World Songs

Ya know, there’s an awfully lot of threads about music on this forum: is this type of music acceptable? Will I go to hell if I listen to The Doors? or Motley Crue? It’s a tough question: if we find something morally objectionable yet aesthetically enticing, it’s hard to tear ourselves away from it! Oh, how I’ve been there!

I’d like to add to this question, though: Should Christians avoid listening to music from the world’s different religions on a regular basis? For instance, let’s say I happen to like an Islamic nasheed called, “Mercy to Mankind,” which might be a song praising Prophet Muhammed, there doesn’t appear to be anything evil in listening (on a regular basis) to such a song, but should it be avoided for other reasons? In fact, I actually happen to like the music of Krishna Das…but if you know anything about Krishna Das or his music, “Hare Krishna, Hare Ram” is a very popular motif!

For me, listening to something like “Hare Krishna, Hare Ram,” amounts to little more than singing along to something like “Camptown Races” around the campfire: the “Oh-the-doo-dah-days” have just been replaced by chants of “Hare Krishna” which actually mean something. But they mean something to someone else. Not me.

But if Krishna is not the true God, or if Muhammed is not truly a Prophet, as we Christians would say, then is Satan laying some sort of trap for us when we are “chanting” these phrases, even though we believe in One God and His Son Jesus Christ?

No doubt, we should surround ourselves with good wholesome music to affirm our convictions in Christ, but are our convictions damaged when we’re listening to music from the world over?

There is a song I really like on the CD “Buddha Lounge”. I can’t understand it, but know it has something or other I don’t believe in. I like the music, don’t understand the words, and try to just enjoy the tune, which I really like. All beauty comes from God and I acknowledge that.

I love world music. One of my favorites is Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - I have him on my iPod, and enjoy his music. I’m sure he is probably singing something about Allah or Mohammed, but the words don’t affect me anymore than listening to George Harrison sing about Krishna.
If you’re a secure Catholic, listening to good music won’t cause you to suddenly lose your faith or convert, IMHO.

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