If you remember, in my intro post, I mentioned that I am a youth pastor. I am in my 8th month of youth pastoring now, and I would like to discuss with YAR an issue that am dealing with as a pastor: Music.
Nine months ago (before I was a YP) music was not an issue at all in my life. I listened to whatever I wanted to, and on occasion I would censor some “bad stuff” from myself. For instance, if the song blatantly objectified women (i.e. anything on MTV), promoted violence, sex, drugs etc. I would try to avoid it. That being said, my personal “censoring filter” was pretty generous. By and large, if I liked the way it sounded I listened to it.
That was nine months ago. When I became a YP, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was looked to as an example, and, among other things, I needed to reconsider what I was listening too. So, for a while I decided to cut myself off from all secular music, thinking, “whatever is right, whatever is pure……[listen] to such things.” (Phil. 4:8)
That didn’t work for two reasons. One, I could not find much Christian music that I really liked, and I wanted to be listening to something. I found myself longing for the foo fighters, coldplay, lynard skynard, CCR, and the list could go on….and don’t judge me for my taste in music. That’s the stuff I like. The other reason, I found that I don’t completely agree with everything that Christian artists are playing either, and Christian radio just isn’t that good.
There a still a number of questions that I deal with. Is it alright for me to listen to the music that I like, yet advice my youth group otherwise? I don’t feel real good about suggesting they listen to Christian music, because I don’t want anyone telling me that. On the other hand, I would not be very comfortable with my youth group listening to whatever they want….like I used to. Maybe what it comes down to is music is something that I need to give up. Christ never split any hairs about what it would cost to follow him, yet I am dragging my feet on giving up a form of entertainment for myself. If I can’t give up music, then I’m not sure how I can give up my life. This would be a perfect example of making a mountain out of an ant hill, but as JUnrau says here, this is what YAR is for. I think I agree with him, so I would like to hear your opinions.
Another thing to think about with all this is money and legal stuff. As a Christian, can I justify spending x amount of dollars on music for my own entertainment when we have been charged to look after the poor, orphans, widows, marginalized etc. On the other hand, can we justify getting our music by illegal means? How many of you have music on your computer/ipod/cds that you copied from somewhere or someone and have not paid for it? By definition that is illegal, and I hardly doubt you can call it civil disobedience.