Should a Christian listen to secular music?

Updated: Jul 22

Secular music can be understood as songs whose lyrics most often are not focused on Christ and do not reflect any truths from the Bible and the gospel. From the Scriptures we can gather the primary purpose of music does seem to be worship (Psalm 4:1, 6:1, 54:1), the Bible also allows for other uses of music (Nehemiah 4:20, 1 Sam.16:14-23, Judges 7:16-22). The Bible nowhere condemns any particular style of music or any particular musical instrument although both were limited compared to the modern music and instruments. So then, what needs to be considered if a Christian should listen to secular music? Firstly, does the content of the music glorify God? 1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. As a Christian, we are the temple of God, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. As such what we put into our mind and body ought to also be holy and honoring to God. We need to ask to the music we listen to; Does that music honor who God is? Does it honor others? Not all secular songs are bad. There are music that conveys messages that the Bible will not oppose, and in some ways the Bible even teaches. It is possible to listen to a secular song that does not talk about Jesus or is sung by a Christian that is not worshipful but still glorifies God. Secondly, is the secular music you listening to drawing you closer to God? Does it align with His word? Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. If we should be thinking about such things, surely those are the things we should invite into our minds through the music we listen. Can the lyrics in a secular song be true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy? If so, then there is nothing wrong with a Christian listening to a secular song of that nature. Much of secular music, however, does not meet the standard of the Scripture. Secular music often promotes immorality and violence while belittling purity and integrity. Any particular secular music that leads you to think about or get involved in something that does not glorify God, it should be avoided. Another important aspect is the lifestyle of the artist. What kind of lifestyle the artist lives, what examples does he/she or the band show when they are not performing. A person can be singing songs that may not be necessarily bad but if their lifestyle promotes evil, a Christian should be wise to avoid those music.

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