Posted : 14 Sep, 2017 06:42 AM
I hear what you're saying, brother, and while I agree that the risk is there for music to shape minds in such a way as to lead people away from God, I believe that like so many other subjects God can use all things not only for the good of his people, but also to connect with those who don't know Him. If it causes a brother/sister to stumble then leave it. But if it can be used as it is or redeemed for a service that honors God and becomes instrumental(pardon the pun) to leading someone to Christ, well, Amen! I was steeped in Pop/Rock/Metal and enjoyed a few other genres growing up and that had a part in my being far from God and embedded in the world. Eventually, I gave my life to Christ and over the years as the Spirit led me I had to make some choices about what was not good for me to hold on to and to let them go. But eventually, I was able to listen to some of those songs with a new mind and discovered two neat things. First, since so many people enjoy popular music(I know, it's redundant, but bare with me), it provides common ground--a place I can meet with non-believers so we can start building a relationship of mutual honor and respect. Then, when the opportunity comes for me to share Christ with them, they know I'm not just trying to "sell them something even if it's free." They're more likely to listen because they know I really care about them. The other neat thing I discovered is what happens when I can find a secular song I loved so much growing up that I can rededicate or redeem for the glory of God and the good of his people. Concerning secular music, I was most influenced my 80s Pop/rock/metal/old school rap(before Gangsta Rap). So for one example, if you like those genres as well, consider the song I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner. One day during a time in my life when I was seeking a deeper level of love with God and with people and wanted to know what it looked like, this song came on. I was inspired to rededicate the song--not change any of the words really, just the audience. Instead of "I want you to show me", "you" being the earthly object of my affection in mind and heart, I began singing "I want You to show me!", "You" being Jesus in my mind and heart. When I sang that song to Him with the same passion that I had sung it so many years ago, the experience was over the top! Didn't have to change one word, just the audience. Now, if I meet that special someone and I dedicate that song to them, it will come with a whole new level of meaning .
Something like Leonard Cohen's Sisters of Mercy takes a bit more work, but the idea is the same. Instead of "The Sisters of Mercy they have not departed or gone..." I can sing, "The Lord shows me mercy. He has not departed or gone. He was waiting for me when I thought that I just can't go on. And He brought me his comfort and later He brought me this song. How I hope you run into Him, you who've been traveling so long. Yes you who must leave everything that you can not control. It begins with your family, but soon it comes 'round to your soul. Well, I've been where you're hanging and I think I can see how you're pinned. When you're not feeling holy your loneliness says that you've sinned. He stays right beside me. I make my confessions to Him. He healed both my eyes, and I touched the jewel on his hem. If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn, He will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem..." Redeeming the last verse of the song would require the gifts and skills of someone with more talent than I have, but you get the idea. Great topic, brother! Thanks so much for sharing! God bless you !