Summary: Music affects you more than you think, it affects your mind, your body and your spiritual life. Is the music you are listening to damaging your soul?
Music is a part of everyone¡¦s life. It is a language that is universal. It has the power to cheer us up, make us sad, make us laugh, and make us cry. Human emotions are a wonderful gift from God that can enhance the life of an individual. Unfortunately at times people in positions of influence use emotions to manipulate human behavior. The topic of rock music when it comes to worship is an issue that has received a lot of attention. Is there more to rock music than just chords and rhythm? Is the music itself an appropriate medium to preach the gospel? An ethical dilemma that faces many Christian leaders today is whether or not rock music should be used to influence a person¡¦s decision for, or commitment to Christ.
An argument brought up within the Christian church is that ¡§music is void of moral qualities for either good or bad. Consequently, nothing is wrong in adopting rock music by changing its lyrics, because the message is not in the music but in the words. This view of course has brought a great deal of change in the way we worship in our churches today. We must ask the question, however, is music, indeed, void of moral qualities? In this paper I will attempt to prove that music alone does have moral qualities, and that because of this, it is wrong to use that medium to influence a person, especially when it comes to that persons decision for Christ. If music is used in this manner, it can give someone a false view of God, and sometimes make a person feel like they are committed before they actually are, resulting in the feeling of failure when they don¡¦t follow through. In this paper I will discuss the three elements of music and how they relate to the three elements of the body. I will then show how music affects these areas, and end with a scriptural approach to a Christians responsibility in light of this issue.
There are three basic elements that make up music, rhythm, melody, and harmony. Just as music has these three different elements, humans also are made up of three basic elements, body, mind, and spirit. Each different element of music has a connection to a specific area of the human being. Rhythm is the heart beat of music. It is what moves music, whether it be fast or slow, it is the heartbeat, or pulse if you will. Rhythm connects to the physical body. This is why many times, when a beat is heard, people start tapping their feet, or feel like dancing. Sometimes a beat is purposely used, in the military for instance, to get everyone to march in time. The melody is the logic of music. It follows logical steps and sequences to make familiar tunes. The melody connects with the mind of an individual. This is where a person makes decisions based on logic. The final element of music is the harmony aspect. Technically it is referred to as a chord progression, vertical chords that are always present in the background. This is what gives music a soul, it is what give it feeling. Of course we as humans were created with feelings. Many time we will let those feelings affect the way we make decisions. It is our spirit.
The reason I have made this connection is because of the fact that the Bible simply does not have anything to say about twentieth century music. The apostle Paul never got to meet the Beetles, and none of any of the other writers ever heard what we call ¡§rock and roll¡¨. Just as in many other areas of the Christians life, it is necessary for us to draw parallels using principles. It should be our goal as Christians to become spiritual persons. To do this we need to get our priorities straight. We need to get these three elements in the right order. Spirit first, then the mind, then the body. Just like it says in Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." This clearly states that we need to put spiritual things first. Another text that supports this is Ephesians 5:18-19: "18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;" Verse 19 continues, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;" Notice how it talks about being filled with the Spirit, and then talks about singing and making melody. There are three different types of music mentioned here. Dr. Frank Garlock, describes them in his video "The Language of Music" Psalms literally means to play a stringed instrument with the fingers. It was instrumental music that the words of scripture were often set to. Hymns are vertical, they are songs of praise and worship of God. Spiritual songs were songs of testimony, they were referred to as odes, what God has done for me.