Be sure to have read part 1 before reading this.
In part one I said gospel music must be enjoyed. It must have words ( a message), tune and beats that will influence someone to be Christ-like. In this second part what I am about to address is that both the listener and producer of the music must be very cautious. Cautious about what? You need to ask questions like: When I am singing, do my music influence people to be Christ like? Does the music I am listening to help me become godly? Is the music I am singing pointing people to Christ? Are the Words Christ centered and do they deliver the gospel in a pure way? Is the message about God clear and accurate? Is it in accordance to sound doctrine? I am sorry to mention but much of today’s gospel music does not reach this standard. Why is it so?
Let me address this by looking at the issue of influence. If you agree that music does have influence and that your music is Christ centered then how possible is it that a person who is drunk wants to drink more beer and afterwards commit sexual immorality while you sing or after you sing? Is this what we call persuading someone to think and act biblically? I don’t think so.
Someone will say, “It’s still OK because Jesus preached to sinners.” Yes he preached to sinners he did not sing to sinners. The point where many miss it is comparing singing to preaching. In as much as the two may contain a similar message, they are very different. When someone is preaching people listen attentively and don’t do anything else apart from taking down notes. Preaching again has no melody and beat to it. It is simply a voice of someone speaking. Music on the other hand contains words, melody and beat. Music is an art. Someone can be singing and dancing at the same time. Not so with preaching. Someone can be singing and at the same time the people in the audience are dancing. Not so with preaching. Have you ever shared the gospel with someone? Did the person or people you spoke to dance or sing while you talked? You can’t even think of it can you? It’s not normal. It would actually be sending you a message that he is not interested in your words. Remember music is words, tune and or beat. There is nowhere in Bible where you find Jesus singing to sinners at an Orgy (Drinking party). It is true we must preach and share the gospel but we must be careful to do it the right way. Nowhere in Scripture do you find the apostles sharing the gospel at a drinking party. Paul in many passages condemns orgies (drinking parties) and tells believers to not associate themselves with such parties (Galatians 5:21, 1 Corinthian 6:10, Romans 12:13 and 1 Peter 4:3). Orgies were sinful. Notice he was not condemning parties but drinking parties. I want you to look carefully at 1 Peter 4:3-4. It says, “3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.” Notice what comes out in these verses is that these Christians once lived as pagans but are now changed and have nothing to do with the past (drinking parties). Not that they could not share the gospel but that they were to win those who were still living in a pagan lifestyle by being different. It actually says, “They are surprised that you do not join them…” Be careful what you listen to and be also cautious how and where you sing.
The other reason modern-day gospel music is not pointing people to godliness is the motive for singing. You need to ask yourself, “what is my purpose for singing?” Be sure that your motive for singing is biblical. We are told that “whether therefore you eat or drink or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God” 1 Corinth 10:31. When you search your heart, can you honestly say “my aim is to glorify God?” Or is it, “how much money will I make from this? Or “how popular will I become?” If the motive is wrong then you are better off not singing. Otherwise you will be like one who already has his reward because his heart is not right with God.
Lastly, much of today’s gospel music is sung and produced by people who love the world. They compare themselves to the world. The believer (singer or not) must not compare himself to the world. What do I mean by this? The believer must not say “if Christians can listen to secular music then what’s wrong with singing gospel music at an orgy?” Remember what I said in my preamble in part one? I mentioned that we are sinners saved by grace. The fact that a Christian would want to participate in worldly stuff shows his sinfulness. The fact that you are saved does not mean you are free from sin. You still have the fallen nature in you so you are prone to wonder. “For by grace you have been saved through faith…” Eph 2:8. It is possible that you can use the good for evil. You are not perfect until Christ returns. And many fall into sin because they think too highly of themselves. So the Christian will find himself falling short but this is not a leeway to conform to the pattern of the world. What is to conform to world pattern? How can the Christian (both singer and listener) who love music not conform to the world? This is what I seek to address in part 3