The Truth About God and Secular Music
We sometimes give God too much credit. Sure, God is sovereign and runs this world effortlessly, but not all things are His doing. God is the creator of the universe, but He did not create sin. Therefore, we cannot thank God for it.
Nevertheless, it never fails. Each year, numerous award ceremonies are held to commemorate the accomplishments of the American heroes who are not today’s biblical expositors behind the pulpit like John MacArthur, John Piper, and RC Sproul, nor those behind the microphone like Phanatik, Shai Linne, or Da Truth. No, these ceremonies award the real American heroes like Bono, 50 Cent, Eminem, and Destiny’s Child.
These ceremonies are generally the same and need no description. If you have seen one, you have seen them all. But for the sake of argument, let me rehash a little bit. A host announces nominees for an award. The winner is named and the crowd applauds on their feet. Hugs and kisses are exchanged as the winner rises and makes way to the front of the stage. Maybe a few hand gestures and comments are made while the winner swaggers to the pedestal. Upon arriving, there are friendly greetings, words of acknowledgment, and even a kiss from one of the lovely ladies; all of which are saluting with great honor.
At the pedestal, the winner either wipes tears from the eyes or clears the throat saying something like Missy Elliot did at the American Music Awards, “I got to thank God because that’s my inspiration for everything that I do.” i Of course, she does not mention exactly what she does. It is assumed, and for the most part, well known. What she does is dishonor God through music and video. Apparently God is her inspiration for this dishonor. Her projects consist of vulgarity, pompousness, slander, drugs, sex, and more.
In the same way, another hero of American culture is 50 Cent. In his song “God Gave Me Style Lyrics” he says it plainly, “Don’t much good come from me, but my music / It’s a gift given from God, so I’ma use it.” I’m sure you know to what he is attributing God’s blessing. He definitely shares the views Missy has on this issue.
These are just two of our top American heroes. They are lovers and promoters of sin, misguided and evil. But that is not the real shocker. I mean, we can all admit that we too were misguided, evil sinners until set free by the gospel. What is so shocking is that they attribute their sin to God.
An even greater shock is that the culture at large seems to think nothing of it. In fact, many will applaud it as if it were virtuous and an act of humility. Much of the young professing Christians today will confess to its trueness. Their excuse is, “God gave us a creative mind as well as great abilities to which we can be successful.”
How can you argue with that? God did create the world and everything in it. He did give us breath and life. He did give us the ability to think and reason. He also put a creative imagination in us. Sounds like a good excuse to many.
However, their excuse falls short of the real point. God surely deserves the glory for what He has done and He will receive it in full. But that is not the real issue. It is not over what God has done, but what man has done. If it regards the Lord at all, it is over God’s approval of man’s work.
God made Missy just like he made you and me. But He did not move any of us to sin. We do that on our own. Therefore we deserve all of the credit. There is no reason to attribute God with our sins. God had nothing to do with it. And even more, God hates it.
Let us draw our attention to Genesis 3 where Adam (sufficiently blessed by God for genuine success) chooses to misuse his gifts and dishonors the Lord. Verse 17-19 records God’s opinion on the subject, “Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
Doesn’t sound like God approves of sin at all. For this one act of disobedience, God cursed the entire world. And He still feels the same way. Proverbs 6:16-19 reads, “There are six things which the Lord hates … Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.”
Christians should not join the crowds in applause, but shun them. The words of Da Truth (a modern day Christian hero) say it best, “you try to convince us / That though your music is foul / God’s behind your success / No – that’s a misnomer / God hates your music.” ii
The truth is, God hates your music, Missy.
- MMV, The Associated Press. Shared Spotlight At AMA Awards. Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com. June 5, 2006.
- Da Truth. “Who’s Team?” Lyrics. The Faith. Cross Movement Records, 2005.