Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Catchy Tunes and Compromise

    It may be hard for some people to see secular music as a possible weapon of mass destruction, but that is what it has become in America. Whether music is emanating from the car radio, echoing in a supermarket, or snaking into people’s minds through the speakers on ear buds, Americans are daily assaulted by the twisted melodies wrought by the Deceiver. People are not only forced to face this music, but to tolerate it and all that it stands for. Wrapped in illusive, undeserved beauty, ideas like sexual immorality, drug abuse, and homosexuality are glorified by attractive voices and catchy tunes. God does not mean for music to be used in such a vulgar way. He created music as a means to worship Him and unify and uplift the Body of Christ. Music, and even passionate dancing, are found all throughout the Bible. Through song, one’s heart and mind are united, and there is greater potential to draw closer to the Creator as a result. Satan hates this. That is why this fallen angel strives so hard to taint music’s inherent purity. When the Devil tricks people into using music to inflame their egos and feed their dark passions, he succeeds in hurting the cause of Christ. Even though Satan has temporarily succeeded in his evil musical endeavors, Christians will ultimately be the victors if they stand against dirty music and hold fast to what is right and true. Satan’s scheme for music is to defile hearts and distract people from God’s love and power; the Father’s intention for melodic thought is to captivate hearts with His love and bind people together in unity.


    Music is an extremely powerful artistic medium—it creates opportunities for God to reveal His power, unites believers in worship, and brings people closer to God. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:18-20, 

“...be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…” 

 This God-fearing apostle was writing from personal experience as well as from divine inspiration. In Acts 16:25, Paul and Silas sing hymns and pray from their jail cells while in the midst of fellow prisoners, and God makes the earth quake to set them free. After witnessing this miracle, the prison guard accepts Christ as his Savior. When the joy in believers’ hearts pours forth from their lips in song, the heart of the Lord is delighted, and powerful things can happen. As Christians worship together at church, armed only with mutual words of adoration for their Creator, they become likeminded, unhindered by spiritual divisions such as controversial theology. Most importantly, when people sing to the Lord He is blessed. David joyfully writes in Psalm 92:1, 

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High…" 

 According to Zephaniah 3:17, God sings over His people. The verse reads, 

“For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you.  He is a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing you a happy song.” 

 Clearly, God highly values the power of music, considering the fact that He inspired two books about music to be included in His Word. If music is important to God, it should be important to all believers as well.

    Christians must be aware of the hold Satan has on today’s music industry in America, among other places. People tend to think of secular music as both harmless and entertaining—myself included—when in reality there is a spirit behind every song played. While some songs are truly harmless, other seemingly innocuous songs cause people to consider normally revolting ideas as acceptable and cool. These thoughts lead to actions, and soon compromise swallows our lives. 
Katy Singing    For instance, a few weeks ago, I found myself absentmindedly enjoying a song playing in the background at a local store. I enjoyed it—that is, until I listened more carefully to the lyrics: I kissed a girl and I liked it; it tasted like cherry chapstick. The voice singing these words was female. If a random girl at the mall had said these words to me, I would have been horrified. Dressed in a mesmeric melody, however, these same vulgar words sounded both attractive and edgy—two things that really appeal to my flesh. I walked out of the thrift store feeling very disturbed. God did not mean for music to be used in such a confusing, deleterious way. 

    Satan, the dark prince of this world, knows how potent music’s effects can be on the human heart and mind. For example, a boy brought up in the church might start listening to rap music because he thinks that it is “cool.” While this might be initially harmless, the boy may begin to grow comfortable with the profanity and immorality glorified in the songs. The next thing the boy knows, he is compromising in other, more crucial areas of his life, and is wandering farther and farther away from Jesus. Colossians 3:5 says, 

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” 

 If the Devil can convince Christians that compromise—allowing our earthly desires to exist within us—is an acceptable element in our walk with Christ, then his work is complete. Do not mistake my meaning; God saves us each daily from the sins we commit against Him, and there is no person alive whose sins are so monstrous that God cannot save them with His amazing grace. I am living proof of this truth. But when we believers allow an idol such as unwholesome music to come between us and God, it keeps us from experiencing the full power of Jesus’ saving blood. Music is not just a way for us to connect with God; it is a medium that the enemy uses to lure us away from Christ. In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter cautions, 

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

    So what is the big deal? Sure, music can lead to compromise, but it is overall a pretty harmless source of pleasure…right? Wrong. Like all other areas in a person’s life, God has placed boundaries on what sorts of music believers should allow themselves to be exposed to. He does not specifically mention “melodious” boundaries, but Jesus does say very clearly in Matthew 12:30 that 

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

The Horrors Basically, Jesus is saying that there is no “neutral” side; every person is either on Jesus’ team or on Satan’s team. This applies to music as well, because behind every song there is a songwriter. Did you know that the average American teenager listens to two and a half hours of music a day? I know I listen to as much. By drawing attention to these things I do not mean to condemn people who listen to Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift…I am as guilty of listening to secular music as anybody. A lot of secular music is exciting and makes us feel good. 
    Regardless, no one can deny Paul’s words of truth in Ephesians 5:11 when he writes 
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” 

    Music is not always a harmless source of entertainment; it is a way for people to universally connect with God with their hearts and minds, and a way that the enemy tempts our flesh. My final plea to the reader is to not content yourself with listening to music for the sake of social acceptance or lethal compromise. Be judicious when choosing what music you will allow yourself to be exposed to. Do not just listen to a song’s melody—pay attention to its lyrics and to the deeper message that broods just beneath the song’s surface. If it is contradictory to the Word of God, rethink your decision to tune in. Hate what is evil and cling to what is good (Rom 12:9).  Take a serious stand against the evil of compromise in a society in which people stumble like brainwashed zombies through the yawning gates of hell with ear buds fixed scrupulously in their ears. God challenges us all to be seekers of the truth. This is crucial. John 8:32 sums up this point well when it declares 

“…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

1 comment:

  1. Hey girl, just read this post! It is really good. I like how you used scripture to back it up and I appreciate what you had to say. It was really well done and I definitely think people -me- can benefit from listening to not as much secular music!