Bible Question:

I listen to a lot of secular music and do not necessarily think its wrong or right to do so as long as there are no explicit, evil or corrupt lyrics contained in the particular song. However, my friend has just attended a seminar that said secular music is from the devil and the artists who sing the songs sign pacts with his agents etc. I haven't found the evidence of this anywhere in the Bible. How does listening to secular music affect our Christian walk and what does the Bible have to say about this? I'll appreciate your comments on this. Thanks.

Bible Answer:

Before we answer the question we need to ask, “What spiritual principles has God given us?” One place to start is found in Philippians 4:8,

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8 (NASB)

God’s Principles

Philippians 4:8 tells us that God wants us to listen to things that are pure, right, and honorable. He wants us to listen and think about that which is praiseworthy or spiritually honorable. God is being very specific, and His standard in this verse eliminates many things that are played on the radio, television, recorded on CDs, tapes, and other media. God has also given us another passage that eliminates many things our ears should not hear.

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:3-4 (NASB)

God has asked us to listen to holy things. Christians are also warned to not intentionally watch or view the nakedness of others (Genesis 9:20-24). Those who display their naked bodies are committing shame acts according to Isaiah 20:4 and Revelation 16:15.

Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame. Revelation 16:15 (NASB)

More To Think About

Therefore, it is not difficult to answer the question “Is it wrong to listen to secular music?” since so much of the lyrics of secular music describe sinful behaviors and acts that are not holy. For example, the lyrics of country songs describe pre-marital sex, the wife leaving her husband, or one spouse cheating on the other. Much of rock music and music videos suggest sexual activity, partial or complete nudity, and filthy language. Such lyrics and sexual preoccupation are supposedly “loving” behavior. In truth sexual activity does not require that the two participants love one another. Almost completely bare or totally bare breasts may be exciting to watch but God is not pleased. 2 Timothy 2:22 makes it clear that believers are to flee youthful lusts. So is it okay to listen to secular music? The answer is, “It depends on the lyrics and what is shown in the videos.”


God wants us to see and hear things that do not include sinful behaviors. We are not to listen and enjoy anything that will corrupt our morals. Listening to such music or watching such material day after day will desensitize you to sin and you will find it easier to sin.

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33  (NASB)

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7 (NASB)

The last passage is simply a warning. God’s principles are true, and if we ignore them we are deceived. Therefore, listen to music that does not dwell on sin.

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