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“Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?”

This quote has been attributed to a number of well known preachers and Christians, among them Martin Luther, John Wesley and William Booth. Although it cannot be found in any of their writing, it is a pithy comment that sometimes is given as an excuse to use secular music as Christian worship.

I heard once of ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by The Beatles being used as a worship song. Although The Beatles were exceptionally talented I’m pretty sure they weren’t talking about Jesus when they wrote ‘Here Comes the Sun’. Another context in which I have heard a secular song being used in a worship context is ‘Amazing Grace’ sung in-between the verses of ‘House of the Rising Sun’. The contrast of the sin and the grace was so striking.

There is a significant difference between these two examples. In one a secular song was being used as worship. The song wasn’t intended for worship and so if it isn’t pointing to Jesus is it really worship? In the other the secular song was complimenting the Christian worship, it wasn’t the focus or tool of worship but was a prompt. Just to be clear…using secular music and lyrics as worship isn’t wise, but allowing secular music to prompt you to worship is all part of listening for God’s voice in all that we do. 

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3:6 MSG

Music is a gift from God, not something we have to obtain from the devil. God can use anything around us to speak to us, so why write off secular music just because it isn’t overtly Christian?

Rachel is an Inspire Missioner and editor the Beacon of Hope. If you would like contribute a reflection we would love to hear from you.

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