Why I Only Listen to Christian Music

Almost two and a half years ago, at an evening meeting at New Wine, I felt God telling me to get rid of all my non-Christian music. So, when I got home, I did. It was a hard thing for me to do because at the time, I only knew of two or three Christian artists that I actually enjoyed listening to, and I really did love some of the secular bands on my iPod. I’m a big fan of rock and alternative music, and some of my particular favourites were bands such as Lostprophets, Angels & Airwaves and All Time Low, all of which had to go. I’m not going to lie, it was hard to press delete on all those songs, but I managed to do it by not allowing myself to hesitate and just pressing the key.

For me, the next few weeks provided some of what I still consider to be one of the clearest examples of God’s faithfulness that I’ve seen in my life. That sounds a bit silly considering I’m only talking about music, but I’m not going to try to deny my reaction to it. God starting giving me Christian music instantly, as in, I found the first new band the minute after I’d deleted the secular music. Back at New Wine, I’d heard the song ‘God of Wonders’, a moderately popular Christian worship song that had always been one of my favourites, though I’d never downloaded it onto my iPod. So, that day I decided to get myself a version of it, and I downloaded the version performed by Kutless on their album ‘It Is Well’. It followed that I looked for more Kutless music, and found that I’d already discovered a Christian rock band that I really liked.

Over the next few months, I came across more and more bands in a variety of ways. One non-Christian friend recommended the band Skillet (who have been my favourite band since then), and another friend who was also not a Christian at the time recommended Decyfer Down. I also used sites such as the phenomenal www.jesusfreakhideout.com, www.youtube.com and www.christianrock.net to find more and more artists as I felt my way into this area of music. Now, I have easily as much Christian music as the secular music I used to have and new bands such as Hawk Nelson, Disciple, Falling Up and The Almost have replaced the secular bands that I used to love.

I think that it’s a common misconception, particularly in Britain, where our Christian music industry is miniscule, that Christian music is of a lower standard than secular music. That view is wrong. Having listened to both sides, I now honestly say that I prefer Christian rock to secular rock. This is not because of the lyrics and the subject matter (though I prefer the Christian lyrics), but because of the sound of the music. I’m not an expert in such things so I can’t critique the skill of the bands, but I just prefer the sound of the Christian bands. In my opinion, there is one reason for this: passion. I’m not saying that secular bands aren’t passionate, I know that most of them are, what I mean is that in the Christian rock, there is something that permeates the singing and the playing. I can only describe it as a fire for God, a driving force behind the music that infuses it and makes it something more. If you don’t believe me, listen to something like ‘Forgiven’ by Skillet or ‘Eternity’ by Disciple for examples of this.

I am also aware that not everyone will agree with me on this. I remember something that happened only a few months after I made the switch, when a guy at school demanded rather roughly why I only listened to Christian music, was it because I thought that secular music ‘wasn’t good enough’? ‘No,’ was the answer. There is a huge amount of talent in the secular music world; the reason I switched was because that’s what I felt God was telling me to do. Moreover, I’m not saying that Christians shouldn’t listen to secular music. Some I know do, and some I know don’t. It depends on what they feel works in their relationship with God, and that’s not something that I can judge. Just as some Christians watch things like Harry Potter and some don’t, it’s a matter that they have to sort out between them and God. That said, I would recommend that Christians have a listen Christian music because there is some really good stuff out there if you look for it.

The one piece of advice that I’d give is that if you feel guilty listening to something, or if you feel it’s not good for you to listen to, then stop and get rid of it, don’t let it come between you and God, because trust me, it’s not worth it.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. wvmmrh says:

    i’m a Christian also,assembly of god in fact so this might come as a surprising comment.i’ve never given up the music and movies I’ve always watched.i don’t live by this law that I only watch this type of movie or listen to tis type of song.i understand that some people have real convictions over watching horror movies for example.i never have had any kind of convictions and I watch movies like the grudge and the ring ..a lot..as well as bruce willis movies and action movies,mostly rated R/I enjoy them but walk away afterward,knowing it was a movie.the attitude is that it was a good movie now it’s over movies never have inhibited my walk with Christ.if anything after I watch a movie I praise the lord that I was able to enjoy a good movie and I feel blessed.as a collector of music sincei was 5 years old I own everything from Richie valens to evanescence ,green day and pink. part of this may be the fact that i’m disabled with a sleep disorder since 1981 and I have 17 hours of awake time each day to get through before going to bed.i’m not one to keep my nose in the bible for half or most of the day.some people are some aren’t.i have appointed bible study and prayer times.i speak to the lord through out my day however,which if added up would equate to a whole lot of time probably.my worst problem is lonliness as I can’t seem to meet other Christians who accept my lmovie and music tastes and therefore don’t choose to hang with me..i’m perceived by them as being “backslidden” or “liberal”/I don’t drink,so drugs(not even pot) and I don’t judge people.i’ve studied for the ministry and became ordained but never started a church.i find it disheartening that people include things like what movies one watches and music one listens to in the same category as sin.i put them in the works or law category as it isn’t what movie one watches or songs one listens to that’s going to condemn.yet most in the church seem to view the issue as more of an issue than I think it really should be.i believe sincerely that it isn’t the media that causes sin but that it’s the product of sin.people like pink and ozzie osbourne aren’t the causes of sin in the world but yet the church seems to tink this way.hollywood actors and recording artists are the product not the cause.it did no help to the Christian community to bash elvis,the beatles,nirvana,jim Morrison ,Janis Joplin,etc..why did it not have an impact / because they were the product –not the cause.wish I could meet a Christian that watches horror movies and like listening to aerosmith.chances are it’ll never happen however/

    1. bengarry says:

      Well a lot of the people that I know at my church listen to all sorts of music and watch all sorts of films! For me, I don’t see music as a source of sin of any kind, I just felt that the music I used to listen to wasn’t helpful for me and I didn’t like the ideas and themes that I was pumping into my head each day. I felt God saying that it was better for me to cut that out of my life and I feel like I’ve been blessed for following that advice. I would never recommend that every Christian cut secular music out of their life because a lot of people don’t need to. I wrote this post to get across my own reasons for cutting out secular music. As for films/books/games or whatever, I’ve rarely felt convicted. I don’t watch horror films but that’s more because I’m a bit of a wuss than anything else; I love superhero films, thrillers and comedies and read all sorts of books. I even have a geeky, immature love for Pokemon which has been ridiculously widely condemned by some parts of the Christian community. To conclude, I think that if God convicts an individual of something, they should definitely stop, but those convictions will not be the same for everyone and if you’re not convicted and you can do things with a clear conscience that don’t go against the Word of God, then go for it! I’m not going to be the person to condemn someone when God hasn’t felt the need to.

      God bless, and thanks for sharing your views 🙂

  2. Christiaan Berghuis says:

    Very good post, thank you!

  3. Tdollyfofive says:

    I completely resonated with this article.

    In fact, many of the bands you mentioned, both Christian and secular, were the same for my experience. I know the transition you speak of, and can now see the benefits (for me, but arguably for many others as well) of listening to Christian music. It just gets us closer to God, I think.

    1. bengarry says:

      Thanks for commenting! Interestingly, I published this article over 4 years ago now, and stopped listening to non-Christian music some time before that. In the last year or so, I felt that my relationship with God was in a place where he was happy for me to not take such a blanket approach to all non-Christian music, but even with that in mind, after a couple of months I found myself drifting back to just Christian music because I found it, more often than not, just so much more meaningful.

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