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I am a musician. I play the piano, guitar, and sing a little. I have played in high school bands, piano bars and in several church worship groups. I understand music theory and can play most any type of music. This is a gift from my mother who would drive me to music lessons since I was five. Music is like the written word when written to be spoken with grace. It reaches a place inside of the mind that can cause emotions from anxiety to shear bliss and then can take you on a journey through tempo and tone. It is amazing to listen to and a gift from God to play it. Music can make us feel patriotic, spiritual and some songs hold deep special memories of past loves and fulfilled dreams. When used to worship God it can lift the spirit of one's soul to feel the very presence of God. But there is another side to music. There is a dangerous side. Naturally, songs about Satan are not beneficial to Christians nor lyrics dedicated to some immoral action forbidden amongst the faithful. Songs of violence and threats have no place in my music playlist and music dedicated to avenge or attack a person are questionable as well. The Bible gives a great guideline to music and what we allow our senses to be exposed to. It is found in the Book of Philippians....chapter 4, verse 8....... Finally, brethren, what ever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. Jazz is the skillful motion of music at it's root. It is indeed pure and when played right is lovely to listen to and an emotional experience with an instrument being the voice. Just as King David, the man after God's own heart, played his harp, jazz musicians play the sometimes haunting and sometimes uplifting rifts that captivate the human ear. I am not saying that captivation by any other means than Christian music is a slippery slope to doom. I am saying that we are never really captives at all unless we choose to be. If one chooses to be lead by a style of music in an adverse manor, they will so be led. But if the music by your judgement meets the criteria of Philippians 4:8, if there is a beauty and purity that you feel, then consider jazz a dwell worthy enjoyment. Some religions thrive on pointing a finger at things they do not understand. Just because a person says something is evil does not make it so. Personal opinion and dis-favor of certain music should not cause one to abandon that which brings pleasure to one's existence. Pleasure is not a sin. It is only a sin when it detours from the guidelines of scripture. Theories exist concerning the tempos of certain styles of music and they contrive that it causes a sinful demeanor. I have played music a very long time and I can only say that it has diminished my sinful nature and has never added to it. Music is a gift from God, and Jazz is amongst His unique Gifts given us. I was at a County Fair one summer where for some reason I was questioning my spiritual well being. To be more exact, I was thinking of having a beer. It was a time of struggle when sobriety was a necessary condition to maintain. Just as I was about to get in the long line, a little jazz quartet strolled by playing "When the Saints Go Marching In", Somewhere during the tune, the lyrics must have kicked in. I do "want to be in that number", and from that jazz band came my strength from God to abstain. The music, the gift, and the commitment, all go together when God is placed first. He revels at our happiness and wants us to enjoy the freedom we find through His Son. I believe Jazz is one of those gifts.
Four years ago a televangelist was yelling about what music people listened to. The words he used were, "If it's not worship music, it's music from the devil." The service seem to resonate around people in the music industrial life and how ungodly they lived. He made jokes about the drugs use in rock & roll and heavy metal ties with satan worship. Yes, there is much truth that some musicians use drugs, and some long haired headbangers probably do worship satan, but not all are this way. Many years ago I found out that not every choir singer is a faithful follower of Jesus, to add, some of those christian rock bands and hip hop duos use Christianity to get their foot in the door. If people truly knew what really went on behind the scenes of choir people, they may never listen to worship music again. To be very clear this isn't a tattle tale reality, its about how people react to what they listen too. If some one feels motivated to do something by the music, this is probably a bad sign your worshiping an idol. The problem only exist if the person becomes affected by the words spoken, or if the song begins to change a persons mood into negative feelings. Paul teaches that we should grow spiritually and as we mature not to be discouraging to new brothers and sisters in Christ. To them we need to be encouragement in their faith.
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