Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Is it considered a "sin" to listen to secular music?


  • Please log in to reply
196 replies to this topic

#1 Christina M.

Christina M.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts

Posted 13 January 2011 - 09:26 PM

Also, if it IS considered a sin, does this only apply to certain kinds of music? For example - maybe "classical music" would be considered "okay", whereas modern "pop" or "rock" would not be considered okay?

I always thought that all secular music was not beneficial for the soul, but then I read that the holy Elder Porphyrios learned how to play the piano after he became a priest-monk, and that he loved Bach's music.

What do you think?

#2 Paul Cowan

Paul Cowan

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,064 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:11 AM

Classical music is of the devil. Warn your children away. Keep them from this horribly old boring and technically correct methodology and let them play with electirc guitars, drums and synthesisers instead.

Seems to me since God gave Lucifer the keys to our play ground down here and he was the lead singer of the heavenly hosts before he got haughty and thrown down here, that all music may or may not be inspired by him over the course of human history. Just a thought.

Paul

PS; I know the search feature is challening at times to use, but there are a couple threads out there on this topic. :)

#3 Jeremy Troy

Jeremy Troy

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 175 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:12 AM

Much of Bach's music is not secular, but that's beside the point.

A distinction needs to be made between simply being exposed to something and rejoicing in that thing. This can apply to music as well as to film, art, literature, and other things. If I watch a violent movie, I have not sinned. If I rejoice in the violence, I have sinned. The difference here has only to do with my disposition toward the content of the film. The consensus of most of the priests that I've heard talk about this is that listening to secular music is not sinful in itself, but the content of the music could have adverse effects on people who are disposed in certain ways. For example, a person who is particularly given to lust would be advised to avoid songs whose lyrical contents are sexually suggestive. A person who is particularly given to anger would be advised to avoid most 'heavy' music, since that musical style tends to evoke and condone anger. Et cetera.

#4 Father David Moser

Father David Moser

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 3,581 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Cleric

Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:22 AM

The simple answer to the question is no, its not a sin to listen to secular music. However, as the Apostle says, "all things are lawful, but not all things are profitable". The better question is not "Is it sinful?" but rather "Is it spiritually profitable to listen to secular music?" This is a purely pastoral question that only you and your spiritual father/confessor can answer. Everyone here is going to have an opinion based on their own experience (or lack thereof) but none of that is relevant to you. To determine if the answer is none, some, all, maybe, this but not that, etc is something that depends upon your particular spiritual condition and the kinds of passions and temptations that you face - your spiritual strengths and weaknesses and so on. All this is between you and your spiritual father since we do not know your heart and your life but he does.

So enjoy the the opinions posted here and the spiritual advice of the various fathers of the Church - but in the end consult with your spiritual father/confessor/parish priest.

Fr David Moser

#5 Paul Cowan

Paul Cowan

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,064 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:26 AM

I can't say as I agree with your position. Nothing is without influence regardless if one is prone to that particular sin or not. Whether one rejoices in a violent movie or not, one is affected by it. Check your pulse the next time Jason turns the corner with his axe. Everything is bad for us. No exceptions. Music, film, roses, paint, sand. Man's fall has turned everything good into something bad. Nothing is good in and of itself. It has to be made good by God and His mercy to allow us to enjoy that something. Are things sinful in and of themselves? no. Man makes all things sinful by his interaction with them.

I would say everyone and not only those "given to lust" should be advised to stay away from sexually suggestive lyrics and movies. That is unless you have a constitution stronger than the average man/woman.

Paul

#6 Christina M.

Christina M.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts

Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:27 AM

Excellent responses! I thank you all so much. I'm in a peculiar situation where I can only speak to my spiritual father a few times a year, so I cannot ask him "small" questions like this. I appreciate all of the advice you have given here, though.

--Paul, I did try searching first. I searched for "music", but it brought up tons of stuff on different topics. :)

#7 Christina M.

Christina M.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts

Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:37 AM

I can't say as I agree with your position. Nothing is without influence regardless if one is prone to that particular sin or not. Whether one rejoices in a violent movie or not, one is affected by it. Check your pulse the next time Jason turns the corner with his axe. Everything is bad for us. No exceptions. Music, film, roses, paint, sand. Man's fall has turned everything good into something bad. Nothing is good in and of itself. It has to be made good by God and His mercy to allow us to enjoy that something. Are things sinful in and of themselves? no. Man makes all things sinful by his interaction with them.

I would say everyone and not only those "given to lust" should be advised to stay away from sexually suggestive lyrics and movies. That is unless you have a constitution stronger than the average man/woman.

Paul


Yes, but not everybody has the spiritual strength to avoid the world to such extremes. If someone has a spiritual weakness, then maybe it wouldn't be beneficial for them to forcefully stay away from all forms of worldly entertainment. In my opinion, certain forms of secular music / art could be therapeutic to someone who isn't in a high spiritual state. But then hopefully, as they progress and become more spiritual, their desire for worldly art / entertainment will die down naturally.

Just my opinion.

#8 Christina M.

Christina M.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts

Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:44 AM

Oops, I just had to clarify something: I didn't mean "therapeutic" in the spiritual sense. I meant it in a psychological sense; like if someone (who is not in a high spiritual state) is stressed out from work, sometimes it can be a good stress-reliever to listen to some favorite tunes. There was actually a study done recently that showed that music can raise your dopamine levels. Basically I'm just saying that certain aspects of the psychological therapy can be scientifically verified.

#9 John Konstantin

John Konstantin

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 342 posts

Posted 14 January 2011 - 11:46 AM

I find that as one goes further into the spiritual life it is not, for me at least, a question of whether it is OK or not but I have found myself NOT wanting to listen to popular music for example on the wireless in the car. Increasingly I find myself putting on CD's of Russian choral music or sacred music, Byzantine Chant etc. I don't have an issue with pop music other than much of it is facile and clearly reflects the twisted mores of secularist materialism. The same goes for what I choose to watch on the telly.

I think for me, I am beginning to notice, I am wanting to preserve my inner quietude and peace...and some forms of electronic entertainment now simply jar with that.

#10 Rick H.

Rick H.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 14 January 2011 - 12:00 PM

Good post Paul. This is a good thread which, I think, finds a good introduction through Paul's last post and a good conclusion in Father David's post.

#11 Paul Cowan

Paul Cowan

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,064 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 January 2011 - 01:34 AM

Good post Paul. This is a good thread which, I think, finds a good introduction through Paul's last post and a good conclusion in Father David's post.


ok, well then. We're done with this thread. Let's move on. :)

#12 Rick H.

Rick H.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 January 2011 - 03:00 AM

I dunno, maybe we could make a list of all the bad songs so we can avoid them? Or, I think someone was attempting to create a list of problematic books in another thread the other day . . . maybe we can make lists and try to gather up as much of the bad music and books that we can and we can meet in the center of town with our torches, and pile up our books and tapes and DVD's or whatever will burn and have a good old fashioned book and music burning!

Or, maybe we should just let it go and move on?

#13 Paul Cowan

Paul Cowan

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,064 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 January 2011 - 03:12 AM

You bring the fire, I'll bring the side of beef. :)

#14 Angelos

Angelos

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 188 posts

Posted 15 January 2011 - 03:22 AM

Jesus went to the Wedding at Cana. I'm sure there was plenty of secular music there. To top it off, Jesus gave them extra good wine. Jesus was no ascetic. There's no commandment against having fun. If anything Jesus was accused of: "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' (Luke 7:38)

So the simple answer is no.

#15 Paul Cowan

Paul Cowan

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,064 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 January 2011 - 04:15 AM

(luke 7:34) actually. :)

Nothing is simple.

The simpleton Paul

#16 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,821 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 January 2011 - 08:29 AM

You bring the fire, I'll bring the side of beef. :)


... and I'll bring the fish and seafood, some Clare Valley whites, and reds from Coonawarra and the Southern Vales. :-D A little wine for our stomach's sake, of course.

We know of saints who had musical and/or literary gifts, who turned these talents to producing secular as well as sacred works of music, song, prose and poetry. Sts Nektarios of Aegina and Kassiane the Hymnographer are but two.

#17 John Konstantin

John Konstantin

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 342 posts

Posted 15 January 2011 - 01:08 PM

I guess AC/DC is out then :(

#18 Christina M.

Christina M.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts

Posted 15 January 2011 - 01:23 PM

I guess AC/DC is out then :(


Have you ever heard that AC/DC stands for "anti-Christ/Death-to-Christ"? And that KISS stand for "Knights in Service to Satan"? I'm not saying that it's accurate, I'm just saying that I heard that once.

#19 John Konstantin

John Konstantin

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 342 posts

Posted 15 January 2011 - 01:32 PM

Have you ever heard that AC/DC stands for "anti-Christ/Death-to-Christ"? And that KISS stand for "Knights in Service to Satan"? I'm not saying that it's accurate, I'm just saying that I heard that once.


AC/DC was alluding to the high voltage output of their speaker system. But you know those born again Christians, they find numonics for everything.

#20 Christina M.

Christina M.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts

Posted 15 January 2011 - 01:38 PM

AC/DC was alluding to the high voltage output of their speaker system. But you know those born again Christians, they find numonics for everything.


That's what I suspected. The same people find subliminal "backward messages" in everything as well! I know that certain subliminal messages can be effective, and have been proven to exist in commercials etc... But finding "I wanna smoke pot" on Zeppelin played backwards... That sounds a little suspicious to me! :) I wonder how many hours those guys spent listening to rock music backwards before they starting finding things. I also wonder if they became Satan-worshipping pot-smokers from the experience.

Sorry for the joking. I know they had good intentions, and they are much better people than I am.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users