I would like to share with you, reader, a struggle I have been dealing with for a very long time and have only recently overcome(through God’s grace and with His help). As you know, if you have read my About page, I am a lover of music. When I was an unbeliever about 4 years ago,(I was about 12 at the time) I was under many strong ungodly influences, and came to enjoy listening to artists such as Linkin Park, Tenacious D, Papa Roach, Disturbed, and more recently Dr. Dre and Eminem(the list of “bad” artists goes on, these are just a few examples). You see, I had this filter for bad music. Here were my two rules: No music that talks about bad things(unless it was catchy), and no music that had swearing in it(unless it was censored, or also really catchy). As you can probably tell, this filter didn’t work so much.
So as the years went on, I was “convicted” on and off about secular music, and would get rid of it, then get it back. Then a few months ago, when I was really struggling with listening to music by “bad” artists, but not necessarily music which talked about bad things, I was reading in Philippians, and these verses really convicted me.
Philippians 4:7,8 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Does music which has sexual implications reflect what is honorable, right, and pure? No it does not. Does music which swears reflect what is lovely? Nope. Should I even be listening to songs which are by artists who are not of good repute? No, according to this passage in Philippians, I should not.
Now, I’m not saying that listening to secular music is always a sin. I still listen to some secular music. But, only music which is not wrong, does not speak of that which is wrong, generally what you would call the “neutral” stuff. For example, a song called “This” by Darius Rucker. It speaks truth, and has good morals, and if it was written by a Christian artist, you wouldn’t question it as a Christian song. But when speaking to others about music, and mention of a secular song that I like comes up, what I say is different. I say I listen to that song, not that artist. Because if I say I listen to that secular artist, I am supporting someone who is not of good repute, and that would directly violate the quoted passage.
This has been a big struggle for me, and I know that I will still struggle with it. But with Christ’s help, I can overcome such struggles to grow in my walk with Him and reflect Him better.
Before I finish with this subject, I would like to address an artist whom many new and growing Christians who are also music enthusiasts struggle with listening to. Eminem has been on top of the music charts for about as long as he has been rapping. He has great skill in the music he makes, and I respect him for that, but he uses it for the worst purposes. I pity him, because he has gone through so much difficulty in his family, and in his early life, yet is blind to the free gift offered to him by Christ. Instead, his response to the trials in his life is anger and rage at others for what has happened to him and for what he has brought upon himself. The Bibles description of him is found in Titus 3:3:
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
I have made a habit of praying for this man, that someone may be able to bring him the gospel, and that he would accept it. Here is a song describing how lost he is in his own words. This song is clean, listen to it if you so desire. The only reason I am adding it is because after I heard it, it gave me more of a desire to pray for this man, and I grew more somber in my thoughts toward him. It is basically a dialogue between him and his daughter Hailie, whom he is separated from. He sees his mistakes, yet still believes he is going to heaven. http://grooveshark.com/#/s/When+I+m+Gone+clean+/dzghD?src=5
I hope that you will pray for this man, that he will accept the gift of eternal life which is freely offered to him.