So here’s the question: what is the purpose of music? First answer: to listen to! Obviously, if music was never listened to, there would be no use for it. But I think the question is more like, why does it benefit (or degrade) us spiritually, physically, and emotionally? That question, however, is quite broad, as music styles range from my personal favorite, choir and orchestra, to gospel, bluegrass, country, jazz, rock, and many others. The effects of these different styles can vary greatly, so I will focus in on Christian music; music that is dedicated to the glory and honor of our Heavenly Father. It’s not my purpose to rant about what styles I think that includes or excludes, but rather leave it to you to decide in your own heart what music you feel truly pleases God.
When we create music, it should be for:
- The glory and honor of our Lord, Jesus Christ
- The furtherance of His Kingdom
- The edification of the Saints.
Performance should be secondary. Not because it’s wrong to perform well, but because when there is too strong an emphasis on performance, the music loses its message. In my post on The Greatest Audience, I describe further how the greatest audience truly is Jesus Christ because he is bigger than any other audience we could ever have. Yes, God loves music well done. But He loves even more, when it is done to Him.
If this is what creating music should look like, than shouldn’t that be the purpose of listening to it as well?
So why does music speak to us even if it is a piece with no words? Simply put, it’s because music is spiritual communication. It is the only language that all human beings can understand.
So let’s put all this into a condensed list.
The purpose of Godly music is:
- To honor and glorify God
- To edify the saints
- To convey a message that can’t be spoken
- To shine a brilliant light to those around us in the world.
Isn’t that cool?
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”