97.5 The Oasis

97.5 The Oasis

There’s a new radio station in Salt Lake City that I personally view as an intriguing social experiment. 97.5 The Oasis is a contemporary Christian station, but, unlike most (probably all) stations of its kind, it also plays contemporary LDS music. Just this morning I heard Kenneth Cope and Michael W. Smith back to back.

The station is owned and operated by Simmons Media Group, which also operates my favorite alternative rock station, X96. Being a secular station, The Oasis doesn’t run pledge drives like ministry operated CCM stations (e.g. the only other CCM station broadcasting in Salt Lake, 89.7 K-LOVE), but instead they play commercial advertisements. They also hold a rather postmodern, inclusive attitude toward the music they play.

I like listening to the station for the contemporary Christian music because their DJs aren’t as annoying as K-LOVE’s, but it may surprise you to know I also like listening for the LDS music. I cringe when I hear the lyrics of some of the LDS songs, but then I also cringe when I hear the lyrics of some of the CCM songs. Just as the CCM lyrics don’t always represent my doctrinal position, I realize many of the LDS songs don’t fully represent or even approximate the doctrinal positions of Latter-day Saints. Listening to the songs does give a good sense of the temperature of the culture, however, and that’s what I’m mostly interested in. Incidentally, I enjoy watching the Mollywood films for the same reason.

I have no doubt this station will appeal to many Latter-day Saints, but I’m a little worried that Evangelicals in Salt Lake will be up in arms over it. I’ve already had Christian friends recommend the station to me without noticing it plays LDS music. When they realize it plays LDS music, most Evangelicals will probably feel deceived and might even get angry. Of course, the station doesn’t bill itself as a Christian station, just as “family friendly radio,” whatever that means. I suppose I’m a little worried that Evangelicals will listen to this station and become indoctrinated with LDS ideas, but then many of the CCM songs are indoctrinating them with the health and wealth gospel, radical individualism, and cheap, surface level Christianity anyway.

So, as I said at the beginning of this post, 97.5 The Oasis is, at most, an intriguing social experiment. I’m curious to see how Evangelicals and Latter-day Saints react to the station. It will be interesting to see if it gains a large listener base or if both communities reject it as being too secular and lukewarm. In the meantime, it’s got its own spot on my preset dial.

  • Sounds interesting. I wish I could listen to it up here, honestly.

    It will be interesting to see if it gains a large listener base or if both communities reject it as being too secular and lukewarm.

    You have accepted it and given it a preset. I bet others will, too.

  • As always, great observations. You’ve made some very insightful statements about CCM, and after working over two years in Christian radio, I completely agree.

    I used to be a little snobbish about my music and only listen to “Christian” stuff, whatever that means. As if some musical authority could decide, conclusively, what is or is not Christian. Wish we had that same authority to approve what every church teaches. But he doesn’t exist.

    The station I worked for played some good stuff. It also played crap. We featured sermons from local (and not-so-local) pastors: again, some good, some crap. I think all of our (discerning) listeners would agree with that statement, but we’d all arrive at different opinions of what exactly went into each category. Frankly, the word “Christian” is far too much of a catch-all term for all kinds of beliefs and heresies. And everybody swears that theirs get God’s seal of approval.

    Anyway, I didn’t even know they made LDS music. I’m not surprised. And I’m even less surprised that it’s in the same situation as CCM, which should be mostly embarrassing to true believers.

  • Steve

    Parker: I didn’t even know they made LDS music. I’m not surprised. And I’m even less surprised that it’s in the same situation as CCM, which should be mostly embarrassing to true believers.

    That’s an interesting comment (the one about something being embarassing to “true believers”). What does it mean, if you don’t mind my asking?

  • ScW

    Joey:

    Not that I don’t believe your statement about CCM where you said:
    “…many of the CCM songs are indoctrinating them with the health and wealth gospel, radical individualism, and cheap, surface level Christianity anyway.” And perhaps you don’t want to call out individual songs in a public forum… but I’m now curious about examples.

    While I am not an expert on lyrics and such, I am surprised (considering the very secular business-like atmosphere of CCM industry) at how solid many of the groups and their lyrics are. But maybe it’s just because I’m kind of picky… that I am just gravitating towards stuff that’s more doctrinally sound. Or maybe my Biblical filter is finding a suitable application of any message that might could be interpreted wrong… Or maybe I just don’t listen carefully enough.

    As for film… Pride and Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy is absolutely awesome. But I am also encouraged by the quality found in “End of the Spear” and particularly the success of “Facing the Giants”. There’s hope for film yet.

  • Nancy

    Hi,

    Just want to vent my disappointment in Oasis putting themselves in a compromising position due to them playing LDS music. This does not set well with a person like me who voluntrarily left that way of life. Since I found out about Oasis at the Third Day concert I thought the station was Christian. Family friendly is as good a term as any to describe the station. Thanks, Nancy

  • MKS

    Hey, I like Oasis so far. Being LDS, I am glad to find a station that is positive and focused on Christ. I think that its nice to have something to listen to that has a good purpose, that being focused on the family. I listen and I invite my friends to listen, whether they be Catholic, Evangelist, LDS, or agnostic. Lets build on common beliefs and focus on what we all believe rather than our differences. I hope it stays.

  • I’m new to Contemporary Christian music, but came across 97.5 Oasis recently, and that’s now where my dial stays most of the time. I don’t know much about LDS contemporary music, but (being LDS) I wish we had more bands like the Christian groups of other faiths. The themes and lyrics may not be perfect, but they are thought-provoking and well needed in today’s society.

    I enjoy a lot of country music for the reason that it tells a good story or has an otherwise good moral. This is why I’ll expose my family to the Oasis as well.
    I hope Oasis sticks around for a long time.

  • Wade

    I just wanted to say it is disappointing to know
    that a station is integrading Christian music with
    LDS music. I am concerned mostly for the “not so
    discerning” Christians. Granted a lot of the Christian
    songs are not completely doctrinaly sound, however
    LDS doctrine, which is miles apart from biblical
    Christianity, can be “taught” through their music.
    We as Christians need to “be watchful in all things”
    and “hold fast to the faithful word as he has been
    taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both
    to exhort and convict those who contradict.”
    Titus 1:9

    Summary: The Christian music is great,
    The integration is not good at all.
    Thank you

  • Kilroy

    Interesting station.. not what you usually hear on FM 100 or KOSY 106.5 on Sundays, that’s for sure :) I like it. Thanks for blogging about it, Joey.

  • Bethany

    Wow…I just have to say I’m shocked. I just found 97.5 a few weeks ago and have listened to it quite a bit.I questioned a few things,which led me to check it out here. First I need to ask the question why do you have a radio station….what’s your purpose? Is it to glorify God, share the gospel, or encourage born-again Christians in their everday life? If that’s not your goal..well then that would be a different story(it would only be right to stop calling it a contemporary Christian station), but if it is…then why not just give truth? If your goal is to share the gospel with people…then don’t give them two very separte religions and mix them. Pick one or the other. It’s not so much the whole concept of “religion”….and how it may or may not offend, but is it lining up with the word of God(the bible). I would just encourage this station to rethink the purpose. You have a great opportunity and way to serve the Lord with a radio staion. Are you willing to stand up and preach truth without compromise though? Anyways, sorry this is long, but this is my feedback and I will be praying for you guys. I feel so strongly about this, as I believe Jesus would. So I hope this is helpful.
    A servant of the King,
    Bethany

  • Mike

    Come on Bethany, how many different ways can one look at the Bible. Every Christian church has its own ideas on interpreting the bible anyway, the Mormons have their interpretation, it all comes down to worshiping Christ, whether you think their beliefs align with the Bible or not, it doesnt matter, they say that they do, just like you and ever other person in this world think that their right, just ask them. Quit whining about the music being combined. Its not a bad station, If you don’t like it, turn the dial, its not that hard.

  • Angie

    I second Bethany’s comment.

  • Sean

    Hello friends! I like the Oasis. It says its positive and encouraging and a family station. That defines it quite well. As far as being a Christian station I’d say “heck yes it is!” Check out http://www.mormon.org for questions about whether their Christians and you’ll find that the mormons in fact believe and worship Christ too. Have a Merry Christmas and lets Keep Christ in Christmas! Thanks!

  • lynn

    I had come across this station a few weeks
    Back and I had the feeling it was not
    Christian based.Ahhh- the Holy Spirit
    promptings.It is just like the move today
    to make everything look like truth. In fact
    there is one Hope – One faith and ONE savior
    Yeshua! He cannot and would not promote
    unity at the cost of TRUTH!

  • Liz

    Hey check out lhvm.org
    Merry Christmas.
    Liz

  • Jen

    To whoever commented to Bethany without name. It’s funny that you categorize Mormonism as a Christian sect while using the reasoning that “they” have their own interpretation. As we know there are indeed many interpretations of the Bible, however, to be “Christian” wouldn’t one have to follow the very scriptures He validated? If so than we at least recognize it as the authority on Christianity, and in doing so we must see that (1) He is uncreated, meaning He has always been. That is not so with LDS standard beliefs. (2) The bible makes clear that God is Almighty, the Alpha and Omega. The ONE and only! Therefore we are not gods in embryo serving a “god” that is just like us. He then would deserve our admiration not our adoration, or our best, not our lives! Anyhow the list goes on and if we must be baptized into the LDS church in the Mormon church to be LDS or Mormon. Then by that standard shouldn’t there be what makes a person Christian or not? Well so far I like the station as I enjoy my bands. I do miss Spirit 105.3 and there non-compromising status. However, Jesus loves LDS just as much as me or anyone else, and for that purpose I like the Oasis because it is giving the truth to those who need it, Christian and LDS alike!

  • Frank

    Nice article. Found the Oasis at a hard time in my life. As my sectorial beliefs are very general, isn’t it comforting to know that 97.5 is there for us all? Having grown up in an LDS family, my values of kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance have a unique twist. Whether the Oasis plays LDS songs or not should not determine whether someone listens to the station. I don’t know who owns it and I really don’t care. The songs are about things we should all believe in: love, happiness, hope, and acceptance. Judge not lest ye be judged.

  • Kirby Man

    I enjoy the “local artists” on the Oasis. I am (and have been for a long time) an avid K-LOVE listener. I appreciate an alternative. I am also a born-again Mormon. I was converted to Christianity in Kentucky. Interestingly, as a Mormon in the middle of the Bible belt, I felt some of the same minority syndrome that you must be feeling. There a several AM Christian radio stations in Utah. My introduction to Contemporary Christian music was through a listener and sponsor-supported station back in KY. I was a draftsman and listened all day long to the mainstream preachers (Dr. Dobson, Vernon Mcgee, James Kennedy, Stanley, etc.). I would listen as they would preach the Gospel and and as they would bash the Mormons. It did and does make me sad. They would play 1 hour of music at 6 AM and 2 hours from 2 PM to 4 PM.

    It was reading the Book of Mormon that pointed out to me that I needed to be Born Again. It was the clear message from the Book of Mormon that first took me to the cross (and invites me back again and again). I love music that takes me to the Cross—regardless of who sings it. There are beautiful examples in the Mainstream CCM world. BUT, there are also beautiful examples from your Mormon brothers and sisters.

    I know I am going long and this will probably be edited if posted at all, but I think we should ALL take Jesus’ approach. He fraternized and called Zealots, Pharisees, Saducees, Publicans, Gentiles, etc. Even though he took heat for it, he did not draw lines around discipleship. See if you find this true: The more convinced I am of my own discipleship, the less threatened I am by diverging ideas. The Rabbi Gamaliel’s response to the fledgling Christian movement seems so prudent in retrospect. Acts 5:

    34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
    35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
    36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
    37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
    38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
    39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

  • I am Mormon and consider myself Christian… MAINSTREAM Christian? Of Course not. But I sure do accept Christ as my Savior, read the Bible as often as I do the Book of Mormon, and try my best to follow Him.

    With that said, I am a fan of Christian Rock! I was not born in Utah and have always felt rather cheated by the lack of it here. I listened to Klove, yes, but it was really staticy, and the DJs bugged me. I know thats mean, but true.

    My little sister, on the other hand, listens to almost exclusively LDS music.

    So I am a HUGE FAN of The Oasis. It gives me my Rock… but with GOOD messages. It got my sister listening to some of “my” music, which before she always judged as being irreverent or even blasphemous. I almost never change the station.

  • John

    Hello Jen,

    This is an excellent response to your post above. I
    hope it can be helpful to someone.

    http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-775-15,00.html

    Take care!
    John S.

  • Kay

    What can we do to get you back on the air? I miss this station so much. It was the best!

  • Kay

    What can we do to get you back on the air? I miss this station so much. It was the best! Is there anything we can do?