Two members of the band Emery, Toby Morrell and Matt Carter, offer insightful and challenging views regarding music, church and their relationship with Christ. Check out their blog, Un-learning, for interesting thoughts and discussions. Here’s an example from their blog.
Here’s (10) Questions that I’d like to ask you.
First of all, let me say that I know for most of our readers, this is a non-issue. However, I often am still pretty surprised by folks who try to place on others their personal moral conviction of listening only to “christian music.”
Let me say this. For those of you that just flat out prefer listening to Christian music, you go on with your bad self. That’s quite fine by me and if it wasn’t, I’d need to mind my own business. I’ll say this too. I totally get when people don’t want to listen to anything but Christian. I won’t get into it here, but I would also bet a million that your approach to music is just plain different than mine.
I also think that when a lot of people think of “secular music,” there minds go straight to radio/pop culture crap that obnoxiously celebrates sin in a very “middle school-like” fashion. Although I certainly wouldn’t agree with some one’s position of deeming this stuff universally sinful, I don’t spend a lot of time listening to it, just because I think it’s pretty dumb.
For those of you that find “secular music” as something that Christians should avoid, I guess I’d like to give some healthy push-back. So, without further ado, here are my questions for you to reflect on:
1. Does God own all humans and all music or just the Christians and their music? Do unbelievers get talent from God too?
2. Think of some one approaching Jesus and saying, “Here is a link to my band. Will you check it out?” Could you imagine Him saying, “Is it Christian music? Otherwise, save yourself the effort. I only listen to music that is about me.”
3. What makes Christians Music “christian?” What if Beyonce sings a song about old-timey baptism and Jeremy Camp sings a song about romancing his wife after a week-long argument? Which one is more “Christian” in that case?
4. Are all the best song-writers and musicians Christian?
5. Are there such things as the “Christian NFL” and the “secular NFL?” Are you a Christian that watches the NFL? Whoa. You are supporting a lot of greed, sexual affairs, pride, idolatry, and just evil teams in general (i.e. Cowboys, Vikings). You may want to start a “Christian NFL” so you can keep watching pro football.
6. Are people sinning by listening to what unbelievers have to say? If so, think of all the people that you have to tune out from now on. Sports announcers that aren’t giving a “Christian perspective” of the game and the weather man who doesn’t attribute all weather to God are just two examples.
This also, I might add, is a GREAT way to find common ground with those that are lost. Just don’t listen to anything they have to say. That last statement was sarcastic.
7. Can we learn something for our personal benefit, from people that do not know Jesus as their Savior? Hmm. I know a dang good plumber that doesn’t unclog toilets for Jesus.
8. What/who, other than Jesus, distinguishes Christians from the rest of the world? Three answers on this one: 1. The Son of Man 2. God’s Son. 3. The King of Kings. Oh, snap! Them be all descriptions of Jesus.
9. Are we under the letter of the law anymore? (Wait! There never was a commandment that restricts us to listen only to Christian music).
10. Do you really want to give up listening to Lady GaGa? Umm. Maybe not the best example.
*closing thought. Although I reckon my taste of worship music is likely different from the current mainstream “worship music pop culture,” which puts out a lot of dang good stuff, I do have times when I want to listen to “worship music” that is specifically about Jesus. As a matter of fact, I tend to see music in two categories: music that I directly worship God to and music that I enjoy while indirectly worshipping God. There is indeed a special place in my heart for music that is written specifically to praise King Jesus. There is also a special place in my heart for eating bread and drinking wine that represents the body and blood of Jesus, and at the same time, you know I can kill me some wings too while giving God the glory for Wild Wings!