Listening to music and the worshipper

Friday, November 28, 2008
I love music. I love playing it. I love listening to it. As I've grown older my breadth of music genres has widened. As a teenager I used to listen to certain styles of music purely because it would make me look 'cool' but as I've got older and more secure I can just about listen to anything and appreciate it.

At the minute I'm trying to find secular songs that I can perform that complement my skill level, entertain and also lyrically something I can sing with conviction. Most secular songs naturally celebrate stuff that I feel difficult to connect with being a Christ follower. So if I don't feel I can play them then should I actually be listening to them?

Bob Kauflin has recently been blogging about Listening to Music for the glory of God. As a young person I'd always swung between two extremes. In my teenage years I was given a chick publications book on the evils of rock music. How certain beats and distorted guitars are evil! The evils of backmasking etc. Thus,out went my Queen, Kiss and Bryn Adams to be replaced by Carman,Petra and a (very small) bit of Ian White. Coming into my university years I had swung the other way in the pursuit of relevance. I had become an indie/grunge head and christian music wasn't an option anymore.

Now being older and wiser as in a many things you start to use your brain. You start to apply the measuring stick of Philippians 4:8. As Bob Kauflin puts it
Non-Christians can write beautiful songs that are good for us. Christians can write terrible songs that are bad for us

I believe as in everything as worshippers we've always got to have our thinking hats on. If we listen to music, watch tv or read books in 'shut down' mode we will get inspired and influenced by the seductions of this world. We need to approach any music 'christian' or 'non-christian' with our Ipod in one hand and our bible in the other. There are some good secular bands out there that sing about more than just the next sexual or romantic encounter.

Secular music celebrate sins, hurts and passions of the world around us. This music can give us an understanding of what's important in our culture while also a medium for music missionaries to communicate Jesus to a mass audience.

O how I long and pray for the day that popular music and thus popular culture would be influenced by God worshipping musicians who could communicate the great Truths of the gospel to a hurting nation.