What Is Godly Music?
A Study Outline
- Of all of the activities of mankind on earth, music is one of the most universal of all.
- As a system of frequencies and rhythm, we hear music in some form all around us each day.
- Nature exudes a vast array of musical styles: birds singing, insects chirping, animals calling, and even whales, dolphins, and fish making music.
- Even machines create forms of tones and rhythms that might be
termed”music”, which we hear all around us, in our homes, on the street, in our cars, and in our place of work.
- Music is a very powerful form of communication, giving rise to all sorts of
physiological and psychological effects, and it is hard to determine when pure speaking ends and singing or music begins.
- III. Music is a series of vibrations at various frequencies transmitted through
the air. Such frequencies have been employed throughout history as recorded in Scripture and in secular history.
- Elohim used frequencies to bring the creation into existence.
- Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26. God “said”, and in consequence it was created.
- Psalm 19:1-4.
- Job 38:1-7
- “In the beginning was the Word …”, and by Him all things were made by those words.
- As Christians we recognize that every part of our lives is committed to serving
and obeying our Creator, and music is merely one part of our total life. Even as we strive to obey Him in what we eat, what we wear, what we say, what we pray, and in all things, we must strive to obey God in what we sing, in what music we create, and in what music we listen to.
- II Corinthians 10:5. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that
exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
- Galatians 2:20. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but
Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
- We also understand that the whole world is caught up in deception by Satan
(Revelation 12:9; 18:23; 20:3), whose major objective is to destroy the very elect, if that were possible (Matthew 24:24; Luke 22:31; Revelation 12:15-17). Not the least of those deceptions involves music, whose power to uplift or to destroy is well-known.
- We can thus assume, quite correctly, that Satan has used throughout history,
and is using today, perverted music to try and achieve his goals of world dominance in the hearts of men, and win all nations over to his way of selfishness and carnality.
- In ancient times, we have the record of evil music commencing within
the line of Cain. Genesis 4:20-21. “And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.” Jubal, a descendant of Cain, the murderer of Abel, can assumed to be the father of those who create evil music with the harp (stringed instruments) and organ (wind instruments).
- At the time of the flood music was perverted and evil. Genesis 6:5.
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
- In Egypt at least some of the music must have been raucous and
perverted, for the Israelites and the mixed multitude which left Egypt knew what it was like. Exodus 32:17-19.
- Music was used to glorify kings of the earth, such as Nebuchadnezzar.
- In modern times, prophesies say that the character of men — and
thus of their music — will take on the nature of the god of this world. II Timothy 3:1-5.
VII. Today, as in ages past, we find around us a mixture of good and evil, and this mixture applies to music as well.
- Genesis 2:16-17. “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of
every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
- Genesis 3:1-6. When Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit, they
did just what countless others do today in their choice of music: they take of the forbidden fruit, deciding for themselves what they think is good.
- According to Dr. H:oward Hanson, Director of the Eastman School of
Music at the University of Rochester, “Music can be soothing or invigorating, ennobling or vulgarizing, philosophical or orgiastic. It has powers of evil as well as for good” (David Tame, The Secret Power of Music, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, 1984, page 155).
VIII. How, then, can we understand what music is good and what music is evil?
- The music must draw us closer to God.
- David’s music caused evil spirits to leave Saul. I Samuel 16:23. “And it
came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”
- When the ark of the covenant was brought to Jerusalem there was
singing, and instruments playing. I Chronicles 15:15-16. “And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the Lord. And David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.”
- When the ark had been brought into Jerusalem, David sang a song of
thanksgiving. I Chronicles 16:7-36. The song gave praise to God and exudes great joy.
- When the ark was placed in the temple, and music and singing
declared praise and thanks, together as one, Yahweh’s presence filled the building. II Chronicles 5:13. “It came even to pas, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endures for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;”
- Romans 15:9. “And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it
is written, for this cause I will confess to you among the Gentiles, and sing unto your name.”
- I Corinthians 14:15. “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will
pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”
- Ephesians 5:18-19. “Having their understanding darkened, being
alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleaness with greediness.”
- Colossians 3:16. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
- James 5:13. “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let
him sing psalms.”
- Types of proper music will make it easier to meditate upon God’s
ways, pray, and help direct your thoughts to serve Him better. Examples include some classical music, and some modern.
- J.S. Bach. He wrote that he composed for the spiritual
uplifting of man and for the glory of God (David Tame, The Secret Power of Music, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, 1984, page 154).
- Franz Lehar. “I wanted to conquer people’s hearts, and if I
have succeeded I know I have not lived in vain” (Tame, pages 154-155).
- Monteverdi. “The end of all good music is to affect the soul”
(Tame, page 155).
- Handel. Born in a time of low morality and lack of piety in
England, his formal style of repetition of single chords for two or more bar phrases, and for sequence (the reiteration of a phrase in a different position or on a different degree of the scale) brought about Victorian reverence and elevation of spirit to a crumbling, morally bankrupt society (Tame, page 154).
- Beethoven. He sought to communicate his reverence for God
to all the world (Tame, page 154).
- Steve Green. In the present time, his reverence for scripture
has inspired his sweeping, operatic style to uplift the spirits of many.
- Music that is evil will separate us from God.
- Isaiah 59:2. “But your iniquities have separated between you
and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
- The works of the flesh will be manifest in evil music.
Galatians 5:19-21. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they wh;ich do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Do not rock, metal, jazz, rap, and other evil music reek of permissiveness, rebellion to God and family, revelry, chaos, drunkenness, sexual debauchery, and violence in both their melodoes (if they have any) and their lyrics?
- The Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger). “We are moving after
the minds, and so are most of the new groups.” With the song “Symphony for the Devil” they regularly caused riots at rock festivals (Tame, pages 153-154).
- David Crosby. “I figured the only thing to do was to swipe
their kids. I still think its the only thing to do. By saying that, I’m not talking about kidnapping. I’m just talking about changing their value systems, which removes them from their parent’s world very effectively” (Tame, page 153).
- Momas and the Papas. John Phillips of that group said
they consciously controlled the sequence of rhythms to create audience hysteria (Tame, page 153).
- Jazz music in general. “Jazz” is an African word brought
with the slaves that means “sex”.
- Rock and Roll music in general. This term was coined by
black Americans as a euphemism for sex.
- The jangley, discordant, horribly loud and distorted metal and rock and roll
music of various sorts today moves the mind toward chaos, confusion, anger, rebellion, and evil moral behavior. It is often associated with drugs and sex, even perverted sex.
- What should we, as Christians, do to avoid perverted, sinful music and draw
closer to God through righteous choices in listening to, or playing, music?
- Avoid the negative, sensual messages of rock, metal, jazz, rap,
and other evil forms of music by simply not listening to it.
Isaiah 33:14-16. “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness has surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he that despises the gain of oppressions, that shakes his hands from holding of bribes, that stops his ears from hearing of blood, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.”
- Listen to, or play, classical music, scriptural songs which do not
have a rock or jazz beat, or music that lifts your spirit towards the Creator in joy, reverence, and thanksgiving.
- James 5:13. “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? Let
him sing psalms.”
- 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.”
- Tune into the natural world of bird and insect songs, animal
songs, and the music of the wind, thunder, and other beautiful aspects of God’s marvelous creation!
- The jangley, discordant, horribly loud and distorted metal and rock and roll