Sunday, February 17, 2008

Music and Christianity

A couple of days ago I came across a blog that I had never seen before, a "Christian" blog. I love blogs that are done by Christians because I usually find that I can relate to the author as a sister in Christ. I realize that there are a lot of divisions in the body of Christ because we sometimes interpret the scripture in different ways. That's okay, I try to respect others who don't believe everything exactly the way I do. But there was something I saw on that blog that I really couldn't understand. Above her list of links to others bloggers, she had a disclaimer saying that there may be some things on the other blogs that she doesn't endorse such as contemporary Christian music or videos. Contemporary Christian music is such a big part of my life that I can't understand how anyone could ever find anything wrong with it. Some of the music that is out there in this genre is biblically based and God-honoring, and it is a blessing to me when I listen to it.

Music in and of itself isn't Christian or non-Christian. Music is just melody, chords and rhythm. Instruments used to play the melody, chords and rhythms of music are not Christian or non-Christian. It is only after words are added to the music that it becomes Christian music. And when the word "contemporary" is added, all that means is that the songs were written during recent years or during this generation. To me, it doesn't matter if it's a hymn, contemporary Christian music, Christian country, Christian rock or heavy metal, because those are just different styles of music -- different ways of playing melody, chords and rhythms using different instruments. The thing that matters the most to me is the words. You can take any style of music and put any kind of words to it, and that is when the song becomes either Christian or something else. Personally, I am thankful for all kinds of Christian music because I know that different people like different styles of music and when you can put Christian words to someone's favorite style of music, it will minister to them in a special way. I write music -- my music is usually mellow and melodic, and when I add words I try to make them pleasing to the Lord. I just don't think we have to only sing hymns that were written a hundred years ago for it to be pleasing to God. Nor do I want to throw out the great hymns of the faith. I love them. My Bible says to sing and make music to the Lord and to play our instruments! And it doesn't say we have to stick to only one style of music!

Psalm 33:1-3
Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
Ps 57:7 - Show Context
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.
Ps 81:2 - Show Context
Begin the music, strike the tambourine, play the melodious harp and lyre.

Ps 92:1 - Show Context
It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.

Ps 95:2 - Show Context
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
Ps 98:4 - Show Context
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;
Ps 98:5 - Show Context
make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing,
Ps 108:1 - Show Context
My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.

Ps 144:9 - Show Context
I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
Ps 147:7 - Show Context
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.
Ps 149:3 - Show Context
Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.
Eph 5:19 - Show Context
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,


Jim said...

Ok, dated, but maybe contemporary (not an old hymn): [Psalms 51:10]

Create in me a Clean Heart
(Keith Green)

Create in me a clean heart oh God
And renew a right spirit within me
Create in me a clean heart oh God
And renew a right spirit within me

Cast me not away
From thy presence oh Lord
Take not thy Holy Spirit from me
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me

- - - - -

Lori is talking about your blog. I like it.

sister sheri said...

What an interesting blog you found... I love The Old Rugged Cross as well as the newer choruses, too...

Live Out Loud said...

Well said Kathy. We can even find 'Christian' music in the secular world! Many secular musicians have songs talking about their faith in Christ. I think whatever venue gets Jesus in front of people, is what pleases God. He told us to go into all the world.....
Being someone who has worked with kids for 18 years, I know we need all types of music to reach them and keep them!!

74WIXYgrad said...

I agree with your post. I was part of a church that split because of the music. too many people think that Jesus should conform to them instead of the other way around.

I have my opinions as to why some folks don't like certain genres of music and prejudices play a big part in them.

MondaythroughSunday said...

Well said! I love music..I do see that the words are what make a song and am careful what I hear. I listen to a wide variety..but seem to gravitate to worship songs. I LOVE hymns as well. I did not grow up with them in the churches I went to..I find them to be so amazing.

Frasypoo said...

I love the old hymns,they absolutely move me but I love the contemporary music too.Its wonderful to see how songs are adapted to meet every persons need

Kay said...

I grew up in a church that told us we shouldn't listen to contemporary music. Christian or otherwise.
The beat was evil. Really. They said that.
But I am over it. Thank God for His grace!
I love music. I find God speaking to me through non-Christian music all the time. I love lots of styles of music and there are a few I don't like, but I don't say they are sinful. They are just not my taste.
Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual songs! Love them.

Kathy said...

Hi Jim, yes that's a good song. I was a big fan of Keith Green back in the early 80's. Hope you will visit my blog again!

Hi Sheri, I also love The Old Rugged Cross and so many others!

Live out Loud, I am so thankful for the music that draws in young people. They need it so much!

74Wixy, that so sad for a church to split over music. I think churches need to take into consideration everyone, all ages, when choosing the music because what ministers to a 16 year old may not minister to a 75 year old. I am constantly hearing the 75 year old view of it from my mother.

Monday, I also seem to gravitate toward the worship choruses, especially when I am composing music.

Frasypoo, I love them all, too, but the contemporary seems to be my favorite.

Kay, I was going to a church that didn't like contemporary when it first started getting popular. But I think they got over it too.

I hope that i didn't offend anyone who is not into the contemporary music. I certainly didn't mean to. But I just had to state my beliefs about music. I think each person just needs to look to the Word, and you have to do what you feel in your heart the Lord is telling you to do.

BP said...

"I just don't think we have to only sing hymns that were written a hundred years ago for it to be pleasing to God. Nor do I want to throw out the great hymns of the faith."

Totally agree!

Momstheword said...

Our church has a good mix of songs during our morning service. A couple of hymns and a couple or three contemporary songs. That keeps the peace between the young people and the older folks. Some of the praise songs are just the same few words over and over, but some have real roots, so to speak. I prefer those to the former. There are churches that have gone so contemporary that the older folks have left because they can't handle the loud music and the drums, etc. Young people leave when there is nothing but the same old "dull" hymns. I think a nice mix is good.