Should Christians only listen to Christian songs?

This is a topic that has been bugging me for a few days and so I’ve been doing some research and praying about it. I’ll try to summarise a few points over here and would greatly appreciate your thoughts, even if you are not a follower of Christ.

 

Music’s influence.

It has been proven, through various studies, that music influences humans in both good and bad ways provoking instant and long-lasting effects in emotional, spiritual and physical ways. Music also has the power of affecting learning and memory. Researches indicate that music can have profound psychological effects not only on people but also on animals and plants.

In other words… IT DOES MATTER what type of music you’re listening to because IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

 

Music in the Bible.

It is very interesting to learn about the history of music in the Bible and how music appears in the Bible, to learn how music originally was in the Biblical time. For those who’d like to read the references, here are the verses that have the word “music” in them and here and here are verses that have to do with music also.

Notice that music is always used as a way of praising God.

 

Contemporary Christian Music – CCM.

These are two interesting sites to read: A Biblical Theology of Music Applied to the Contemporary Music Styles Debate and Biblical Guidelines for Christian Music. Remember to read them critically, praying for the Lord’s confirmation of what is written on them before making up your mind on the subject. Basically, Christians have to beware about a few things when they listen to music, such as:

  • What does the lyric/message of the song glorify (God, man, partying)?
  • How do you feel when you listen to the song (joyful, miserable, powerful, angry)?
  • Does the song edify your spirit and bring you closer to God?
  • Are you making an idol of the musician or band? (God is a jealous God…)
  • Would Jesus listen to such a song? Or be happy you are listening to it?
  • Does it contain bad language? Or make you think about immoral things?
  • Which “part” of you enjoys the song (body, soul or spirit)?

 

I believe, therefore, that by abstaining from non-Christian music and contemporary Christian music that doesn’t praise the Lord, we are pleasing God and sanctifying ourselves – and therefore becoming more similar to Jesus Christ, who’s perfect. And even if the lyrics are Christian-like, we have to be careful about it’s tune too, for the spiritual world also uses notes in battle. (Be careful with rock, metal…) The Bible always refers to music as melody, not rhythm or beat.

It’s important to remember that our whole lives belong to Him and every aspect of it should give Him glory. Also, God was the one who invented music, ears to hear and vocal cords, so praising Him through songs was already part of His plan – in fact, we ought to do so! It is of no doubt that God has given the gift of music to some people but, unfortunately, most use their gift for praise of themselves, money, fame and other worldly things. Something else that is very interesting to think about is that the Bible never says music is to be used to reach out to the unsaved and bring them to Christ. In fact, it was never used that way in the Bible! I’m not saying music can’t bring people to Christ; I’m saying that is not God’s purpose for music.

 

Lord, forgive me for taking so long to realise these things. I am sorry that I do not always praise You through the music I hear, play and sing. Please help me to put what I’ve learnt into practice and give me more wisdom so that I may learn more about Your Kingdom. Amen.

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5 thoughts on “Should Christians only listen to Christian songs?

  1. Anna Rae says:

    This is a tough one! I think that secular music is okay as long as the words are giving a positive message (doesn’t necessarily have to be Christian based). And as long as it doesn’t cause you to sin! As for the genre of music, I don’t think that matters at all. It’s all about the message! It is really hard though especially with those fun pumpy songs on the radio that don’t have the best words!

    • That’s exactly what I thought too, Anna! But as I’ve been praying and reading a lot about the topic I’ve been having less and less interest in listening to secular songs – even if they are giving positive messages. It’s been a weird experience because I like lots of secular bands that are definitely very good musicians (like Coldplay, for example), but even if I know all the lyrics by heart, I just don’t seem to find happiness or peace in them any more. It’s kind of hard to explain. I guess it’s because I’m starting to realise that God wants ALL of me and ALL of my time, and that every single thing that I do should be done to praise Him. What helps me is thinking about that old question – What would Jesus do? I’m kind of really embarrassed too and feeling like a hypocrite, because I’ve always thought people who only listen to Christian songs are taking things too far, being extremists and not looking at the good side of the world, etc. And now look at me… I’ve become one of them! haha! And about the rhythm, it does get tricky! I guess we just have to stay alert and know what the music’s doing to us and if it makes our body feel good (with beats and stuff) or makes our spirit good (with actual melody).

      • Anna Rae says:

        Oh yes, I know the feeling! When I am closest to God, I dont even want a part of anything secular, even if its not necessarily bad! Its a good thing to be like that, I just dont know if its “bad” to listen to other music that is just okay. I think God just knows it’s better to be completely consumed by Him and nothing else 🙂

  2. abkeyte says:

    This is a great observation and a learning lesson we all need to hear and take to heart. The eyes and ears are windows into us, and the enemy of our soul will use everything in his power to pollute us. Unfortunately, this often means he uses music for that very purpose.

    You mention melody as the subject scripture mentions and it is true that melody plays an important part in the worship of God. There is never any mention of beat or tempo. The enemy really focuses on tempo and beat because that’s what gets the blood flowing. You see, we were created to worship God. We were given mouths so they we could bless and praise Him!

    We do need to separate ourselves from secular worldly music, in fact any music that does not glorify God. If we honor God in our choices of what we listen to and what we watch, He will indeed be pleased and He will reward us. I determined years ago to never listen to anything that might offend the Holy Spirit. For the last twelve years or so, the Lord always wakes me with a song in my heart. These are never contemporary rock, never loud, never raucous or rude or vulgar. On the contrary, they are always uplifting and inspiring, and glorify the Lord.

    The Lord is awesome and more marvelous than we can imagine. Why would I want to sear my consciousness by listening to something that degrades or denigrates God or people? The fact is I wouldn’t. He deserves our all in every aspect of our existence. If He truly lives in me and I believe He does, than I only want that which pleases Him to move or touch me.

    God bless you in the matchless and priceless name of Jesus, the Holy Anointed One!

  3. Thank you very much for your comment! It’s good to hear a confirmation to such a controversial topic. That’s really good that you were able to stay in track for more than 17 years! Wow! Although, now that I’ve started doing it too, it kind of gets easy because other music just seem so dull and time-wasting! I’ve got my fiancée doing the same thing and it’s been really good for us both. May God bless you too!

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