Monday, April 20, 2009

On The Eighth Day God Created Rock 'n' Roll

Ok, weird post, and for those enquiring minds, I am going to continue my post about toxic churches.....soon, I promise.

I love rock 'n' roll. Always have. My earliest memories of music are of my Mom watching Elvis movies on tv. I soon discovered my Dad had records by Fats Domino and The Platters. Before long, The Beatles arrived through the screams of my older sister. By 1971 my world was emmersed in rock 'n' roll. Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Zeppelin, Bad Compan, BTO, ELO, The Stones, Clapton and more.

Fast forward several years and I discovered Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Love Song, Don Fransisco, Darrell Mansfield, Chuck Girard and all the way to Stryper, Bloodgood, Guardian, Whitecross, Whiteheart, Petra and more.

I know I could live without a tv (because I have) and without the computer (because I have), but without music.....it's never happened.

I have decided today to go on a secular music fast. Not sure for how long, but it starts now. Now that is not the same as doing without music alltogether as I have quite a bit of music that is done by Christians, for Christians - if you know what I mean.

I have done this before. Sometimes for a day, a week, a month, and one time for over a year.

I'm curious if any of you have done so, and if so, for how long? What were the benefits? Any "withdrawal" symptoms? Any of you given up secular music alltogether? If so, have you also given up secular television, books and movies?

I'm not trying to put anyone under any kind of law here, just wanting to know what your thoughts and your experiences are. I know that at times, secular entertainment has hurt my walk with Christ. In my past there were "triggers" that would trip me up, which I can now spot.

I know this subject has been debated ad nausem, but I am curious to see what some of you might think.

I know what the scriptures say, but sometimes the problem comes in where the rubber meets the road of our daily lives.

I would like to get feedback concerning the following verses in connection with the thought of secular entertainment.

Matthew 15:17-19 (New International Version)
"Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander."

Romans 12:1-2
I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

John 17:15–16 (ESV)
15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

Now, I know that there is the argument that there is no division between sacred and spiritual for the beleiver, and I fully understand the premise behind such a statement, yet we cannot ingore the fact that some things are better for our spiritual growth than others. Some things draw us closer to Christ, others drive us away, or at the very least these things may put a barrier up that interferes with our relationship with the Lord.

The seed of this fast came from reading a book.

This book:

Worldliness

If you haven't read it yet, I encourage you to do so....it is thought provoking.

Looking forward to your thoughts, on the subject of fasting, or on fasting from secular entertainment in its various forms, or the subject of the secular vs. the sacred, or thoughts on the book if you have read it.

Pastor Dave

6 comments:

Valeri said...

Hi Dave...I loved reading this post as I realized it came from your heart and from your calling. Kudos to you for making this stand. I will respond because you asked for feedback.

I do not have this conviction, nor do I have an unhealthy connection with secular music. I listen to both secular and Christian music, with Christian being the dominant. But I have never been stumbled by secular music—at least not the secular music I listen to.

Now, I try to shield myself from all things that could draw me away from God. I do not watch television at all. I have seen too many people become addicted to television and neglect the important things in their life such as reading the word and spending time at the feet of Jesus. I limit my time online, even though that's difficult with much of my work being done online. And so on...

So, other than music that is anti-God and/or that has swearing in it, I do not see that listening to secular music is being worldly. Just as the fact that we don't wear robes today and instead dress in a modern fashion (except clothing that is immodest) does not make us worldly, the music doesn't either. This is all within boundaries, of course. We wouldn't listen to so-called Christian music if it spoke of another gospel!

Bottomline, I think it's a personal issue. If you are convicted that secular music is worldly for you and/or keeps you from the deepest relationship with God, then you must stay away from it. Each person needs to evaluate how their music affects them and their relationship with their Father.

For me, secular music is something that sometimes runs in the background. Sometimes I listen to particular songs that just sound so very beautiful that they put a smile on my face and sing along. But, I listen to much more Christian music. It plays an important role in my daily walk with the Lord, my growth as a Christian and my relationships with others.

Blessings,
Valeri

Bim said...

(Prequel: I can agree pretty much with what Valeri has said. It isn't a big issue with me, likely because I've never allowed it to become that. And I commend anyone who is wrestling with secular music to do such a 'fast'. Ver admirable.)

Wow, Dave ... I'd love to comment on this ... but being the keyboard-challenged guy I am ... my mind just gets going so much faster than my fingers, it becomes a frustration to try and keep up. I could phone you up and would be willing to do it to give you my take. Anyway ... I'll leave you a brief thought.

I commend you on the fast. I also got into all the secular music way back with the Beatles. Then the Monkees. Then The Who and T. Rex ... etc, etc...

When I discovered Christian Rock music, secular music faded in it's glory a great deal. It had so little to say to me. Love Song, Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill had so much more to say to a far deeper part of me than Three Dog Night or Marc Bolan could ever reach.

I have no problem maintaining appreciation for well-written music. I don't even mind if someone's singing a song about a social issue, a love relationship or just life. But ... I far prefer to hear good hard music that glorifies my God or feeds my spirit. Listening to secular music and expecting it to do anything for me is like eating a burger at White Castle for the nourishment and expecting it to fill me for the day. It just can't do it. Sure ... a fast burger tastes good(not White Castle's, though) ... but it's a fleeting satisfaction.

Enjoy your fast, Dave. Immerse yourself in some good, solid music that has substance. Either that, or immerse yourself in some screaming silence.

God Bless You,
Bim

Pastor Dave said...

Thanks Val & Bim. Great comments. Conviction and unhealthy connection are words that Val used, and that I can relate to. I'm not "convicted" per se about secular music, you could call this an "investigative fast", seeing what the results will be...but unhealthy connection, oh yeah, that I have. It doesn't raise it's head anymore, as I beleive I have cut the head of the ugly beast off, but I can remember when it did.

Bim, you liked the Monkees...I knew you were cool. Anyway, appreciate what you had to say also. I think your comparing it to junk food and looking for nutritional value is spot on for many. One of my problems is that I have a tendency to obsess or og overboard when it comes to music. This is somthing that God has brought under His control, but something that I must remind myself not to try and wrestle from His control.

Again, thanks for the comments. Much appreciated.

Pastor Dave

Barb said...

Dave - I love that you are doing an "investigative fast" to see what the benefits are, if any. I am looking forward to your post about the result!

I look at things now and line them up against Hebrews 12:1-2.... It's usually apparent to me what "sin" is, but often I don't see that I'm dealing with "weight". Weighty things are not necessarily sinful things, but nonetheless, keep me from running the race at my best. My 2 cents anyway! Thanks for this post!

Jen Sanchez said...

I have given up secular music altogether. I did it about 8 years ago and my heart has never been the same... for obvious reasons. God has given me a great singing voice (at least that's what some people tell me) and I often sing to my children when they are settling in for the night. There were times when I couldn't sing them anything... uh, "decent". So, I gave up everything but Christian songs... The thing I noticed the most is that I had stopped hearing songs that left me feeling like there was some sort of love out there that I just desperately needed. The truth is that the love that every human needs is perfectly fulfilled with the overwhelming pure love of Jesus. To not have that twisted "version" of love as portrayed by our society was more that worth the "giving up" of those other songs.
Just so you all know, I LOVE JAMMIN' MUSIC!! Nothing like going to get the kiddos from school with Toby Mac or Group 1 Crew turned up as loud as the stock speakers in my minivan can manage!! Thing is, Jesus is the great romance that every person is longing for, after all "There's a God-shaped hole in all of us." So, who better to fill that hole...?

Bill Loyd said...

Dave,
I, like you, am a huge music fan. However, I do not come close to the depth of knowledge you have for both Christian and secular music.

My first loves in music date back to 1972, listening to my dads 8-tracks on the car player. Such favorites as John Denver's Poems, Prayers and Promises that to this day is in my top 5 albums of all time.

In the early 80's I discovered Rock listening to KZAP out of Sacramento. I can still remember to this day waking up to my alarm that usually blared KZAP music, and being shocked to hear country come from the air waves. I had a notion to start a grass roots effort to bring KZAP back much like the New Coke generation had done.

Throughout my rocky walk with Jesus, I have fallen away and come back several times. The comebacks were usually doomed as I returned to listening to secular music. Not that the music itself was the culprit, but as we talked it was the places and times the music would sort of transport me back to.

Today I am blessed to have an outstanding collection of Christian music that suits me just fine, and I find the temptation to let my mind wander back to days long past grows dimmer and dimmer.

I too shall join you on your quest in fasting from secular music. Please pray that God uses this time to allow me to grow closer to him and to focus more of my time in worshiping him.

God Bless