Music is a very popular and widespread way for believers to consume values and teaching. It also helps us get through bad times and it expresses our love and devotion to God through worship songs. However, I’ve found that much popular spiritual music is tainted by bad teaching, or worse, has roots in false teaching.
Accepting and using songs with bad or harmful spiritual values not only helps spread false teachings that are not from God, but it also makes its consumers blind to how bad they really are and resistant to actual truth and good teaching.
It is true that we should make and sing songs for worship and each other (Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:16), especially during holidays, celebrations, or when we are in times of trouble - “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with [our] hearts to the Lord; and always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father” (Ephesians 5:19).
New Testament examples of this are when the Lord and His disciples sung a hymn after their Passover feast when they had the Last Supper (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26), and when Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi, which is in modern day Greece; they prayed and sung hymns of praise to God when they were freed with a miracle and earthquake (Acts 16:25).
This use of spiritual music is good, however, I have also seen many believers become addicted to Christian and worship music, listening to it constantly. People can become addicted to God and religious things. Religious spirits love for people to do this and be too focused on spiritual songs, praising, etc. and to do these things too often. Jesus and the disciples did not need to listen to hymns or spiritual music all the time to keep the fires of the Spirit burning in them. It is actually prayer and getting rid of sin or the enemy’s hooks that are the best tools for this.
Some people use scripture like, the apostle Paul stating, “Rejoice always [and] pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17; 2 Corinthians 6:10), as a reason to constantly saturate themselves with praise, prayer, and Christian or worship music, but remember we cannot take statements like that literally. Paul did not mean to say we absolutely, always must make ourselves full of joy in the Lord or pray constantly. We can't literally do those things all the time.
Paul meant these things figuratively, so instead, we should treat statements like this as urgings to try and joy in the Lord and pray when appropriate, especially when we aren't feeling good. This is why singing hymns is encouraged when we are in hardship. However, forcing special effort into joying in the Lord all the time is not natural, and it is something religious spirits and false-christs want and teach.
It can be very confusing to see where true and healthy faith is, and where our behavior turns into unhealthy fervor, or where or when religious spirits attach to it or produce it. Unhealthy addictions are completely invisible to those who have them. I couldn't see them in myself until the Lord brought me out of them.
And now after many years of seeing how believers act and consume unhealthy media and teaching, I must warn you to be concerned if you must listen to Christian music “all the time,” meaning you have it on almost constantly, especially worship music.
Worship music is meant to praise the Lord, and we are supposed to give our full attention to that, so if you’re always listening to worship music and only half paying attention to it and half-praising as you go about life, don’t you diminish what should be praise to God?
If anyone can't be without worship or gospel music for long, then they are addicted and likely have religious spirits. We don't need to have religious music playing constantly to be connected with God, and in the same way, we don’t have to be in constant prayer through the day either.
It is when our habits and choice of media becomes unhealthy and even dangerous, that we should be very concerned with what and how we consume things. To help you discern better what music is good or not, the following color-coded list ranks songs by various degrees of what is good or bad. May it help you in your spiritual life.
|BLUE: Songs with no problems and proper for worship - Worship to God needs the proper focus in the music and lyrics, so our praise and feelings for God are emphasized, while having the feelings themselves are not overemphasized. Overemphasis on feelings can lead to addictive use of music and singing, because it feels good to use or participate in it.|
|Amazing Grace Requiem by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|Beautiful Things by Gungor|
|Blessed Be Your Name by Tree63|
|Brave by Nicole Nordeman|
|Come Thou Fount |
|Desert Song by Natalie Grant|
|Fade With Our Voices by Jason Gray|
|Faithful by River Valley Church|
|Famous One by Chris Tomlin|
|From The Inside Out by Hillsong|
|Great Is The Lord by River Valley Church|
|HaShem - The Name by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|He Will by Ellie Holcomb|
|Highest Praise by River Valley Church|
|Hosanna by Paul Baloche|
|How Deep The Father's Love For Us by Nicole Nordeman|
|How Great Thou Art by Paul Baloche|
|Prayers Of Psalm 5 by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|Prayers Of Psalms 6 and 7 by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|Shemini Atzeret - The Last Great Day by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|Solid Rock by River Valley Church|
|Song For Pentecost From Psalm 8 by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|Song For Yom Teruah by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|Sovereign by Chris Tomlin|
|Strength And Salvation Of Psalm 3 by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|The Earth Is Yours by Gungor|
|The King Of Psalm 2 by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|The Lord Knows Of Psalm 4 by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|Waterfall by Chris Tomlin|
|GREEN: Songs with no problems but not proper for worship|
|4:24 Contradiction by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|America Simmering by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|Christmas Pipes by Celtic Woman|
|Days To Remember by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|Every Season by Nicole Nordeman|
|Finally Free by Nicole Nordeman|
|Grace by Phil Wickham|
|Healing In His Name by Ty Alexander Huynh, Written by Barney E. Warren|
|I Am by Nicole Nordeman|
|Lament For The Bride by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|Lead Me by Sanctus Real|
|One Day by Matisyahu|
|Process by Ty Alexander Huynh, Written by Enoch Alademerin|
|River God by Nicole Nordeman|
|Small Enough by Nicole Nordeman|
|Someday by Nicole Nordeman|
|Sometimes A Prayer Will Do by Celtic Woman|
|Soul Song by Ty Alexander Huynh|
|This Mystery by Nicole Nordeman|
|To Know You by Nicole Nordeman|
|YELLOW: Songs with some problems|
|Before The Morning by Josh Wilson||Overemphasis on God's love, ignoring God's judgment and reasons for it. God brings both the good and bad[2.1.3].|
|Holy by Nicole Nordeman||Overemphasis on God's love, ignoring His desire that we change, repent, and improve (sanctify)|
|I Will Not Fear by Jeff Kerr and River Valley Church|
|Some overemphasis on God's love, ignoring God's judgment and reasons for it. God brings both the good and bad[2.1.3].|
|Your Great Name by Natalie Grant||Use of false belief that the enemy can always be rebuked with the Lord's name. See John Dau's Dream for more about that.|
|RED: Songs with serious problems – Generally, connections to more harmful false guidance and teaching was found in this music.|
|All Is Well by Michael W. Smith and Carrie Underwood||Connection to false guidance from God Calling books. See Light Within for more on that.|
|Be Thou My Vision ||Overemphasis on carnal love for the Lord. See Light Within for more on that.|
|Deep In Love With You by Michael W. Smith||Overemphasis on carnal love for the Lord. See Light Within for more on that.|
|Divine Romance by Michael W. Smith||Overemphasis on carnal love for the Lord. See Light Within for more on that.|
|More Like Falling In Love by Jason Gray||Overemphasis on carnal love for the Lord. See Light Within for more on that.|
|Pure Bride by Leeland||Overemphasis on the false teaching that God will only redeem or save "pure," sinless Christians in His Second Coming. See Light Within for more on that.|
|Various Songs by Take His Heart Ministries||Though Take His Heart may have some good songs, many of them have close ties to the false guidance they get. See Light Within for more about Take His Heart.
|What A Friend We Have In Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven, and other authors in some versions||Overemphasis of God being only a doting God, who only brings support and good things. Though there are good focuses of bringing all things to God in prayer and getting strength in Him, there is the major theme of overemphasis in God's love, which ignores that He brings both the good and bad[2.1.3], and that adversity is often because of sin, and so God brings judgment for it. The requirement of being righteous to get many of God's blessings and protections is ignored or overlooked. These kinds of viewpoints are often spread by false teaching from imposters of the Lord. See Light Within for more on that.
If you didn’t find a song in the list, then it was not evaluated. If you would like music evaluated, feel free to ask for an evaluation through the contact form…
God bless you into mature and healthy relationships with the Lord, through Mashiach Yeshua – Christ Jesus. Amen.