Should You Listen to Secular Music?

by Pastor Terry Gee

Talking about secular music at church brings up funny responses from people. Some people avoid it entirely, seeking to stay away from the messages the songs may contain. Others listen to it as part of their everyday lives and don’t think about it being suspect at all. Still others enjoy listening to it alone but turn it off when they are around other Christians, afraid of being thought poorly of by others.

Is there a right way to approaching secular music? Let me offer something for you to think about as you weigh this decision for yourself.

Usually we will approach the subject of music with questions like “What’s so bad about this sort of music?” “Is it really causing anything negative in me?” “There’s no profanity in this music, so how bad can it be for me?”

What if I told you that it was less about whether your music was producing anything bad within you and more about whether it was producing anything good within you? Rather than considering what bad things secular music does, consider what good it does for you instead.    

Does secular music set your mind on God? Does it help you combat dirty thoughts and feelings of anger and unforgiveness? Does the music you listen to help you memorize the Word of God and keep your mind on beautiful things all at once? Does it help your heart to sing praise to God at all times, no less on Sunday morning when we gather to worship? Does your music help you love God more?        

If your secular music helps you live for the very purpose for which you were made then by all means listen to it. But if it doesn’t, you may want to consider – am I using this gift of music to further the good of my soul? Or am I, in essence, squandering away a huge resource of grace given to me by God for my good and my holiness?      

Those are the questions I think we need to be asking when it comes to this issue. Whether you listen to secular music or not, God is holding out the gift of Christian music to you today, in ways more accessible than ever before - only you can decide whether or not you will take it.

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