Secular Music Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Vester, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Working in Youth Ministry, this is an often sensitive subject. In some churches, secular music is used in background of church announcements or as an attention getters in public outreaches. I have drawn my own conclusions, but what do you think? Is secular music, or certain secular music acceptable? If so, when and where is it okay? If not, why?

    Just curious what are other opinions.
     
  2. Personally I am uncomfortable with certain secular artists and their fruit (their music). Some are blatantly satanic/pagan with their imagery and symbols.

    I don't think it has a place in the church unless it's glorifying God. But I don't assume I know what's best especially for the church. lol....I am somewhat if a conspiracy theory researcher so I have discovered disturbing things about musicians that may not be obvious thru their music straight away.

    For me, I would rather hear/sing about God.

    Can't wait to hear what more knowledgeable people have to say about this topic.
     
  3. I am a big fan of secular music. I love listening to all types of bands, musicians, DJs, singers, etc. Of course, I try to stay away from bad content.

    Secular music in church...that's a different subject. I'm one who believes a place of worship should be that -- a place of worship. I believe one should conduct with the respect that the house of God deserves, and I think secular music ought not be involved as it downplays and waters down should should be brought to light.

    On the specific Catholic position, even certain instruments ought not be involved in the liturgy as expressed in the catechism. I went to a Mass at a different parish one day and they were using drums and a guitar. This may sound like nothing, but even this is considered to be liturgical abuse.

    Stepping back, I know we're not strictly talking about a Catholic mass, we're talking about overall Christian services, and that's a fair question. The answer still holds that just because one may be fed by entertainment, is he being fed spiritually? Entertainment is irrelevant when it comes to coming together to worship our Lord.
     
  4. The music in church should be directed toward the praise and worship of God and Jesus Christ. (Lyrics) As to the style, I myself enjoy Christian rock, pop and contemporary, whereas others don't and some Christians don't approve of my choice in music style. Having said all that, I also like the old hymns, as well as secular country, classical and music from the 40's and 50's.
     
  5. I've worked in youth ministry for most of my Christian walk, and here's what I've decided about it. If a teenager I'm mentoring is listening to secular music, find out what that music is all about, and look for/make opportunities to talk with them about it. The goal here is to find out what they believe the messages in the music are and what they believe about those messages. If teens think critically about what they listen to, and are confronted by the messages they discover, there are several benefits. Firstly, they may choose all on their own to stop listening to music that has messages they disagree with. Secondly, they'll be more likely to think critically about music, movies, books, etc in the future without your intervention. And thirdly, you'll have had a great moment with them and have grown your mentoring relationship. If they choose to keep listening to music with negative messages, but they disagree with the messages, well at least you know they disagree with the messages, and that's a good start. If they agree with negative messages in the music, then your goal is not to "get them to stop listening to the music," but to confront those messages in other ways.

    Often teenagers will say that they don't care about the lyrics, they just listen to the music. The same principle applies: break down the messages yourself, try to get them talking about those messages in another context, like in a group Bible study. At least you know then what they think about those messages, and you can start from there.

    As an example of what I mean, Christian teens will often wonder about whether or not it's okay to listen to a song because it "has sex" in it. As a youth worker, what I would be thinking is, saying "yes" or "no" does virtually nothing to help them. Instead, let's talk about what that particular song says about sex, and let's compare that with what the Bible says about respectful relationships. If a teenager is listening to music that "has sex" in it, that's an opportunity for you to find out what they think about sex, and have them consider what the Bible teaches about it. We plant the seed, do the watering, God does the growth. Trying to enforce rules about "acceptability" of listening to certain music... I just have never seen how that can be helpful.

    One big revelation for me was that sometimes, you have to go through exactly the same process for "Christian" music; sometimes teens are getting messages from "Christian" music that can negatively impact their Christian walk. It's never a bad thing to encourage teens to think critically about whatever they're listening to, watching, or reading, even if it has a "Christian" label on it. You want to encourage teens to think critically about all things, not simply trust labels and appearances. Sometimes "Christian music only" teens can have an attitude of self-righteous spiritual superiority about what they listen to, and mentors should be working to address that sort of thing as well.

    Hope something in there was helpful.
     
    Tressa likes this.
  6. A Christian should be 'in the world, but not of the world', not conformed to it. In all things ask "is this Holy? Would God approve?"

    A Christian 'separated' from the carnal/ worldly things should speak/ sound, hear, see, smell and 'feel' different from the world.

    If a Christian is 'blending in'; the 'salt loses it savor'.

    If it looks, smells, tastes, feels and sounds like the world, then it is probably not Holy-or lending towards holiness at a human level.

    This decision must be made by the Christian who is walking in faith; the farther the walk-the closer to Christ-the more obvious the answer to your question becomes...
     
  7. How can music be wicked? Doesn't the word say greater is he that is in you than he who is in the world. Don't u believe God takes an interest in the things that interest you. How do u love the world and treat them like they are a disease? Seriously go where the Holy Spirit leads you. He is the comforter the helper. You can help those same people if you are passionate.
     
  8. I'm pretty sure I've been here before... But I wouldn't have thought that approach possible. Melodies and ideas from one genre of music can and do find their way into another.

    The usual tune (Monksgate) for To Be a Pilgrim was adapted by Vaughan Williams from a traditional song, "A Blacksmith Courted Me". I think the folk song is better known using a different variant of the tune (eg. the Planxty Version) but here is Shirley Collins singing a Monksgate version.



    Stylistically, to my ears, When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder is a sea shanty. Not to dissimilar in style to say Paddy Lay Back.




    How Great Though Art uses a Swedish folk song but me ears would not tell me that as I've no experience with Swedish folk songs. Maybe that's part of the point though. Whether I'm able to make a "worldly connection" is dependent on my own musical experiences rather than there being anything holy (or otherwise) about a particular melody.
     
  9. It's true that God is greater, but that doesn't mean that anything weaker than God can't be a problem...in fact, by definition, only things that are problems can logically be weaker than God.

    God indeed takes an interest, but the last thing that we should be taking in interest in is anything that begins to remove Him.

    I'm speaking in the sense of music used within the liturgy or services...though I guess not JUST that.
     
  10. I know nothing about the religious side but do I wonder about the possibility of "man made purism" here. Within folk music, I've heard of people for example suggesting the guitar has no place in say an Irish instrumental session as it is not a traditional instrument in that genre and (while I do have sympathies for practical reasons) there are folk singing sessions where the use of instrumental accompaniment might be considered a crime.

    The "purism" debates go beyond that in folk music btw and often centre on the definition of a folk song. Does one follow the "purists" 1954 definition:

    Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission. The factors that shape the tradition are: (i) continuity which links the present with the past; (ii) variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group; and (iii) selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives.
    The term can be applied to music that has been evolved from rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular and art music and it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community.
    The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready-made by a community and remains unchanged, for it is the re-fashioning the re-creation of the music by the community that gives it its folk-character

    Or does one take a "contemporary" line and try to define certain styles and topics as defining a folk song? Debates can rage on with one side perhaps arguing the other is taking a "holier than thou" attitude and perhaps of using the 1954 definition to justify personal prejudices and to exclude certain artists while the other side may argue along the lines of the tradition being diluted and perhaps suggest that the "contemporary folk" definitions are conveniences to allow Dylan and the rest of them in....

    For my part, I do use (a looser approach to) the 1954 definition for the purpose of defining a folk song but I'm more flexible otherwise. While I do have my own preferences and would enjoy some events more than others, I do see room for traditional approaches, contemporary ones and approaches that combine both in one event as forming part of a bigger picture.

    Perhaps the bigger picture part of that could also be applied to congregations and church music?
     
  11. [quote="LysanderShapiro, post: 304384, member: 1209IMO It's true that God is greater, but that doesn't mean that anything weaker than God can't be a problem...in fact, by definition, only things that are problems can logically be weaker than God.

    God indeed takes an interest, but the last thing that we should be taking in interest in is anything that begins to remove Him.

    I'm speaking in the sense of music used within the liturgy or services...though I guess not JUST that.[/quote]

    What you are saying is simply not biblical.
     
  12. Let's discuss, friend.
    Which part isn't Biblical?
     
  13. That's indeed a good point. I think if the goal is to preserve the dignity of worship to God in every form, and doing it in the purest of intentions, then I absolutely side with that. Though even that can lead to transitions of what the Pharisees were guilty of, which is strictly looking at the law vs. the spirit of the law.

    Music, oddly enough, can be such a sticky subject when it comes to worship because music itself is so subjective, but worship -- the actual practice, isn't. When we go to church, it should be overall, to reserve it to God and worship Him. And since music has always been such a big part of it, so much can be said for it.
     
  14. e="LysanderShapiro, post: 304455, member: 12098"]That's indeed a good point. I think if the goal is to preserve the dignity of worship to God in every form, and doing it in the purest of intentions, then I absolutely side with that. Though even that can lead to transitions of what the Pharisees were guilty of, which is strictly looking at the law vs. the spirit of the law.

    Music, oddly enough, can be such a sticky subject when it comes to worship because music itself is so subjective, but worship -- the actual practice, isn't. When we go to church, it should be overall, to reserve it to God and worship Him. And since music has always been such a big part of it, so much can be said for it.[/quote]

    Just the fact that the Church is the body of Christ. Not a building.
     
  15. #15 LysanderShapiro, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
    You don't believe that the Church is the body of Christ? Or did you misunderstand me in thinking I was saying a building is the body of Christ?

    Sorry, I guess I'm a bit confused as to where you're going. No offense meant of course.
     
  16. Seems Paul spoke by the Spirit on another sticky area that was not quite black and white...

    "1Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3But whoever loves God is known by God.a

    4So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

    7But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

    9Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall." 1 Corinthians 8:1-13.

    If we take the precept from 1 Corinthians 8....Does it not depend on conscience and maturity? To some, it is fine and they do not grow distant from Christ. For others, it is a stumbling stone best avoided. And both are right for their own walk with Christ. :) And as always, we are to do all things in love. A Christian who has the freedom to listen to secular music ought to be aware of those around him/her who may not share that freedom. A Christian ought not to condemn his brother or sister for listening to secular music either.

    Let us do all things in love, with Christ as the motivation, and we will come out with the right answer/action every time.
     
  17. I like secular music .. just not the words ..
    so I listen to very talented groups like Apologetixs ..
    they take those songs and preach God through them (y)
     
  18. I like secular music .. just not the words ..
    so I listen to very talented groups like Apologetixs ..
    they take those songs and preach God through them (y)
     
  19. Does anyone have a favorite secular band? (or a few at least)
     

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