I do not have one musical bone in my body—just ask my kids. However, I do love music.

Today’s culture reflects a consumer mentality people have when it comes to music. A guy named Glenn McDonald has identified more than 1,260 genres of popular music. Just think about that for a minute—people have narrowed their preferences to such a degree that, if McDonald is correct, has resulted in more than 1,200 different variations of music. It’s no wonder why we have had so many debates. Everyone has a different opinion as to what the best/right type of music is.

In the Christian community, music has certainly been one of the most polarizing elements of life. People debate how loud music should be played, what style of music is good, and what kind of lyrics are appropriate.

There are few things in life with the ability to impact our emotions like music. It can lift the soul of the person who is tired and weary, or it can be a place to vent for the one who is stressed and angry. Music can make you laugh, or it can make you cry. It can give you energy, or it can help you fall asleep.

Music is also an important part of the story of the Bible. According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary, there are at least 18 different types of musical instruments listed in the Bible. The Israelites were often told to sing, shout, dance, and make a joyful noise. There are many Christians who read over these verses without paying much attention to the commands that are given. We have our own idea of what it means to respect and revere God in our worship music, but rarely compare our idea of music to God’s idea as revealed in Scripture.

I find it very exciting to see the continued presence of Christians in the world of music. Some of the most gifted musicians that we hear on the radio or whose songs are popular on iTunes are also people who have decided to follow Jesus. They are using the talents God has given to them to make the world a better place, and to lift the spirit of many who are facing dark times.

In this edition of SEVEN, we explore the world of music. Whatever your personal tastes are, I want to encourage you to celebrate the good that is happening and to enjoy the rich and diverse expressions of music we experience in our culture. Music is a gift God has given to us to enjoy and to glorify Him.



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