Home > Brandenburg, Music, Worship > The Musical Style We Offer to God: Can It Be Inherently Sinful?

The Musical Style We Offer to God: Can It Be Inherently Sinful?

July 19, 2007

An incredible lack of discernment exists in the area of worship music.   Someone can’t be wrong on worship and be right with God.  It is very serious.  Our music is offered to God.  Some say God likes all music offered to Him, because musical style itself is amoral.  Arguments are made with that regard over here.  I write some brief rebuttal below here (see 4., 8., 9.).  God requires wisdom from believers that is guided by Biblical principles and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We can judge properly and we are to judge.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, God commands, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”  So we’re to judge everything, except for worship music?  No way.  If anything is to be judged, it is to be our worship and according to a strict standard.

The music-is-amoral crowd (essentially only a group of professing evangelicals; almost everyone else in the world knows and says it is moral) says that this is one thing that we can’t judge.  We can know what the attire of a harlot is. We can know what “the world” (world system) is.  But they say that we can’t know what inherently moral or immoral music is.  When Scripture commands us to “abstain from fleshly lust,” we are assumed to know what “fleshly lust” is.  We are supposed to know what “uncleanness” and “inordinate affection” is in Colossians 3:5.  We can judge any and all of these things.

As a basis for your understanding that music can be moral or immoral and so that you can judge these things, I have provided just a few websites for you to look at.  What do you do with this kind of material?  Find out what God likes and doesn’t like.  You can understand what music has the inherent qualities He doesn’t like and you never offer that up to Him.  You know He won’t like it, because it doesn’t match up with His holy character.

1—(click on March/April, then click on Morality in Music under The Arts) This is a Catholic, not someone in the evangelical/fundamental music discussion, but someone highly qualified musically. Jonathan Peters is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College. He is currently working towards his masters degree in music composition at Northridge University in California.

2—Another Catholic article—why print these?  This is about whether music has an effect, and the Catholics won’t be seen as having a theological axe to grind.

3—“Final Paper: Does Music Affect You?”

4—Here is a brief excerpt of a paper entitled: “Negative Music And The Effects On Human Behavior.”

5—This research says that it is this: “The present study focused on mood effects of high-tempo (HT) or low-tempo (LT) music on a high-or a low-arousal stressful task condition (HST or LST), manipulating the relationship between affective valence and psycho-physiological arousal.”

6—Here’s a study titled: “The role of music in adolescents’ mood regulation.”

7—Here is an 18 page article with research that shows that the music itself causes problems.

8—Look for: “Is listening to negative lyrics or “angry” music really harmful for my child?” Notice that it differentiates between negative lyrics and “angry” music. Here’s how it starts: “Question: Is listening to negative lyrics or “angry” music really harmful for my child? Answer: Yes — although, surprisingly, the sound of the music has more impact than the lyrics.”

9—Here is a source of history of music. Found here is this: “Those moaning saxophones and the rest of the instruments with their broken, jerky rhythm make a purely sensual appeal. All of us dancing teachers know this to be a fact. . . . The music written for jazz is the very foundation and essence of salacious dancing.”

10—I don’t even want you to look at this site, but I link it to show that it exists, as written by someone just being honest about music.  “The earthy tabla beating a steady pulse brings the body into a rhythm, creating a natural form and structure. This structure grows from the ground up. Being receptive to the nuance of music – and often live music – the dancer’s feet and hips feel the rhythm. The oud and qanoon’s vibrations and sensual quarter tones bring their movement and mystery to her belly and hips. Arms surrender and ride on the airwave of the flutes. The dancer is absorbed into the music, and the music into her.”

11—This is full of applicable quotes—very convincing.

12—“Zouk music makes you want to move, it has a sensual rhythm that is sexy and powerful.”

13—“Rockabilly was perhaps the most sexually charged music American white people have ever made. It was full of supple, slap-bass-driven rhythms, and while it was as manic as two high school kids having a quick one while their parents were away, it still swung, and swing is a sexual rhythm.”

14—“The highlight of the evening was their ‘52000ft High’ with its very contagious rhythm and beat that makes it hard not to stand up, put your glass down and dance. It’s got a sexy rhythm, enticing you to move sensually on the dance floor.”

15—“Often at the conclusion of a recital, the musician may choose to play a “thumri’ or “dhun.” This semi-classical style is much freer and completely romantic, sensual and erotic.”

Notes are to music what letters in the alphabet are to words.  The notes or letters can be put together to communicate the wrong message.  God wants the right message communicated to Him.  False worship occurs in two ways:  1)  We worship the wrong God, and 2)  We worship God the wrong way.  Wrong music offered to God is at least worshiping God the wrong way.  If someone thinks that God wants that kind of music, then he might also be worshiping the wrong God.

Categories: Brandenburg, Music, Worship
  1. July 21, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14). If it’s not acceptable to God I suppose it is sinful.
    Music makes our heart meditate on something. Before I was a Christian, I would listen to music that would pump me up before a football game. I envisioned scoring the winning TD or making the game saving tackle. When you’re a Christian, music should make you think about the Lord. It is astounding to me how many people in Ind Fund Baptist Churches listen to worldly, secular music (much less ungodly CCM). Even after godly music is taught, many keep it as their pet sin because they still want to hold on to the things of the world and think of self and the desires of the flesh. One thing that might be brought up Pastor B. is the best way to encourage the flock to get worldly and CCM music out of their personal lives. I’ve shown a couple of David Cloud’s Videos on music along with Frank Garlock’s Language of Music Series, and yet most of it seems to fall on deaf ears. It is a big problem in our churches.
    I also had a question, In Frank Garlock’s series, he said there is nothing wrong necessarily with syncapation in music. I forget the reason he said that, but I would like to hear why you think there is? Also, it seems in one of the posts a comment was made that either its the devil’s music or the Lord’s; so then would all Classical music be considered of the devil (I personally don’t like classical by the way)?

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