This is a question from a church forum on Facebook:
Is it unrighteous for a Christian to like secular music? To be honest, there should be no music listeners who only listens to Gospel music. But there are some people who put a standard that people who still listen to secular music are unrepentant.
I said in my mind, Come now, I will prove you with mirth and test you with pleasure; so have a good time [enjoy pleasure]. But this also was vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)! – Ecclesiastes 2:1 (AMP)
As a church musician whose plan is to pursue jazz music studies in the United States, of course I’ll answer, well that’s certainly OK. But we should look up our Bible, to not to be subjective, that says all things are lawful but not all expedient (1 Corinthians 6:12). The Bible also honors tradition of men, of course as long as it doesn’t fail the scriptures (Matthew 15:3, Acts 15:19-21, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Galatians 1:4).
Well if you look into the Bible, It tells us to use the riches of the world (Luke 16:9,11), which means money, wealth, also arts, music, dances, wisdom and knowledge, electronic media, etc., for the glory of the Lord, and for all people to know that we serve not the Mammon but the Lord God who gave us the talent and strength to do them all (Luke 16:13, Philippians 4:13).
One argument that said church servants should not listen to any non-Church music, with the biblical Levites as example. True that all Levites back then were commanded to stay in Church music but that’s because they are really employed for day and night just to practice hard and worshipping the Lord in the temple (1 Chronicles 9:33). Are all of us now full time musician at Church? No other things to do?
The Bible teaches us to use everything you have, what’s in your hand (Exodus 4:1-5) to glorify the Lord. Because everything we do, we’re doing it for God, and all of it is still part of worship (Colossians 3:22-25)!
But what kind of music should we avoid? Songs that are catchy, but suggesting sex, drugs, suicidal, empty love songs, mental-breaking, cursing, mocking other people, and of course, songs which are to bad-mouth about God. Not these word we have to listen to:
- “…I’m in love with Judas.” (Judas – Lady Gaga)
- “I’m selling my soul to the rhythm, the beat and the bass” (Rock God – Selena Gomez, Katy Perry)
- “I kissed a girl and I like it” (I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry)
- “I wish you’re all dead” (All Dead – L’arc~en~Ciel)
- “Maybe it is my gun every time I look at it, it says shoot me, shoot me, shoot me.” (Kill, Kill, Kill – Marilyn Manson)
Since all this is true, we ought to pay much closer attention than ever to the truths that we have heard, lest in any way we drift past [them] and slip away. – Hebrews 2:1 (AMP)
Be careful of what you hear. Secular music, and so-called Christian music! Through hearing the Scripture, faith grows (Romans 10:17). Through hearing destructive and rebellious lyrics, spirit (nefesh/pneuma) of rebel grows. Yes evil spirit can cover itself in those kinds of music to impart the power. If you remember the Columbine High School Massacre, the two teenagers were speculated to had been listening to Marilyn Manson. And for your information, Marilyn Manson is one of church of satan’s preacher, alongside Ozzy Osbourne and Aleister Crowley, and has been known to encourage his listeners to commit anything against the Bible. And Anton Lavey, the founder of church of satan, was a great Church pianist.
Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. – Ephesians 4:29 (AMP)
Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them. – Ep 5:11 (AMP)
If you have had or is currently obsessed with this kind of music to the point that it has been your lifestyle, beware as your soul is being bound by the evil! Crush all the bondage before your life is destroyed by it. Worse if you are a servant or minister, worship leaders, musicians or preacher. Crush all the bondage before you even dare to serve, or you may impart the spirit of evil to other people.
So how to avoid these kinds of music? Well you cannot control every radio playlist right? Fortify yourself with the Holy Spirit, live perpetually and constantly filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:16). As you are trained by the Holy Spirit Himself, day by day you are made aware and alerted if there’s something wrong and doesn’t match the Father’s heart. Make yourself sensitive to those kinds of music, add Christian music to your playlist (Ephesians 5:19), decrease all meaningless and empty songs, etc. You might want to check out the music videos as well, to help you figure out what kind of message they’re trying to deliver.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. – 1 John 2:15-17 (KJV21)
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things. – Philippians 4:8 (KJV 21)
Blessings in Christ!
[EDIT] Just found this video, thought this also would be enlightening: