Should Christians listen to Secular Music?
As a teen-ager, my mind brimmed over with fashion designers-costuming and sketching creations. I planned to be a rock star when I grew up. Watching Cher and Ann Wilson fronting their groups made me desire to be a beautiful singing talent to the world. I was one of those teenagers who had no interest in drugs, partying or sleeping around. I planned to be a virgin for my husband. Fast forward eight years later, I accepted my precious Jesus Christ in a spirit-filled Pentecostal church. I was introduced to singing 3 and four part harmony with two sisters at that church.
Several years later, God had me meet with a innovative guitarist who has been one of my best friends for 27 years. Chris asked me to front his Christian rock band and I was forever changed. I had a beautiful voice, large range and could harmonize anything! Holy Spirit brought out the most amazing songs through Chris’ guitar, my voice and lyrics touching on every subject from praise & worship, to the worth of the unborn, to genocide, social issues and precious love songs. We had a pure relationship, though he had conflicts with the other band members and myself because of his controlling tendencies. Chris kept evolving musicallly, (and I went along with him) and we were composing advanced jazz and blues songs. My journey as a front woman, took me to amazing places emotionally and spiritually. Though I had to end my relationship with Chris, it made me seek Father god and Jesus even more. I grieved for the loss , but a few years later Father brought a wonderful new friend into my life who bought my first CD of my original compositions which I recorded with my first producer. He was so impressed with the quality of my voice, he came over my house with his guitar, taught me a few basic chords and left with, “Get comfortable with it and play everyday.”
To make a VERY long story short, I fell in love with the guitar and my technique and skill at composing grew sublimely quickly, writing my first spiritual song in a month! I began experimenting with different chord positions and bought a jazz chord book which led to me composing songs for my second CD and then a jazz worship Cd with my first guitar song writing partner, Chris
Years, (and many recording-performing projects with great studio producers and session musicians) later, God opened up my spirit to vast amounts of musical elements with which to compose music for His glory and for music describing events, relationships and social issues. So, with all this in mind and all my experience and joy as a composer, performing artist and prophetic worship leader, I compare musical expression to being a painter.
If God gave us a palette of about three or four main hues, ( with endless possibilities in the blending together various colors), why can’t musicians use the musical notes and chords as lavishly? There are hundreds maybe thousands of possible variations of colors in the spectrum and with the exception of a few bold and innovation Christian artists, the majority of artists on KLOVE or most Christian stations use the same chordal formula and the same stale lyrics.
Isn’t our God vastly creative and endlessly innovative? Aren’t we made in His image and with the same ability to innovate the greatest works of art and music…far above non-sacred composers and artists?
I don’t mean to put down KLOVE or any Christian station, but God’s people, who have a platform to exhibit His greatness settle for mediocrity or what has been done or follow the trends of secular radio stations play and the A&R moguls pump out. I personally find very little of the Christian music market interesting, probably because of my experimenting with compelling and captivating chords and notes!
I’ve heard Biblical scholars say that Lucifer was the most beautiful angel endued with transcendent musical talent. Ezekiel 28:13. If he was he may have had every creative idea possible on every instrument. And of course, he inspired the greatest musicians, artists and writers of out time with his rebellious and tainted influence. So…what happened to that same transcendent creativity and talent issuing from GOD through his artists? I can only think of a few modern artist like Phil Keaggy and Keith Green and a handful of classical artist with extra-ordinary giftings, but this is not usually the case.
A blogger commented on Ugochi’s post, Ese says, “I struggled with deleting my favorite rock songs from her collection” I had to struggle also because most of my favorites have that quintessence that most Christian artists I hear don’t have. Sorry to say this. It’s even harder for Christian Jazz avant-garde composers to discard their secular collection. Here’s where some of us experienced and advanced composers-artist stand. The lack of innovation and problem-solving by God’s people not only involves musical creativity but also directly affects social issues and humanitarian challenges! Another subject for another post.
In my case, to the pure all things are pure.