“Now Concerning Music . . .”

1 Corinthians 8 is a passage where Paul deals with personal convictions, Christian liberty, weaker and stronger brothers, etc., specifically concerning the issue of meat offered to idols. The principles of the passage, however, are not constrained to this first century dilemma. For instance, in some smaller circles of contemporary Christianity there exists much bickering and debate over the issue of music standards. The following is 1 Corinthians 8 modified to address this specific issue (aka, I have replaced the language that refers to eating meat offered to idols to language referring to music standards; the modified wording is highlighted).

1 Corinthians 8
Now concerning various types of music: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. Therefore, as to the listening of music, we know that “any inherent evil in music has no real existence”. . . . However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with music, listen to music as [if it] really [is] evil, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. [Certain] music will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not listen to [certain] music, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge [of] listening to [certain types of] music, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to [likewise] listen to music [which he considers evil]? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if [certain] music makes my brother stumble, I will never listen [to it around him], lest I make my brother stumble.

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Originally posted on former blog, I’m Calling Us Out.

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