One of the things I enjoy doing is illustrating messages with some sort of pop-culture item. What I don't understand why is it okay to use "secular (I hate that word)" poems, books, movies, and quotes to illustrate a message but when it comes to "secular" music...some church goers get uptight. Somewhere in history the word Christian went from being a noun to a verb. I write this blog to say, sometimes the best way to illustrate a point is by using a "secular" song. I am not condoning the use of songs that are blatantly evil. I am merely suggesting songs that have powerful truths that would never come out of the Christian music industry. This means...we have to listen to secular music to do this. Oh boy! For those who say, "you should not be quoting secular sources," let's go down that road for a moment.
First of all, have you ever examined who let's say the apostle Paul quotes in Acts 17:28 when he says, 'For in him we live and move and have our being... .' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' He is quoting Aratus of Cilicia. How about Titus 1:12 Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." Who was he quoting here? How about Epimenides of Crete! Just for kicks, what about I Corinthians 15:33 Paul writes, Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." hmmmm....nice saying, sounds biblical...but he quoted Menander, author of the Greek comedy Thais. So what is the deal with these people he is quoting? All Pagans. And how would he happen to know that information? Perhaps he read their poetry and pulled these quotes to use for his teaching purposes. This is just one SMALL example of how bible teachers used "secular" things to drive the point across.
Can the Holy Spirit of God not redeem a "secular" song and use it for God's own purpose? I love the idea that he can! Imagine God ransacking the music aisles and declaring it to be his territory, his arsenal, and his voice. We willingly engage nature and non-human aspects of creation in order to get closer to God, why not engage secular media for the same purpose?
If people would stop judging things they don't understand, perhaps the Christian life would be something more people would be more interested in. What Jesus had all setup as a beautiful thing in the new testament, the church has torn to pieces. To quote Paul, Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh" he wasn't talking to the Gentiles...people who heard about the message and believed and got behind it. He was talking to the "Good Christian Jews that lived by the law" that made the gospel something it shouldn't be.
Funny story: About a year ago I had a couple come to the church I pastor. I knew this couple from my early teen years and literally got discouraged that they showed up at Radiant Fellowship. They would not fit in and make my life as the pastor unpleasent. It just happened we were talking about "A Couples Love." To drive the point, the intro music was Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Pride and Joy." Let's just say after that service this couple is being a blessing somewhere else.
"All Truth is God's Truth"-St. Augustine