporary Christian Music and other Christian Genres has been a topic of controversy in various ways since its beginnings in the 1960s. Some conservative Christians have felt that the medium of popular music is unholy, and thus unfit for Christian participation. However, other Christians have said that the music David played was the mainstream Music of the day, and to God it doesn't matter what genre of Music someone plays, for as long as the music is spiritual, uses the music for a ministry, and gives God glory.

CCM also draws criticism from those who feel it is simply a "Christianized" imitation of mainstream music, thus lacking originality and creativity. On Reformation Day (October 31), 1998, in homage to Martin Luther's 95 theses, CCM artist Steve Camp sent out 107 theses calling for a "Reformation" in contemporary Christian music, challenging Christian artists to "recover Biblical Christianity in the arts" and bring a new level of excellence to the field.

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