Thursday, October 26, 2006

My take on music

Surely you have noticed that everyone has different tastes in music. Then there are a those of us who believe that there is "good" music and "bad" music. Then there is the stuff in the middle that we cannot agree on.
Here's my 2 cents, for what its worth.
As a little girl I grew up listening to Southern gospel. My father was a church music director, so there was a lot of music in our home. The choir sang Lanny Wolf songs and Bill Gaither. "Christian rock" did not exist. We even had Amy Grant's debut album that she recorded when she was 17.
As a teen, I listened to Sandi Patti and Steve Green, and we loved the Gaither Vocal Band. But I do remember my mom saying "That sure is wordly music" but eventually she got used to it and enjoyed it as much as we did.
Since I got married though, I feel that the Lord was leading me to consider what we were listening to. "Worldly" music kept getting worse and worse. I saw a seminar called "The language of music" by Frank Garlock. I was enthralled, because this was what I believed although I had not been able to express it before. I do believe that music, not just lyrics, speaks to us. The way we sing speaks as loudly as our words. Please allow me to explain. Chileans listen to American pop music. They do not understand the lyrics, but it moves them. With romantic, sensual music it is unnecessary to understand the lyrics. The sensuality of the music and the way the singer sings is enough. The sad thing is that if you take a praise-and-worship cd, play it on the radio, what you hear is sensual music. They don't "get" the lyrics. And if you put in Spanish lyrics, its still sensual. Here's a"fr'exampl" I have a cd with "Shout to the Lord" This is a lovely song, and we sing it in our Church, but the way that it is recorded is extremely sensual. I believe that there is no room for sensuality in worship. We cannot mistake a sensual feeling for being touched my the Spirit.
How can we know what is pleasing to God? I tell you, there are many tapes I used to listen to that I feel truly uncomfortable with now. They might have pleased me, but I don't know what He thought. No one person can tell you what is right or wrong, but we all should give God control in our music, ask His to show us what He would like to hear from us. Does He really enjoy hearing us imitate a famous christian singer? Does He like watching us bop to the beat?

Oh Lord, make me sensitive to your leading. May the songs I sing glorify You and the music I play be pleasing to your ear. Ephesians 5:10


Anonymous said...

Very good post and oh how true it is what you are saying!! We can't even listen to all music that is classified as "Southern Gospel" anymore. Some of it sounds borderline contemporary now!! I know the Crabb Family used to be okay to listen to and now they have gone contemporary. So have the Martins. There are many more that I could list but won't. I just know if the music causes me to bee-bop then its not appropriate. I'm like you...Lord make me sensitive to what is pleasing in Your eyes!!

Susan said...

This is so timely! My husband is showing Dr. Garlock's videos right now for our Thursday night Bible study. It's opening the eyes of some of our people to the types of music that are pleasing to God.

Mrs.B. said...

I don't much care for Gaither anymore. I liked his old stuff but it seems like most Southern Gospel is sung by people that are charismatic in doctrine.

This was a good post.

I have a question for you think it's appropriate to listen to music *strictly* for entertainment purposes? For instance I read fiction and books other than the Bible and I watch movies that aren't necessarily 'Christian'. Do any of you all think there is a place where music fits in with all that?

By the way this is not a set up....this is an issue I've been thinking about and would love to hear what you all have to say about it. (o:

Anonymous said...

It's interesting you posted on this Rhonda because the post I am about to do will mention some of my thoughts. I am probably not in the same place as you on this though, but I might be one day. As my hubby said the other day "never say 'never' to God".

I was also interested in Mrs B's comment as it is something I often think about.

Blessings :o)

Deb said...

We are probably the *most* conservative music listening family around! We started attending a certain baptist church in our area maybe 2 - 3 years ago because of the GREAT music--hymns and very conservative. Over the last year they have gradually starting adding in one or two songs that were causing us to cut our eyes around at other members of our, "Can you believe they are playing this?"

It finally got to be just too much. My husband talked to the pastor about the direction their music was going and told him we couldn't go in that same direction. The pastor admitted another family had left the church because of the music. We still love the people there and the fellowship. So right now, we are only attending the Sunday School teaching part, and we get up and leave afterwards. Not the best solution, but for now, that's the way it is.

We also meet occasionally in a home church (good hymns) that's too far away to travel to each Sunday. And just recently they traveled to our home and met. Such fun! We are still praying that the Lord will give us wisdom of what exactly to do and where He wants us. Thanks for your post.

Arlene said...

I'm glad you posted this, Rhonda; I enjoy reading your blog because you either get me to "test" myself and see if changes should be made to please the Lord (like the post you did about reading contemporary Christian fiction), or you confirm more deeply what I already believe the Lord has shown us to be true.

Our Pastor is very much into the issue of music, and did an in-depth look at the message of MUSIC itself (not just the lyrics as so many people believe). He used the book, "Music in the Balance" by Frank Garlock and Kurt Woetzel. It was very good... I got rid of quite a few cds after that series began! Praise God for men (and women) willing to teach the truth regardless of how popular or unpopular it is!

Nicholas Z. Cardot said...

Excellent post! Many people underestimate the influence that the music intself (not just the words) has on the listener. Thank You.

Vic LaBelle said...


Just read this post. Got your name because of Susan from Canada who is on my daughter's links for blogs that she has.

Just recently we were at a missionary conference at a supporting church. (Been missionaries to Mexico since 1981. ) We were given two books written by Dan Lucarini. They are very good.

Why I left the Christian Comtempary Misuc.

Can we Rock the Gospel?

I would suggest these two books for anyone that would like to hear what a former CCM leader has to say.