An article was in the local Paper by a Pastor at a Church right in my town of Moreland: (My response follows)
Published Saturday, February 16, 2013 in Religion
Pastor’s Corner: Remaining pure from pop music
BY DANIEL AUSBUN
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, MORELAND
Last weekend I attended Winter Jam at Philips Arena with the youth group from church.
I witnessed thousands of teenagers, incredibly loud, going crazy over their favorite singers. Nick Hall was the evangelist between sets. During one of his messages he showed video clips from Justin Bieber and One Direction – the crowd went wild – crazier than the Christian music we were there to listen to.
Labels such as rock, alternative, R&B and contemporary are now morphed into one: pop. If you have a beat and good lyrics – record labels will be interested. Something’s wrong with today’s pop music.
It’s become more sexually explicit and it’s geared toward teenagers, even children.
Every middle schooler knows Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. Music is one of the biggest impacts on teens.
The Federal Trade Commission recognized a problem with the influence of music upon young people. The FTC said the recording industry “has not visibly responded” to its calls to stop targeting violent and sexually explicit material to underage consumers. “Unfortunately, the music industry response, at least so far, has been disappointing in its failure to institute positive reforms,” claimed FTC chairman Robert Pitofsky. If 13 years ago our government recognized a problem with music’s sexual influence on young people, has it improved today?
The music industry today is huge, racking up over 4 billion in sales in the United States alone, and kids are their target audience. It’s an industry that is no longer primarily about music. It’s become another avenue for selling porn and sexualizing younger and younger children in the process.
The music industry excels at promoting across every platform available – especially video. Nearly every major pop star produces pornographic music videos and pushes them to your children through Twitter links, Facebook fan pages – new videos generate millions of hits in hours – and YouTube videos, plus MTV.
The stars often reach down into the children’s market to cultivate new fans, creating brand awareness among even the youngest children that ensure future success and million dollar revenues.
Take, for example, pop star Katy Perry.
She is wildly popular with preteens, and has long left her Christian roots behind. In her latest album, “Teenage Dream,” her nearly naked, pornographic show flashes between beach flirtations and sex in a hotel room. In an interview, she boasts about resisting record company efforts to tone down her song “Peacock,” baldly sexual in its connotation, because she spells success “s-e-x.”
The same Katy Perry has been featured on Nickelodeon’s “Kid’s Choice” music awards, guest starred on “Sesame Street” and appeared in the 2011 children’s movie, “The Smurfs.”
Every sixth grade girl seems to love her. This is an example of the kind of purposeful, deliberate, crossover marketing the music industry has perfected. Katy Perry is not a good example nor a role model for any child.
Why does this matter to Christians?
The Bible calls young people to set an example in purity (I Timothy 4:12). Pop music today is music porn. Ephesians 4:24 says when someone is saved, they put on the new self. This includes your music. It will be challenging for a preteen or teenager to follow Christ, yet listen to today’s top 40.
One solution – throw away your impure pop music and replace it with Christian music. I was saved in high school. I used to listen to Metallica. I had all their CDs – hundreds of dollars’ worth. After I met Christ, God told me to get rid of them.
I remember loading all my Metallica music into my truck, driving to a dumpster and chunking them all. I didn’t even resell them. I lost a lot of money that day – but I gained so much more. Christ has called His children to purity – and pop music is now music pornography
My Response: There was a place for comments and I tried to post one, but as of this writing, it had not posted. I’ll update if it shows up. I can agree with this pastor on a few things. Some pop singers do go a little far with the sexual references and dress provocatively. But It was his blanket statement that really spurred me to write this response. When he said, “Pop music today is music porn.” I just had to think about that and challenge it. I really LOVE some of today’s, and yesterday’s music. I don’t think it ALL is bad, or evil. Does he think only “POP” is evil? The sexual connotations are certainly included in the country and rap genre’s as well. But really, I think it is a parent’s responsibility to check what her children are watching and listening to at each age. And decide what is appropriate. And I am such a music lover this was a disturbing article. I could not imagine limiting my children to one genre of music, Christian music. I feel so very blessed to absolutely LOVE so many genres! Music moves me. It motivates me when I need it. When I feel depressed, it lifts me! I have listened to music every day for as long as I can remember! In my teens when I heard Boston’s “More than a feeling” it was just WOW! I can’t explain how wonderful a song can make you feel. And you can hear certain songs and it reminds you of a certain time of your life. Songs and music are priceless! Now, I can’t see anything in those lyrics (more than a feeling) that would be displeasing to God. I believe I instilled a love of music in my children, and in turn, my kids have introduced me to music. I honestly, in my heart of hearts do not believe all Pop music or Pop artists are evil. Yes, the industry markets it in a way that I don’t necessarily approve. And I am selective. I am not in favor of songs that are “raunchy”. But, yes, there are some good selections out there. Seriously, God is not telling me to get rid of my music. I think he is the one who has gifted the artists with the wonderful talents. Just my take on things.
(this might sound bad, but dang, kinda wishing I knew where he dumped that Metallica collection, ok, JK)
UPDATE: MY COMMENT Posted:
Making a blanket statement that pop music is now music pornography is not true. Some pop music is wholesome and very good. The burden in on the parent about what a child should listen to at each age. I do not think all pop artists are evil. And I enjoy music of just about all genre’s. Moderation is the key. If the lyrics are raunchy, you might want to steer away from that one. But music is so ingrained in my life. I wouldn’t want to take that out of my children’s life. Or limit them to one genre. As a teen hearing “Boston’s more than a feeling” WOW! Now, I don’t think God would find those lyrics offensive. Music is Wonderful!
Note: I have a music blog as well. I am very slow at posting. I have only written about a few artists, but I plan on writing more as inspiration hits: http://bettylovesmusic.wordpress.com/
Interesting quotes from Don Mclean’s American Pie “I saw Satan laughing with delight, the day the music died”
“Now do you believe in Rock N Roll? Can music save your mortal soul? And can you teach me how to dance real slow?”