'Christian' Music

Saturday, September 03, 2016

          Christian music has changed a lot through the years. As styles of music changed, from classical to more modern styles, so has the Christian genre. It has spread out, trying to fit in all the different styles of music. Do you like classical? We've got it. Do you like Indie? We've got it. Pop? Of course. Hip-hop? Yep. Rap? Duh... Rock? Yes! Country? Sure. Heavy metal/hardcore rock? Easy.
      I've probably missed a few genres, but you get the picture. It's spread out to include everything, in order for us to reach everyone out there. Maybe if we have heavy metal, someone who is a nonbeliever might find it, and learn the truth, or even just realize that us Christians aren't a bunch of legalistics. I however, have a problem with this.
       The world is always changing. Fashions, tastes, styles, they change almost every day. Celebrities who were once the 'idol' of the day, are now forgotten. If we try to keep up with them we are going to get very tired. That's why the Bible says that God is supposed to be our role model. We are to follow in His footsteps. Christianity is supposed to be based on Him. The light we shine into the world is supposed to be the purity righteousness of His character, and that will be what attracts honest souls to Him.

     "When the church and the world can jog comfortably together you may be sure there is something wrong." Catherine Booth
     “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:18-19
         I have sorry news for you. The world is not going to like Christianity. It might tolerate the so called 'Christianity' who agrees with everything the world says is ok, but it will never like true Christianity. This is why we aren't to become more like the world to try and get them into the church. 
        So to get back to the topic of Christian music. Is it possible that some music is wrong? We know that music with bad words or messages is wrong. But if we simply stick in God, and some basic Christian messages does that make it good? 

"Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." Psalms 150:3-6

           The Bible lists a lot of instruments that can be used to praise the Lord. Trumpets, timbrel, organs, cymbals, stringed instruments. I've known many people who obviously did not see read this verse. Some went as far to say that the piano was evil because it was used in bars for playing music. They said the only instrument which was proper to play in church was the organ.  I know others who don't think that the guitar is appropriate, only the piano is.
            God created music. He loves music. When we get to heaven there will be music! However, I'm pretty sure we will not find God headbanging to hardcore metal. Music should still be harmonic, and pleasing to the ears. It shouldn't give you a head-ache, or make your head spin.
            I want to mention two bands that have become popular among the Christian community today.

            NF is a "Christian hip-hop rapper". His mother died of a drug overdose, which one of his song is about. He had a rough upbringing, and he himself struggles with emotional problems. He talks about a variety of topics in his songs, he talks about God, how he wants to be better than the other rappers, one is even about a girlfriend.
             He himself said this, “I don’t know what a Christian rapper is, I’m just an artist who makes music for everybody.”
            He's also said that he appreciates Drake, Eminem, and Royce Da 5'9. These guys aren't good, their music has bad messages and us Christians should not look up to them, or appreciate them.
            Now, I don't know the guy. I haven't listened to all his music. Maybe he's doing what he thinks it right. Here's what I've observed of him. 
             When I watched his music video for real, I was definitely confused if not turned off. Yes, there were a couple lines about God. He talks about how he is real in his music, and how his life is a mess. Throughout the music video he is throwing around chairs, carrying a chainsaw, and holding a machete, all inside of an airplane. That seems like some rather disturbed stuff. Music is supposed to be praising God, and glorifying Him, and I sorry to say I didn't see any of that in his music. It wasn't soothing, but rather the opposite. 
              One of his songs is called, 'Grindin'. He talks about fame, and how many singers spend more time with women, then following their career or being with their family. This it the lyrics of the chorus/end. 
"I'm out here grinding, okay okay okay I'm out here grinding, okay okay okay
I'm out here grinding, okay okay okay
I'm out here grinding, all we do is work, all we do is work
I'm out here grinding, okay okay okay
I'm out here grinding, okay okay okay
I'm out here grinding, okay okay okay
I'm out here grinding, all we do is work, all we do is work."
               Another thing I've noticed about him is his clothing. Even at concerts, he dresses in ripped up jeans, (I'm talking really ripped), shoes that aren't done up, and baggy tee-shirts. I personally think that when we're gathered to worship God we should dress up a little nicer than that. I don't judge you if you have no better clothes to wear. (Maybe this is the case with NF?) It's called respect. How are we a picture of Christ if we're dressed shabbily and sloppily? We've come before Him to praise Him, we should put a little effort into dressing nice for Him.
               I have no problem with people talking about their struggle with addictions, and how God helped them overcome. I don't have a problem with them talking about how people have hard childhoods, hard lives. People need to hear this stuff, not just vaguely talk about their struggle, and compare it to stormy water or a desert in their life.  I've heard some people say that rap makes it much easier to convey these messages, and say a lot more in one song. I'd disagree. For years people have been writing songs, and leading people to Christ through them. They've had no problem putting the message into their song.
                On a side note, those songs usually had a nice melody, and were actually nice to listen to. They didn't have any odd "yeah... oh yeah.. woot... hey..."'s before the song starts. They also didn't have screaming. If anyone finds the melody to NF's songs, please message me and let me know. (Pardon my sarcasm.)  
       The second band I want to talk about is Skillet. They are a "Christian" rock/hardcore band.
    I had to force myself to listen to one of their songs, because I didn't want to write this post before I was sure my opinion was correct. Ahem, I didn't make it through the song. The song I listened to was their top song on itunes, entitled Monster.
          I'm just going to give you a glimse of the lyrics of the song.

"The beast is ugly I feel the rage
And I just can't hold it
It's scratching on the walls
In the closet, in the halls
It comes awake
And I can't control it
Hiding under the bed
In my body, in my head..."
         How is this uplifting? Throughout the whole song it talks about the beast-monster inside them. The other lyrics that I saw were for "Out Of Hell", which the singer is in hell, and through the entire song asking to be freed. It never says that they're freed. "I Want To Live" talks about their fear, and how they want to live their life. Again it's all very dark.
          Beside the lyrics, the music is pretty much all head-pounding drums, and the 'singing' (if you can call it that) is just screaming. How is this praising God?
        The point of this blog post is to tell you to be careful about what you listen to. Just because it's called "Christian Music", and people are endorsing it, does not mean it's right. Take a moment to think about what you're listening to, and ask yourself, "Is this glorifying God?". Would God listen to this music with you, and can you imagine the angels joining in singing? Is it melodic and uplifting? Also, I suggest reading a bit about the artist. Learning about them can often tell you a lot about their music.
        Again, I'm not tearing down any of these people. I don't know them personally. Maybe they think they're doing what's right. I don't know. But I do know that their music is not glorifying God. God tells us to judge righteously and see whether or not it is good.
        I also not saying that you should only like songs sung by a choir in church, with only piano. No, everyone has different tastes in music. I'm personally not big on country music. Does that mean that country music is bad? No! I just don't like it. I'm not saying that these bands are bad 'because I don't like them'. I'm just looking at them through a Biblical perspective.
              God has blessed us with music. I LOVE MUSIC. Just remember, use music to glorify God, and remember it is influencing the way you think.

          Rachel R.

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  1. YES exactly!!! A friend of mine (who I wouldn't QUITE consider a friend) is upsessed with Twenty One Pilots. She insists that they are Christians, and that their music is calming and conveys a Christian message, but I disagree. They are far far far from soothing and it honestly disturbs me to listen to the lyrics. Yack!

    Allie Taylor

    1. Ahh yes, Twenty One Pilots. I've heard of them, and looked them up, as I'd heard they used to be homeschooled. I'm not a fan of their music either! I saw one of their music videos, and it was quite weird and disturbing, like you said. Thanks for commenting!