Q: I used to listen to a lot of music when I was younger without paying much attention to the words, but the other day I was downloading a song and suddenly realized that it talks a lot about the devil. Will this hurt me spiritually, do you think? I’ve only been a Christian about a year. — M.H.
A: This song will not cause you any harm. Art (including all kinds of music) is, in part, a reflection of our experiences. There are many undesirable aspects of our society such as murder, rape, slavery, and war that have been used as inspiration for countless works of art. These works, in most cases, do not advocate these atrocities, but recount them and reflect on their implications. In fact, these piece are art are often indented to draw attention to these horrible events so that we can learn from past mistakes. Even if these did advocate these atrocities, most people will not be harmed in any way by consuming (viewing or listening to) them. The same could be said for this particular song that talks about a devil. Even if you believe in a devil (which is irrational and without factual basis) that performs evil deeds and tempts humans to do likewise, the subject of this song is not important. What is important is your personal moral code and how you act upon new information and thoughts.
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