What Are You Listening To?

-Pastor Robbie Cheuvront

As a worship pastor, I get asked a lot what I’m listening to and why. I never really thought about it much, why people would care what I have on my iPod, but I guess it’s a logical thing to assume that people would want to know what I listen to. And it got me to thinking…. what DO I listen to? And why DO I listen to it?

Well, first of all…. I come from a very eclectic musical background. I grew up listening to everything from Led Zeppelin, to George Straight, to Beethoven. I have a deep love for rhythmically driven music. I love a good groove. Because of my background in classical music, I love unique melodies that play against a counter melody. I love the bigness of sound that an orchestra creates. I love to hear three or four part harmony between vocalists. I love big, fat, jamming guitars, while at the same time… I love the cry of a steel guitar on a country ballad.

At the end of the day, I realized I listen to the things I listen to, because I’m a lover of music. Stylistically, I enjoy a wide range of music. And I can pretty much listen to anything… at least until the words start. And over the last few years, that’s where I’ve found myself drawing a line in the sand.

See, I’m not trying to be pretentious, or sanctimonious, by any means. But I’ve come to realize that Edward Bulwar-Lytton was absolutely right, when he penned one of the most famous lines ever spoken… “The pen is mightier than the sword.” I don’t think even Lytton was aware of how music would evolve, and how it would shape culture as we know it today. And unfortunately, I fear people have taken advantage of their freedom of speech to propagate some really bad messages.

Nowadays, I tend to listen mostly to Christian radio. Christian music has come a long way from the bad synthesizers and weak drum beats, or the hokey songs that make Christians sound like they’re a member of some weird club like or like some children’s show, such as the Wiggles (not gigging on the Wiggles!…. just saying). It’s just that, as I ride around in the car, and as my kids are sitting in the back seat, I hear them pick up on the lyrics of songs quickly. There’s nothing better than hearing my kids singing, “How great is Our God… sing with me how great… is our God!” or “Christ is risen from the grave… death is overcome by death.. come awake, come awake, we are one with Him again…” And I realize that they are being shaped by what they hear. This is how I want my kids to grow up.

I’m certainly not suggesting that you don’t listen to anything but Christian radio. I believe it’s important for your children to know that there is a big world out there… and the majority of it doesn’t think or live like we do. I think it is naive to assume that your kids will just eventually come around to Jesus. God is sovereign, yes. And nothing man does will thwart His plans. But we are responsible for our choices and will be held accountable for them. I do not want to stand before God one day and have to give an account for why I did not surround my child with every opportunity to encounter Jesus that I could. But spending the majority of our listening time to Christ centered music makes it easier to explain the negative things we hear on other radio stations, or even TV when they hear it. It’s also pretty awesome when I don’t even have to say anything because one of them quickly speak up and say something like… “That’s not very nice….” or, “They shouldn’t say things like that”.

So, parents… and non parents…. what are you listening to? Do you realize that the pen IS mightier than the sword? Do you realize that you will become like the things you involve yourselves in? Music is a VERY powerful tool. I hope this post will cause you to think about what you are listening to and why.

grace and peace to you all…

-robbie

 

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