Since the early fifties when Rock and Roll gyrations from Elvis caused parents and judgemental clergy to make bonfires of the “satanic” records that were corrupting the youth of the nation, the beat (or should I say debate) goes on!
I will admit I have a very eclectic taste in music. I have everything on my iPod from classical Mozart to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Yes, I even have Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” (although I still can’t get the mental image of her licking a sledgehammer from my mind). Be careful little eyes what you see!
And that’s the debate. Should we be supporting those artists in the industry by buying their CD’s and listening to their music when they have clearly stepped over the boundaries of good taste and moral ineptitude? Should we be encouraging artists to continue to create music, those who use such explicit language on records (or in their videos and film) that would make even the most worldly truck driver cringe?…(my apologies to all Truck Drivers for overgeneralizing here.) Should we allow our children to listen to music that seeks to exploit sex, women and promotes violence. Hey, don’t get me started on video games either!
The fact is, the secular music industry is catering to the worldly audience and we, as Christians, should not be surprised by that. It’s a huge multi-billion dollar industry and if there is a demand for their product, they will continue to sign less-than-talented singers with filthy mouths and filthy minds to record labels.
It would be easy to say by those in the industry: “Well if you don’t like hearing what we’re playing then just turn the radio or T.V. off.” I would respond that the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality does not work. Radio stations are notorious for censoring out offensive language by cleaning it up on air, luring kids into buying the product only to have their ears assaulted as soon as the music is downloaded. Commercials on T.V. use popular music and artists to sell their brand. Walking through a mall, pop and rap music is blaring through speakers in every store. Just like your nose may be assaulted by walking by the makeup counter at the Bay, the ears are equally assaulted by the music booming overhead when you’re trying on a pair of jeans in a change room.
I took an informal poll of some of my younger friends who admitted they don’t always understand the lyrics in a song but they buy the music because it has a “good beat”.
I totally get that. I’ve done that myself. I get sucked into the musicality of the song and ignore the lyrics until I download the song and realize I’ve just become victimized by a subliminal message that was hidden under the guise of a “good beat”. Be careful little ears what you hear!
I have often said I am not in favour of censorship. I believe that telling people what they can and cannot do is just inviting people to be rebellious. It’s in our fallen nature to succumb to worldly pursuits. Paul said it: ” I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) That said, we can’t allow our fallen nature to give us the excuse to sin. So I’m asking the question: is it sinful to listen to worldly music?
Should I be erasing my iPod before it “wre…e…e…cks me”?