Should Christians Listen to Secular Music?
Music is a universal language that speaks to the soul. Throughout the Bible, music and its expressions are extensively mentioned. But as Christians, could it be dangerous to listen to secular music? Or can we listen to it without compromising our faith?
The Biblical Perspective on Loud Music
The Bible states various instances where loud music was used to praise and worship God:
- Wisdom cries out (Proverbs 8)
- Loud singing is encouraged (Psalm 66:8)
- Cymbals clash in praise (Psalm 150)
- God shouts aloud (Isaiah 42)
- God’s voice is likened to the sound of many waters (Ezekiel 43 & Revelation 14:2)
- Jesus Himself prayed with loud cries and tears (Hebrews 5)
- Creation groans (Romans 8)
The day of Pentecost bore witness to a sound like a violent wind from heaven (Acts 2:2). Clearly, God is not against loud music.
Satan Perverts Everything God Creates
One thing that we must remember is that Satan perverts everything that God creates. We see the first mention of music in the Old Testament in the book of Genesis. This happens five generations after Cain.
Cain leaves the presence of God because he commits murder and five generations after that, evil is still going through the bloodline of Cain and we see that his generation discovers music. Now, when people are evil and bent on not worshiping God, they tend to use the things they create to match their convictions (Gen 2:19-21).
We also see in the study of the famous scripture, Ezekiel chapter 28:13, that is a reference to Lucifer. In this passage, two major categories of musical instruments, which are wind instruments and all stringed instruments, seem to be found in this being, who we see that he fell from heaven and rebelled against God. So, it would make sense that Satan will try to use music to advance his agenda.
The Purpose of Music in the Bible
However, when we see the Bible we see that the main purpose that music was used for was:
- Worshipping God: “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!” (Psalm 150:1-6)
- Refreshing: When David played the harp, King Saul found relief from his tormenting spirit (1 Sam 16:23).
- Warning of Danger: “Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” (Neh 4:20)
- Surprising the Enemy: Gideon used trumpets and jars to confuse the Midianites (Judg 7:16-22).
- Encouraging Others: “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,” (Eph 5:19).
The Style of Music
There’s no indication in the Bible that any musical instrument is unholy. String and wind instruments are referenced. Percussion instruments, though not specifically drums, are also mentioned (Psalm 68:25; Ezra 3:10).
Content and its Influence
There are two main questions to ask when wondering about secular music. Who is playing, and what are they saying?
Who is playing/singing? The source matters. Musicians can be influenced by light or darkness. David was filled with the Spirit, and even a musician playing could set the atmosphere for a prophet to prophesy (2 Kings 3:15). An example of a secular artist is Beyoncé’s alter ego, Sasha Fierce. Beyonce claims that something comes on her prior to her performing and allows her to perform the way that she does in front of her audiences. I believe this is demonic and I wonder how many people get demons from listening to music produced by people who have made deals with the devil.
Music is a powerful tool that helps us connect more in the spirit realm, and the evidence is all over the Bible.
What lyrics are sung? This is crucial. The Bible says:
- God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps 22:3).
- Faith comes by hearing (Rom 10:17).
- Music can sow seeds into our flesh (Gal 6:8), and we’re warned against making provision for the flesh (Rom 13:14).
- Our focus should be on things true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Music that glorifies illicit behaviors doesn’t align with this standard.
When we sing songs about the Lord, we feel His presence. I wonder if fear, depression, or even lust can also come by what we listen to.
The Challenge with Secular Music
An important question to ask yourself is:
Is your music drawing you near to the Holy Spirit or quenching Him?
Does it feed the flesh or build your spirit?
Not all secular songs are “bad,” but none of them are neutral. Worship leaders, especially, should be wary. Don’t be contaminated while trying to stay relevant.
Secular music isn’t outright forbidden, but as believers, we must filter what we allow into our spirit. Understanding the Biblical perspective on music will guide us in making choices that honor God and edify our souls.
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