As I am developing the posts for the Gospel series referenced in the previous blog, I have come under conviction that I should share a concern that I have had for some time. Sharing it now is fueled by a couple of experiences as of late on the topic, the first of which I will share here. I have referenced it before but this will be a little more pointed. Here goes.
Lyrics. Do we really put much thought behind what we are singing. or listening to. I wonder. Recently, I have learned of a song that I have never heard before but is apparently very amusing and popular among country listeners, sinners and Christians alike.. It is called Red Solo Cup. I hear it spoken of with much affinity. I have heard enough of the lyrics quoted to get an idea what the song is about. As a matter of a fact, just now, I looked it up to make sure I quoted correctly the artist Toby Keith as it's originator. I must admit I giggled. My flesh enjoyed it's humor and ridiculous tongue in cheek approach. So before I go any further let me clarify that I understand the temptation, even for Christians, to be amused and even feel drawn to the hoky feel and catchy hook of the song. Especially if you are a musician or vocalist.
However, as much as my flesh is tempted to enjoy and giggle at this silly song and video that wasn't even intended to be a hit. My spirit, is grieved and my heart is heavy. This song, and especially the video, glorifies everything carnal, sinful, and ungodly. This song is a perfect example of how Satan functions in deceptive fashion to grab the hearts of the world and the Christian alike and numb them in regards to the sensitivity and intolerance that God has for the sinful nature. Even if you haven't seen the video, as a Christian, the knowledge that we have of the worlds idea of a party should throw up red flags when it comes to a song like this, simply from the lyrics.
Is this song alone. Absolutely not! Most secular music today, no matter the genre, is geared toward subtly glorifying things ungodly. Oh the writer or artist may not have that at the forefront of their mind when writing or performing these songs but the message is still glorifying of sin. This is the devil's desire. Some songs do it blatantly through hardcore gangsta rap or hard rock. Others do it through country or alternative music. Even love songs often allude to nighttime or bedtime activities of those in love with no allusions about whether the characters involved are married or not. Is this to picky of a view point? Some might say, you are reading into it Josh! Maybe. However, in a world where sexual immorality is acceptable and prevalent I think we as Christians should be just that nitpicky about what we listen to, expose others to, or even put out ourselves if you happen to be an artist. Some might call this legalistic, I call it biblical. After all, the bible does say to avoid even the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Phillipians 4:8 lists all the things that God would have us meditate on. Wild parties and drunkeness, violence and sexual immorality are not a part of this list No, they are rather sins of the flesh(Galatians 5:19-21). Obviously these are convictions that the Holy Spirit has to bring however, once light is shed on potential sin and disobedience in that area, we are responsible to seek God and ask him to confirm it in our spirits, if it is biblically accurate, and to help us remove that from our lives.
There are two primary issues of concern here. 1) Are there things in our lives that are displeasing to God?(Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:17-32) 2) Are there things in our lives that could be a stumbling block to weaker believers or to unbelievers?(Romans 14:13) True that it is God who saves, however He will hold us accountable for our influence in the lives of those around us. Either by what we do through sinful disobedience or what we don't do through righteous obedience.
Obviously there are many more scriptures to support the validity of these concerns. My desire is never to suggest a legalistic approach to living out your faith. Rather to create a thought process for biblical obedience that is pleasing to God and useful for building up the Body of Christ. I want to be careful to clarify that I am not advocating any change in our lives as a work unto salvation. We are saved by grace alone. However, in the process of sanctification aka. transformation as an evidence of the salvation that God has already provided, we should always be examining our lives for anything that would reflect poorly on Christ in us. We cannot be the city on a hill shining the truth of the Gospel for all the world to see if we are tolerating or excusing sin in our lives, no matter how small.. We must guard our hearts and the hearts of those within our realm of influence from worldly, ungodly things at all times.
Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy. to present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, for this is your spiritual act of worship. Be no longer conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).
Love in Christ,