What is worldly music? The above question propped up in my mind several years back. It seemed to me that every time you consciously or unconsciously had any non-church song on your lips or mind, you risked your name be removed from the book of life.

We didn’t even stop there. We got involved in what we called ” backs marking”, where tracks of secular musician were played in such a way from back forward and the lyrics different. That was used that for” evangelism ” and won enough fake converts using fear, as many tracks seemed to say satanic things. But what got my attention was we got the same results when we tried ” backs marking ” church tracks too. Maranatha music tracks too seemed satanic! We, however, ensured this was not disclosed as it will destroy our “ministry.
That said…

What is Worldly Music?

Anything invented by man or earthly is of this world. Music deals with genres, kinds etc. And from all research all are Worldly. All rhythms are of this world. Slow, Fast, Reggae, Classical, Acappella, Rap e.t.c. Let’s look at scriptures. No specified music was called holy and heavenly,

The Old Testament

3] Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4] Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5] Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. – Psalm 150:3-5 KJV

These musical pieces of equipment were not dropped from heaven into the temple. They could be purchased from the market and learnt and used to create any kind of music. No specific music was inferred here.

Four Gospels

Jesus used music in the famed ” prodigal son ” story.

[23] And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and be merry: [25] Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. – Luke 15:23,25 KJV

Dancing and merriment.

Different genres of music could produce it, with a different accompaniment of instruments. Jesus is recorded to have sung once and no form of music was explained.

[30] And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. -Matthew 26:30 KJV

Maybe Acappella, maybe it was fast or slow, we can’t tell. It appears that’s your choice, as we shall see later.

Book of Acts

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. – Acts 16:25 KJV

Sang praises, the original language says ” Psalms ” how and what mode of music? Not specified and definitely no musical pieces of equipment

Epistles

[15] What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. [16] Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned says Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? [17] For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. – 1 Corinthians 14:15-17 KJV

Singing in tongues, mode of music not specified.

How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. – 1 Corinthians 14:26 KJV

Hath a psalm, which needs no instruments as seen in Acts but could make do with it as was with David. No genre of music was specified

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; – Ephesians 5:19 KJV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. -Colossians 3:16 KJV

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. – James 5:13 KJV

In all the texts above, no genre of music is specified. So we can readily submit, that there is no such genre of music called Christian, heavenly or spiritual or gospel.
That said.

What makes a song Christian, the gospel will be its lyrics. David's psalms were majorly prophetic, speaking of Christ. And the content of psalms spoken of in the epistles will speak of Him Click To Tweet

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; – Ephesians 5:20 KJV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms … – Colossians 3:16 KJV

[15] By him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. – Hebrews 13:15 KJV

What makes it gospel, is the content. Does it speak of Christ’s sacrifice? Resurrection? Ascension? Seated at the Fathers right hand? Intercession? Authority and power. If it does then, we have a gospel song. It must never be sung to entertain!

Singing the gospels means, prophesying, exalting Christ. Click To Tweet

[1] And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. [2] For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
[4] And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: [5] That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:1-2,4-5 KJV

Christ and Him crucified.

We can also sing in tongues and interpretation. However, does this bar a believer from singing another song but gospel?

Music is part of man’s culture as we have seen. To say a Christian can’t touch anything musical that isn’t gospel will foreclose education as well and we would have to draw up a very lengthy list of none gospel activities including eating food! Music can be for entertainment as in the prodigal story.

[32] It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this, thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. –  Luke 15:32 KJV

Obviously, the music was not for worship. Birthday parties, weddings etc as well. They aren’t outreaches or scripturally instructed activities but neither are they barred in scriptures, even though celebrators could use it to reach others with the gospel nothing allows condemnation for the man who doesn’t. Such events are worldly and must not be forced into heavenly activities.

Jesus was at one

[1] And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there:
2] And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
It was not a Holy Ghost meeting, food was served and wine. If music was played, it wasn’t with gospel lyrics. Paul instructs that we be at liberty to attend such parties. – John 2:1-2 KJV

[27] If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. – 1 Corinthians 10:27 KJV

Organized by unbelievers to celebrate, maybe birthdays, weddings etc. They sure won’t be singing “his death is my life” there.

It’s for merry.

We can sing to entertain, merry etc. If we eat food, drink non-spiritual things and get educated outside scriptures we definitely can sing non-spiritual songs. For example school anthems, national anthems, happy birthday songs e.t.c. However, having said all these.
Are we at liberty to anything, eat anything, read anything and listen to and sing anything? Click To Tweet
[12] All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
– 1 Corinthians 6:12 KJV

No, We aren’t called to unrestrained liberty.

[13] For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. – Galatians 5:13 KJV

[16] As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness but as the servants of God. – 1 Peter 2:16 KJV

For example books, movies and definitely, music with clearly with scripturally unacceptable lyrics are a no-go area. If a song or movie is said to exalt an idol, evil spirit, we must avoid it. Click To Tweet

[9] But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10] For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; [11] And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? [12] But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
[13] Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. – 1 Corinthians 8:9-13 KJV

Even if you are a very “ strong brother ” who doesn’t get affected by its content, you must not ignore “less strong “brethren else your liberty becomes an offence. Also, songs which exalt the works of the flesh, illicit sex, hate, violence are a no-no.  In case you want to refresh the works of the flesh, here you have it.

[19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, [20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, [21] Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. – Galatians 5:19-21 KJV

You must watch the lyrics.

Romantic songs for a spouse need not carry “I love you with the love of the lord” but where it gets lewd and suggestive, caution must be applied. Obviously, songs which speak of lying, premarital sex are sinful!
Also,
[29] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. – Ephesians 4:29 KJV

Corrupt communication is treating scriptures with contempt.

[4] Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. – Ephesians 5:4 KJV

And filthy songs too. Obviously, we must sieve what we read, watch and if that’s difficult as they can be subtly slipped into otherwise good movies or music, we must apply the fast forward control on the remote controls. Definitely never repeat such lyrics in our speech or singing too.

[2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – Romans 12:2 KJV

It’s worthy of note that songs have very strong impressions on the human heart. We must not be careless with what we listen to and sing. Be free to listen to singers, Christian or non-Christian. Music is music. Lyrics can be gospel or non-gospel. When non-gospel endeavour to keep unscriptural lyrics out of your mind.

Hope this blesses you.

Originally Published by Pastor Onayinka Olusegun on March 18, 2018

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