The other night I sat down to watch the Grammy Awards. It has been a long time since I chose to view the annual program, but I was particularly interested this year with the passing of Whitney Houston (what a sad story of a preachers daughter), and the vocal recovery of the singer Adele. With a few exceptions the music was terrific and uplifting. I particularly enjoyed the 50th Anniversary observance for the Beach Boys. For the first time in a number of years the boys (now old guys!) were together on stage, accompanied by some popular bands of today. What great fun!

I love all kinds of music. Jazz, R&B, Classical, Rock, Pop, Contemporary Christian, Southern Gospel, Progressive and even a bit of rap (A BIT)! You name it, I have probably listened to it in the last week. Music has spoken to me in so many ways throughout my life, its power is undoubtedly a gift from God.

When I think of the difference it has made in my life, I am saddened that many American Christians do not approve of all the various styles of music God has given for our enjoyment or the variety of instruments available. Certain styles of music or instruments have been deemed by some as being evil, or inappropriate for Christians to enjoy. Certainly, like all things in this life, music can be used for evil or good. There are lyrics that are evil or good in the eyes of God. There are behaviors associated with the music being played that may be evil or good. But as for style or instrumentation, I see no such teaching in the Bible. In fact we can read throughout the Psalms of a wide range of instrumentation …I believe there in no musical instrument in the world that cannot be of uplifting use to the human spirit, or used to worship God. From a Kazoo, to a trombone, bongos, guitar or harmonica- all can be used in a pleasing way to God.

Sadly, many Christians think that the only instruments appropriate to use in church are a piano, organ or wind instrument. (The apostles didn’t even know what a piano was, let alone an organ. In addition, it is believed that the harp David played during his life probably looked more like a guitar than anything else…)

I am so glad that at Living Stone, we can enjoy many styles of music and most any instrument invented! I believe this is how God would have it to be! Heaven will be filled with all kinds of instruments, with the most amazing light effects anyone on earth has ever seen!

Please let no one think I am judging them and their convictions. We all must come to those with God’s help. No judgment here on your own personal taste either, I was never much of a fan of Opera, but if you love it- more power to ya! Let’s just not declare that something is displeasing to God because we don’t personally enjoy it.  As for me, I just love the freedom that is available in Christ and the beauty of voice and instrument together- all of them.

If my reasoning is challenging to you, let me ask you to read Psalm 150. God loves variety! In closing,  as the Beach boys would say: “so take a lesson from a top notch surfer boy…catch a wave, catch a wave…(of music)’ll be sittin on top of the world!

God bless,

Pastor Paul