Thursday, December 9, 2010


I don't pay attention to the lyrics. I just like the beat. Disregard the propagation of sexual licentiousness, rebellion, disorder, vanity, promiscuity, drunkenness, and anything else that is contrary to beauty, truth, holiness and God glorification. I like the beat! This embodies the mindset most have with respect to music selection. In The Republic, Socrates discusses at length the power of music and its affect on those who listen, specifically its ability to influence politics. Plato, Socrates' student, observes the folly of disregarding right and wrong in music.

"Through foolishness they, the people, deceived themselves into
thinking that there was no right or wrong in music, that it was to be
judged good or bad by the pleasure it gave, as it was, the criterion
was not music, but a reputation for promiscuous cleverness and a
spirit of law-breaking." (Plato, The Laws, Book III)

Athens observes this spirit of law-breaking as a result of music, but Jerusalem gives an account of this happening as a precursor to music. In Genesis, Cain killed Abel, the first recorded act of violence. Lamech followed as his progeny, who was the first to take two wives, the first recorded act of sexual immorality. Lamech had a son named Jubal who "was the father of all who play the harp and flute." (Genesis 4:23-24) This is the first time music is mentioned in history.

This is not to say that music is evil. Music is not inherently evil or inherently good. It is a neutral medium that can be used for evil or good. Music is to glorify God and that is its proper function. Its propensity for evil is strong in this crooked and depraved generation, so be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves when making your music selection. (Matthew 10:16)

The most powerful example of good music, that I have been part of, is when the audience stands in one accord during the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel's Messiah. God is glorified in such music.

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