In the previous part we have predominantly dealt with scientific aspects of music, but now it is time to bring in the bible. A lot Christians think and believe that it is ok to listen to whatever music they like. They say it does not matter whether someone listens to gospel, hip hop, rock & roll, holy hip hop or Christian rock & roll. They often say that you should be able to listen to whatever you enjoy listening to. Our question is: is this really true when you look at this from a biblical perspective? And is it possible to even speak of music genres like 'holy hip hop' and 'Christian rock & roll'...?
Well, let's start with something that the apostle Paul says in Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
This is remarkable. Paul tells us that we (he is referring to Christians) should not be conformed to this world! A very important message. There must a (noticeable) difference between the world and Christians. Christians should not be enjoying the same things that the world does. Of course you must not take this into the extreme: you are still living on this world (as a Christian though!!), but it should be clear that God wants us to do what is good, acceptable and according to his will.
1 John 2:15-17 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 forever.
In order to answer the question if Christians can enjoy all sorts of music, we will go to the story of king Saul in the first book of Samuel (old testament). Saul was anointed as king over Gods people (the Israelites). Saul did not (completely) obey to God when He gave him assignments to accomplish. That is why Saul's kingship was ended and a new king was appointed (David). Let's read about the disobedience of Saul and let's look at how we can link this to music. This story (1 Samuel 15) contains the key to the answer on the question: can Christians listen to whatever they like?
1 Samuel 15:1-26 Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD. And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.
You have just read about the assignment that Saul received from God: he had to go out and smite Amalek. Noting, absolutely nothing could be spared. Even women and children had to be killed and also all the animals had to be killed. Saul goes out but he does not obey God: he spares Agag (the king of Amalek) and he also spares all sheeps, oxen, lambs etc. that look good and useful in his eyes.
1 Samuel 15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
What does this story has to do with music? Well, Amalek can be seen as a symbol for the world and everything that belongs to her. Instead of reading that Saul should utterly destroy all men, women, children, oxen and lambs of Amalek (the world), we can just as easily replace this with the music of the world: artists, CDs, beats, lyrics etc. God does not want to have anything to do with the things of the world, because these things DO NOT give Him honour!
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
A lot of Christians ignore this and say: some of the music (certain artists, beats, lyrics, CDs, etc.) that belong to the world is so beautiful and so good, why can't I enjoy it? Or they say: let's use this music to glorify God. And some others say: let's use it to evangelize, to win more souls for Gods kingdom. All of this has lead to garbage such as 'holy hip hop' and 'Christian rock & roll'... The term rock & roll actually means to fornicate (to commit adultery). So, now we have something that really means Christian fornication..?? What's going on here? People that think this way are making the same stupid mistakes that the Israelites made in the time of Saul:
1 Samuel 15:14-15 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
Rather than listening to God and the things He says in his word, it seems that we are more willing to listen to what people say, just like Saul did (and simply ignore the fact that what they say, goes against the word of God!). Because he listened to the wrong voice (he listened to the people instead of listening to God), he did the wrong thing and sinned:
1 Samuel 15:24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.
Beloved brothers and sisters, please wake up! Do not make the same mistake as king Saul: we can read how his life ended up. We cannot take that what is of the world (hip hop, rock & roll) and recycle it into something for God (holy hip hop, Christian rock & roll). It doesn't matter how good it sounds or looks. We are not pleasing God with this! God is very, very clear in his word (have a look at 1 John 2:15, Romans 12:2 and James 4:4).
And for those that think music is a suitable tool to evangelize, we have only one question: where in the bible can we find that Jesus, or one of the apostles, or other men or women of God, used music to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and reach the lost? Let's help you by answering this question for you: NOWHERE!! Music is not designed for evangelizing. That is why we cannot find any example of this in the bible. When people use music to evangelize, they try to put themselves in the position of the Holy Spirit, who reproves the people of sin, of righteousness and of judgement (John 16:8). Again we say: there is no place in the bible where it says that we should use music to bring people to Jesus Christ. When doing this, you are focusing on the emotions of people and you do not allow them to make a sincere choice for Jesus, because they are influenced by the music (it influences the brain, remember?) instead of being drawn by and to God:
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Let's stick to the word of God and do what He says: preach and teach (God never called us to reach the lost ones by making use of worldy things that are appealing to them) the gospel of Jesus Christ and let Him take care of the rest.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost
Next page: Volgende pagina: Dangers of music