Who listens to secular music and what type(s)?


Or do you believe it is wrong to listen to secular music?  (many strong men of God that I have great respect for have taken this position, the first one I met was James Blackwood  sr.)


I am currently listening to Anoushka Shankar (Ravi's daughter). I love sitar music.

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Lots of stuff for me - Link Wray lately. But it doesn't stop there.

Is music inheirently evil or something?  Would you not listen Bach or Johann Pachelbel?  Dave Coz?  How about some of the stuff from Proto-Kaw (Kerry Livgren formerly of Kansas)? 

Martin Luther wrote in the Forward to Georg Rhau’s collection, “Symphoniae iucundae” of 1538:


“I, Doctor Martin Luther, wish all lovers of the unshackled art of music grace and peace from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ!

 I truly desire that all Christians would love and regard as worthy the lovely gift of music, which is a precious, worthy, and costly treasure given to mankind by God. 

The riches of music are so excellent and so precious that words fail me whenever I attempt to discuss and describe them…. In summa, next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.  It controls our thoughts, minds, hearts, and spirits… 

Our dear fathers and prophets did not desire without reason that music be always used in the churches.  Hence, we have so many songs and psalms. 

This precious gift has been given to man alone that he might thereby remind himself that God has created man for the express purpose of praising and extolling God. 

However, when man’s natural musical ability is whetted and polished to the extent that it becomes an art, then do we note with great surprise the great and perfect wisdom of God in music, which is, after all, His product and His gift; we marvel when we hear music in which one voice sings a simple melody, while three, four, or five other voices play and trip lustily around the voice that sings its simple melody and adorn this simple melody wonderfully with artistic musical effects, thus reminding us of a heavenly dance, where all meet in a spirit of friendliness, caress and embrace. 

A person who gives this some thought and yet does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God, must be a clodhopper indeed and does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs.


Sure, there are songs with terribly evil lyrics -- avoid them.  Sure, there are songs that are "musically dark" -- perhaps these could create an "unedifying" feeling and maybe you should avoid these too (kinda a personal thing). 


For instance - the riff to "Enter Sandman" by Metallica -- Wow!  Well done, very memorable, right up there with "Smoke on the Water."  If you think it's evil - avoid it.  Personally, I think both are musical brilliance!


Just remember 1 Corinthians 10:23 --

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.


God Bless!



Has  this discussion happened before:

I think there's no such thing as secular as all is from God what is important is what we do with his gifts! 

I've recently listened to BeBop Deluxe, Johnny Cash, The Toy Dolls, Fleetwood Mac, Living Colour, Richard Thompson and Pearl Jam. 

As for Pachelbel I love the Rob Paravonian take on the Canon in D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdxkVQy7QLM

Also for Toy Dolls  here's J S Bach's Toccata and Fuge in Dm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1j4K_D3ZQo


If a song is inappropriate in lyrical content then it won't get a second listen.


Interesting that people brought up JS Bach and Johann Pachelbel.  Both men were devout christians, and Bach was called (during his lifetime) the 5th evangelist (after Matthew Mark Luke and John).

We can learn much about worshiping our Lord from these men. They are not secular in the least, even though they wrote mountains of "secular" music.

Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Tchaikowsky, secular classics from 20's-30's-40's-50's-60's-70's-90's-00's.  YoYo Ma, Perlman, Boccelli, Sarah Brightman & lots of others + all sorts recommended by WTR regulars.  Big world out there with lots of ideas and skillful musical people to express them. 

The Book of Proverbs is loaded with wisdom, a lot of which can be termed simply secular (e.g.,"don't cosign for a loan, unless you are an idiot"). 

But I generally don't listen to these around the weaker brothers and sisters, except as my secular job requires (fortunately my choral director is a G-rated Mormon and has great taste in her selections - this job is where I have gained an appreciation for secular music). 

But take anything I say with a grain of salt; after all, I'm the guy who started the discussion, "Was Tchaikowsky Anointed?"

Moreover, I find great value in reading secular books.  The Communist Manifesto; Don Quixote; Tolstoy, Dickens (some of these are loaded with Christian worldview, even Marx if he would have taken his blinders off), Asimov, Michael Behe, and many others, especially history and fantasy (sometimes these are interchangeable).

I do see that your definition of "sacred" includes the organ works of Bach and Pachelbel (hey, let's add Buxtehude to the list -- and Brahms, whose Requiem is the most Christian of all Requiems -- it's for actual living people to consider God's love).  And quite a few modern artists' songs step tenderly across the invisible line between secular and sacred.

David's army was hungry, secularly hungry, and the priest gave them sacred bread, which went into their stomachs as secular bread, but which on Abiathar's part was a sacred act of mercy, which did not go unnoticed by Jesus.

To be honest, I almost never listen to "worship + praise" music.  Practically everything on my iPod is secular.

I listen to pretty much anything that I enjoy, provided it is not intentionally evil. Some of it is even worship music.

That's exactly where I'm at.

There is good Secular music and bad secular, Its just a case of understanding the power of music and how it can influence the mind, so just check out the words and if they are not good do not listen,

The same can be said of some Christian music to be honest, there is good and bad.

I think its just up to the individual to decide for themselves.

Well said!

I would also add that while no genre/style is necessarily good or bad in principle, it's good to match the mood/style of the music with the lyrics. For instance, matching "Jesus Loves Me" to death metal and singing it as if your from the pit of hell seems to send mixed signals. I don't know, maybe someone can find a benefit to that, but I sure can't.

I just played for a funeral for a sweet little old lady.  Her daughter was asked to sing a hymn, can't remember the title, but it was in 6/8 - I'll call it "Blessed Assurance".  Her own world was CCM and was feeling a little embarrassed about singing this 1890 thing in front of here friends... "Could you make it, uh, more contemporary?"  So I launched into a 4-barrelled thump thump thump thump rock version with heavy syncopation, "Bles / sed / a -suuuuuuur - INCE!"  It took about eight measures to get the point across; we ended up speeding it up a little, and everybody was happy.  A fair number of CCM-oriented people I've met view slow hymns as being inherently bad.  Not evil, just bad by association with grandma's church.

To each his own I guess. 

But I would say there is a reason that songs from the "medieval days" are still hanging around; they were done right and done well!  Grandma knew a good song when she heard it!  :)


God Bless!



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