Dec 01 2011
On Being Too Secular. Or Too Christian. Or Whatever.

When you work in public, you get lots of input.  And you better like it.  Shoot, roadside construction workers get input from passers-by.  ("You guys taking another break?")  It's the nature of the biz.

I occasionally hear I'm "too secular".  A legit point, well-made, and sometimes gracefully put.  I love getting feedback.  But it's a good chance to explain something, so that - even if you think I'm messed-up - you'll know where I'm coming from.  It's always good to have your suspicions confirmed ("Now, I know this guy's messed up...")

I don't believe in a line between sacred and secular.

A tree isn't "secular."  A car isn't "secular."  And, while most agree my accordion will not be in heaven, it isn't "secular", either.

There are Christians in the music business, and not just in the "Christian Music Business."  Some of the best "Christian Musicians" will never win Dove Awards.  They play bass trombone for the Boston Symphony (Douglas Yeo) or principal trumpet for the NY Philharmonic (Phil Smith) or sing mezzo soprano for the Metropolitan Opera, like Wendy White.  They're not "secular."  They're gifted by God as artists, participating in His creativity, Soli Deo Gloria.

And your job?  Your computer isn't secular.  If you mop a floor at work, you're not mopping a secular floor.  If you're mowing grass, you're not mowing secular grass.

It's God's grass, man.

And Jesus didn't change water into secular wine.

You can now buy Christian-marketed pants.  Does that mean my current pants are secular?  Have the Christian pants truly repented?  And what can be done to reach my pants for Christ?

Is Left Behind a secular book series because it's sold in secular bookstores?  Is Relient K a Christian band, or, if MTV likes them, do they lose the "Christian" label?  What about The Fray?  What about U2?  You say "no" to U2?  Okay, what about Mercy Me, who covers U2 songs?  Or Sanctus Real, who covers U2 songs?  Or Michael W. Smith, who covers - you know - U2 songs?  (And Chris Tomlin's song, "Where the Streets Have No Name"...? You better sit down.)

What if an album is recorded in digital by a secular producer, with a secular studio bass player, mixed in analog by a Christian, and then mastered by an agnostic, printed by a Christian-owned-CD manufacturer, and distributed by Sony, before being played on Christian radio stations?  What then?

My head hurts.  Good thing we really don't have to keep track, huh?

I believe the Kingdom of God is here, and the King wants everything.  All truth is God's truth, which means we can be unafraid of finding it, as we do, all over the place.  And we find it in unlikely places.  "Secular" scientists can find it.  And so can - you know - smelly animals:

“I had a professor one time... He said, 'Class, you will forget almost everything I will teach you in here, so please remember this: that God spoke to Balaam through his ass, and He has been speaking through asses ever since. So, if God should choose to speak through you, you need not think too highly of yourself. And, if on meeting someone, right away you recognize what they are, listen to them anyway'.”
― Rich Mullins

And, oh yes, your favorite Approved Christian Publishers (TM) and Christian Radio Personalities (TM) can miss it.

So, if you hear me talking about what you consider "secular" news stories, or secular TV shows, or secular hot dogs you can have sent by mail, well, just know what my problem is:  I don't see the world that way.  I used to.  I don't anymore.

God's grace, His beauty, His truth, His obvious HUMOR -- it's everywhere.  The whole earth is filled with His glory.

Can our culture misuse it, abuse it, discolor it?  Oh, sure.

For now.

But, like Mike Yaconelli said:  Our purpose isn't to condemn the culture, it's to redeem it.

Comments (91) -

12/2/2011 12:18:18 PM
Mark United States
Mark
Brant-Great post! I get tired of my brothers/sisters in Christ applying the Christian/Secular labels to everything and using those labels to somehow determine what's acceptable and not acceptable to my life as a Christian. One last thought... I'd much rather hear/see a talented artist who happens to be a Christian and is living out their beliefs instead of an artist who's beliefs may be in question but is using the "Christian Market" as a means of making money.
12/2/2011 12:31:15 PM
Josh T United States
Josh T
U2 is NOT a christian band, watch this if you think they are,......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51LwUv2YBEk
12/2/2011 12:31:19 PM
Anita K. Wilson United States
Anita K. Wilson
I have walked this Christian walk for over 40 years and have seen more people turned away from God as a result of "holier than thou" attitudes. We are not "of this world" but we still live here. Many people will not set foot in a church but through a friendly conversation about football or recipes or a TV show will experience the love of God that can change their lives for ever.
12/2/2011 12:33:23 PM
Matt United States
Matt
Bam! Out of the park! I've been mulling over this lately too.  When did the word "christian" become an adjective to label things and cease to be a lifestyle involving beliefs and relationships?
12/2/2011 12:34:01 PM
Sarah United States
Sarah
Great post! I find that I can't relate to many women in my own church because they all seem to put this label on everything and since I listen to a lot of "Secular" music and watch "secular movies and tv" I am somehow considered less of a Christian because of it. I think people just feel the need to label and define everything. There are clear wrong and right choices in our lives but the rest is personal, based on one's own convictions and personal relationship with God. I think so many miss the point that what they feel in their heart as right for them is someone right for all or wrong for them is wrong for all. Then they label secular and Christian as to mean wrong and right.
12/2/2011 12:37:31 PM
Cindy United States
Cindy
I laughed hysterically when you mentioned "Christian" artists covering U2! Sadly, I know people who'd rather hear the covered version of "secular" songs b/c it was done by a professed Christian.  And that depresses me; if God gave us each a gift and each person is at peace with how they use it, who in the world are we to condemn?  
12/2/2011 12:44:33 PM
Joe United States
Joe
Josh, I think you missed Brant's point that the division between secular and Christian isn't always so clear. Sure some of their stuff may not be Christian and they are certainly not in the "Contemporary Christian" camp of music, but Christian artists are covering their stuff, kind of blurring the lines there.
Brant, great wisdom as always.
12/2/2011 12:48:08 PM
BJ English United States
BJ English
I think you can drive people away by being too Christian and if you speak on their level, but let them know that you do not approve of certain actions, words, behaviors because you are Christian, then most people, who are worth your friendship, understand that.
I don't like to hear curse words, don't watch things like Sex in the City or South Park or Family guy, but do watch Modern Family and like it and think it has redeeming qualities.
I don't drink or smoke and don't think any Christian should. Don't like gossips, don't like putting people down and laughing about it, or saying the president is an idiot, or anything that seems secularly acceptable, but doesn't honor Christ.
I guess bottom line, that is it... if your behavior and actions don't honor the one who made you, then you need to re-evaluate why you act that way - is it to fit in and be cool or accepted, or because it's "harmless" or you just get sick of being a goody-goody and need to take a wild break.
I was listening to "I can't get no satisfaction" today on another radio station because I was sick of that stupid song about the guy who met a woman whom he feel in love with and she moved on and when he was in the hospital dying, she was his nurse or something like that... anyway the song was okay once or twice, but after the third time, it was just a story, not music.
Sometimes you need to take break from Christian practices without going off the deep end, just like if you hang out with someone you love too much, you need to take a break from them, but you also need to not abandon them or do something Christ would not approve of or that others might see you do and wonder how you could call yourself a Christian and still do that, but everyone needs to be REAL. Walking in the crowd and following the crowd rules is exhausting and makes you feel dead sometimes. Sometimes you need to break free and run and play and whirl around without fear of breaking something or knocking someone over and just play and enjoy life.
You can be a puritan on a pew or a John the Baptist type of guy, living in the world and being a part of it, without letting it corrupt you in return.
I talk and write too much, but basically, everyone needs to be individualistic in how they worship Christ to some degree and if your heart is really where it should be, no matter what you do, people can see you love Christ and that inspires them to think that they could too and still not be the Crazy Christian who quotes verses and ends all arguments with, well, at least I'm not going to hell like you are...
12/2/2011 12:50:23 PM
slouchy fedora United States
slouchy fedora
U2 is NOT a christian band, watch this if you think they are,......

@ Josh T  -- methinks you missed the point.
12/2/2011 1:03:19 PM
Joanna United States
Joanna
I fall on the opposite side, sort of. My only problem is that as a Christian what you put into your soul is what tends to come out. If you listen to music that deals with ungodly things then it makes it harder to walk a Godly path. I will even go so far as to say it irritates me to no end to hear supposed "Christian" artists talk about how much they like The rolling stones or Tom Petty. I mean really? I love God and you are right there are way to many lables, but as Christians we should worry about what pleases God. And I am sorry, but if you are listening to someone singing about getting drunk or having sex, (out of marriage,) or other sinful stuff then that is not pleasing to God and the Bible tells us that. There is no need to condemn people who do only prayer works in the end anyways.
12/2/2011 1:24:01 PM
Becky United States
Becky
Hey Brant,
   Nice Blog today. I think you hit the nail on the head with that one...there is just one thing I disagree with you on. I believe you will have an accordion in heaven Wink
12/2/2011 1:58:20 PM
Nate United States
Nate
Josh, for future reference, youtube videos "EXPOSING THE TRUTH!!" about such-and-such "Once and for ALL" (with obligatory caps)is probably just some bozo sitting around with nothing to do, trying to make a name for himself to pretend he "has a ministry." Come on now. Be a little more discerning.

12/2/2011 2:00:32 PM
Stephanie Hosszu United States
Stephanie Hosszu
Gotta go with Joanna on this one... and I do agree with alot of what you said, but if Jesus wouldn't watch or listen to it, we shouldn't either.  That should be our line between "secular" and Christian.  
12/2/2011 2:06:55 PM
slouchy fedora United States
slouchy fedora
Gotta go with Joanna on this one... and I do agree with alot of what you said, but if Jesus wouldn't watch or listen to it, we shouldn't either.  That should be our line between "secular" and Christian.

The problem with "If Jesus wouldn't watch it..." is that it reduces our GOD to nothing more than a monitor.  It reduces our faith to a simple set of rules.  

12/2/2011 3:01:16 PM
Grace h United States
Grace h
Great post, Brant.  I've been called "too secular" before and it really stumps me.  I mean, Jesus made a tax collector (worst of the worst) into a disciple!  And then we condemn people as being "too secular" to have anything to do with, to be a good witness, to love the unloved.  It reminds me of Shane Claiborne's book "The Irresistible Revolution."  Secular isn't real.  But Christ is.  
12/2/2011 3:01:20 PM
Marie United States
Marie
I think we should be more discerning in what we take in; as the saying goes, "garbage in, garbage out".

I'd argue that, while '"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything.' - 1 Corinthians 6:12

While that deals with sexual immorality, I think it can be applied to other things in life.  Will what I listen to give glory to God? Will what I watch be a good witness for Christ?  What will I wear that won't be a brother's stumbling block?

It doesn't make my faith into a bunch of rules; it makes me more aware that my sister standing next to me may have a weaker faith and I should safeguard that.  I hope that makes some sense. Smile
12/2/2011 3:06:07 PM
Kyle B United States
Kyle B
Amen. I am not going to try to take away from the awesomeness of this post by adding to it....because it couldn't be said any better than right here. Amen again.
12/2/2011 3:15:47 PM
Brant Hansen United States
Brant Hansen
Marie, it makes some sense.

I do notice, though, that any time we discuss not being legalistic, we get the "weaker brother" argument. That's odd to me, for a few reasons, but one is, "When do the 'weaker' ones get told to grow up?"

Weak is not good.

Paul did PLENTY of teaching to get them to do that, to realize what freedom in Christ is, and BLASTED those who tried to put the law back on us, by hook or by crook or religious argument.  

We don't need to "answer" Paul's arguments to freedom by saying, "Well, let's not get too carried away."  But that's what he had to deal with, apparently, all the time. ("So should we go on sinning, then...?" - he encountered these exact arguments, which confirms, to me, that this message of freedom is spot-on.)

If we can possibly, for a moment, allow people to realize just HOW INCREDIBLE the grace of God is, that we're really, honestly, seriously, not-jokingly, FREE, perhaps they'll fall in love with God, and be led by the Spirit, rather than by the law, which brings death.  

And maybe the Holy Spirit will really change us, and we'll live by the Spirit, and not by our religious laws.  (Galatians 5)  

I'd like to try it. Who knows? The "Good News" might take off. It's actually really good!
12/2/2011 3:19:55 PM
Anna United States
Anna
"I think we should be more discerning in what we take in; as the saying goes, "garbage in, garbage out".

I'd argue that, while '"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything.' - 1 Corinthians 6:12

While that deals with sexual immorality, I think it can be applied to other things in life.  Will what I listen to give glory to God? Will what I watch be a good witness for Christ?  What will I wear that won't be a brother's stumbling block?

It doesn't make my faith into a bunch of rules; it makes me more aware that my sister standing next to me may have a weaker faith and I should safeguard that.  I hope that makes some sense. Smile


Marie this makes complete sense and I couldn't agree more! Smile
12/2/2011 3:20:39 PM
Jessika Canada
Jessika
What can I do to reach my pants for Christ? That totally made me think of something Tim Hawkins would say!!!
Anyway, nice blog today mr brant, you r awesome! Have a good day!
12/2/2011 3:46:32 PM
Nate United States
Nate
Yeah slouchy, we really have no idea what Jesus would have watched, at least not in generalized terms that you could coherently define without an immediate contact with the situation. Jesus put himself in compromised positions quite regularly, for various reasons. (case in point- he was a carpenter who hung out with fishermen- do you really think cuss words bothered him?) So it's out the window with the lists of "approved materials for Christian consumption." The Bible would not meet many people's criteria.

Apologies in advance for my obtuseness, but this subject hits a nerve with me:

Brant, thanks for kicking this one out there.

There's another point lurking behind this, in my eyes.  We should not ask "what art is suitable for Christians" but "what is a great example of human expression?" It's a matter of good art vs. bad art. God is holy, not a marketing niche.

I ask this because Christian art and music doesn't get a pass because it's in the "Christian" category.  If it's glib, visionless, shrill, without nuance, and theologically bankrupt, it is, simply put, bad.  Awful, in some cases, by any serious artistic or theological standard.  There are some people that need to come to terms with this.  Christian does not equal good.

On the other hand, while much of the art world produces content that's not some airbrushed approval of abstinence 'til marriage or whatever, and in fact is created by boho-alcoholics living lives of terrible dissipation, yet it's more objectively valuable.  That's because it's expressing something deeper, more real, and closer to the human story (and therefore the Biblical one) than the almost nonsensically whiny and sparkle-encrusted "contemporary Christian music." Once again, if you want to roll with the lists of criteria, go ahead and rip the Psalms out of your Bible.

Picasso made better art than Thomas Kinkade. Kinkade's faith is not a litmus test as to whether we ought to consume it or approve of it.  

Make your choices wisely.  Nirvana isn't for 10-year olds. I would force my grandmother to sit through a Tarantino film with me.   And there's a whole different issue of what's "useful" in church, but by an artistic (or even theological) standard (and therefore from God's perspective) much Christian art falls short while the "secular" material can be better expressed, more truly human and honest, and even at times more theologically accurate and moving. Must be time to ditch the labels.

That's because we should be shooting for good art, not Christian art. The better art, whether or not SNL's Church Lady would approve of it,  should be celebrated, not the latest pretend-spiritual magazine-cover Christian celebrity, no matter how many Bible verses they read onstage.  Recognizing this is maturity, not "compromising."

That said, I'm actually quite pleased with the output of many Christians in the past 10 years or so- true visionaries, ones that aren't just spoon feeding us a bunch of high fructose moral-pop trash designed to be Just Like Britney Spears Except Christian(TM).  Examples of this might be 16 Horsepower, Sufjan Stevens, perhaps Mumford and Sons... artists.

Classic examples would be JS Bach, Dostoyevsky, George Macdonald, Flannery O'Conner.

You don't have to like this stuff, and in fact, you can prefer MercyMe or Chris Tomlin, but it's still an issue of objective quality.  Smile

Soli Deo Gloria is right, my friend.

This is good art that happens to be by a Christian:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-vpAn15-vE
12/2/2011 3:51:08 PM
Brant Hansen United States
Brant Hansen
I'm guessing Nate's a fellow Chesterton fan...?
12/2/2011 4:02:21 PM
Adam United States
Adam
Exactly dude!
Nothing is evil or inherently good. However one uses an object determines if it is used for good or evil. Medicine can be used as a drug, yet it also can save lives. Knives can be used to take lives, but can also be used to cut vines or brush. Objects themselves cannot be good or bad. In addition subjecting yourself to something negative isn't sin if you have a good motivation. If you know someone addicted to porn, you can watch porn and have not sinned if your motivation is help them with their problem. The second you enjoy it, though, then you are a living lightning rod! ;) Actions in themselves, do not determine good or evil either; the motivations behind actions determine what is good or evil.
12/2/2011 4:14:36 PM
Nate United States
Nate
Yeah I seem to remember encountering Chesterton's opinion of this at some point. And heartily agreeing.
12/2/2011 4:29:10 PM
Sandi United States
Sandi
Well said, Brant.  Well said!
12/2/2011 4:59:45 PM
Caleb United States
Caleb
Wow, we reall do have a long way to go dot we? To live as a community as we ought too. "Christian" products (clothes, books, music, jewelry, etc.) are just a sIgn of how we've turned our curch model into a professional business model. As American consumers, we've just mirrored what we see around us, while the churches' economy should use love.
12/2/2011 5:18:02 PM
Denise United States
Denise
Great thoughts, Brant. Nice to see this stuff revived. A few months ago my sister and I were actually re-reading some old posts I had saved on my computer, and we decided someone should totally start a band called "Secular Grass".
12/2/2011 5:34:07 PM
Denise United States
Denise
As for the "garbage in, garbage out", I have to disagree. My dad listens to SCC, MercyMe, Chris Tomlin, etc., and he only talks to his kids to yell at them, only interacts to punish us for screwing up. I listen to Ben Folds, Foster the People, and Derek Webb (where does he go, anyway?) and I'm the one who protects my little sisters from my dad's rage, who holds them when they cry and lets them know they're loved by someone.

I'm not gonna say that it's a rule that people who listen only to Christian music are jerks, but I will say that it's *not* a rule that they aren't.
12/2/2011 5:59:34 PM
Nate United States
Nate
Denise- I'm so sorry you're in that position.

Wow, reminds me of my mom's household when she was young. She was the one terrorized by her alcoholic (church-going) mother, and her only protection and comfort was her older sister.

Yeah the folly of thinking that listening to Christian music makes you a better person or conditions you to be holy is really, really out there.  And by "out there" I mean "completely disconnected from reality."

One thing real suffering does is it teaches us not to be fooled by the silly moral facades presented by whatever establishment is exercising the tyranny.  To rely totally on Jesus. God bless you, and your sisters.
12/2/2011 6:24:30 PM
slouchy fedora United States
slouchy fedora
Denise... incredibly sorry you've had to experience that. I experienced something similar growing up.  A fire & brimstone southern baptist grandmother who took "use the word of God as a weapon" literally.  she used to chuck her bible at my head if I didn't sit up straight in church. Spoke out of turn... she'd "beat the devil out of me".

and Nate... your words... I wanna stitch them on a pillow.

and BECAUSE of the freedom of His grace... I am  going to a smokey bar tonight to listen to an 80's punk icon do an acoustic set. And have a glass of really good scotch.
12/2/2011 7:11:09 PM
Amber United States
Amber
I agree wholeheartedly, absolutely, positively, 100%. =)
I just don't really think about things the way you do until you post something like this and then I go "yeah, he's so right! why didn't I think about it like that before?" haha. you rock Brant.
12/2/2011 7:49:55 PM
KD United States
KD
So dead on Brant.  I continue to just enjoy listening to you.  Please don't take this as rude, not meant to be.  We are all human, and this human nature is shown no matter what we put in.  I'm sorry to say, but even if the holiest of us all eat for our meals only the holy Eucharist, or Communion, at the end of the process, the same, ummm, "stuff" comes out.

Christ's conversations chipped away at the establishment.  He was a "bad boy" for his way of thinking.  For speaking out in doing away with the old ways, the old laws.

If Billy Graham was reported in the company of prostitutes at a brothel, society would be all over it more than a Herman Cain scandal.  Imagine if Christ was here in this day an age.  Imagine the Twitter feeds, the Facebook posts, the news scandals.  Imagine Mary, the virgin mother, the scandal of her "virgin" pregnancy.  Would anyone believe her?  Would some churches kick her out for being unholy?

Choose for yourself what is right.  I do Christmas, I don't do Halloween.  Be it's roots Pagan or not, I consider Christmas the Christ celebration.  Halloween has nothing Christ in it... for me.  I eat pork, even if the disciples didn't.  I like Tiger Woods for his gifting, even if he has had human flaws in other things, just as I can be proud of Kurt Warner or Tim Tebow for their giftings and the Christ they bring with it.

So much more I could say, but I think you really nailed it.
12/2/2011 8:05:03 PM
Nate United States
Nate
I just re-read my longish comment, and it should read "I wouldn't force my grandmother to sit through a Tarantino film."  Ooops.  Sorry grandma.
12/3/2011 8:07:53 AM
Ken Hagerman(The Barba) Paraguay
Ken Hagerman(The Barba)
Great post. Christ wanted us mixed in not mixed up. He came as a physician for the sick not the well. It reminds me of this post called Folks with Sin. It was inspired by the Dr. Seuss story Green Eggs and Ham. http://wp.me/p1TFvp-7x

BTW Brant I have a series called Jesus Junk International that are make believe products that were sparked by this separation and marketing Christian sub-culture. you might like it.
12/3/2011 10:36:11 AM
Jethro Bodeen United States
Jethro Bodeen
Well said. Sometimes I see the church very similar to what's represented in the movie "Saved." "...where can I get the best Christian cheeseburger?"
12/3/2011 6:55:53 PM
stephanie United States
stephanie
"If we can possibly, for a moment, allow people to realize just HOW INCREDIBLE the grace of God is, that we're really, honestly, seriously, not-jokingly, FREE, perhaps they'll fall in love with God, and be led by the Spirit, rather than by the law, which brings death.

And maybe the Holy Spirit will really change us, and we'll live by the Spirit, and not by our religious laws. (Galatians 5)"

Amen and amen. Jesus + nothing = everything....the end.

12/4/2011 1:46:34 AM
Anja United States
Anja
Wow!  I really like this blog!!  A lot to think about!  I would say I am often guilty of trying to draw lines between what is right and wrong based on whether it is Christian or not.  It gets to be especially a problem when we think how Christian we are is what is going to save us.  Sometimes I think I've used it as a facade to cover up my mistakes ... but reading more Christian books, listening to strictly Christian music, going to church every Sunday ... these aren't going to give me extra brownie points to get into heaven!  In some ways, it can make one more like a Pharisee, trying to get attention for following the rules rather than focusing on our heart being in the right place.  My dad always tells me that it is okay to miss church sometimes ... it doesn't make one a bad person ... just remember Jesus sacrifice in your heart and keep Him in your heart on that day.  In some ways I don't think Jesus would want us to be judging what is right or wrong by secular or Christian ... we are not to judge, correct?  I also was stirred by the comment that some
"Christian" things are about money and not God.  I do believe this is true.  Someone could easily put "Christian" pants out there for a profit or for the money, but I believe mowing a neighbor's "Secular" grass because you want to serve someone else is serving Jesus.
12/5/2011 8:38:44 AM
Carrie Mendez United States
Carrie Mendez
i think this is awesome! So many christians want to be so legalistic about things and make other people feel bad to make them look so good because they listen to nothing but Chrisitan, work in a place thats all christian, do things that are all christian and hang around people that are all christians as if hanging with non-Christian people means you are a sinful backslidden christian,or listening to secular music is just wrong and sinful and against God (but Air 1 is totally worthy of all-day listening) Smile Christianity is not about checking off do's vs. don'ts, or about rules and regulations, or because you're a christian you have to....that is all legalism, and those thoughts are not from God, they're from Satan.Its like the saying goes "You can be too heavenly minded to be an earthly good".
12/5/2011 12:35:45 PM
katie United States
katie
love it Brant.
Christian vs secular is a filter that at first protects us, and helps guide us in a sense to honor God and not fill our minds with junk. But when it becomes a 'holier than thou' type attitude, then I get upset.
I loved what you said: It's all God. If we choose to love, honor, and follow Him, everything else just fades. It doesn't matter. Merry Christmas mates.
12/5/2011 1:26:25 PM
Desiree C United States
Desiree C
I hadn't thought of it that way before. Great thoughts. I do happen to only listen to Air1, Klove, or Christian band CD's because I believe that this music has the only message worth listening to and it uplifts my soul. I do agree with others when talking about the "Holier than thou" attitude; it turns more people off Christianity because it looks like we think we're better than they are, which isn't God's message. Merry Christmas everyone Smile
12/5/2011 5:42:59 PM
Todd United States
Todd
Very well put!  I've been accused of being both too Christian AND too secular.  I think we should simply live for Christ ans not worry about people fall on the spectrum.

Do you guest blog by any chance?
12/7/2011 10:54:31 PM
David United States
David
"If by my liberty Ive caused a brother or sister to fall Ive sinned against Christ Himself." Now who in their right mind would even want to RISK this?! None only IDIOTS who like to pretend to play the game and being a Christian. And that is what one is. A PLAYER// A FAKE// A FALSE Christian on their way to the lake of fire.
12/9/2011 7:43:36 AM
vincent United States
vincent
There is a differnce between right and wrong. We are "not of this world" even though we are in it. We can look secular doesnt mean we are. its our actions and our heart. I personally dont listen to anything but christian music becasue of the more positive messages. Music is a very powerful tool the enemy can use to persuade people, so you must be wise in what you listen to.
12/21/2011 5:21:10 AM
Mark United States
Mark
I was reminded of this post yesterday as I listened to AIR1 and heard more than one Christian artist singing a "secular" Christmas song which I think is GREAT! You even play a little Trans-Siberian Orchestra and those guys are definitely not a Christian group but boy they know how to get you into the Christmas spirit and have three excellent Christmas albums (yeah, I'm old) that have plenty of Christmas hymns on them. All that being said, my question is this... How many of my legalistic/labeling brothers and sisters in Christ get their noses out of joint because their favorite "Christian" artist is singing a "Secular" Christmas song... Just a little something to think about...  BTW-MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
12/21/2011 1:54:42 PM
Isabella United States
Isabella
Thank you Brant for these posts especially this one. They’re very thought provoking. This issue has been swimming in my head recently particularly when it comes to music and clothing. You did a good job covering this issue and I don't have much to add except that agree others who said to use wisdom when deciding whether something is ok to watch, listen or whatever. Ultimately, your own personal relationship with Jesus needs to your guide.
12/30/2011 12:55:38 AM
Jesse United States
Jesse
So I'm listening to Pandora and created a Mat Kearney station thinking that the "music genome project" can help me find more Christian, reflective  and musically gifted artists.  The problem is that so many of the artists that Pandora played seemed more like chameleons to me than Christian.  Now before you think I have missed the point of the blog, let me tell you what stands out to me about Mat Kearney.  First, his music and stand is clearly Christian, but is not religious as most would count it.  He is original in his style and has some fresh things to say.  Not every song (in fact, very few) are distinctly Christian, but that is okay.  I feel like he has a real relationship with God.  On the other hand, I see artists that seem to be using the Christian market as a launch pad to success.  I see music and every other thing as tied to my spiritual existence in relationship with my Creator.  When I go to work (my secular work) it is spiritual.  How I interact with people, the cleanliness of my home, my driving habits, etc all stem from my spiritual state.  All things are spirit to soul to  the natural.  What then am I to think of an artist who came up in church but lays no claim to being a Christian artist?  I tend to think coward... selfish... short-sighted, or simply missing it.  Where is the substance?  Where is the heart?  Where is the music that makes me think?  Where is the passionate declaration of withholding nothing from God?  I'm not talking about empty words.  Remember it is spirit to soul to body.  Not the other way around.  Perhaps I am disappointed.  It seems that all is going in the direction of the mediocre, and that will be the trend unless some true leaders rise up in the Christian music scene.
1/10/2012 11:51:23 AM
Wilma United States
Wilma
Good post, I agree... but were the curse words necessary?
1/23/2012 6:32:28 PM
=David United States
=David
Brant,

My mom sent me this link, and I'm glad she did.  I agree with everything you said, and it's going to become required reading for anyone I talk to about redeeming culture from here on.

I am starting up a blog/discussion site called zoettrope.com, focused on redeeming culture (specifically, films).  It's admittedly stolen from a pastor in Seattle who runs a blog called cinemagogue.com.

But stolen or not, the point we both want to make is this: our culture speaks volumes about our view of God.  Even some lines of clothing have doctrinal statements - I heard about a T-shirt tag that said "believe in yourself"!  But the church has historically been loath to engage culture and redeem it, so they just leave it where it sits and create their own version.

We're not called to create new culture and destroy the old any more than God created a new humanity and destroyed the old when he saved Noah from the flood.  He took His chosen people out of it and used the flood to put His glory on display.

That's what we're called to do.  Examine, engage, and redeem culture, and use it to show off God's glory to a world that couldn't care less about Christian music.

Good post, Brant.  Good post.
2/17/2012 6:12:59 PM
JohnnyBoy United States
JohnnyBoy
Have you people ever heard of backmasking? Go to youtube and watch the video called "The Bottom Line On Backmasking." You will see how music can be supernatural with subliminal messages to them, unintentional messages. Satan has his hand in secular music. To promote secular music is like promoting satan's agenda. I'm not saying ALL music that isn't Christian is satanic but I see you to be walking on dangerous ground promoting listening to secular music. Yes some secular music has positive messages but those are far and few between. Secular music as a whole for the most part has satan's stamp on it.
2/19/2012 3:07:37 PM
carrie mendez United States
carrie mendez
i know what backmasking is, i've heard samples before, I don't think backmasking is necesarily some satanic subliminal mind play-i don't think it proves at all that satan has put his "stamp" on secular music. This whole world and the culture of this world already has Satans seal of approval on it, because basically-if you accept it, live by it, love it, and run after it you have sold your soul to the devil. What is clear, i believe about backmasking is that its one heck of a popular excuse for people to use to get a lesser punishment  for sick dastardly deeds such as murder, or burning someones house or building up or blowing it to bits all in the name of "temporary insanity". They need to take responsibility for their own behavior whether they "heard" it between the lines, or acted on the words according to what they thought the words truly were saying. It all comes down to: they did it for the same reason that other people commit crimes:: they wanted to.
2/20/2012 2:49:32 AM
JohnnyBoy United States
JohnnyBoy
You obviously didn't watch the video Carrie Mendez. If you think music, movies, video games, corporate media etc. don't have an influence on people you are naive. I personally don't believe that it will influence someone to murder or blow up buildings. Maybe if they were tripping on acid it could be a possibility. That video proves how if certain words are sung in a certain tune you will get a message in reverse. If you sing the same words out of tune it will be gibberish when reversed. The Bible insinuates Lucifer being involved with music in heaven and I believe his hand is in a lot of secular music today. Maybe not all but a lot.
2/20/2012 2:49:18 PM
carrie mendez United States
carrie mendez
i think if you read what i said, i wasn't trying to say those things arent influential, I just said I think backmasking is an excuse for people  like the 4 kids in the early to mid ninety's who killed their parents and burned houses because the words of the goth music they listened to, and like the kid who committ suicide after listening to an Ozzy Obsbourne song. Its just people have a way of using backmasking in essence to say "the devil made me do it" No. the devil didn't make anyone do anything-you did it yourself cuz you wanted to. and if people really let themself be led astray by some subliminal message theyre idiots
3/1/2012 7:43:21 AM
brandy ross United States
brandy ross
I have recently came around to God again always been a Christian but fell way off the path after my mom divorced my "all the way around" abusive step father. he used the word secular all the time! Literally putting our hands in our pockets in church was a sin and would slap us up beside the head for it. I recall listening to pop music on the radio being caught and getting the belt. With that out there I ran so far (not to quote any flock of seagulls songs lol) from Christian anything. I think he literally beat it out of us lol but now I realize God was there and He made us all stronger. I am sure people think I too am too secular, my reply is I am growing in the Lord and again He is making me a better person. God knows I am not Him but I love Him with all my heart. He knows my heart and my soul. Smile
3/1/2012 8:20:29 PM
carrie mendez United States
carrie mendez
everyones a critic. i am faced daily with a group of people that think I'm way too holy, and another group of people that think I'm too secular. you know what really matters? What God thinks of me. and that is so so so so hard to do when the environment our parents make for us is conditioned to their own beliefs, judgements, and biases. Some of our parents' upbringing-if it was truly Christ like and Biblical--is good stuff, but when our parents' have mixed economic culture, denominational culture, or family culture with the radical teachings and commands of Jesus we get a mixed message. and that's not good stuff.
3/5/2012 9:00:23 PM
Kate United States
Kate
Nate - I was so excited when I read your long comment explaining the injustice done through Kincaid and other "high fructose moral-pop trash" Christian "artists"... I am currently a Student working toward a BFA with a focus in painting.  Fine Art is my passion and I derive great joy from seeing art made by the hands of Common Grace, by men and women like Picasso, who certainly did not intend to Glorify their Creator but, quite frankly, couldn't help to do so.

On a regular basis, when my Current Art Student status is revealed to sweet folks at church functions I am inevitably touched graciously on the arm and asked, "Oh dear, how do you deal with, well, you know... nudes? Being a Christian and all?"... At first I had no idea how to address these well meaning brothers and sisters.  But now I have gotten to the point where I look them straight in the eye and explain the marvelous opportunities and visual challenges that a human model provides a young painter like myself.  Now, there are some close Christian friends of mine that I know I couldn't pay to look at a Fine Art Nude, even in a respected Museum. And that is fine. But...  

As a young and hopeful artist I desire above all else to emulate and glorify my creator.  And our Lord did, after all, craft the human form with undeniable skill and artistic license.   The Human Body is Beautiful. I revel in the craft of my Lord when I struggle after him to understand its visual and artistic possibilities.  It breaks my heart when I meet young Christian kids, fresh from high school who have no idea or framework within which to process this reality of being in a Studio intensive art program.  They are raised in a Christian environment that equates the naked human form with sex and sex with SIN.  It is destructive and detrimental, and does a great injustice to the beauty and grace of God's design.

Lately I have restrained myself when I am asked the question ("how do you deal with... NUDES?") and I simply want to reply with "Well, if you must know, nudes are my favorite subject at the moment" and walk away... That would not be in Christian Love and Charity... But perhaps?

Good Art Glorifies God.  The End.
... well... there is always more to say it seems... lol
3/12/2012 2:50:27 PM
Matt Salzer United States
Matt Salzer
To summarize the whole secular vs. non-secular debate, we are in this world but not of this world.  We are the salt of the earth...if we lose our saltiness, we are nothing.

Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
3/28/2012 1:35:10 PM
Erin J. United States
Erin J.
I totally agree.  It annoys me when some says that something "isn't Christian" or that bands aren't Christian because Jesus or God is not mentioned in the lyrics.  Truth be told, I see it as I'm just a man and I don't know what God will or will not use to reach somebody.    
3/28/2012 1:45:14 PM
alisha lopez United States
alisha lopez
If you listen to or watch something that is deemed secular and that 'causes' you to stray from your so called Christian ways or your thinking or actions transform,  how close of a walk with Christ did you really have to start with. IF you are truly in the right walk with the Lord, you could sit in a bar, Ozzy Osborne blaring music in the background, Sex and the City on tv and your christian fortitude should stay intact. With exception of the disciples, Jesus hung out with 'the heathens' in non-secular areas. He MET THEM where they are in their walks in life. So, as a Christian, if you judge me sitting with a friend who needs a shoulder and we are doing that in a bar, or if we are sitting in front of a tv with Saw IV on talking to a neighbor and being what they need, and YOU judge me and call me less of a Christian than you..... please consider Christ and his walk ....
3/28/2012 1:59:06 PM
Christine United States
Christine
Our pastor calls those brothers and sisters who always check "how Christian" everything you do and say is "sin sniffers" *lol*.Btw they are doing so wrong  !
3/28/2012 2:02:12 PM
Chris United States
Chris
I believe it all comes down to personal convictions and not pushing our convictions on others. No person is greater than the other and all of us are in different places when it comes to our relationship with Jesus. Let's encourage relationship with Christ by loving Him with all that you are and obedience to what the Spirit tells you to do. Oh...and keep in mind that we ALL fall short. Kind of like the episode of Sponge Bob when he forgot how to tie his shoes. He kept getting up and falling down. In the end Gary (like Jesus) was there to help him tie his shoes.
3/28/2012 2:02:34 PM
Matthew H United States
Matthew H
@Wilma, the "curse words" were actually Biblical, as they appeared in the King James Version of Numbers 22.  Of course, most versions today describe God using a "donkey" to talk to Balaam.
3/28/2012 2:19:41 PM
Michelle M United States
Michelle M
I totally agree with you Brant. I think that's why alot of people like you because you ARE real. I wish we would all be more REAL. I think there is way too much judging going on and people seem to think there is only one side or the "other" but I see it more like you described. It is not my job to rid people of sinning. It is my job to be what God called me to be, which changes from moment to moment. I answer to God for ME and no one else. Plus it doesn't seem to matter if you are a preacher's kid or you grew up in a non christian home, everyone has to find God on their own. How many PK's stray away when they get older? I find that if I just be ME, then people will know what I believe without me even saying a word.
3/28/2012 4:22:37 PM
Carrie Mendez United States
Carrie Mendez
Kate, Christine and Alisha I agree totally. sorry if i spelled your names wrong. I too am a artist and had to confront the issue of "nude" models and even though I'm married--it was the same thing. I grew up hearing and being told over and over about sex being sinful-even if it was okay in the confinds of marriage--it was still--somewhat sinful because its about pleasure and that's of Satan and not of God and its a sin to look at the human body. Boy could I tell my story here. But God is the master artist and he made people and bodies to be special above all his creation. Now if you look and lust or look to lust over nude models and nude sculptures that is the sin part. Some people these days are really all too legalistic
3/28/2012 5:26:18 PM
Mary D United States
Mary D
Great post!
My husband worked with our church youth group for years and learned very quickly that in order to get the teens to listen to what you were teaching them, you had to meet them where they were.  That meant Monty Python movie night and listening to "secular" radio.  
I will never forget when the alternative radio station here in town (which played Red Hot Chili Pepers and Alice in Chains) began playing "Flood" by Jars of Clay.  I secretly laughed.  And then I sent a thanks to God because maybe one person out there listening to it would by that CD, for that song, and then hear "Lovesong for a Savior" and find their way to Christ.
I went to a Switchfoot concert in 2010 that was promoted by the local christian radio station as well as the alternative rock station. And it was at the local christian club (Murray Hill Theater, Jax FL).  The alternative rock station was the sponsor of the concert... hmmmm... but yet here we all were with hands held high during "Dare you to Move"... and I wondered if those who came there because of the "secular" song they heard went away with so much more.
My husband has often said that in regards to music, there are many "love" songs that can be about God as much as a human lover.  Its true.  And I also dont find offense to Jars doing a "love song" that is clearly for a spouse or Relient K singing about the thunder cats (gasp!).
I'm probably digressing, and I did not read many of the posts between yours and mine... but I just wanted to say.. thank you for yoru honesty.

Lets not forget, Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine.  So I doubt I am on a train to hell for having a glass now and then.  Its when I drink to the abuse of my body or put that "idol" in front of my God that I have issues.  The same can be said for many other things... including using the bible and the term "christianity"... sometimes christians need to get out of their own way and just let God do what He needs to through us.  
I have found that we earn more respect from the "unchurched" or those that are not "christians" when we come down off the pedistal and show people that we are human.  We are not perfect, only forgiven.Daily.Praise God cause we all need it.

Oh and BTW...
I love U2. And they are Christians, maybe not the way some would like or agree, but anyone who has heard the song "40" and read the lyrics knows that it could not be sung by someone that doesnt at least incine themselves somewhat towards the Lord our God.

"40" by U2
I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry.
He lift me up out of the pit,
out of my mire and clay.
I will sing a new song,
How long to sing this song?
He set my feet upon a rock,
and made my footsteps firm.
Many will see,
Many will see and hear.
I will sing, sing a new song.
How long to sing this song?
3/29/2012 10:28:01 AM
Angie United States
Angie
So, your insight here is amazing. This is an issue I really struggle with, and am trying to get past it's interesting, because my pastor just last night said something to the effect of, anything that cannot be done in faith is a sin. So it all depends on the condition of the individual's heart, which is something you and I cannot see. Only God can truly see the heart.

Thanks, Brant, for being you and following God.
4/2/2012 8:26:40 AM
Kathy United States
Kathy
Thank you Brant for posting your thoughts on this.

I was one of those people. I was one who didn't think that a band was real Christians if they were in the "secular realm". Personally Family Force 5 is the one that changed my mind on that. Us as Christians seem to judge others so much more than what other's do. It is very sad. It's unfair...it's like people expect us to be in a box, when truthfully that's not what God called us to do, he told us to go out into ALL of creation and preach the good news to all creation. I do believe that you can't really shove the gospel down someones throat, but you can show them love. If they notice that and you keep on loving them, you could very well lead them to a relationship with Christ.
4/10/2012 10:00:42 AM
Jaime United States
Jaime
Wow! I listen to anything, I will watch anything. That doesn't make me less of a Christian. I honestly hate when people tell me I am less christian than them because I will watch "r" rated movies or listen to Shinedown. It's all in the heart. I read Ted Dekker and Dean Koontz. I am no less Christian than you. It's how you use it. Watch what you want, listen to what you want, wear what you want. God know you.
7/8/2012 6:27:19 PM
Dennis Teel United States
Dennis Teel
i run across so many of these articles on the internet...topics concerning legalism..let me just say that it isn't listening to aerosmith or watching bruce willis movies that christians should be so concerned about..those things don''t condemn a person.if you believe such then you're a legalist and believe that following the law by the letter is required to see christ eventually.i know many people,myself included that listen to rock music,watch R movies but also lead very christian lives.lives wherein god blesses us and protects us continuallyand our prayers are answered always and our lives are overall richly blessed.people that have to follow the letter of the law to remain christian should continue in that process.it's an "individual" thing.all christians are different regarding their spiritual life and what kind of balance they can achieve and st the same time have a rich relationship with christ.some christians can't involve themselves in ANY kind of secular activity as they'd  lose their close relationship with god/.individulaity..many evangelists preach against individuality and preach that ALL christians are to think alike and do alike..good grief,charlie brown!!
7/15/2012 4:03:27 PM
jethro United States
jethro
I think the Word shows pretty clearly... If something wounds your concious, don't do it. If something wounds another's, don't do it. Up to that point, I think you have freedom. I've had alcohol in my house for over 30 years now. I cook with it. Never once have I been buzzed or drunk. If I know a guest will have a problem with this, away goes the alcohol, and I don't cook with it. Same goes with other areas. My motorcycle ministry goes on strip poker runs. (The stops are at strip clubs.) But, we don't enter the clubs. We just get our tickets punched in the parking lots. Some good.Christian folks are scandalized by this. Gotta be where the folks are that need the gospel. Just like Jesus...
7/15/2012 4:57:36 PM
Jethro United States
Jethro
=> David, 12/7/2011 -

I'm confused by your stance. You mention "...only an idiot would..."  Matt 5:22 specifically mentions that "...whoever says "you fool" shall be guilty enough too go into the fiery hell." The word "fool" in this passage is Morose, meaning dull, stupid, or foolish. Sounds like "idiot" pretty much equivocates to "dull" "stupid" or "foolish." So, does your calling those people out as idiots not qualify you to go to hell yourself? Be careful of legalism. Perhaps you should not too easily judge another's (God's) servant? Perhaps a little grace is called for?  Gal. 6:1 & 2 speaks plainly of restoring one who errors gently, and bearing one another's burdens... think about it.
8/6/2012 7:48:38 PM
Adam United States
Adam
I like Brant. He's clever and insightful. He is also (somewhat) controversial, which is awesome beacuse I think that's the point: he wants us to think. But I think he may have dummied down this one a bit too much. I completely agree that the world is God's and the fullness there in. BUT I also believe there is a lot of garbage that God wants nothing to do with. So instead of labeling things "secular or Christian" how about thinking in terms of "clean and unclean". It might change our persvective concerning things that we've always accepted because it was "Christian" and things we've always rejected because it was "secular"...
9/27/2012 5:40:50 AM
Christian Magazine United States
Christian Magazine
Thanks to you! Finally I got some stuff in your blog post related. I was searching for some material related to matter included in post. Very useful and very informative. Thanks once again and do share some more posts if you have!
1/25/2013 8:48:42 AM
Dennis Teel United States
Dennis Teel
i feel sorry for the leagalists here..i remember when I was first saved,i began a very close relationship with Christ and  had(and still do have)a strong prayer life.i was however,watching  R movies and and listenimg to groups like aerosmith and bon jovi..the minister and church people were constantly saying things to me about my movies and music..i wasn't lying,stealing or doing anything to hurt anyone..i just wasn't living by the letter of the law.if it were up to them i'd have been suffering by tossing all my stuff away and yada yada yada and for no reason except to fulfill their legalistic beliefs.i still watch horror movies and listen to the music I grew up with(the talking heads,boin jovi,aerosmith,etc) and the 'church' still has a problem with it.but I have a very strong relationship and walk with jesus and my prayer life is awesome..but some of you would be like "oh but you're not being obedient and yada yada yada:...your notion is that i'm still obligated to toss all that stuff away regardless of how it effects me.you're wrong.god doesn't demand us to throw stuff away  just 'cuz he says so//there's no point to that and god's not stupid.if a person can maintain a moderate lifestyle of secular music and movies and have a wonderful relationship with Christ at the same time that's awesome..and to you people that claim,"but the the lord says", etc, what's the point of him saying it? he doesn't want those things to inhibit your relationship with him.that's the ONLY reason!! not just because he says so. and to those people who claim that the law is to test or prove one's obedience and that everyone is commanded  to the same commitment ,well you'd better study harder bud!!
1/25/2013 8:56:56 AM
Dennis Teel United States
Dennis Teel
and by the way..I've seen people that are bipolar and people that have emotional problems totally turn away from Christ because of legalistic foolishness!! people often times hang on to the movies and music because of their emotional or mental state and often times those conditions remain a part of a person for his/her entire life.if someone is serving the lord with strength,why do you care what that person listens to or watches on tv??do you think god cares in a situation  like that??is it like god to say to someone like that "I realize that you're close to me and have tons of faith and all and I realize this will depress you a lot,but you need to toss your entire record collection away".it's only you legalists that would ask that..not god!!legalism is a cult..seriously!!
2/5/2013 11:41:02 AM
Tiffany United States
Tiffany
Thank you Brant, for once again putting into words what I have been thinking and feeling.
Appreciate everything you do and the laughter and logic you bring to my life.

2/5/2013 11:41:41 AM
Erin United States
Erin
I'm seeing a lot of good points and a lot of ignorant points in the comments. That whole "garbage in, garbage out" doesn't apply to everything stuck up Christians classify as garbage. Jesus hung out with the "garbage" people. The tax collectors, the whores, the majority of his disciples were FISHERMEN. James and John, the sons of Thunder, wanted to call fire down from Heaven and kill a whole town.
I think once "Christians" realize that everything can't be categorized as black and white, secular or sacred, good or bad, what God likes and what God doesn't like is when they truly start to act like Jesus.
Oh and to the dude that said U2 isn't a Christian band. They aren't. They're a band made up of three Christians and one atheist the last time I checked. They swear because they were brought up in a different country where swearing isn't nearly as taboo as it is here. They sing about things other than what Christian artists sing about. Which is nice. Yay variety. They also lead worship in a church in Australia often. And they're probably doing more for the kingdom than you are, considering how judgmental you are.
2/5/2013 11:51:26 AM
Emly United States
Emly
I agree with Brant 100%. I believe that God can use anything, anyone, at anytime, to do anything for His glory. The "Christian culture" that's been created is extremely content to shove God in a little box. I think its because of fear...fear of what God might do and where He might take them. I grew up in a church where everything was, "secular this and secular that" oh...and my favorite line I'll never forget, made by my youth pastor who wouldn't allow me to show the missions video I made because it had a "secular" song in it..."It's wrong by association." Ok, that would mean that Jesus Christ HIMSELF is wrong by association because he "associated" himself with tax collectors, fishermen, prostitutes, thieves, pretty much the bottom of the barrel. I like that quote, Brant, "Our purpose isn't to condemn the culture, its to redeem it!" AMEN!!!!!
2/5/2013 11:53:01 AM
LeAnn United States
LeAnn
There is a division between secular and Christian.  People don't see it because they are blind.  True, we live in this world, but we are not of it, and we don't have to participate in it to to redeem it.  I have made a choice to reject much of the secular world; simply put, what is secular runs counter to what is of God.  "If you are not for me, you are against me."  There are things of this culture that are absolutely opposite of God---should we be part of that as Christians?  Things of this world are not all of God, He allows them to exist and He gives us free will to choose what we spend our time doing,reading, seeing, listening to, and speaking about.  But that does not mean they are of God.  The devil exists because God allows him to--that doesn't mean that the devil of of God.  Something to consider as we move through this life and this world before we are invited into the next.
2/5/2013 12:02:13 PM
Emly United States
Emly
-bangs head on desk- Secular - not pertaining to or connected with religion ( opposed to sacred )

Sinful - The choices and actions that are against God.

secular doesn't mean sinful
2/5/2013 12:20:51 PM
Bob Dunn United States
Bob Dunn
When I was growing up I was told to separate myself from the World...I used to play songs for my Mom from the radio that were " spiritually Secular "....these words (secondary Vocals removed)were in a song from the 60's
is it Secular or Spritual
To Everything
There is a season
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything
There is a season
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything
There is a season
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything
There is a season
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven
The Byrds....Turn, Turn, Turn....1965
Ecc 3:1-8 NKJV
2/5/2013 12:26:01 PM
Bob Dunn United States
Bob Dunn
thanks Brant
2/5/2013 2:34:58 PM
Jim United States
Jim
2/5/2013 3:23:52 PM
Mandi United States
Mandi
As usual Brant you nailed it on the head. Some of the comments bring out the "christian" in me, wanting to set people straight on the road to grace but then Jesus gently reminds me... He'll take them there in His own time if they wish to go... I just always wish to see all living in the TREMENDOUS freedom brought about living a grace filled life. And of course by that I do NOT mean sinning so grace may increase but the true Grace that Jesus intended us to live in... Sad that I have to qualify that but I've read enough comments to know I should! Smile Keep on keeping on Brant!
2/5/2013 3:42:53 PM
Jen United States
Jen
As a "secular" homeschooler (aka no FORMAL bible curriculum), I feel the sting of this label often. Once we get that S on our chests, forget it. No one cares if you read bible stories and talk about God and pray with your child... If you're not forcing your kid to sit with a bible and read it everyday and memorize verses then you're not a real "Christian homeschooler." Blech! I feel this is something so above any curriculum or school subject!
2/5/2013 4:57:35 PM
Alyscia Johnson United States
Alyscia Johnson
Totally confused! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secularity
Thanks Wikipedia for helping me understand the word secular and its origin. Intense discussion! Well I better get back to my secular house work lol!
2/6/2013 6:44:55 AM
Gina Warren United States
Gina Warren
I agree with him addressing legalism of this issue, however, he missed the key point. The key point being, that we as Christians, enjoying the world He created, should not determined what we take in by a measure of what is secular or "Christian" but by the measure of whether or not that dishonors the God we claim, violates His commands, or glorifies those things which he warns us of in Romans 1. Also, he fails to address the Christian concience, informed by the Word of God, to which each of us must keep clear or risk "shipwreck of your faith." (1 Tim 1:19) I think the answer to this opposition he is clearly facing is answered in 1 Peter 3:13-17. "Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong."
2/6/2013 10:15:08 AM
Dorci United States
Dorci
I see what you're saying, Brant.  But somebody up there took the invariable leap and said there is no evil or good, because that's where people's flesh wants to go with this sort of thing. That is not what God's Word teaches.  There most certainly is that which God calls good and that which God calls evil.  

In the life of a Christ-follower, whatever he does in the will of God, if it's cleaning a toilet or preaching the truth on a street corner, it all glorifies Christ.  

I don't know if we should label things so much "Christian" and "secular" as much as "godly" and "ungodly."  We are living in a society which increasingly desires to blur those lines and make the grace God gives us a cheap grace.  Trees, grass, those aren't "Christian."  They can't be saved.  They're simply creations of God.

But I've heard music that flies in the face of everything pure and lovely and right that Christ is and stand for, and a person following after Christ would do well to put distance between him or herself and it.  When it becomes sinful, when it comes between us and God, make no mistake, it is wrong.

And what is okay for one person may be sin to another.  "But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin."  Romans 14:23  Eating, drinking, wearing, watching, doing...we each must seek God for what is right for us.  

It's not okay for one person to tell another what is okay in their life or not.  God is the God of that in each of our lives.  What I've told my kids, who have tried at one time or another to get me to watch a movie or do something else that goes against my personal convictions, is don't get between God and another person in their convictions.  
2/6/2013 11:57:59 AM
Alyscia Johnson United States
Alyscia Johnson
For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 1 Cor 2:2

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 2 Cor 13:5

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Cor 13:1-7
2/6/2013 3:59:03 PM
Gina United States
Gina
This is so awesome!!! Thank you!!
2/16/2013 2:56:28 PM
Brad paradee United States
Brad paradee
Well said my friend, very well said
4/7/2013 3:32:30 PM
Robert Rod Reeguz United States
Robert Rod Reeguz
I just married a hamster..is that secular?

Pingbacks and trackbacks (1)+

Comments are closed