Secular music compatible with Christian world view

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by Travelsong, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. Travelsong

    Travelsong
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    For those of you that enjoy secular music, here's an opputunity to show why. If it's okay with the forum moderaters I'd like to devote this thread to the lyrics of music which do not come from a Christian source but still convey basic or even deep truths about life. My intention is to demonstrate that secular music (especially rock) is not necessarily tied to a debaucherous lifestyle, or even as Aaron might put it, more subtle forms of sensuality.

    I'll try to hold out from posting Bob Dylan for as long as possible [​IMG]

    Here's a good one for starters. It's called "Ship of Fools".

    We're setting sail
    To the place on the map
    From which no one has ever returned
    Drawn by the promise of the joker and the fool
    By the light of the crosses that burn
    Drawn by the promise of the women and the lace
    And the gold and the cotton and pearls
    It's the place where they keep all the darkness you need
    You sail away from the light of the world
    On this trip, baby

    You will pay tomorrow
    You gonna pay tomorrow
    You will pay tomorrow

    CHORUS:
    Save me
    Save me from tomorrow
    I don't want to sail in this ship of fools
    Save me
    Save me from tomorrow
    I don't want to sail in this ship of fools

    I want to run and hide
    Right now...

    Avarice and greed
    Are gonna drive you over the endless sea
    They will leave you drifting in the shallows
    Or drowning in the oceans of history
    Traveling the world
    You're in search of no good
    But I'm sure you'll build your Sodom
    Like you knew you would
    Using all the good people
    For your galley slaves
    As your little boat struggles
    Through the warning waves

    But you don't pay
    You will pay tomorrow
    You gonna pay tomorrow
    You gonna pay tomorrow

    (CHORUS)

    Where's it coming from?
    Where's it going to?
    It's just a ship of fools...

    Here we go...
    All aboard...
     
  2. Mike McK

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    The first one that comes to mind is "Infamous Angel" by Iris Dement:

    Last night before I went to sleep,
    My knees dropped to the floor.
    I turned me eyes up to the sky,
    And I prayed: "Please help me, Lord.
    "You know I've sowed my wild oats,
    "And now the fun's all gone."
    And then I heard these tender words,
    And I put them in my song:

    "Infamous Angel, come on home,
    "To Someone who loves you,
    "And knows you needed to roam.
    "Grab your things, a ticket's waiting,
    "At the bus depot:
    "For: 'Infamous Angel, Destination: Home'."

    I heard Heaven's choir rejoicing,
    As the tears broke from my eyes.
    And all at once it lifted,
    The weight from my past life.
    I found a pen and I left a note,
    On the dresser drawer:
    "Infamous Angel: she don't live here anymore."

    "Infamous Angel, come on home,
    "To someone who loves you,
    "And knows you needed to roam.
    "Grab your things, a ticket's waiting,
    "At the bus depot:
    "For: 'Infamous Angel, Destination: Home'."

    Then I hurried out the back door,
    As quickly as I could.
    I went flying down two flights of stairs,
    'Til on the street I stood.
    And there I took that final look,
    At my old neighbourhood.
    Then I ran down the street proclaiming:
    "Angel: gone for good."

    Infamous Angel, going home,
    To Someone who loves her,
    And knows she needed to roam.
    She grabbed her things and claimed the ticket,
    At the bus depot:
    For: "Infamous Angel, Destination: Home."
    "Infamous Angel, Destination: Home."



    "Show me the Way" by STYX always struck me as a moving plea for God's guidance in troubled times and was written by Dennis DeYoung, who is a Christian:

    Every night I say a prayer in the hope that there's a heaven
    And every day I'm more confused as the saints turn into sinners
    All the heroes and legends I knew as a child have fallen to idols of clay
    And I feel this empty place inside so afraid that I've lost my faith

    Show me the way, show me the way
    Take me tonight to the river
    And wash my illusions away
    Show me the way

    And as I slowly drift to sleep, for a moment dreams are sacred
    I close my eyes and know there's peace in a world so filled with hatred
    That I wake up each morning and turn on the news to find we've so far to go
    And I keep on hoping for a sign, so afraid that I just won't know

    Show me the way, Show me the way
    Take me tonight to the mountain
    And wash my confusion away

    And if I feel light, should I believe
    Tell me how will I know

    Show me the way, show me the way
    Take me tonight to the river
    And wash my illusions away
    Show me the way, show me the way
    Give me the strength and the courage
    To believe that I'll get there someday
    Show me the way

    Every night I say a prayer
    In the hope that there's a heaven...
     
  3. Travelsong

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    I had some 10,000 Maniacs on today. I know alot of people don't care for Natalie Merchant's narrative story telling style, but I think that was their whole appeal. In any case, this song is for all who know what it feels like debating someone whose premise is that sound waves arranged in a particular fashion are inherently evil. It's called "Headstrong"

    To your common sense firm arguments
    I won't listen to your voice of reason trying to change my mind.
    I mind my feelings and not your words.
    Didn't you notice I'm so headstrong even when I know I'm wrong?
    Take this to your heart and into your head now:
    Before you waste your time, call a truce and call a draw.

    What's the use in mapping your views out in orderly form
    When it does nothing but confuse and anger me more?
    I mind my feelings and not your words.
    Didn't you notice I'm so headstrong.
    You're talking to a deaf stone wall.
    Take this to your heart and into your head now:
    The old wives' tale is true, I'll repeat it.
    All is fair in love and war, that's how the famous saying goes.

    Open up your eyes, see me for what I am:
    Cast in iron, I won't break and I won't bend.
    Take this to your heart and into your head now:
    The old wives' tale is true, I'll repeat it.
    All is fair in love and war, that's how the famous saying goes.

    If I told you we were out to sea in a bottomless boat,
    You'd try anything to save us, you'd try anything to keep us afloat.
    And if we were living in a house afire,
    I don't believe that you could rush out and escape it and not rescue me.
    Take this to your heart and into your head now:
    The old wives' tale is true, I'll repeat it.
    All is fair in love and war, that's how the famous saying goes.
    Listen, I think they were talking to you.
     
  4. Travelsong

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    Tonite's addition is a song that only the Amish could be unfamiliar with. Two versions were recorded, one acoustic and one which guitars and drums kick in after the first verse. I prefer the light rock version. So here you go, one of the best songs ever written about people's innability to communicate. It's called "The Sounds of Silence"

    Hello darkness, my old friend,
    I’ve come to talk with you again,
    Because a vision softly creeping,
    Left it’s seeds while I was sleeping,
    And the vision that was planted in my brain
    Still remains
    Within the sound of silence.

    In restless dreams I walked alone
    Narrow streets of cobblestone,
    ’neath the halo of a street lamp,
    I turned my collar to the cold and damp
    When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
    That split the night
    And touched the sound of silence.

    And in the naked light I saw
    Ten thousand people, maybe more.
    People talking without speaking,
    People hearing without listening,
    People writing songs that voices never share
    And no one dare
    Disturb the sound of silence.

    "fools" said I, "you do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows.
    Hear my words that I might teach you,
    Take my arms that I might reach you."
    But my words like silent raindrops fell,
    And echoed
    In the wells of silence

    And the people bowed and prayed
    To the neon God they made.
    And the sign flashed out it’s warning,
    In the words that it was forming.
    And the sign said, "the words of the prophets

    Are written on the subway walls
    And tenement halls."
    And whisper’d in the sounds of silence.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    One of the hallmark characteristics of these lyrics (from a wide range of performers already) is the HOPELESSNESS and DESPAIR that pervades it all.

    Without Christ, they probably echo the heart of many folks. Of course, no one will be drawn one step closer to the Savior by listening to the words. As a matter of fact, many might wallow with them in despair and hopelessness . . and

    "Suicide is painless . . ."
     
  6. UTEOTW

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    I do not think that ALL secular music is full is without hope or without a recognition of Christ.

    U2 - "Forty"

    I waited patiently for the Lord
    He inclined and heard my cry
    He brought me up out of the pit
    Out of the miry clay

    I will sing, sing a new song
    I will sing, sing a new song

    How long to sing this song
    How long to sing this song
    How long, how long, how long
    How long to sing this song

    He set my feet upon a rock
    And made my footsteps firm
    Many will see
    Many will see and hear

    I will sing, sing a new song
    I will sing, sing a new song
    I will sing, sing a new song
    I will sing, sing a new song

    How long to sing this song
    How long to sing this song
    How long, how long, how long
    How long to sing this song

    U2 - "Tomorrow"

    ...
    Who broke the window
    Who broke down the door
    Who tore the curtain
    And who was it for
    Who heals the wounds
    Who heals the scars
    Open the door
    Open the door
    ...
    Open up, open up to the love of God
    To the love of He who made the blind to see
    He's coming back
    He's coming back
    I believe Him
    Jesus is coming
    I'm gonna be there
    I'm gonna be there, mother
    I'm gonna be there, mother
    I'm gonna be there
    And you’re gonna be there

    U2 - "With A Shout"

    Oh, where do we go
    Where do we go from here
    Where to go

    To the side of a hill, blood was spilt
    We were still looking at each other
    But we're going back there
    Jerusalem
    Jerusalem

    Shout, shout
    With a shout
    Shout it out
    Shout
    Shout it out

    I want to go to the foot of Mount Zion
    To the foot of He who made me see

    To the side of a hill, where we were still
    We were filled with a love
    And we're going to be there again
    Jerusalem
    Jerusalem
    ...

    U2 - "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"

    ...
    You broke the bonds and you
    Loosed the chains
    Carried the cross
    And my shame
    All my shame
    You know I believe it

    U2 - "Drowning Man"

    Take my hand
    You know I'll be there
    If you can I'll cross
    The sky for your love
    For I have promised, oh
    To be with you tonight
    And for the time that will come

    Take my hand
    You know I'll be there
    If you can I'll cross
    The sky for your love
    And I understand
    These winds and tides
    This change of times
    Won't drag you away

    Hold on, hold on tightly
    Hold on and don't let go
    Of my love
    The storms will pass
    It won't be long now
    The storms will pass
    But my love lasts forever

    And take my hand
    You know I'll be there
    If you can I'll cross the sky
    For your love
    Give you what I hold dear

    Hold on, hold on tightly
    Hold on, hold on tightly
    Rise up, rise up
    With wings like eagles
    You'll run, you'll run
    You'll run and not grow weary

    Take my hand, take my hand
    Hold on tightly
    Hold on tightly
    This love will last forever
    This love will last forever
    Take my hand
    Take my hand

    U2 - "When Love Comes to Town"

    ...
    I was there when they crucified my Lord
    I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword
    I threw the dice when the pierced his side
    But I've seen love conquer the great divide

    U2 - "Grace"

    ...
    Because Grace makes beauty out of ugly things
    Grace finds beauty in everything
    Grace finds goodness in everything
     
  7. Travelsong

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    There's a deeper message to this song than simple despair and hoplessness. Take a look at the way the street lamp and the cobble stone street are suddnely juxtaposed with the neon light. The author is having a vision of the future. This is made clear in the end when he says "the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls". What Paul Simon is saying is that our great society with all of it's modern conveniences is actually isolating the individual from humanity, not bringing him closer.


    There is no place on earth one can feel more alone than in a huge city like New York. I think this song is primarily illustrating that irony, and I agree with it.

    While we're on the subject of hoplessness and despair, here's a nice little rocker from Neil Young about the homeless called "Rockin' in the Free World"

    There’s colors on the street
    Red, white and blue
    People shufflin’ their feet
    People sleepin’ in their shoes
    But there’s a warnin’ sign on the road ahead
    There’s a lot of people sayin’ we’d be better off dead
    Don’t feel like satan, but I am to them
    So I try to forget it, any way I can.

    Keep on rockin’ in the free world (x4)

    I see a woman in the night
    With a baby in her hand
    Under an old street light
    Near a garbage can
    Now she puts the kid away, and she’s gone to get a hit
    She hates her life, and what she’s done to it
    There’s one more kid that will never go to school
    Never get to fall in love, never get to be cool.

    Keep on rockin’ in the free world (x4)

    We got a thousand points of light
    For the homeless man
    We got a kinder, gentler,
    Machine gun hand
    We got department stores and toilet paper
    Got styrofoam boxes for the ozone layer
    Got a man of the people, says keep hope alive
    Got fuel to burn, got roads to drive.

    Keep on rockin’ in the free world (x4)
     
  8. Travelsong

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    I just wanted to add, I don't believe music has to have a message of hope to it, life isn't always like that, and art is meant to be an expression of life experience. What music should do is inspire the listener to think, and I believe a song like "The Sound of Silence" does just that.

    When I think of hopelessness and despair, one of the first songs that comes to mind is Billy Joel's "Piano Man". Now there is a song which fits your description perfectly. Not only is it hopeless, it leaves absolutely no room for hope, therefore the listener has no choice but to wallow in doubt and self loathing.

    On to more thought inspiring music. It's time for some Dylan. This might be my favorite song of his, then again it might not. On 1965's "Bringing It All Back Home" it's strictly acoustic with a single hamonica note to punctuate the end of each verse, but there are band accompanied versions of it. "It's Alright Ma (I'm only Bleeding)" should give you a good idea as to just why Dylan has recieved honorary degrees from schools like Harvard and Yale, as well as having college courses devoted to the study of his music.


    Darkness at the break of noon
    Shadows even the silver spoon
    The handmade blade, the child's balloon
    Eclipses both the sun and moon
    To understand you know too soon
    There is no sense in trying.

    Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
    Suicide remarks are torn
    From the fool's gold mouthpiece
    The hollow horn plays wasted words
    Proves to warn
    That he not busy being born
    Is busy dying.

    Temptation's page flies out the door
    You follow, find yourself at war
    Watch waterfalls of pity roar
    You feel to moan but unlike before
    You discover
    That you'd just be
    One more person crying.

    So don't fear if you hear
    A foreign sound to your ear
    It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing.

    As some warn victory, some downfall
    Private reasons great or small
    Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
    To make all that should be killed to crawl
    While others say don't hate nothing at all
    Except hatred.

    Disillusioned words like bullets bark
    As human gods aim for their mark
    Made everything from toy guns that spark
    To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
    It's easy to see without looking too far
    That not much
    Is really sacred.

    While preachers preach of evil fates
    Teachers teach that knowledge waits
    Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
    Goodness hides behind its gates
    But even the president of the United States
    Sometimes must have
    To stand naked.

    An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
    It's only people's games that you got to dodge
    And it's alright, Ma, I can make it.

    Advertising signs that con you
    Into thinking you're the one
    That can do what's never been done
    That can win what's never been won
    Meantime life outside goes on
    All around you.

    You lose yourself, you reappear
    You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
    Alone you stand with nobody near
    When a trembling distant voice, unclear
    Startles your sleeping ears to hear
    That somebody thinks
    They really found you.

    A question in your nerves is lit
    Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy
    Insure you not to quit
    To keep it in your mind and not fergit
    That it is not he or she or them or it
    That you belong to.

    Although the masters make the rules
    For the wise men and the fools
    I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.

    For them that must obey authority
    That they do not respect in any degree
    Who despise their jobs, their destinies
    Speak jealously of them that are free
    Cultivate their flowers to be
    Nothing more than something
    They invest in.

    While some on principles baptized
    To strict party platform ties
    Social clubs in drag disguise
    Outsiders they can freely criticize
    Tell nothing except who to idolize
    And then say God bless him.

    While one who sings with his tongue on fire
    Gargles in the rat race choir
    Bent out of shape from society's pliers
    Cares not to come up any higher
    But rather get you down in the hole
    That he's in.

    But I mean no harm nor put fault
    On anyone that lives in a vault
    But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.

    Old lady judges watch people in pairs
    Limited in sex, they dare
    To push fake morals, insult and stare
    While money doesn't talk, it swears
    Obscenity, who really cares
    Propaganda, all is phony.

    While them that defend what they cannot see
    With a killer's pride, security
    It blows the minds most bitterly
    For them that think death's honesty
    Won't fall upon them naturally
    Life sometimes
    Must get lonely.

    My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
    False gods, I scuff
    At pettiness which plays so rough
    Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
    Kick my legs to crash it off
    Say okay, I have had enough
    What else can you show me?

    And if my thought-dreams could be seen
    They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
    But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
     
  9. MichaelJoseph

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    Do you think that the vast majority of people analyse the lyrics of songs?

    What is the mood of the music? This greatly influences the way it is felt within your body.

    BTW a comment on all the songs posted, unless I missed one, not a single one of them showed that Jesus was the way of salvation.

    Can anyone honestly say that from any one of these songs, or even a combination, that someone could get enought knowledge to be saved?

    In answering this question, limit the knoweldge of the listener to an unbeliever.

    No all songs need to be uplifting to point to Jesus, there are plenty of good hymns that are depressing, but there is a difference, the lyrics usually convey a totally different picture.
     
  10. Mike McK

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    Mike, the point wasn't "secular music that presents the gospel", it was "secular music compatible with a Christian world view".

    Important as the Gospel is, it's only part of the Christian world view.

    So far, many of the songs are compatible with a Christian world view.
     
  11. Johnv

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    I'm not a fan of painting "secual music" with a broad brush. Besides, if anyone tells me I'm not honoring the Lord when I sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", they're welcome not to join in, but I will in no way refrain from singing it.
     
  12. Mike McK

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    Not to put you on the spot, John, but do you sing the National Anthem at ballgames, too?
     
  13. UTEOTW

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    Just a comment...

    The songs I quoted from. You've got a couple about Jesus (or God) helping those in times of need, a couple about the crucifixion, and one where the singer takes solace (a true story from the singer's youth BTW) that Jesus heals the scars and wounds after his mother's death and that they will meet again in Heaven and the Jesus is coming again. How much more do you want from a secular artist? Not even all the songs in hymnal deal explicitly with salvation.
     
  14. Johnv

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    Absolutely, yes.
     
  15. Mike McK

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    Absolutely, yes. </font>[/QUOTE]Good. I thought I was the only one who still sang.
     
  16. Bro. Curtis

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    Here's some wordly lyrics compatable with the Christian viewpoint.....

    Darling you can't love but one
    Darling you can't love but one
    You can't love but one and have any fun
    Oh darling you can't love but one

    Darling you can't love two
    Darling you can't love two
    You can't love two and your little heart be true
    Oh darling you can't love two

    I'm riding on that New River Train
    I'm riding on that New River Train
    That same old train that brought me here
    Is gonna carry me away again

    Darling you can't love three
    Darling you can't love three
    You can't love three and still love me
    Oh darling you can't love three

    Darling you can't love four
    Darling you can't love four
    You can't love four and love me anymore
    Oh darling you can't love four

    Bill & Charlie Monroe
     
  17. Travelsong

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    Anyone familiar with The Kinks? I just recently started getting into them. So far I've got "Something Else By The Kinks" and "The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society". Does anyone know of other music that sounds like this or with this subject matter (kind of an examination and celebration of middle class life)?


    Anyway I'm really loving these guys, I'm gonna hafta pick some more of their stuff up.

    People Take Pictures

    People take pictures of the Summer,
    Just in case someone thought they had missed it,
    And to proved that it really existed.
    Fathers take pictures of the mothers,
    And the sisters take pictures of brothers,
    Just to show that they love one another.

    You can't picture love that you took from me,
    When we were young and the world was free.
    Pictures of things as they used to be,
    Don't show me no more, please.

    People take pictures of each other,
    Just to prove that they really existed,
    Just to prove that they really existed.
    People take pictures of each other,
    And the moment to last them for ever,
    Of the time when they mattered to someone.

    People take pictures of the Summer,
    Just in case someone thought they had missed it,
    Just to proved that it really existed.
    People take pictures of each other,
    And the moment to last them for ever,
    Of the time when they mattered to someone.
    Picture of me when I was just three,
    Sucking my thumb by the old oak tree.
    Oh how I love things as they used to be,
    Don't show me no more, please.
     
  18. Butterflies4mami

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    well, to be honest this is hitting a little close to home for me. I enjoy different kinds of music, and hubby forbids it. I feel like I am changing me to keep all ok on the home front.I listen to some while he is at work, but feel terrible doing it.I do not listen to anything depressing or whatever, but he does not want anything except Gospel in our home. I have recently tried to talk to him about it, but he is pretty firm, sigh! I feel bad about feeling bad! Oh, well,does anyone have any ideas of how to approach this subject better?
    In Christ,
    peggy
     
  19. Johnv

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    Well, I know I'm gonna get smacked for this one, but your husband has no biblical authority to forbid you from listening to music that you enjoy, especially since you, as a Christian woman, have made the determination that the music you listent to is neither unGodly, nor does it compromise your walk with God.

    Men who act in this manner abuse their spousal authority and resonsibility.


    You should not change for another person. This is extremely unhealthy. If you want to change, the only person you should be doing it for is you, not your husband. But in this case, I see no biblical reason for you to change who you are.

    He forgets that it's your home too. Very selfish of him, imo. He's enforcing his personal taste on you, which, ultimately, will leave a bitter aftertaste with you. Hey, I love Gospel music as much as the next person, but after a while, I gotta get some Beatles time in!!! I'm sure if you forced him to listen to Mozart 24/7, it would drive him crazy. You have every right to let him know that you listen to what you want t listen to when he's not around, and are not ashamed of it.
    Sometimes, tough love is the only out. Be firm with him and tell him you're putting your foot down. There's nothing wrong with the music you listen to, and that he's abusing his husbandly authority by treating you like a child instead of a spouse.
     
  20. Headcoveredlady

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    Peggy,
    Be thankful that you have a godly husband who is concerned about the souls in his home. He is accountable to how he leads you and his children. He will have to answer to God one day for how he leads you and his children. It sounds like he is very aware of this responsiblity.
     

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