1.) I understand that you are not supposed to use instruments in worship to God, but is it wrong to listen to Christian Music that has instruments. I listen to this because I don't like secular music that has cussing in it, and it helps me in my times of trouble if I read a Scripture and listen to a song.
2.) Is it wrong to listen to tv shows like The 700 Club, so I can hear the news and stories about people who do God's work even though they are fundamentaly wrong?
Please answer these with Scripture references if you can.
About your first question, of course, if one believes that worshiping God through instrumental music is acceptable, then he or she would have no problem with listening to modern "Christian music". However, I understand that the Bible commands vocal music, not instrumental (Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:16). More on this here:
http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... ments.html
If you agree with the above position, then I would suggest that modern Christian music (instrumental) is wrong for these reasons:
- Anticipating a common argument, where do the above verses say the application is limited to the assembly? The context immediately preceding and following these verses is actually personal in nature, not congregational (drunkenness, having peace in your hearts, wives submitting to husbands, etc. - Ephesians 5:18, 22-22; Colossians 3:12-15, 17-25). Therefore, the application of these verses should extend beyond the assembly and into our personal lives, just like the commands to abstain from drunkenness, observe proper marriage relationships, etc.
- What is the reason behind worship through singing? Is it because it makes us feel good? Well, that's a nice side effect, but that's not the primary reason. The primary reason is two-fold: To worship God and to "teach and admonish one another". Songs have a way of sticking in our head and hearts in a way that speech cannot. When we sing to each other, we are using this special avenue to help teach one another, and this teaching can serve to comfort, guide, and strengthen us through the words that stick (I Thessalonians 4:18). So, what is sticking in your head, based on the songs to which you are listening? It's good to eliminate sexual innuendo, vulgar language, and blasphemy from your outside influences. But, what about false doctrine? Could some of these songs be teaching you false doctrine? The power of songs is how they influence you without you even knowing it. Choosing to regularly consume false-doctrine in an unguarded manner could not possibly be good.
- Finally, is this music being enjoyed as worship or entertainment? If it is worship, then how can it be right to violate Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3? If it is entertainment, then is not the listener participating in using the Lord's name in vain, which is blasphemy?
It is not enough just to avoid a practice. We must also replace it with something good (Matthew 12:43-45). Therefore, I would encourage you to either listen to acapella Christian music, which contains words and teaching you would personally advocate, or listen to sound sermons, lectures, and debates. Here are a few links to help you find safe, edifying, and uplifting songs/teaching:
FWIW, you can find CD's for many of the songs you sing at church. Listening to these can help you sing them more effectively and easily in the assembly, which means you can concentrate on the words more.
About your second question, I see nothing inherently wrong in watching these programs, although I would be very careful in assuming they are doing God's work. Just because someone claims or even believes they are doing God's work, we cannot assume that such work meets God's approval:
Simply exposing ourselves to anything will eventually lead us from curiosity to sympathy to acceptance. It is the frailty of our frame. Look how Sodom consumed Lot and his family. Consider the plain warning of Paul (I Corinthians 15:33). I would not consider it wrong, but I would consider it dangerous to drink from this fountain often.Matthew wrote:"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' (Matthew 7:21-23)
Just to be clear, I am not saying that a Christian should have a closed mind to other views or teachings. For example, I have studied the books of several other religions. However, once you have seen that something is wrong and are persuaded of its error, why would you keep going back? Are there not better ways to spend your time? Again, I see this as more of a danger as opposed to a clear sin. Judgment would depend on the attitude with which one listens and how often one listens to it.
I pray this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions.