Is listening to secular
music a sin?
First of all I would like to encourage you
to never criticize or put down others for their actions. We
do not want to be like the Pharisees in Jesus' time.
Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to
pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The
Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank
you that I am not like other men-robbers, evildoers,
adulterers-or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a
week and give a tenth of all I get.' "But the tax collector
stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven,
but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a
sinner.' "I tell you that this man, rather than the other,
went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts
himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be
Jesus is very clear in this:
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same
way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the
measure you use, it will be measured to you. "Why do you
look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay
no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say
to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,'
when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You
hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and
then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your
Now the Bible does not talk specifically about secular
music, as it was not a problem at the time, but it gives us
a few guidelines.
1. Phil 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy-think about such things.
Questions to ask yourself when listening to certain secular
music: Are the lyrics of the song true? Does it have pure
message? Is it praiseworthy? The answer is between yourself
and your God. God wants us to be wise with what we put in
If the songs you are listening to promotes and encourages
some sinful actions, you know beyond a doubt, that this song
does not praise God, but the devil. We should be very
careful with what we listen to. I would encourage you to not
listen to music that has swearing or a false message about
life. Don't fill your mind with garbage that can hinder your
progress to God's kingdom.
2. 1 Cor 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all
for the glory of God.
Anything you do, do it to the glory of God. This will
prevent you from making big mistakes. Does the song you
listen to give glory to God? Be honest with yourself. Don't
3. Some people are out there to get rich. What sells the
best on today's market? Sex, vulgar language and
self-glorification. What can this lead to?
1 Tim 6:9-10:
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap
and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men
into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root
of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have
wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many
4. Make sure you can give thanks to God in whatever you do.
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse
joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
I hope these guidelines can be of help to you. Praise to God
for saving a wretch like me!
There are certain things that come to bear
upon a man, which the devil will use as a set back. Some of
these are what we eat, drink and listen to.
Some other things could be what we hear.
No wonder the scriptures warn to be careful of what we hear.
What we also wear could go to some extent to determine our
destiny. It could make up or mar us ultimately. Conversely,
what we hear (the sounds) goes a long way to either mold us
to break us down.
Music is Music?
Secular music is any organized sound of the world systems.
It may or may not be accompanied by words. Music has a
relationship with the spirit and soul of man.
Secular music, therefore are such music that has not been
inspired by the Holy Spirit. They are music rendered to the
glory of man, the devil. They are sung based on human
thoughts, philosophy and feelings. They are rendered not in
accordance with the Spirit.
What is Christian Music?
Vocal or instrumental sounds having rhythm, melody, or
harmony. Sing and make music in your hear to the Lord;
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ - Eph. 5:19-20. Music played
an important part in Hebrew culture; although closely
associated with religious worship from earliest times (Gen.
31:27) and was linked with dance (Ex. 31:27). Music and
dance featured at feasts (Is. 5:12), vintage festivals (Is.
16:10), marriages and also at funerals (Mt. 9:23). For
worship, King David organized a choir and orchestra (1 Chr.
15:16ff). Some psalms were clearly meant to be sung
antiphonallyby two choirs (Pss. 13, 20, Ps. 136)
Why Christian Should Avoid Listening to Secular Music
I Thessalonians 5:23 " May God himself, the God of peace,
sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit,
soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ" NIV
Man is made up of three dimensions. Spirit, Soul and Body.
The Apostle Paul was praying a comprehensive prayer here. He
was concerned about the three dimensions of man. The
believer who gives himself to listening to secular music is
polluting his entire spirit and soul. Spirit and soul are
important to God and Man. The body does not profit anything.
One should nurture the Spirit and the soul with something
from the Lord.
If secular music misters to the two aspects of man, the
whole of that person is corrupt. Sanctified believers ready
for the rapture should nurture their spirit and soul with
something that is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Whatever music you release to your spirit and soul will
reflect on your body. It is either healing or sickness. I
have seen people healed as a result of listening to
Christian music. I have been blessed as a result of
congregational music. People have been delivered based on
Does my listening to secular music give glory to God?
I Cor. 10:31- 33 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever
you do, do it all for the glory God. Do not cause anyone to
stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God even as I
try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking
my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved"
Every believer should see himself as a witness. Witnessing
whom? Witnessing Jesus. The day you gave your life to Christ
there was a separation. Separation from the Kingdom of
darkness into His marvelous light. You are therefore
separated from the world, it systems, practices and habits.
The scriptures says that we are in the world but not of the
world. Whatever we do therefore should bring glory to His
Name. Again, you should not cause anyone to sin by your
action. Your action may be lawful but not expedient. As long
as it is not expedient, you should run away from it.
Dedication of some secular music
In my interaction with people as I minister deliverance
about in Africa I have heard some musicians confessed that
before they release records out for the public consumption,
they always dedicate it. To whom do you think the music
arranged in their cassettes, albums, CDs, tapes dedicated?
Certainly to the devil. I want to believe this. In the
church today, we dedicate our lives to Christ and we also
call upon God to bless certain things He has given us.
I have had occasions to dedicate our ministrations to God in
prayer for the blessing of His people. If this is the
practice of the church - dedication, the world has imitated
it. Why must you listen to music dedicated to the devil? Why
must you corrupt your life with music that is not divinely
inspired? It has not source or root from heaven. God's name
is not honored in secular music. The flesh is glorified. The
devil is exalted. Ideas of man are being declared. You
should not be a link to the devil.
If you have so linked yourself through listening to secular
music having accepted Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you
can renounce and refuse to listen to secular music again.
Ask God for the grace to do without it. You have
There is good Christian music you can enjoy. Pick some of
these up from Christian bookshops. You will discover that
power will come from above as you listen to Christian
inspired music. In II Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat won the war
against the Moabites and Ammonites through praises.
Listening to secular music could be a sin because it is not
It is lifting the praise of the devil of up. It is also
polluting the temple that God has created. It is
counter-productive. God's spirit cannot strive with any
other spirit. The messages in secular music can carry with
them certain demons. This is not supposed to be your
portion. Why must you use your money to bring in spirit that
will destroy you? It is worldly and deadly to your spirit
soul and body!
I John 2:15 -17 declares "Do not love the world. If anyone
loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For
everything in the world, the cravings of sinful man, the
lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does -
comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and
its desires pass away, but the an who does the will of God
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable, -if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy - think about such things - Philippians 4:8.
Rev Debo Adeyemo
The term "secular" music is so vast and encompasses anything
that does not praise and lift up Jesus Christ and the
Gospel, that there is no simple pat answer for such a
question. It is a very serious subject, however, that
requires a great deal of wisdom, discernment and caution.
For even the most innocuous, seemingly innocent music can
contain messages and direct one toward a path that leads to
separation from living healthy faith unto a path of doubt,
double mindedness and shallow, empty "faith."
For those of you old enough, remember the music of the 40's?
the 50's and early 60's? Now the music seems so feeble and
innocuous compared to where we are now in sub-cultural
meltdown. But those "rebellious songs" of those generations
fed that generation to rebel and act against what they knew
was not proper and fitting for Christians to do. Yes, music
was a driving force for immoral conduct even back then. And
no, immoral sex wasn't discovered in the 60's or 70's.
It has been a slow path to destruction and utter darkness
for this world, but "we've finally arrived." As one band
sang, "welcome to the jungle..."
I have been a professional musician/entertainer for over 15
years -- I play "secular music as well as worship and praise
and "ministry" Christian music. I can testify that my best
experiences in seeing Christ touch people's lives through me
is when I was out in "the world" where Christ could get to
those people "out there" and speak to them. Again,
discernment and a willing vessel for His use.
Now, in these final hours of this world's existence, one
cannot help but see and hear Satan's overt spirit within the
music of this age, with the most vile profanity being
broadcast on open air radio directed purposefully to corrupt
the youth. What was once only broadcast in innuendo and
"code slang" in music lyrics -- it honestly cannot get any
more perverse, violent and evil than it has already become
(i.e. Emimen, Beastie Boys, Death Metal, etc.). Anti-Christ
truly dwells and inhabits this music, his "praise" music
that leads to hell. As a musician who plays and embraces all
styles of music, including hard rock, my spirit is instantly
offended by the darkness within the music and message of
I saw an VH-1 interview with a well known group of aging
rappers who are now out on tour again -- they showed how
they "prayed" together before their performance, yet the
message they are bringing is vile and profane and lifts up
evil, not the Light or life. So, who then are they "praying
to?" And by what spirit are they receiving their power?
Again, discernment and wisdom.
I do believe that if the Holy Spirit truly lives and abides
in a person, He will react and impress upon us what offends
Him and what is pleasant and lovely and edifying to our
soul, even if it is not specifically "praise" music, like
enjoying the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, or the beauty in
a relationship. It is by the Spirit's discernment that we
realize what is good and what is evil despite it's
There is some music out today that is labeled "Christian"
but the spirit and attitude of the music and lyric content
leave a huge check in my spirit. "Not all that call
themselves "Brother" are so." Again, it comes down to
discernment and sensitivity to the Spirit of God.
However, what of the song, 'Somewhere Out There' from An
American Tale or, a myriad of beautiful love ballads or
other songs that simply sing of life and relationships? What
of the great symphonic masterpieces that contain no lyrics
but only powerful music? "Evil"? "Sin"? No! Only life in
music. Such thinking is simplistic ignorance. Yet many of
the masterpieces were condemned by the church when they were
first introduced in Austria and in Europe. Again, wisdom and
Listening to secular music is not a sin, in fact it is very
uplifting to listen to other cultures playing their music.
It really all depends on the band or artist. It also
depends on the lyrics and whether or not you implement
these practices into your life. Although I am a
Christian, I primarily listen to country music. My
three favorite artists are Clint Black, Garth Brooks,
and Hank Williams, Jr. Just because it's country music
doesn't mean it doesn't have Christian-themed lyrics.
An example is Garth's song "Unanswered Prayers".
Regardless of whether or not you agree, I will still
respect your decision.
J. Patrick Capps
I don't feel it's a sin but I do believe we should use
caution about what we listen to because what goes in us will
someday come out.
No, not as a rule. It's all up to the person listening
and His relation to God and people. Of course we have
Paul's words about what to think on, but if the music
just creates joy, peace, good inspiration or similar, I'd
say it's not a sin. But there are other things besides
sin that are problems in our lives. Secular music, as
well as "Christian" music, can be a hindrance for us
according to Hebrews 12:1.
Thommy Ohlund, Kiruna Sweden