I’m one Christian that still rocks out to some secular music. I’m more choosey nowadays but I don’t see all secular music as being bad. Honestly there’s some gospel music that is worse… yeah there really is! Gospel music that is not Word based is more detrimental to your walk than listening to a secular song. Secular music is a form of entertainment… Gospel music is about praise and worship… but if what you’re singing can’t be found in the Word then what is it really? Just some words that a songwriter thought sounded good and would evoke the right emotion so it was laid to track. I’m not really trying to judge what makes good/bad gospel music. I’m more trying to shed light on the hazards of failing to guard your ear and your heart.
This week, my example came from Eminem’s song featuring Rihanna “Love the Way You Lie.” Now the beat is HOT which is what first caught my ear. Then after listening to it a few times I started paying attention to the lyrics and got an earful to say the least. For those who may not know what it’s about, Eminem tells the story of an abusive relationship that can’t seem to come to an end because they “love” each other too much. The chorus goes…
“Just gonna stand there and watch me burn that’s alright because I like the way it hurts… Just gonna stand there and hear me cry… that’s alright because I love the way you lie… I love the way you lie”
Now here’s what I can’t understand. Rihanna was a victim of domestic violence. Did we not see pictures plastered all over the news of her bruised and battered face? Did she not waste 60 minutes of our lives talking around the details of the relationship with Barbara Walters in her 20/20 interview? What was apparent to anyone with any sense was that it was a shameless attempt to promote her new album but was disguised as her trying to save her young fans from becoming victims. It was at that point I lost all respect for her as an artist. (I still admire her style)
Not even a full 2 years after the incident with Chris Brown , she decides to appear on a song that glamorizes abusive relationships as love? Needless to say the song’s beat has lost all control over me and I turn the station each time it plays (which is constant!) It sickens me how much we idolize celebrities who contribute to the destruction of many people’s lives whether they know it or not. I know it sounds extreme but it’s so true. We get lured into the beat and disregard the message it feeds our spirit. Now I’m not saying that everyone that listens to this song will find themselves in abusive relationships BUT it definitely has the potential to desensitize us to tragedies that happen at the hands of domestic violence.
What about the Rihanna’s song “Russian Roulette?” This was yet another irresponsible song that sends a depressing message to a world where teenage suicide is on the rise with each passing year. For those not familiar, here’s a bit of the lyrics…
“As my life flashes before my eyes…I’m wondering will I ever see another sunrise? So many won’t get the chance to say goodbye… But it’s too late too pick up the value of my life”
Really Rihanna??… so you lay that track and go on with your millionaire life. Meanwhile, one of your biggest fans who has battled with suicide has the warped idea that you support her suicidal thoughts and goes ahead with the plan. No I’m not saying Rihanna’s the cause, but she sure isn’t the solution!!
I’m really not trying to pick on Rihanna. There are celebrities around the globe driven by the dollar signs and ignore the impact they have on young, impressionable fans who follow their every move and words. I’m not saying they are solely to blame but I am a firm believer that they play a role coupled with the lack of parenting and the lack of believers who are willing to stand and be seen beyond the Christian arena. Many Christian artists are more concerned with acceptance than they are with being a light. So they continue to preach to the choir, judge those that aren’t like them, and as a result you got generations that grow up idolizing the Rihanna’s and Lady Ga Ga’s of the industry. (I seriously don’t get the craze over Lady Ga Ga.)
Meanwhile they drive the best, live in the best, travel in the best and no one bats an eye. BUT the moment a Pastor has any of these luxuries, its headline news… but that is an entire different subject for another day! It’s no doubt that secular music will always have its place in our society. There will always be a demand for rock and pop superstars. No doubt, the music industry isn’t changing its heartbeat and that’s MONEY!! But nothing has control over you unless you give it that control. It’s our responsibility to guard our ears and not allow the beat to speak to our heart more than the Word of God. I continue to enjoy the art of all types of music as long as there’s no threat of it negatively affecting how I view myself and those around me.
Prov. 4:23-27 reads:
Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.
Tuesdays with Bianca
I can feel thru your words that you are passionate about this topic. I’ve never been a Rhianna fan but I love the music of Sade and Amel Larouix. Christians are so weird about this issue sometimes it bothers me. I agree w/ your assesment of what is & is not Gospel music as well. Thanks. Great blog.
Hi Tristan, it is an issue I’m passionate about. I’m in the media industry and many execs don’t fully grasp the amount of influence they have and therefore make irresponsible choices. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts! ~ Bianca
I agree with the whole article. I’m gonna add Beyonce to that list and that song about the video phone. About trying to let a dude film her and all that or sending videos back and forth. With all the stuff young women are getting into now adays feeling the pressure to do what they have to to get attention, you gonna come out with a song about sending videos on a cell phone. Not to mention that basically some of that stuff being sent around is child pornography cuz they girls and boys are under 18 and the repercussions it could have when they face these charges.
I know at the center of this problem is parents not raising their kids, but come on…..These stars know it ain’t happening but they thinking about the check. The LOVE of money really is the root of all evil.
So true!!! Beyonce is a phenominal entertainer and singer. It’s just too bad that she mixes songs that empower women with those that make promiscuity seem fashionable and acceptable. Thanks for sharing! ~ Bianca
All I’m going to say is one thing… you just gave me a super idea and you will realize what it is when you are sitting in the B&F VIP section at my Live Recording Concert. Oh my…it’s going to be something to see!!! Thanks B. And btw, I actually agree w/ you on this one. I know a lot of Christians who don’t and that’s okay too. Just like some Christians think a little wine is no problem and/or a little this and/or a little that… each of us have our own salvation to walk out. A lil’ secular music never made me feel less connected to a holy God than I otherwise would if only listening to Gospel. But as you said, we have to guard our hearts the best we can. You know when something makes you feel vulnerable to opening back up to your OLD SELF. If it’s Rihanna that makes that happen, then her music needs to go. As far as artist responibility, that’s a whole blog all by itself, so won’t go there. Great post B.
Oh boy! Can’t wait to see what you have in store!
I think it was so important for you to share that you are aware of your limitations regarding secular music. The secular music of today is NOTHING like the songs I grew up with back in the day. However, I always say, how will we be able to minister to our young people if we don’t know what messages they are receiving that go against everything God stands for?
I personally have a problem with some of the Gospel music of today, you know, the artists that choose to give the enemy “his props” by writing and singing songs that calls his name out through the whole song, sometimes NEVER mentioning the name of Jesus. What’s up with that? Some say, “lets let the devil know…” WHAT??? That’s NOT our job! The bible says, FLEE EVIL, not have a conversation with him… In the Bible only one person had a dialogue with the enemy, and that was when he tried to tempt Jesus Christ in the desert. Jesus handled the enemy like no body’s business, why???? BECAUSE HE’S GOD!!! Whew… okay, I got that out.. (smile).
My favorite music today is praise music, songs that praise the Lord for who He is, for what’s He’s doing in the lives of believers daily, and thank him for eternal life with Him forever… now, THAT’s music!!! Thanks Bianca! You’re a jewel!!! Love you…
I personally don’t listen to secular music AT ALL & don’t knock anyone that does. I don’t like putting those songs in my heart(Because of the WORDS in them) & some of the songs bring back MEMORIES from my past that I have CHOSEN to LEAVE RIGHT THERE in the PAST!!! I have had this convo with many ppl about me not listening to secular music BUT IT’S ME that’s how I FEEL;-) I tell them(SOME BELIEVERS) due YOU & I’ll do ME…I’m not here to JUDGE but to CONTINUE to do WHATEVER it takes to KEEP “ME” SOLELY FOCUSED(not looking left or right) ON THE PRIZE…ETERNITY!! GREAT post sis…Keep them coming in Jesus Name!! Smooches
Thanks sis… yes we all have our own walk and I completely get not wanting to relive the past. Whatever you need to do to keep you focused by all means do it! That’s what I love about our group… we are all different but aiming for a common goal! ~ Bianca
Thanks for this Bianca. This sounds very similar to the blog I wrote on a recent gospel song that used autotune. The point wasn’t about the autotune (which I am so over)…the point was the message. I feel that people get really defensive over the music that they listen to…especially if they are in the art world. Even myself, as a visual artist and writer, I have to “tame” my imagination…knowing that even though something is permissible, it may not be right. I think we have to remember that it is MAN who makes these labels–if I want to call something “gospel” then I will! Doesn’t mean it speaks the Truth (not “a truth”…there’s a difference) or that life is on the other end. Justifying or categorizing music is a waste to God. At the end of the day, it comes down to this: Was this executed in Spirit (with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to bring God glory) and in Truth (in accordance with the Word of God)? And that applies to ALL music. Not everything that screams “Lord Lord” follows God. And just because God is not mentioned does not mean that a song is divinely inspired (I like to believe many of Stevie Wonder’s songs are deeply divine. Also, the book of Esther is purely divine, though the word “God” is not mentioned ONCE!). You are not overreacting…Lucifer was the angel of music. That is his area of expertise. Just because we can sing or write does not mean that we have control! Everything happens in the spiritual before it manifests in the natural. Therefore, if you don’t pray over every vessel, instrument, or pen prior to creating a tune, the door is not open for other messages to be carried…even if you did not intend to send it out.
I will say this, as a music junkie, that there are songs that sometimes reflect the harshness of life. I “get” the message the words of Eminem’s song attempted to convey. But where he erred, in my opinion, is how to creatively convey that this type of relationship is NOT cool and that it can kill! It creates confusion, especially for our youth who are dating at even younger ages…and even adults who cannot control their anger or do not have the esteem to leave. I believe he used Rihanna to show the irony of love and how it can jade one’s perception. But if God is love, then we already know that love does not lead to abuse…i’m done. lol
Thanks Ify… You are so right. I’m in full agreement. Not everything “Gospel” is of God. That’s why having the Word in your heart is so important so when you hear something that is not in line with the Word you can dismiss it. Oh and I’m over the autotune craze AND I love me some Stevie too… he is divine…lol! and let’s not forget Frankie Beverly! ;0)