Playing the part of the enemy.

Recently I overheard a few young people sharing their excitement over having tickets to attend some famous rock star’s concert that’s happening soon. They were ecstatic; they couldn’t believe they were able to get such good seats; they were trying to figure out who else they would take with them and what outfits they were going to wear! It was really this intense conversation that was happening behind me that I had no business in, yet was eavesdropping anyways. Oh, I think I failed to mention… these individuals are Christians.

What exactly did God mean in II Corinthians 6:17? “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…” It seems pretty simple and straight-forward to me. But the thought doesn’t end there – there’s one sentence is finished with this: “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (vs. 18) There’s a great reason why Christians should be separated from the world and its ways. If you’re truly saved, then you’re the child of the King! You are princes and princesses. You never see royalty rolling around in the mud, associating with criminals or rebels, or engaging in activities of the enemy… they don’t mingle with and engage in “common” activities. They are separated. They are distinct. The same should go for Christians.

Music

I love music. It is one of the things I enjoy most in this world. I play the piano, I love to sing, I love to write music… but even more, I love to listen to music. Music has always been a great help to me – especially when I’m sad or frustrated. But it has also been a great downfall for me as well. I used to listen to it all… well, I never like that scream-o stuff, heavy metal, anything I had to plug my ears and strain to understand – that was just never enjoyable for me. But I used to crave hip hop, R&B, rap, rock, alternative, some country, and a few others. I knew the music was doing absolutely nothing to edify me or help me grow in any way – I knew music that exalted sex, drugs, alcohol, crime, violence, suicide, and a multitude of other unBiblical activities was something that I really shouldn’t be feeding into my mind… but I liked the beat. I liked the way it made my car rumble. I liked the way it made me feel. Ah, the way music makes us “feel” – that’s the big one. It stimulates our emotions; makes us forget the cares of the world for a few minutes; breaks the silence; gives us something to constantly keep our minds busy with. The problem with that music is that it doesn’t glorify the Lord in any way.

The Lord – before He started working on me about anything else – spoke to me about my choice of music. In a way, I was addicted to my music. I couldn’t drive ANYwhere without my radio blasting. I couldn’t sit at work without the online radio playing hip hop in the background. I couldn’t do my chores at home unless I had earplugs in my ears. I couldn’t receive a phone call without some song playing as my ringtone. But as soon as the Lord spoke to me regarding the music I was listening to, I quit cold-turkey. I haven’t used my car radio in over 3 months – except to listen to the traffic report and the new station maybe 4 times total. I replaced all the ungodly music I listed to with Christian music – such as The Henson Family, The Rochester’s, Victorious Valley Girls, Tribute Quartet, Greater Vision, and many other God-honoring music groups. And I LOVE it.

Not only does this music edify my life and benefit my spiritual growth, it glorifies God… and isn’t that what we’re here for in the first place? I love to sing along with my CDs and find harmony parts. I have a wonderful time driving down the freeway – clapping and waving my hands, crying over His goodness, praising Him for the great things He has done!

I’ll be honest, I have absolutely no desire to listen to rap or R&B or rock anymore; in fact, I can’t stand to listen to it now. I get frustrated when my car starts shaking at a red light because the guy next to me has his radio cranked all the way up with his windows down. Let’s be honest here, it’s annoying. 🙂

My point is this. Music can be such a powerful influence on people. At a Jay-Z concert people are screaming and freaking out and their emotions are just way out of check. In church, the music service is usually held before the preaching – because it helps prepare hearts to worship the Lord. So my question is this… if you would never find Jesus at an Eminem concert or listening to Katy Perry on His radio, why would you – as a Christian – want to engage in such activities? The Devil takes great delight in music that lifts up fornication, alcohol, drugs, violence, suicide – and He’s the enemy. Don’t let yourself take sides with him on this issue – steer clear away from it… don’t let yourself play the part of the enemy.

“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.” ~ James 4:4

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Posted on September 3, 2010, in Christian Life, Music and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thanks Heather for such a great post! I’ve never seen this blog before but I will definitely be reading more often.

  2. Hi friend!

    Wow, this is something all the professing Christians out there need to hear. Praise God, continue growing in Him!

  3. [Sorry, this got long]

    It’s great that you were not only able to identify something that was a stumbling block in your life, but were also able to reorient in a way that made God the focus in that area of your life. Many times it’s easy to recognize the first step, but difficult to implement the second. Definitely something I have, and continue to have, difficulty with.

    However, something to consider:

    What did Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34 mean when people called Jesus a glutton and a winebibber and a friend of sinners? Seems like he must have been eating, drinking and hanging out with a worldly crowd for that to happen. To maintain what we’ve decided is a “Christ-like” testimony shouldn’t He have avoided situations that had the “appearance of evil.”?

    The problem with people using “be separate from the world” verses to universally brand certain things as “sin” is that they often cherry-pick what they want “of the world” to mean and rarely take that stance to its logical conclusion (mainly because it would be incredibly inconvenient).

    Here’s a (ridiculous) example: In 2006, 1/4 of all Internet activity was spent looking at pornography (chances are that number is much higher now, as it has been rising every year). That being said, if 1/4 of the books/magazine at Barnes and Nobel were pornographic, would you shop there, or would you avoid it because it had the appearance of evil? If you’d avoid it, then why are you on the Internet? You can literally apply this false logic to anything you want.

    A personal example: I spend too much time on the computer. I’m on it during the day for work, and then in the evenings I spend time on it too — oftentimes before doing things that should be a priority. I need to refocus my time-usage. However, would it be right for me to start proclaiming to everyone “using your computer is a sin!” No. It’s a sin for me, because I let it take priority where it shouldn’t. That doesn’t make it a sin for everyone.

    Christians usually just pick things they’ve had trouble with in their past, or just things they don’t like, and then broadly apply those personal convictions to all Christians. Most times it seems that these convictions aren’t even used to keep themselves on track, but instead to judge other Christians.

    There are things that the scripture is very clear about being wrong and there are things it doesn’t specifically address (music outside of worship, men’s earrings, women’s pants, etc.).

    If there’s something that has been a stumbling block in your life (for you, certain types of music), then absolutely avoid it, because it *would* be a sin for you to engage in it. However, I don’t see any support in the scripture for broadly applying personal convictions (unrelated to salvation) to everyone who’s a Christian.

  4. Heather, great post! I like the analogy of being princes and princesses and their separation. It is all about testimony, and personally, as Christians, everything we do should be Christ-like. I don’t believe the Lord would ever listen to that worldly music. Now, saying that, people do grow at their own pace. Some people get there quicker than others.

    I am like you. Although in my past, I blared my country music all over town, now that stuff is not appealing to my soul at all! I had to listen to rock music on the way back this weekend, and I felt so disturbed. It was my uncle’s car though, so I didn’t have any say in the matter.

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