Music demystified


THERE are many songs that appeal to the soul, sounding so religious, but having nothing to do with Gospel music.

devotion column: Erasmus Makarimayi

A considerable number of songs are labelled Gospel, but yet contradict the Gospel of Christ.

Some even dare to put the name Jesus Christ in their lyrics, fully aware that they’re not acknowledging Him in truth.

We concluded last week that, Gospel music is so called because of the contents that minister the finished or accomplished works of Jesus Christ.

Once there is a departure from that, it ceases to be Gospel music. In the same vein that preachers are called to minister the Gospel of Christ, which is the Grace of God, Gospel music has to minister the same Grace.

Apostle Paul was emphatic on this as recorded in Galatians 1:8-9, “[8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. [9] As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

The preacher cannot minister Grace while the choir dispenses fear, condemnation and guilt. That understood, the question arises; does this bar a believer from singing other songs that are not Gospel?

As already seen in this series, music is part of human culture.

To say a Christian can’t touch anything musical that isn’t Gospel will foreclose education as well and we would have to draw up a very lengthy list of non-gospel activities, including eating food!

Music can be for entertainment, as in the prodigal son’s story. Luke 15:32 reads, “It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”

Surely, the music was not for worship. It was for making merry. This is where your birthday parties, weddings and others fit in.

They aren’t Gospel outreaches or scripturally instructed activities, but neither are they barred in the Scriptures.

However, such platforms can be used to reach others with the Gospel.

We have to note that nothing allows condemnation for someone who doesn’t turn such gatherings into a Gospel crusade. Such events are worldly and must not be forced into heavenly activities. Please, read correctly, I didn’t say evil.

Jesus attended one such gathering. John 2:1-2, “[1] And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: [2] And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.”

It was not a Holy Spirit meeting. Food was served as well as wine. If music was played, I am of the inclination it didn’t contain Gospel lyrics.

Apostle Paul instructs that we should be at liberty to attend such parties. 1 Corinthians 10:27 records, “If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience’s sake.”

These maybe organised by unbelievers to celebrate, maybe birthdays, weddings among others. You probably agree with me that they won’t be singing such lyrics as: His death is my life.

It’s for merry-making. Singers can sing to entertain or make merry.

If we eat food, drink non-spiritual things and get educated outside Scriptures, we definitely can sing non-spiritual songs.

Examples are school anthems, national anthems and happy birthday songs.

However, having said all this, are we at liberty to do anything, eat anything, read anything and listen to and sing anything? 1 Corinthians 6:12, Amplified, reads, “Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.”

No, we aren’t called to unrestrained liberty. Galatians 5:13, instructs, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

In 1 Peter 2:16, God’s Word Translation says, “Live as free people, but don’t hide behind your freedom when you do evil. Instead, use your freedom to serve God.”

For example, books, movies and definitely music with clearly scripturally unacceptable lyrics are a no go area. If a song or movie is said to exalt an idol or evil spirit, we must avoid it. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.

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