2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
If you are serious about music ministry and you’ve been to church, bought a Gospel or Christian CD, or turned on the Christian radio station, you already know what I’m about to say. You hear a song, and suddenly you are somewhere in-between nodding your head (up and down) and shaking it (left and right) with probably a twisted smile because something about it – just – isn’t – right.
We’re all human and we do enjoy good music no matter what the subject matter. However, because we are Christians we are often challenged to qualify our tastes as we attempt to hold it to the measure of God’s will for our lives. “Wait!” you exclaim “Is this…? Yes, the classic debate regarding GOSPEL and SECULAR!” Before you go, I wan’t to challenge you to look back at the graphic.
(To the Conservative) “Secular” Ain’t so bad…
Actually it isn’t bad. Look it up. It simply isn’t explicitly God. It lies somewhere in the middle of the overall picture. Let’s face it, if it has to do we with our purely human existence, it’s mainly secluar. Eating, drinking, having fun right along with overeating, drunkeness, and riotousness. Within the continuum of Ungodly and Godly, secular just means that it might be good, might be bad.
(To the Liberal) “Gospel” music isn’t (necessarily) Godly…
Let’s be real. “Gospel” or “Christian” music is a genre used to qualify music in the largely secular music industry. It does NOT qualify how “approved unto God” the song or artist is. Further there are artists (Christian or not) that make good music, whether it be entertainment or, dare I say it, ministry, without it necessarily being Gospel.
“So… should I stop listening to music?!?”
Let’s be adults, “The Alphabet Song” is secular but so is “O.P.P.” “Encourage Yourself” is ministering, but so is “The Greatest Love of All.” Many Gospel/Christian songs are Godly, but some are simply inspirational.
A better question… is it appropriate?
Somewhere between all of the above, our personal music collections give us our own answer. We all have our tastes, even if sometimes we are conflicted with why we do or why we do not like a song, artist. For the minstrel, I believe it is better to draw our lines in the sand using appropriateness as a measurement. Just think of any controversial songs you may know and answer the following questions:
- Is it appropriate for me to follow the artist?
- Is it appropriate for me or others around me to listen to?
- Is the content appropriate? ever?
- Is now an appropiate time and place for this song?
- Is it appropriate for the venue I am at?
- Why or why isn’t this song appropriate?