Friday, June 19, 2009

Can you be a holy Christian and...

Does it make me less holy if I listen to secular music? I was counseling someone recently who often feels like a fish out of water in the church because she enjoys listening to Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Metallica and other popular alternative rock bands. She adamantly does not like specifically Christian music.

I can relate. While there is some specifically Christian music I like, a lot of it seems cheesy and inauthentic to me. I could also say that specifically Christian radio stations overplay a lot of songs, but all radio stations do that.

Two of my favorite bands of all time are Linkin Park and Rage Against the Machine. Both hard/alt/rapcore/rock bands. If you know either band, you know that some of their lyrics are quite colorful (especially Rage Against the Machine). Does that mean I'm not holy?

Early on in my College days, I felt convicted about some of the music I was listening to (I loved Nine Inch Nails at that time). I felt like God was telling me to get rid of it, so I sold all of my secular music (which was most of 90 some CD's if I remember correctly). A few months later, I felt God was telling me I could listen to secular music again. So, I started listening to it again, but with different ears. I began to hear the message in the music: broken relationships, depression, anger and big questions that came from just living life. I started thinking about how the music relates to being a Christian and it actually brought me closer to God.

For some Christians, it may not be wise to listen to secular music, but I would never say its immoral. I hope I am humble enough and teachable enough to let go of the music I really enjoy if God ever asks me to do so again, however, at this time I enjoy "plundering the Egyptians" by thinking of ways much of the music can be redeemed and used for God's kingdom. (For more about "plundering the Egyptians, check this post.)

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