View Full Version : Is it ok to listen to secular music?

07-30-02, 10:36 AM
I'm new here, so if this topic has been brought up before, I apologize.
As a heavy metal music fan, I was wondering how you felt about Christians listening to this kind of music. I mean, I know how to discern the good from the bad as far as lyrics go, but generally most people associate heavy metal with evil and all sorts of bad things. What do you all think about this? In this day and age where tolerance for everything is becoming more and more predominant, do you think my mindset about this music is just a product of the times?
Or IS it safe to listen to the music as long as you keep and open mind to the attitudes of the musicians and the lyrics they write? For me, my heart and soul is on God all the time, but as a fan of heavy metal I still enjoy the music.
Am I out of control, or is there a real connection between the two? Thanks for the input!

07-30-02, 07:36 PM
Check out my post in this section called My Thoughts On Christian Music. That will tell you what I think.

07-30-02, 07:37 PM
Actually it's called "My Ideas On Christian Music". Sorry.

08-03-02, 03:23 AM
i think it's a person-to-person issue. i'm fine with secular music, but when i was in high school, i was very easily influenced by the music i listened to & i refused to admit the effects it had on my moods & general happiness. as a result, i prayed & decided to give up secular music.. now that i've been in college for a year, i feel that i'm mature (emotionally & spiritually) enough to handle it.

08-07-02, 04:19 PM
I'm a Christian and listen to mostly Christian stuff but sometimes I do listen to secular radio,and I have one secular cd by Celine Dion.

08-09-02, 12:45 PM
I went to the national youth workers convention and this guy Phil Chalmers spoke at it. It was his opinion that much of the media today is pretty negative and has really harmful effects. We got to meet a girl who was raped and nearly killed by a man who had been influenced by a particular group (the way in which he tried to kill the girl was the same as in a song).

he's got a couple of web sites that you can go to




I thought he was pretty informative. He also has some stuff about Christian alternatives to various secular groups. I asked him about the nature of the genres (like heavy metal) themselves, but his opinion is that the lyrics matter more than the specific music styles. I don't know how I feel about that yet. I used to really like heavy metal and gangster rap, but I don't know if the same music, but with better words is really all that much different. I think maybe looking at the origins of different music styles would probably give some insight as to how spiritually healthy they are. But it's not something I've really looked into.

08-09-02, 01:31 PM
To answer your thread question, I'd have to say yes.

I don't think the mainstream Christian problem with music is that it is secular. There is secular Classical music and I doubt you'll hear Christians decrying that.

"All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel..."

I haven't heard any Christians complain about that song either, and it's not "Christian".

I don't think we can say that the music is a problem just because it isn't explictedly Christian. It must be something more.

08-09-02, 05:43 PM
I had this discussion on the LBMB recently, and I personally completely and totally disagree (sp?) with people who think that secular music is wrong. I listen to a lot of secular music - in fact, most of my collection is secular. You cannot say that music in and of itself is good or bad. That is like saying an inatimate object is good or bad. Not even the lyrics determine whether the song is good or bad. Music is an expression of one's feelings. There is no "good" or "bad" music. A collection of sound waves is not good, nor bad. This is a tough topic to explain, but it doesn't matter what you listen to, I guess is what I'm getting at. Music can influence you to do bad things, but that doesn't make it good. It's how you interpret the lyrics. If they are going to make you go and mow down people with guns, then you probably shouldn't be listening to it. But if you can listen to music with a filter in your mind, if you are able to determine what is good and what is bad, than I think it is OK.

Just my two cents.

08-09-02, 06:03 PM
I listen to different kinds of secular music, jazz, hip-hop to name a few. I like the older 80's stuff too. I noticed that the more current stuff can be sexually suggestive so I tend to stay away from that it. But you know what? Even Christian music is viewed as "bad" by some Christians. I came across a message board yesterday where the people on it are against Christian Rock and any Christian music that is not scripture or hymn-based. So I think you'll get different opinions across the board on this topic!

08-09-02, 07:35 PM
I listen to all music that speaks to me. That includes everythihng from Dylan to Smashing Pumpkins to Enya to Marilon Manson.

08-10-02, 01:04 AM
I havne't studied this too in depth, but since I went to that seminar at the national youth workers convention, I've been thinking about it more and more.

It could be argued that not all people are influence by the media. But it seems to me that a whole lot of people are, especially kids. The speaker that I saw made a correlation between the increase in teen sex, drug/alcohol use, violence, and suicide with secular media as it's evolved over the past few decades.
If we assume that many people are spiritually affected in a negative way by a lot of what's out there in terms of music, tv, movies, and so forth, I guess the question becomes this: is it appropriate for us as Christians to support that industry? Furthermore, how do we really know that it's only others that are being harmed and that we aren't being negatively influenced as well? It seems to me that subtle negative effects that happen over a long while would not be easily discerned while they were occuring.
This doesn't necessarily address the issue raised in the beginning about specific music genres, but I think it should be part of the same discussion.

08-10-02, 01:59 AM
hey bigkat, i saw phil chalmers speak last year at C.I.Y. he's amazing!

Not even the lyrics determine whether the song is good or bad. Music is an expression of one's feelings. There is no "good" or "bad" music.... It's how you interpret the lyrics.

lyrics may not determine whether a song is good or bad, but you can't really interpret some lyrics as glorifying to Jehovah, no matter how hard you try (i was going to quote a graphic, well-known song, but i didn't want to violate the TOS).

08-10-02, 02:41 AM
Did he bring the girl whose friend was killed and then she was almost killed too? That was one of the most amazing things I'd ever seen when she came out. Amazing how God's using her now.

We also got to see that guy that used to be in 2 Live Crew. Amazing that he's a Christian now.