Listen to “Christian” Music Discerningly

Mountain

Modern Music

There is a segment of Christianity that preaches the sinfulness of bringing modern “worldly” music—with all of its drums and electric guitars—into the church.

I personally see no scriptural basis for the idea that any musical style is inherently sinful.

However, I do have a serious problem with much of the lyrical content of “Christian” songs today.

I certainly don’t think that means we should abandon modern music. Quite the opposite! The Bible contains multiple instances of the mandate, “Sing to Yahweh a new song” (Psalm 96:1, LEB).

But it is absolutely vital for us to sing (and listen) discerningly. We must carefully evaluate every song we hear to be sure that it lines up with Scripture.

I’m going to provide two examples of songs that have caught my attention recently. Read through the lyrics, and see if anything stands out to you.

Note that I cannot know the hearts of these singers, and thus I cannot state their intent. All I know is what they themselves have stated through their songs.

That message is troubling.

“What Faith Can Do” by Kutless

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you are stronger
Stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

Overcome the odds
You don’t have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can!

“Only a Mountain” by Jason Castro

Another day, another fight
It always feels like an uphill climb
Another step, another mile
The story of your life
It’s harder than you ever thought
And it costs you everything you’ve got
When you’re back against the wall
And you feel like giving up

This is only a mountain
You don’t have to find your way around it
Tell it to move, it’ll move
Tell it to fall, it’ll fall
This is only a moment
You don’t have to let your fear control it
Tell it to move, it’ll move
Tell it to fall, it’ll fall

You’ve gotta find a second wind
It’s not as high as you think it is
Don’t give up and don’t you quit
You gotta climb if you wanna win
And I know it looks big
And I know you feel small
But just a little bit of faith can change it all

Ask like you believe it
Trust like you can see it
Take your fear and say
There’s nothing in your way, no oh
Even when it looks big
Even when you feel small
Just a little bit of faith can change it all

Evaluation

At a glance, these songs both sound relatively “Christian.” They have catchy tunes, and they make some references to things in the Bible.

But we need to look beyond the vague allusions and examine the actual message being proclaimed.

First, let me give you some background to a movement known as “Word of Faith.”

Word of Faith

Promoted by men such as Benny Hinn and Kenneth Hagin, the Word of Faith movement contains some seriously unbiblical teachings.

At the core is the idea that faith is not something we place in God. Rather, they say, faith is a kind of force by itself.

They say that we have in ourselves the power to speak what we believe into existence, just like God spoke the world into existence. Some Word of Faith preachers even say that we actually are little gods ourselves.

We just need enough faith. It doesn’t matter what we place our faith in.

I could go on about this movement, but that’s not the point of this article. For a more thorough critique, check out Justin Peter’s presentation, “A Call for Discernment.”

Back to the Songs

If nothing stood out to you before, go back and read through the lyrics again, and keep this false teaching in mind.

Notice that there is nothing in these songs about the Holy Spirit working these things through faith. There is nothing about placing our faith in Jesus Christ. There is nothing about trusting God to give us strength.

In fact, there is not a single mention of God anywhere to be found in either one of these songs.

Rather, all the emphasis is on our own ability to overcome—we just need enough faith.

A person from one of any number of false religions could sing these songs. For that matter, even an atheist could sing about having faith in himself.

These songs give the impression that we can find strength on our own. But the Bible states that God is our strength.

We must place our faith in God alone.

Conclusion

I’m not trying to single out these artists or put words in their mouths. I have no idea if they are associated with the Word of Faith movement. Perhaps they just made some careless word choices.

But we have to be careful with the music we listen to. Both of these songs are tremendously popular on “Christian” radio, but the message they promote is simply not biblical.

“Be careful, little ears, what you hear.”