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Why Music Matters
by Duane Gallop
02/28/05
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Bro. Duane Gallop

Just take a look at BillboardТs Top 100 list and youТll see an album entitled, УYou saved meФ and a single thatТs nearly impossible to ignore entitled, УJesus Walks.Ф Neither of the artists, R. Kelly and Kayne West respectively, are born-again believers -- though both profess love for Christ. While secular artists performing Gospel/inspirational music is nothing new, a Christian could do better than listen to too much music written by entertainers and not worshippers.
There are only two forms of music: Music that glorifies God and music that doesnТt. The difference between entertainment and worship is in its fruit. While listening to a worldly song wonТt put you on the express train to hell, our enemy is deceptive enough to have Christians flirting with the world by remaining enraptured with its music. And just as quickly as entertainment makes you feel good itТs quickly over. But whenever we worship, we do what we were created to do and what we will be doing in eternity. The Bible says that the Уmorning stars sang togetherФ before the world was even created (Job 38:7). Before the devil was the devil, he was Lucifer the archangel. He had Уtimbrels and pipesФ built inside him (Ezekiel 28:13, NKJV)! He was a walking instrument leading the chorus. God loves music and rejoices when we praise Him in song. There were 4,000 musicians out of 30,000 people in SolomonТs temple, which is a microcosm of the Уvoice of many thundersФ singing unto the Lord in His throne room (Rev. 14: 2) alongside the harpists.
Meanwhile, entertainment is like everything else Satan does: a cheap imitation. Case in point: there was an old club song entitled, УI Wanna Thank YouФ where the singer is thanking God for Уshining Your light on me.Ф ItТs a New York City club classic, but no one ever came to Christ while dancing to it. Yet thatТs all secular music has to offer Ц a distraction. ItТs a distraction from all the things of God because it appeals to our fleshly nature. Either itТs promoting premarital sex (even if it is just a УharmlessФ slow song, how many are talking about sex between husbands and wives?) or singing about some mythical power to overcome life and its myriad of problems Ц an old Earth, Wind and Fire staple. And thatТs because the singers/songwriters arenТt interested in using their God-given talents for God. Their spirit man is dead to the things of God so theyТre going to write and sing what they know. In the process they glorify the Уgod of this ageФ because thatТs whom they know. So why should this music be in our homes? Would we want to hear it in our churches?
Again, IТm talking about a constant barrage of worldly music, not the occasion glance at a video, but if a saint loves all the music of the world and doesnТt seem to care too much for Gospel music, then thatТs a clear barometer of his or her Christian walk.
The fruit of Gospel music is altogether different. Gospel music uplifts you by appealing to your spirit man. ThatТs the part of the believer that speaks directly to the Lord. The flesh is ignored as it shrinks back to its rightful place, into subjection. ThatТs because songwriters make it with the Holy Spirit guiding them. In other words, youТre listening to worship! This is the very thing we were created to do! We are never so much alive as when we worship our God. We can utter no better words from our lips than words of praise. We could sing no better songs than the songs the Holy Spirit Himself gives us. These are the songs that come to mind when you praise God in your secret place. These are the songs that comfort you by reminding you who God is. These hymns and Gospel songs (no matter the genre) usher in the presence of God Himself. Instead of provoking ungodly behavior, they provoke prayer. This strengthens our walk with God, making prayer easier and making our time with Him more fulfilling. The Bible commends singing, Уsongs and hymnsФ unto God. Jesus sang a hymn with His disciples. Why would the believer want to do anything differently?
Beloved letТs be cognizant of how we spend the time God gives us. LetТs not allow ourselves to be seduced into loving the world and being its friend. Entertainment is fine if is in moderation. But with something as precious as music, letТs keep the music of the enemyТs camp to a minimum.
IТm sure R. Kelly and Kayne West meant well. And they probably do have a love for Christ. But unless their life matches up with what they proclaim, they are not worshipping, but entertaining. They are giving us a cheap substitute and a distraction. We donТt have to accept any cheap substitutes when we have the real thing: music that glorifies the King of all Kings and His complete and total victory!
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