Music: A Devastating Weapon of the Devil
There Is Great Joy to be Found In Music
Notes From A Morning With My Lord
When I read my Bible in the morning, my mind in Christ takes me on a journey. Whether it be strength for the day, deeper insight into a particular passage or thoughts concerning a current study; I write down my thoughts for later perusal. I came across the following in one of my journals from a few years back and I literally (sans editing) wrote:
"Just as I Am", a great old hymn that spoke of God calling sinful men to Himself just as they "were". The devil very cleaverly deceived the church in America by the "Jesus" movement among the youth in the 60's into the 70's. They came among with a new mantra, "now that I am saved (questionable), I can live and worship just I am. Wrong, wrong, wrong! A new life in in Christ means to grow in faith, righteousness and obedience to the Word. But the new "young" approach was to keep portions of their "old" life because "that was who they were". Little or no change followed the majority but the churches became filled with immodesty in dress, music shifted from God centered to "I" centered and people who held to doctrines of purity and self-control were and are mocked today, even from the pulpits. Those who once esteemed within the church as being excellent testimonies of a Christ-like life are being replaced by immature youth whose walks are questionable. Too many churches are a sham and a shame to the name of Jesus."
Whatever passage I read that morning unleashed a torrent of emotions concerning the following; music, something that is very dear to my heart and should be to all true Christians.
Winning The Battle
Welcome to the War Zone
The secular society of the historical world understood that music was not without danger and that it is a formidable power within itself.
- Plato - "When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state change with them."
Have we noticed any changes in our music in the last 30 or so years and if so have we noticed any change in our "fundamental" laws? (Nothing new: Ecclesiastes 1:9)
- Plato again - "Through foolishness they deceived themselves into thinking there was no right or wrong in music - that it was to be judged good or bad by the pleasure it gave ...as it was not music but a reputation for promiscuous cleverness and a spirit of law breaking," Wow!
- Aristotle - "Music has the power to form character." Note: he wanted the state to regulate music because he saw the power in it. I believe the millennium will be a perfect example of "state" regulated music.
- Vladimir Lenin - "One quiet way to destroy society (the church) is through its music."
Even today's National Review stated - "Rock music is the most pervasive culture shaper today."
- A recent study shows that the average teenager in America listens to12,000 hours of music, twice that of the time spent in school.
- Do you ever catch yourself humming a "catchy" advertising jingle? I wonder what the advertisers know about the power of music.
- The wealth of today's musicians is staggering, even in the "Christian" side of the aisle.
- Did you know that studies have shown that plants grow better when subjected to good music but not so with the pop music of today.
- Dr. Nistee, a musicologist, stated - "Music is really a powerful drug. Music can poison you, lift your spirit or make you sick, without you knowing why."
We are Made in His Image.
Music - Made in the Image of God
Just as God made man in His image with body, soul and spirit; music is made up of three parts:
- Body - melody, the outward appearance, that which is easy to duplicate.
- Soul- harmony, that which gives the music its personality whether good or evil.
- Spirit - rhythm, that unseen element that gives the music its life.
Adam's spirit died the day he partook of the forbidden fruit and every person born since has been filling that void in their own lives with whatever makes them feel good as long as it is not God. Praise God for his intervention into our headlong plunge towards an eternity of deserved torment.
- Do not be deceived, adding godly lyrics to bad music does not make it good or acceptable. The secular know that lyrics in themselves have a much smaller effect upon a person than does that of the music.
- Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good behavior. We cannot walk through a mud puddle and make it cleaner by our efforts; it remains the same and now, we are filthy.
- The Truth is always 100% complete within itself: mix in a little lie, no matter how small and the whole becomes a LIE. The next time you are in a hardware store, stop and read the ingredients on a can of rat poison; you will find that the ingredient that kills is probably about the size of a grain of sand as compared to the rest of the recipe on the can. It doesn't take much.
Johann Sebastian Bach
We Are Not To Emulate The World
- J.S. Bach - "The primary end of all music is to give glory to God." His music manuscripts began with J.J. (Jesu Juva - Help me, Jesus) and ended with S.D.G. (Soli Deo Gloria - to God alone) He also said of music written specifically for worship, "Where there is devotional music, God is always at hand with His gracious presence."
- Luther - "Musics only purpose should be for the glory of God and the recreation of the human spirit."
- G.F. Handel concerning The Messiah stated - "It pleased the Almighty to whose great holy will I submit myself with Christian submission." When he heard the Hallelujah Chorus performed, he wept like a child and exclaimed, "He (God) is the master of us all."
- F.J. Hayden told a friend, "When I was working on The Creation, I felt so impregnated with the divine certainty, that before sitting down to the piano, I would quietly and confidently pray to God to grant me the talent that was needed to praise Him worthily."
Let us ask ourselves some introspective questions:
- Are our children more attentive, obedient and spiritually minded when listening to their music or even your congregational music?
- Does the music cause me to worship God or be taken by the talent of the performer?
- Does the world know that I serve a living Savior because of my music? A young pastor friend of mine was taken aback while working at grocery store while in school, when he was talking (witnessing) with a regular customer. The young customer had no desire to attend a church mainly because their music was no different from his and of lessor quality. The world is not deaf and lot of today's Christian music blends right in.
- Do I have to rationalize my music to another Christian?
Every mother knows the power of a lullaby. Most every one of us can relate to music soothing the raging beast within and sadly to heightening our depression or anger.
Do we have the "liberty" to dress like, act like and sound like the world in order to reach the world? Romans 12:1-2 "I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." The biblical answer is NO, but this falls upon far too many deaf ears.
My Personal Observations
All music lyrics we listen to and participate in should never contradict the Word of God.
- Love within marriage.
- Others before self.
- You would not be ashamed to sing or play it in the physical presence of Christ.
All instrumental music with or without lyrics we listen to and participate in should:
- Not offend a brother or sister in Christ.
- Bring order to ours and others lives, not disorder.
- Be distinctively different from the current rebellious generation's music.
- Produce fruit according to the Scriptures.
- Produce peace, a peace that the world cannot give.
The church has bought the lie of the Devil, that music is basically amoral. Thus we have filled our homes, our cars and our children's heads with the fast acting drug of lethargy into our lives.
- Today's Christian musicians are sensual and worldly in appearance and life style. There is a lot of money exchanging hands: I wonder how much Bach and the majority of the hymnal writers earned from their efforts. Wealth beyond imagination: in heaven.
- They preach with their music easy believism and a shallow Gospel.
- The majority of the youth of today when they depart home for their own journey into life are not pursuing a godly lifestyle as was the case a generation past.
- The fruit of this kind of music is psychology replacing the sufficiency Christ and His Word: It is okay to be like the world and the American churches' testimony has almost disappeared.