Truth and Lies

Everyone loves music.You do. I do. Maybe we all like different kinds of music, but the bottom line is we love music. I’m yet to meet a person who feels the world would be better without music. And I’m hoping never to meet one.

Once I had a discussion with my friends about the different talent hunts out there to discover new singers. There are just so many, aren’t there?? And new faces keep coming. And then we talked about the few shows where we have seen people walking out because they’ve been asked to sing something they don’t agree with. These people are mostly believers in Christ who prefer to sing only gospel. My friend thought that they were just creating a scene and that what harm would it do to just sing those lines. Just because we sing it doesn’t mean we accept it was her point.

I don’t think teens and adults walk out because they want to show themselves as saints. Actually few weeks before the above conversation, I had met a friend and we were transferring songs from one cellphone to the other. As it was time for her to leave, she asked me to just quickly select the songs that I needed and transfer it to my phone. So I was just playing every song real quick,fast forwarding it often and simply transferring the ones I seemed to like, not giving much attention to the lyrics. Later when I settled to listen to them, surprisingly all the songs were centered around the theme of loss,pain after break up,taking revenge on the one who cheated and so on. It gave me kind of a very unpleasant feeling after listening to all of them.

So does it mean all these famous artists singing those songs have felt that pain at some point? Ran away or was chased by someone they loved, took revenge and hurled insults after they were cheated? Certainly not. Some of them are leading very happy lives. But they sing of sorrow,sorrow and more sorrow. And I kept asking myself, how can they write and sing something that they don’t feel? I write poetry and from experience I know that poems written out of imagination and poems written from the heart never match. The former ones seem so artificial. Especially when it’s about an abstract thing like happiness or pain or sorrow or expectation or anything you can name.

This exactly is the difference between those who grow up writing and singing gospel numbers and those who can sing almost anything. Because when you sing those gospel songs, you just cannot sing them without meaning them. Maybe some people are good in faking it, but most singers can’t. Have you seen “the making” videos of gospel songs? You can always see how much heart and soul has gone into it and how singers felt God’s hand throughout the making. It just isn’t possible to make the audience feel the emotion in a gospel song without the singer feeling it in the first place.

So those “walking out” singers most probably grew up singing something they felt and believed that it just seems so not right for them to sing anything else that they don’t agree with.

I’m not saying gospel songs don’t deal with the feelings of loss and pain. They do, but at the end they teach us who our source of strength is rather than focusing only on the weaknesses of a human soul.

I used to listen to almost every kind of song when I was a young teen. Even those songs where most of the words are “the star *******” words. Just for the sake of the music, I wouldn’t care about the lyrics. But as I listened to more of gospel and as I grew up gaining inspiration and strength from them,it became more and more difficult for me to keep listening to the not so good secular ones.

If you think I’m against secular music, then you got me all wrong. There are great bands and solo singers out there who sing wonderful, inspirational and close to life secular numbers. What I’m against is singers singing something that they haven’t experienced just so they can have more fans and just so they can top the charts. This other group of singers who sing and write for the joy of it,who sing and write what they believe don’t worry when they don’t qualify for the top 10. If one person listens to it and comes and tell them how it has helped them,that would be payment enough for them. Just like many bloggers out there. Not much followers, not many comments but still we write for the love of it and for the joy of it because we write what we believe.

When you let wrong lyrics into your mind, it can affect you to a great extent, make you feel things you shouldn’t be feeling.So I just would like to end it saying, stick to what is good, stick to your beliefs, your faith. Don’t let anything else, be it music or movies or even your friend lead you away from it.



9 thoughts on “Truth and Lies

  1. Really wonderful post. The things that you expressed is absolutely correct. But, I think hearing to secular songs just for the sake of music is not right according to THE HOLY BIBLE. Consider the following verses (from ESV)

    1Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
    1Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.
    1Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
    1Corinthians 6:20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

    I am very sure that THE HOLY SPIRIT cannot dwell in us when we tend to hear secular music. A true (I mean saved) and crucified CHRISTIAN should not encourage any kind of secular bands or solo singers. Even in GOSPEL industry, GOD doesn’t want competitors for M. Jackson, J. Biber…..Please, let me know only from THE HOLY BIBLE if I am wrong.

    1. Thank you for the wonderful Bible illustrations you have given here. It’s certainly of help. As you said listening to secular songs just because the music is good is wrong when the lyrics are not in line with the truths of the Bible. It’s just that the definition of secular songs is so mixed up these days. For example patriotic songs are not gospel but doesn’t mean they are wrong. Would you just sit and close your ears when National Anthem plays??? Definitely not! and many more examples are there…most of the Christmas carols we sing like Rudolf the red nosed reindeer don’t speak of gospel but we sing it. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong as long as it doesn’t rob the true meaning of Christmas. So in short,secular songs which are not in line with the truths of the Bible or place anything else above God is definitely not to be listened to even if it has great music. But there are also good secular songs. For example, since you mentioned MJ, a song like “Heal the world” has wonderful meaning. Of course, it was sung by the same person who didn’t set a good example through some of his other songs, but as far as this song is concerned, it’s so much like what God expects of us-to show love to our neighbours. So just because a song is tagged “secular” doesn’t mean it is against the Bible. That is all I want to add with your point. At the same time, if a song is tagged “gospel”, it can still be against the truths of the Bible. Only God should teach us how to discern between “Truth and Lies”.
      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      1. Thank you for the riposte.

        I would like to present my apologia in a plain sailing manner.

        Yes, I am aware that ‘secular’ is not always against THE MOST HIGH.

        I would like to depict this with the life of Irish (or French) writer (I guess) Oscar Wilde. During my school days, I have learnt a wonderful story by him named ‘The Selfish Giant’. The story appeared to be a piety story. But, I was stunned when I came to know that he spent his life in sensuality (from the book ‘The Sense and Sensuality’ by Dr. Ravi Zacharias). So, from this we are aware that we cannot give license to a person to be pious if he writes a devout story or songs(but there may few exceptions like C S Lewis).

        You may ask what this has to do with music??? I will answer.

        Thanks again for asking a phenomenal question regarding Jingle Bells and National Anthem.

        My country (India)’s national anthem (Jana Gana Mana) and Jackson’s ‘Heal the world’ has one specific similarity, that both are unaddressed and both are like prayers only. I feel the lyrics and sing my national anthem (that cannot shake my devout nature. I hope I am clear), as the author Tagore (Indian) had represented the reverence for my country. (If you are from UK, then you can feel and sing (GOD save the queen). If you take ‘heal the world’, its the only MJ’s song that I have heard (because it was sung in our school in one occasion) and its really a awesome song. I hope you know that he died with a debt amounting to 2500 crores (see, he cannot mend himself). When the land (or the world) will be healed??Only if we are humble and pray (2 Chronicles – 7:14). I am also aware of more secular songs like ‘Show me the meaning’. But, in a funeral I(we) will sing that we will meet in GOD’s day and not ask this silly question (Show me the meaning). So, a secular song serves a different purpose, when we compare with a gospel song.

        I would like to make a prominent point here. I am sorry to say that ‘Jingle Bells’ is a SECULAR SONG which has got nothing to do with Christmas. I have enjoyed the song during my child hood, but when THE HOLY SPIRIT works through us HIS gift (i.e.) ‘discerning gift’, we can understand the deception in this song. I don’t know about your country. But, in USA (if you are from USA, I am sorry) they call the Christmas holidays as winter holidays. And all the Christmas hymns (like Away in the manger, Silent Night,) are converted into parallel secular songs. So, ‘Jingle Bells’ is just the initiation of these kinds of song. If you don’t believe me you can see the Christian movie ‘The Last ounce of Courage’. And my country India (please pray for my country) is also experiencing the same tide in minor state.

        So, this is the reason I want a crucified christian to abstain from hearing secular songs.

        Unfortunately, this is a long retort.

      2. As I already mentioned the definition of “secular” is all mixed up these days…I don’t clearly understand what you are trying to get across. While in one para it seems like you are saying it is okay to listen to good secular songs, in the next you take it to the other extreme. So I find it hard to grasp the actual bottom line. And if we are going to connect every song and prose to the writer and judge it based on his/her life, then I bet almost everything will be qualified as “not good”. Just now I checked the full lyrics of Jingle Bells because usually at school we just sing the first verse. I was thinking it was aimed at lifting the spirit of Christmas but now I know it’s not. So I’m glad about that revelation. So once again from all these words and comments and replies, it’s very clear that without God leading us and dwelling in our hearts it’s going to be very hard knowing what is good and what is not. God bless!

        “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ”

        Philippians 1:9-10


  2. certainly right!! Nothing can warm a sorrowing heart like music does and truly it lingers for a longer time and recalled more easily than something that is learnt by rote. Though people say they only listen to the tune and not the lyrics, its plain bluff. Our mind always deciphers and we let in subconsciously all that we don’t really need. Good of you to have written about it here. . im sure many wil be benefitted!! great writing as usual:) 🙂

  3. Yes, you are right!!! My comment was incoherent in its bottom line (I am not good in articulating my thoughts. You are good at it. ). The bottom line is this
    A SAVED and CRUCIFIED follower of CHRIST should not attempt to rationalize the practice of hearing secular songs.
    Thanks for quoting the wonderful verse at the end. GLORY be to GOD alone.

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