I haven’t met a person with an aversion to music. The right combination of instruments, voices and lyrics birth a masterpiece that lingers in our minds for hours and days. It is comparable to food; the right recipe produces a remarkable taste. What’s worth noting however is that the quality of food isn’t solely dependent on its taste but its health effect. I opine that good food should have good taste and have good effects on our health. The same reasoning applies to music; true musical satisfaction can only be the effect of a great sound and a message healthy enough for our minds.
Humans like to define and categorize things just to ease them of complexities that come with selection. The music industry is clearly one of the victims of the said categorization. The industry denotes its categorization by the word ‘genre.’ Usually, the definitive feature of a genre is its sound and instrumentation and R&B, Hip-hop, soul, rock etc. are examples. Gospel or Christian music is one of the few if not the only genre defined by its message. The problem this creates is that for Christians, the industry is split into two: gospel and secular. This phenomenon is only problematic because of the tendency for Christians to limit Christian music not just by its message but sound too. The apparent segregation of gospel and secular results in the Christian community associating a particular sound to gospel music, thus neglecting all other music without this sound even if their messages are Christian.
For the sake of clarity, when I refer to Christian music in subsequent paragraphs, I’m not limiting it to music that is sang in church by a choir. I am also not referring to Christian music as music with Christian references and words like ‘Hallelujah, Amen, Jesus, Holy Spirit, savior etc. Christian music is music whose message conforms to Christian values, message and direction. The lack of Christian references isn’t what makes a song secular. Secular music basically draws you further away from Christian virtues with its message. Songs that promote misogyny, racism, violence, indiscriminate sex, lust are obviously not healthy to be consumed.
WHAT CAN WE LISTEN TO
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.
As said earlier, music affects the mind. Songs have the ability to influence your thoughts and change your perspective on life. Therefore we need to be our own judges of what we can listen to. We shouldn’t categorize songs as gospel just because it is being sang in church neither should we write off a song we heard on the street as secular just because the lyrics didn’t mention God or Jesus.
Our decision on what we can and should listen to must stem from what the word of God says. From what we see in Phil4:8, we must endeavour to music that would influence us to think on things that are lovely, pure, virtuous and of good report. It is safe to listen to music that would influence you thinking in such manner. Any music playing on the radio that does not induce you to think on positive things should not be entertained.
There’s a reason why adverts, rallies, political campaigns, funerals and all sort of programs employ music is to set the mood. Music has the power to make you act in accordance to whatever mood or message the song is propagating. The more you listen to negativity, the more you allow yourself to be engulfed in a negative atmosphere. Listening to music about sex, drugs, violence and other vices would in time have you committing those acts. So that is important to ensure that you listen to positive music set to give you a positive mentality and energy to go about your day in order to achieve. Wondering where you can have access to such quality music? Right here!
Kobina Oduro Korankye