The Arts

Loving God with All Your...Music?

GuitarDetermining what music is or is not appropriate for the Christian is a hard nut to crack. We’ve all heard of the “Worship Wars” that have been going on for decades (and, it could be argued, even going back to the Reformation), and the rise of fundamentalism this past century has really escalated the issue.

In separating from the world, fundamentalists have taken measures to build a defense of their music standards, but sometimes that defense comes across as somewhat abrasive. Instead of shooting other sheep in the flock, is it possible to reach a level of cordiality among Christians of different backgrounds? Here are a few principles that I believe can help us determine what kind of music is appropriate for the personal lives of Christians.

1. Be committed to whatever the Bible requires

If all of our thoughts are to be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5), then there’s not a square inch of real estate in our lives that is available for rent. Even in our private lives, we need to be concerned about what God wants in worship, because every act is to be an act of glorifying God (1 Cor. 10:31). There’s no time that is truly “me time” during which we can unplug ourselves from our dedication to Christ.

Having made that somewhat obvious point, I have a hard time deriving many specifics from the Bible regarding musical choices. I hate to rain on the I-get-my-personal-music-standards-from-the-Bible parade, but the truth is that the Bible has more than 600 vague references to music, and none at all to musical styles. We know that some music can refresh our spirits (1 Sam. 16), and maybe the case can be made that some music can make sounds similar to that of war (Ex. 32). But does any of that information give us guidance for particular styles? I would say no, though there are several other points that can guide our thinking on this issue.

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Piper: "We live in an age where we tend to default to the world for entertainment."

Do You Glorify God in Your Movie Watching?

To just sit and bask in nudity, or bask in fifty f-words, or bask in a world view that is shot through with arrogance to the core, and enjoy it? Hmm. That seems to point to something going on in the heart … I think the main thing I’m saying there is, test your heart as to whether entertainment is defaulting to the world, or to something more wholesome.

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Musician teaches young girls that modest is hottest

“After I started selling those [“modest is hottest” ] shirts, I realized that girls weren’t just buying it because they wanted a cute T-shirt or a souvenir … . They really wanted to support that it’s possible to live a life of modesty that pleases God and still look cute and trendy.” Baptist Standard

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