Let us see what Malone has to say.
Exercising our senses to discern good and evil requires a lot of individual judgment. The Church cannot come up with a list of good bands and bad bands, good music and bad music. Not only would that job be overwhelming and impractical, it would deny people the character-building experience of exercising their own senses, coupled with God’s Spirit, to discern good and evil.
We all need to be able to discern, meaning our senses must be exercised. The purpose of this article, therefore, is not just to lambaste the obviously and overtly satanic heavy metal or hard rock music, or simply to say something like rap isn’t really music. Nor is it just to praise the obviously wholesome types of symphonic music. After all, it shouldn’t take too much discernment or exercise to make those decisions.Malone warns his readers to beware of popular music. Satan would be most likely to manipulate music that is popular and widely used, he insists here.
We could say that a good majority of fine art would be acceptable in that it generally does not have a negative effect on moods, and it offers intellectual stimulation. It also stands to reason that Satan would get the most mileage out of exploiting the popular tradition of music—the one designed to entertain and appeal to a wide audience. This would be especially so in the age of mass communication, as this enables him to get his moods and messages across more easily.
Though caution and discernment should be applied to all music, popular music is generally where we need it the most.Of course telling members to not pay attention to popular music has the effect of isolating such persons from mainstream society and render them more dependent on the group.
Malone warns the young within PCG to beware of popular music so as not to become exploited by big business firms funding music.
Young people: Even though you do not have God’s Holy Spirit yet, you need to exercise your senses as well. And here’s a secret that no one in this society will tell you: Getting wrapped up in this world’s music is just playing into the hands of those media moguls who want to make millions off you. They’re counting on the fact that you’re not discerning; that you’ll just accept what they tell you to like! Don’t let them do that. Don’t let them run your life. Be empowered. Train your senses. Be aware of your musical choices.And who else makes millions of dollars? PCG. Gerald Flurry boasted in a 2012 booklet that PCG had an annual income of $19.5 million. That money comes from the members of PCG including many of the parents within PCG reading Malone's article.
Malone then casually assumes that the young will simply obey their parents regarding what music they listen to.
Obviously, you young people must trust your parents and obey them. With most of the youth in God’s Church, your parents or guardians have God’s Spirit. They need to be involved in the judgment and discernment of the music you listen to because of these spiritual components.Malone tells his readers to beware of "bitter and angry" music.
Even setting aside the lyrics, in much of today’s music you hear singers who are bitter and angry—and their music often casts the same emotional fervor onto its listener.
Would certain rap hits, even with “good” lyrics, still be considered good under this criterion? Lyrics aside, if the artist is shouting or yelling in an angry tone, is the art from God or from the being who wants to do violence to us? Is it still associated with provocative dancing and skin-tight halter-tops?And knowing that some will interpret these words to mean to only listen to happy music he then confusingly tries to lessen this criticism.
This isn’t saying our music selections always have to be happy. Psalm 49:4 reads, “I will open my dark saying upon the harp.” Some music is sad, but it won’t necessarily depress you. David’s music was educational and helpful.That is about as clear as mud.
The COGs have had a long history of fixating on peoples' looks. Malone's article continues that intrusive tradition.
As with many things pertaining to the physical senses, context is important. This applies in the area of diet—even foods God created aren’t good past a certain quantity. With dress standards, the amount of skin appropriate to show around the swimming pool is obviously different than the amount we should reveal in any other social situation.He then talks about judging music based on how loud it is. Strangely in this section he only writes about music being used in a religious setting.
Also related to this is the volume of the music. The context determines the volume appropriateness. Music can be louder at Church dances than at a fine evening meal (but still not so loud that it prohibits decent fellowship).Malone then mentions one song to suggest that it was unacceptable when it was released but now it is fine. How confusing.
Look also at the social context. The song “Rock Around the Clock” doesn’t make most of us want to revolt against our parents in this era—there is nothing in the spirit and attitude that relays that to most of us. Rather, today, we might just consider it peppy and cheerful. But it once carried those fruits and attitudes, and, at that time, it would have been wrong to entertain that type of selection.He encourages people to listen to film symphonies to get into classical music.
Buy film soundtracks that emphasize the symphony orchestra. This music is usually more accessible to the untrained ear than certain classical pieces. This genre of music helps to condition the ear to a more symphonic sound and therefore make the transition to “classical” music much smoother.Malone ends his article with these dire words insinuating that popular music will plunge the United States into nuclear World War III. What vicious nonsense.
Music is one of Satan’s main talents and tools and is one of the sins sending the Western world into tribulation! But music is also a force for great good if used properly. Let’s use good music to invite God’s presence into our lives. Let’s use good music to have His Holy Spirit flow more mightily so that we can keep Satan’s destructive influence out—conquering him once and for all!In other words it is insinuated that not listening to this article could cause the reader to come under Satan's influence and lose one's salvation.
There are comments.
Here's one comment from a person relieved to have a better idea of how to judge music.
I've been thinking about this subject lately, thanks for making it easier to gather my thoughts of the subject. what a great concept I'm sure God inspired you to write. Thanks so much!!!Here's one comment from a person who thinks it is important to listen to the kind of music Malone approves of.
Thank you for such a great article. I now understand even more the importance of good music in order to invite God's presence into our lives. Wow!Here's one comment from a person relieved to know that her friend who likes rock music is wrong to say it is just as good as the kind of music used in church services.
Quite the wonderful article – excellent points made too. This is exactly the kind of talk I'm looking for, as I have a friend who believes rock music is just as good as music meant to glorify God. All credit given to you, thanks!And so we see how Malone's words are being applied by PCG members.
Imagine that. PCG publishes an article that insists that (PCG's) God will plunge the United States into catastrophe because of bad music. What drivel.