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


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#41 Ryan

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 04:43 AM

Here is the address by St. Basil the Great in which he advises on the proper use, by Christians, of Greek pagan literature: http://www.ccel.org/...tterature01.htm

I think his words can be widely applied to secular culture, including the arts.

" Now, then, altogether after the manner of bees must we use these writings, for the bees do not visit all the flowers without discrimination, nor indeed do they seek to carry away entire those upon which they light, but rather, having taken so much as is adapted to their needs, they let the rest go. So we, if wise, shall take from heathen books whatever befits us and is allied to the truth, and shall pass over the rest. And just as in culling roses we avoid the thorns, from such writings as these we will gather everything useful, and guard against the noxious."

#42 Darlene Griffith

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 04:45 AM

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.


Ah, don't knock 'em. They can preach a pretty good sermon against the evils of rock music. It helped me to throw away my secular rock music in the trash and memorize Scripture instead. Not a bad trade off.

#43 Darlene Griffith

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 04:48 AM

Well let's see - I'll nominate my two unfavorites: "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Imagine"

Fr David


Amen! I would add some others but I don't want to lead this thread into the sleasy category.

#44 Darlene Griffith

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 04:51 AM

Thanks for the heads-up, Amra.
Thankfully, I don't listen to any of those artists. I try not to listen to secular music ever. I hate it when songs get stuck in your head. Then when you're trying to pray, you have the song repeating in your head over and over and over again. When this happens, I say: "WHY did you listen to music? You did this to yourself, you fool! Now you suffer the consequences."


Christina, those tapes can play back in one's head after many years. I just recalled David Bowie's, "Changes" the other day and I hadn't listened to it in years.

#45 Paul Cowan

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 04:52 AM

Amen! I would add some others but I don't want to lead this thread into the sleasy category.


too late. We done crossed that threshold. What was this thread about again?

#46 Darlene Griffith

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 05:02 AM

Here is the address by St. Basil the Great in which he advises on the proper use, by Christians, of Greek pagan literature: http://www.ccel.org/...tterature01.htm

I think his words can be widely applied to secular culture, including the arts.

" Now, then, altogether after the manner of bees must we use these writings, for the bees do not visit all the flowers without discrimination, nor indeed do they seek to carry away entire those upon which they light, but rather, having taken so much as is adapted to their needs, they let the rest go. So we, if wise, shall take from heathen books whatever befits us and is allied to the truth, and shall pass over the rest. And just as in culling roses we avoid the thorns, from such writings as these we will gather everything useful, and guard against the noxious."


Then the question we should ask ourselves it seems is, does the music I'm listening ally itself to the truth? Can it befit me and is it useful?

#47 Darlene Griffith

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 05:03 AM

too late. We done crossed that threshold. What was this thread about again?


Oh my! I think you are right. Roger, Paul. Over and out.

#48 Angelos

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 12:25 PM

Yep, I can just see Jesus going "clubbing" and rocking out to Lady GaGa. Where is the little yellow face with shock written on it when you need one? !!!


Jesus went were the sinners were. He ate and drunk with the "lost sheep" of His day. So yes, He would go clubbing today, not to have fun, but to gather the "lost shepp of Israel"

#49 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 02:39 PM

Christina, those tapes can play back in one's head after many years. I just recalled David Bowie's, "Changes" the other day and I hadn't listened to it in years.


Sometimes spiritual silence can do this. Old stuff surfaces. When I first went to the monastery, after a few weeks, it turned out that I knew the whole Perry Como song catalogue from when I was three or four years old! My spiritual father got quite a kick out of hearing me unconsciously hum the melody 'Catch a falling star...' in the middle of dipping candles.

Thankfully this stopped after awhile.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#50 Christina M.

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 02:55 PM

Sometimes spiritual silence can do this. Old stuff surfaces. When I first went to the monastery, after a few weeks, it turned out that I knew the whole Perry Como song catalogue from when I was three or four years old! My spiritual father got quite a kick out of hearing me unconsciously hum the melody 'Catch a falling star...' in the middle of dipping candles.

Thankfully this stopped after awhile.

In Christ- Fr Raphael


Father, bless:

Do you think that old songs surface under spiritual silence because of the natural way brain works, or do you think sometimes it is due to demonic influence?

#51 Christina M.

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 03:30 PM

Jesus went were the sinners were. He ate and drunk with the "lost sheep" of His day. So yes, He would go clubbing today, not to have fun, but to gather the "lost shepp of Israel"


I respectfully disagree with this. Just because the Lord Jesus went to a wedding, doesn't mean he would go "clubbing" by today's standards. A wedding is a religious festival, which the Lord has instituted as a Mystery of the Church. Hence going to a wedding where there are religious celebrations is not equal to going "clubbing", which can be considered a pagan celebration. A closer analogy to "clubbing" would be to say that Jesus went to the theaters of His time, or went to watch the gladiators, or went to have a party with the pagans, etc. Also, when he "ate and drank with sinners", He did this at their houses, not at pagan celebrations.

#52 Angelos

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 05:32 PM

I respectfully disagree with this. Just because the Lord Jesus went to a wedding, doesn't mean he would go "clubbing" by today's standards. A wedding is a religious festival, which the Lord has instituted as a Mystery of the Church. Hence going to a wedding where there are religious celebrations is not equal to going "clubbing", which can be considered a pagan celebration. A closer analogy to "clubbing" would be to say that Jesus went to the theaters of His time, or went to watch the gladiators, or went to have a party with the pagans, etc. Also, when he "ate and drank with sinners", He did this at their houses, not at pagan celebrations.


Jesus would do whatever was necessary to save souls. The Pharisees of his time were upset about it and called him a "gluton and a drunkard" ( Matthew 11:19: they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' But wisdom is proved right by her actions.") Jesus even let a prostitute bathe Him with expensive perfume (much "worse" than going clubbing even by today's standards).

I guess unlike some of the posters (and the Pharisees of His time) Jesus love for sinners had no boundaries.

#53 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 05:44 PM

Jesus would do whatever was necessary to save souls. The Pharisees of his time were upset about it and called him a "gluton and a drunkard" ( Matthew 11:19: they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' But wisdom is proved right by her actions.") Jesus even let a prostitute bathe Him with expensive perfume (much "worse" than going clubbing even by today's standards).

I guess unlike some of the posters (and the Pharisees of His time) Jesus love for sinners had no boundaries.


Let's try to avoid snarky comments. Regardless I don't think it difficult to come up with scenarios where even if it was appropriate for Christ, it might not be so edifying for us to try. I doubt Christ would go to a club, it would be too noisy to hear Him preach for one. We certainly have no record of Him visiting pagan ceremonies or bath houses or "the games", or even going to a taverna. He went to homes and "quiet" places where people could hear His voice. Places that are specifically designed to drown out the small quiet voice do not seem to be frequent haunts for Christ or perhaps for us. What Christ could or could not do is not really the point. We are only told what He did, and the rest is merely speculation.

Herman

#54 Christina M.

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 05:52 PM

Jesus would do whatever was necessary to save souls. The Pharisees of his time were upset about it and called him a "gluton and a drunkard" ( Matthew 11:19: they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' But wisdom is proved right by her actions.") Jesus even let a prostitute bathe Him with expensive perfume (much "worse" than going clubbing even by today's standards).

I guess unlike some of the posters (and the Pharisees of His time) Jesus love for sinners had no boundaries.


The Pharisees said a lot of wrong things about the Lord, including that He was demon-possessed... so what they say isn't relevant to us. Also, the "prostitute" who "bathed" Him was a repentant sinner, who is now a Saint of the Church. She didn't "bathe" Him, she merely annointed his feet.

I do not disagree that the Lord was doing whatever was necessary to save souls, but still, (and staying with the topic of this thread), there is no evidence to support that the Lord ever listened to secular music, nor went into an environment with secular music playing, nor would do the equivalent of what we call "clubbing".

Edited by Christina M., 19 January 2011 - 06:07 PM.
Replaced word "post" with "thread"


#55 Angelos

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 06:21 PM

The Pharisees said a lot of wrong things about the Lord, including that He was demon-possessed... so what they say isn't relevant to us. Also, the "prostitute" who "bathed" Him was a repentant sinner, who is now a Saint of the Church. She didn't "bathe" Him, she merely annointed his feet.

I do not disagree that the Lord was doing whatever was necessary to save souls, but still, (and staying with the topic of this thread), there is no evidence to support that the Lord ever listened to secular music, nor went into an environment with secular music playing, nor would do the equivalent of what we call "clubbing".


I thought they were playing secular music in Jewish weddings(?) So if Jesus was at the wedding He did listen to secular music. I don't see the big deal. Most secular music is as harmful (or harmless) as watching TV or seeing a movie. Christians are called by Jesus to be "in the world, but not of the world". Jesus did not call Christians to be cavemen.

I personally do not like 99% of the so called pop/rock music. Having said there are some U2 songs whose lyrics I find inspiring. Take "Sunday Bloody Sunday" about the slaughtering of unarmed Irish civilians by the British army...or take U2's "Miss Sarajevo" about a little girl surviving the brutal siege of Sarajevo...or "Pride in the name of Love" A song talking among other things about Jesus' sacrifice in the name of love.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One come he to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

(nobody like you...)

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love...

#56 Angelos

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 06:52 PM

Let's try to avoid snarky comments. Regardless I don't think it difficult to come up with scenarios where even if it was appropriate for Christ, it might not be so edifying for us to try. I doubt Christ would go to a club, it would be too noisy to hear Him preach for one. We certainly have no record of Him visiting pagan ceremonies or bath houses or "the games", or even going to a taverna. He went to homes and "quiet" places where people could hear His voice. Places that are specifically designed to drown out the small quiet voice do not seem to be frequent haunts for Christ or perhaps for us. What Christ could or could not do is not really the point. We are only told what He did, and the rest is merely speculation.

Herman


Dear Herman,

Let me ask you a real life dillema that happened to me. A good friend was getting married and had a Bachelor's party. The activities (as with most parties like that) were very base (secular music was the least of it). Should I have just declined the invitation and insult my friend hurting our relationship?? I didn't. I went, I did not have fun, but I made my friend happy. What would you do?

#57 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 08:39 PM

What you would do and what I would do might indeed be different things and both could be right or wrong. Will making your friend "happy" save his soul? Have any of the other people at that party started coming to church? Were you or your friend edified by your presence at the party?

All I know is that inviting Christ can be dangerous. Things may well not turn out the way we think. He may make water into wine or He might grab a flail and start overturning tables, or refer to people as white-washed sepulchers. His presence does not always make everyone "happy".

Hard to say really. At least for this bear of admittedly little brain.

Herman the Pooh

So many questions, so many answers.

#58 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 09:09 PM

Father, bless:

Do you think that old songs surface under spiritual silence because of the natural way brain works, or do you think sometimes it is due to demonic influence?


Part of it may be psychological if you are in a condition of spiritual silence long enough. A lot of light memories from the past can surface. If we're getting too enticed by these memories however something else could be going on that's more along the lines of a temptation.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#59 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:29 PM

As someone who teaches college music appreciation, I listen to all types of music. All types. I don't like all of it. I can't stand country music or most rap. But, I understand that not all of it is edifying. It's the same as literature with me. I can read fiction like the Da Vinci Code, etc., because I know it is fiction. With music, I usually ignore the artist's life, and usually the lyrics too, and just listen to the music itself.

That being said, I always read these quotes from the fathers to my classes when talking about early church music. They are somewhat of a good example of how times change, and not everything in the fathers and canons always apply today:

St. Basil: "Of the arts necessary to life which furnish a concrete result there is carpentry, which produces the chair; architecture, the house; shipbuilding, the ship; tailoring, the garment; forging, the blade. Of useless arts there is harp playing, dancing, flute playing, of which, when the operation ceases, the result disappears with it. And indeed, according to the word of the apostle, the result of these is destruction."

Looking at this literally, the flute and the harp cause destruction. While I might personally agree about the flute, this obviously isn't the case today. And dancing became so entrenched in the cultures of most Orthodox countries, that telling a Greek person that they can't dance would be like, as my priest use to say, telling a German Baptist he can't drink beer. (both eluding to 1920s American taboos).

Another that is very similar, from St. John Chrysostom: "Marriage is accounted an honorable thing both by us and by those without; and it is honorable. But when marriages are solemnized, such a number of ridiculous circumstances take place as ye shall hear of immediately: because the most part, possessed and beguiled by custom, are not even aware of their absurdity, but need others to teach them. For dancing, and cymbals, and flutes, and shameful words and songs, drunkenness and revellings, and all the Devil's great heap of garbage is then introduced."

We can see from the fathers two things: 1) in the many other quotes available, they were pushing the psalms as the main musical expression that was good. Part of the instrument aversions come from the fact that instruments were used in temple worship, but not in synagogue worship. 2) for the fathers, secular music, at least in these quotes, always led to other things: dancing, drunkenness, etc.

Today, while it is still true that secular music can lead to those things, it doesn't always have to be the case. I listen to rock while mowing the lawn. Seems to go better with that than Bach. Many people just listen to it in the background, or to just sit and listen, without leading to other things. I listen to jazz while at work, but I listen to church music most of the time at home, unless cleaning or doing something physical. Listening to Charlie Parker doesn't make me want to go do heroin though. I think it is all about our own spiritual state. For me, growing up as a musician and in the church, I think I have been able to develop an aversion to anything negative with most music. I still stay away from certain things, such as overtly satanic metal, and things like that, but I also have to keep up with today's popular artists so I know what my students are talking about. Already this semester (which is on day 3), I have been introduced by my students to several artists that I have never heard of, that seem to be producing good quality music.

Just my thoughts, and those of some fathers.
Sbdn. Anthony

#60 Mark Harris

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 04:39 PM

I think there is more to worry about in Chris de burgh than in AC/DC (being a former fan of both and knowing the lyrics) but there are some rock/heavy/death metal bands that actively promote evil and there seems to be an attraction to them of a certain type of dissaffected youth (some of whom have even turned to more evil things including the killing of school colleagues). There are many rappers whose beat may be also be alluring but when you listen to the lyrics are quite shocking and not often picked up and a heavy inuendo about sex and sometimes overtly about it in many main stream pop music. And what about the cult tv series obsessed with vampires - I think a whole generation will grow up thinking that they really are living amongst us, let alone the PC Games, Nintendo, PSP, XBox training kids to be snipers, serial killers, sadists...I think it's a minefield for parents out there (me included)!




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