I’m not much of a music person. That shocks a lot of people, but I’m not. In church services, I tend to prefer the old hymns to much of Contemporary Christian Music. However, if I had my choice, I’d simply prefer to get straight into preaching and teaching. In fact, I think if we were being accurate, we should save the music for last and have the preaching first.
That is for another day though. My concern is with music in the secular world. In many ways, I like a lot of secular music more than other types. I like music that gets me inspired and excites me to be all that I can be. I like music that pulls up great memories and that makes me want to adventure.
When I was eight years old, I had to go to have eye surgery for I was cross-eyed. I remember only one song played on the radio that whole trip at around 4:30 in the morning to the hospital. It was “Theme From Mahogany.” I think about being eight and having that trip every time I hear that song. I still think it’s powerful when I consider the lyrics. Do I know where I’m going to?
I’m also a gamer as many of you know. Play me some good music from Final Fantasy and I am ready for action. Video game music has long been a big seller for me. I have also shown an intense love for Smallville. “Save Me”, the theme song to the show, is my phone’s ring tone in fact. That music will inspire.
Yet I am concerned about the music of today. I see music as something sacred. I think the Greeks were right in having muses. In fact, this is a thoroughly Christian idea. The Bible says that when God created, the angels sang for joy. In the creation stories of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, music was the instrument by which God created.
Yet I thin in our society today, the muses are being disgraced. It has been said that all revolutions in history began with a musical revelation and Andrew Fletcher is quoted as saying “Let me write the songs of a nation. I don’t care who writes its laws.” Music has powerful effects on society.
This isn’t a modern idea. This is one Plato had. In the second chapter of his Republic, he goes on and on about the kind of music that will be listened to in the city. (In comparison, only one paragraph in the whole work focuses on economics.) Plato knew the effect music would have on the young.
I see kids singing songs and I don’t think they really know the lyrics and if they do, they don’t understand them. These songs are often unintelligible. A “singer” is going so fast that what he or she says cannot be understood. Instead, it seems to be taken in and mindlessly repeated. Music can get past the gateposts of reason very easily after all.
This is most evident to me in Gangsta Rap, as it is called. I’ll be blunt. I can’t stand rap. The huge majority I hear of it is junk. Some of you won’t like that, but I have no intentions of lying. The gangster type though is the worst of the worst. We all know the types. The types that speak of violence towards women, constant sexual imagery, and profanity.
I believe the muses are disgraced. Not all that is called music has the right to be called music and we seem to have an attitude that anything goes. I think music, while I’m not a big fan, is much more important than that. In fact, that could be a reason I’m not a big fan. I haven’t heard much that qualifies.
It’s something sacred. So sacred that we must guard it vehemently and not let impostors into its camp. It is a powerful force and it will either be used righteously or it will be used to destroy us and unfortunately, it looks like the latter now. If the music of the youth today is any indication, the future is grim.
I think we need a musical revolution today. We need good and pure music that reflects the muses. I’m not saying it all has to be explicitly religious music. It doesn’t. It needs to be music though that spurs us onto qualities of godliness. If this is going to change though, it must begin with us.