Secular Music

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Rufus

Puritan Board Junior
I recently made a thread about whether or not movies are sinful, and now I'm doing the same with secular music. I do not believe it is, and that it is a matter of Christian liberty, obviously idolizing the music/artists and certain songs/bands/etc. should be avoided but not the gift of music entirely. What was the Puritan position on secular music? What about the Reformers or other significant Christian figures?

And how do you individually look at music? I used to be a fan of extreme metal (black, death, doom, and thrash metal) before and for a short time after my conversion, I don't view it as particularly sinful to listen to some heavy metal groups but I still prefer not to. At the same time I'm still a gigantic fan of The Clash a punk band which could be criticized as being anti-authoritarian or too socialist, etc. however I've found that they are cleaner than most music that is popularly listened too.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
"Secular" music is not inherently evil, although particular songs might be.

But it is highly reflective of the culture, which glorifies sin in several ways, and it is captivating. So we ought to be very careful and discerning when we invite it into our holy homes, holy cars and holy ears. A good test is to remember that we are sanctified. Holy. God dwelling in us. Then ask ourselves if the music we're piping into our ears is fitting for such a holy vessel.
 

Somerset

Puritan Board Junior
I think classical music is fine, as long as one doesn't spend too much time and money on it. A lot of country has a strong moral aspect, though violence and casual sex seems to be more prevalent amongst modern performers - I tend to listen to Hank, Owens and others of an older era. Old rock and roll is also generally OK. I am very wary of any type of modern rock, of all genres. The area I struggle with is PUL community music - all too easy to find myself singing along to a paramilitary song on one of the PUL radio sites.
 

PaulCLawton

Puritan Board Freshman
It's considered a sin in my household to dislike Bob Dylan, though I'm willing to submit to correction on that point...
 

Kim G

Puritan Board Junior
I think it's subjective and depends on the person. I have no problem listening to popular secular music as long as the lyrics are decent. I refuse to listen to songs that glorify those things that the Bible condemns. For example, I don't mind when Katy Perry's song "Firework" comes on the radio station. The message is decent. But I wouldn't listen to most of her other songs because they're antithetical to Christian living. And if a song's style makes me feel uncomfortable, I don't listen to it, but I don't care if anyone else does, because it's not a Bible issue.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
PUL community music

OK, I knew what the "Orange Order" was on the other thread, but what is PUL community music?

---------- Post added at 04:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:37 PM ----------

Old rock and roll is also generally OK

I usually opt for 'Oldies' on the car radio, but some of the lyrics from my youth are as bad as the bulk of the current rock. (Leaving out rap, of course, the bulk of which has NO redeeming social characteristics.
 

Somerset

Puritan Board Junior
PUL music is music specific to the "Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist" community over here. There are several strands: traditional folk songs; songs about the battle of the Boyne; songs about the Ulster Division at the Somme - I think these are all fine. But there are also a lot of songs about Glasgow Rangers football club and anti IRA stuff (often anti RC and with swearing) and songs about the UDA and UVF paramilitaries - these vary, though many do glorify violence.
 

John Bunyan

Puritan Board Freshman
I would say most secular musics are silly love/betrayal songs or some kind of gangsta-lust-loving-anthem, but some are really cool and somewhat neutral.

To avoid any objectionable content you should just listen to orchestral music like Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Pachelbel, Handel or modern movie soundtrack's (The Gael, all of Hans Zimmer's stuff, etc), or old songs, or some random songs you can find in youtube (even Lady Gaga must have some redeemable song).
 

Rufus

Puritan Board Junior
I would say most secular musics are silly love/betrayal songs or some kind of gangsta-lust-loving-anthem, but some are really cool and somewhat neutral.

To avoid any objectionable content you should just listen to orchestral music like Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Pachelbel, Handel or modern movie soundtrack's (The Gael, all of Hans Zimmer's stuff, etc), or old songs, or some random songs you can find in youtube (even Lady Gaga must have some redeemable song).

I don't listen to popular secular music (i.e. the majority of those silly love songs/thug songs,etc.), so Lady Gaga is out and has been out.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I would say most secular musics are silly love/betrayal songs or some kind of gangsta-lust-loving-anthem, but some are really cool and somewhat neutral.

To avoid any objectionable content you should just listen to orchestral music like Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Pachelbel, Handel or modern movie soundtrack's (The Gael, all of Hans Zimmer's stuff, etc), or old songs, or some random songs you can find in youtube (even Lady Gaga must have some redeemable song).

Some of Rick Wakeman's instrumental efforts are an enjoyable mix of classical, rock and hymns. I often play them.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
I opted for country because it was the cleanest out there without purchasing music (the most popular country station here is run out of a community of Mennonites and so there is rarely anything more than 'oh my gosh' said on the morning program). That being said, there are still an alarming number of songs that I have to turn down because they glorify ungodly things, and it seems there are more and more of them all the time.
 

O'GodHowGreatThouArt

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's more of conscience than outright sin (unless of course, you listen to an artist encouraging sin). In my case, I'll only stick with biblical Christian music because of the nature of most secular songs. I've gotten the classical music suggestion before (and many people consider me to be that type). The problem with that is twofold.

1) It's a massive (while relatively unknown) influence of one of my favorite (former) music genres, which I will not articulate here.
2) I simply cannot stand music that doesn't glorify God in praise. Classical music, while being music, does not do that because there is no words to praise with. I've had too many tangos with secular music, so I've simply "elected" to completely isolate myself from it.

So in my case, due to my past, it's a grievous sin to step outside the biblical realm unnecessarily (brother is a music major, so I do make exceptions for that).
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
I would say most secular musics are silly love/betrayal songs or some kind of gangsta-lust-loving-anthem, but some are really cool and somewhat neutral . . . (even Lady Gaga must have some redeemable song).

She does, hear Fugue on a Theme by Lady Gaga - YouTube

---------- Post added at 08:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:19 PM ----------

To avoid any objectionable content you should just listen to orchestral music like Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Pachelbel, Handel.

And don't forget Bach, Brahms, Bruch, Haydn, Schumann, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Vaughn Williams, Tallis, Elgar and Holst. Not to mention chamber music by the aforesaid.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
I simply cannot stand music that doesn't glorify God in praise. Classical music, while being music, does not do that because there is no words to praise with.

Bach's Cantatas? Handel's Messiah? There's a vast world of classical church music out there (granted, much of it is in Latin or German).
 

John Bunyan

Puritan Board Freshman
I simply cannot stand music that doesn't glorify God in praise. Classical music, while being music, does not do that because there is no words to praise with.

Bach's Cantatas? Handel's Messiah? There's a vast world of classical church music out there (granted, much of it is in Latin or German).

Dies Irae has a particularly christian theme - the day of judgment.
 

Rufus

Puritan Board Junior
I simply cannot stand music that doesn't glorify God in praise. Classical music, while being music, does not do that because there is no words to praise with.

Bach's Cantatas? Handel's Messiah? There's a vast world of classical church music out there (granted, much of it is in Latin or German).

Dies Irae has a particularly christian theme - the day of judgment.

Dies Irae the Gregorian Chant?
 

John Bunyan

Puritan Board Freshman
I simply cannot stand music that doesn't glorify God in praise. Classical music, while being music, does not do that because there is no words to praise with.

Bach's Cantatas? Handel's Messiah? There's a vast world of classical church music out there (granted, much of it is in Latin or German).

Dies Irae has a particularly christian theme - the day of judgment.

Dies Irae the Gregorian Chant?

And Mozart's... ah... "remix" too.
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
I simply cannot stand music that doesn't glorify God in praise. Classical music, while being music, does not do that because there is no words to praise with.

Johann Sebastian Bach inscribed the letters "SDG" ("Soli Deo Gloria") on all of his religious musical manuscripts, as well as many of his secular ones.

There are also a number of credible testimonies of Bach's music being the instrument through which people began a conversion to Christianity. I recall one musical scholar who was so struck by the "mathematical" perfection of some of Bach's compositions, taken in connection with the prominant attribution of "SDG", that it became the catalyst through which the Holy Spirit began to first awaken him to the gospel of Christ.

I would never go so far as to say Bach's music was directly Inspired, but I do think it is marvelously inspirational. :eureka: His Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring is one of my favorite songs of all time.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
I'm partial to BWV 80 "Ein Feste Burg ist Unser Gott" (A Mighty Fortress is Our God") by Bach. I also enjoy choral settings of the Latin Mass (the sung sections are theologically unproblematic, unlike those of a requiem mass).
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I don't have a problem with the different forms of music, but I sure do object to some of the content. I also have not-great associations with some music from the 1970s (read non-Christian days) so I rarely listen to it. Many years ago, I recall reading a biography about a woman who quit singing opera, though she had been commercially successful, because she believed so many of the story lines conflicted with her Christian world view.

Classical, swing, American "roots" music, a little blues and a smattering of blues-influenced rock make up my playlists.
 

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
I like a lot of different types of music Secular and Christian.

I can say that depending on the music it can change my mood for the good or bad. I usually listen to music when I workout, and like listening to hard metal, House (Form of Techno) or Rap. I can say that when I listen to Christian music it doesn't seem to effect me in negative ways. However, some of the songs I hear on the radio (Positive encouraging K-love.) that are Christian, could be sung to your wife (or husband depending on who you are) and the lyrics would work in a worldly sense.

My Favorite Band: Journey
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
While some secular songs have lyrics that are clearly evil,I do not think it is wrong to listen to secular music as long as it has its proper place and does not become an idol. Anyone who has ever been to a Christian concert can attest to the fact that even so-called "Christian" music can become an idol to many people.
 
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