Directed by brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin, "The Jesus Music" documentary is complex.
Not only are viewers taken through the decades that defined American Christian music—the Jesus Movement of the 1970's through the 2000s—those closest to the industry examine the hypocrisy in the American church for not only those who are musical artists and Christian, but others also.
Over 50M listeners tune into the music produced by these artists and the business has become a multi-million dollar industry.
Many creatives in this space have felt ridiculed by their own "family," or think there is not much of a home because they are not accepted by secular or Christian communities.
Pastors like Jimmy Swaggart bashed Christian Rock, calling it Devil music.
"The church didn't really accept us," said Eddie Degarmo of Degarmo & Key. "It took us, in the early days of Christian music, a lot of thick skin to make it through that."
Billy Graham, however, preached from the concert stages.
This documentary deserves to be watched time and time again. There is so much richness in the stories of Christian music that the film flies where it should breathe, but these are stories I am glad are being told.
Stories of Andre Crouch, Larry Norman, Stryper, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Kirk Franklin and so many more are interwoven very nicely throughout "The Jesus Music" documentary. I learned of many great new-to-me artists and unique stories of artists I grew up with.
For years I heard of preachers that would get behind the pulpit and divide the church. I didn't know what to think of it until I started seeing instances with my own eyes.
I've stood outside WinterJam angered because there are street preachers with pickets yelling at those in line for a Christian concert. I've been on a Christian college campus where a well-known street preacher and his wife were confrontational for no reason. So, to hear stories of the top artists within Christian music talk about how Christians turned on them is really heartbreaking.
We are meant to bring together the Kingdom of God, not divide it.
"We do not acknowledge the type of architect and type of pioneer of bringing worlds together that Andre Crouch was," Kirk Franklin said.
Bill Gaither compared Crouch's concerts to "what Heaven should be like."
One most striking moments within the film come when Franklin, Lecrae and others spoke on racism.
"If the church truly believes that we are one body, the church will tear down those racial divides," Lecrae said.
Michael Tait, of Newsboys, called Franklin a bridge within music.
Gospel music and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) are often looked at as segregated sub-genres; Gospel being black and CCM being white.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Eleven o'clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours-if not the most segregated hour-in Christian America."
Franklin said healing will never be found for the country if a tangible plan isn't made to bring racial reconciliation and the two worlds together.
"The Jesus Music" documentary is a must see for believers and music lovers. The stories told within the film are real and honest, hitting you right in the chest.
We are living in a time where the divide should be smaller, eventually gone, between believers of any race, denomination, etc.
For the Erwin Brothers, I hope to see more from them in the documentary genre. From watching, I get the sense there may be another on the way.