Wednesday, May 7, 2008

All Music is Sacred

Let's begin with a few deeply held beliefs (at least they are deeply held by me).
  1. God made everything, and continues to be the source and instigator of all creation.
  2. The very nature of God is perfection. Everything about him, and everything he does is perfect.
  3. All creation, in its original state, was perfect in every way.
  4. Music was designed by God to encourage and inspire humanity and to provide a vehicle for worshiping him.
  5. First Lucifer, and then humanity, sinned and corrupted the creation of God.

Now since I have said all that, where does it leave the general topic of the sacred nature of music? It is my conviction that all music (you could include all art in this assertion, but that is beyond my scope here) is from God, and best used to suit his purposes. This means, of course, that whether the music is hymns, a symphony, opera, or the latest top 40 hits, it comes from God and should be directed back to God.

Several years ago there was a lot of talk about the satanic influence in music. During the 1970's it seemed like every other song was labeled as bad, demonic or destructive. Hard rock and heavy metal were the most criticized, but disco, pop and r&b were also viewed suspiciously by many in the Christian community. I do not know who it was who first turned his records backward to hear hidden messages, but when I heard it, it sounded weird. And it never seemed very smart for Satan to hide his message. He should just come out and say it.

I will be the first to admit that some of the messages in contemporary, popular music are terrible. Drugs, sex, violence, exploitation and suicide are all encouraged in much of pop, rock, rap and hip hop music. All of those elements should be repudiated. There is no good that comes from any of that. But we must be careful to never condemn the music from which those messages come.

If God invented the music, it cannot be bad. We should look to the people who have corrupted what God has made.

That country song that extols the virtues of drinking, fighting and cheating on your wife should never be endorsed, but that does not mean that we should do away with country music. Country music is sacred. It came from God.

That rap number that encourages young men to have sex with multiple partners should never be endorsed. The hip hop artist who tells of the glories of rape and exploitation should not be supported, but that does not mean that we should do away with rap and hip hop. Rap and hip hop are sacred music forms. They come from God.

In your preferred style of music, listen for the voice of God. He is there, speaking. God created that music, after all.

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