Some of the music I love reflects my upbringing. My grandfather is a massive fan of Dr. Hook and the Eagles. My mum is a HUGE MJ fan (hence who I was named after. Seriously), and fan of the BeeGees and ABBA. My dad? Typical FOB jams, mixed with some weird ones like (Aunty) Shanaia Twain and Atomic Kitten. My older brother? A typical R'n'B head from Boyz 2 Men, Joe, Bobby Brown, Usher, and list goes on. Me? A hybrid mix of all of these things, whilst loving Sam Cooke, Reggae Roots, Gospel, Worship and some rock as well.
I recently have heard of a few examples from Christian people who weren't allowed to have 'secular music' in their household growing up. I guess the mentality is that 'worldly music' gives an opportunity for 'worldly ways' to infiltrate your 'holy life' or something to that affect. Although I don't necessarily agree, it did get me thinking about music as an example of how we as Christians have to constantly navigate what the bible describes as being 'in the world' vs. 'of the world'
Some songs today are pretty explicit when it comes to their lyricism and sexualization. I even heard a song recently where the chorus went something like
"I'll have her screaming 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus'"
This made me feel uncomfortable and uneasy. You can read between the lines as to what the lyrics are referring to.
How are we to navigate the world today, when such opposition to our faith-based values are regularly challenged with intent? Is it possible to have a club banger alongside a worship Spirit-stirrer on your playlist without much conflict? Is it OK to expose children to music about relationships and adults concepts, whilst trying to guard them from growing up too early? What about sex? Objectification of women? Violence?
I can't imagine my childhood without KC and Jojo, Backstreet Boys, Tupac, Usher and other iconic artists. These were the soundtracks to my childhood. But they didn't negatively impact my understanding of the world, self and relationship to others within it. For some though, it might and it does, and so that's something for us to seriously consider in light of what we consider acceptable today.
Paul speaks of an interesting concept in 1 Corinthians 8.6-13