What Does the Bible Say About Music? What Should We Listen To?

by Jack Wellman on March 10, 2012 · Print Print · Email Email

Some like Rock and Roll, others like the traditional church hymns.  Still others choose more contemporary Christian worship songs, while some choose the near-heavy metal Christian rock.  What does the Bible say about a believer’s choice of Christian music and secular music?  Are there some principles and guidelines a believer can follow or are there liberties or grace that allows Christians to listen to what they like?

To Each His Own

I had a former pastor of a traditional and very conservative Southern Baptist church that loved contemporary Christian rock music to worship with.  He also loved Molley Hatchet – a heavy dose of Rock and Roll.  Some of the church members criticized him for his love of Rock and Roll music. Were they right?

Let me tell you what I like to listen to.  Just about anything and everything – up to a point.  I choose carefully what the lyrics say. If the lyrics or words of a song are full of sinful meanings and sing about (thus glorify) things that are clearly wrong in the Bible then I do not listen to them.  Saying this, I love Led Zeppelin.  Even though I am a pastor I still love Rock and Roll.  Yet my favorite song is Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.  I have eclectic tastes (eclectic, means a variety of different styles).  My favorite Christian bands are Kutless, Skillet, and Casting Crowns but I still love the old Christian hymns like Amazing Grace and What a Friend We Have in Jesus.  Am I wrong to listen to such a variety?  Is it wrong for a Christian to listen to Rock and Roll?  I believe there is room for grace.

What Does The Bible Say About Music?

We need to give others room for personal preference.

Everything is Permissible

Paul had difficulties with the church at Corinth.  They were too quick to judge others on things where grace should have abounded.  Instead of church members settling things between themselves in a Christian manner or bringing the matter before the church, they were suing one another in court.  They were getting into fierce arguments over things which should never have been brought to a judge.  The witness of Christ was hurt over such wrangling.  Paul was upset with the church at Corinth and said, “If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases” (I Cor 6:1-2)?  Instead of settling these issues with one another, “one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers” (1 Cor 6:6).

Paul was saying that “everything was permissible” for him yet not everything was beneficial (1 Cor 6:12). The context was sexual immorality but also what foods were to be eaten and what was to be abstained from.   Paul was saying that grace should abound.  Some were judging others for things that were not sin to them. For some, eating meats that were left over from that sacrificed to idols were okay – for others, it was an offensive thing.  These two groups were often judging one another but with the wrong motives.  Paul was not happy about such judgments of others over what they simply ate.  He told the church at Rome to “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.  One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand” (Rom 14:1-4).

Avoid Stumbling Blocks

I believe the same principle should apply to believers who listen to Christian or secular music.  If someone loves only the old hymns and detests the new Christian rock, they should not try to impose their beliefs – their personal preference – upon others who like it.  They may like more contemporary Christian’s songs to worship with or even Rock and Roll or Country and Western or…   The converse should also apply.  Those who like the contemporary music or more modern worship music should not judge those who like the more traditional Christian hymns or secular music.  As long as the lyrics do not glorify sin there should be no cause for offense from either party.  There must be room for grace.  As Paul said, “For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.  If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Rom 14:7-8).  He says, “why do you judge your brother or sister.  Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat (Rom 14:10).

Paul concludes, “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister” (Rom 14:12-13).  For example, if we are going to travel with a Christian brother or sister who prefers the older style of Christian or contemporary music, don’t put on your heavy-metal-sounding Christian Rock while in the car with them.  We make it a stumbling block to them if we do.  This is sin.  If they are distressed over the music you listen to, just turn of the CD or radio and spend the time talking and don‘t “destroy someone for whom Christ died” (Rom 14:15).  “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Rom 14:19) and don’t “do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall” (Rom 14:21).  As Paul said, “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves” (Rom 14:22).

In All Things Charity

A good and godly principle was written long ago by a distinguished 19th century church historian, Philip Schaff that is as relevant today as in the day that it was written: “In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity.” We need to give others room for personal preference.  You have heard the old joke from the Blues Brothers movie that one guy grew up listening to only two kinds of music: Country and Western.  Not everyone has the same background nor do they have the same tastes but to everyone, liberty.  In the essentials of Christian doctrine, let there be unity.  In the non-essential (like music and food), let there be liberty, but in all things let there be charity (which is another word for love).  We do not need to judge others for their behavior unless it is sin that affects the church.  We can not condemn others for their choice of foods that they eat (even though it may not be good for them). Neither should we judge one another for their tastes in worship or secular music.  We must allow them to be…them!  They are them…and we are not!  Confusing sounding sentence yes, but the meaning is to allow people to be themselves – in a godly context.  We wouldn’t want others to choose the music for us to listen too…so neither should we insist that others like what we like listen to. If it is a non-essential, let there be liberty.

Again, the lyrics or words are important.  I will not listen to sinful lyrics or words that condone sin or are anti-God but I like Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Boston, Beethoven, Kutless, and Casting Crowns…and I’m not apologizing for it.  Neither should you for what you listen to.  And what you listen too is none of my business, for there is liberty in the Body of Christ for non-essentials.

What Is Your Favorite Music? Share With Us In The Comments!

Another Article You Might Be Interested In Is:

15 Uplifting Christian Songs

Resources:

New International Version Bible
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide



Share this post:  |  |  |  | Twitter

{ 170 comments… read them below or add one }

Micheal June 5, 2013 at 9:44 am

I have Christian family members that have family gatherings . They allow the family members and friends to drink alcohol play there blues music in the yard , As long as they don’t bring the alcohol inside the home. I’ve felt uncomfortable about doing , but I have allow it to happen even at my home once . Is this permissible or not ?

Reply

Jack Wellman June 5, 2013 at 10:31 am

Hello Michael. From what I understand, most blues music is not very edifying from a Christian’s standpoint. I believe this is a bad witness to those who are not saved and to those children of Christian parents. It seems to be compromising. What is the difference between allowing alcohol only in the yard but not in the home? Is there some imaginary line at the threshold of the home? I do not like it personally. I think it sets a bad example but mostly for this reason: That the lyrics of the blues music are likely not very Christian and they may actually condone sin. Does this make sense sir? Personally, I would not attend it.

Reply

Karitsa June 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm

ok, i used to listen to non-christian music by artist who i thought looked innocent and could not be evil behind closed doors. But my family has looked and found signs that these artist worship the other side of my faith but the lyrics speak about happiness and beauty is POP music ok? even if the artist is in a secret evil conspiracy?

Reply

Jack Wellman June 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Thank you Karitsa for your question. I see no problem with music that sings about happiness and beauty for that is part of God’s creation but if that artist in in a secret evil society, then I would have my doubts. What secret society is this? Regardless, if the lyrics or words do not sing about or approve of sin or sinful activities, I see no real issue but it is getting harder and harder to find non-Christian music that can deliver that. Did I answer to your satisfaction? Otherwise, let your conscience guide you…if it doesn’t feel right, then to them it is sin.

Reply

SSh July 5, 2013 at 9:39 am

Hi there, Sir, a very nice article!

Personally, I have listened to the most extreme metal music that exists, throughout my adolescence, most of which directly attacks Christianity (or in fact any religion). But I feel so blessed to have gotten out of that phase and have started to listen to soothing and soft Christian songs. Praise the Lord!

Still, when I look back and speak, I say such music very much provokes you to abandon God. But still, I feel good to find instances as this; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVdGR3PtVT8

In His service, SSh

Reply

Mike August 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I listen to the most extreme of music since I was 13, extreme as in artful expressions of humans. From experimental rock, ambient, hip-hop, electronic, free jazz, and beyond, I’ve listened to it all. I must stress that I still have a very prominent connection to God and I absolutely despise some of the musicianship of Christian Rock or hymns, they are mediocre and I only want the best in artistry.

Just putting that out there.

Reply

Jack Wellman August 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Thank you Mike for your comment. I would say that just as those who love the Christian Rock and old hymns may not like your music and you obviously don’t like theirs, I would think “despise” is a strong word. There is nothing wrong with the old hymns or Christian rock. I do have concerns about your acceptance of secular or worldly music because what goes into the mind can end up in the heart. Some of the lyrics are about sinful things and these are not befitting for a Christian…that is if you are a Christian…which I do not know.

Reply

Whitney Weeks October 1, 2013 at 2:08 am

I recently stumbled upon your article a few months after you published it.

I have a few questions:
Is listening to love songs like Mariah Carey sinful?

I love Classical music is it bad? A lot of classical musician have lyrics that talks about God like Requiem of Mass in D minor.

Reply

Gordon G. October 1, 2013 at 10:22 am

I’ve struggled back-and-forth with listening to secular Pop and Rock, then, Christian Rock and Pop vs. Godly Worship and Classical Music, for years, since 1986. Grew up loving secular Rock and Pop music. I have maybe 18 secular (mp3) songs, Pop songs, now in my repertoir. They are decent lyrics with very low-profile, ballad-like melodies. No brash drumming nor thumping bass in any. E.g. “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright” by Simon & Garfunkel. But, I rarely listen to those songs, now. But, mostly I listen to some Worship and Classical Music. Mainly J.S. Bach, A. Vivaldi, G. F. Handel, C. Debussy, a little W.A. Mozart and Haydn. My understanding is that J.S. Bach was a God-fearing man, (not ‘perfect’) but, he honoured GOD, and I try to listen to alot of his Compositions. I would say, “blindly” that the worst Classical composition would be better than most secular and Chistian even, Pop and Rock music. Just some points to consider, maybe.

Reply

Jack Wellman October 1, 2013 at 10:44 am

Amen Gordon. I too love J.S. Bach, A. Vivaldi, G. F. Handel, C. Debussy, a little W.A. Mozart and Haydn but would also add Beethoven. Great comment. Thank you sir.

Reply

J.M.M. March 18, 2014 at 12:34 pm

You can’t forget Shostakovich!

Reply

Jack Wellman October 1, 2013 at 10:43 am

I believe as long as music does not glorify or sing about sinful activities there is nothing inherently wrong. Classical music makes me worshipful in spirit by the way. Music like Beethoven in particular and it is important to note that much of the older Classical music were composed for this purpose and many were Christians who wanted to glorify God in their music. To glorify God is the main purpose of God’s creating us. Thank you Whitney.

Reply

Whitney W October 1, 2013 at 11:10 am

Thank you for the replies!

Reply

Jim October 1, 2013 at 9:01 am

If you are truly a Holy Spirit filled believer then your desire will be God Almighty and nothing else. God says we are to have pure hearts and listening to secular music even CCM leads you away from God. Satan is the great deceiver and very subtle that most don’t even see it. Jesus says we are not to be like the world! He can’t be any clearer! God bless!

Reply

Linda Kardamis October 14, 2013 at 7:59 am

Yes, I agree that there will be differences of opinion on this issue but that the principles of Romans 14 must apply.

I think the key question we all need to ask ourselves about music is “Does it bring me closer to God or draw me away from Him?” That’s the real issue. – and the answer may be different for different people.

I wrote an article about this (and helping teens navigate these decisions) here:
http://teach4theheart.com/2013/10/14/guiding-teens-to-choose-good-music/

Reply

jim October 14, 2013 at 8:32 am

Yes Linda I agree there will be differences of opinion but God doesn’t want our opinion He wants us to follow Him- be pure in heart- obey him and not follow what the world does or thinks.
Here’s an article thats a great read, please take a moment.
Ex-Worship Leader: Why I Left the CCM Movement 

http://www.babylonforsaken.com/whyileftccm.html

Reply

Bey November 5, 2013 at 4:29 am

You cannot say that as long as music does not glorify or sing about sinful activities there is nothing inherently wrong.I totally disagree with that,because before talking you’ve got to be refered to the bible,where God says seek him first.But those “ungodly” music are just trying to mislead us,and most artists have sold their sold to the devil for the wealth of this world.And as you said ala the music is not sinful,what do u think about umbrella of Rihanna?lots of technical word,and some sings it without knowing they’re worshiping the devil.I believe as we are christian we should be the light of this world and not conformed ourselves.Because those people singing about other thing than God are not yet born again,they prefer sing for the things of this world instead of God who gave his life for us not to live by ourselves but for him.w

Reply

Blake Johnson July 13, 2014 at 9:59 am

Bey, I strongly disagree with your statement that most artists have sold their souls to the devil for wealth. You cannot be judging people like that. That is strongly prohibited in the Bible. I’m not saying you can’t point out someone’s actions or beliefs as wrong, but do you realize how massive of a judgment call you are making on people you don’t even know? To make a blanket statement like that and presume something so dire on people you don’t even know personally is NOT Christlike and will NOT win any souls to God. Beliefs like that only make the problems in this world worse, not better.

Reply

Lily November 25, 2013 at 6:55 am

Hello, Thank you so much for this article! It was really good. Question: What would be a good argument to Christians who think that watching/listening to -anything- is okay as long as they aren’t tempted? Or feel they are strong enough to withstand it?

It’s so hard to believe one thing, then hear strong Christians say those things, and not being able to convince them. We are all subject to our own interpretations!

Reply

jim November 25, 2013 at 8:33 am

Lily, Thank you for your comment. When it comes to God’s word we are not subject to our own interpretation! God is very clear about that. Believers, Spirit filled Believers must obey God’s word and follow Him only!
I don’t convince anyone of anything, I just speak the Truth of God’s word and let God do the transforming.
All Believers mature at different rates and we all are at different levels of maturity. When we reach the levels of maturity then we begin to see the Truth of God’s word. So “test everything” and be a Berean. God bless

Reply

Dereck November 25, 2013 at 8:56 am

Hello All,

If you read the word of God, it tells us to believe, and that is it.

Now, as we go on in our Christian life, things fall off of us and we do not do some things any more.

I think after coming to Christ, we should concentrate on passing on the message of who He is, as some of these earthly things fall off of us.

Are we as believers going to say that someone cannot be in paradise because they listened to something that YOU thought was not Godley!!

I think we should concentrate on not judging people.

Peace and Love

Dereck

Reply

Jack Wellman November 25, 2013 at 9:08 am

Amen Derek. I believe that on non-essentials of the faith we have no right to judge others as Paul told us to work out our “OWN” salvation and not the salvation of others. Love your point about not judging people for things that the Bible is silent on or things where people are not condemned for. To judge someone as saved or not based upon musical preferences, we set ourselves up in the place of God for, again as Paul wrote, we will all stand before God to give an account for ourselves.

Reply

jim November 25, 2013 at 9:03 am

Dereck, its called Jude 3- “contending for the faith”
Godly Maturity Dereck, plays a very important role esp when it comes to opinions and the Truth of God’s holy word!
God bless my brother!

Reply

Dereck November 25, 2013 at 9:52 am

Hi Jim,

What are you saying exactly??

Reply

Lily November 25, 2013 at 9:57 am

I completely agree on not judging, but having friendly discussions about your view and stand is something Christians should constantly do to build up their faith and be ready to “give a reason for the hope that is in you.”

Reply

Jack Wellman November 25, 2013 at 10:01 am

Thanks Lily. I agree that we can learn from one another without judging and that iron sharpens iron…as long as the iron is not used against a brother or sister. I liked very much what you said in a previous post “We are all subject to our own interpretations!” Amen. Well said.

Reply

Lily November 25, 2013 at 10:04 am

Thank you, and I’m not saying that the Bible is free to interpretations, let me make that clear. But, within Christianity, no two Christians are exactly alike! That’s what I meant by that. We cannot help but disagree on certain things, even if our Savior is the same.

Reply

jim November 25, 2013 at 10:17 am

Dereck, I was explaining that this is not judgment but “contending for the Faith” and that we cannot have ” our own interpretations” bc its not Biblical 2nd Peter 1-20
Most will have opinions, which is ok but not Biblical. Hope that helps! Be a Berean!

Reply

Dereck November 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Hi Lily,

So good to talk to you,

That is what I was trying to say.

When Jesus, was here on earth, one of the things He did was to eat with sinners. Now, I am not saying He was a sinner, but, He knew where they were and He did not care what the religious leaders thought.

Now our job, as believers, is to go out and spread the word, now sometimes we might have to go some places we use to hang, we might even know some of the songs, that may be all the edge we need to help someone turn their lives around.

Are we different? You bet we are!!!!!!!!! However, we are not that far removed from those days and times.

Until we are changed, there are some things we might like that we do or like that is not Christ like,

that is all I was trying to say.

Peace and Love

Dereck

Reply

jim November 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Awesome, you are correct Dereck! Thank you

Reply

Daniel November 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Jim, truth at hand is that Jack spoke very fairly on this topic and answered in a Godly and measured way. I can respect your conviction. Some music, in fact MUCH of it can be unGodly…but if you have a far reaching measurement of judgment and say that ALL music that is not Christian is wrong, then I pity your harsh unbiblical standard. Music is neutral. Its the message that counts, not the medium. I know you have written many times on this post defending your position and opinion, even using scripture, but at the end of the day, it comes to the fundamental truth of Romans 14. Let’s not push the issue of our own agenda and try to insist people see it ”our” way. Let’s not judge others. Let their conscience as directed by the Holy Spirit point them to what is ”right” or ”wrong”. Too much broad generalizing and marginalizing is pointless and divisive. Ultimately, if we abide by that tight fisted approach, we are led astray by our own interpretations. Romans 14 handles the issue far better then I could, or you for that matter. Respectfully, Daniel.

Reply

Rose July 23, 2014 at 8:43 pm

I’ll correct you on one point–music is not ‘neutral’, per se, because some music makes you more peaceful and other music makes puts you in suspense. I think the more specific term would be that music is not intrinsically good or bad, morality wise–it’s the lyrics that make it that way.
(I’m such a nitpicker, aren’t I?)

Reply

Lily November 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Great post Dereck!

Reply

Dereck November 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Hello Daniel,

Great post!!! That is what I was trying to get across.

I think we need to think more about trying to not judge other people.

What are we going to say about those of us who do listen to non-christen music, they are condemned, they are not saved! We do not have that right!!!

Peace and Love

Dereck

Reply

Daniel November 29, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Hi Dereck! I read some of Pastor Jack’s comments to you and I agree with him. He has a good deal of discernment and I personally am thankful we have Christians like yourself (and like Pastor Jack) who are able to separate their own personal feelings and interpretations from an issue, and instead let the Word of God settle the matter. It also helps to have an appropriation of grace as well as the lack of a judgmental heart. That’s the Christ that’s shaped me to be who I am today, in His perfect image, imperfect as I am. Thanks for the response. And thanks Pastor Jack for preaching the truth with simplicity and truth.
Daniel

Reply

Daniel November 29, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Hi Dereck! I read some of Pastor Jack’s comments to you and I agree with him. He has a good deal of discernment and I personally am thankful we have Christians like yourself (and like Pastor Jack) who are able to separate their own personal feelings and interpretations from an issue, and instead let the Word of God settle the matter. It also helps to have an appropriation of grace as well as the lack of a judgmental heart. That’s the Christ that’s shaped me to be who I am today, in His perfect image, imperfect as I am. Thanks for the response. And thanks Pastor Jack for preaching the word with simplicity and truth.
Daniel

Reply

Christian December 15, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Hi, I personally am more of a hard rock heavy metal person, mainly artists like metallica. I often find it difficult to find a Christian artist I like, but I often thank God for the music I do listen to. If that artist makes me happy and thank God, but doesn’t sing about God or sin, does that make it ok? Thank you for any responses, this is a topic that has been bothering me for some time now.

Reply

Jack Wellman December 16, 2013 at 8:56 am

Thank you Christian for your comment and question. I believe that your conscience, which can be made to feel conviction by the Holy Spirit, may be telling you that there are other musical choices out there for you and that its time for a change. There are good Christian rock bands that have excellent lyrics that many use as worship songs like Kutless for example whom I really like. I would also talk to your pastor about this and tell him just what you did me and how it bothers you. That is a sign that the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you something.

Reply

jim December 16, 2013 at 9:15 am

Christian, There are many posts on this particular issue above but what does God actually have to say about listening to secular music?
If we are truly a Holy Spirit Believer then God’s HS will convict us when we do things that do not line up with His word!
We live in an evil world where we all like to fill our minds with secular music and talk radio esp when we are on our vehicles driving here to there and our evil tv’s to keep our minds busy and entertained. We are to have the “mind of Christ!” not the world!
If God’s HS is in you he will convict you of all unGodly things in you life, you will know! If there’s no conviction then your heart has grown cold just like the world bc God says we are not to be like the world, we are just passin thru doin God’s work, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ- thats our God commanded task! Just bc a song makes you “feel good” doesn’t mean its of God, God is not a feeling! Something we all need to remember!
Remember what Rev 3 says we are the “Luke warm Church” of today and “God will spew us out of his mouth.”
Satan is a great deceiver and he has infiltrated not just the Church but our hearts also! Spiritual warfare is REAL! And we all have been deceived to a degree! So, watch who you follow, be aware of what you listen to my friend! Be a Berean and “test everything!” Read-study and obey the holy word of God!
Pray continuously-Jim

Reply

Henry December 20, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Hello Jack,

Many influential rock artists and groups were involved in the occult, Led Zeppelin being one of many. One of their album covers has the “666″ symbol portrayed on it and they have openly admitted their admiration and idolization of Aleister Crowley, an infamous satanist who referred to himself as “The Beast 666″. The Beatles and Rolling Stones also idolized Crowley and placed his picture on their album covers. Todays influential artist (Beyonce, Rhianna, Madonna, JayZ) blatantly promote the occult and satanism. Madonna’s super bowl concert last year had numerous satanic symbols including her outfit which resembled a pentagram. Blessings to all…..

Reply

keila lolila December 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I understand wat you meant . But why would u listen to” led zepplain” a group that is not a Christian group I know the bible tells us to be holy in everything we do because God is holy . so why listen to people who are not holy in the presence of God . God is just am not judging you am just sayin wat I know . I think we has Christains we muat listen to music that bring glory to God not our likes or feel clean or no sin , the point is not the song or lyrics but who is singing that song and wat powers are behind those songs that are non christian . As a pastor plz correct me if am wrong

Reply

Jack Wellman December 25, 2013 at 9:46 am

Thank you Keila. So you are saying that we should never listen to anything that any non-believer says or sings or writes? I believe then we would be very limited indeed. I would have failed college and high school. Just because someone is not a Christian does not mean that we should just cut off our selves from the world. I say this in love. If we had no access to anyone except Christians, then we could not go to the store, the post office, share the gospel, and anything like that. Does that make sense my friend?

Reply

Zach March 2, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Hello I listen to korn, a heavy metal band, but I don’t really pay attention to the lyrics just the music and the beat. Is it ok as long as I don’t let the lyrics affect me?

Reply

Jack Wellman March 3, 2014 at 9:49 am

Thank you Zach, I know this is hard but I believe that you should give this up…there are some very, very good contemporary Christian bands that have great sounds but their words are Scriptural and we are to be new creatures in Christ and the “old things have passed away” and as much you won’t like it, we must let this go. Words in songs are often subliminal…that is, the brain catches what the ears sometimes miss and that what goes into the ear gate, just as the eye gate, does affect us in negative ways unless it is the Word of God. The album Strong Tower by Kutless is superb and the lyrics are biblically solid. I hope this answered your question but we are to dwell on, as Paul wrote, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8).

Reply

John May 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Korn..hmmm…they have such a unique sound. Maybe give Brian “Head” Welch a try. He turned his life over to Jesus awhile back and left Korn. His new music can be found on Youtube. He did some solo stuff, now he sings for a band named “Love and Death” and tours with a group of other musicians that sing and give their testimonies at churches and other venues.

Reply

Kenneth March 30, 2014 at 12:21 am

Is it right or wrong to have instrumental music in a worship service?

Reply

Jack Wellman March 30, 2014 at 7:46 am

Kenneth…I see no biblical restriction from having instruments as they are used in a widespread manner and to prohibit them according to belief, the New Testament teaches no such restriction. To prohibit them would be a form of legalism for instruments used or not used are both permissible and is a non-essential-to-the-faith issue. What do you think Kenneth?

Reply

Jonathan April 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Hey Jack!
to me, secular music isn’t a synonymous for sin and it can even bring people to Christ. For example, Bono (singer of U2) plays secular music but he is a Christ-follower and he is able to spread the gospel to thousand of people because of his large influence ( and it’s exacly the same situation for Korn’s bassit and guitarist who are both christian).
I listen to a lot of secular music as long as I don’t feel bad with the vibe of the music. I don’t listen to a lot of christian music cause there isn’t much christian jazz, blues or 60′s
rock. Also I play music (drumms and guitar) and you can’t really improve your playing by only playing along christian music (which in my opinion is rarely very technical).
What do you think of my positionig?
(Sorry for my bad english, I hope you understood what I meant to say)

Reply

Jack Wellman April 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm

I think that anything that bothers your conscience is sin (up to a point of course) because for some secular music is a stumbling block and for those not strong in the faith, it is something that they have just come out of the world and overcome so it is fine for some but some it bothers…there is grace for us all in this. I see nothing wrong with it by using it for practice but you must realize that some Christians will not like it but the fact is that you only have to give an account to God and not to them! Unity in essentials but grace in non-essentials and love in all things is what I paraphrase the old saying. Thanks Jonathan.

Reply

Dane G May 8, 2014 at 10:11 am

Hi. I was just wondering what you (or anyone on this site) think about, say, death metal, if the lyrics don’t glorify anything sinful? Say they’re actually rather inspiring, positive lyrics but the music is just extremely heavy?

Reply

Jack Wellman May 8, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Thank you Dane for your comment. Let me say that the name of the band, Death Metal sounds like they are very heavy metal. If the lyrics glorify God, then there is nothing wrong with them but there are soo many very, very good Christian metal bands. You might want to check them out. Just Google them to see what you might be missing.

Reply

John May 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Hey Dane,

I use Youtube (a lot) to find bands. Try searching for bands like “The Great Commission”, “Sleeping Giant”, “For Today”, etc… Look at the suggestions of other music on the side, then google the artist and see what kind of band they are. Honestly, I still read the lyrics to make sure they line up with what the band says they are. There are TONS of Christian artist in the “metal” genre.

Reply

Douglas May 17, 2014 at 11:22 am

I have been a musician (Rock drummer) most of my life. Music gives me a feeling at times that is like adrenaline , uplifting , and at times just gives me feeling of ease and destreesing. I have listened mainly to hard rock and heavy metal. Although I don’t agree with some lyrics and times , it’s the music itself that I am drawn to. Listening to some songs I hear lyrics I do not link and wish , dang I wish they would change that cause I love the music. I know there are more people like me that would not admit to some music they listen to , but for me I know in my heart I mean well in the things I do in my life and hope and pray that my soul will be delivered to the only place it needs to be when I leave this earth.

Reply

Jack Wellman May 17, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Douglas, thank you sir for your comment. I believe that one of my favorite bands is Kutless and they are contemporary rock styles music with leanings toward metal but the lyrics are completely biblical and theologically sounds. If the words are biblical and the lyrics match with what the Word of God says, then we have liberty in music and sometimes we must pay the price of losing what we love most in order to put Him and the Kingdom first (Matt 6:33).

Reply

cassie southerland June 11, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Yes but where does rock and roll originate? Your just putting lipstick on a pig with justifying that rock music is ok if it has “GOOD” or “Godly” lyrics. Where in scripture does it say that it’s ok? 1 John 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. Rock and roll even Christian rock and roll represents the world. You cant just add God to something and call it good. That’s not how HE works. You may contradict everything I’m saying right now but find the truth in what I’m saying if you can. If it smells like the world looks like the world acts like the world…it’s of the WORLD and God just can’t possibly be there…he clearly states that through out the bible..by the way rock and roll actually means fornication. We must be very careful there is a lot of deception out there…the devil isn’t just some scary monster in hell he is among us in every part of this world ESPECIALLY music he is very clever and makes a lot of things appear to be good when in fact they are evil. Just do your research everyone. It’s not what it seems! Check out this link http://www.biblebelievers.com/Rock1.html

Reply

Rose July 23, 2014 at 8:58 pm

I’ve seen a lot of people like you, but, with all respect, nobody has EVER given me a concrete reason why rock ‘n roll is intrinsically evil. I am well aware that the term ‘rock ‘n roll’ is slang for sex in the back seat of a car–but on the other hand, precocious used to mean stupid, and I don’t get offended whenever I’m referred to as such. 1 John 2:15 is also quoted, but the verse doesn’t say ‘thou shalt not listen to rock music.’ That verse could be used as an argument that, say, Christians should not be listening to Beethoven. Besides, it’s hard to tell a Christian family apart from everyone else just by looking at them.
So until someone gives me a real reason not to, I’m going to keep on enjoying my metal music.

Reply

karma July 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm

hello ive been reading this and i was wondering, i really love music im 14 and i have listened to all types now i tend to listen to older artists like nirvana, radiohead and newer ones too like bring me the horizon, paramore and lana del rey. They’re definitely not all Christian but is it wrong if I believe that I can listen to whatever I like because although music plays a huge part in my life it doesn’t affect me as a person and i think that is the stereotype that music can make you a worse person. But after some depression I found God and since I’ve been building my faith and trying my hardest to become a better person and music has helped me along the way as well as church as I love the hymns. But I’m worried that I need to get rid of that aspect of my life if God doesn’t want me to listen to that.

Reply

Jack Wellman July 3, 2014 at 6:07 pm

My friend, thank you for your comment. I would say that since you wanted to find out more on this you must be troubled by it. I know its hard but these bands are not what is pleasing to God. I would suggest that you look into good Christian rock like Kutless and other such bands that still have a hard edge but the lyrics are very much biblical. Your trying to become a better person and that’s great but you must realize it take a lifetime for the Holy Spirit to work in us and its called sanctification. I would talk to your pastor as well. When we are born again we usually start to have different desires. You “believe you can listen to whatever you like” but what you believe and what the Bible teaches are two different things apparently. See what you pastor says about these groups. We are told to “come out of her my people” and Jesus meant that we must put Him first (Matt 6:33) and not our desires.

Reply

Blake Johnson July 13, 2014 at 9:49 am

Thanks for the article and follow-ups to the comments on here. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them.

I had a question myself. I’m a student at College of the Ozarks and have a fellow Christian friend here who believes that listening to or performing any form of Christian music that involves instruments is sinful, prideful, and outright rebellion towards God. I’ve never been able to understand that position and have debated him once or twice on it. He is a member of the Church of Christ; and while not all members of the denomination believe that, some of the ones like those of his church do. He’s a good, Christian man – we just strongly disagree on this topic. I’ve always read God’s view on worship as more than just splitting hairs on different kinds of music, like what you wrote about above. I’m sure you are familiar with the types of arguments that they make, and I wondered your thoughts on it are. Thanks for your time!

Reply

Jack Wellman July 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

There is no biblical restrictions anywhere in either the Old or New Testament about using instruments. In fact, the Psalmist, David included, said to use instruments in praise of God in music. Musical instruments were definitely used in worship in the Old Testament (1 Chronicles 15:16; 16:42; 23:5; 2 Chronicles 7:6; 23:13; 29:26-27; 30:21; 34:12; Nehemiah 12:36; Isaiah 38:20; Amos 6:5; Habakkuk 3:19; see also the introductions to Psalm 4:1; 6:1; 54:1; 55:1; 61:1; 67:1; 76:1). The fact that the New Testament nowhere condemns musical instruments indicates that the Old Testament practice was continued in the New Testament church. The early church was comprised almost entirely of Jews. It is highly likely that they continued using musical instruments in the church, just as they did in Old Testament worship.

So, even without an explicit New Testament reference, it is clear the church can use musical instruments in its worship. However, there is a clear New Testament reference to musical instruments. Ephesians 5:19 declares, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.” The phrase “making melody” comes from the Greek word “psallontes” which means “to rub or touch,” “to twitch or twang.” It was commonly used in Greek to refer to playing a stringed musical instrument. Whatever the case, the Bible neither forbids or commands the use of musical instruments in church. Therefore, the church has freedom to use them if it feels led of God to do so

Trying to restrict instruments is from a human reasoning or standpoint and not from the Bible. Ask your friend what chapter and verse he gets his beliefs from. Then give him all of the ones that I included. We are under grace and have liberty in the non-essentials. This belief is common among the Church of Christ and they also believe that unless you are baptized in their church, the only true church, you are not saved, which again is not biblical. The most judgmental of all churches is the Church of Christ who told me that I was wasting my time trying to save people because if you are not saved and baptized only in their church, you are not saved (which of course is wrong).

Hope this helps Mr. Johnson and thank you sir for your question and your previous comment to which I also agree with you that we cannot make sweeping generalizations that all music that is not Christian is sin.

Reply

Jim July 13, 2014 at 1:39 pm

No splitting hairs here! You should listen to your friend! We live in a world where many Believers are deceived and think anything goes but the Great I Am warned us about this but few heed his warning! Remember, we are the “luke warm” Church!

Reply

Cassie July 24, 2014 at 11:45 am

Rose: I gave you the reasons why it’s on all in the link that I provided on my initial message. I’m not saying that all music is bad. Especially if it is truly for the Lord however it is a fine line. If the music contours to secular music then I don’t believe that it is of God. BECAUSE it represents the world therefore it can’t be of God. A lot of people miscontrue the bible they think it means one thing and not another. But really it’s straight to the point. If he demands being not of the world then anything that reflects it you shouldn’t bee apart of it. Same goes for movies tv shows etc…the bible doesn’t technically say you shouldn’t wear provocative clothing. But He does say that our body’s are the temple of God. But because it doesn’t say don’t wear sexy clothes then I guess I should? Obviously yes times have changed there are some things that we can’t get away from but listening to music and all. Let me ask you this. When you listen to your metal do you think of the Lord or just the beat?

Reply

Anne July 30, 2014 at 11:56 am

Hi. I’m thirteen and i also love God very much. Recently I’ve gotten caught up in Kpop. You may not know so let me clarify that it’s Korean music. I really like it and I don’t think all of them are Christians but they mostly sing about love, nothing sinful. Well, actually it depends on who you listen to and I mostly listen to bands like B1A4, Apink, Cnblue etc. I don’t think they’re all that bad. I find them to be unique, actually, and different. Plus kpop is very fun and catchy. Am I wrong to listen to them. Oh one more thing my friend hates rock. She’s read about it’s origin and says it’s satanic. Is it? Please answer. I really love rock. And Kpop. Sry for the long comment.

Reply

Jack Wellman July 30, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Hello Anne. Thank you for your question and comment. Any music that glorifies sin or sinful relationships in any way must be from the Devil and never would it be from God. I believe that your conscience, which can be made to feel conviction by the Holy Spirit, may be telling you that there are other musical choices out there for you and that its time for a change. I would also really like you to talk to your pastor about this and tell him just what you did me and that you are not sure about the music you listen too. That is a sign that the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you something. After reviewing some of the Kpop lyrics of a few artists, this music is very worldly and sometimes inappropriate for minors and even, in my opinion, Christian adults. Some of the lyrics (words in the songs) are okay but many are focusing on loving others and I could not find any Christian references at all in any of the songs. Jesus said that we must love Him more than the world and put Him first above all things, including music (Matt 6:33). I strongly urge you to read the Book if 1 John where 1 John 2:15 says “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” James 4:4 says “that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” You have a choice to make. Which is more precious….the world (i.e. Kpop & such other worldly music?) or Christ? You must choose. I am sorry if this upsets you but sometimes we must speak up for what is right.

Reply

Timothy August 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm

I have a question. Im a born again christian that been struggling on what music to listen to. Some say smooth jazz is bad, some say all musuc is bad cause like Bey said, they are Illuminat) (which i dont believe) But my thing is, why Smooth Jaz or Easy listening us bad? It doesnt have lyrics :) if all music is bad then we shouldnt listen to Gospel either. Heres my question again, is Smooth Jazz Non-Vocal (easy listening) bad to listen to?? Is oldies like motown, the stylistics, the manhatthans, and etc bad to listen to?? What about old school hip hop like afrikaan bambata is bad to listen to?? Only thing i been listening lately was gospel, smooh jazz non vocal (easy listening) and oldies with my aunt in law cause she like songs from the 50s and 60s.

Reply

Jack Wellman August 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm

I think if it bothers your conscience, then don’t do it but if it does, I see no problem. The lyrics determine everything….if there is no sinful lyrics, I see nothing wrong with a person’s choice of music and easy listening and classical music I love….but let your conscience tell you if you think its right or wrong for as Paul wrote about judging things that are non-essential, “let everyone be determined in his or her own mind.” Read Romans 14 for more about this.

Reply

destiny August 21, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Recently i have decided to become a better Christian since jesus could be back any day im 14 so i don’t always understand the bible i have been in conflict with jeans vs. skirts but also music i look at my music and im not sure if i should listen it says nothing bad or sinful but it didn’t honor and glorify god and all through out the bible it says to sing for God so I’m not sure if i should still listen to my music or where jeans what’s ur opinipn?

Reply

Jack Wellman August 21, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Thank you Destiny. The very fact that you came here and ask this question about these things shows me that you are not comfortable with the music you listen to. If it glorifies sin and doesn’t honor God then it is a black and white issue…you should not listen to them. Imagine Jesus sitting there with you and listening to what you listen too. Would you be embarrassed about the songs and the lyrics? I don’t think jeans or a dress is a major issue…but too tight of jeans and too short of a dress is… you could cause other boys to stumble if they lust in their heart by looking at you so dress conservatively. For one thing, I am so thankful to God that you care enough to even ask these things because most young people would not care at all about them. This shows me you really want to please God and that is so good!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Powered by sweet Captcha





Previous post:

Next post: