We are subjected to music in every public setting imaginable. This music has consequences. God created us to be musical beings. It should be involved in our times of worship here in this world (Eph 5.19). It will be a part of our eternal worship (Revelation).
The author maintains God likes all kinds of music. No single genre of music is better than all the rest in reflecting the glory of God. Music is more dangerous than we realize. Listening to music without discernment is dangerous.
Melody, harmony, and rhythm are the three major components of music. Music by itself is unable to communicate specific doctrine. But music does greatly affect our emotions. Listening to a playing music alters how are brains and bodies function. Whether or not people choose to acknowledge it, music moves us in both negative and positive directions.
Music tends to move us more if our minds are focused on it. Many times music in the background goes unnoticed by us. However, music is a carrier. It gets its meaning from that which surrounds it. Music carries content, context, and culture.
Music conveys content (lyrics). Philippians 4.8 should dictate content in the music we write and listen to. Christians must know what songs mean and what the words are saying. Tuning out words and simply enjoying the music will lead to a more worldly form of worship on Sunday. Music with ungodly lyrics will bring us to love things God hates. We are foolish to repeatedly expose ourselves to lyrics which are seductive and filled with sin. Profanity, sensuality, rebellion , and other worldly attitudes must not even be named once among believers.
Music conveys context. The past shapes the way we view music. A traditional hymn may evoke memories of church during childhood for some and rigid formalism for others. Some find it difficult to separate the music they hear from their particular background. Music is so influential that it can carry us into a worldly context.
Music is different in many cultures. Cultural associations and meanings may change. While we can relate to our culture without being worldly, we must realize that every culture is worldly. Many of the songs at the top of the charts are filled with ungodliness and worldliness. Music and its associations do not create sin in our hearts. These simply reveal what is already in our hearts. The sensual man listens to sensual music. The man filled with self-pity listens to melancholy music.
Jesus gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, (Galatians 1:4) This present evil age has its musicians. What might be fine for some will be sin for others. Two significant questions: 1) Does the music you listen to lead you to love the Savior more or cause your affections for Christ to diminish? 2) Does the music you listen to lead you to value an eternal perspective or adopt a mindset of this present evil age?
The effect of ignorance is compromise. God gave us music to make us happy and holy. We must have discernment and examine the music we listen to or we will be influenced by a godless culture. Does your music tempt others to sin? How are you demonstrating love for others by the music you listen to? He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed. (Proverbs 13:20)
Don’t worship at the altar of innovation and creativity rather than the foot of the cross. Listening to music whenever you want is a form of bondage rather than liberty. Obsession over cutting-edge music keeps us from Bible study, prayer, personal reflection, and serving others. What does the time you invest say about the hold music has over you? Music is more than a hobby, it has become an idol for many. Passion for music increases while passion for Christ wanes.
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame— who set their mind on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18–19) Why would we associate ourselves with music loved by enemies of the cross
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
- Evaluate your current intake of music.
- Evaluate the quality and quantity of music intake.
- Ask spiritual authorities to help you discern if this is a problem.
- Delete or throw away music you’ll listen to only if you backslide.
- Listen to music with others …your family. Share it.
- Make music rather than listen to it. Obey God’s command to sing.
- Go on a music fast. It may show you the hold music has over you.
- What about the financial resources you commit to music?
Music that stands the test of time is worth giving our attention to. The author believes we should experiment with different genres of music. This betrays the fact that he believes that there is something redeeming about these genres.
Music is a precious gift but it makes a terrible god. Jesus died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (2 Corinthians 5:15)