Last night, I had a four hour drive from Atlanta back home to Nashville. Along the way, I got tired of listening to Â my same music (a Spotify playlist with everything from Sara Groves to Kierra Sheard) so I started station-surfing to see what I could find.Â Of course, I ran into the obligatory country station but I kept moving. I landed at a hip hop station. “Let’s see what they’re talking about…” I thought.
The catchy beat drew me in but then the female singer and male rapper began to sing about sex in a way that was not romantic, complimentary, sensitive or flattering to say the least. Quite the opposite, it was selfish, nasty and filled with imagery of sadism & masochism.
“Duh?!” you’re thinking? Why would you expect anything different?Â
Honestly, I don’t know that I was expecting anything different. I was just hoping to hear some clever rhymes over dope beats. But what I found saddened me and infuriated me because it donned on me that this station and these songs are listened to by thousands of people, many of them teenagers and twenty-somethings who have never married. I thought to myself, if this is what the young man who wants to date or marry my daughter thinks sex or romance is about, I don’t want him to ever talk to my precious daughter.
It donned on me that the kids in our youth groups know these songs.
It donned on me that millions of single moms play these songs with their kids in the car.
It donned on me that art no longer reflects life but that now Artists have such influence that their art instructs young, impressionable minds on who they should be, how they should think and what they should do.
Am I preaching to the choir? I wish that were the case but I know better.
Am I advocating that “secular” music is bad? Absolutely not. First off, the designation of “secular” and “holy” music is usually unhelpful as music is simply an artform, morally neutral in and of itself, and completely subject to the will of its creator and/or recipients. Secondly, to legislate the dictates of my conscience on others apart from the Word of God is to fall into the error of the Pharisees and Sadducees. My aim is neither to damn all music that doesn’t fall in the CHRISTIAN/GOSPEL category of the music store nor to tell you what stations are “off-limits.” But, in love I echo these words of warning to you:
“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.Â But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” â€” Matthew 6:22-23
Shortly after hearing enough of the song to decide that I was going to change the station, I could imagine a poisonous snake hissing, Â reared up and ready to strike. If you had a poisonous snake in your car, would you keep piping in the melodic music that stirs it up and makes it dance or would you act quickly to get that snake out of your car? Or your daughter’s bedroom? Or your son’s iPhone? Get the point?
About the Author
Â Roland Hairston loves God and loves people. He wrestles with ideas about life, faith, leadership and church and wields strategy, technology and communications to move people to action. As Publisher of Gospel Today, Roland has the joy of bringing information, inspiration, education and empowerment to thousands with each issue.