Searched the group for a topic on this, but didn't see anything. I've heard a greatly ranging opinion from Christians of all sorts, but what do you gents feel about contemporary music? (As in not contemporary Christian) I've heard plenty of "It's fine as long as it doesn't cause you to sin"'s and plenty of "It doesn't focus on God and is therefore a sin. What do you guys think?
Perhaps "Deutschland uber Alles"?
Historically quite morally certain, if not always correct.
"Austria," as it's called in all my hymnals, is only evil by convention, if it's evil. I still sing it, and I have family who died in the Holocaust. I just sing it to very different words. If I had married a gentile, I might have liked it at my wedding. In general, the older and simpler a tune is, the less likely it is to be proscribed by my pedagogues.
Well, it's not a _sin_ to sing "Jingle Bells" or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," but we could do with more "speaking to [our]selves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in [our hearts] to the Lord." At least, I could.
Why do I keep getting this image of Kevin Bacon dancing solo?
Some of it may depend on what you get from the music you're listening to. Ask yourself, "Why am I Really listening to this?".
I know some people who get off on the simple beats and bass notes of modern pop music and hip hop - not caring about what they say.
I for one enjoy dubstep, chillstep for the bass undertones and beautiful melodies composed by some artists not well known. I like melodic music, but I also enjoy young member metal bands like We Came as Romans or Attack Attack, both of whom are not Christians bands, but that each have at least a couple Christian guys in the band - and you can tell. The positive message in their songs comes through.
When I judge music, I judge it first by its "musical" characteristics. Judging a song first by its lyrics is like judging a poem for the key signature it is pronounced in.
And then you have to consider what it tells other people about you. "But.. but... Walt Disney says that I shouldn't care about what other people think!".
Sure.. if it was your own reputation on the line. But as a Christian, we need to consider the facts that we bear God's image through the way we live our lives.
Surely it all comes down to a case by case decision that you make based on who's around you.
If you don't listen to mainstream music I feel you are really missing out (That is if music is your thing. If not, we've really nothing to talk about.). I have yet to find Christian artists that are consistently worth listening to. The whole genre, with very few exceptions, is a string of one-hit-wonders with the remaining stuff barely above elevator muzak often coming in below! Sure the message is great but we are talking music not philosophy or poetry. While the lyrics are oft poetic and deeply meaningful, it is the combined product of lyric, rhythm, and melody that makes music with lyric actually being the most dispensable of the three. Yet, it is the latter two which get very much neglected in Christian music to the point that I find the bulk of it really bad.
In the words of Hank Hill, "Can't you see, you're not makin' Christianity better. You're makin' rock n' roll worse!"
But if you don't listen to (good) Christian music, you're missing out even more. There's the "bulk" to sift through but it's worth it.
Thinking about how or if art is good for the soul, and if to censor that which is morally toxic, goes all the way back to Plato's Republic. Definitely read his thoughts on this. I will tell you that I find his ideas restrictive and what I would call oppressive.
I don't think its bad to consume any art, even what we would consider evil. It isn't bad, in and of itself, for example, to read Mein Kampf. One might be reading it for historical study or in order to greater understand evil.
So too with music. And music is much less likely to be overtly "evil" like Mein Kampf. It just might not talk about God or the Christian God. Personally I find "Christian rock" to be really campy and cheesey. And often secular music has a kind of poetry to it that brings me closer to beauty and truth about humanity, and something like that is more divine than cringe-worthy guitar riffs and embarrassingly bad lyrics.
As someone who's written quite a lot of songs, I would say that only a small portion of the songs I've written could be pointed at by others and called Christian songs. But if you ask me, they're distinctly Christian because that's where they come from. Personally, I don't really see a need (for me) to listen to much music that's outside the Christian-influenced music sphere.
For everyone, and especially those who think that Christian music is shallow and cheesy, please listen to this: http://www.amazon.com/Of-Man/dp/B004UFG6IQ/ - you just need to find the good stuff.