Scripture teaches that all good gifts come from God (Eccl. 2:24-25; 1 Tim. 6:17b), and music is one of God’s good gifts. Sadly, however, many professing Christians today view music as an idol, a “golden calf” that they serve and worship and that they do not want to part with (Ex. 32:4). But as those who have been spiritually reborn in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 2:20), we must not carry on as if music, or any other medium of entertainment in which we engage, is somehow a separate area of our lives to which God’s Word does not apply.
As professing Christians, the music we choose to listen to can have an adverse effect in terms of our walk with, and witness for, Jesus Christ. Regardless of genre, music can be a tool the enemy uses to draw believers into a state of dullness and apathy about the things of God which, consequently, can impede our spiritual growth (Col. 1:10; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18). As the seventeenth-century Puritan, William Spurstowe (1605-1666), warns in his book The Wiles of Satan,
“Satan is wholly bent to evil, and makes it his only study to dive and search into men so that he may better fasten his temptations upon them. . . . He does not go forward a step without noting every man’s estate, temper, age, calling, and company so that he may with greater advantage tempt to evil, and thereby bring men into the same misery and condition as himself.”
Music, as well as other forms of media, is not merely a static proposition. What I mean is that the music we choose to listen to never only enters our ears and that is as far as it goes. It is also through our ears that music—and the messages it conveys—enters our minds and, subsequently, our hearts.
There is a dimensional relationship between the music we listen to, our mind, and our heart (1 Sam. 16:23; Ps. 71:23; Prov. 25:20; 1 Cor. 14:15). That is why biblical discernment is so important (Phil. 1:9-10). As Dr. Burk Parsons, senior pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida, writes in the July 2017 issue of Tabletalk magazine,
“Entertainment affects our minds, our homes, our culture, and our churches. Consequently, we must be vigilant as we use discernment in how we enjoy entertainment—looking to the light of God’s Word to guide us and inform our consciences.”