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Christian music

 "Should Christian Music Rock?"

by Chris Long

Why do passions and controversy seem to run so deep and rampant surrounding the subject of music within the church and in the Christian's everyday life? I believe it is because music is such a powerful medium. I have not always been "into" Christian music, because I have not always been a Christian or at least a Christian who is truly seeking God's will for my life. But having said that, I must say that I have always been a music lover because music is powerful! Think about it, music, even without any words, has the power to set virtually any type of mood. ...

Why do you think music is used so extensively in movies and every kind of television show from news intros to romantic love scenes? ... Music alone does drastically effect people's emotions, which in turn, more often than not directly affects their outward behavior. Music can delve into the depths of the human heart (...the heart of your being which contains your innermost desires and tendencies) and dredge up feelings and even actions that we may not even have consciously realized were there. ...

...the Bible warns that we should "keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23). We are told by God to keep our heart, or please allow me to expound on the word keep: "guard" our heart. To guard our heart means exactly that to keep it from evil influences to avoid corrupting it.

....the question then is can music (without words) in and of itself be evil or have evil influence on the heart? ... I think the answer is yes, music is that powerful and it can effect the heart, mind, soul, and, most noticeably, the body.

Let me explain. I have observed my own children at even their smallest toddling age. They were never taught to dance or anything at all about music at the time, but their natural reaction when certain musical scores with a "rock beat" were played...  [was] to move their body in a carnal, worldly manner. If an adult were to do the same, it could most certainly incite within others natural sensual thoughts.

Melodious Christian music does not produce this effect. Yes, I am saying that the body naturally responds to certain stimuli in a certain way that can only be overcome by the conscious thought of the individual in a resistant manner. Now, if you must consciously resist a certain body motion that is induced only through the medium of music, then there are certainly potential problems there. The Bible clearly teaches self control, or more properly, us allowing God to influence and control our actions and even bodily functions.

We are told in reference to controlling substances such as intoxicating beverages to "be not drunk" or controlled "with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit". We are commanded not to allow ourselves to be influenced negatively by outside forces, but to be controlled by the Spirit of God. Music, like alcoholic beverages, is a spirit, or a strong influence on every part of us, even the heart. This explains the sudden changes of mood that we experience when under the influence of music. Therefore, if a certain "beat" or rhythm in "Christian music" or any other type tends to make the body naturally move in a way that to even a casual observer can be understood to be sensual or make a person look more sexually appealing, this music should be avoided by the Christian, because it cannot really be considered Christian music.

The term Christian means "Christ like." I could be wrong, but I cannot see the Savior dancing to a musical score: WWJD comes to mind. Even if the Christian is a "strong" Christian and has no real desire to do or think that which is not Godly, their heart and body can and may still be caused to stumble thereby. No matter how we love to think of ourselves to be in control, it has been proven over and over through the centuries that man, even redeemed man (and woman), is still fallible and the natural bent toward sinful thoughts and behaviors is not eradicated once a person has been born again. ...

There is a certain "sound" that I believe should differentiate Christian music from rock music. What I mean is that I believe that our "worship" should always sound like worship. For example, if a person were to walk by a gathering of Christians during a the musical portion of a worship service at any given place, if they did not know what was going on inside, they should be able to tell by the "sound" they hear if that this is indeed a worship service and not a rock, rap, R&B, pop concert or country music event. The sound of Christian music should literally speak of God's Holiness, His glory, and righteousness.

Christian music should be like everything else in a Christian’s life... it should make us stand out from the world and portray Christ as lovely. Just as there should be a clear difference in the way we behave.... Christians should remain unspotted from the world in as many areas of life as possible. Christian music is distinctive. ...

In the common man's vernacular, "If people are saved and the church is growing, it cannot be wrong.” This Theology is faulty because it clearly negates the fact that although we should be careful not to be too legalistic in our methodology, God has always put a certain premium on ministry being done His way. God doesn't always expect us to use the newest ministry methods available, because, believe it or not, every method is not necessarily acceptable or O.K. with God.

For example, in 1 Chronicles chapter 13 the story is told of the children of Israel as they were moving the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem after it being away for a long time. David and the Israelites were so excited and in such a hurry to get the Ark back where it belonged that their zeal (which was a good thing) was turned into an evil thing in God's sight simply because they failed to follow God's plan for transporting the Ark from place to place. What most folks would consider a small breech in protocol... God thought was such a big deal that He reached out and killed (yes I said killed) Uzza . ...

While the Ark was being carted to its destination, the oxen that pulled the cart with the Ark stumbled and Uzza thought it was going to fall, but his well intentioned move to reach out and steady the Ark to keep God's property from being soiled was turned into death for him, because God had declared that only the Levites were to touch the Ark. God killed a man who was trying to do a good thing to protect a sacred object... simply because the man, as well as the people of Israel, did not follow God's methodology!

Does that make you mad? It shouldn't, because God is in control of this thing. He designed the entire creation including us. We are the ones who mess things up because we don't follow His lead. ...

Uzza is not the only example of this we see in the scriptures. There are many more. Leviticus Chapter 10 tells of Nadab and Abihu, who were sons of Aaron, ordained by God into the ministry who offered what the Bible calls "strange fire before the Lord, which the Lord commanded them not." In other words... they added something "strange" to the worship of God that He did not ordain.... You see, we Christians should be very careful in adding anything to our worship of the Lord that we are not 100% sure that He approves of. This certainly includes Christian music, because... Christian music is distinctive.

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