Believers in a Secular World?

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Third Day in concert, photo taken by me!

Recently Mac Powell, front man for the Christian rock band Third Day announced he was doing a country music album. Many people received this news with anticipation; anticipation of what this new CD would sound like. Unfortunately some people have already questioned the wisdom of Mac doing this.

People have said that God’s anointing will no longer be on Third Day if Mac sings non-Christian music. Mac has no business singing anything but Christian music. Really????

People are disappointed that Mac would do this, one guy quoted bible verses as to why it is wrong for Mac to sing country music! Say what????

Marc Martel of the Christian band Downhere went out on tour with Queen, a secular rock band. Granted Queen does not have a nice clean reputation exactly, but so what? Because Marc is a Christian artist…people instantly attacked him for doing this. His faith in Christ was questioned, his judgement, his values…

Does this kind of behavior upset any of you as much as it does me? These people who say these negative things are so ridiculous it would be laughable…except this really isn’t funny.

I have met Mac Powell several times now, gotten to speak to him for a very brief moment as well. I have heard him pour out his heart for God in prayer during shows. I have seen Marc in person with Downhere, and listened to him speak. These guys are the real deal, faithful Believers. They don’t talk “about” the life of a Believer; they live it.

I saw a comment that these guys should not associate with the secular world; please be serious! Why do people instantly think that doing anything in the mainstream is evil? Does it not cross these people’s minds that artists who are Believers can have an amazing impact for God in these “secular” situations?

Who gave anyone the right to judge Mac and Marc because they are pursuing interests that coincide with “the world”? Do these same people ever listen to anything outside of Christian music?

Who decides what the requirements are to be a Believer? Is it not God, or did these people receive special dispensation? Is it any wonder that the “Christian” religion is so fraught with problems? One Believer breaks the mold that someone defined for him, (NO one has any business doing this) and then that someone attacks the one who dared to be different! Hello…are we not shooting ourselves in the foot, while doing a disservice to our God and hurting a fellow brother or sister in Christ?

Why I ask you? Why do people do this? It is both wrong and foolish.

God did not ever say that we are to have nothing to do with those who do not believe! Before anyone throws verses at me saying otherwise…yes; God said do not be unequally yoked in marriage. Yes God wants us to get our deepest friendship needs met by other Believers. Yes we are to fellowship with other Believers, not unbelievers. If we never associate with unbelievers, then how do we witness to them? You do not walk up to someone and hit them over the head with the fact that they are sinners in need of a Savior…and oh by the way you are going to Hell for that; would you like to pray and receive Jesus now??? It’s all about relationship!

Back to Mac and Marc, these two men of God go on tour performing for secular crowds. They do not participate in the boozing, womanizing, and drug use. They are nice guys; clean cut, they act the same way they do at their Christian gigs. Do you see how this would be a powerful witness to the world? The word will be out where they came from…

As to the ones making the derisive comments…what does this make them look like? Do you think it is ok to question someone’s faith, integrity, allegiance to God, etc. in this situation?

I’m going to say myself that these people are narrow minded and judgmental. I’m going to pray that God would open their eyes to see, their ears to hear. I’m also going to pray that God would help me not to do this very same thing. Will you join me?

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23 replies

  1. Interesting points, good friend. We can be quick to judge the decisions of another without the necessary knowledge for understanding. We just don’t have access to others’ hearts. We do well if we ever come to know our own. As you point out, every place can be a place of ministry if God is leading and moving. I earn my income in the car hauling industry and am expected to be a testimony to Jesus there. Those who make their living in the music industry are no different. I am called to perform my job duties to the best of my abilities… as if for God Himself, but if most were asked, not much that I do in the course of a day is seen as directly related to spiritual stuff… it looks more like car hauling stuff. But, as you say, it builds relationships… it opens doors for the gospel. Just a sidenote… isn’t it interesting that some give these such a hard time yet applaud Tebow for playing football (btw – me too)… when every door was open for him as a foreign missionary? We sure can be a strannge lot. Thanks for sharing and God bless.

  2. Whether we agree with what someone does or not, we are not the judges. Only God is the judge when all of us stand before Him. It is okay to disagree with someone’s actions, but it is never okay to stand above them as the judge in a court and lay down the law. 2 Corinthians 6:17 does tell us, “Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.” However, these people who judge other people are not separating themselves from the world either. By judging and pointing a finger, they have therefore done just as they are accusing.

    Here is the sad part; most of the people who are doing all of the judging have more sin in their lives than the person they’re pointing the finger at. Whether it is sexual sin, idolatry, selfishness, cursing…whatever it may be.

    If someone takes their calling/talent the Lord has blessed them with and completely turns from God and uses it all for the world, then this is wrong. If they’re doing it to reach out to minister to the world and unashamed to speak of Jesus, this is right. However, it becomes judging when a person, without knowing the heart of man, goes forth, points the finger, and tells this person, “You are wrong!” Who knows their heart except for the Father? If anyone is this concerned, whether they are famous or not, they are our brothers, and so they should be prayed for if their is a concern, not judged. Judgment hardens a heart and turns it away.

    Let us never forget this Psalm (34):

    I will bless the Lord at all times;
    His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
    2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
    The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
    3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    And let us exalt His name together.

    And so also, let us remember this as well:
    Psalm 50:6
    Let the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is Judge. Selah

  3. I remember when I first got saved & my church layed down the basic rules to live by , one of them being; no secular music of any kind. Not even Frank Sinatra because he sang “I Did It My Way”…..:(
    Being out of the secular circuit prepared me for being part of a worship team later on. 🙂 Then the beginnings of scrutiny really began…what I wore, my humor, who I should or shouldn’t date after my divorce….really. 🙁
    Legalism…. it was part of the package.
    Well during time on the worship team I noticed my spirit was really sensitive to harsh words & secular music. I couldn’t tolerate either ,for it was offensive.
    What I’m saying is for some people ,any secular music is offensive, and when they have relyed on 3D for worship , this is a time where one would yield, perhaps unintentionally over -react, or it could be an emotional judgemental opinion.
    It’s been 10 yrs. since I quit the worship team. I’ve learned to balance myself with music. I let all my old music back into my life :),but not on a daily basis. I go to non christian concerts, but don’t party in the parking lot.
    I’m excited to be blessed with being a new Third Day fan ! I’m renewed in worship ; playing their songs on guitar again.! 🙂
    As for country music, it is broad lyrically & I can’t imagine Mac ever crossing the line. From what I’m reading, this is what God wants for Mac and, assuming there’s a vision , we’ll see in time what that vision is. At this time , you simply have to trust.

    • I agree, Mac will not cross the line. Third Day is my favorite band!
      That is terrible what you went through while on the worship team, that is not at all what the Lord had in mind for a church.

      Blessings
      Greg

  4. I do have to say one more thing, because we’re always to go to the Bible. I do not know what their intentions are, but we were given a perfect example when Jesus was in the wilderness. In this scenerio, He was offered kingdoms and wealth by Satan, and Satan here symbolized the world. Mathew 4:8-11

    8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

    10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”

    11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

    His word also says:

    Matthew 6:24

    New Living Translation (NLT)

    24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

    Now, I am not saying they are doing this because of money; this is the fine line between speaking truth and judging another. But all I can say is what the Bible has to say about it. I am sure they are very godly, and I have always loved their music and admired them. But the truth be told, honestly, and I do not want to upset you. We’re both adults…it’s okay to not agree on something. But I’ve felt convicted all day for not coming straight out and saying that A) the judgment is very wrong. No one should judge them, but that B) for a Christian to feel this is wrong, and you posted the post on this, I’m assuming wanting some responses…so I’m responding…but for a Christian to feel this is wrong is not wrong.

    It is wrong to judge where they’re going (heaven or hell) and it’s wrong to say they’re not Christians, because God only knows who is and who is not Christians. But I must say that I personally do disagree with this move he’s made. I don’t condemn him for it, nor do I judge him. But God has clearly blessed him, and i hear what you’re saying about him making his move into the world…but, I have always disagreed with Christian music that doesn’t come straight out and say Jesus.

    We must remember that Satan also influences our decisions and our thinking as well. God sits back and allows us to make our own decisions. Like you said, it could’ve been from God; but based on all that His word tells us and gives us as examples, it’s a tricky one. If He’s going out into the world to preach and sing music about God and Jesus to the world, that’s great. But a Christian does not conform to the world…we stand as warriors for Christ Jesus, and we do not back down to the worlds standards. People have been and are being persecuted for this.

    I’m still your sister in Christ, and I hope you aren’t upset with me. I just wanted to be honest with how I feel. I hope you’ll think about it, and seek out more in God’s word about this. If you don’t, I don’t believe it’s something spiritually threatening that we’re going to go to hell over . Just an interesting topic of discussioin. I love you in Christ! God bless you, and please don’t be mad at me.

    • No worries Lynn, I’m not upset with you. We will have to agree to disagree. Mac has liked country music since he was a kid, so is pursuing this dream, I have no problem with that.
      I have also seen them in person many times. I have heard Mac pray, and speak about God and Jesus during shows.
      I get what you are saying about music that does not come right out and say Jesus. At the same time, I believe it matters what the lyrics are saying. Children of God is a great example.
      Mac is in no danger of conforming to the world! He may sing country music, but his faith and integrity are solid. Remember whom Jesus spent time around….

      • We do agree on one thing, however; I don’t believe in passing judgment on people of things I do not know. To feel that something is wrong, or disagree with something is one thing; but to throw stones is another altogether.

  5. For even the elect shall be led astray…. Let us not forget the days and the times we are living in. God bless you friend!

  6. hi is mornday word be blesset;;;DOT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever — do not abandon the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8

    Thoughts on to day

    God has a purpose and plan for each of our lives. The greatest thing we can do is to find that purpose and live it out. We can trust his purpose in us because it is based on his wisdom and love. As long as we seek his will, we’re not going to do anything that can ultimately spoil his purpose in us. Yes, we may at times stray from the perfect channel he wants us to travel, but we never get totally out of the main channel. As long he does not abandon us, (and he promised he never would forsake us he will use us) for his purposes.

    Prayer:

    O Sovereign God, help me discern today what my life is intended to fulfill. Thank you for loving me and promising to walk beside me every step of my life. I live trusting that you will never forsake me. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.

  7. I think you bring up a good point here Greg! I do think it would be a very powerful witness but only time will tell. Sometimes the world has such a strong pull that it can sometimes put a damper on our Christianity. I think we need to keep these guys in prayer 🙂

    • Thanks Peter, I believe with no doubts that Mac and Marc will do well in the secular world, especially as they will continue with their respective “Christian” bands. Yes prayer would be a good idea!

      Blessings to you my friend.
      Greg

  8. Brother Greg, we just need to “take the hand of the Man that calmed the waters!”

  9. it’s amazing how closed minded people can be. why can’t we turn what was meant for evil around for good? when it comes to music…I’ve ofthen thought it hypocritical for christians to view all secular music as bad…not every song is evil. Nursery ryhmes aren’t necessarily Christian lyrically, but they are used to teach kids how to count and read…are those songs then “evil” by definition? If people could see the hypocrisy in their claims they wouldn’t be so rash as to make such condemning remarks so easily. I agree that in mainstream music there isn’t a lot that is edifying to the soul if lyrics promote immorality, but then God has blessed us with creativity to be expressed how we choose. Of course some people use their creativity for destructive methods but not everyone has evil intentions when they do the things they do. Must we shelf our creative abilities under ‘legalistic religious’ views that lack flexibility and end up being too restrictive rather than using our abilities to become agents of change and producing a healthy alternative that draws people back to the common Godly virtues that we’d like to reinforce but in a different more meaningful method. i feel that those that are condemning him for stepping into new territory are probably self-righteous and feel entitled to judge someone unfairly without fully understanding what the person is really about like present day pharisees. I love THIRD DAY by the way…and I think there’s nothing wrong with doing something different. He should persue his dreams and ignore discouragement if his heart leads him towards destiny.

    I love your thoughts on this Greg..you make many good points.
    Stay blessed.
    Sherline 😀

    • Here’s an interesting one for all of you; did you know that most of the old Christian Hymnals were written by a bunch of drunks in saloons many, many years ago? A pastor told me that…I didn’t believe it, but then I researched it a little, and it was true!

    • Thanks Sherline for an insightful comment! Another Third Day fan!!! Totally cool!! You rock girl!
      We can be and are a part of the world, how much we are a part of it is up to us. I believe people like Mac and Marc can have a positive influence on the secular world. Kind of like Flyleaf…not an overtly “Christian” band, yet they do portray things of God in their music. Witnessing to the crowd about Jesus while doing their shows.

  10. I didn’t know that about Mac, but had seen Marc and thought what an incredible job he was doing. It’s a lot easier to be a believer singing Christian songs in a Christian band at a Christian concert. And I love that there are those things! But I want to support and pray for those believers who are out in the world, but not of it. What an impact they will make, just because they are His. 🙂 You encouraged me, dear one, as I write other poetry beside just scriptural . .. and wondered at times if I should or not . . if it was “bad” to do it, even though it isn’t about anything bad. Just life stuff. God bless you!

    • Thank you Deb! Yes Mac’s new CD is due out in August.

      Yes!!! you should write what is on your heart, and don’t ever let anyone tell you it is wrong! It is not!!! I write almost all Christian type stuff, but that is by choice. I’m so happy I could be a blessing to you!

      Blessings
      Greg

  11. “Christian music” as a genre is not exactly scriptural itself. But it DOES line up with exactly where we have migrated everything else “Christian”. It’s no wonder when non-believers see a “holy huddle” (which is what I call Christians that huddle up, lock arms, congregate, stay in their “church clique”, and shut out the world around them) and all they see is a bunch of “butts” staring at them. We feel the need to have “Christian” music, yet we don’t have the CBA (Christian Basketball Association) or Christian NASCAR? Instead there are Christian Athletes and Drivers among the many that are not. Gods Word calls this “being IN the world, but not OF the world. Ugh….praying we continue to grow in what God REALLY calls us to be.

    • I have no problems with “Christian” music, I rather like it. I do see what you are saying here though. We need to be involved with the world without being part of it.
      Thanks for commenting.

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