Is it Okay for a Christian Believer
to Listen to Secular Music?
by David J. Stewart | May 2017
1st Corinthians 7:29, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none... And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.”
Yes, I do believe that it is acceptable to the Lord for believers to listen to some secular music. As Christian believers, we are still a part of the world around us. Most of my web visitors were also raised up in our American culture. I recognize three types of music:
Most Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) is just religious garbage. So you could further categorize between religious verses Christian music if you wanted. But I'll just call it all “religious” music for this article, as our focus is on secular music.
Not all secular music is bad. For example: George Strait sings some great songs, like “I Saw God Today.” The song is about his daughter being born, and he sees God in the gift of life. It's a beautiful song. But that doesn't mean I approve of all of Mr. Strait's music, such as his bad song, “Overnight Male” or his adulterous song “Seashores Of Old Mexico.” These songs promote sexual immorality. These are worldly songs. These are very different than George's song “I Saw God Today.” Do you see the difference? So, yes, I do think it is acceptable for a Christian to listen to secular music, but should abstain from worldly music.
James Taylor's music is beautiful. I think it is acceptable to hear songs like “How Sweet It Is” and “You've Got A Friend.” I like Don William's song “I Believe In You.” Examples of worldly music would be Rod Stewart's “Do You Think I'm Sexy” and Madonna's “Like A Virgin,” which openly promote sexual immorality.
Let me ask you a question? Is it sinful to eat in a restaurant that sells liquor? Be careful before you answer, because if you shop at K-mart you are supporting the sale of booze. If you buy gas at the local fuel station, you are helping keep a business open that sells cigarettes to ruin people's health. Fuel stations also sell lottery tickets, which support sinful gambling schemes. The whole concept of gambling to get rich is sinful. Fuel stations sell condoms, to help fornicators and adulterers. When we really get down to the nitty-gritty, we are all hypocrites to some degree, who all help support evil in one form or another. How could we not do so, when we are a part of a degenerate American culture? So be careful before you condemn a fellow believer for listening to secular music. If you use and support the modern Bible perversions, you are committing horrible wickedness, thousands of times worse than listening to AC/DC or Van Halen.
James 4:4, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” We are warned in James 4:4 that to be a friend of the world is to become God's enemy. So would it be okay to listen to secular music? Yes, I believe so. I think there is a vast difference between listening to proper secular music verses driving a beer truck, listening to “Highway To Hell” by AC/DC, or working in an abortion clinic. The “world” refers to the masses of humanity who have rejected Jesus Christ, and have aligned themselves and their careers with the coming man of sin, the Beast, called Antichrist. Nearly all mainstream music has occult imagery employed by Luciferians to let everyone know Satan is behind it all, influencing the masses of humanity to go along to get along. This, I believe, is what the Bible means in Daniel 8:25, when it prophesies that “by PEACE” the Antichrist “shall destroy many.” Lucifer is recruiting billions of people to support his forming New World Order, which will ultimately bring the destruction of the world.
Does this mean you're God's enemy because you listen to secular music? I think not. Some Christians have stronger views than others on this matter. Some hypocritical religious snobs will condemn other believers for listening to secular music, but those same highbrow churchgoing believers have no problem using dozens of different Bible versions each Sunday in their church, confusing the congregation week-after-week. Satan is delighted, to say the least. I don't think God considers me an evildoer for listening to “The Good Stuff” by Kenny Chesney, or my favorite TV theme song “Welcome Back Kotter.” God gave us music to enjoy. There is a spirit to everything, whether it be a book, a song, a movie, a website, an organization, a church, a person, et cetera. Each song must be considered and judged individually, as to whether or not it is acceptable. I do not think God gets mad at one of His children for listening to “You Saw Me Crying In The Chapel” sang by Elvis Presley, even though Elvis himself lived a wasted life of sin and wickedness. We ALL allow certain things in our life that other believers may not approve of, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with it. Romans 14:22, “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.”
We must be careful about condemning others. If you think The Beach Boys are evil, then don't listen to them. Granted, The Beach Boys are part of the world's system. They did not honor God with their musical careers. Yet, I do not think is it wrong to listen to “God Only Knows” or “Don't Worry Baby” by The Beach Boys. These are secular songs, not so much worldly. I preach again these groups to expose the true nature of these bands, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I am against listening to some of their music. You just need to know whose side they're all on, Satan's. I rip on Brian Wilson, because in past interviews he has said that he isn't sure there is a God, but yet he still sings about God. Kind of strange, huh? Still, I like some of their songs. You just need to know the facts, to be informed.
The Scriptures teach us not to condemn anyone...
Matthew 7:1-5, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.”
Let me say, kindly, that no one has any Biblical right to point their wicked finger of judgment at others. If you only like religious quartet music, then knock your socks off. I'd go nuts if all I heard was religious music. I like singing hymns on Sunday at church. I enjoy the depth of theological meaning in the old hymns. But I like hearing Hawaiian, Country and other secular music during the week. I like many secular songs. I'm not as conservative when it comes to music as are some believers. I like all kinds of music, but stay away from heavy metal and music that promotes an evil spirit. I am a hobbyist musician and love all kinds of music. I think as believers we need to discern between music that is secular verses worldly.
Also, we need to discern between groups that are serving the Devil verses listening to some of their acceptable songs. Some people would argue that to listen to any of their songs means supporting the whole caboodle. I don't think so. I love the song “Til There Was You” by The Beatles. Does that mean that I support the Beatles? Never! They are of the Devil. Churches ought not play their music, because then the church would be sponsoring it. But if you personally want to listen to “Til There Was You” in your backyard at a barbeque, I do not think it is sinful. Do you see the difference? Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) used to read Zane Grey (1872-1939) novels. But Zane Grey was an adulterous heathen involved in Hollywood. Does that mean Dr. Rice endorsed everything about Zane Grey? Of course not. Dr. Rice just enjoyed reading western novels.
Clearly, “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC and “Running With The Devil” by Van Halen are of the Devil. No Christian should listen to these kinds of songs. Nothing AC/DC or Van Halen sings is acceptable. Contrawise, I also really don't care for church music myself. I like instrumentation and steel guitars, because I play them. I like a bass and some drums. Music is a passion for me, which I continually thank God for enabling me to do. Please don't misunderstand, I love singing at church, and harmonizing while singing; but given the choice, I'd rather hear Jerry Byrd playing his album “On The Shores Of Waikiki” on his steel guitar any day! That's just me.
During the 1940's, some fundamentalist preachers were exposing the music of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin as of the Devil. Are those entertainers Christian? No, they are secular. But that doesn't mean that they are bad people. They are just pastors. Sorry, just kidding! Frank Sinatra was a heathen, as was Dean Martin, but their music is nice to hear. If you talk to a dozen different preachers, you're going to get many different opinions. I believe that we need to be down-to-earth and sensible in our Christian views, lest we drive everyone away from Christianity. Dr. Bob Gray Sr. said someone recently criticized him for posting a photo of a friend with a drum set behind him in church. Folks, there is nothing sinful about drums! God made music. It's how you use them that matters. Next to an electric guitar, the main instrument used in rock music is a piano. Should churches not have pianos? I play pedal steel guitar. It is often viewed as a Honky Tonk instrument played only in bars, and it certainly can be if you want it to be, but the most beautiful music this side of Heaven can also be produced on a pedal steel guitar (including Hawaiian music). It's how you use it.
At the same time, preachers must take a Biblical stand against the dangers of ALL worldliness, rebellion and influences that corrupt our youth. There are many Country songs that I like, which would not be appropriate for a church service, but I think would be fitting for a barbecue. There are many variables to consider. Music is a powerful medium through which the human spirit is influenced. Satan fully knows this. There is music that I like by AC/DC, Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne and Van Halen, but I do not listen to it, because it negatively influences my spirit. Music, like everything else in life, is a personal choice. I love James Taylor's music. Of course it is ecumenical, not Christian and is secular, but I think acceptable for a Christian to hear. I also like Don Williams, Bread, Dan England and “Don't Throw It All Away” by Andy Gibb. It's a pretty song. Do I endorse the BeeGees and everything that these musical groups and singers promote? Of course not.
Now, when I preach through my website ministry, I want to give people the truth about everything, so you'll be informed. Rock music is of the Devil, but what is considered rock music is relative. Clearly, AC/DC is rock music. The 1970's band Bread would be considered soft rock. I like David Gates' music. He lives in Montana and has been married to the same woman for over 50 years. I like his song “The Goodbye Girl.” I do not think all soft rock is wrong to hear, just so long as the lyrics don't promote fornication, as they sometimes do. Certainly, an argument can be made against all secular music, since it was not sang to honor God. I am not that extreme in my views, but I respect the opinion of believers who are more conservative in their music. I am just sharing my opinion with you, take it or leave it. I won't debate my beliefs with anyone. I like who I am, and I enjoy secular music, but set limits on what I listen to, as I know I have a Christian testimony to uphold. If I didn't care, I'd still listen to “Back In Black” by AC/DC, “Man On The Silver Mountain” by Rainbow, “Urgent” by Foreigner, “Pieces Of Eight” by Styx and “Paranoia” by Black Sabbath (which I grew up listening to). Albeit, I outgrew that music decades ago. As you get older you mellow out. I am more of a Country music kind of guy now (and I love anything with a steel guitar). I want to hear music that draws my heart closer to God, and that doesn't always have to be religious music. I am speaking about one's personal music in this article, that you listen to at home, yard and in your car.
Having said that, there is nothing wrong with fishing, hunting or sports, but those activities can all become idolatry if allowed to take higher priority in our life than the things of God. I think this same thinking applies to the music in our life. There is music that I enjoy, but I keep a Christian perspective that the people singing the music aren't always godly people. For example: Dan England has a beautiful voice and sings some great songs, but he unfortunately chose the Baha'i faith instead of Biblical Christianity. Dan “England Dan” Seals died in 2009, no doubt without Christ. That is sad, but that doesn't mean that it is wrong to listen to his music. This is my opinion. A woman wrote me today and said she smokes marijuana. I am against smoking anything, but she has a chronic medical problem, and in her case I think it is acceptable. In summary, I think it is Okay to listen to most secular music, just so long as we don't allow it to take us away from walking with the Lord. Personally, I'd go nuts if all I listened to was religious music. I love pretty Hawaiian steel guitar music, but it does not directly glorify God. If certain music inspires me, helping keep my spirits up and get through each day, then I listen to it. I hope that helps someone.
On February 21, 2017 I weighed 208 pounds. Today (May 17) I weighed 155.4 pounds. I've lost 53 pounds in just 3 months. Amen! I've used a mix of steel guitar, Christian, Hawaiian and secular music to inspire me to lose weight. I like the song “Two Teardrops” by Steve Wariner and “26 Cents” by The Wilkersons. I buy individual MP3 songs from Amazon.com and put them on my media player. I bought a Boombotix player, that has an external speaker and clips on my waist. It connects via a USB port on your computer, so you can load music to it. It has a medical grade battery that lasts for 8-10 hours. I bought mine for $20 at K-mart. I listen to music while I walk each morning and again at night. It really motivates me.
As I walk bodily, I also walk with my awesome and merciful God, talking with Him about everything. I'm now praying about the many new prayer requests from my web visitors. One dear man's parents are lost, and I am going to be praying for him and them. I'm praying for another one of my web visitor's lost loved ones. I am praying for another dear lady and her two precious children. She wrote to me a couple days ago. I am praying for a dear man in Kenya, Africa, who wrote a kind e-mail to me, encouraging me in the Lord. Another precious man wrote to me from Aruba, encouraging me, and I am praying for his Baptist church there. I am going to go back through all my e-mails and make a list of all the prayer requests, because I care. I've seen dozens of beautiful rainbows in recent weeks, which have encouraged me to stay focused on God's promises in the Holy Scriptures. Our God is faithful!!!
I wrote this article in response to a question one of my web visitors asked me this week about secular music. I thought it was a good question and deserved an article, as I think a lot of believers ask the same question. Since I preach that rock music is of the Devil, some people wonder if it is wrong to listen to all secular music. May I say, I think the Dallas Cowboy's are also of the Devil. Their cheerleaders are nothing but hussies, gyrating sinfully for the world to look upon their underwear as they strut on the football field. The Dallas Cowboy's corporation obviously doesn't care about the God of the Bible or holiness. But is it a sin to go watch a football game played by them? I think not. Just close your eyes during the cheerleader thing. I hope my article has helped someone. You don't have to feel guilty for enjoying music, just make sure to stop listening to any music that adversely affects your spirit. Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” As believers, we belong to God, purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. 1st Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”
of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”
(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”