We want songs that reinforce the good in our hearts. Are the lyrics lovely, pure and good?
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever wins respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovable, whatever is of good repute–if there is any virtue or anything deemed worthy of praise–cherish the thought of these things.”
We may want to ask ourselves, “does the song put a block between me and the Lord?” That’s not good. Do the lyrics lift our hearts and minds to worship God? Can we thank the Lord for the song?
There is a long history of hymn singing in the Christian church. The New Testament records that early Christian worship included singing of psalms from the Old Testament. The psalms were written to be sung, which is what the Apostle Paul encourages us to do in Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
We are told in Psalms 66:1-2, 81:1-2, 98:4-5, and 100 to make a joyful noise to God (singing). Psalm 98:6 tells us to use trumpets and the horn. God loves to hear His children praise Him with music! Martin Luther, who co-produced a hymnal in 1524, helped return hymns to the people, declaring “I place music next to theology and give it the highest praise.” It wasn’t until the late 17th century and early 18th century and later that many of our current hymns were written. These were contemporary in their day.
Music is spoken of many times in the Bible. A few examples are as follows: 1 Samuel 18:6 (singing and dancing. . . with tambourines, with musical instruments), 1 Chronicles 15:16 (singers with instruments of music, harps, lyres, loud-sounding cymbals to raise sounds of joy), 2 Chronicles 5:13 (trumpeters and singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and glorify the Lord), 2 Chronicles 7:6 (priests stood at their posts and Levites with the instruments of music to the Lord), 2 Chronicles 34:12 (the men did the work faithfully . . .and the Levites, who were skillful with musical instruments). So even those of the priestly class were making music.
A Christian may listen to any Christian music which lifts his heart and mind to holy, spiritual worship. The specific style of Christian music is a personal one.