Music was created by God. It must be enjoyed. Scripture tells us of men and angels singing to the Lord in heaven (Rev 5:9). Human beings as well sing. However, we must remember that we are not like angels. We are fallen creatures, sinful creatures. We have in us what we call the flesh and the desire of the flesh is to live contrary to God’s will. Therefore, what is meant for good can be used by fallen men for evil because of man’s sinfulness. Take, for example food. It was meant for our good but people abuse the privilege and become gluttons. Same applies to music. Music can be so beautiful that you can even wish you were in heaven. On the other hand it can lead you into the most sinful acts. In as much as music should be enjoyed, let us be careful not to sin against God.
Before I begin talking about the issue at hand (Modern-day gospel music) let me address some things about music. The first is that the Words of the music are important. Words are meant to convey a message. They are a way of communication just like God the Father was conveying a message to the world through his Son, who is the Word (John 1:1). Yes, it is true that the wording will differ depending on the language being spoken. Nevertheless, a message is still being delivered.
Secondly, the tune of the music is equally significant. This I must mention that it goes with the instrumentals or beats which accompany the music. Some tunes are touchy (emotion centered). Playing certain music makes some people emotional. Some melodies are also danceable, they are accompanied by a danceable beat or instrument. I was in a bus one time and this song started to play. Within five seconds the lady next to me started tapping her leg and moving her body. What caused that? It was the music. She suddenly felt like dancing. Some beats are also noisy and some are sexually enticing.
Thirdly, is that music has the power to influence. Since music can steer emotions then surely it can influence. I remember some years back a certain boy (by then) started listening to a kind of music. Before long his dress code changed. His speech was different. The young lad also changed his hairstyle. From the look of things he was a “good boy” gone “bad.” Any person who loves music will agree that music does have influence. I am also reminded of soldiers in the army. When doing their workouts in preparation for battle or whatever, they sing certain songs. The songs they sing contain words and tunes which are as if to say “Go on! Come on, you can do it!” The songs are meant to persuade the combatants to keep at it. Yes music does influence.
Therefore based upon the above facts, we can conclude that gospel music must have pure Words, words that are Christ centered. This is so because the gospel is about the good news of Jesus Christ. The gospel is about the life, death and resurrection of Christ. He was born in the flesh, crucified on the cross and rose again in order to save men from their sin. This is the true gospel. Apart from this everything else is false.
Secondly, proper gospel music must have a tune that will emotionally move someone to Christ or worship of God. When you combine Christ centered words and a tune (instrument and beats), they must be able to influence someone to think and act biblically because music does have influence. It must persuade someone to want to live worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Therefore, enjoy true gospel music. Let it speak of God’s goodness, love, faithfulness, grace, compassion and so on so forth.
Look out for part two!!