What About “Christian” Music?
Victor got this note from Terri:
Just wanted to thank you for including me on your
list. I truly enjoy receiving your e-mails!
Question: Is christian music okay to listen to?
Songs 4 Worship
Shout to the Lord (Hillsong featuring Darlene Zschech)
Ultimate Worship Collection
Chris Tomlin - “See the Morning”
The Worship Session
“Open the Eyes of my Heart” and “I Can Only Imagine” -
Ultimate Worship Anthems of the Christian Faith
You ask, “Is christian music okay to listen
I will try to lay down some guidelines for judging what is called Christian
music and address music in general from my perspective.
One must pay attention to the lyrics of that which is called Christian
music. Many songs contain religious notions and doctrines that are not
at all Scriptural. They may sound good, they may be tearjerkers, and
they may even seem to glorify the Lord, but they often tell “little
white lies,” if not express outright diabolical trash, doctrinally,
emotionally, philosophically, and spiritually. Consider the words and
Another factor to consider is the spirit of the music. A deceptive religious
spirit pervades much of “sacred” music, coming from Mystery,
Babylon the Great, a beautiful, seductive, apparently godly, spiritual
corporate woman who has taken many wise and strong to their graves.
Many so-called Christian groups and soloists only glorify themselves,
whether deliberately or because they think that, by their own presentation,
beauty, talents, and skills, they are glorifying God. I choose not to
support them. Whenever flesh receives glory, no matter how beautiful
and moving, it is not good, and God isn’t in it.
“And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before
men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among
men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15 MKJV).
Those who listen to this music are drawn away in mind and spirit from
God, wittingly or not. The particular problem with this music is that
it deceives and lulls listeners into thinking it promotes true worship
of God, but it is nothing more than the world’s ungodly nature
disguising itself by using Biblical and religious terminology. Better
to listen to honest secular music anytime.
Those who produce, listen to, and defend worldly Christian music are
only choosing to be, and are, in and of the world. They are not after
edification of the spirit in Christ, but entertainment of the flesh.
The Bible says the world is at enmity with God. Perhaps better to listen
to heavy metal, punk rock, or screamo (not that I advise it):
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would
that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold
nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16
I have found almost all so-called Christian music to be unacceptable
for one reason or another. And almost all the artists are doing it for
selfish gain; their inspiration is of the spirit of this world; their
business is to entertain anyone and everyone - they entertain their own.
And their spirit and motivation are evident in their music to the spiritually
Are Christians called to indulge in it? Is such music justified by claiming
to be getting the Gospel out to the lost masses? Is that really what
is happening? Does God reach out by pleasing the flesh? Is He pleased?
We don’t think so.
I heard music in Heaven once, Terri. Here is my record of it:
“Dream - MUSIC IN HEAVEN
I believe this dream was around 1982, in Saskatoon, at the Gordie Howe
campground, about three years after Paul was called upon, in Israel,
to leave Alison and follow the Lord. I was in Heaven in my dream, and
I saw Paul and Alison. Alison did not belong there, not because we were
better than she or because she was wicked, but because it was not her
time or place. I needed to tell her so.
At some point, whether before seeing Paul and
Alison or just after, I saw a well-dressed elderly man seated on a
chair, bowed in prayer,
saying, ‘Lord, bless brother Vic.’
Then we heard music and a choir of many people, all men it seemed. How
beautiful the music and the voices! Comparing music on earth to it would
be like comparing a homely pebble to a glorious mountain. In the midst
of the singing, suddenly a shout went out from all, in unison, a shout
of joy and excitement! How wonderful!
I then saw a man (who looked like someone we knew)
on stage, playing a base violin while all sang. He was plucking the
strings with his right
hand. On his neck, he wore a long hanging necklace of some sort. He began
to pluck the necklace instead of the strings, and the base sound of the
violin continued as though he was still plucking the strings. Everyone
broke out in joyful laughter. It was the humor of God - clean, funny,
life-giving, at nobody’s expense, miraculous, sharing his glory
with another (not a god, but His sons). What a taste of Heaven!”
Admittedly, Terri, the music we have on our site is of low performance
quality. One day, Lord willing, He will arrange for skilled, godly musicians
who are genuinely interested in serving and glorifying Him – men,
women, soloists, choirs, whomever - to do something with it.
Our music is not there for entertainment. The lyrics are primarily why
those songs are posted, relating and growing out of past experiences
in our spiritual journey, though the Lord also gave me the tunes. The
doctrine is sound, and the truths make one free.
As I write, I am listening to Handel’s Messiah. What a beautiful,
if only earthly, performance it is! And though we don’t celebrate
Christmas, I love some Christmas carols; take, for example, “Joy
to the World.” The things that man can do with music, as with so
many other things, is simply marvelous to me. I spend little time listening
to music. Why? I don’t know; I enjoy music, maybe not enough.
The Bible has much to say about music. There were choirs and orchestras
to praise the Lord. David was a skilled harp player who composed music
for many of the psalms we read (some day we may hear those!). As well,
there have been some good Scripturally sound hymns composed over the
past several centuries that have ministered to me spiritually.
But must it be Christian music that Christians listen to? I love much
music by many composers and performers in the world. Pavarotti can bring
tears to my eyes. He is likely the greatest tenor in modern history.
I confess that I have enjoyed a lot of the Beatles’ music, especially
when put to orchestral. I think those boys were very talented and creative.
Not that you are suggesting anything of the sort, but it might be good
to mention that we should not write anything off just because it comes
from nonChristians, including music. Having been set free by the Lord
and brought to rest, I have been able to enjoy many things that, at one
time, I could not enjoy in my self-righteous, legalistic, religious past.
We have people in the world who are clearly great at what they do, and
they do many things very well. Music is one of them. Remember, God sends
the sun and the rain on the just and the unjust; He gives gifts to all
men. We are not to condemn, exclude, or ignore anybody per se, though
as believers, we must judge the fruits and the spirit of things and govern
The peculiar musical creativity and skills of Blacks sometimes astound
me. Let’s face it – they have certain gifts and abilities,
although carnal, that are exemplary and not found with Caucasians; we
cannot ignore or minimize their quality. Of course, Caucasians have their
gifts, too - I enjoy Spanish and Hawaiian music!
Though not Christian, many Jewish musicians and composers are extraordinary
(not that others aren’t, but one finds a disproportionately high
number of Jews excelling in music) – Vladimir Horowitz, Yehudi
Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Jascha Heifetz, Itzhak Perlman…the list goes
on and on.
What about Simon and Garfunkel? Aren’t they great? Jewish or not,
I have enjoyed Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Smetana’s
The Moldau (from which came part of the Israeli national anthem, “HaTikvah” – “The
Hope,” a stirring number to me). Perhaps my favorite piece of all
is Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. It fascinates me!
I have enjoyed several of the older classical composers – Strauss,
Chopin, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Beethoven, and others. But each to
his or her tastes.
My point: It doesn’t have to be Christian music. My previous point:
Much so-called Christian music is not so good (not saying that none of
it is good). And above all, recognize that, as with food, drink, clothing,
or anything else, we can get carried away and preoccupied or compromised
in our spiritual health and relationship to God if we are not earnest
“Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all
to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 MKJV).
There may be some good Christian songs; there may be instrumental and
orchestral music available for godly spiritual edification; I haven’t
looked into it for years now, but even there, if there have been any
lyrics associated with it, and they are not good, and one is familiar
with them, then one must beware of their thought and influence.
As an aside, and in fairness, I recall years ago hearing Jimmy Swaggart
singing and playing piano, years before he fell into disrepute. Regardless
of what people think of him today, I honestly thought his music was inspirational
in a good way; I appreciated it. But I might feel differently now, not
having heard him for decades. I know I have changed.
I haven’t listened to the music you mention, Terri. Perhaps if
I have the opportunity to do so, I will. Do you have any you can send
me on the net, or is any of it available to take a quick listen? Perhaps
you will alert us to some edifying music we can share with all. Who knows?
Maybe you are the one who will do something with our music!
Is it appropriate to say “Mahalo” to you, too?
Mahalo simply means thank you or goodbye.
Thank you for your insights on christian music. I wanted to know because
I felt a little troubled about it.
I do also enjoy classical music as well as Pavarotti and Bocelli. I
don't know if you've ever heard of Amici - The Opera Band.
I was never fond of the Beatles, and yes I do enjoy Hawaiian Music.
Have you heard Slack-key guitar (ki ho alu) music? In the 19th century,
Mexican cowboys (Paniolo) were hired here on this island and brought
with them their guitars and style of playing. Hawaiians created their
own style (slack-key) from the mexican's style.
I will be getting Handel's Messiah and listening to the music on your