Contend Earnestly: 10 Steps to Become a Legalist: Step 8

Thursday, October 09, 2008

10 Steps to Become a Legalist: Step 8

This and the next step is one of my favorites to talk about with other people. I am a pretty big legalist in this area, so I need this for myself. This step is going to show you how to be a legalist in the area of music. There are usually two major groups here, those who only listen to "Christian" music or those who only listen to secular music, with little wiggle room. But, again, to be a good legalist you need to get a verse, take it out of context, and make sure you make it orthodox doctrine. So, this one will be used for both this post and probably the next. It is found in Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever 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, dwell on these things.

The first way you can become a legalist in this area is to quickly turn the dial on your radio to 777 FM where the Holy Ghost is present in every song. This station will probably tell you that it is safe for the whole family, and that the songs are uplifting showing you how to love God. I mean if they say this, they must be right since whatever you hear in advertising is correct. I mean they can't say it unless it is true, right?

After you find 777 FM it seems like the uniform quickly follows with the Jesus fish on your bumper, "My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter" bumper sticker quickly applied to car, and then the fake perma grin is applied to the face. I am not sure where this store is that hands all these things out, but it has to exist because of all the proof that I have seen. I would just like to visit it and act like I am robbing the place for fun, not sure why, but it would just be funny.

Once you find the dial, and once you get your accessories, you now need to be a preacher for your new found religion of Christian music. Make sure you use Phil 4:8 for reference and ask people how they could ever listen to other music that doesn't speak about God and love and flowers and unicorns and rainbows. Why wouldn't you want to listen to the music that Jesus listens to? I mean your bracelet does beg the question, "What Would Jesus Do?"

You have to make sure that other people see the dangers of secular music, why it is harmful to our communities, why people want to murder their children and eat their pets because of it. If people only knew how dangerous a back beat is they would truly convert to your religion of people speaking softly and grinning like a fat kid at an all you can eat buffet.

The other guys in this arena are actually pretty awesome. They believe not in the radio version of Christianity, nor do they believe in the secular. They believe that music is only to be listened to if piano and organ are played alongside it and the song was written in the 1600's and use works like "bulwark" and put "eth" at the end of every word so that iteth looketh liketh thiseth. Their motto ends up being: if it is not old it is not good.

This is a pretty sweet team to play on as you really get to rail against everyone. The people who listen to contemporary Christian music are just immature in their faith and those who listen to secular music probably aren't saved. Poor souls. I will tell you that this team's uniforms look more like an undertaker, so you will have to find a good dark suit and instead of a perma grin, make your face look like you just smelled something foul and you are well on your way to being a great legalist in this area. My favorite part of this group is that you will have to start saying stuff like, "How can rap music ever glorify God?" or "How can metal music ever glorify God?" It is so dark and wrong. I mean, those people spike their hair and look like they crawled out of a horror flick.

The final group are those who laugh at both of the groups mentioned so far. I probably am more in this group than others. You have to be pretty condescending to be in this group and understand that real music doesn't happen in the Christian scene, only secular. Praise songs are cool for church, but they won't find their way onto my 120 gig iPod that is already I have a lot of cool songs on my iPod. You will always make fun of the Dove Awards and will never understand how people can listen to the crap they listen to. You will also use the same verse as the first group of Phil 4:8 and ask, "How can you listen to music that has such bad theology? How is that pure? How is that right?" You will have to assume that all Christian music has bad lyrics and terrible musicality. All who listen are just ignorant in their haze of rainbows and lolly pops.

You will want to make sure the others understand that at least the secular music doesn't teach bad theology about Jesus, who cares if it teaches moralism and paganism, it isn't defaming God...wait...that doesn't make sense, but hold the line here, you have to make your point. You have to become so against Contemporary Christian music so that all of it is bad and all of it spreads dangerous messages that aren't godly. You will have to make these hyperboles to be a good legalist in this area. You should probably quote Bono sometimes to make your point, because he is so intelligent and he helps the poor, so he has to be right. Wait, who is Ghandi? Whatever...just move on.

So, here is the issue when dealing with music. Be discerning. Be careful what you listen to. Both secular and "Christian" music can be damaging to the soul. I personally do not like most of what CCM has to offer. Most of what I have heard is just plain terrible. This does not mean that all of it is bad. Same thing goes with secular music. Most of my iPod is filled with secular stuff, but some of it I have to delete because it is just wrong and profane in areas I will not give in to or let my mind listen to. I don't mind people who like metal Christian music or any type of music, as long as it is not profaning God. That is my main point. Don't stereotype any music as being "good" or "bad" but look to what the message is and see if it defames God. Music is just like other things in this world. I mean what if we did the same thing with food. What if we said, "since this came from a Christian supermarket it is good and right, but the other stuff is bad." This just doesn't make sense. What if the food is better at the other supermarket? We could do this with almost anything. To keep yourself from being a legalist, listen to why people listen to what they listen to. Ask them why? Listen to what they listen to, listen to its message. I am not saying you have to like it, but be open to it. Because guess what, there is no Psalms 151 that states, "listen to this or go to hell." No. The Psalms close with Psalm 150 with a myriad of ways to praise God through song, and you will notice that it isn't about the means but in the substance. The gong or cymbal is not godly or ungodly, but the person who is being praised through it: Our Triune God. And notice that Psalm 150 ends with, "Let everything (yeah...everything) that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord."

May we look to music as a way that God shows his glory and may we praise him through it, even if it isn't found on 777 FM or played by the old lady on the organ.


Brad Walker said...

i'm pretty sure i have been in all 3 positions at one point in my life. as of now, i'm not even sure which i would fall into. probably the third. i greatly enjoy a lot of secular music, but honestly, i do think that Christian music has grown musically by leaps and bounds over the past 10 years.

either way, i've enjoyed the series and looking forward to more ways for me to become a legalist.

Anonymous said...

Yeah that's good stuff...


Steve said...

Legalism is cool because it is so binary.

Boaly said...

I waseth definatelyeth ineth thee stageth ofeth onlyeth listeningeth toeth 'christianeth' musiceth.!

Gald the Scripture brough liberty before I began speaking like this, applied the bumper sticker or the fake grin!

Class post!

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