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Secular Music and the Christian

The question is often asked, should Christians listen to secular music?  We know that all we do should be filtered through the lens of God’s Word.  It is a light unto our path that shines before us so that we will not stumble.  Obviously the Bible does not forbid listening to secular music, but it does provide parameters for anything we partake of.  Ephesians 8:9 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Is the music we listen to uplifting?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).  Is the music we listen to admirable and praiseworthy?

I think you see what I am getting at.  Does the music we listen to pass the Bible test?  I used to listen to country music almost exclusively, and to some pop oldies here and there, but once I became a Christian, I listened to Bible teaching exclusively on the radio until that station went off the air.  I didn’t listen to the radio at all until a Christian music station took over channel where the Bible teachings used to be.  Now that I have Christian music to tune into, I listen to that exclusively.

That is for me alone.  It’s my conviction of the Spirit.  I cannot declare that you (or anyone for that matter) shouldn’t listen to whatever it is that you like.  Outside of the parameters of God’s Word, each man must conclude for himself what pleases God.  I think it’s safe to say that songs that glorify things other than God, especially sinful things, we should not partake in, but other than that, it’s between you and God.  Our Pastor says God convicted him about secular music one day as he listened to the radio (country music also), saying, “Bernie, do you really like your women a little on the trashy side?”

God’s Holy Spirit dwells in each and every believer, no exceptions.  He will let you know when you go off the path.  You can choose not to listen, but that also is between you and God. So, should Christians listen to secular music?  We should offer God all of our choices asking Him if we should indulge.  Find yourself listening earnestly and expectantly.  Obey immediately and completely, so as to honor God in all of your choices.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 30:21

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    I have been in music all of my life. I have developed an appreciation for many different styles of music, but the style must be separated from the lyrics. Style by itself is neither good nor bad; it is the lyrics that make it one of the other. In country music, as you mention, there are some songs with bad lyrics, but there are also some with good lyrics. So songs need to be judged by the words, not by style. Also, there are styles that sometimes have no lyrics at all, like classical and jazz, which are basically considered secular in style, but if one were to put Christian words to some classical or jazzy tune, it would be considered Christian. So, music should be judged godly or ungodly by its message.

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