According to you Pastor Schimmel is it possible and same keeping listening [sic] secular music like Classic Rock or Hard Rock/Metal bands while being fully aware and conscious of the meaning of certain lyrics from certain Metal bands for instance Metallica or Pantera? I’m a little bit confused about it. Because I grew up listening to such acts meanwhile I’m feeling very sincere in my Faith in Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Please Pastor Joe tell me your deep feelings about this. Thank you
Good Fight’s Response:
I believe your question can be answered by showing the difference between wisdom and knowledge. While God warns in the book of Hosea that his “people perish because of lack of knowledge”, it is what we do with that knowledge that allows us to practice wisdom. Simply knowing that Jesus is The Way will not save someone. Satan is certain that Jesus is the only way by which man may enter the kingdom of God, but it profits him nothing. Wisdom would be surrendering to Christ, putting on the Lord Jesus, and making Him Lord of your heart. In a similar way, having the knowledge that these bands are not only singing about wickedness, but are openly defiant to the things of God simply makes a person listening to this darkness all the more culpable.
In fact, in Psalm 1 we are given the circumstance of two different men. One of the men meditates on God’s word day and night, is like a tree planted against the water, and he bears fruit when it is in season. There is another man, though, who does not meditate on God’s word and is akin to the bark that is thrown off by the blowing wind. One of the key characteristics of this man with such a weak foundation is that he sits in the seat of scoffers. As you can clearly see from the text, God does not consider our fellowship (or entertainment for that matter) with those who scoff at God as a beneficial practice for those who wish to continue to be a part of the tree. It is those who continue engaging with wickedness who have no firm root and cannot withstand when the wiles of the enemy come blowing in. There should be nothing in our lives of greater importance than how we grow spiritually; and there is no greater hinderance than meditating on the very things that God hates. I do not say this lightly.
I would like to tell you a story about something that took place in my home shortly after I came to know Christ. Upon recognizing that the very things that I was entertained by were the very things that God hates, I realized that I needed to rid those of my life; music, movies and other practices that were not befitting the kingdom of God. But I didn’t feel like keeping this to myself and I wanted to relinquish the enemy and his avenue into my family’s house by way of entertainment. One of my first moves to rid my house of some of this wickedness was to go through the DVR list on my parents TV. I deleted all of the shows that I deemed unbecoming of a believer. Well, it just so happens that my siblings did not see this as a kind gesture and they decided to conspire together to have an “intervention” at the dinner table with my dad. I remember walking in after work and having my entire family sitting at the table waiting to eat. As I sat down at the table I felt a level of tension that was not usually present at our family dinners. I could sense that they had already spoken and they were waiting on Dad to “let me have it”.
Dad came out and said, “Chad, I heard you have been deleting everyone’s shows off of our DVR.” I replied, “Yes, specifically Family Guy. That show is repulsive and I can’t believe you would allow anyone in our house to watch it.” He explained that it was his and my mother’s television, that I don’t pay the bills (very true), and I don’t get to say what is allowed on their TV. It was at this moment that I realized I needed him to understand why I wanted to delete that specific show. So I placed him into a scenario and said, “Dad, what if I enjoyed watching a show and you decided to ask me about it. You asked what it was about, who was on it, etc. I then told you that it was really funny and they made fun of YOU on it! They said you were mean, gay, ridiculous, and even doubted that you existed. How would you feel about me watching it? How do you believe our Father in Heaven feels about us watching that?” Now, at this point I must tell you that my dad has not watched that show in years, nor is it allowed to be recorded in that household because he is now a born again, blood-bought believer. But at the time, the message did not resonate. He affirmed his position and would later understand to a better degree.
I tell this story because I hope it exemplifies what you are doing when you listen to music that is clearly against your Father in Heaven. I would never listen to songs that were openly against my father, so how can I do this to my Heavenly Father? The answer is clear, I can’t! If I have been given a new heart, with new desires, my desire should be to love Him with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. I cannot check my mind at the door and expect wickedness not to infiltrate my heart.
While there should be no wonder as to whether or not you should meditate on music, watch movies or enjoy literature that is openly Satanic, there are a few Scriptures that I believe help us concerning what it is we should be entertained by and meditating on:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8).
Is the show/book/song pure, honest, lovely and of good report? Is there virtue in it? Are you willing to praise it? You can always ask yourself, “Would I be comfortable with Jesus sitting next to me as I read/watch/listen to this?” These are just a few practical questions that we believe are quite beneficial to the believer when we put our entertainment to the test.
The Psalmist stated, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11), and later in the same song cries out, “I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget your word” (Psalm 119:15-16). We need to be meditating on things that will benefit us spiritually and not hinder our walk with Christ.
I pray that you, and anyone else who listens to music that is not glorifying to Christ, will take God’s word to heart and feel as convicted as the repentant magicians did in the book of Acts. They did not care about the money they had spent purchasing items that were anti-Christ, they burned them up so that they would never be used by anyone for evil. May believers have the same convictions when it comes to their music and movie stash.
Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. 19And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing (Acts 19:18-20).
Please also see our Q&A article titled, “Secular Music, Movies, and Books”