43 Comments

  1. This really hit home with me. There was a time when I first came to college that I thought in order to be a good Christian I needed to delete all none christian music from my laptop. I did. In the months that followed I found myself googling songs that made me think of home (such as “I’m already there” a song that made me think of my dad and his deployments) that I had on my computer before and no longer had. I found that deleting my music hadn’t made me a better Christian, instead it made me feel like I was the only one feeling frustrated, or homesick, or tired. Music let me see that it was okay to feel because those artists and writers felt it too.

  2. heartsonguard

    This is a wonderful post. Music has always been a very important part of my life – secular and now Christian. Martin Luther loved music – Lutheran services have a LOT of singing – he said “My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solved and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”

    God doesn’t just speak to us through church-y and holy things. He speaks to us through the world as well – through books, through people, and through music.

    One thing to remember is that we are saved by his grace through faith and made free. We have freedom to make a lot of choices as we are now free from the bondage of sin. That being said, Romans 14 is quite clear that our freedom should always be exercised with our neighbors in mind. We may be able to listen to secular music ourselves and still stand firm in our relationship with God, but we must always gauge how the choices we make – yes, even in music choices – might affect the faith of those around us. If a choice in song might shake a friend’s already wobbling faith, then we should refrain. Hopefully that makes sense :)

    Love this post!!!

    • Yes, April, that makes a lot of sense. We should definitely consider how our choices in music might affect others, and I agree that the Bible is clear on that.

      I love that quote by Martin Luther!

  3. Thanks for your post, it brought to mind a book I read recently called ‘Finding God’ where you least expect Him by John Fisher. he describes a lot of what you are saying, he became closer to God through secular music, and has been on a thirty year quest of finding and worshiping God the creator, through every created thing.And provokes the reader to do the same. Jesus was in the world,( walking, eating, socializing and celebrating) but He knew He was not of this world but He didn’t try to shut the world out, instead He knew ‘For God so loved the world ,He sent His only begotten Son’. And because He was sent He went, out into the world, and overcame it, and those who sat in darkness saw a great light. Christians have this enormous sense of “perceived evil’, but it is really a religious spirit. Christ has called us to go into the world and we are busy trying to keep the world out,with the mindset that’ if it’s secular it must be sin!’ . It’s true we are in the world but not of it. It’s another thing to be in the world but afraid to engage in it. . As if by not doing so, we are remaining pure and undefiled. But in reality,we ban just about everything, (even the good things) to maintain the “Christian bubble” we’ve built. We are called to be a light in the world not a light in our bubble… Thanks for your post, it may cause some bubbles to burst!

    • Thank you for your input. While I agree with some of what you have said, what you say of John Fisher sounds very pantheistic. We are to worship God and God alone – our worship is between us and him, not “through every created thing.” Scripture is clear that creation is not to be worshipped.

      Music is wonderful and can help us prepare to worship God, but true worship is in Spirit – in the heart. Not through creation. I hope this makes sense.

      • Oh, I am in no way saying worship “created things”, I agree worship God and God alone,and so does the writer I was referring to. God, is the “creator of all things”. Every thing that was created was created by Him.-“You are worthy ,O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created”.-Revelation 4:11.
        What I was trying to convey is not Pantheism. Rather recognizing God’s handiwork in creation, and acknowledging God as Creator, and marveling at His many faceted ways of displaying His creativity through out creation especially through Humanity, His greatest creation. Hope that clarifies things:).

  4. jeanniere

    What one person states about THEMSELVES in a public forum is up to them. But when that person discusses what happens between family in the privacy of their own home on a public forum without the permission of that family is an invasion of that privacy and disrespectful to that family.

    • Jill

      Jeanniere, I hear your concern, but as a reader, this author shares her own story. She doesn’t name any names and only those in her intimate circle know the individuals involved. I find it odd that someone would find this beautiful story an “invasion”. It paints this loving family in such a sweet and precious light. What I see is a family filled with love and joy, and intimacy that few families ever know. And this picture is one of the grace and love of the Master…one of healing, wholeness and love. Not sure how this could be viewed as disrespectful. Could you elaborate?

  5. Aprille, the way you wrote your family’s experience of freedom was with much dignity and grace, and certainly no disrespect was seen through what I read. I think the beauty of the post lies in the rawness of the moment, the coming together of like-minds and finally being able to feel together.
    I think had you just mentioned yourself, the truth of the moment would have been lost and the post would not have been the same.
    I know others may feel that this post is an invasion of privacy or disrespecting of your family, but I think you showed us how beautiful it can be when a family comes together, allows for healing, and allows for bonding.

    Isn’t it funny how music can so inspire us? And I love how God can give us glimpses of Him even through something that may not necessarily be “Christian”.
    Beautifully written. Thank you for your candidness and honesty!

  6. jeanniere

    Considering it is my family and this reflects on ALL members of my family it is an invasion of our home to be publicly discussed without our consent. Regardless of how it may be presented what happens in the home should stay in the home.

  7. […] Introduction: some self-observations about legalism Part 1: what is “legalism”? Part 2: standing under the broken heart Part 3: hiding in shame, packing up my dreams Part 4: when you “trust and obey” but your heart still gets broken Part 5: when you’ve been hurt by legalism, hold onto faith Part 6: What do Brad Pitt, Josh Groban, and Sleepless in Seattle have in common? Part 7: perfection is not possible Part 8: finding healing and freedom in secular music […]

  8. Mish

    I think I learned to sing before I could talk. I grew up in a very liberal home, so my exposure to music ranged from music in (a Lutheran) church on Sundays to practically every other genre under the sun (except jazz and rap). I could lisp the words to “Come Sail Away” by Styx and then turn around and sing along with Barry Manilow or John Denver, all before I was the ripe old age of 3. All I can say is, there is beautiful, meaningful music practically everywhere you look. And I can honestly admit that had some of it not reverberated through my soul at some very dark times, I would have given up. Music heals. Thank God for that!

  9. Marie

    You do the same thing I do sometimes… when you state something you believe that disagrees with someone in authority/or something you used to believe you feel uncomfortable and aren’t confidant in what you have to say.

    Relax…. God is bringing you on a journey and you can be confidant in the convictions He’s led you to up to this point. God is sooo big and SOO outside of the boxes we put him in. If we don’t have it “exactly perfect” in our opinions/convictions that’s ok….

    I think music is an area where God didnt’ really give us guidelines…. like on beat etc…. so relax!

    From one gal that has and is dealing with being too uptight/legalistic/in my own box to another.

    these are late night ramblings for me…. :) I know that we both have and will have a ministry to people that have dealt with legalistm even people from other faiths that are more orthodox like Orthodox Jews etc…. 😀

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