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The 13 Worst Christian Songs: When Worship Music Goes Bad

worst christian songs
The worst Christian songs. Image by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash.

There is a lot to love about Christian Contemporary Music (CCM). Like every genre, though, Christian music also has some tracks that should be retired and never looked at again. We explore them on our list of the worst Christian songs.

The 13 Worst Christian Songs

 

13. “Ocean” – Wish for Eden

I wanted to love this so bad. I was one of the edgier Christian teens and loved Tooth and Nail records. 

It has some of the ingredients for grunge-y greatness, but has no catchy hooks or memorable moments.

“Ocean,” then, is one of the worst Christian songs mostly because it’s so disappointing. 

 

12. “Jesus is a Friend of Mine” – Sonseed

First up in our worst Christian songs tour is Sonseed, a 1970s pop band that used to play at The Church Of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in New York. 

They generally escaped the internet’s notice until 2008, when they were featured on the Dougsploitation blog, which catapulted them to YouTube fame. 

This recording is a performance on The First Estate, a Christian TV show. 

 

11. “Victory Dance” – Jet Circus

“Victory Dance” was released on Jet Circus’ 1991 album Step On It album. The band, which features two former members of the band Leviticus, gained little critical acclaim.

The video for “Victory Dance” is very Judas Priest, with all the leather but none of the riffs or aggression. The juxtaposition of the band and the crowd they’re playing for is hilarious.

In addition to being one of the worst Christian songs, “Victory Dance” is also one of the most unbiblical Christian songs.

 

10. “Breakfast” – Newsboys

“Breakfast” is a song I have struggled to wrap my head around for years. It’s from the band’s 1996 album Take Me to Your Leader.

The theme and lyrics are so jarring that I don’t know what to make of them even now. 

The song takes place at a teenager’s funeral, with the band celebrating the thing their friend loved most in the world, breakfast. And then we are reminded that…Hell doesn’t have a breakfast menu? 

There are slightly more positive and less bizarre ways to spread the gospel than “they don’t serve breakfast in hell.” “Breakfast” is one of the worst Christian songs, in addition to one of the weirdest. 

 

9. “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?” – Larry Norman and Geoff Moore

Larry Norman is often called the father Of CCM, and this track is said to have gotten CCM off the ground. It was the first example of contemporary rock with a Christian message.

Who is their marketing guy, though? Do we necessarily want to agree that the Devil has all the good music? 

The lyrics alone are enough to land this track on the worst Christian songs list.

 

8. “Jesus is Just Alright” – DC Talk

I listened to a lot of DC Talk when I was a kid. They have many classics, in addition to many of the most overplayed Christian songs. Think “Jesus Freak” and “Let it Go” (not the song from Frozen…)

Not all of their music makes my soul want to turn itself inside out, but the deeply 90s vibe of this track, coupled with its boy band energy, makes this cover practically unlistenable.

DC Talk aren’t the worst Christian rappers, either, but their work on this one is not their best moment in that category.

Related: The 21 Best 60s Songs of All Time: Music That Defined a Decade 

 

7. “RIOT” – Carman

Carman featured heavily at Friday night youth meetings for me. Ah, those were the days. 

“RIOT” is a track taken from a film of the same name. Carman plays the lead as a city cop that moves his family to a rural area and must suddenly defend his faith in the new small town.

The track has a 90s pop-rock vibe, and the music video has that quintessential 90s “factory uprising” thing going on.

Definitely one of the worst Christian songs.

 

6. “The Big “M”” – Lust Control

Lust Control was a thrash-punk Christian band from the ’80s. 

Unsurprisingly, they are pretty forthright in their message and have very strong views on abstinence, masturbation, and pornography. 

Songs with these messages owe the audience to at least be catchy. This just isn’t. There might be a reason that Lust Control received the Worst Christian Band of the Decade award from HM Magazine in the 90s. 

If you know Lust Control, you understand why at least one of their songs belongs on a worst Christian songs list.

 

5. “Never Die” – Dogwood

Dogwood is a California punk rock band that had some success in the 90s. “Never Die” is a single from the band’s self-titled third studio album Dogwood.

While the band is okay musically, their monotonous vocal style is just grating, making “Never Die” one of the worst Christian songs.

 

4. “Soulbait” – Code of Ethics

Soulbait, Code of Ethics’ third studio album, was a departure from their previous two records in the early 90s. 

The earlier records were a lot more synth inspired. On this album, they made a more guitar-centred departure from that sound, and this track exemplified that.

It just doesn’t come together on “Soulbait.”

 

3. “I.B.I.J.I.T.O.F.W” – Hokus Pick

PSA: Christian musicians need to stop with the acronyms.

“I.B.I.J.T.O.F.W” is from Hokus Pick’s 1992 album Pick It Up.

The song begins with a zany cafe rock sound but eventually falls into flat, bland dad-rock territory. The lyrics and arrangement are not that great either. Here is a sample:

Well, I find it hard to believe that a fish walked on land

And started evolution when his fins hit the sand

Or that some green blob sprouted arms while sitting on a log

I find it hard to believe I have the mind of a frog

 

2. “Acid Head” – Tourniquet

“Acid Head” is taken from Tourniquet’s fourth albumVanishing Lessons. The song opens with a thumper of a drum part that teenage me is still in love with.

It falls flat when compared to the rest of the music, and then the vocals come in, and the song loses all the magic. And again, the lyrics:

Johnny is a chemist’s son

But Johnny is no more

What Johnny thought was H20

Was H2SO4

 

1. “Better Than a Hallelujah” – Amy Grant

Amy Grant is one of those massive names in CCM, and deservedly so. She is a talented musician. This track, though, makes me cringe every time.

Released as a single in 2010 to promote her album Somewhere Down The Road, “Better Than a Hallelujah” has beautiful intentions, but its “positive” message accidentally crosses into the “creepy worship songs” category. 

The underlying message is that God loves us through our hardest times, but I think that a ‘God that loves the tears of a mother more than a hallelujah, or a soldier’s cry to let him not die more than a hallelujah’ makes God not look great when you sit down and think about it for a second.

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Written by Music In MN

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