Several years ago I listened to a powerful class by Bro. Mark O'Grady about the effects of music on the body. Bro. O'Grady's research and scientific documentation are impeccable and irrefutable. Bro. O'Grady shows that biblically there are references to music used for good, and music used for evil. Music is not a separate part or irrelevant to our life in the Truth. Our life in the Truth includes how we use music - for good or for evil. He shows how scientific evidence proves that music has a physical effect on the whole body and impacts mood, behavior, reactions, and emotions. The words, the form, and structure of the beat of music have profound effects on the body and the brain, either for good or for evil. Bro. O'Grady shows that it has been firmly established that good music can enhance the functioning and reasoning process of the brain, and improve learning, memory, muscle strength and health. For instance, putting words to music are more powerful, like David's Psalms. Evil music profoundly harms, retards, damages and addicts the brain, and harms both physical and spiritual health. He references the many scientific experiments on mice, rats, and humans involving Classical, Baroque, Mozart vs. Rock, Heavy Metal.
Worldly Music also alters study habits and damages eardrums. Such consequences may not spring to mind as quickly as the immorality threat, but bad study habits and damaged hearing can ultimately play a crucial role in adolescent development.
The lyrics we have analyzed of Pop, Rock, Heavy Metal, Rap, etc., are so offensive and vile that they cannot be quoted here. It will not take but a few sentences of the lyrics for you to be "vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked." (2 Peter 2:7) The lyrics we examined were not just from what is considered far left over-the-top bands. We examined lyrics from all genres. If the language we found is so unfit to repeat openly here, how can this type of language be considered acceptable for the consumption of the young minds of our children?
The music that is part of our life in the Truth cannot be like the music of the world because our God is not like the world's gods. Most of the world's music reflects the world's ways, the world's standards, the world's attitudes, and the world's many gods of the flesh. Even the world knows this:
To give a chilling example of the philosophy and intentions of the music industry, here are a few random quotes from the documentary film "Hip-Hop Immortals: We Got Your Kids" (not recommended for viewing):
"We are given the youth to bend the desires of their minds to fit our imagined quality of life fast cars, good food, better sex and lots of money
Our power consists in the multitude of our affinities and you can hear all about it in the top 10 rap records in the last 10 years where we can recognize in ourselves the same character.
This whole thing was our idea the clothes, the sneakers and the style
Let me show you how we got your kids.
We came from rhythm, from ancient sources, from drums. We created this energy, this drum beat.
We take their identity away from them and they enter our culture. We're like the pied piper they come from all over so they can party and have fun. Hip Hop came out of Disco, R&B and Rock. We are street preachers of faith that made ourselves works of art. Once your kicks are correct then you move up to the clothes, then the haircuts, the bling, the car, the tattoos, the sex, the dope, the violence, the crime.
Kids identify with that bounce and that beat, the baggy clothes, the haircuts, the chains. It's all about youth being able to express yourself without boundaries.
This Hip Hop thing really works. The kids love it. It makes money. We grab ahold of the power that we have and put it to use.
Your music choice defines your fashion, your lifestyle. People can tell your sound by your look.
We have control all over the world. Sex and porn is a part of our music, it's part of our lifestyle. The porn coincides with the music. In the minds of our young people they get brainwashed and conditioned.
We Got Your Kids!"
The American teen listens to an average of 40 hours a week of worldly music including Country, Rock, Heavy Metal, Rap, etc. Worldly music produces worldliness. "Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7). Do you know what your kids are listening to and for how long? Is it really acceptable to you? Have you as parents lost control over your children's moral education? Take your children back!
If your children are still small or just getting to the pre-teen years, make a firm determination to keep them away from worldly music. Introduce them only to music that edifies and does no harm: to hymns and spiritual songs, and to classical music. Avoid any harmful music, even "Christadelphian" music, that is set to disharmonic rock off- beats and repeated tension-without-release rhythms.
If you don't know what your teens are listening to, or only know in part, ask your children about their favorite bands, look through their playlists on the computer and on their Ipods, go through their CDs, look at their "favorite music" posted publicly on blogs like Facebook. Are your kids wearing rock band t-shirts that advertise perverse music and evil lifestyle choices? You may feel (hope) that the music industry has not "got your kids." Not YET anyway. But if our children are already wearing rock band t-shirts, the music industry has already "got" them that far. At the very least, the advertising of rock bands on t-shirts is an appearance of evil. (1 Thess. 5:22) At the least, we are allowing our children to derive their entertainment and "pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thess. 2:12, Rom. 1:28-32)
People can tell your sound by your look."
(Documentary: "Hip-Hop Immortals - We Got Your Kids")
Research the lifestyle of the bands and analyze the lyrics of the music that your kids are plugging into their brains and are advertising with their fashion.
Whatever your kids' music and subsequent fashion choices are, you as parents are responsible for allowing it, and most of the time are providing the means for it also.
What can you do if your children's allegiance has already been given to worldly music's seductive and addictive influence? What can you do if the music industry has already "got your kids?" What can you do if your teens feel the worldly music is too hard to give up, that it is already too much a part of their identity? If their attachment is that strong, reason does not usually work well in overcoming any such strong addiction. It will be up to you as parents to get rid of the offensive music and fashion. Don't just put it away, destroy it. This will be hard on kids who have listened to a steady diet of "rock" music in the past and feel they don't like any other kinds of music. Be prepared for resistance. You may know or have heard of the automatic negative reactions when addictive things are removed from someone who has a strong attachment. You may initially have to deal with rebellion and anger, after all what you are removing from your child's life has as it's premise the spirit of rebellion to boundaries.
The first key is honoring God through obedience and lifestyle. Listen to what is honest and good, not what you "feel" like hearing. Just as you can't always act in ways you "feel" because it would be wrong, you can't always listen to what you "feel" like either.
The second key is replacement. A taste for wholesome music can be developed. Replace the worldly music with hymns, spiritual songs, and classical music. (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16) This will be difficult at first, but it can be done. Don't "replace" the worldly music with so-called "soft" rock or "Christian" rock because any music, even "Christadelphian" music, that is set to disharmonic rock off-beats and repeated tension-without-release rhythms is harmful.
The most import key is prayer. Pray earnestly to God for His help to free your children from this addictive habit and evil influence. (2 Cor. 10:3-5, Rom. 8:5-8, 1 John 2:15-17, Psa. 97:10)
When Bro. Carter was commenting on the old man of the flesh, he stated that all temptations must die of neglect. Do not feed temptations. Do not look after temptations. Do not think about temptations. Like the young godly man Joseph, TURN AND RUN! (Gen. 39:8-13, 1 Cor. 6:18, 1 Cor. 10:14, James 4:6-8)
but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace,
with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
1 Tim. 2:22
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,
THINK ON THESE THINGS.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped:
therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
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