A person calling themself “Agnostic Visitor” visited our website and asked the following question:
“If you really believe music can be a possible avenue for Satan to work his evil, and you also believe that Satan is powerful enough to be God’s adversary (at least more powerful than you or I), then wouldn’t it be reasonable to believe that ALL MUSIC could be tainted by Satan in some way? This includes Gospel music, children’s music, rock’n’roll, country, metal, heavy metal, industrial, r&b, soul, jazz, rap, classical, new age, pop, disco, latin, 2-step, fiddle, etc. etc. etc. The scriptures do not limit the type of music that is [sic] alludes to being tainted. It describes all music. Humans can not go about with a selective consistency. Some might say that is like “All music is bad, except the music I listen too, because I’m Holy, and follow God’s word.” You may be Holy, and you may follow God’s word, but that doesn’t make you infallable [sic].”
Good Fight Response:
The above is not too far from the truth, in fact, your understanding is further along than most of the negative comments I receive from professing believers. It is reasonable to believe that it is possible that “ALL MUSIC could be tainted by Satan in some way”, however, allow me to qualify my quoting that statement. You might also be interested in an article addressing the very topic of where a person should draw the line when it comes to music that is ‘acceptable’ and whether or not there is in fact a distinct line to be found (e.g., rock vs classical/country etc., fast beats vs slower ones, major chords vs minor etc etc). Without going into detail, I’ll put in a nutshell.
To determine what music is “tainted by Satan” (I’ll use your term for the sake of discussion), one must examine multiple areas….
1. Do the lyrics glorify God? In the scriptures you’ll find angels singing for joy at creation, you’ll also find instruction for God to be praised with instruments and for believers to sing spiritual songs and psalms, sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord, etc (Job 38:4-7, Psalm 150, Ephesians 5:19 ) – so one biblically based bottom line is the lyrics should glorify God.
2. Do the artists glorify God in the sense that they are not finding their inspiration for their music by way of Satan directly or practicing ‘automatic writing’, channeling or simply living wicked lives of partying, pre/extra marital sex etc. if this is the case, the source of their inspiration is not of God – nor are they glorifying God, thus we should have nothing to do with them (Ephesians 5:11, 2 Corinthians 6:14, James 4:4 ). So a second biblically based bottom line is that the artists themselves should glorify God.
3. The style of music based on what it creates in the listener’s heart/mind. In other words what you find tasteful and edifying, the next person may find it to provoke anger, depression, impure thoughts, etc. Thus we should avoid anything that is spiritually hindering and hold fast to that which causes us to glorify God (Ephesians 5:15-18, Philippians 4:8, James 4:7 ). This third biblically based bottom line is determined by what a specific style of music produces in a person’s heart.
The above are conditions based on the biblical principles of scripture, however, allow me to expand on the third point…
Let’s say you have found some music that passes the first two conditions, in fact, let’s say it’s “Christian rap music”. You may find that the artists are solid and their lyrics are pure scripture and you just love it and find it totally edifying for yourself. Well that might be fine and dandy for you, however, what about the person that doesn’t care for the whole “rap” scene, style of music, etc??
Take myself for example, before I was saved, rap music was very much a part of my life. I’m talking about rap music of the most vulgar, profane, hate-filled type. It would fill my head with arrogance, anger, racism etc. Now as can be imagined, as a Christian, rap music sometimes makes me cringe, in fact, it brings a sense of shame simply by the remembrance of being so wrapped up in it (no pun intended).
You see, if you couple my past musical preferences with today’s “Christian rap” what do you have? You have a person drawing a personal line concerning a particular style of music. Christian rap does nothing for me, quite frankly, my personal opinion of it is – I don’t really care for it. Now keep in mind that this is how I personally feel about it, therefore, my drawing a line at Christian rap, is my personal line that I have drawn for myself – based on biblical principles. Now for me to attempt to force this same line on other people is not my place – it would equate to legalism. You see there is a gray area of sorts with music, after music meets the first two conditions listed above, which equate to glorifying God, it then comes down to the question of whether or not the music causes a glorification of God within one’s heart.
Surely you can relate to this gray area by simply thinking of a style of music or perhaps a specific song that causes you to feel sad, angry etc. whether it’s a style or a specific artist that causes this, then that’s where you personally draw your line.
Bottom line: Music, which meets the biblical principles outlined throughout scripture (points 1 & 2 above), which might be spiritually edifying for one person, may very well be spiritually hindering to another person.
So can Christian music be tainted by Satan? Please understand, Christian rock, Christian rap, etc., which meet the first two biblically based conditions mentioned above, are not bad in and of themselves, in fact, it could be found to be some of the most spiritually uplifting type of music for some. However, based on someone’s past experience, or simply the type of heart set that is produced by hearing a specific artist or style of Christian music – an individual can be caused to stumble spiritually, therefore, one should draw, for themselves, a line.
All this being said, you may ask “well what if I want to listen to something that is acceptable to me and not to the passengers in my car?” Well, on that point simple common biblical courtesy is in order – refer to Romans 14 (read the entire chapter).
“I’ve read the Bible, and if one was to really follow God’s word, they wouldn’t own even the clothes on their back, would be a pauper, and go about in the world as an innocent child without concern for ANY worldly goods at all. (TV, Radio, CD’s, Tapes, DVD’s, MUSIC, FOOD (other than that given to you by a sympathizer), SHELTER, or in general all of Maslow’s Heirarchy of needs.”
The bible does not call us to live as extremely poor people living off of others provisions and it certainly does not compare a human’s needs with that of a monkey! Actually the bible teaches us the opposite of what you just described. It teaches that we are to earn a living, yet not strive to the point that one desires to be rich. Notice what the bible has to say concerning issues such as food, clothing, etc.:
…Give me neither poverty nor riches– Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God. –Proverbs 30:8
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. –1 Timothy 5:8
nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. –2 Thessalonians 3:8-10
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. –1 Timothy5:17
On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, –1 Corinthians 16:2
She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. –Proverbs 31:16, 24
The above scriptures teach that we are to be content with having enough, not desiring riches nor poverty, to provide for households, prospering is not a bad thing and to take responsibility for our provisions, at the same time trusting God for all things.
If Satan is a deceiver, then who is to say that you are not deceiving yourselves?
We at Fight the Good Fight Ministries determine truth by searching the scriptures. We hold fast to the bible being the inerrant word of God.
“Just 2 cents from an agnostic view.”
Thank you for your “2 cents”, it was greatly appreciated. Please know that your “2 cents” is much more valuable then 2 pennies, as it has allowed us to correspond on a very important issue concerning God’s will – giving us the opportunity to explain our position in a more detailed manner. However, what makes it more valuable is not only that it has given you the opportunity to hear what God, who does exists, has to say on this issue but more importantly to hear this…
God not only exists, as the evidence all around us reveals (Psalm 119, Romans 1:20 ), but He also created you. He loves you so much that He gave His Only Son, Jesus, so that you may have the option to repent and receive eternal life through Jesus (John 3:16-17 ). Now please know this, He does not want you to suffer the consequences (2 Peter 3:9-10 ) nor will he force you to receive Him (Matthew 23:37 ) – the choice is yours. Now you might say you simply don’t believe He exists, and I can understand your position to a certain degree (1 Corinthians 1:18 ), however, please don’t resist His calling to you (Revelation 3:20 ). This may be one of many ways He has already attempted to get your attention, in fact, this could very well be the last attempt. Please search the scriptures thoroughly (Romans 1:16 ) before coming to a conclusion that He doesn’t exist because the bible clearly teaches that should you reject Him you will be cast into everlasting torment (Revelation 21:8 ). The bible says:
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. –Phil 2:10-11
In other words, everyone is going to bow his or her knees to Jesus, the problem is, if you wait until after you’re dead – it will be in shameful recognition that He was your only hope (John 14:6 ) and you chose not to believe (John 3:36 ) thus you will suffer eternal damnation (Hebrews 9:27 )…
The good news is, if you bow down now and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10 ) you can enter heaven and have eternal life in the presence of the Lord. The choice is yours.
In truth and love,