We have learned through Straight Up Jazz, that music is a powerful force. Music changes the atmosphere of any gathering or event. It is conveys feelings, emotions, and sets the pulse or tone of an event or gathering. It is used in churches, where it also loosens bad inhibitions and leads hearts and minds to focus on the Creator and worship Him, and not be self-centered. It is used at parties and bars, where the music causes excitement and also has the effect of loosening good inhibitions. It provides a distraction from self-centeredness, brings a feeling of group purpose and unity in the activity. It brings out group-centeredness.
Music itself is morally neutral. But the heart of the musician or listener using the music, and for what purpose it is being used, is what should be evaluated. Music can be used simply be used to help people get drunk so a business owner can profit off of them, or sell goods and services, or facilitate giving or philanthropy, or it can be used to draw people to God. There are a myriad of uses for music, some good, some not good. It can facilitate fornication or it can strengthen moral resolve. It can attract people into God's glorious light, or it can lead them into deeper darkness. It can be just a job, which one needs in order to make a living, and thus is approved by God since we are commanded to work. It can be controversial because it is close to the heart. People have individual preferences on the type of music they are comfortable with for listening, worship, or other activity. It can reveal pride and self-centeredness when one style is forced on others for whatever reason.
According to the bible, as written in the Psalms (e.g. Psalm 33:1-11), music also comes out of our hearts as we praise the God who created us. It is natural to praise God when one realizes what God has truly done for him. Praise occurs naturally and scripture talks about praising God with whatever instrument is around, be it stringed instruments, percussion instruments, or wind instruments. The bible says it has the power to do many things, such as open people's hearts; make hearts receptive to the Word of God; drives away evil spirits, and; bring refreshing to the spirit. It can bring people of all spiritual persuasions together with a feeling of unity, and God can bless the relationship that begin between believer and non-believer, if the appropriate music is used and is culturally relevant.
As a musician, it is best to frequently check the personal motivations when committing to gigs, or when responding to requests for playing music. Whether we play music in church or out of church, it's important to play for the right reasons. Our group, Straight Up Jazz, plays both in church and in the community, and we let our conscience be our guide when playing music for people.
About Rich Kimura:
Rich Kimura is a project engineering manager, freelance writer, married father of 4, chemical engineer, and entrepreneur. He has authored numerous technical papers, has 1 patent and 2 patents-pending, and 24 years experience in the nuclear and chemical industries. Rich started 6 micro-businesses, received financial counseling training by Crown Financial, and teaches on both subjects. To see more free tips and sharing of personal experiences in home businesses, work, money, finances, relationships, spirituality, and other topics, visit Cirrovista at http://www.Cirrovista.com Or to read more on Straight Up Jazz, go to http://www.cirrovista.com/straightupjazz.html