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View Poll Results: Should you listen to secular music?
It's not really a big deal 155 64.58%
No, you should not listen to secular music 44 18.33%
You should listen to Secular Music 41 17.08%
Voters: 240. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 12-28-2003, 07:08 PM   #871
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I wouldn't mind compiling all the arguments that are for secular music as well as refuting arguments against it if someone would help me. It would be a giant tome, like an apologetic for secular music.

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Unread 12-28-2003, 08:01 PM   #872
your tone's all wrong.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremiahzPrayer
I don't listen to secular music, simply because I think Christian music serves the better purpose... As a CHRISTian, I choose to only listen to music that glorifies Him...

Just my opinion, not dissing anyone who DOES listen to secular music. ;]
Intriguingly, whether a work is categorized as secular or sacred, Christian or non-Christian isn't really the point. Instead, there is something about the work of art that should call you to worship, and in opening yourself to art, you are allowing God an occasion to connect and speak to you.

Christians have this stupid idea that CCM is sacred.

If something is sacred, it does not necessarily mean that it is Christian, but that it is set apart from the mundane and the banal, and it brings the profound presence of God to my world. Every moment is an opportunity to create and experience a sacred world or a secular world. This is one of the great ironies of our Christian culture today: By refusing art or ignoring art we lead actually secular lives. However, by opening ourselves to the artist's vision, we have the chance to live in the splendid light of the sacred.

Wake up.
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Unread 12-28-2003, 08:07 PM   #873
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And furthermore, when I enter an art gallery or watch a film or listen to music, I don't ask myself whether the work is Christian or secular. Instead, I expect to be moved by the work, to be challenged, to be enriched as a human being. I expect the artist to expand my vision of the world. But I also expect more. I am eager to glimpse traces of God. This does not make these artists Christians by any means, but nor does it relegate their work to a diminished or degenerate art because they were not Christian. Instead, I would argue that Christ lies in wait there in the colors and the brushstrokes, the lines and the syncopations. Further and most beautifully, we are told that all things were created "by him and for him." All things created for Christ—imagine that. I wonder at times if my Lord loves to be swept away in the arms of beauty just as much as I do. I believe so.

The heavens declare, tell the story of, paint, sculpt, swing, compose, weave, and imagine the glory of the Lord. As does Hemingway. And Picasso. And Van Morrison. And Jean-Michel Basquiat. And Terrence Malick. And Toni Morrison. And Mary Cassatt. And Langston Hughes. And Julio Cortázar. And Pablo Neruda. And Radiohead.

Beauty speaks of the astonishing glory of God. And beauty is everywhere. I challenge you all to expand your visions and join Christ in his frolic with beauty. You'll be presently suprised with the world God will show you.
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Unread 12-28-2003, 08:51 PM   #874
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ditto
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Unread 12-28-2003, 08:59 PM   #875
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared
And furthermore, when I enter an art gallery or watch a film or listen to music, I don't ask myself whether the work is Christian or secular. Instead, I expect to be moved by the work, to be challenged, to be enriched as a human being. I expect the artist to expand my vision of the world. But I also expect more. I am eager to glimpse traces of God. This does not make these artists Christians by any means, but nor does it relegate their work to a diminished or degenerate art because they were not Christian. Instead, I would argue that Christ lies in wait there in the colors and the brushstrokes, the lines and the syncopations. Further and most beautifully, we are told that all things were created "by him and for him." All things created for Christ—imagine that. I wonder at times if my Lord loves to be swept away in the arms of beauty just as much as I do. I believe so.

The heavens declare, tell the story of, paint, sculpt, swing, compose, weave, and imagine the glory of the Lord. As does Hemingway. And Picasso. And Van Morrison. And Jean-Michel Basquiat. And Terrence Malick. And Toni Morrison. And Mary Cassatt. And Langston Hughes. And Julio Cortázar. And Pablo Neruda. And Radiohead.

Beauty speaks of the astonishing glory of God. And beauty is everywhere. I challenge you all to expand your visions and join Christ in his frolic with beauty. You'll be presently suprised with the world God will show you.
Nearly every time you post in this thread, I'm compelled to quote you in one way or another. Unfortunately, that one will not fit in my AIM profile. Nevertheless, excellent stuff. Rep for you.
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Unread 12-28-2003, 11:19 PM   #876
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Than
Haha *sigh.

So much more than "Christian" music that can glorify God, and in my opinion, a lot of the secular stuff out there is a greater testament to Him than say, the latest Reliant K album.

There are pages and pages and pages of that discussed earlier on in here, though, so I'll save the redundancy.
I wonder why you chose RK for you example. I think you (unless you have knowledge of his musical taste) should not take an example of a band that is widely considered crap. He may listen to talented christian bands and bands you've never heard of. You can't assume he listens to radio crap because he has convictions against secular music (now if I am misreading your post I am sorry, [or if it just was a random example]). I also say if you have a conviction against secular music, then it is wrong for you. Read Romans 14 (Emphasis on verses 14 and 23).



Quote:
"1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. 5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way. 14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin."

[EDIT] Verse 12 is another key verse. [/EDIT]
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Unread 12-28-2003, 11:39 PM   #877
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremiahzPrayer
I don't listen to secular music, simply because I think Christian music serves the better purpose... As a CHRISTian, I choose to only listen to music that glorifies Him...
First of all, what constitues "glorifying God"? Who is to say that only Christians can produce venerate works (as Jared previously pointed out)?

Second of all, why should you only limit this standard to music? Why not every other form of media and art? Like Jared said, why label ambiguous works as either secular or Christian?
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Unread 12-28-2003, 11:57 PM   #878
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Disregarding the secular is akin to robbing from God. He spun this wonderful Creation, and we write it off. We arbitrarily decide that some of the most beautiful aspects of this fallen world are cancerous and definatly sweep it under the carpet, forgetting why it was created in the first place. [/sermon]
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Unread 12-29-2003, 02:04 PM   #879
your tone's all wrong.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Than
Disregarding the secular is akin to robbing from God. He spun this wonderful Creation, and we write it off. We arbitrarily decide that some of the most beautiful aspects of this fallen world are cancerous and definatly sweep it under the carpet, forgetting why it was created in the first place. [/sermon]
Bravo.

As I stated before, it is boorishly arrogant of Christians to believe we have the mark and corner on the move of the Holy Spirit. We falsely believe that WE control how and where He intervenes, so we squash everything He inspires because we didn't conrol it.

Take a look at 19:1-3.
"For the heavens declare the glory of the Lord, the skies show the beautiful work of his hands. Every day the heavens speak, and night after night they show forth knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard."
The Hebrew in these verses is quite astonishing (I just got a Key Word Greek/Hebrew Study Bible for X-mas). Literally, verse 1 goes like this: The heavens tell the story of the glory—literally, the heaviness, the weightiness, the substance—of God. God's invisible glory is seen in the tangible, beautiful things of this world. God's substance is revealed in the created acts of this world.

If I understand Scripture correctly, the Word and the world speak eloquently- not one superior to the other- just differently. The Word presents one poetic vision of God and the world another. Will I stand in awe before both poetic visions? The beauty of God-in-the-world is the reality that we can see and experience God everywhere.

"There is no speech or language where the voice is not heard."
Art is an eloquent language revealing the presence of the Lord.
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Unread 12-29-2003, 02:22 PM   #880
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I find it interesting that opponents of "secular music" use this verse to justify their cause:

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”
- The Apostle Paul
Philippians 4:8


Let's analyze every word, shall we?. I've taken several bits from translation notes in my Bible. These bits are presented in smaller text.

True-
Paul begins with truth. When considering art the Christian is compelled to ask, "Is this really true?" Does life genuinely operate in this fashion in light of God's revelation? And Christians must remember that truth includes the negatives as well as the positives of reality.

Honest/honorable-
From the Greek semnos; doesn’t merely indicate the earthly dignity lent to a person, but one who also owes his modesty to that higher citizenship which is also his, being one who inspires not only respect but reverence and worship. There lies something of majestic and awe-inspiring qualities in semnos which does not repel but invites and attracts.
Keep in mind that we are both sinful and venerable. This gives us a responsibility to present not only our deterioration and despair, but also our redemption and honor. This gives a basis, for example, to reject the statements in the work of the artist Francis Bacon. Bacon painted half-truths. He presented deterioration and hopeless despair, but he didn't present man's honor and dignity. Likewise, this gives us a basis to reject much of CCM. It presents only sappy stories of redemption, but there is no accurate portrayal of pain or hopelessness.

Right-
From the Greek dikaios; it is that which is expected as duty or is claimed as a right because of one’s conformity to the rules of God OR society.
It is interesting to note that the Greek denotes conformity to God's rules OR society's rules.
Not all art makes a moral statement, but when it does Christians must deal with it, not ignore it. For example, Picasso's painting, Guernica, is a powerful moral statement protesting the bombing by the Germans of a town by that name just prior to World War II. Protesting injustice is a cry for justice.

Pure-
Purity is the fourth concept. It also touches on the moral-- by contrasting that which is innocent, chaste, and pure from that which is sordid, impure, and worldly. For instance, one need not be a professional drama critic to identify and appreciate the fresh, innocent love of Romeo and Juliet, nor to distinguish it from the erotic escapades of a Tom Jones.

Lovely-
While the first four concepts deal with facets of artistic statements, the fifth focuses on sheer beauty. If there is little to evaluate morally and rationally, we are still free to appreciate what is beautiful in art.

...of good repute-
This phrase gives us impetus to evaluate the life and character of the artist. The less than exemplary lifestyle of an artist may somewhat tarnish his artistic contribution, but it doesn't necessarily obliterate it. But then again, one does not know the details of any artist's life. The greatest art is true, skillfully expressed, imaginative, and unencumbered by the personal and emotional problems of its originators.

Excellence-
It is a comparative term; it assumes that something else is not excellent. The focus is on quality, which merits a crap load of discussion. One sure sign of it is craftsmanship: technical mastery. Another sign is durability. Great art lasts.

Worthy of praise-
Here we are concerned with the impact or the effect of the art. Great art can have power and is therefore a forceful tool of communication.

Paul undergirds this meaty verse by stating that we should let our minds "dwell on these things," a reminder that Christianity thrives on intelligence, not ignorance (even in the artistic realm).
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Unread 12-29-2003, 03:50 PM   #881
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You know, your post brings a Flannery O'Conor quote to mind.
"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."


Rep for you, Jared.
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Unread 12-29-2003, 04:34 PM   #882
your tone's all wrong.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Than
You know, your post brings a Flannery O'Conor quote to mind.
"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."


Rep for you, Jared.
Actually, I'd forgotten that quote. I would have quoted ol' Flan the Man.

Thanks for the rep.
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Unread 12-30-2003, 04:44 PM   #883
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Originally Posted by Basszilla
I agree with the point you're making, but do you really have to listen to them to learn about their philosophy? Couldn't you just read their lyrics online or something?

Basically what I'm asking is whether there is any advantage to listening rather than simply reading.

You can listen to some secular songs that deal with what that person is going through to know there is so much ministry in the world . I personally think that when you have songs that state "i want to know what love is ", that they are searching for answers pretty soon everyone is wanting to know what love is. One of my favorites is Styx "Man in the wilderness", if he only knew what he is singing about or does he? Anyway we must stand ready to answer!!!!!!!Show me the way
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Unread 01-01-2004, 02:59 PM   #884
your tone's all wrong.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC rocks
You can listen to some secular songs that deal with what that person is going through to know there is so much ministry in the world . I personally think that when you have songs that state "i want to know what love is ", that they are searching for answers pretty soon everyone is wanting to know what love is. One of my favorites is Styx "Man in the wilderness", if he only knew what he is singing about or does he? Anyway we must stand ready to answer!!!!!!!Show me the way
Good point.

But next time, use a more potent example than Styx.
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Unread 01-01-2004, 03:32 PM   #885
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And less exclamation points.
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