I love Music. I do. It’s been a partner in life. It’s got me through a lot. In fact, I’m a musician, so it probably has even more influence in my life then it could. I’ve been in bands, I’ve lead worship. Music is perhaps one of the main ways I express my emotion. Music is awesome.
But, It’s also put me through a lot.
Let me explain.
I remember growing up in my Christian home. I grew up in the 80’s. Top bands were Van Halen, Madonna, Bon Jovi etc. It was about waling guitars and massive hair. Oh the hair. Spandex was the clothing of choice, and if you couldn’t hit a massively high note, the industry didn’t move you.
Let’s face it, I’m a rocker.
While the world was rocking hard, and singing it loud, the church was in a moment. We had some great Christian musicians, some to this day I still owe a debt of gratitude. But even with a few great Jesus focused bands, the church would push back.
Enter “HELLS BELLS”.
Not the AC/DC song, but a couple of Christian guys taking about the dangers of Rock. These christian brothers would end up rallying many churches against Rock. They told us that there were hidden messages in the music and that listening to it would distort us and in fact open us up to the devil. It was massive. I remember feeling the pressure.
I believed much of what they said.
But something was off. What was it?
Somehow we had given the devil the control of music, instead of giving the creator that right. I had to learn, that “secular” music isn’t evil in itself, but perhaps it did have some power I had missed.
Music set’s your focus.
I love music. I really do. It drives me when I work, and gives me energy when I commute. But it seldom takes a back seat in my life. With or without lyrics, it has the power to set my focus. If you listen to R&B or Rock, it produces a focus to your thought patterns. This can be good or dangerous. So we find ourselves as Christians asking what we should be listening to. Is it OK for a christian to listen to secular music?
This much I know. I listen to secular music and it doesn’t necessarily hurt me. But it takes my focus off of Jesus and put’s it on me and the way the world judges me. So even if it’s OK to listen to it, it seems to force expectations on me to live a certain way, and to build my identity in a dangerous manner.
Music tells you what your God should be.
It also tells me what I should worship. Think about it. Many songs out there tell us that love is worthy of worship. We see songs promoting love at any cost. This is quickly translated into a perverted thought that meaningless sex is equivalent to love. Not love of others perhaps, but love of yourself. This is brutal.
Songs that say that Jesus is God move us into a place of childlike dependance. This set’s our identity on Him. But songs that put us as God and our experiences or hopes as the most important in life, make our identities about being “god” of our own existence. Not cool.
My Final Thought.
This post is not a slam on music. I love music. But I wanted to discuss what music does. It set’s us up for feelings about who we are. It tells us who God is in our life. Is it Jesus, or is it me? Should I long for Jesus, or should I long for the dreams that this world is trying to sell me?
So listen to music, but here’s my challenge for you… Who does your music say is God, you or Jesus?
Tell me what you think. Does your music ever distract you from Jesus?
and FYI, the rocker in the picture is me. LOL