The music genre labeled “Christian” has traditionally been plagued with fluffy, cliche lyrics and repetitive, acoustic guitar chords. A lot of it is bad. But some of it is good. There are talented “Christian” bands that don’t sing about Jesus in every song (or any). There are talented “Christian” artists that nearly always sing about Jesus. For everyone one of these bands or artists, there are probably two or three that I don’t care for.
It’s odd how much Christians can debate on divide on music — not just inside a church on Sunday. Some Christians refuse to listen to “secular” music. They think that if there’s a hint of guitar, it’s of the devil. Others have swung the pendulum to the other end, boycotting anything labeled “Christian.” They think Bono should become the 13th apostle.
Where am I on this spectrum? I like Christian music. I also like “secular” music. But here’s the thing: there is not one thing on this planet that is secular. Every song is a worship song. Every film is a worship film. Every novel, picture, poem, or anything else we create or do, is a act of worship. The question is not whether or not you worship, but what is the object of your worship.
Most things are not inherently evil. Remember that 1 Timothy 4:4 says, “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” We must be discerning about what can be redeemed and what must be rejected. Some things, like drugs or strip clubs or pornography are evil and cannot be redeemed. However, if a Christian musician doesn’t sing a love song to Jesus should it be rejected? Just because a band like Coldplay isn’t “Christian” should we reject them? I don’t think so.
My dad markets electrical products. When he creates brochures, he doesn’t print Jesus’ face on the cover or type “For the Glory of God!” on the back. Why does music have a different standard? Whatever you do, do for the glory of God. And that looks different for every Christian. By the way, the title of this post is meant to be in jest. Of course what music you listen to doesn’t determine your eternity — but some people (both Christians and non-Christians) might imply it.
After all this talk about music, I want to know you listen to. Leave a comment with your top five most played songs, as well as the last five songs you played. Here’s mine:
- Hoppípolla- Sigur Rós
- The Haunting – Anberlin
- Life in Technicolor – Coldplay
- Till Kingdom Come – Coldplay
- Inevitable – Anberlin
- The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash
- Letters from the Sky – Civil Twilight
- 18 Bullet Holes – Waterdeep
- Cemeteries Of London – Coldplay
- Ancient Man – Burlap to Cashmere