What is “in-balance” music? And why does it matter? It matters because as Christians we want to please the Lord in all we do. That includes the music to which we sing and listen. I must say that it is not about taste in music. In fact, most the people I’ve talked to, like me, actually like the very music we now argue is wrong. But we have come to the stark realization that it is in our ï¬‚esh that we enjoy it, just as any other sin is enjoyable to the flesh.
What is this music that we consider to be wrong? It is “out-of-balance” music. Music that is not in tune with God’s universe. It is heavily syncopated – the accented beat comes in the
un-natural place. The natural beat is ONE-two-THREE-four. Whereas the un-natural or syncopated beat is one-TWO-three-FOUR or the after-beat. This syncopated beat pattern can be used effectively, sparingly, for interest, however, when used heavily throughout the entire piece it is a sensual, un-natural beat. It causes the body to want to move in sensual ways. Whereas the natural beat (as in marches) makes the body want to move, such as marching to the beat or tapping of the foot, the syncopated beat, when used heavily, causes the body to want to “swing” and sway, and effectively, lose control. This can be seen at any rock concert, “christian” or secular.
Music Is A Language
Music is the the most commonly used and, unfortunately, the most misunderstood language. Sadly many people don’t even think about it as a language. Language is deï¬ned by the Noah Webster American Dictionary of the English Language as: “any manner of expressing thoughts”. In case you don’t think that music expresses thoughts, let me show you how it does.
Do you remember those old silent movies? The ones where it just shows a character doing things with music in the background? Would those make much sense without the music? Try watching one of them sometime without the music. It’s completely different! In more modern days, we think of the sound tracks that are on our favorite movies. Would the movie be as
good without them? What causes that sad scene to bring tears to your eyes? Sure, the situation is sad but chances are you wouldn’t feel near as choked up if it weren’t for the music. Same thing with scary scenes. If you don’t want to be scared by them, just mute it! The music is a big part of what scares you. Professional musicians know how to evoke any kind of emotion from you by the artful use of music, and they do it on a regular basis. Now I hope the wheels are turning in your mind and you’re realizing that you’ve never really thought about it this way before.
But there is so much more.
Music is a manner of expressing thought. Therefore, music is a language. And as with any other language, there are good “words” and bad “words”. Now this is where most people have their arguments. Can music be bad? Many teach that music is amoral. And many disagree. But instead of of arguing over this let’s just look at the facts. Is any letter of the alphabet bad or wrong? I don’t believe so. But can you take those same letters and make a bad or wrong word? Yes. Most people agree that you can. And it is the same way with music. An individual note or beat is not wrong. However, it is possible to take those notes and beats and turn them into not only wrong but even demonic music. If all music was the same then why is it that I know of no satanist, vehemently Christian-hating, classical music groups? Yet I do know of many heavy metal rock groups of this persuasion.
Music Can Be Harmful
Some kinds of music can be and are harmful to plant, animal, and human life, as I intend to show in the following paragraphs. In a day of age in which almost everyone has music playing around them constantly, we must consider the implications of music to which we listen. Sound is a very important thing in our lives, so why is it that so few people seem to care about it?
Scientists have discovered that mice that listen to discordant music regularly have damage in the hippo campus region of the brain. That region is usually associated with alertness, memory and learning. Evidence was found of abnormal “branching and sprouting” of the neurons, as well as disruption in the normal amounts of messenger RNA, a chemical crucial to the storage of memories. “What we are seeing here is the effects of disharmonious music on mammalian brains. And, insofar as human beings have mammalian brains we cannot preclude the possibility that disharmony may affect human brains as well.” – Harvey H. Bird, physicist, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Scientists checked the mice brains because they noticed tremendous differences in how mice were affected by music in their learning capability and their ability to go through mazes.
Another experiment was done with mice that found astounding results. A high school student, David Merrell, performed an experiment for a science fair that won him top honors in regional and state levels, and astonishes all who hear about it. His hypothesis was “Listening to music will have an effect on the learning ability of white mice. Classical Music will improve performance. Hard Rock Music will impair performance.” The test was to have mice go through a maze and time them to see how their memory and thinking skills are affected that to which they listen. The results are shown in the chart below.
Notice that when the mice started, the group that listened to hard rock was actually faster than the other groups. But then note that while the Classical group and the No Music group became faster at going through the maze, the Hard Rock group actually became slower! Not only this, but according to David Merrell, “I had to cut my project short because all the Hard Rock mice killed each other. None of the classical music did that.”!
But music doesn’t only affect animals, it has also been proven to affect plants. A researcher named Dorothy Retallack did some pioneering studies into the effects of different musical styles on groups of plants. Group 1 listened to Hard Rock (Led Zeppelin), group 2 listened to Avant-Garde Atonal music, group 3 had silence, and group 4 listened to peaceful devotional music. After 10 days, the plants exposed to the Led Zeppilen were all leaning away from the speaker, and after 3 weeks these plants were all stunted and dying. The Avant-Garde group ended up leaning 15 degrees away from the speaker. The peaceful devotional music group not only grew an additional 2 inches taller than the silent group, but the plants and roots grew toward the speaker! And this is deï¬nitely not the only experiment that has been done. Not only has this same woman done many more experiments with the same results, but many other scientists, botanists, and regular people have done their own.
If music can have such profound effects on animals and plants, then it must also have at least some effects on humans as well. Music affects the body in two ways: directly, by affecting the cells, neurons, and organs, and also indirectly, by affecting the emotions, which then in turn influence numerous bodily processes. Music most defnitely affects the emotions. For example, why is it that when teenagers are angry they listen to rock music? Because it is expressing the same anger and rebelliousness that they are feeling, and whenever a human being is feeling a certain emotion, they naturally want to be around sounds expressing that same emotion. If music did not express emotion, we would not have such things as movie soundtracks. The whole point of soundtracks is to bring out emotion in the listener/viewer.
Music also affects us directly, much in the same way it affects animals and plants. It used to be a popular thing to take raw eggs to rock concerts. They would place the eggs in front of the speakers and by the time the concert was over, the eggs would be hard-boiled! If the music and volume can affect eggs to the extent of hard-boiling them, then how must it affect our own cells and molecular structure?
Some people have admitted that certain music is wrong, but they don’t stop listening to it or even try to keep it from entering the church. Why? Honestly, I don’t know. One reason I have heard is “well if it draws young people to come and hear about the Lord then our heart motive is right, and God looks at the heart”. Well I must raise the question: “is it alright to have a youth group that encourages shop lifting in order for it to ‘reach out to more teens?”.
Some Kinds Of Music Kill
Remember how all the mice that listened to Hard Rock, in David Merrell’s experiment, killed each other? In the same way people become more violent with certain kinds of music. Police always build up forces around rock concerts because they have found that violence and criminal behavior is prevalent and rampant at these events, much more so than other kinds of
gatherings just as large or larger. With so much evidence and research out there, it is altogether foolhardy to say that music does not affect plants, animals, and even humans, though most people would rather ignore the facts and just listen to what they want.
Matthew Murray was a twenty four year old man that in December of 2007 went on a shooting rampage at a missionary training center as well as a church. He killed four people and wounded several others. The following paragraphs tell what he himself acknowledged as a “secret drug addiction”.
Matthew Murray in his own words:
“I saw this band in concert recently… Some people say this is “just entertainment,” but for me, and some of my friends, the songs that bands like this sing are VERY REAL, it’s kind of something we can “see” and can feel and in a spiritual sense and we’re able to “connect” “into” the music. Very powerful song…..” “I have a powerful addiction to a powerful drug that most people in my life don’t know about. Really, it is somewhat my fault. It started in part due to pressures in my life, with family, Christians abusing me, church and religion, loneliness and pain. I was hurting and angry and wanted an escape. This fun and enjoyable activity, this powerful substance grew into an addiction and a powerful force in my life that now controls every part of myself. I have found this drug to truly be a force to be reckoned with. This drug can completely alter blood pressure, heart rate, brainwave patterns and other bodily functions. This drugs influence, however, goes much deeper than physiological function, for it’s (sic) effects penetrate into the deepest parts of one’s soul. This drug will completely control a person’s mind, what thought’s (sic) they think and their emotions and how they feel. I found that this drug has the power to completely alter a person’s religious beliefs, their morality, and their values and their entire lifestyle. I didn’t realize I was addicted until about 2 years after starting. I have to admit, I am addicted. I’m an addict and completely powerless over this drug. I had fun with it at ï¬rst, but now it controls me. It used to be a small thing in my life, but now takes up on average at least 5 hours each day getting high. Most of my friends and family don’t have any real clue though, because I’m able to get high on this stuff without them realizing what I’m doing. My usage doesn’t conï¬‚ict with, but rather controls all the plans in my life. I’ve found that I am completely dominated and controlled by this addiction. This drug is the most powerful drug that I know of. I have found the high and it’s (sic) ability to control a person and that’s (sic) person’s belief’s (sic) and lifestyle is unparalleled. This drug has the same effects as meth, in that it’s a powerful stimulant, the addictive properties of heroin, and it has the ability of hallucinogens to cause one to trip and trance out into other ‘realities.’ This drug is far more dangerous and addicting than marijuana and even harder drugs.
I have found myself in deep trances and other worlds through the usage of this drug and have found my life radically altered and changed (sic) by it. I found this drug to be a powerful driving force and easy gateway into a world of sex, other drugs, rebellion, homosexuality, alcoholism and many other dark things. I have found such an incredible power in this drug that will completely carry one’s mind away into a very real spiritual realm. My mind is completely controlled by this drug and there is no way at all for me to break free.
What is this mind altering life changing drug that has such an incredible power? … The drug that I use and am addicted to is commonly known in our culture as … Rock Music.”
Sadly, Matthew Murray ended his own life after being shot by a security guard at the church. He made a conscious decision to turn from God, and while the music he listened to cannot be blamed for his choice – it most certainly influenced it.
This is part of the reason In Balance Music Radio was started. Music is such a powerful force in our lives, and most importantly, we want to please the Lord in all that we do. Including our musical choices. I pray that you will consider the things I have written carefully, and seek the will of God above all else. Please contact us with the email address below if you would like further information or have questions.
God bless you as you “Turn your eyes upon Jesus”.
On behalf of the “In-Balance” team.
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