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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bible Study on Music

When I went to camp last July God put impressed upon my heart to do a Bible study with my family, so I put this together and really enjoyed the time I spent with God alowing Him to teach me. It was amazing how easily it came and how well the scriptures fit together. Some scriptures God gave me through my daily Bible reading when I wasn't even looking for verses. I thought I would post it on my blog for anyone else to read. Just rememeber, it's writen in a study type so it may be different than my usual articles. Also take into consideration that it is also written to my family, whose convictions I am familiar with.

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I think all of us agree that God doesn’t want us to listen to worldly music like rock –n- roll, rap, country, and such. But could any of us show a scripture as to why we believe that? A few weeks ago I would have had a hard time doing that. So the purpose of this study isn’t just to go over why we believe it’s wrong to listen to worldly music, but mostly to go over scriptures that give us this belief. All of our convictions should come from the word of God, not just what we think is logically or theoretically correct. We can defend our belief based on our thoughts all day long, but it is much easier to convince other Christians this is right if we have scriptures to show them.

The first scripture I want to look at is Eph 5: 18-20. "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" I think it’s safe to say that country, rock, and rap music doesn’t fit in this verse because none of those are spiritual songs. In verse 18 Paul is talking about not being drunk with wine, but I believe the last part of the verse “but be filled with the Spirit” can be applied to all Christians regardless if they use to drink or not. (As well, there are also scriptures in Romans 8 that talk about walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh.) We see in the next verse that to be filled with the Spirit we should speak to ourselves in psalms and hymn and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord. Notice that this verse doesn’t say just on Sundays, or just when you’re at church. We should always seek to be filled with the spirit, which means we should always be singing to ourselves with spiritual songs. By listening to worldly music we are walking after the flesh because if feels good, but it doesn’t make the spirit stronger. If you feed the flesh once, it’s easier to feed it again, and before we know it we will be pleasing the flesh so much that our spirit will be weak.

Verse 20 talks more about this. "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" One of the ways we can give thanks always is to sing spiritual songs. Most of the worldly music doesn’t give thanks to God, but rather focuses on our self. Either on our broken heart, our lost boyfriend/girlfriend, or late night parties. None of that gives thanks to God.

Next I want to look at Proverbs 14:9. "Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour." There’s not much I want to say about this verse. Most of the worldly songs make sin seem okay. They talk about having affairs, getting drunk, and doing what feels good, which is fulfilling the flesh. Some worldly music also uses cuss words, which shows they have no fear of God. That’s another reason why we shouldn’t listen to that music because fools make a mock of sin.

Last week I was reading in Deu chapter 31. It was Moses’ last days on earth so God was giving Moses his last instructions that he was to carry out before he died. God reminded Moses of all that he had done for them: how he brought them out of Egypt, made the Red sea to part, and how he brought them into the land which he promised them. God said in verse 19, "Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel." Music is a great tool to help us remember things. Do you remember in Sunday school or Bible camp how we would learn Bible verses to tunes? God was using that same method to make the Israelites remember God’s faithfulness. On the flip side, do we want to constantly be reminded of the things of the world? Even if the song may seem harmless, we need to ask our self is it something that we want to fill our mind with instead of filling our mind with the things of God.

Psalms 40:3 "And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD." This reminds me of 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Notice it says old things are passed away. When we get saved or when we dedicate our life to the LORD we should put away old things, everything that bound our heart to the world, or is able to sway us, remind us of the old days, we should leave that and replace it with the things of God. Along with this thought goes 1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." We should ask our self, “Can I sing this song to the glory of God?” and if the answer is “no” then we shouldn’t be listening to it.

Now let’s look at1 Thessalonians 5:23. "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." We are the temple of God according to I Corinthians 6:19. We should try to keep our whole spirit, soul and body pure and clean, not even spotted by the world. I always try to picture Jesus sitting right there next to me. And I think, “Does Jesus want to listen to this music? Does Jesus want to watch this movie? Does Jesus want to go to this place?” Because he sees everything we do and listens to everything we let go into our ears.

When I was studying for this I found this quote by Susanna Wesley that I thought was very good. John Wesley was the one who founded the Methodist Movement along with his brother Charles Wesley. (Back in those days I’ve been told the Methodist believed the Bible more and really wasn’t very different from Baptist, but that’s just what I’ve been told.) When John Wesley was in college he wrote a letter to his Mother asking her to give him a clear description of sin. She wrote:” Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures [which means to darken] your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.” {Susanna Wesley, mother of John Wesley}

Someone else said, “It doesn’t matter what something is rated, or how popular it is, or how seemingly innocent it appears. If it hardens your heart toward God, if it obscures your awareness of the ugliness of sin and the holiness of God, if it takes the edge off your spiritual hunger, then it’s sin.” The more worldly music you listen to the more apt you are to think that, “Oh, it’s not too bad. “ and then you’ll be listening to music that is just a little bit worse. And then you’ll think, “Well, that movie isn’t that sinful, and it’s just a short bad part.” And because you are feeding your mind with “innocent” music written by worldly people, sin doesn’t look as ugly anymore and God isn’t quite as precious.

Along with that I think of Hebrews 12:1. "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." It’s not always easy to keep our eyes on God, especially when we live in a very sinful world. So we need to stop listening to things that take our eyes off God. And that applies to everything in our life. For example, ever since I came back from camp I’ve stopped reading all the news headlines on Yahoo and Inbox while I’m on the internet because some of the news wasn’t very clean and even if it was, it’s all worldly. It may not be a sin to everyone to read the news headlines, but it was something that got my mind off of God, so I stopped looking at it. So even if the song is harmless, like the oldies that talk about romance and blue suede shoes, it still isn’t healthy to listen to it because it gets us thinking about things that don’t really matter. With as hard as it is at times to keep our focus on God, we should try everything to keep our minds on Serving Christ. And one of the ways we can do that is by listening to Christian music that reminds us of how good God is and everything he’s done for us.

The last verse I want to read is in Philippians 4:8. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." And that sums it up perfectly!

1 comment:

Under Southern Skies said...

Great article (bibly study), Jennifer! Thanks for sharing.