Christians and Concerts
While working with a congregation where many young people attended, I received a phone call from one of the older members who was at that time teaching the high-school class. As we discussed the material they were studying, he mentioned that they had just finished a lesson entitled, “Because We Love You, Let’s Talk About the Music You Like.” The teenagers had examined the topic, and many had stripped shelves and MP3 players of inappropriate music. (Yes, these were the days of CDs and iPods!) The older man suggested that I write an article for all age groups on a similar subject, “Christians and Concerts.”
As I considered a suitable approach, I couldn’t help but remember the children’s song, “O Be Careful Little Ears.” The first verse goes something like this:
Oh, be careful little ears what you hear,
Oh, be careful little ears what you hear,
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little ears what you hear.
The second through seventh verses continue:
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see...
Oh, be careful little mouth what you say...
Oh, be careful little hands what you do...
Oh, be careful little feet where you go...
Oh, be careful little mind what you think... and
Oh, be careful little heart what you love...
This song puts in simple, memorable terms how Christians need to be acting every day.
When deciding whether to attend a music performance, we would do well to consider the words of this children’s song, asking ourselves these simple questions:
1. Am I being careful with my “little ears”? What will I be hearing? Remember, Jesus says, “Take heed what you hear” (Mark 4:24).
2. Am I being careful with my “little eyes”? What will I be seeing? John warns, that “all that is in the world... the lust of the eyes... is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16).
3. Am I being careful with my “little mouth”? What will I be saying (or singing)? “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man,” the Lord says, “but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man” (Matthew 15:11).
4. Am I being careful with my “little hands”? What will I be doing? Paul prayed “that you do no evil... but that you should do what is honorable” (2 Corinthians 13:7).
5. Am I being careful with my “little feet”? Where will I be going? “My son,” Solomon advised, “do not walk in the way with sinners, / Keep your foot from their path” (Proverbs 1:15).
6. Am I being careful with my “little mind”? What will I be thinking? “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
7. Am I being careful with my “little heart”? What will I be loving? “Keep your heart with all diligence,” the wise man commanded, “for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
Granted, there are concerts which provide wholesome entertainment, but there are others that defile. Paul said, “Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). In other words, if any kind of evil tries to invade, Christians must not get caught up in it. Peter adds, “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries” (1 Peter 4:3, emphasis added). If the concerts we want to attend are going to exemplify any of these, Christians should not be there.
Lewdness: “filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament).
Lusts: “evil desires which are ready to express themselves in bodily activity” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary).
Drunkenness: “an overflow or surplus of wine [or any alcoholic drink]” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary).
Revelries: Entertainment that turns into chaotic parties, often associated with drinking. In the first century, merry-makers would grow steadily more drunken, light torches, babble songs, frolic, and dance (Vincent’s Word Studies).
Drinking parties: Similar to drunkenness, this describes events where participants “sip the wine.” (i.e., drink but not to intoxication). Yet, this is still condemned, and Christians are not to be present at these gatherings (Robertson’s Word Pictures).
There are concerts that can be enjoyable and decent, yet as Christians, we must be careful. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Whatever the activity, we must be careful, discerning whether our attendance and endorsement is bringing glory to God.