Let me ask you a question – “Who is your favorite Christian musician?”
Since I’m asking questions, let me ask a few more – “Why?” “What’s your favorite song by them?” And finally, “What scriptures back up the lyrics in their songs?”
When I first accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I remember trying to transition everything in my life from a secular life to a Christian life. I remember trying to stop listening to secular rock bands that I loved and try to find Christian rock bands that sounded just like them (genre-wise). For me, it was kind of hard, because we didn’t have the same things that we do today like Spotify and everything that the internet is now. Before I got saved, I listened to bands that were nowhere near being Christian-friendly. But once I did get saved, I was blessed to find some great bands that helped grow my faith at that time in my life. Note the phrase “at that time.” I have come along way since then. I’m sure you have to since you got saved.
The bands that I thought were great to help grow spiritually as a new believer in Christ aren’t the same ones I listen to today. That’s not because they have retired too. As I grew spiritually from studying the Word, I realized that those bands were great if you were a new believer. Much like we’re told to desire the pure milk of the Word when we’re first saved (1 Peter 2:2), those bands were good for then. However, if I was wanting to grow up spiritually (and enjoy the meat of the Word), I had to move on. Some of those bands would do nothing more than keep me on the same level, or in some cases, hinder my growth. They might have been labeled “Christian” and even called themself that, but lyrically, they didn’t agree with scripture.
I had to find different music. And if you’re wanting to grow in your relationship with God, and music is a big part of your life, you’re going to have to do the same. That doesn’t mean that you or I have to stop listening to those bands entirely. But I stopped listening to them as much as I used to.
Whether or not you believe something, that doesn’t necessarily make it true. I could believe for the rest of my life that giant whales fly through the sky, but that doesn’t make it so. And whether you want to be believe it, music plays a big part in your life and can be beneficial to you, or detrimental to you. As much as we take in music and the amount of time that we listen to it, it’d be hard to believe that there would not be some effect to what we listen to. In fact, the Bible talks a lot about this. It tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Do you think singing all those songs four hours a day has no effect on you?
Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” All that music we sings carries not just to our head, but into our heart – our spirit, just as the rest of our words do.
I wanted to find music to help me grow in my faith and feed my faith. For music to do that, I couldn’t listen to the same things that were on Christian radio – because of a good percentage of that didn’t grow my faith. Those songs weren’t scriptural. In fact, I had to wonder if some of those people even read their Bible.
That’s not to knock them or their music, but if you compare the Bible with what is being said in most Christians songs – they flat out don’t agree. As Christians, we must be as “wise as a serpent (Matthew 10:16)”. We must understand that just because something is labeled Christian, that doesn’t make it Christian. That doesn’t mean it agrees with the Word of God and that doesn’t mean that God agrees with it. I have known people that called themselves Christians, yet if you examine their life – they’re not. If anything, they’re stumbling through life trying to live right. Would you believe something is what it says it is without first testing it out? Would you not want to examine the fruit? The Bible tells us that we would know preachers by their fruit (Matthew 7:16) and that we should examine the scriptures to see if what is preached agrees with the Bible (Acts 17:11). So why don’t we do the same thing with songs?
Some of the music that is played on Christian radio, labeled as “Christian,” is nothing more than feel-good, money-magnet garbage. And a good portion of it that is not, is so shallow it wouldn’t create any faith in you or help you grow if you listened to it constantly for the rest of your life. That doesn’t mean that music’s number one goal is to help you grow spiritually, but it should be high on the list if it’s scriptural.
We have to be careful what we put into us musically. It doesn’t just go in us and come out. It goes in us, gets into our head, into our heart, into our spirit and does something. If we’re listening to music labeled “Christian,” yet it’s representing God and someone who He isn’t, something is wrong. If the music is created in you fear, doubt, unbelief and things that don’t agree with the Bible, God, and His character – you need to get rid of it. I don’t care what it is labeled and who put it out.
We have to be careful what we listen to. I could be wrong about this – you judge it for yourself, but I believe that music is more powerful (as a whole) than the sermon you hard on Sunday. After all, how many times do you listen to that sermon your Pastor preached the other day? How often does that sermon come popping in your head when nothing is going on, or when a word or phrase from it triggers the thought in your head? How often does the catching tune of your Pastor’s voice push its way through everything else going on? And how many dials on your radio, playlists on Spotify are filled with sermons?
Just because something is labeled Christian, that doesn’t mean it is. Unless it agrees with the Word of God, then you can call it “Christian” all day long, but it is not. There are thousands of songs that are put out by Christian artist, they’re called Christian songs, but the thought or idea that is expressed has no basis in Scripture. That doesn’t mean these musicians or record companies are evil. It just means that they’re still blinded to the truth in some area, they’re ignorant of something, or maybe they are evil. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt because I once was a lot more ignorant of the Word than I am now. I’m still learner. I don’t know it all and neither do you.
Some may say this is legalistic, to be so focused on what we listen to. No, it’s not legalism. It’s Bible.
I encourage you, be careful what you put into yourself musically. Be careful what you put into your spirit and what you listen to it – even in church. You may have the greatest church in the world, but things still slip through. I have been to many churches with many great pastors, and many wonderful people, even those leading worship. And they have sang some of the most unscriptural songs out there. The same songs that are so popular in the entire church world, even those can be filled with doubt, unbelief and other unscriptural themes. Just because the entire church world thinks it’s good, that doesn’t make it good. What makes it good, is if it agrees with the Word of God. What makes it good, is if the anointing is on it. Be diligent and watchful as to what you put into your spirit, allow in your ears and sing through your lips.
You would not accept a sermon that was unscriptural and against the charter of God, so why would you accept a song? Of course that means you have to know what the Word of God says. That means you have to be a student of the Word. Your success or your defeat is based on what you know and what you do with what you know. Stay with the Word and the Spirit.