Girl to Girl Talk: “Should Christians Listen to Secular and Explicit Music?”

    Every week I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and council. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian walk of faith and any miscellaneous topics! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions and become bold in your faith. We love you, PI readers!

    This week’s question is about listening to secular music. A PI reader posted:

    “I LOVE Hillsong United, Third Day, and Newsboys but I ALSO like Pitbull, Katy Perry, and Eminem. Should I be listening to them?”

    Read the entire post here.

    PI readers, it is inevitable that, in our culture, we’ll be exposed to different types of media. There are different opinions about whether you should listen to secular or Christian music, but the biggest concern isn’t whether or not you listen to worldly music–ultimately, it is why you listen to what you do that matters most.

    Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things (Philippians 4:8).


    [Image Credit:]

    Personally, I love worship music because it brings me closer to the Lord. I love singing praises to Him and I love the positive lyrics. There are also secular artists who sing positive music as well, but who are not labeled as “gospel” or “Christian.” Each individual needs to use wisdom and pray regarding what they are listening to.

    In certain situations such as celebrations, weddings and parties, there may be secular music playing, so we need to be aware of society and culture–but that doesn’t mean we need to listen to secular music all the time. It also doesn’t mean to be extreme and hide under a rock to avoid all secular music. God knows your heart and your motives. Ask yourself how the music makes you feel and if it is drawing you closer to or away from God.

    Since, then you have been raised with Christ, set your HEARTS on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your MINDS on things above, not on earthly things…Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry because of these the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips…put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge, in the image of its Creator (Colossians 3:1-2, 5-8, 10).

    If the music you listen to has cussing, vulgarity or if it is sending a message that is not of God, you might want to refrain from listening to that type of music. There is so much power in words, what we sing and what we allow in our minds. What we speak out or sing out, for that matter, has power.

    As you grow in maturity in your faith, you will WANT to listen to music that edifies your spirit and that draws you to God. When I was younger I didn’t realize the influence of music and that some music wasn’t good for my soul. With maturity and growing nearer to the Lord, I use my discretion and now prefer more positive music.

    Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).

    Does what you listen to bring you closer to the Lord, closer to what we are aiming for as believers? Or does it make you stumble, think negative thoughts or make poor decisions in life? You need to work out these choices in your life and at the end of the day, it is really a condition of the heart.

    Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “Don’t listen to secular music,” but there are plenty of scriptures that tell you to fix your eyes on Jesus and the truth (the Word of God). I don’t believe you will go to hell for listening to worldly music and you shouldn’t be extreme in your decisions or in your faith, but definitely be aware of music’s messages.

    Music has power. Music can influence your mood, your emotions and can even sometimes your behavior or actions. Let us pray that we can become more mature and listen to good, positive music that isn’t damaging to our souls and our relationship with Jesus. Ask God for His wisdom and again, have a balance. Use discretion and discernment, and pray to the Lord about it!

    The power of the tongue is life and death—those who love to talk will eat what it produces (Proverbs 18:21).

    PI girls, what kind of music do you listen to? What do you think about listening to secular music?

    More Stories Like This on Project Inspired:

    Girl to Girl Talk: “I Struggle with Cutting and Depression”
    Girl to Girl Talk: “Is Popularity a Sin?”
    Girl to Girl Talk: How Do We Know Jesus Is “The Way”?

    Christi Given
    Christi Given
    Christi Given is a former Trinity Broadcasting Network host for the JUCE TV NETWORK, and has been featured on the Hillsong Channel. Her passion is to reach the youth with the Gospel and her music. Given has been writing for Project Inspired since 2011, and hopes to encourage the younger generation in their faith.


    1. I only listen to Christian music on occassions, i dont not see a need for it all the time. But just because i listen to something other than Christian doesnt mean that i am affected… I believe all songs have their own stories and different reasons why that person wrote them. Who are we to tell people what to write and what not to write? I think that everyone should be able to write whatever they please.. If someone wants to write innapropriate and vulgar songs than so be it.

    2. I listen to ALL the music! c; My thought is, as long as I don’t necessarily use the words that are used in the secular sweary music or repeat the actions spoken of in some songs, but a lot of the “swearing” songs are good! Plus a lot of secular artists are Christian! (Taylor Swift, Paramore, etc)

      • Hey there my name is Grace! Jesus loves you!!! But sometimes by listening to songs that use curse words, we are listening to sinful behavior that affects our attitude. I believe if you listen to good music then you will have good thoughts!! Believe me! I have a deep love for music! I listened to Taylor Swift too and music in the radio for many years…But honestly, when I started listening to praise music I felt so much more fulfille I firmly believed Jesus has put us here on this earth to share the good news. I realize now how sinful some of those songs are. Really. I am just realizing this in my own life. We need Jesus to heal! Those songs are so bad because our culture is somewhat that of death. It believes in despair and sin. Jesu s is calling us to a culture of life. To that of hope and prayer and positive thinking! I’ve hoped I have helped!!

    3. There’s nothing wrong with secular music; I listen to it most of the time. What’s not okay is explicit and really inappropriate music. I think we all differ in what we think is acceptable and unacceptable.

    4. I usually listen to Christian music but recently I walked in on a friend working out to secelar music and the beat of that music motivated me to workingout and get moving. After that I added a secular music workout radio on my Pandora and was pretty pumped when I worked out. Everything was fine and dandy until on day I found myself humming a song that was definitly not Gloryifing God, the song was from Pitbull. After that I had some praying to do and finally decided that whereelse secular music’s beat and rythem get your feet moving, it gets my mind and heart on bad thoughts. Its not worth it. So now I have deleted that radio and have returned to listening to Hillsong United and Jesus Culture. On occasion I do listen to old time country but thats about it.

      • There are a lot of poppy upbeat christian songs that are great for working out! Check out Royal Tailor, Toby Mac, Lecrae, Britt Nicole and Manic Drive. Those are christian artists who have songs that will motivate you to get moving AND spend time in God’s presence.

      • There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing out that opinion of yours. But please, I beg you to watch your words & respect this Christian page & the excellent writer of this post just as we are respecting your extremely disoriented opinion. It is my interest for you to know that you are not only talking on a very desrespectful way about “Christian music” See lovely lady, what you are calling gross isn’t the music itself but the praises & worship to OUR KING through music. Now, if you don’t like worship music it is okay, Jesus gave you freewill. But beautiful, I beg you to please not call “gross” the way some artist & even us adore *our* God. See, at the end it is God who judge the hearts & intentions. & though we might not like some songs, don’t call gross how a singer or artist is praising God. You might not like, but don’t doubt someone else really does. Most of all, don’t doubt someone’s life has been touched through that song. Just don’t. Sums to be a matter of respect. We love you bunches princess but Jesus does even more <3

    5. Thank you for this, it really reminds me of why i listen to the things i do. I LOVE christian and gospel music and listen to that but, when i do listen to secular music i detect the lyrics and determine what they are really talking about to make sure its not negative.

    6. Look around you. See how many people have their earphones and headphones plugged in? These days it’s nearly impossibel to find a teen without them. The world is constantly indoctrining themselves through music. Whatever music we listen to becomes who we are because those are the ideas being constantly instilled into our minds. As Christians, we should strive and desire to be with the Lord, and grow closer to Him. Music does that- it can put you in a place where you discover so many new things about God and His love for us. Why would you ever want to risk missing that?

    7. I don’t listen to secular music very often (just sometimes when I wanna hear a cute love song or maybe a country song) but when I do I feel conviction. I feel guilty about it. So yeah I think it’s one of those things where “what’s wrong to me might not be wrong to you”. Thank you for posting this.

    8. I love listening to both Christian music and country music. I know some of the “country” music today is all about drinking and other ungodly things, but I try to pick out the ones that do glorify God or at least have positive lyrics. My favorite artist in country is Scotty McCreery who is well known for wearing a cross necklace and being very open about his faith. Another fave of mine is Carrie Underwood who is also very vocal about her faith.

    9. Honestly, if we even have to question listening to secular music, I think our consciences are telling us something!!! This world has forgotten many morals. They think the road to happiness is seeking pleasure. This way of thinking shows up in our music at least our rap and pop music. I went to a jingle ball during Christmastime where there were many headlining artists. My mother was shocked by the vulgar language and promiscuity!! The sad thing was that there were countless teenage girls in short shorts and revealing outfits. I am afraid for my society! I am afraid they have been raised to accept the vulgar and sin!! We need to pray! Honestly, our music industry needs a major wakeup call! I pray that Jesus shows mercy on us! Do not be afraid to do what is right! Believe me, you will be glad you chose to sacrifice!

    10. Wait, Uptown Funk is explicit? In my brain the word I imagine you’re referring to *not typing it because I don’t know if it would be censored out* is hardly a swear word. Maybe not a word you would use around kids, but more like ‘crap’. To the answer of the question I don’t like Eminem because he writes songs where he pictures murdering his ex wife and that’s just nasty. Personally I’m not a hue fan of Christian music, but sometimes I enjoy listening to it and revitalizing myself. Other than that, I like all sorts of secular music, and language isn’t really a factor. The morality of the message may be, but not obscenities. Even my mom has said to me “Honestly, I think God understands things happen and God understands swearing.”

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