The Four Bases Of The Totality Of Life
To me, the purpose of the arts is to introduce people to life in all its breadth and complexity and thereby to find oneself, others, the world and God more fully. Gary Collins
The life of man can be broken down into four basic relationships:
a. Man and his relationship with God
b. Man and his relationship with others
c. Man and his relationship with himself
d. Man and his relationship with nature
Do these four relationships exist in God’s Word the Bible? Yes they do. The greatest commandment in the Bible (Matthew 22:36-40, Deuteronomy 6:4-5) reads:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
The first part of this commandment deals with man’s relationship to God. The second part, love your neighbor as yourself deals with man’s relationship with himself and others.
All the commandments God gave to the children of Israel in the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible written by Moses) exemplify the four bases of the totality of life. For example the Ten Commandments given in Exodus 20: 2-17:
In Leviticus, God gave man a series of laws to govern not only his spiritual life but his natural existence too. The book of Leviticus has laws concerning the feasts the children of Israel were supposed to observe like the Feast of Trumpets, the Passover, and the Festival of Shelters among many others. The book also has rules concerning the offerings the children of Israel could bring to God that were acceptable in his sight. God also gave the children of Israel laws concerning nutrition, personal hygiene, and family issues. These rules governed man’s relationship with himself, God and others.
It Is Not The Subject Matter That Matters
The subject matter of a song is what a song is all about. Musicians have written songs about every experience known to man. The Bible, God’s Word to mankind in one way is a record of everything humanity has been through since God created the world. Most Christian artists tend to craft their songs only around spiritual themes but I believe they need to aggressively talk about issues that happen in humanity too. Kirk Franklin in a recent interview on Rapzilla said, “There’s a church parking lot conversation, but Christian hip hop still at times sounds like the 11 o’clock service conversation …”
The Bible Covers All of Life
When you read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations, you find stories that encompass the entire spectrum of life. The Bible has stories that cover topics like sibling rivalry (Cain and Abel – Genesis 4:1-16), war (Joshua 10), economic hardships (2 Kings 7:1), and prosperity (1 Kings 10:27) italicize the scripture. Sadly, it seems that most Christian artists only cover themes from the Pauline epistles or the book of Psalms. It is as if Christians believe that only certain books in the Bible are edifying when communicated through song big allegation to make. We as Christians have largely left the communication of life issues through song to ungodly musicians.
The Futility of Ungodly Music
Ungodly musicians have taken up the mantle of educating the public about life issues through song. However most of the secular music across different genres fails to paint an accurate picture of the reality of life. Most secular music is merely a glorification of ungodly relationships, drugs and money.
What makes a song Godly or ungodly?
It is not because a secular musician sings about relationships that makes their song ungodly. It is the mindset or perspective from which an artist tackles an issue that makes the song Godly or ungodly. It is not singing about drugs that is the problem. The Bible too has stories and verses that address the issue of alcohol. However the Bible tackles alcohol consumption from God’s point of view. One Bible verse reads, “
Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18”. Christian musicians should stop being afraid of tackling a broader range of issues in their music.
The questions a Christian artist should ask are:
a. From what perspective I’m I tackling this issue?
b. What is my number one motive in writing about this subject?
Britton, D. (2015). www.dougbrittonbooks.com. Retrieved January 28, 2016, from http://www.dougbrittonbooks.com/onlinebiblestudies-selfworthandrespect/loveyourselffirst-shouldilovemyselffirst.php