What Is Christian Music? Part 3
“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.”
Many people will say that Christian Music is one or more of the following responses:
These responses are the answers from an article on got questions.org
– The song lyrics must reflect biblical truth.
– The song lyrics must directly praise God/Jesus.
– The song must mention God/Jesus.
– The song must be written for Christians and not as an evangelical tool.
– The lyrics must directly address God, not other people.
– The song must be completely new, not a cover of a secular song.
– The song is designed to be played in church, not outside of church.
– The melody must be paramount, and the rhythm subdued.
– The song must be written and performed by mature Christians only.
– The men & women who sing the song must live what it is they sing about.
This week we will address each of these individual ideas.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this devotional is not to tell you what type of music to listen to nor is it to tell you that your selections or choices are wrong. It is designed to give you a measuring stick to measure your loyalty and obedience to God’s Word. The choice is up to you. Your walk with the Lord will only be as strong as the music you allow to penetrate the channels of your mind. Trash in, trash out; God in, God will come out.
5. THE LYRICS MUST DIRECTLY ADDRESS GOD, NOT OTHER PEOPLE.
This continues to be an issue in new age music. The songs that they claim to be spiritual, aren’t anything but inspirational love songs. A spiritual song or Christian song will address God or Jesus directly! It will directly talk about our creator. at some point, in the first person and make additional mentions of Him in 2nd and 3rd person.
He Hideth My Soul – By Fanny Crosby
- A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, (Direct Mention of God)
A wonderful Savior to me; (Indirect mention of God To The Artist)
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, (2nd Person speech on God)
Where rivers of pleasure I see. (Continuation of the 2nd Person speech on God)
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, (1st Person mention of God)
That shadows a dry, thirsty land; (Indirect mention of God)
He hideth my life in the depths of His love, (1st Person Mention of God)
And covers me there with His hand, (Indirect mention of God)
And covers me there with His hand. (Indirect mention of God)
When I speak about someone that I know or love, I am going to talk about them by directly mentioning their name or some other identifiable means. This ensures that the listener knows or identifies with the person that I am speaking about in my testimony. Basically, if I continually mention HE, HIM or HIS and not give a name of whom I am singing about, then this is just a well written love song. If you are going to address God and give HIM glory, in song, then why wouldn’t you directly mention His name? It’s distracting when singers talk about HIM behind the scenes, as if they are singing in secret code. Jesus said in Matthew 10:33 “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Let’s stop being secret service Christians! We aren’t trying to hide in plain sight but serve God without fear and shame.
6. THE SONG MUST BE COMPLETELY NEW, NOT A COVER OF A SECULAR SONG.
Many groups today try to cover a secular song and add Christian lyrics to it. I don’t believe that this is sinful but a bit impersonal. I know for me, I would want to labor and give God the best that I could. I’m not saying that covers are bad, because I recommend that Christian artists cover other Christian’s songs, with permission of course. I heard a group once cover a very popular hymn put to the music of a very popular secular hip-hop song. I’m not saying that God cannot use this BUT, since God calls us to be different from the world; using their music to praise Him while they are comfortable hearing it is very rude and disrespectful. That’s like me doing something that my wife asked me not to do, and enjoying it, while I am doing it, as I am standing in front of her. I believe that’s how God sees this situation. Our music should be different from the world and honor God!
7. THE SONG IS DESIGNED TO BE PLAYED IN CHURCH, NOT OUTSIDE OF CHURCH.
Every song, every Christian song, should be written and arranged with the purpose of being shared in the house of God. Therefore it must meet a few criteria:
- Be conservative in nature – The music behind the words should not overwhelm the message.
- Be complimentary to the preaching – To often, churches will talk about being different from the world but they have the same flesh entertaining music as a night club.
- Be compliant to church standards – The music must be ecclesiastically sound according to the bible. This music must create a desire to serve God and/or prepare the heart to hear from God. Instead, much church music today, prepares the listener’s flesh to be excited. Then when the preacher preaches, this crowd says “Church is very boring and I get nothing from this preacher.” They would much rather hear stories and anecdotes instead of bible.
All music is for praising God and preparing the hearts to hear from God. Music is a very difficult area to share with others due to very personal connections to it. The only way to address it is with scriptural logic and compassion. In tomorrow’s devotional we will explore the last few ideas of Music. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.