As a lover of music, this is something I have wrestled with for a little bit. If you are familiar with the way I write, sometimes I incorporate music into my storytelling, because at that particular time, a song might just do a better job of passing the message across. I was asked this question by a friend of mine recently as she was trying to find out if it was okay for Christians to listen to and sing along with secular music.
She had just done an amazing cover of a popular song and took it down, because she wasn’t feeling great about it. She was not sure if she was led by the Spirit of God to delete the cover, or by her own uncertainty about the issue. Let’s start off by defining the word secular, before diving into today’s matter. Secular simply means anything that is not connected to spiritual and religious matters.
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Now as a Christian who is also a creative, I express myself more through my art, which is writing. Be it if I am expressing my love for God, or tackling a social issue, I do it or enjoy doing it through writing, and I share that with the world. Now someone who has the gift of singing (even if I still don’t understand why God didn’t bless me with a voice) (insert eye roll here) , they express themselves through songs, and before that song is shared with the world, they also go through a creative process of song writing.
They share from their experiences, just as I share from mine, they are great story tellers, just like anyone who is a creative writer, script/screen writer or an author is. Singing is just another form of storytelling.
I might see something happening on the streets, and decide to shed more light on that topic through writing, while a singer does that through their songs. Now this is not to negate the fact that there are songs out there, which are outright against the ways of the Lord, that a Christian should be mindful of; songs that promote sexual promiscuity or immorality, depression, profanity, violence, disrespect, drugs, alcoholism, abuse, and all sorts of evil. I try as much as possible to stay away from those types of songs, no matter how good the beat might sound, because it is only a matter of time, before we start feeling depressed or doing certain things that are out of character.
Now when I listen to lyrics of songs I used to jam to back in the day, I’m like—“oh-oh, this ain’t right.” I remember one of Maroon 5’s songs, and the chorus went something like this—“I am in misery, there ain’t nobody who can comfort me, why won’t you answer me, your silence is slowly killing me..” and I used to rock out to it, singing out loud that I was in misery, although the song had great tune, I sure did not want to be miserable.
I understand they were singing about heartbreak and things of that sort, but for me confessing those words, especially during a heartbreak (because we know how we love to listen to heartbreak songs, when we are heartbroken) wasn’t going to make me feel any better. And not wanting to let go of the person, isn’t healthy; nobody should have such a stronghold on you, so we have to be careful of what we sing or confess.
There are also great musicals out there like the greatest showman, sound of music, and beautiful songs about love; to me all those are just expression of the arts, telling beautiful stories about life and experiences. I still believe it is God who has given people the creative genius to come up with things like that. Not everyone is going to become a worship leader in church; your gift of singing can be expressed in different forms, as long as it doesn’t go against the word of God, glorifies God and you bring a certain level of excellence to your work, that is how people would see God in you. (This is for the listener and the artists, who are believers and struggle with this as well). The Bible says that all creation testify that God exists.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1
When you see a luscious garden, a breathtaking beach, the ocean and some scenery we are still yet to experience, all of those tell of God’s existence in a way that cannot be quantified by words. When I see how colorful some animals are, I always say to myself that this God is so creative! He just loves to have fun with it. Even just imagining how diverse we all are as humans; He expresses his creativity in many different ways.
How about other forms of entertainment or work?
So if we are concerned about secular music, how about movies, and series and television shows, which showcase different things, without necessarily saying God’s name out loud? Does that mean he is not in the mix? How about sports and the “secular” jobs we work? Is everyone a pastor or a paid worker in the church? Of course not. Where do we draw the line? Or is music the only issue?
For me at the end of the day, it boils down to what God is calling you to let go off, and as a Christian who is an artist, who doesn’t necessarily sing worship songs for profit, what message you are trying to pass across. Is your message edifying? Does it add value to people? Does it glorify you, or do people see Christ in you no matter what?
I can’t really tell people to pick and choose, if God is telling you let go of certain types of songs, then just be obedient. Everybody’s journey is different (not referring to the things that we all have to adhere to as believers) since the Bible doesn’t explicitly say if we should back off completely, I think we should just be Spirit led.
So should a Christian rock out to secular music (not talking about the obvious ones oh, that refer to women as hoes & bitches, and promote all sorts. Please excuse my French), that is something you should resolve with the Master Himself. The entirety of this article is just my opinion.
Here are some useful scriptures that might help with this matter
1 Corinthians 6:12
Philippians 4:8 and Ecclesiastes 7:5 (this one had me laughing)
Let’s talk about it— what are your thoughts on this matter? Drop a comment below, and also remember to like, share and subscribe never to miss an update.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.