If Music without Words Is Inherently Amoral, Then . . .

January 4, 2013

Many believers today espouse the view that music without words is inherently amoral. Those who hold this view should carefully think through the following serious implications of taking this position.

1. If music without words is inherently amoral, then no one, including even God, is able to combine any set of notes, rhythms, meters, harmonies, dynamics, etc. to communicate through music alone any kind of moral message, good or bad.

2. If music without words is inherently amoral, then even the most evil person whose heart is entirely consumed with flaming hatred toward God cannot express his hatred to any degree through just instrumental music. Although he can do so through facial expressions, other gestures, and other nonverbal activities, he is incapable of doing so through any musical means that does not employ words.

3. If music without words is inherently amoral, listening to the worst possible secular heavy metal music in a foreign language that one does not understand cannot directly have any deleterious moral effect on a person.

4. If music without words is inherently amoral, exposing very small children who are not yet talking at all to CCM has no beneficial moral effect on them because they do not understand any of the words being sung.

5. If music without words is inherently amoral, though the rest of the whole creation was ruined by the Fall of man, Adam’s sin as well as all subsequent human sin has not had (and could not have had) any corrupting influence whatever on music. Although sin has corrupted every man’s entire being, somehow his innate corruption does not and cannot taint to any degree any instrumental music that he produces.

6. If music without words is inherently amoral, all inventors (and proponents) of various musical styles who have repeatedly and unequivocally said that they have specifically created their musical styles for accomplishing specific immoral objectives were (and are) clueless in what they were (and are) doing and seeking to do. In reality, they were (and are) pointlessly pursuing an impossible goal, not knowing that all musical styles are amoral and therefore incapable on their own (minus words) of being used to further any such ungodly agendas.

7. If music without words is inherently amoral, divine worship employing any style of music should be usable by any people as long as the words are ok.

Is it credible to hold that music without words is inherently amoral?

Rajesh

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4 responses to If Music without Words Is Inherently Amoral, Then . . .

  1. Shelly Hamilton January 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Rajesh, this is excellent reasoning. I love the part about the world being clueless to what is amoral or moral. Keep up helping us think. 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback, Shelly! God has been directing me to do lots of prayerful meditation on this issue lately and consider how to address it in ways that will profit God’s people

  2. Nice insights, Rajesh. Keep up the good work.