Sharing a Facebook Thread
Very rarely do I share a conversation from Facebook, but this one with a former member of my congregation (who shall remain nameless) is well worth it.
The following question is an honest one, made by a Christian struggling with a real dilemma.
“I have been thinking a lot about how music affects me, spiritually. I’m not a big fan of a lot of Christian music although I am a Christian. I like old school hymns but not so much the newer contemporary music. I don’t know how someone can have the gift of music and be a peaceful, Christ-like person, but not go to Heaven or not ever be saved (Like George Harrison). Every time I hear “My sweet Lord” I think of how I can’t wait to be with my Lord in Heaven and my family and friends, but George wasn’t a Christian. Also there are other musicians who are talented and really great people but they’re not saved.
“Does that make me a bad Christian because I don’t listen to J103 [a CCM station in the Chattanooga area] but really like classic Rock? I wouldn’t listen to music knowingly that bashes God, so it disturbs me that a Christian or anyone could listen to music or say things like GD.
“Not sure if this makes any sense, because I am not a writer and have a hard time putting my thoughts into words. But it’s been on my mind a lot lately, for some reason. Maybe I should be listening to more music that praises God, but I feel like most all music is a gift from God. Thoughts please! This is really bugging me.” – (Minor edits were made for this blog)
“Without him quoting any Bible verses, let this preacher submit his two cents 😉
“Music WAS created by God. Music is what we would call “amoral,” because it is neither good or bad – it just is. However, music is a very powerful force which links emotions, memories, and physical feelings together with the now. That kind of force attached to a lyric (the words) can become a powerful tool – either for good or evil.
“The guiding authority for the Christian is God’s divine revelation to man – the Bible. Regardless of what man (or woman) has to say, we should always base our actions on what is right in the light of God’s Word. Therefore, does the Bible have anything to say about whether a Christian should listen to just Christian music? Only in principle.
“OK, I can’t help it…I have to quote Scripture. “Whatsoever things are true…just…pure…honest…lovely…of good report…have virtue…any praise…think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). There are a lot of non-Christian songs (especially instrumental music) that fit into the above verse. A song about doing good, or loving someone forever, or doing what’s right in a bad world…there’s nothing really wrong with that. However, you do have to be careful when you start liking a style of music without any regard to the lyrics of the song itself. The musical score may be amoral, but the lyrics can be anything but true, pure, virtuous, etc. That stuff you should avoid.
“One other thing I would caution you about: Never fall for the lie of “I don’t listen to the words, just the music.” That sounds all well and good, but it’s impossible – unless you just don’t understand the language being sung. Every song has a message, else it’s not a song. If the message is ungodly, then it will eventually find its way into your heart.
“Remember, there is an Enemy that knows more about the power of music than any producer or executive in Nashville. This Enemy knows our weaknesses and temptations, too. If world leaders know how to use propaganda to turn the minds and hearts of people, don’t you think the Devil is equally knowledgeable? Remember where Satan came from and of what he is capable. One of his actual [attributes] was the ability to create music – not just play it – within himself. At one point he literally led the worshipping angels of heaven and gave praise to God! He KNOWS music. He also knows how to use it to change minds, just like he did to a third of the angels of heaven.
“So, all that being said, we are not under the Law, but Grace. You are free to make choices. However, you are NOT free from the consequences of your choices. Therefore, my advice is to choose wisely. Make sure what you listen to is at least wholesome, if not exactly Christian. Feed your soul with good stuff, not trash, and you’ll not have anything to worry about.”
What are YOUR thoughts?