The musical dilemma: Christian or secular?

Someone once told me that we are what we eat; that the things we allow into ourselves influence what comes out of us.

In terms of the music that we choose, what should we be listening to?

In a poll of Eastern students, 52.7 percent of respondents said that they listen to secular music more than Christian music. On the other hand, 38.5 percent said that they listen to Christian music more often, and 8.9 percent could not decide.

Is listening to secular music a sin? We had better hope not, because otherwise we might all be in some trouble. A lot of secular music is love-centered and never mentions God, but that doesn’t mean that all of its messages are necessarily wrong, does it?

Personally, I have been a fan of classic rock for years now. Cruisin’ down the highway headin’ for adventure, I get the feeling that the song Under My Thumb is not a Christian approach to a relationship with a woman, that Cocaine is encouraging something that I doubt Jesus would have me do, and that Lola is actually a guy (yikes). But how does listening to Pinball Wizard push me off the path of righteousness?

The music hums through my ears like someone whispering the secrets of the world to me. It feels good. I sing along.

When I was younger I was always given the impression that Christian music is good and that secular music is bad. Many Christian parents attempt to keep their children from indulging in the secular music world. As a child, I could not fully understand this, so after watching a video clip of Kiss, I decided that rock n’ roll must have something to do with the devil.

A teacher once challenged our class to refrain from listening to secular music for an entire month. He promised us that at the end of that month we would feel noticeably different; feeling closer to God, more joyful and less restricted mentally. He said that if any of us did not feel different, well, that there is probably something wrong with us.

Music has a profound impact on each of us. If it didn’t, commercials would not have jingles, movies would not have soundtracks, we wouldn’t whistle or play songs in our heads and no one would ever name their kids after famous rock stars. Music goes deeper than words. It reaches into your soul and feeds who you are.

Listen carefully.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

Philippians 4:8-9

What does Eastern listen to?

We polled 169 students at Eastern about their music interests. Here is what they told us:

Which type of music do you listen to more? Secular – 52.7% Christian – 38.5% *Other Votes – 8.9% *Many respondents asked if they could vote for both (other votes), which would hint that they listen to a good mix of both.

How many hours a day do you listen to music, including music on television, on average?

0-1 – 17.2% 4-5 – 18.3% 2-3 – 39.1% 6 or more – 25.4% Most Commonly Mentioned Artists (including number of votes)


Switchfoot – 22Relient K – 19Casting Crowns – 12Kirk Franklin – 10Chris Tomlin – 9

Others Mentioned: Third Day, David Crowder, Tye Tribbett, Five Iron Frenzy, Jars of Clay, Mercy Me, Caedmon’s Call, Jeremy Camp, Hillsong, Newsboys, POD, Supertones, Toby Mac, Kutless, Sanctus Real, Out of Eden, Mute Math, Lifehouse, Jaci Velazquez, DC Talk, Tenth Avenue North


Rascal Flatts – 21Coldplay – 16Dave Matthews Band – 10Keith Urban – 8Kenny Chesney – 6

Others Mentioned: Billy Joel, Maroon 5, Goo Goo Dolls, Me Without You, Something Corporate, Tim McGraw, Led Zeppelin, Jack Johnson, The Beatles, Boyz II Men, Copeland, Fallout Boy, Nickel Creek, Queen, Taking Back Sunday, AC/DC, Jay-Z, Kelly Clarkson, Frank Sinatra, Pearl Jam

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