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Strong Meat

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One of my daily devotional duties, is a monthly recital of my memory verses(to keep them fresh in my mind), and today I came to a verse that seemed to start changing my mind about an issue we have discussed.

The verse was.......
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”


Now I have intensely studied this verse hundreds of times over the years, that it has been a memory verse(every month when I come to it), and today was no exception.  But today, as it often happens, when I came to this verse, I stopped my memory verse work for a minute and opened my Bible to this passage to once again study what this word “therefore”, is there for.

What I found was a proof text(or close to it), as to why a Christian shouldn’t listen to secular music.
Notice:
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
V.14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
V.15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.


That is, since Christ died for us, than we were all DEAD(before we got saved); And our salvation has given us LIFE!  (An new life in Christ!)
Therefore we... “should not henceforth live unto ourselves”!
------------------------
Now, as I was thinking and praying about this and was considering “swearing off”, my occasional practice of enjoying some innocent secular music, another Scripture came to mind.....
Hebrews 5:14
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”


And now I had a choice to make....
I could go ahead and decided not to expose myself to anything secular, in a sincere devotion to the Lord, or....
I could continue to occasionally exercise my senses, teaching them to “discern good from evil”: And be rewarded with an understanding of the deeper teachings of God’s Word!
 

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A choice?  Unless I'm reading this wrong, it seems to me you're justifying doing it, tickling your ears.  Stay away from evil, you already know it's wrong.

 

Does “secular”, equal “evil”?

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It seems you are saying something similar to what the Romans needed Paul's help for...

 

Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
 
...but, I have to fight my flesh and things of this world almost on a minute by minute basis.

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There is no way to avoid all things secular. The choice comes in our response to and dealings with secular things as well as with regards to whether or not we are going to purposefully expose ourselves to things secular; to which we must determine what secular things are sinful and what is not.

 

Hebrews 5:14 does not tell us to touch, taste, experiment with or indulge in sinful things in order to exercise ones senses. Dave points out above a Scriptural refutation of this idea. Hebrews 5:14 is letting us know that if we are mature in the faith and strong in the Word then our senses will thus be exercised. We will be able to discern good from evil because we are rooted and grounded in the Word, not because we have tried sinful things.

 

In your OP you refer to "innocent secular music". If the secular music you are referring to is indeed "innocent", and this means not sinful, then why the questioning of this? However, if you question whether or not the music really is "innocent", and therefore believe it may be sinful, then studying the matter through Scripture would be appropriate rather than listening to the music to see what your "senses" say.

 

Also, when it comes to secular music we need to consider not only the music, but where it's being listened to and who can hear it. Is the secular music being played in the church, in a place where others can hear or totally in private? All of this must be considered in light of our testimony. As well, we must consider why we want to listen to certain secular music. What about the secular music is appealing and how or why does it fill an area that Christian music doesn't?

 

If we are considering popular secular music (whether country, pop, rock, etc.) one can usually find one or more individual songs that are not sinful. However, the individuals and groups typically have many more songs which are sinful in nature. If we are listening to a clean song by a popular artist and others hear us listening to that song that will likely be perceived as an endorsement of that artist, not just that song.

 

Consider the song "Jesus Take the Wheel" which Carrie Underwood made famous. Most Christians who have heard the song like it, and the song and Carrie won some Christian awards for the song. Since the song was such a secular hit it's not so much considered a Christian song by many, just one of Carrie's many hits. When one looks at what Carrie has had hits with since that song, they tend to be a of a clearly sinful nature and her dress and demeanor followed the same course.

 

Could one listen to Carrie sing "Jesus Take the Wheel" in private and it not be sinful, and maybe even edifying, perhaps. Yet if one listens to such so that others hear, or one speaks in a praiseworthy manner of this in public then such will likely be viewed as an endorsement of not only that song, but of Carrie and her other songs.

 

Back to Scripture, we are told a test we are to give all thing is whether or not doing something brings glory to God or not. Will you bring glory to God listening to the Beatles, REO Speedwagon, One Direction, Taylor Swift or other secular artists, or not?

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One of my daily devotional duties, is a monthly recital of my memory verses(to keep them fresh in my mind), and today I came to a verse that seemed to start changing my mind about an issue we have discussed.

The verse was.......
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”


Now I have intensely studied this verse hundreds of times over the years, that it has been a memory verse(every month when I come to it), and today was no exception.  But today, as it often happens, when I came to this verse, I stopped my memory verse work for a minute and opened my Bible to this passage to once again study what this word “therefore”, is there for.

What I found was a proof text(or close to it), as to why a Christian shouldn’t listen to secular music.
Notice:
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
V.14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
V.15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.


That is, since Christ died for us, than we were all DEAD(before we got saved); And our salvation has given us LIFE!  (An new life in Christ!)
Therefore we... “should not henceforth live unto ourselves”!
------------------------
Now, as I was thinking and praying about this and was considering “swearing off”, my occasional practice of enjoying some innocent secular music, another Scripture came to mind.....
Hebrews 5:14
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”


And now I had a choice to make....
I could go ahead and decided not to expose myself to anything secular, in a sincere devotion to the Lord, or....
I could continue to occasionally exercise my senses, teaching them to “discern good from evil”: And be rewarded with an understanding of the deeper teachings of God’s Word!
 

 

I have to say I was really getting a blessing out of this, and then you hit the last part and that just about totally ruined my morning. I refer not only back to the verse that "I Am Chief" made mention of, but also to 1 Thessalonians 5:22, "Abstain from all appearance of evil."

 

Does “secular”, equal “evil”?

 

I believe it was you that mentioned exercising your senses for the purpose of teaching them to discern good and evil. Now the only way to be able to discern between two things is to be exposed to both, and the only way to exercise something is to put into repeated practice. Therefore, you plan to help your senses to discern between good and evil by exposing them to both through repeated practice of both.

 

If you will look again at that verse you will see you left a very important word out of your application. The word is use (by reason of USE have their senses exercised). Now to what does that use refer it is to the strong meat. So our senses are not exercised by the use of good and evil but rather by the use of the strong meat of the word of God, which the context of this passage bears out. I think of Ezekiel 44:23, "And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

 

However, if you are still convinced that your particular secular music is ok, then consider Romans 12:2, "And be no conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

 

I'm afraid that if I follow your logic, then I will have to go out and kill someone just to know for sure if murder is truly evil.

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There is that question, does secular automatically equal evil? I don't believe so. There is a lot of fine music that is secular in nature, but not dishonoring to God. I play a lot of secular novelty songs on my ukulele, like The Man on the Flying trapeze, or Shine On Harvest Moon. Much classical music is secular, but it is excellent music.

 

It was said above, you can't avoid all secular-you have to shop in stores, and some of them are owned by wicked organizations, or they donate part of the money yu pay, to wicked organizations. Ever shop at Smith's grocery store? Its named after Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism. And all stores and restraunts play secular music in the background.  Drive down the road, you're going to have all sorts of terrible images coming at you from billboards. This is where it pays off to be one who can take strong meat, whose sense are exercised-we can see those things or hear that junk, yet it doesn't effect us, we know how to deal with them and keep the from dragging us back, pulling us in.

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Good morning   I am chief

You said....
“I have to fight my flesh and things of this world almost on a minute by minute basis.”

Brother I do the exact same thing every day of my life!  Therefore the last thing in the world I would ever want to do is “feed my flesh”.  Thus came the contradiction that I have discovered over the years of daily striving to walk closer and closer to the Lord.

That is what this thread is about; The contradiction that “working hard” to be “Holy”, in some cases seems to produce an ungodly attitude.  While simply having a heart’s desire to be Holy, produces a Godly attitude.

I don’t have all the answers, but it may have something to do with something Jesus said.....
“Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
 

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Hello John81

You said.....
There is no way to avoid all things secular. The choice comes in our response to and dealings with secular things as well as with regards to whether or not we are going to purposefully expose ourselves to things secular; to which we must determine what secular things are sinful and what is not.

Sure enough, Heb.5:14 seems to be talking about the subject of determining which secular things are sinful and which ones are not.
------------------------
Next you said....
Hebrews 5:14 does not tell us to touch, taste, experiment with or indulge in sinful things in order to exercise ones senses. Dave points out above a Scriptural refutation of this idea. Hebrews 5:14 is letting us know that if we are mature in the faith and strong in the Word then our senses will thus be exercised. We will be able to discern good from evil because we are rooted and grounded in the Word, not because we have tried sinful things.

True, this verse is not telling us to indulge in sinful things.  
But the rest of this paragraph puts the cart before the horse!  This verse isn’t telling us what the “results” of being mature are, but is cluing us in on how to become mature and able to discern good from evil.
------------------------
You also said..........
In your OP you refer to "innocent secular music". If the secular music you are referring to is indeed "innocent", and this means not sinful, then why the questioning of this? However, if you question whether or not the music really is "innocent", and therefore believe it may be sinful, then studying the matter through Scripture would be appropriate rather than listening to the music to see what your "senses" say.

Brother, for sure I referred to this music as innocent, because it is.  There would be no way to know if it was innocent, without having listened to it.  There were no “?” marks in my OP; It didn’t ask any questions, is was simply stating a fact!

  Note: The music that is innocent for me, may not be for someone else.  For those who have been saved out of a drug environment or the music industry, most music could never be innocent for them.  Thus the purpose of this verse, is for each of us as individuals to determine what we should or should not, listen to.
------------------------
Your next statement was........
Also, when it comes to secular music we need to consider not only the music, but where it's being listened to and who can hear it. Is the secular music being played in the church, in a place where others can hear or totally in private? All of this must be considered in light of our testimony. As well, we must consider why we want to listen to certain secular music. What about the secular music is appealing and how or why does it fill an area that Christian music doesn't?

I think I have said before, that secular music has NO PLACE, in the Church(in any form).  And there are some limitations on where we listen, so as not to offend others.
As to music “filling an area” in our life: Like I have said before, with me it is no bid deal.  I can take it or leave it.
But if I(or any other Christian), leaves something for the “wrong reason”, it can be harmful to us.
------------------------
Next you said.....
If we are considering popular secular music (whether country, pop, rock, etc.) one can usually find one or more individual songs that are not sinful. However, the individuals and groups typically have many more songs which are sinful in nature. If we are listening to a clean song by a popular artist and others hear us listening to that song that will likely be perceived as an endorsement of that artist, not just that song.

I agree.
------------------------
Next....
Consider the song "Jesus Take the Wheel" which Carrie Underwood made famous. Most Christians who have heard the song like it, and the song and Carrie won some Christian awards for the song. Since the song was such a secular hit it's not so much considered a Christian song by many, just one of Carrie's many hits. When one looks at what Carrie has had hits with since that song, they tend to be a of a clearly sinful nature and her dress and demeanor followed the same course.
Could one listen to Carrie sing "Jesus Take the Wheel" in private and it not be sinful, and maybe even edifying, perhaps. Yet if one listens to such so that others hear, or one speaks in a praiseworthy manner of this in public then such will likely be viewed as an endorsement of not only that song, but of Carrie and her other songs.


I don’t know that song, nor who Carrie Underwood is; But it bothers me personally, to hear unsaved people, sing about my Lord.
As for endorsing particular musicians, I never do.
------------------------
Your last question was........
Back to Scripture, we are told a test we are to give all thing is whether or not doing something brings glory to God or not. Will you bring glory to God listening to the Beatles, REO Speedwagon, One Direction, Taylor Swift or other secular artists, or not?

Now I have heard of the Beatles.
As for “bringing glory to God”, look at this.....
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Years and years ago, I asked myself the question; “How does eating and drinking bring glory to God?” Well the answer is obvious!
 

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Now I have heard of the Beatles.
As for “bringing glory to God”, look at this.....
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Years and years ago, I asked myself the question; “How does eating and drinking bring glory to God?” Well the answer is obvious!
 

I think the question is not glorify God in everything, but in what you do, CAN it or WILL it glorify God? Can God be glorified if what we drink is whickey and beer? Can God be glorified is we celebrate something as clearly wicked and pagan as Halloween? If we can do something and clearly give God glory, fine-if it is something clearly dishnoring to God, how then can we do it, and bring Him glory? In this, I had to remove much from my repitoire of ukulele music.

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Hello musician4god1611, nice to talk to you

You said.......
I have to say I was really getting a blessing out of this, and then you hit the last part and that just about totally ruined my morning. I refer not only back to the verse that "I Am Chief" made mention of, but also to 1 Thessalonians 5:22, "Abstain from all appearance of evil."

Sorry for messing up your morning, but sometimes it is good to be knocked out of our comfort zone.  And I also am careful, to abstain from any appearance of evil.  But what I do in my own home(that is not sin), doesn’t cross this line......
“Hast thou faith? have [it] to thyself before God. Happy [is] he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” (Romans 14:22)
------------------------
Next you said......
I believe it was you that mentioned exercising your senses for the purpose of teaching them to discern good and evil. Now the only way to be able to discern between two things is to be exposed to both, and the only way to exercise something is to put into repeated practice. Therefore, you plan to help your senses to discern between good and evil by exposing them to both through repeated practice of both.

If you will look again at that verse you will see you left a very important word out of your application. The word is use (by reason of USE have their senses exercised). Now to what does that use refer it is to the strong meat. So our senses are not exercised by the use of good and evil but rather by the use of the strong meat of the word of God, which the context of this passage bears out. I think of Ezekiel 44:23, "And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.


Thank you brother!  This is why I come here!
Sure enough it looks like, it is the “use of strong meat”, that “exercised our senses, to discern both good and evil”!

As for that reference in Ezekiel 44:23, I believe that this is talking about teaching them the things that “the Law”, says are clean or unclean!

But nonetheless, you have given me a fresh view of Heb.5:14
------------------------
Finally you said.....
However, if you are still convinced that your particular secular music is ok, then consider Romans 12:2, "And be no conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
I'm afraid that if I follow your logic, then I will have to go out and kill someone just to know for sure if murder is truly evil.


Please don’t go out and kill anybody; Murder is sin.  And hating your brother is murder!

By the way, this really isn’t about music at all.  It’s about “faith”!
From my very first thread on this subject(Promoting Strength), it has been about Christians that are “weak in the faith”, and those that are “strong in the faith”.

According to Romans 14, Christians having weak faith, exercise a kind of “voluntary humility”; Refusing to consume some things, that are perfectly fine, because they think(or have been told), that it is sinful!
While Christians having strong faith, realize that if something isn’t sinful, than it won’t hurt them(as long as it doesn’t get out of hand).


Thank you for your response!
 

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Many of us just do not want Christ to be the center of our life, that is for our whole life to revolve around Christ, so we fill it up with mostly secular stuff thus leaving Christ out of most of our life, except for when we are attending church services.

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Many of us just do not want Christ to be the center of our life, that is for our whole life to revolve around Christ, so we fill it up with mostly secular stuff thus leaving Christ out of most of our life, except for when we are attending church services.

This touches upon a broader point I see as a problem among many Christians. Rather than reading Scripture and hearing sermons to learn more of the Lord and how to give ourselves more and more to Him, many do so trying to figure out where they think the line is between what's biblically acceptable and what isn't, and this for the sake of wanting to live as close to that line as possible.

 

Instead of looking at Scripture and seeing a line at "X" and determining to not even come close to that line, many Christians will see that "W" right next to that "X" and choose to live there as close to that "X" as they can.

 

Then, when these Christians trip, stumble, dance, walk or jump over the line they act so surprised and claim to have no idea how such could happen.

 

If nothing else, common sense should clearly indicate that if one runs up to a rattlesnake they are in possible danger and far more likely to get bit than the one refuses to go anywhere near the snake.

 

This is why men who choose to avoid being alone with women not their wife, who make it a point to keep a certain distance between them and other women, who keep such matters in prayer, who don't allow themselves to develop close relations with other women, are far less likely to ever become adulterers than those who think they can flirt with other women, have close, intimate "friendships" with other women, and act as if there is no problem with spending time alone with other women.

 

We should respect the lines God has drawn and stay away from them.

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