Can Music be Evil, Are Christians in Danger
Can some music be evil without even words?
Music of the Maker
Pastor Andrew Grosjean
I. Positive (vs. passive) nature of all music
Music is not a neutral thing. It has a positive nature. It is not something that just happens to you. It is something you make. It is the result of an action. Because an action creates it, it is a fruit that we can judge. God tells us that every deed, every action will be judged. Jesus said, Matthew 7:20 “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” God will judge our words. Words are the fruits of choices and actions. Music is also.
A. We will give account of every action
1. Rom. 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
2. Matt. 12:36 “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
We will give account for every word. We will even give account for every idle word. Do really think that you will not give an acount for the music you make and listen to.
B. The fellow Christian.
We have a responsibility to do what is right for our brothers and sisters. Our music can help or harm our fellow saints.
1. Will it help? Eph. 5:19 “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”
2. Or will it harm? I Thes. 4:3 “For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 That no [man] go beyond and defraud his brother in [any] matter: because that the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.”
This word “defraud” is means to cheat or steal. It is obvious from the passage that Paul was talking about cheating our brothers or sisters by exposing them to temptation. If we cause our brothers to be tempted to sin, the Lord will avenge them. This is an important thing to understand when it comes to music. Music is such an inherent thing to man. Often we do not realize its effects or its powers. People use music to get people into all sorts of different kinds of moods. There is a power to it. We need to make sure that we do not use music to encourage people to do wrong.
C. Satan’s work (musical clothes) Eze. 28:13 “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared.”
We see from this passage that Satan was created with music as an intrinsic attribute of his person. Just like we are musical, so Satan was also created as a musical creature. Is it any wonder that Satan would find a way to use music to help the sons of man to turn from the Creator as Satan himself did? It makes perfect sense that Satan would use music just like he uses all his other attributes to lead men astray. We see that Satan does use music for his ends today just as he did in Daniel 3:7 and before.
1. Will help Satan’s work? Dan. 3:7 “Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down [and] worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.”
2. Or harm Satan’s work? I Sam. 16:23 “And it came to pass, when the [evil] spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”
If there is a music that will hamper Satan’s work in a person’s life, it is only logical that there is music that will help Satan. Which is the type of music that you use? Are you addicted to your worldly music? Are you able to be caught up with the spirit of the ancient hymns that shaped the generations before us for hundreds of years? If hymns were so beautiful and powerful for the saints for literally hundreds of years (for some of them, and for some even longer) why can you not enjoy that music? It was relevant and powerful for all that time. Why is it not relevant or powerful now? I will dare to declare that it is because you are addicted to something that makes the godly songs boring to you.
II. Purpose of music Eph. 5:19 “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”
Some people listen to bankrupt music because they do not understand what the purpose of music is. Most people think that when it comes to music, they can do whatever they want. But what did God make music for? Some people think that music can be a soul winning tool. But does authorize that anywhere?
A. To Praise God Ps. 28:7; 33:3; 40:3; 28:7; 69:30; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1; Isa. 42:10.
B. To strengthen saints Ps. 42:8
C. To show Savior (as our song). Ex. 15:2 “The LORD [is] my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he [is] my God, and I will prepare him a habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.” Ps. 118:14 “The LORD [is] my strength and song, and is become my salvation.” Isa. 12:2
D. For Spiritual Warfare I Sam. 16:23
Well, if God does not say that we can use music to do soul-winning, how are we supposed to do it? I Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
III. The Parts and Proportions of Music
There are four dimensions to music. These are melody, harmony, rhythm, and words. It can be seen that each of these parts can influence man. Man has different dimensions as well. The proportions of the music’s dimensions can influence or encourage certain sides of man’s nature.
A. Music affects the three part man I Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Melody affects the Spirit
2. Harmony affects the Soul
3. Rhythm affects the Body
4. Words affects all above through the Mind
We see that the harmony easily affects the soul. If you have music that is highly harmonic, it is plain to see how it can lift your soul or depress it. The body is clearly engaged when an artist uses strong rhythms. This is true when the rhythm is healthy or unhealthy. Obviously, the words can affect all the parts of man though the mind. That just leaves us the melody. Well, God tells us which part that affects in Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Spiritual songs are melody predominant.
B. Music affects the four part, or four faculties of the soul in
1. Melody affects the Will
2. Harmony affects the Emotions
3. Rhythm affects the Self-awareness (the social part)
4. Words affects the Mind
While we see the trichotomy of man, there are also the four dimensions of the soul. These four dimensions are faculties. Each of these faculties empowers man with abilities for existence. Our discussion is already to large to deal with these faculties in an in-depth manner in this discussion. But each dimension has a direct to the faculties of the soul. Below, we explore some examples of how the proportions of music affect the soul’s faculties. Whichever dimension of music is strongest, this dimension will correspondingly strengthen the dominance of that faculty of the soul. While it is clear the people often orient themselves to different faculties of their soul, we want to have proper music that will help us to keep our internal balance.
IV. The Power of Music
Music has great power. We see that in the huge industry in America. There is hardly any industry that is not touched by music. Education recognizes the power to improve learning skills that music bring to the school. Medicine today has admitted that music can help healing in all. It can strengthen the continuing development of babies. Entertainment is inextricably linked with music. Almost every industry admits the power of music to persuade in that almost every advertisement has music as a component.
But how is the power of music being used in our lives. What kind of musical diet do you have?
A. Music has the power to stir up sensuality. I Jn. 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
1. Immoral lusts
a. Exo. 32:6 “And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”
b. Exo. 32:17 “And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, [There is] a noise of war in the camp. 18 And he said, [It is] not the voice of [them that] shout for mastery, neither [is it] the voice of [them that] cry for being overcome: [but] the noise of [them that] sing do I hear. 19 ¶ And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing. . .”
Have you never wondered why certain musical styles have always had lust, greed, pride, and rebellion as part of their entourage? Certain types of music always have these things, they are chained together. Christians that have been addicted to the world’s music think that they can bring the world’s song into their heart and church. But we see the attitudes of the music play out even in the lives of these well intentioned musicians. As a pastor, I get advertisements all the time of “Christian Musicians” at the church. I am repeatedly surprised at the look on the faces of these musicians that are supposed to have the joy of the Lord. They try to sing the music of people that are bitter, prideful, and licentious. Then they change the words, and expect Christians to rejoice in it. If you tell a lie long enough, people will believe it. But we wonder why Christians have such a divorce rate. Why is there such a suicide rate among those that say they know the Lord? Music is not the only factor, but it is a factor!
B. Music has the power to strengthen Satan’s work.
1. Enticements (making evil look good)
2. Entries (into the occult) (Exo. 32:19)
Music has the power to strengthen the spirit Eph. 5:19 “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”
Misuses of Music Proportions
1. A-rhythmic Chants Ps. 150:4 “Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.” (Ps. 149:3)
a. No rhythm.
b. Discourages the body.
c. Feels dead
2. Rhythmic Chants Pro. 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.”
a. Is used in black arts.
b. No melody,
c. Closes down the critical functions of the will
d. Stupifies the mind through empty repetition
e. Causes a type of hypnotic state.
3. Blues Phi. 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.” (Ps. 89:15; 98:6)
a. Was born out of black arts’ music
b. Emphasizes despair harmonies and rhythm
c. Encourages depression
d. Encourages physical appetites
e. Often the message is depressing
a. Born out of black arts and Blues music.
b. Emphasizes sensual harmonies and rhythm
c. Encourages emotionalism
d. Encourages physical appetites
5. Rock, pop
a. Was born of black arts, Blues, and Jazz.
b. Emphasizes Rhythm and shallow repetitive harmonies.
c. Encourages physical appetites
d. Encourages party atmosphere. (Rom. 13:11-14)
e. It often increases the aggression of listeners. James 1:19-20 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” (Pro. 14:17; 21:19; 22:24)
f. The imbalance in the music causes addiction.
i. I Cor. 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
ii. I Cor. 10:23 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”
6. Country Music
a. Modern country music is strongly influenced by rock/pop rhythms.
b. Has the same sensual rhythms
c. Has often an immoral and or depressing message
d. Sliding notes of encourages insecurity and sensuality.
7. New age (harmony music, discordant rhythms)
a. Born of eastern mysticism
b. Much is influenced by the rhythms of the west and of rock and roll.
c. It emphasizes emotions and experience
d. Repetition and no words discourages critical thinking and reasoning.
e. Discordant rhythms discourage organization and encourage chaos of mind.
8. Rap, hip hop, etc. (rhythm, words)
a. Born directly out of black magic chants with some rock and pop influence.
b. It increases the aggression of listeners. (James 1:19-20; Pro. 14:17; 21:19; 22:24)
c. It is highly addictive.
d. It shuts down higher mental functions while unifying people around the message of the words.
Practical Suggestions in Avoiding Musical Defilement
Eph. 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them]. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
I. Be Sensitive.
A. To entertainment. What kind of music is coming into your home and into your mind?
4. Video Games
B. Be Sensitive in Dining and other public places. You can ask the manager to turn down offensive music. They want your business. They will accommodate you most of the time if you only tell them that something might discourage you from returning.
C. Be sensitive of what you expose your family to. What one generation accepts in moderation, the next embraces to excess.
II. Change what is heard.
A. Do not go where you know that worldly music is integral to the event (worldly parties, dances, bars).
B. Beware of movie theaters. Short of walking out of an offensive movie, you have no control over what they pump into your mind.
C. Use the mute button for at-home entertainment. The first words of one of my children were, “Turn it up!” So, often is that phrase heard in my home.
D. In public businesses (restaurants, etc.), ask manager to lower or turn off music that is offensive. You are a customer. If they want your business, they should respect your sensibilities like they do other groups of people.
III. Inform others.
A. Respectfully inform other Christians if they are exposing you to music that you feel convicted about.
B. Teach your family to recognize and properly react to unfruitful music. I Cor. 10:23 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”
C. Listen to good balanced music.
1. In your car.
2. In your home.
3. Your family is listening.
Do not give more information than you should. Matt. 7:6 “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
pictrure by Andrew Grosjean
Is there Neutral Music?
The Bible says that God will judge every act, whether it is good or evil. There is no room for neutral. Matthew 12:36 "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."
If we give an account for even "idle" words(dare I say neutral words), we will give account for every thing whether we think it is neutral or not. Writing a book is an act. Painting a picture is an act. Playing a song on a harp or a guitar is an act. God does not call actions "neutral." Making music is an act and must be classified as good or bad.
If it is good, then listen to it. If it is bad, then do not. Where do you draw the line? God says that Spiritual songs are melodious.
Ephesians 5:19 "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"
When it comes down to it, music is spiritual, you cannot deny it. After all Lucifer was created a musical being. So, you will have to determine your musical standards by faith and humility. But, I have never heard a melodious rap "song." Most pop music, even the types that have some semblance of melody are not really led by the melody. I would not listen to that music whether it has the name "Christian" any more than I would take "Christian crack" cocaine.