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God and Secular Music


A while ago I read your answer to a question about secular music, and I got upset. What we think about "secular" music doesn’t matter. What matters is what God thinks about secular music. and I believe that God will show those who follow Him what music is all right to listen to.

Steve Answers:

It’s OK to be upset with the questions others write, and it’s OK to be upset with the answers I give. The question you’re referring to was "Is it OK to listen to secular music?" The person who wrote the question referred to an Ellen White quotation about the danger of "association with worldliness in musical lines" (see Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, pp. 193, 194).

My answer identified what the Bible considers to be worldly (see 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and 1 John 2:15-17). I believe that Ellen White would get her idea of worldliness from the Bible too, wouldn’t you?

I’m wondering if you were hoping for an answer that would tell you what sound or which musical groups are worldly (or secular). Wouldn’t it be convenient to have a list somewhat like this?

Backstreet Boys–secular/worldly

U2–secular/worldly (except for Bono, sort of)

Limp Bizkit–very secular/worldly

Britney Spears–sexy, I mean secular/worldly

Madonna–secular and old

’N Sync–cute (and a good sound)

AC/DC–very bad, secular, worldly, satanic

But I agree with you–what God thinks about the music is what matters. Yet there isn’t a clear Bible text that states what God thinks about music.

Some Seventh-day Adventists go to the writings of Ellen White for a quick answer rather than study the Bible for themselves. But even she doesn’t provide an answer for what "worldly music" is.

You might listen for impressions from God during your personal devotions or prayer time. But what if I do the same thing, and I get a different answer than you? Is one of us not truly listening to God?

A lot of young people rely on what their parents have taught them. But they often question those teachings when they start making more choices. Often they’ll ask teachers, pastors, or other respected people for answers. And likely they’ll get a variety of thoughts and opinions.

Other sources of information are books, magazines, TV, the Internet, newspapers, reports, or presentations. But many of the answers from these sources won’t be based on a godly perspective.

God can communicate with us in a variety of ways. But use the brain He’s given you for reasoning rather than spitting out what others think or say.

You also said, "God will show those who follow Him what music is all right to listen to." That’s a tremendous statement of faith. I really agree with you. But

I must warn you that two people may come up with two different views of what is "all-right music," both claiming that they have God’s view.

If you can’t handle that, then I’d suggest you find someone who’ll give you a list of which music is OK and which music isn’t OK. OK? 

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