Hello Sweet Cheer: Christian vs. Secular Music


Christian vs. Secular Music

Or how do we determine popular bands’ stance regarding Jesus?

Warning: This is a hot topic & you may disagree with me.

     Before you completely disregard this post because you think I’m going to tell you the secular music you listen to is sinful & you must refrain from listening to it, you’re wrong.  That’s not what I’m going to say. But if you were going to leave this page if I said that, maybe you should think about it.  Maybe you should consider if the things you fill your mind with are glorifying to God.

     Anyway, as of late there are a few bands who write music that could be interpreted to have an underlying religious meaning.  Because of the way they write, their work is sometimes viewed as “Christian music”.  I want to bring up this topic because I think that it can be very confusing & sometimes cause us to accept things about them or their music for the sole reason that they are labeled as “Christian”.

     One band in particular that fits this description exactly is Mumford & Sons.  I understand they are incredible musicians & I am all about that.  Am I mentioning their name to tell you to stop listening to them?  Of course not.  That’s something you need to work out with Jesus.  What I am saying is this, how do we determine if a band not formally classified as ‘Christian’, who writes very religious sounding lyrics, is a Jesus professing group?  A good example of the struggle with this particular band is that even though they write these inspirational-almost-about-God-type lyrics, they have a song that has the ‘F’ word in it.  So do we accept that?  Do we listen to it and just give them a pass because they’re “Christian”?

     I did a little bit of research on Mumford & Sons to really find out if they are professing Christians who happen to curse in their music or if their fan base simply assumes that of them due to their writing & specifically their newest album entitled “Babel”.  Not only does the title allude to Genesis chapter 11, which tells of the Tower of Babel, but the entire album is sprinkled with convincing spiritual concepts & lyrics.

Here are a few articles with quotes straight from the members of the band.

     Now, I would say decide for yourself if this is music that glorifies God.  I would never try to say I have all the answers or just listen to what I say without seeking scripture & the Holy Spirit on your own.  But I will share my feelings & convictions on the matter.

     I can’t exactly take credit for what I’m about to say because my friend babyhill told me this a few nights ago.  She said that what we need to be evaluating is their fruit.  We can never judge someone’s heart; we just don’t know what going on in there.  What we can do is look at the fruits of their actions.  Are they producing fruit for the Kingdom?  Are they pointing people to Jesus, either directly or indirectly? 

     Personally, I have hard time looking at a group as “Christian” & as glorifying God when they use profanity in their songs.  Those words grieve God whether they’re in a song or spoken outside of music.  Now some of you might desire to address the argument of curse words.  Is it wrong to curse or is that just the old-timey Christian worldview?  I would say a few things.  First, people who say they are just words are right.  They really are just words.  BUT they are words that in the context of the United States are viewed in a negative light.  They associate you with a different people; keep you from being set apart from the ways of the world, & when you have anger in your heart it sometimes manifests itself in the form of curse words.  So I believe that curse words grieve the heart of God & are not acceptable forms of communication.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

     So are Mumford & Sons Christian?  I don’t know.  It sounds like one or more of them may have some knowledge of Jesus but they are very unclear about what they believe which causes me to be very clear on what I believe about their music.  I believe what they are promoting is “faith” as Mumford says in one of those articles.  Does that mean I believe they are promoting Jesus?  Absolutely not.  I have never followed their music heavily or been a huge fan of theirs, so for me it’s simple, I choose not to listen to it.  Do I think you’re sinning if you do listen to it?  I don’t know.  I don’t think so.  That is up to you & Jesus.

     My encouragement is for you to seek Jesus & ask in confidence for clear guidance on this issue. I think it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, no I'm not perfect.  Yes I've listened to/liked music with curse words in it before.  Yes, I am writing this to myself as well as you.  Sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings, but I am doing my best to diplomatically speak the Truth of God on this blog.

     What is your take on this issue?  How do feel about curse words in music?  I'd love to hear your responses in the comments below!

Peace & blessings,

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14

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