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Christian Life

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).

Image: Thinkstock | Pixland

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64 Comments

  1. redvolution

    Posted by redvolution on March 23, 2013 at 07:13

    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.

  2. JolieNdNicole

    Posted by JolieNdNicole on December 22, 2012 at 07:35

    I love Taylor Swift , <3 Britt Nicole and all them singers on christian radios

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Artist_In_Blue on November 22, 2012 at 06:49

    Christian rock is awesome! Skillet, Disciple, Red, and Thousand Foot Krutch are my favorites 🙂

  4. vsmith21

    Posted by vsmith21 on October 26, 2012 at 17:49

    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.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by JaneDoe on September 10, 2012 at 13:53

    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-

    • Nellie

      Posted by Nellie on December 5, 2012 at 09:38

      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!

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by BeStillAndBreath98 on September 7, 2012 at 10:02

    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!!

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by RosieRiveter on September 4, 2012 at 23:32

    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?

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by Ashbear96 on August 11, 2012 at 21:31

    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.

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by frozenxdreamer on August 2, 2012 at 16:12

    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.

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by RuthOneSixteen on August 2, 2012 at 07:37

    Movies can be too- The Hunger Games, for instance. Demons love people justifying violence (as THG fans justify Katniss choosing to murder).

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by OPraiseHim96 on August 1, 2012 at 15:52

    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!

  12. Project Inspired

    Posted by justcamping on July 29, 2012 at 09:52

    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.

  13. Project Inspired

    Posted by Matthew5.16 on July 28, 2012 at 22:47

    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! ^_^

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by pipgirl on July 25, 2012 at 12:18

    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.

  15. naynay141516

    Posted by naynay141516 on July 23, 2012 at 19:57

    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.

  16. Mossleaf

    Posted by Mossleaf on July 22, 2012 at 21:13

    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 ^^

  17. Project Inspired

    Posted by jesussaves on July 22, 2012 at 13:59

    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.

    • SunshineGirl

      Posted by SunshineGirl on July 23, 2012 at 06:34

      I love Winter Jam! I also go to the Rock and Worship Roadshow! They are both AMAZING Christian concerts!

  18. Project Inspired

    Posted by Alex1990 on July 22, 2012 at 13:12

    AWESOME 🙂

  19. maria.ps.25.11

    Posted by maria.ps.25.11 on July 22, 2012 at 10:58

    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 😉

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by TheMouseLover on August 24, 2012 at 18:54

      You seriously sound EXACTLY like me! I used to think christian music was boring to, but now i love it, and the music i used to love no DISGUSTS me!

  20. Project Inspired

    Posted by Alexandra Lyn on July 21, 2012 at 13:15

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHn-8mDmdYc&feature=related

    Beautiful song by Adam Young called My Hope Is Found

  21. Dee

    Posted by Dee on July 20, 2012 at 12:27

    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.)

  22. Project Inspired

    Posted by Christ4life on July 20, 2012 at 12:21

    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

  23. Project Inspired

    Posted by Annie on July 20, 2012 at 12:12

    I like Mandisa, Francesca Batistelli, Jamie Grace, and the Newsboys

  24. Project Inspired

    Posted by countrychic143 on July 20, 2012 at 09:14

    I L O V E country music

  25. Project Inspired

    Posted by lizziedee on July 20, 2012 at 01:03

    one of my fav pastimes is rewriting popular music -well the lyrics anyway- to make it a Christian song 🙂 it’s just fun

  26. Paris

    Posted by Paris on July 20, 2012 at 00:50

    That is why I be careful of who I listen to!

  27. Project Inspired

    Posted by jesus_lover7345 on July 20, 2012 at 00:28

    Skillet Kari Jobe and Lecrae are my top three favorites i listen to them pretty much every day! 😀

  28. Project Inspired

    Posted by refinnej on July 19, 2012 at 21:35

    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.

  29. Project Inspired

    Posted by 3mily223 on July 19, 2012 at 21:32

    This is perfect!!!! But not all un-christian music is bad…………

  30. faithinspired1995

    Posted by faithinspired1995 on July 19, 2012 at 18:16

    i think the music we listen to is super important!!! put good in, get good out:)

  31. JesusFreak46256

    Posted by JesusFreak46256 on July 19, 2012 at 17:41

    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?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by jesussaves on July 22, 2012 at 14:03

      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.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by LoveGod4ever on July 20, 2012 at 13:38

      I Love all of those artists/bands, especially Colton! hes an amazing christian artist with a great future

    • sisterwhocares

      Posted by sisterwhocares on July 20, 2012 at 13:22

      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.

  32. I

    Posted by I on July 19, 2012 at 16:46

    I agree with this 100%, it’s the lyrics that can be bad, NOT the music.

  33. Project Inspired

    Posted by Sunshine Shadow 59 on July 19, 2012 at 13:52

    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

  34. Project Inspired

    Posted by Faith on July 19, 2012 at 13:32

    I particularly enjoy listening to Jesus Culture and Hillsong<3 Great Christian music!

  35. leahgrace99

    Posted by leahgrace99 on July 19, 2012 at 13:30

    I really love christian rap and christian rock, but my new favorite christian band has got to be Sixteen Cities.

  36. gymluv101

    Posted by gymluv101 on July 19, 2012 at 12:58

    I am totally in love with Brett Younker! Check him out because he is sooooo amazing!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Domino on July 20, 2012 at 17:56

      I saw him basically in concert. He lead the worship at Student Life at the Beach!

  37. beegirl4him

    Posted by beegirl4him on July 19, 2012 at 12:32

    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. 🙂

  38. Project Inspired

    Posted by LacyPaste on July 19, 2012 at 12:21

    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!)

  39. kala12395

    Posted by kala12395 on July 19, 2012 at 11:40

    I love JJ Heller, Skillet, Red, Switchfoot, Sidewalk Prophets, Superchick, Casting Crowns, Matthew West, Chris Tomlin, Steven Curtis Chapman…. and many more.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by TheMouseLover on August 24, 2012 at 18:50

      Those are all my favorites to! (and many more). I almost got to go to a sidewalk prophets concert! 😀 but sadly it didnt work out *sigh*

  40. Project Inspired

    Posted by blebo25 on July 19, 2012 at 11:39

    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.

  41. Project Inspired

    Posted by Monica on July 19, 2012 at 10:33

    I like Christian Rock- Skillet! And Flyleaf is awesome too- it’s Christian Alternative Metal. 😀

  42. Project Inspired

    Posted by a2j on July 19, 2012 at 09:06

    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 🙂

  43. yelloflwer

    Posted by yelloflwer on July 19, 2012 at 08:09

    Just because someone is a decendant of an evil person doesn’t mean that they will automatically be evil as well.

  44. Project Inspired

    Posted by Lizzysassyfriend10 on July 19, 2012 at 07:59

    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.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by ArianneLeigh on August 3, 2012 at 16:08

      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!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Coalesce on July 19, 2012 at 09:15

      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.

  45. faulty-but-real

    Posted by faulty-but-real on July 19, 2012 at 06:06

    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

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by tinalynne on July 25, 2012 at 12:59

      The types of music i listen to are mostly Christian, rock\pop, Country and also other things that dont have bad lyrics because i think it is ungodly to listen to music that has bad lyrics in it. My favorite christian music artist would be Casting Crowns, my favorite country artist would be The Civil Wars and Thompson Square

    • SunshineGirl

      Posted by SunshineGirl on July 23, 2012 at 06:32

      SKILLET!!!!!!!!!!!

    • cococookies

      Posted by cococookies on July 20, 2012 at 12:29

      oh my gosh YES! they have a rock theme kind of music but their lyrics really do glorify God.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Monica on July 19, 2012 at 10:33

      I like Skillet also! 🙂

  46. Project Inspired

    Posted by TheMouseLover on July 19, 2012 at 06:05

    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!

  47. Project Inspired

    Posted by on July 19, 2012 at 06:04

    i was just thing that(: