Modern Music's Hidden Danger
The erosion of musical standards denotes a spirit of compromise with the world which must be vigorously opposed by strong Christian leaders. As in all areas of our lives believers should ever follow the admonition of Paul: "whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31).
It is my conviction that contemporary and rock forms of music cannot be used to effectively communicate spiritual truth. Indeed, how can rock music, with its origins in demonic activities and its proven adverse psycho-physiological effects, be employed in the totally healing and restorative Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? James 4:4
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him. 1 John 2:15
And Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12: 2
~~~~~What kind of music truly honors God? Ernest Pickering lists ten primary guidelines for Christians to follow:
1. Its message is Scriptural (Colossians 3:16). Good Christian music must present a message that is true to the Word of God and doctrinally sound.
2. It should lead us to think in Biblical patterns and not be suggestive of evil either in message or in musical arrangement (Philippians. 4:8). The text and music should not be cheap or tawdry.
3. It should help us to honor God with our bodies (I Corinthians. 6:19-20). Music which tends to imitate the effects of godless rock upon the human body or which either destroys or impairs one's hearing is not Christian music.
4. It will maintain a balance between "spirit" and "understanding" (I Corinthians. 14:15). Music that is primarily emotional froth would not fulfill this requirement.
5. It will contain words that are full of beauty, dignity, reverence and simplicity, words that are worthy of the worship of a holy God (Isaiah. 6:1-6).
6. It will be free of mental association with worldly musical styles and evidence a holy consecrated character (Romans 12:2; I John. 2:15). Music that seeks to "copy" the worldly approach is not honoring to God.
7. It should be expressive of the peace that accompanies the Christian life, not the clamor, confusion, din, and turmoil of the world (Colossians. 3:15-16). The various forms of rock music do not contribute to peace of heart but partake of the constant jangle of the sinful world. Christ promises peace to His people (John. 14:27).
8. It should be characterized by musical preciseness, finesse of poetic technique, and should evidence a structure of harmony and order. God is a God of order and not disorder (I Corinthians 14:40).
9. It should promote and accompany a life-style of godliness, modesty, and holy quietness, and not modish fashion, suggestive acts, or sexual aggressiveness (1 Peter. 1:16; Titus 2:11-12).
10. It should not contribute to the temptation of new or weak believers (Romans 14:13,21; 15:2). Music that reminds newly-saved converts of their old life of sin is to be abhorred and rejected.
~~~~~What follows are the concise results of a search of Spirit of Prophecy counsel and observation as to what are the distinctive characteristics by which we may know what is Heaven's music, sacred song, and God's way.
Please take special note of each underlined note or phrase.
"Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted. Let us give no place to strange exercisings,... God's work is ever characterized by calmness and dignity" Last Day Events, page 159
"Those who make singing a part of divine worship should select hymns with music appropriate to the occasion...cheerful, yet solemn melodies" Signs of the Times, June 22, 1882.
"Said the angel, List ye! Soon I heard...perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard. It seemed to be so full of mercy, compassion, and elevating, holy joy. It thrilled through my whole being". -Spiritual Gifts. Volume 1, page 185
"Such song [i.e. sacred song] has wonderful power...to subdue rude and uncultivated natures; power to quicken thought and to awaken sympathy, to promote harmony of action, and to banish the gloom and foreboding..." Education, pages 167 &168
"The art of sacred melody was diligently cultivated.... solemn psalms of praise to the Creator, exalting His name and recounting His wondrous works. Thus music was made to serve a holy purpose, to lift the thoughts to that which was pure and noble and elevating, and to awaken in the soul devotion and gratitude to God." Fundamentals of Christian Education, pages 97& 98
"[A] serious, solemn impression... should be the result of sacred music". Selected Messages Book 3, page 333, paragraph 1
"[What is] acceptable to God...[is] perfect, softened, sweet strains of music.... among the...angel choir...singing..is soft and melodious." Manuscript Releases Volume Five, page 195
"graceful,... softer and more silvery strains, more like angel music," Manuscript Releases Volume Five, page 197
"The harps of the angels will sound forth heavenly music..." The Signs of the Times, June 20, 1900
The same search revealed the characteristics of the forms of "music" (in some instances referred to as "noise" or "bedlam") that the God of heaven and the holy angles spurn.
As above, please take special note of each underlined note or phrase.
"The Lord has shown me would take place [in the church] just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted .. . A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that [music] which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit's working. . . . Those things which have been in the past will be in the future. Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted." Last Day Events, page 159
"The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time... Those participating in [this music and] the supposed revival receive impressions which lead them adrift... No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship... Men became excited, and were worked by a power thought to be the power of God." Maranatha, page 234, (Chapter Title: Drums, Dancing and Noise)
"Angels are hovering around yonder dwelling. The young are there assembled; there is the sound of vocal and instrumental music. Christians are gathered there, but what is that you hear? It is a song,..frivolous.... fit for the dance hall. Behold the pure angels gather their light closer around them, and darkness envelops those." ["thoughtless ones" R&H, Mar. 11, 1880].
"in that dwelling The angels are moving from the scene. Sadness is upon their countenances. Behold, they are weeping. This I saw repeated a number of times all through the ranks of Sabbathkeepers... Music is the idol which many professed Sabbathkeeping Christians worship.
Satan has no objection to music if he can make that a channel through which to gain access to the minds of the youth.... He works through the means which will exert the strongest influence to hold the largest numbers in a pleasing infatuation, while they are paralyzed by his power. When turned to good account, music is a blessing; but it is often made one of Satan's most attractive agencies to ensnare souls... Young persons... although professed Christians, frequently dishonor God and their faith by their...choice of music. Sacred music is not congenial to their taste... In the judgment all these words of inspiration will condemn those who have not heeded them." Testimonies for the Church Volume One, page 506
“Brother U has a good knowledge of music, but his education in music was of a character to suit the stage rather than the solemn worship of God.” Selected Messages Book 3, page 333
" Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted. Let us give no place to strange exercisings,... God's work is ever characterized by calmness and dignity" Last Day Events, page 159.
“Be Still and know that I am God...”
Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation(of moral character) aright(correctly, properly) will I shew the salvation of God.