Pleasing God in Music, Part 1

I have the privilege to direct our church choir. I’m thankful for the blessing that the songs we have sung have been to my heart, to the hearts of the choir members, to our pastor’s heart, and, I believe, to the hearts of our congregation. Yet, if the songs have only pleased me, the choir, our pastor and the congregation, we have failed. God must be pleased with our music.

First of all, God must be pleased with the music itself. In contrast to what many modern Christians proclaim, I believe that music is not neutral. It isn’t my goal to get deep into that discussion in this post, but music alone, even without lyrics, does carry a definite moral message. Is the music we sing pleasing to God? Or does it cater to the sinful desires of my carnal nature? Is it conformed to the rebellion of the world? Is it mediocre in quality, or does it evidence the excellency of our Creator? Our music must be pleasing to God.

The reason for this is that our music is primarily for God. If He is our first and pre-eminent audience, then the first question that must be answered is “Is this music acceptable to our God?” not “Is this music acceptable to our audience?”
This is the primary reason we do not use rock music in our services. A fleshly, rebellious style of music cannot be pleasing to Him. God is holy; we as His people must be holy; and the music we use to worship Him must be holy. One Christian author said it well:

“Drugs, immorality, satanic lyrics, backward masking – you’ve heard it all before. Meanwhile, books and lectures about rock continue to warn that rock kills plants; rock will damage your hearing; rock’s low frequencies affect your heart rate and body metabolism; the music bypasses your brain’s conscious control centers, and the rhythm stimulates immoral desires. You’ve heard all of this, too.

What you may not have heard is that the real issue is holiness. The word is seldom used today, but the Bible makes it clear that Christians are to be a holy people. They are to be separated from the world unto God. (Psalm 1:1; I John 2:3-6)

By talking about houseplants, hearing, and heart rates – instead of holiness – far too much discussion of rock has focused on rock’s effects upon man rather than its offensiveness to God. The result is that many are more interested in what God might permit than in how He might be pleased” (Richard Peck, Rock: Making Musical Choices (Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1985), p.7, emphasis mine).

Not only must God be pleased with our music, but He must also be pleased with our hearts. I’ll get into this aspect of our music in the next post.


Blog design by Chad Karding