Monday, January 25

Goodbye Gray

I've been trying to get rid of the gray in my life. I'm not talking about gray hairs, gray sweaters, or gray skies. I mean the gray areas. For example, fictional literature that doesn't have content overtly contradictory to my values, or secular music with lyrics that are somewhat neutral.

At GYC, one of the speakers highlighted the point that every action we take in life is developing our character, either drawing us closer to God and heaven's perfection, or drowning us in our carnal nature. That really hit home for me. There are quite a few things in my life that are neutral in that they aren't bad in and of themselves, but they certainly aren't doing anything to foster a love relationship between me and my God.

So recently, I've been trying extra hard to cut out of my life those things that seem to fall in the gray area, lumping them in with the blacks of life. This has created a need to classify certain music, literature, and things of that sort. Unfortunately, this is much more difficult than it sounds; gray is quite often hard to identify, oddly enough.

One dilemma I've come across is what to do with classical and instrumental music. These are both genres of music that I am fond of, but can't completely justify as music that lends itself to positive character development or fostering of spiritual growth.

I'm curious if any of you have thoughts on this subject- gray areas, or specifically on classical/instrumental music. I'd very much like some outside feedback to help in processing my own thoughts.


Joel said...

I don't think you can necessarily evaluate classical/instrumental music as a group and either pitch it or accept it. There is definitely some wholesome, uplifting instrumental music. There is also definitely some instrumental music that is unhealthy, unwholesome, and unheavenly. The same is true for classical. I admire your conviction to plant your life firmly on the side of Right, but I think that such a choice, in this area, requires a deeper evaluation than just, "Does it have spiritual words?"

I recommend exploring your reasons for listening to the music, as well as the mental attitudes created by certain songs or artists in these genres as a partial step in determining the value of the music. Also, you can always apply the the Phillipians 4:8 standard to your music. While this may be a little more difficult to do with instrumental music, it doesn't mean it's impossible. You just need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.

These are my thoughts on the subject. Again, I really respect your motive; it's something all of us need to consider seriously!

Alex said...

Why don't you ask Pastor Dan about classical/instrumental music? I know he has some things to say.

Johonn said...

I'll put in a pitch for Dr. Ashton as a potential adviser on the music question.

Kristin said...

Joel: I agree. I suppose I can't be true to my purpose if I tie all classical/instrumental music together as one bundle and keep or throw it out. And I definitely understand that the question is deeper than one of lyrics. Thank you for your recommendations; I appreciate them and think they'll be helpful.

Alex & Jonathan: Thanks for the references. I just might contact one of them. I think they'd both be excellent people to talk to.

bekah said...

mmm this blog made me think...and Pastor Dan hates classical music...but I would definitely recommend talking to Dr. Ashton, and I would be really interested in what he would have to say! Sometimes there is a program behind the music--sometimes it is written as a heroin induced dream, or sometimes it is written to glorify God.

Anonymous said...

So, Alex, Yes I have opinion about classical music and Bekah, since I "dis-like" classical music Dr. Ashton may be more objective, but Joel, that is an excellent post.

My point beyond my like or dis-like is that not all classical/instrumental music was written for religious motives or blessings.

You ask very good and important questions for those wanting to follow Jesus today. I would concur with Joel, first it must pass scripture. Second, It needs to bring my thoughts to God in worship and praise, not on self or how good a performance it is. Thus results a blessing.

Blessings on your search and journey,
Pastor Dan