Monday, January 23, 2012

Every Song is a Sermon

"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."  - Proverbs 25:11

Communication is powerful.  The Bible warns about the power of our speech, suggesting we have the power to give and take away life with our words (Proverbs 18:21).  If you have ever received an insult or a poorly timed thoughtless comment,  or been brought from the depths of despair by a generous word, you know what this verse means. What we say matters, even in the things we think are just mindless amusements.

We can't escape the fact that worldviews are embedded in the arts and entertainment around us.  When the message is true and good, we walk away better people.  When the message is false and distorted, we walk away a little more broken than before whether we feel it or not.

Every song is a sermon. Every movie is a message.  Every book has a mission.

From a longer post at

The church historically has worked itself into quite a few knots over what to do with culture.  There’s Jerusalem, and there’s Athens:  should they intersect or not?   To update Tertullian, what does Hogwarts have to do with Narnia, or LMFAO with Third Day? 
The Apostle Paul’s dove right in to Greek and Roman culture,  plundering the works of their own mid-level philosophers and using them to represent truth about the Kingdom of God.  While at the Acropolis (Acts 17), Paul quotes from a Hymn to Zeus written by the Hellenist poet Aratus (“For we are indeed His offspring”);  he also references Epimenides (“In him we live, and move, and have our being”),  who is credited with building the altar to the unknown God.
Cultural may be fallen, but cultural expressions of belief and faith can be redeemed.  We need the wisdom to “understand the times, and know what to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).  Acts 17 also shows that while cultural apologetics will not take away the offense of the cross for everybody,  it can clear roadblocks on the way there for some.
We, the people of the Word, must be mindful of what we say, but we must also be alert to the messages we absorb.  There is power there.  We are being changed daily in one way or another.  We cannot go through life mindlessly absorbing and regurgitating the messages around us.  The solution is not to withdraw into frightened Christian cliques. We need to engage the messages and the messengers; discern what God would have us do and say as we bring redemption to a broken world; and take truth to a culture that so desperately needs to hear Christ's message of hope.

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