Home » Arts & Culture » Secular Music Debate Rages On

Last week’s article on Christians listening to secular music raised a lot of debate. Today I present opposing opinions from two readers of this column.

Vimbikayi M. Kusema wrote: Thank you for your article which explored a very pertinent issue.

I have always regarded myself as an unpublished musicart critic and I feel compelled to add onto your observations.

Personally I prefer to refer to “gospel music” as “Christian music”. I am also not sure whether the term “secular music” is appropriate or not but for lack of a better term and time I will use that term for now.

I have always noticed that the so-called secular musicians always come up with very well written Christian songs which show creativity and versatility.

These songs may not necessarily quote biblical verses, but the message in the songs resonates with biblicalChristian teachings and exhorts Christian values like good morals, self-discipline, hard work, good neighbourliness, respect for parents and elders in society, peace and love.

The only problem is that people do not give themselves time to listen to the message as you did with Leonard Dembo’s “Mutadzi Ngaaregererwe”.

One example that quickly comes to mind is Alick Macheso’s “Charakupa”.

For me its one of the best Christian songs ever composed, the message was well received by both the devout and the non-devout.

The so-called secular musicians that quickly come to mind when one talks of good Christian songs are the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi (at one time he did a whole album based on popular church hymns), Macheso, Leonard Zhakata (who has always produced good Christiangospel music on his albums), the late Tongai Moyo (whose catalogue of Christian songs can make up an album) and the late Dembo.

I also think the recording companies should take the blame for not compiling Christiangospel songs from these talented musicians into Christiangospel music albums, thereby denying themselves and the musicians good earnings from the Christian community.

Surely, something can be done so that the devout can enjoy the good Christian songsmusic from these talented artistes without fielding questions from fellow worshippers.

O’Brian Mumbamarwo wrote: I read your article with great interest. I am a Christian as well as a musician, so the subject of your article inevitably captured my attention.

Let me also state unequivocally that I also subscribe to the view that Christians should AVOID secular music.

If you’re getting my drift, I’m not necessarily declaring it sinful for Christians to listen to secular music, but I simply believe avoiding it is the wise thing to do.

Though there is no elaborate Bible verse saying, “Thou shalt not listen to secular music” there are some verses which give us insight into the subject when we study them carefully.

For a start, the whole Book of Romans is generally dedicated to proving that Christianity as well as all its values and teachings emanate from only one source – Jesus Christ.

When Christians become too comfortable with listening to secular music they expose themselves to the risk of viewing Christianity as merely a lifestyle of good morals and good citizenship.

The song by Leonard Dembo which you quoted might sound good in its message, but it is misleading in that it does not lead the listener to the one who forgives sins or empowers people by His Spirit to forgive the sins of others.

It leaves the platform open to the acceptability of whatever available route for achieving salvation.

I have been involved in evangelism for many years and here are common excuses people offer for not accepting Jesus Christ:

“I am a peaceful and honest person who lives in harmony with everyone in my community. I don’t fight with people and I do not consult witchdoctors. Even when I’m drunk, I don’t cause havoc. I don’t hit my wife. I just go home, eat sadza and sleep. I worship God through my ancestors, so you and I are serving the same God it’s just the ways of approaching Him that are different. Why don’t you go and preach to so-and-so who is notorious for bad activities in the community?”

The true gospel message points listeners to Christ who is the ONLY route to salvation.

It doesn’t give people a false sense of sufficiency based on good morals.

As in the story of Cornelius in Acts 10, he was a highly religious but not a saved man a man of high moral standing and very charitable, yet God still saw the necessity to send Peter to him to preach the true and complete gospel.

One other frank, but undeniable fact is that listening to secular music can also expose Christians to spiritual contamination.

We should realise that it’s not just the message that counts, but the vessel delivering it too. Though no one is perfect, it is the responsibility of all Christian ministers, including musicians, to constantly seek spiritual cleansing before dishing out any message to the listeners.

If you eat even the best food from a contaminated plate, you will certainly be affected by the harmful substance in it.

No wonder the Bible says in Proverbs 4:23, “Guard your soul with all diligence, for inside of it are the springs of life.”

While Satanism is beginning to show itself more openly throughout rightly wicked messages carried in some songs, we should also reckon that it often hides under the mask of “gospel” music or “good” secular music.

At the surface, there’s nothing wrong with the message, but by committing one’s ears to it, one opens one’s heart to the evil underlying spirits.

Our ears are one of the doorways to our souls.

I am personally very strict about what I listen to. For me it is not enough to know that a certain song is classified as “gospel”.

I investigate and discern before I approve of it.

We have only two spiritual kingdoms: God’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom.

There is no “neutral” kingdom or spiritual no man’s land”.

Feedback: lchikovah@gmail.com

Source : The Herald