Music Philosophy

"Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." I Cor. 10:31

This statement is an attempt to properly direct our music ministry, so that we will not carelessly choose music which displeases God. Most people can make a reasonable attempt to discern the correctness and appropriateness of the words of the music. This statement deals with music's sound, not its words. Confusion about music standards is common among contemporary Christians. Because of this confusion, we seek to provide a solidly Bible-based philosophy.

Music is a form of communication that affects our attitudes. This thought is natural to anyone, and each respected book on music philosophy will explain that music is the language of emotion. God calls Christians to control their attitudes and feelings. (II Tim. 1:7, Gal. 5:16-25, I Thess. 5:16-18, Js. 1:2). It logically follows that we must make proper decisions concerning the musical sounds we use and listen to (I Thess. 5:21). As a side note, it is very clear that God expects us to control our thoughts (Phil. 4:8). Attitudes not only stem from our thoughts, but they often determine what our thoughts will be.

Though cultural differences allow for some slight variation in the mood-effect of a piece of music, it is easily seen by the widespread popularity of certain secular artists and styles, that even when music crosses language/cultural barriers, it still communicates a similar (if not the same) message. Such information makes it evident that a godly music standard is necessary since music can be purposefully or accidentally used to communicate meanings which displease our Creator.

God's scale of importance places our spiritual health and relationship with Him well above everything else (Mark 12:30, Matt. 22:37, Luke 10:27, Rom. 12:2), especially physical comfort or pleasure (Matt. 6:33, Matt. 15:17-20). The world has these priorities reversed, and it is reflected both in the words and the sound of their music. It has been clearly documented by many Christian and non-Christian researchers that today's popular musical sound is directly aimed at arousing physical and sensual desires. This is clearly inappropriate for Christians who have their affections set "on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2).

We do not seek to draw in the ungodly by using music as an evangelistic tool - the Bible never describes music that way. Music is to be performed unto the Lord (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16, Ps. 40:3, 98:1, 149:1). Selecting music for the purpose of pleasing the world will be detrimental.

Applying these thoughts correctly is more easy than most people realize. For private and home listening, sincere Christians can simply pray for the knowledge to choose the proper music and make an honest attempt to choose music (both words and sound), which encourage godly thoughts and attitudes. God will help! (Js. 1:5-6, I Cor. 10:13, Phil. 4:13)

The music director must give a little more thought. Good training and understanding are beneficial, but a desire to help others focus on the Lord is more valuable. With the Lord's help, the director chooses from among the best Christian music available. He analyzes the teachings of the words and the attitude of the music, whether selecting congregational, choral, or special music pieces for the church's use. When we give the Lord our best under his direction, He will use us to glorify Him and accomplish His purposes.

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Holmen Baptist Church
7656 McHugh Road
Holmen, Wisconsin 54636