While I really don’t “Blog” much any longer (maybe I should start again, but there is this thing called time that seems to be in short supply), I have some thoughts I wanted to share about music today. Not my own personal music, just music in general.
Music is a very powerful form of media. Some would argue it is the most powerful form of media known today. I personally feel that way myself. How much more powerful is an intense, scary or even funny moment in a movie with the appropriate music to back it up? Ever watch a movie scene with the music removed? It’s just not the same.
Music has been the top selling form of media in the entire world, though unfortunately, it is on a decline due to streaming and piracy. Both of those are on the rise though, still keeping music to be the most used form of media in the world.
MUCH of the Bible is devoted to music. We have Psalms, we have Song Of Solomon, and plenty of other passages throughout the Bible that speak on the importance of music. In fact, even Lucifer himself started out as the chief of music. Unfortunately, he perverted it and fell from Heaven. More on that in a bit.
Many Christians feel that the only purpose for music is for Praising God. I am here to tell you that that is only one purpose, but far from the only purpose. Yep. Here are some examples:
Music can be used for Teaching. Think back when you were a kid. How many songs did you learn in school to teach you something? The ABCs for example. Sunday School songs as well. Even the apostle Paul recognized this in Colossians 3:16. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”
Music can be used for relaxation. Ever get a massage? How much more relaxing is it with the soft, gentle music playing in the background? I get about 1-2 massages a month due to my severe arthritis in my neck and back as the result of a motorcycle accident I had 25 some odd years ago. One time, the music player was broken, and it just wasn’t the same. I mentioned that to the therapist, and you know what she did? She took out her phone and loaded Pandora to play some music. Simple gesture, but much better. In 1 Samuel 16, young David is described as a cunning and skilled musician who, when he played, “refreshed” the King with his beautiful and wonderful music.
See, another positive effect of music. Praising God, teaching, relaxation, what other effects could it have, you may ask.
Did you know that there is even a reference in the Bible to music being used at a party? Yep! Gen. 31:27 says: [Jacob] Why did you flee away secretly and not tell me; that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs with [timbrel], and with a harp?” In other words, Laban would have thrown a party with music to celebrate and honor Jacob!
What about love songs? The greatest love song of all written by King Solomon is an entire book of the Bible. Song Of Solomon. So even Love songs are positive…when used correctly.
So see, music is much more than just worship, however, when used correctly, all of the above things, when used correctly have one thing in common. Whether they are used to praise, express joy, teach, celebrate, relax, express love, or even just to be entertaining, music is a gift from God, so ultimately, if we use it correctly, we are giving honor and glory to the creator of music. More from Ecclesiastes, (3:1, 4) “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under Heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (I always want to sing “Turn, Turn, Turn” when I read that passage).
Even for pure entertainment, music can be good. The word “recreation” literally means to re-create or even “renew”. God expects us and allows us time to be renewed. To chill, as it were. “EVERY (emphasis mine) good and perfect gift is from above…” – James 1:17a. Ecclesiastes 2:24 says “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.”
On the flip side, music can be used incorrectly in the exact same methods. Unfortunately, there are musicians out there that use music to give praise to their own selves, their twisted lifestyles, their gods, etc. Music can be used to teach incorrect things to people as well. You could literally teach a kid anything at all by setting it to music, even if what you are teaching is total hogwash. Ever listen to hard-core rap? (Some of) It teaches people how not to respect other people. Some music at parties can incite people’s behavior to be less than godly. Let’s not even talk about “love” songs (read “lust” songs) that are used inappropriately.
Some Christians will debate the styles of music as well, but I’m not one of them. I believe music (as a whole) was created by God. Jesus used contemporary means to teach people in His day, and I believe contemporary music fits that mold perfectly. In fact, “back in the day” as it were, the hymns that your grandparents and great-grandparents listened to and sang were put the contemporary music of the day, including bar songs. Doxology, for example. Many, many other examples too.
I believe it was God’s intention with the creation of music, to have it be used as a powerful and positive tool for us in all aspects of our lives, not just in church or for specifically to worship Him. However, understand that ultimately, if we are using it properly, it will give glory to God, and that is a form of worship. We can learn a lot from music. We can learn a lot from the examples in the Bible about music and we should strive to make music an important part of our lives.
Don’t get yourself caught up in the whole debate about what the right styles are, or if it’s “Christian” or “Secular.” The “ABC”s is a “secular” song. “Happy Birthday” is a secular song. They in no way dishonor God, but they are used in a way that it was designed. As long as the music is being used the way God intended it, it’s a positive thing.
I think I wrote a sermon. I know I probably lost some of you about the 2nd paragraph due to length, but if you read this far, I’d love to hear some comments.