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I agree with what is said above and would like to add a simple rule of thumb for those of us that are in doubt about what is ok to listen to. Ephesians 4:29 is a great reference for when you find yourself questioning if the music is ok to listen to. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29 NLT) From experience I know, with music, that the lyrics do stick and do impact me, so if they are not "good and helpful" I do my best to avoid the songs.
I agree wholeheartedly with the above answers. If you will allow me enter the conversation I would like to add some. In Romans 14 Paul was dealing with an issue of eating certain types of meat and how they were used. Some felt it was alright to eat certain types of meat, some didn't think it was right. Some were offended by the eating of certain types of meat. Well Paul addressed it Romans 14. What does meat have to do with music? You eat meat to survive and what you eat is what you are. Some of the meat back in Paul's day had been sacrificed on the altars of idols. Some believe that eating these meats meant they could have favor with there gods (idols). What about secular music? What is it promoting? Who do some sing their music too? What inspired these types of music? These are the questions you should answer when you listen to music. If you will allow me to use myself as an example I would appreciate it. I am a musician. I love the sound of classic country music. I love the fiddles, steel guitars, electric guitars and pianos along with low drums in the background. I love the melody. The 3/4 time. I could go on. But should a Christian listen to classic country music? What are the lyrics about? There are some good love songs in country music that are clean. But for the most part classic country music lyrics is about cheating, drinking, partying and some killing people. Do these lyrics help me to grow spiritually? No Do these lyrics bring glory to God? No Can I listen to them and continue to be a Christian? Yes Could a weaker Christian be offended by me listening them? Yes. In the light of Romans 14 what should I do? I feel I should not listen to them anymore because I want to grow spiritually, I want to bring honor to God. And I do not want to offend a fellow Christian. Romans 14:7 None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. Do you have a question about music or anything else you may be doing? Then please look at the following scripture. Romans 14:21-23 (KJV) 21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. God bless you
10 Psalm 119:9 highlights another aspect of remaining virtuous in God’s sight. The psalmist sang: “How will a young man cleanse his path? By keeping on guard according to your word.” One of Satan’s most effective weapons is music, which has power to stir emotions. Sadly, some Christians have failed to ‘keep on guard’ when it comes to music, and they find themselves drawn to extreme forms of it, such as rap and heavy metal. Some may argue that such music does not harm them or that they pay no attention to the lyrics. Others say that they simply enjoy a strong beat or the sound of loud guitars. For Christians, though, the issue is not whether something is enjoyable. Their concern is whether it is “acceptable to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:10) By and large, heavy metal and rap music promote such vices as profanity, fornication, and even Satanism—things that certainly have no place among God’s people. (Ephesians 5:3) Young or old, each of us would do well to reflect on this question, By my choice of music, am I pursuing virtue or vice?
Not all secular music is the same. I enjoy secular music that is written to be fun and not carry a heavy message. Like anything of the world, that message of fun may be harmful in and of itself and I think we have to decide on a case by case basis. Then there is music that is intended to be satanic, or at the very least, anti-Christian. I think we should clearly avoid this music. Although in many cases the satanic label has been incorrectly applied, I would never want to take a chance to promote or cause one person to hear something of that nature. I am writing this answer in response to a merged question which specifically mentioned Megadeth. There is an interesting story regarding their lead guitarist and founder, Dave Mustaine. He became a born again Christian in 2003 and created controversy when he said the band would no longer play certain songs. Even more so when he announced they wouldn't play with certain bands. I'm not including this to endorse the band. I know very little of Mustaine's testimony, but I think it's noteworthy to point out that the band member who created the songs wont play them after becoming a Christian.
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