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Why do we assume that music alone is immune from cultural decay?

Slash Record Release Show For "Slash" At The RoxyThat culture in America is decaying is no secret to conservative Christians. Recent events surrounding homosexual marriage has once again pushed this realization to the forefront for we who have high moral standards rooted in the Word of God.

But marriage isn’t the only cultural issue under attack; conservative Christians recognize the slow (and ever quickening) rotting of biblical values in any number of areas including politics, education, the sanctity of life, cinema, sports, and gender roles.

This leads me to pose a question that Ken Myers raised when he and I had a conversation a few months ago:

If Christians recognize anti-biblical values in just about every cultural matter, why do they assume that music alone is immune from this cultural decay?

Oh sure, they’ll quickly point to anti-Christian lyrics as examples of cultural decay in music, but what about the music? What about the form itself? The lyrics have been influenced by anti-Christian values, but not the music? The lifestyles of performers have been influenced by anti-Christian values, but not the music? The atmosphere and ethos of secular music concerts have been influenced by anti-Christian values, but not the music?

As Ken pointed out to me, most Christians will even recognize decay in other art forms, but somehow music is exempt.

Why is that?

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.