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    Can Music Be Demonic?

    “Can music be demonic?”

    The Bible tells us that “In the beginning…the earth was formless and void,” meaning there was nothing before God spoke it into existence. If there was nothing before God began to speak things into existence, that means there was no music–at least, not the way we know it.

    Genesis 4:21 tells us that Jubal was the father of those who played musical instruments. Jubal was a descendent of Cain. If we base the creation of music on humans, then coming from the line of Cain would make all music seem evil, wouldn’t it? I mean, Cain killed his own brother!

    The truth is, if we look to human origins for anything, we’re going to find a lot of evil because sin has been present since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. In the case of music, calling any music evil based on human origins also indicates that portions of the Bible are tainted by evil–for instance, the Book of Psalms is almost entirely songs and music! I don’t think any of us would say that the Word of God is evil, would we?

    The Bible doesn’t explicitly say that God is the creator of music, but we know from creation that God is the creator and author of creativity. Music is a creative activity and can therefore be traced to God!

    Now, if God creates something, it is not evil. Humanity, however, being tainted by sin and Satan, can twist what God has created for good into something evil.

    With music, lyrics can make a song good or evil. If a song’s lyrics glorify the Lord, that song is not evil–good examples of this include “Under Fire” by Abandon, “Welcome to the Masquerade” by Thousand Foot Krutch and “Background” by Lecrae.

    Each of these songs glorifies God either directly or by encouraging us to behave in a manner pleasing to God. Christian music – rock, rap, metal, hymns – all of it is just music with words written by Christians to glorify God and encourage other Christians in worship.

    A young man in our youth group is an extremely talented musician; he plays guitar and his dad plays keyboard. This father-and-son team often takes music they like from secular songs and write completely new, God-honoring lyrics for them. I believe that even though the instrumental portion of these songs was originally secular, writing new, God-honoring, heartfelt lyrics creates a new life for the song and allows God to use for good what was intended for evil (Genesis 50:20).

    The bottom line is this: Music is not evil, but lyrics can make music evil. Since Christian music has lyrics that seek to honor and glorify God, it can’t by definition be evil or demonic. Demons can quote Scripture, but they don’t seek to honor or glorify God. Christians always seek to glorify God and when we do it through music, I believe God is pleased.

    What is your favorite type of Christian music?

    And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:18-19).

    Jenn Arman
    Jenn Arman is a youth pastor, freelance writer and blogger. She was born in San Diego, California and raised 2 hours north east in the Inland Empire where she lives with her husband David and their cats. Jenn desires to bring glory to God and a healthy dose of reality to Christians through both writing and preaching. Visit jenniferarman.com for more on her work. You can also connect with her on www.facebook.com/JenniferArman.Writer and https://twitter.com/JennArman

    64 COMMENTS

    1. I used to listen to AWFUL secular music, 24 hours a day. I had no idea that God didnt want me to, i thought it was completely ok to listen to music with bad words and sexual themes as long as I’m not affected by them. But God had other plans. One night at my youth group God made it clear in my head that I wasnt supposed to listen to that music anymore. I started crying! How could i be so blind? On the way home from my youth group, i turned the radio from my old favorite channel to Klove, and was instantly filled with peace. I have been listening to Klove ever since, and since i cut the secular music out of my life i became a much happier, more agreeable person! Thank God for Christian music!

    2. SKILLET!!!! 😀 i absolutly LOVE Skillet. i ussually only listen to Christian music,i used to listen to pop and rock (with the exception of the band Rise Against),but i don’t anymore. my dream is to be a professional Christian singer/songwriter. the music i listen to is Christian,country,80’s hits,and 20’s to 60’s music! those are the only types of music i listen to. with the exception of 1Direction,Cody Simpson,and Big Time Rush! 😛 lol. i <3 music!!!!! <3

    3. I must say, I agree with some of this, but not all. Just because music has words in it that are meant to glorify God, that doesn’t mean it is. Some music, regardless of the words used in it, can be bad.

      • I agree, just because music has words to glorify God doesn’t mean it’s good music. Maybe the lyrics have good intentions but the music is boring, unmelodic, and uninspiring. I would not consider that good music.

      • It’s all about intentions. What was the artist’s intentions in writing the song? What are your intentions in listening to it? Listen to music that will encourage and build you up! The Holy Spirit will convict you(John 16:8) of any music that could potentially tear you down! God bless!

    4. i love this article because it confirms what i’ve been thinking. i really like this Christian band, Apologetix, because they write parodies of popular secular music but their lyrics glorify God. my friend was telling me that what they were doing was wrong or “bad” because the original songs were written in evil so the music was bad too. but, we all have a conscience, and when i listen to secular music i feel uncomfortable because of the lyrics but when i listen to Christian parodies of the same songs, i feel fine because the words talk about something that would please God. i mean, how could just the musical instruments playing a certain tune be “bad?” they’re not, it’s the lyrics. thanks for this article, loved it 🙂

    5. I agree with this, but it’s also true that Secular music can have powerful messages. I have been inspired to live in a way that is pleasing to God from lyrics in both Secular and Christian songs.

    6. I listen to music such at Taylor Swift, Britt Nicole (I met her and got her autograph! Whoo!) Owl City (sometimes?) and Maroon 5 (Only the ones that don’t have sexual themes and/or cuss words!)

    7. I listen to christian hard rock/metal and rap mostly. I don’t listen to secular world music anymore, I listened to it last year and I’ve noticed a change in my attitude after I stopped listening to it. I LOVE Skillet, TFK, Lecrae, Tedashii, Eowyn (christian goth), FM Static, YesFM, The Birdsongs…..I have so many favorite christian bands I cant even list them all lol. 🙂

    8. I love Skillet and listening to Background by Lecrae 🙂 thank you some much! Last night I was listening to a really inspiration preacher and I agreed with everything he had to say until he said that the was no such thing as Christian rock or rap and it kinda hurt because Casting Crowns, Skillet and Lecrae sing what I feel

    9. I ADORE casting crowns and hillsong united. also certain songs from lifehouse, paramore, and coldplay and artists such as Colton Dixon, Scotty McCreery, Taylor Swift, Phillip Phillips, and Hollie Cavanaugh. I do not allow dirty music on my iPod. Nor do I listen to anti christian artists. No Gaga, no Eminem, no P!NK, etc. so, is secular music wrong? should christians just listen to christian music? or can we listen to secular music that has good themes?

      • It’s definitely ok to listen to secular music with good themes (ie some of kelly clarkson’s music is really good!) cuz there are plenty of nonchristian artists out there who do not sing about sex or have bad words, or talk about weird things.

      • I think that the point of this article is to just have us think over what we listen to. Christians aren’t forced to listen to just Christian music, it is just more a matter of, as you said, filtering what we listen to.

    10. Well, im not big fan of christian music in general, I find that it gets very boring after a while. However, I DO have a selection of my favorite christian songs on my ipod, such as music by Francesca Battistelli, Laura Story, Jamie Grace, ect. I filter the rest of my music by the meanings, to make sure they are not inappropriate. Since I like pretty much every genre of music (beside death metal/screamo), its not too hard to find new tunes that are just fine to listen to. I don’t see anything wrong with music outside of the “christian” genre, just as long as it’s appropriate.

    11. I used to listen to r&b and hiphop with really bad lyrics and i never knew it was bad because i was too young to understand, but when i was 16 i totally changed my music taste and started listening too good christian rock and i love rock now! Mostly i listen to rock christian music or hillsong but i also listen to secular indie rock music the lyrics have depth in them and i also love arabic music but when i started to listen to christian music like hillsong, chris august, group1crew, lecrea, britt nicole, i started to love pop/rock music and now i hate r&b lol god showed me a way to enjoy music in a meaningful music, but i do listen to secular music but its mostly indie-rock or 90’s rock like goo goo dolls, or country music, because no matter how much you love a certain song the lyrics will have some kind of impact on you and the bible say guard your heart above anything

    12. I LOVE listening to Mark Schultz. His music is uplifting and fun (Let’s Go and The Legend of McBride), and then there’s the sappy stuff for whenever you need to be alone and have a good cry. (Such as Remember Me, Learn to Let go, and He’s My Son.)

    13. To my great shame, Gaga and Katy pery used to be role models because they were kinda claiming “equality” and being different. I realize now that i just wanted to find someone who would talk about being different and not carying. I used to think christian music was boring but i’m am right now only listenning to christian youth hits night and day and running away from the Gaga fame and all the american pop or whatever… I just love ten north avenue, Kari Jobe and Meredith Andrew is not bad either 😉

    14. I only listen to Christian music, and occasionally secular pop music as long as its clean and has good morals (ex. Owl City, 1Direction). My favorite singers/bands are: Dara Maclean,(look up her song Suitcases), Building 429, Francesca Battestelli, Kari Jobe, Jaimie Grace, TobyMac, Group 1 Crew, Newsboyz, Chris Tomilin, Mercy Me, Britt Nicole, For King & Country, Brandon Heath, etc.
      I also go to this AMAZING Christian concert every year called Winter Jam 🙂
      I like Christian music so much better than secular pop, because not only does it have good morals, but the lyrics just really have a way of speaking to you. Most secular pop songs don’t do that.

    15. When i was 5 i moved 2 Brooklyn, NY, once there, alot of bad influences & songs were pushed on me, i barley ever listend 2 christian music except 4 when i went to church & i stopped listening 2 the little voice in my head. Then wen i was 14 i moved 2 Cumberland, VA & got put into a christian privit school, at first i thought it would be boring, cause on thursday’s we had chapel, but on that first chapel service they played a song called “Holy” by Eddie James & i instantly felt that voice come back & tell me 2 kneel, of course, me being a brooklynite teen i didnt the whole year, but the next year(this past school year) i felt it again, this time it said “kneel & pray.” & i did, i got Jesus back in my heart! all because of one song! now i dance & sing & lift my hands 2 God in chapel & church & each day i feel my spirit get strengthend. i dnt want 2 listen 2 secular music anymore, once i get my ipod, the only thing going on it is christian music & mabey a little taylor swift & JB ^^

    16. I love music and want to honor and glorify God with my songs. And God has convicted me not to play rockband or guitar hero because of the nature of the songs. This was kind of hard for me because my siblings love these games and I’m not bad at them. But God has called me higher than that and I will not be partaking in songs that speak directly against him. It sickened me. I am so glad that God convicted me because now I see all of the reasons I shouldn’t play those games.

    17. idk,i stay away from people who i know are satinic,i also listen to christian music alot now,i relize that the beat may be cool,the message isn’t!! purity till marriage is one thing pop music attacks in 80% of pop songs i’ve heard,that why i stopped listening to pop music,i’m 16.its really hard to be a christian in high-school now,because they attack your believes constantly.

    18. haha bro this is the first thing I read on this site, I was expecting the whole “any screamo, drums, metal, and secular music is evil and all the CDs with those kinds of songs should be burned!!” thing.. glad to happen upon something like this tho 🙂
      Jumping to conclusions is something God’s working on with me… :3

      my favrit music?? well, in terms of genres I do like hard rock, metal, skrams and stuff… so Flyleaf and Switchfoot have a special place in my heart. haha

      my favorite Christian artist definitely is Phil Wickham though. if you haven’t heard his new Album: Response….. you deffs should go listen to it… like right now.

      kbai! ^_^

    19. Jeremy Camp has that rich, silky voice that can do something monotone or get those extremely powerful notes in some of his songs.

      Thousand Foot Krutch has an amazingly capable lead singer (Trevor McNevan) and has a sound that makes you want to listen to them over and over and over…

      Royal Tailor has a great lead singer (Tauren Wells) who has sort of a higher range, thus making the songs easier for girls to sing, haha! And you can also tell that the songs are influenced by their culture.

      And then there’s Anthem Lights. Every song on their debut album is so individual and amazing! Even before they had some of Christian music’s greatest producers and trackmasters helping them out, their independent album Yellow Cavalier sounded perfect! All four of their voices are excellent.

    20. Music is a HUGE part of my life now but before I was a Christian I had absolutely no love for it. It wasn’t until my youth pastor convinced me to join our youth group’s praise team that I really found joy in praising God with music 🙂 Although I still carefully listen to certain secular artists, there is something about Christian music that lifts up my mood like no other! I praise God for music!

    21. My favorite type of music is hard rock/screamo. Red, Thousand Foot Krutch, Skillet, Before Their Eyes, Ashes Remain… I hate how some people get confused and generalize that all Christians don’t listen to that genre (the entire genre) because it’s demonic.

    22. In seventh grade i changed ALL my music to christain music i had Red, Skillet, Jeremy Camp, Barlow girls, Casting Crowns all that good stuff. I had just begun to learn about Jesus Christ and also learned that with serving him comes with a consicence. The kids on my bus would make fun of me, because of the music i listened to, even my little sister. But finally i just got sick of it, after they kepted taking Jesus’s name in vain, I yelled at them and told them that as thirteen year olds they should know when to keep their mouths shut and that just because someone beleives in something dosen’t give them the right to tease. They stopped shorty after, and i know i could’ve handled it better but mabey they’ll realize that the world won’t save them, Jesus will.

    23. The problem is, I actually enjoy listening to talented musicians and excellent music. I find that in scarce supply in the Christian music realm.
      Why would I listen to cut rate talent? I understand the artist is trying to convey some form of worship but don’t you think if you are an ambassador in the music world for Christ, there would be a drive to actually supersede the secular world for talent?

    24. Since I’ve gotten re-baptized I cut out alot of surcular music out of my life (though I still rock out to some carly rae or cher lloyd once in a while lol). Now I’ve found soo many christian artists like Kari Jobe,tenth avenue north and royal taliors! If you gals know any others tell me!!

    25. But, Worth Dying for is a christian band, and they have kind a bad lyrics. I can’t see how they glorfy god.
      specilly not in the song Rise against.
      i’m sorry if my english is bad, it’s not my mother language-

      • I dont know that song in particular, but worth dying for has some really great worship and praise songs! one of my favorites by them is Savior! and you should look up their video Destroy if you haven’t already seen it, it is kind of like what they stand for and i think it’s really awesome!

    26. If a song DOESN’T glorify God is it evil? I love Taylor Swift’s music, but she doesn’t write about God; she mostly writes about love and break-ups and overall hurt and trial and becoming yourself in life, but she doesn’t praise evil. I do listen to Christian music, but she is my favorite artist and I just don’t know if that’s what you’re getting at or not.

    27. I mainly listen to christian music. My favorites are Love & Death, Red, Thousand Foot Krutch, Disciple, Anberlin, and Icon For Hire. Most of my favorite bands are rock or even considered metal, but I love their song meanings. I really do get annonoyed when people stereotype metal making it “satanic”. You won’t believe how many times i have been teased just because of my favorite type of music.

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