Which Style Of Music Is From God?
By Edwin Christiaan
This decade has seen a notable boom in various Christian music styles like R&B, Hip Hop, Rap, Dance, Punk, Pop, Hardcore, Metal, and Death Metal.
Still, religious people in many regions of the United States and the world do not want their children exposed to music with unruly, impassioned vocals, loud guitar riffs, and jarring, hypnotic rhythms (as they call it.) They link this type of Christian music with the secular Pop, Rap, R&B, and Rock stars’ behavior, who promote a lifestyle of promiscuous “sex, drugs and rock and roll,” and therefore they inaccurately label this type of Christian music as being “not from God,” but from the Devil. Nowhere in the Bible can it be found that we as believers ought to play a certain music style in order to worship God.
Let me give some in-depth information about this subject, as I take the Christian rock music style as an example.
Christian rock is a form of rock music played by individuals and bands whose members are Christians, and who often focus the lyrics on matters concerned with the Christian faith. The extent to which their lyrics are explicitly Christian varies between bands. Many bands that perform Christian rock have ties to the contemporary Christian music labels, media outlets, and festivals, while other bands are independent.
Christian rock bands that explicitly state their beliefs and use religious imagery in their lyrics, tend to be considered a part of the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) industry, and play for a predominantly Christian market.
Other bands perform music influenced by their faith or containing Christian imagery, but see their audience as the general public. They may avoid specific mention of God or Jesus, or they may write more personal, cryptic, or humorous lyrics concerning their faith rather than direct praise songs.
Such bands are sometimes rejected by the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) rock scene, and they themselves may deliberately reject the CCM label of being a Christian band. Still, many of these bands ultimately get accepted as Christian bands. Many rock bands don’t claim to be a Christian band, but include members who openly profess to be Christians, or at times may feature Christian thought, imagery, Scripture, or other influences in their music.
“I am an artist who is Christian, because I don’t write music to be evangelical. Now, if it happens, it happens,” once said a vocalist of a famous rock band.
Some of these bands play up the spiritual content of their music and are widely considered to be a “Christian band” by the popular media, despite the band itself rejecting being labeled as such, because they do not wish to exclusively attract Christian fans.
Having said all of this, let’s now look at this subject from a Biblical perspective. As I said in the beginning, the scriptures do not teach us anywhere that we must use a certain music style to worship God. Since that is the case, we are dealing with the spirit in the music, whether it comes from God or from Satan. The Devil can use any style of music to communicate his perversion. That is why we are instructed to test the spirit of the artist to see if it comes from God:
“You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God.”1. John 4:1 NLT
If somebody is a true Christian believer, then everything this person does – including being an artist – should represent Jesus Christ and bring glory to God, not to him- or herself.
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”Colossians 3:17 NLT
“Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ.”1. Peter 4:11 NLT
As a true born-again Christian, you want to imitate and follow the example of Jesus Christ as you obey His Word. You no longer live for yourself, but for Jesus Christ!
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”Ephesians 5:1-14 NLT
He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.2. Corinthians 5:15 NLT
On numerous occasions, I have seen Christian band members who, after a show, were drinking, smoking pot, and fooling around with women in the dressing room. I have also seen a well-known Gospel worship singer flirting and lusting after girls backstage at a church. Even before seeing what these people were doing, I could clearly sense a wrong evil spirit hovering around them, as they often behave like they are superstars. They were ashamed of mentioning Jesus Christ and His message, Jesus who warned us saying:
“If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.”Luke 9:26 NLT
“So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.”2. Timothy 1:8 NLT
“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.”Romans 1:16 NLT
Our purpose as Christians, just like the apostle Paul, is supposed to be that we try to find common – also musical – ground with everyone, in order to bring them the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.1. Corinthians 9:22-23 NLT
God created all sorts of musical styles in order for Him to be worshiped, and to proclaim His message of salvation and hope. Therefore, never judge or condemn Christians who are playing a music style that you don’t like or understand, but instead, test their spirit whether is comes from God.
And finally, for all you Christian artist out there, here is word of encouragement for you:
Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.Ephesians 5:18-20 NLT
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.”Colossians 3:16 NLT
Copyright©2011 Sophia & Edwin Christiaan