Is listening to rap music a sin?
When it comes to being a Christian, we know that there are many things that God tells us that we should or should not do.
For example, we know that we shouldn’t commit adultery or steal things that aren’t ours.
We know that we should read our Bibles and give generously. However, what about the things that aren’t explicitly talked about in the Bible? What do we do with those?
One of these subjects is music.
Music is something that generally most people enjoy.
Everyone tends to have their own taste in music. Some like pop music, others like country, but one genre of music that tends to get a bad reputation, especially in Christian circles, is rap music.
Considering some of the subject matter or the language that is used in rap music, many Christians wonder: “Am I allowed to listen to rap music?”
Let’s see what the Bible has to say.
Permissible, but not beneficial.
As I wrote earlier, genres of music are something that isn’t necessarily mentioned in the Bible.
Since rap music and many other popular musical genres today didn’t exist in biblical times, it’s hard to imagine that the Bible would mention what genres we can and cannot listen to. However, even though it may not be explicitly mentioned in the Bible, there are principles that we can use from the Bible to figure out how we should approach rap music as Christians.
In fact, Paul puts it plainly in 1 Corinthians 10:23 when he says while all things may be permissible, meaning that we can do anything we want, not all things are beneficial.
To understand the depth of this statement, we must remember why God commands us to do anything at all.
Why would He tell us to do some things but refrain from others?
Well, put simply, it’s because He cares for our well-being.
Sin, by nature, is self-destructive.
It damages the one who commits it, so God tells us not to do those things.
They aren’t beneficial for our general well-being.
We know this in everyday life.
There are many things that we do that we know aren’t necessarily beneficial for our well-being.
We may know that eating a donut isn’t going to make us healthier, but we do it regardless.
So then, if rap music isn’t mentioned specifically in the Bible, we must ask: “Is rap music beneficial according to a biblical standard?”
One of the biggest problems that arise from listening to rap music is some of the content that is within the rap songs.
Many (not all) rap songs are about glorifying drugs, sex, and alcohol, and many are extremely degrading to women.
Does God desire us to glorify drugs, sex, and alcohol?
Does God desire us to degrade women? I think the answer to those questions would be an obvious no.
So then, does God desire that we listen to things and support things that glorify drugs, sex, and alcohol or things that degrade women?
Well, according to Paul in Philippians 4:8, we are to set our minds on things that are good, worthy of praise, and morally upright.
Therefore, we should not be setting our minds on things like drugs, sexual promiscuity, alcohol, and the degradation of women.
The problem when it comes to media consumption is that when we consume media, it affects us in one way or another. Our minds are set upon the things that we consume, sometimes merely for the duration of the media and other times for much longer than that.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we often become what we consume.
If we are to become holy as our Father is holy, surely, we shouldn’t be consuming content that is focused on things that are so contrary to the Lord.
READ MORE: When Do We Go to Heaven?
So, is all rap music bad for Christians?
What does need to be addressed is that not all rap music is focused on glorifying ungodly things.
There is plenty of rap music out there that has good and pure subject matter, Christian and non-Christian rap.
As with all things, we must simply be discerning in what we choose to consume.
There are not many things in this world that can be labeled with a moral absolute.
Again, we must consider what is beneficial.
Just as not all TV shows are bad, there are certainly ones we should not consume as Christians, not all rap music is bad, but there are certain songs we should not consume as Christians.
If you are looking for rap music that is glorifying to God, look no further than artists like Andy Mineo, nobigdyl, and the whole indie tribe group.
Rap music can be glorifying to God, you just have to find the right artists.
READ MORE: What does the Bible say about wasting food?
Focus on the relationship
The most important thing to take away here is that having a genuine and close relationship with God will carry you through these tough questions.
Just the fact that you are reading this article shows that you are desiring to please God, and I believe that He will honor that.
Just don’t forget the role that the Holy Spirit plays in all of this.
Especially when it comes to things that are not specifically mentioned in the Bible, the Holy Spirit will help you figure out the right thing to do.
He not only guides us into all truth, but He also convicts us when we are participating in things that are not glorifying to God.
Seek His voice, and He will let you know if you need to stay away from certain things.
Also, remember that something that may not harm someone else may not be beneficial for you.
God may give you different convictions than someone else, and that’s okay!
In all things, trust God’s voice and allow Him to lead you, even when the answer seems unclear.
Spend time in the Word and prayer, and He will make your paths straight.
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