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kopl890

Is it okay for a Church to play secular music?

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Music is indeed a very powerful medium that is used in pretty much everything.

 

I've noticed that a lot of modern churches have lost the traditional look and I guess there's no harm in that. The issue is that more and more churches are adopting secular practises to make it more appealing to non-believers. I find it worrying that churches are willing to compromise just to fill more seats on a Sunday service.

 

I've been to a church that plays everyday secular music before the service, after and in any intervals. I met up with the church leader during the week and asked why they did this. I'll add that the music was Kanye west's at the time. The long and short of his answer was along the lines of:

 ''it's okay because it's just background music. We didn't have our attention on it and worshipping it as such so there's no harm...''

I didn't want to argue so I agreed to disagree but I think it's wrong.

 

I saw that Sunday as a modernised version of Matthew 21:12. The Church, aka The  House of God, should be kept Holy. The use of secular music doesn't permit that because  it do not bring glory to God. 

 

Is there a problem here or not?

 

I want to raise another point on the use of evangelical Christian music as worship but I'll probably slip that in later. 

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If I was ever at a Catholic Church and I heard Kanye West music, I would have a stroke and die.

 

Just, like, right there in the narthex.

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Secular: denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.

 

So I think there's a few levels of "secular" to examine here:

 

1) Everything is "secular". Think of all the things in your church that ARE secular already:

-> Your church building is secular. It's just a building.

-> The church sound system is secular

-> The church electricity is secular

-> Basketball games in the gym

-> Normal, non-descript clothing (assuming "modest")

-> Most block-buster movies.

-> Air conditioning, heat, water, chairs, the car you drive to get there -- It's ALL "secular"

 

 

2) Secular that specifically encourage or detract from worship. There are things that exist that are secular but also inherently anti-Christian philosophy. For example:

-> writings or literature that is a proponent of non-Biblical views

-> satanic 'worship' 

-> music with specific anti-Christian message

 

Basically - I think that there is some music that has a 'neutral', secular ground. It's neither pro-Christian nor is it anti-Christian. It's simply "entertainment". Think of movies and the theatre. If you've seen movies like Lord of the Rings, Batman, The Hunger Games, etc... They're mostly "neutral" in terms of content. (Okay except maybe some violence and such - this could be argued I understand). The point being that we often don't look at movies, television, or some other things as being "secular". We just look at them as being "things". 

 

Music in many cases should be the same. It's a thing, it's entertainment. It serves no pro or anti sentiments with regards to faith and worship. Now there's some music - a lot of music - that this not true. Music that encourages things like sexual indiscretion, drugs and alcohol abuse, mistreating women, etc.. That I would agree has a specific anti-Biblical message, and is not just "secular", but in direct conflict with the teaching of scripture. 

 

--

 

Now you mentioned Kanye West - I don't know exactly which song it was, and even if I did I would assume based on his reputation it probably had some content in it that was less that scripturally based. But, I do think its important to take what I just said and apply it on a 'per song' basis. We do it with movies all the time. For some reason Christians treat music so differently than everything else, and I honestly don't understand or like it. We're all for the most part happy to watch the latest feature films, happily "ignoring" the sex scenes and feigning disgust at the over-use of the F-bomb. Yet when we go specifically to a radio station, we are so concerned about that "christian" part. It really makes no sense to me. 

 

Anyway to answer your question: I think the song was probably not a good fit for the church, but that doesn't mean other secular, non-descript, unbiased religious song selections would be out of the question. 

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Secular..

 

Music in many cases should be the same. It's a thing, it's entertainment. It serves no pro or anti sentiments with regards to faith and worship. Now there's some music - a lot of music - that this not true. Music that encourages things like sexual indiscretion, drugs and alcohol abuse, mistreating women, etc.. That I would agree has a specific anti-Biblical message, and is not just "secular", but in direct conflict with the teaching of scripture.

 

You equate music simply to entertainment. Do you believe that music is played in church simply for that reason?

 

We do it with movies all the time. For some reason Christians treat music so differently than everything else, and I honestly don't understand or like it. We're all for the most part happy to watch the latest feature films, happily "ignoring" the sex scenes and feigning disgust at the over-use of the F-bomb. Yet when we go specifically to a radio station, we are so concerned about that "christian" part. It really makes no sense to me.

 

It depends on which people you are referring to, because I know plenty of Christians who won't watch movies if any of that is in it. Secondly, while that may occur they still don't pull out their tv and play it in the church. I think modern Christians have a lack of respect for the house of God that the early Christians and Jews had for the synagogue. The church is to be a holy place not a house of entertainment.

 

 

Secular: denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.

 

I would also debate this in a side debate this definition as it is not possible to create music that has no spiritual effect. It is possible to create it and one not know what that effect is, but music is played from the heart and the lyrics from the person's mind/soul. Music has much more spiritual implications than one may realize, despite whether the lyrics are clean or not. I'm not saying that all secular music is bad, but just that there is more to it all than what meets the eye or in this case ears. Any thoughts on the matter?

Edited by God-Sent

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If I was ever at a Catholic Church and I heard Kanye West music, I would have a stroke and die.

 

Just, like, right there in the narthex.

 

And having been an altar server at a very conservative church, I'd have one too, on the pavement in front of the altar.  Since we're using church lingo here ;)

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I will admit that I've always wanted to see the reaction if I'm Sexy and I Know It was played at at church.

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I'm rather traditional in that I think churches should play hymns and religious music (e.g. Handel's Messiah, old-style Gospel) as the norm. Occasional youth or "contemporary" services might warrant for some more jazzed-up music (although most CCM is so awful, I'm pretty certain it's a sin); youth group is also a different matter. When it's a proper service (i.e. using the liturgy, or for the celebration of the Eucharist), secular music is not appropriate. 

 

Kanye West? How about no at any point. 

 

-> Your church building is secular. It's just a building.

 

Perhaps in your church, but in mine, it is consecrated and therefore sacred ground and a holy tabernacle. Much more than "just a building". 

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I think at a church service you should Christian music. If you want to have a music concert or something at church that has some good, but not specifically Christian music I think that's. Of course than we could talk about music without singing and whether that has to be written for a Christian setting. But with exception of a very few songs I don't think even in a church concert most of the Billboard topping music would okay or appropriate. Most of it, even without objectionable content, is pretty stupid.

 

P.S. I'm seriously disturbed someone would play or sing Kanye West at a church service. And he's married to Kim Kardashian.

 

b797ccf1115a68c4c1a4139781295fba3c684a0f

 

And I will post a song from Tarzan!

 

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Thought you would've went for:

 

l_ab5e4740-cd29-11e1-86b5-e16662c00008.j
 

 

Perhaps in your church, but in mine, it is consecrated and therefore sacred ground and a holy tabernacle. Much more than "just a building".

 

Exactly why I would refute the definition of secular he used.

Edited by God-Sent

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My church plays Switchfoot or something like Owl City's song "Good time" because "it's always a good time" when we worship. Cheesy stuff like that I'm okay with. 

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My church plays Switchfoot or something like Owl City's song "Good time" because "it's always a good time" when we worship. Cheesy stuff like that I'm okay with. 

Freaked out, dropped my phone in the pool again/Checked out of my room, hit the ATM/Time-out if you're down to get down tonight/It's always a good time.

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Freaked out, dropped my phone in the pool again/Checked out of my room, hit the ATM/Time-out if you're down to get down tonight/It's always a good time.

 

Such a spiritual concept.

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My church plays Switchfoot or something like Owl City's song "Good time" because "it's always a good time" when we worship. Cheesy stuff like that I'm okay with. 

 

Switchfoot is always okay. Anywhere. :P

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You equate music simply to entertainment. Do you believe that music is played in church simply for that reason?

 

All music? No. Some music? Absolutely. Entertainment, mood, atmosphere - all valid uses for music within the church setting. And of course the 'most obvious', worship. But in my opinion secular music would not be worship music (or used to enhance the process of worship). Because - then that music invalidate's the definition of being secular - it's taken on a new meaning, per the definition I supplied (which is why I supplied it). 

 

It depends on which people you are referring to, because I know plenty of Christians who won't watch movies if any of that is in it. Secondly, while that may occur they still don't pull out their tv and play it in the church. I think modern Christians have a lack of respect for the house of God that the early Christians and Jews had for the synagogue. The church is to be a holy place not a house of entertainment.

 

Yeah but those people are weird. You have a valid point that church is to be used for worship, teaching of scripture, etc.. And clearly, not a source of entertainment. But in the real world - plenty of youth groups or churches have 'special movie nights', going to concerts, sleep overs, video games, etc.. All forms of entertainment and "secular" in their make up. So my point is that while the church is a place to experience holiness, it is not limited to that function alone. 

 

I would also debate this in a side debate this definition as it is not possible to create music that has no spiritual effect. It is possible to create it and one not know what that effect is, but music is played from the heart and the lyrics from the person's mind/soul.

 

Music has much more spiritual implications than one may realize, despite whether the lyrics are clean or not. I'm not saying that all secular music is bad, but just that there is more to it all than what meets the eye or in this case ears. Any thoughts on the matter?

 

I disagree completely. "music played from the soul", I guess that depends on your definition of what qualifies as music, but plenty of music now days is just the compilation of computer generated signals - no emotion, spiritual connection, or heart involved. I realize this is a corner case of what is or isn't secular music, and I'm certainly not married to the definition I chose, the overall point still stands: churches regularly do tons of stuff that is "secular" and it's not seen as an issue. To me "mood music" can easily fit into this category. 

 

--

 

Perhaps in your church, but in mine, it is consecrated and therefore sacred ground and a holy tabernacle. Much more than "just a building".

 

I know this is off topic but I find this interesting. What does a sacred building mean? How does it enhance or otherwise modify one's ability to gather in the presence of God? 

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Such a spiritual concept.

Oh, come on. Phones are like, totally our essence. Like, literally. OMG. We can't live without them. They're like part of our souls or something really philosophical like that, amirite?

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Guest Mike Spero

I can't even answer this seriously. I would chase everyone out with a whip and flip over their stereo-systems to kill the demons inside and purify the church.

 

Done and done.

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I can't even answer this seriously. I would chase everyone out with a whip and flip over their stereo-systems to kill the demons inside and purify the church.

 

Done and done.

I will gladly help you,Mike

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If I was ever at a Catholic Church and I heard Kanye West music, I would have a stroke and die.

 

Just, like, right there in the narthex.

this

is me right now.

NO Church is not the place for SECULAR MUSIC!!!! It is a place of worship!!!

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My church plays lots of popular songs during our high school group (as long as their on the cleaner song). We're much more laid back then most churches though 

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