You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. – 1 Corinthians 6:12
The Bible is full of music, musicians and music instruments (Gen 4:21, 2 Samuel 6:5). The book of Psalms is laden with charges to praise God with songs, singing and music instruments (Psalm 150:4). So we are sure that God isn’t against us enjoying music! In fact our primary business in heaven is worshiping and praising God (Revelations 4 :8 – 11). I hope they have fuji style music there as I have been practicing my alujo steps lol
If God wants us to enjoy music, the question now is what kind of music can we enjoy?
I am not a music producer or writer but I can say that songs are made up of the lyrics and the beat/tempo of the song. There is nothing like a Christian beat or tempo, the same way there is no Christian music instrument; the drums used in the church can be used in the making of a Jay Z song because they are just instruments used to convey a message carried in the lyrics. The instruments/ tempo/ beat has the job of carrying the message of the song and making it acceptable, enjoyable and easy to take down by the consumer of the song.
What is secular music? Secular music (in my definition) is one that doesn’t give glory to God! The Bible is laced with charges and admonitions to PRAISE GOD! To give glory to God! (So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31) Songs in the bible were either prayers, praise or correction songs for the church. The example laid for us in the bible for songs and other such media were for praise, prayer and admonition!
So I believe the first judgment call for us in choosing what songs we listen to is;
Does it give glory to God? Or does it elevate me? Who is this song glorifying or praising and is it the will of God (according to the Bible)?
Many times when we listen to music, we do so passively! We get carried away by the beat and tempo that we completely ignore the lyrics! Some songs have no logical meaning e.g. Big Shaq – Man’s not hot; while others are heavily loaded with meaning. Many times because we have gotten so carried away by the beat/tempo and the emotion it evokes that even when we watch the music videos and see stuff that doesn’t glorify God we excuse it away.
Let me give you an example;
One day a colleague of mine who is Igbo was singing ‘Wo’ by Olamide; I didn’t know the song or that that was the title at the time but one part of the song caught my attention – Awon omo tikabodi! Does this mean children/girls that masturbate or just girls/children that put their hands in their buttocks? I don’t know, but which ever it is, it’s gross! Yet we sing away in thorough happiness. I googled it and saw someone said it means ‘thicker body’ If you are Yoruba, am sure you think otherwise, even the music video shows ladies dancing and pointing their fingers down below!
Many of the secular music we sing & dance to; praise sex, objectify women, talk about drugs, drinking, pornography and other evil vices which are in fact sin and contrary to our Christian faith. Which translates to; you can be speaking in tongues for 2 hours and then put on your music player and start worshiping the devil (the God of this world, the spirit in the air giving inspiration for all these songs – Ephesians 2:2)
A lot of Christians know more secular music than Christian music! A lot of Christians don’t even have Christian music in their playlist. I shake my head in disbelief when right in the church’s car park, people leaving church enter their car and start enjoying all this sin promoting songs. Some churches even organize Christmas and children parties and play these songs right inside the church! Christians play and dance to these songs at their weddings and other parties organised by Christians! How does that happen?!
How can you worship God, claim the Holy Spirit lives inside of you and yet truly enjoy singing these lyrics?
The same goes for movies
While writing this article, the Holy Spirit ministered to me that movies are a form of parables in the Bible. They tell a story with the aim of teaching us something. Yes, I know you just watch movies for entertainment but don’t be deceived, everything you see and watch is passing across a message.
What makes us who we are is our spirits and whatever moves us is inherently spiritual. Ever wondered why you cry or get angry while watching a movie? Ever wondered why after watching a movie you are all of a sudden in a bad mood?
As a logical being, you know the actor wasn’t truly raped and isn’t truly dead and isn’t truly kidnapped but yet you cry and get angry and get scared truly? WHY! It’s because these things go past the gate of logic in our minds and touch us deep in our spirits and they do this without your control or consent! So if you are wondering where you picked up some dirty habits and slang, you may want to consider what you have let past your mind gate into your spirit! Music is spiritual; music soothed Saul and chased evil spirits away, it was used as a war instrument by the Children of Israel and music is an inherent part of our heaven experience and in fact eternity.
So the question is what are you listening to?
Does the movie contain overtly sexual scenes? There are some TV shows and movies that are basically soft porn and you can sense yourself getting aroused by simply watching!
Can you finish watching the movie and start praying in the Spirit?
If Jesus was to walk into the room while you are watching it, would you embarrassed? Even if your pastor or that godly friend walks in would you be embarrassed?
Is this movie one that you have to heavily renew your mind on after you have watched it?
What’s the message of the movie? Do you feel the Holy Spirit can talk to you while you are indulging in this? I’m not saying you have to watch only Christian movies but there are good movies with can provide entertainment and teach you something without pushing you into sin.
Kindly consider this scriptures;
Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:10
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15 – 16
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. – Ephesians 5:3
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1
I pray that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened on this topic. If you find yourself struggling with all I have said; please note that it’s not my intention to judge or condemn you but rather to present the truth to you in love. If you feel a nudging on your heart to screen your songs and movies but don’t know where to start or feel you don’t have the strength; take it to God in prayer. Ask for the strength, insight and grace to remove any content that doesn’t glorify God from your playlist. It won’t be easy but its possible; check out last week’s article on how it happened for me!
Feel free to leave comments, questions and even prayer requests for me in the comment section.
Thanks for reading! Next week we would talk about our words and the will of God!