That title to many is very controversial. MANY Christians will vehemently disagree with me and say that I am wrong, but in my personal experiences, what the world might consider “secular”, still can matter to a Christian.
Let me explain, please. God created the world right, and everything in it? So regardless of the poison pill that runs around controlling everything, God still created many things. Yes, man created several too, and many of those things are wrong in God’s eyes.
When I make a statement that there is no such thing as secular what I mean is Many things of the world can still have God in them, remind you of God, and can be useful.
The number one thing that comes to mind first is: Music. Yep, that is the biggest controversial secular nightmare.
Here is what I have learned though. I have listened to several secular songs that were more abstract in tone and style that very much reminded me of God and even helped my relationship with him. They are more of the Indie variety and not mainstream songs, but it depends.
SYML, has a few songs that remind me of God singing to me. Wildfire, and Girl. These two songs make it feel like God is talking to me even though the meaning of the song wasn’t intended for that, but I am an Artist so I know things are subjective.
Missio’s I See You sounds like a song from God.
I have heard soft folk indie songs by a new Indie group called: Lists, and burst into tears because it reminded me of God.
I stood on the bank of my favorite creek below my house in Winter of 2020, and was playing Sleeping At Last song: Saturn. Tears flowed down my face and I felt with everything in me, God was using that song to get my attention to be more hopeful.
I heard a beautiful flowing song by Mree, In Your Eyes, and as I watch the video of creation that was made for the song, all I can think of is God.
I can say however, that yes if songs lack too much melody, have too many drums, or hard heavy metal sounds, or too much rap, than I don’t really sense God in that at all. The less melodic it is,and hard it is, the less chance God will use it. Again, that is personal experience.
Lots of songs can bring up your emotions and doubts on what you might feel about God, if it is generic and abstract, and can get you in touch with feelings that were buried and lost.
A good example would be Jordan Smith’s Only Love. He is just singing about the world, but when I hear that song, all I think of is God how the world needs him.
If a song entices you to sin, brings up lustful thoughts, or has sinful lyrics than yes, it is wrong.
Most songs though do have sinful content in a basic nature though, meaning they will sing about breakups, heartaches, pain, trauma, and how they process it. Depending on how you see it, since God is not mentioned you might be turned off if you are a believer.
Minds that are more abstract,, complex, deep thinkers, introverts, people like that will hear things in secular music that others will not. I am one of those people.
As far as things of the world go, that is one tricky slope to go across. Books are secular, science can be secular, politics, etc so it takes more caution and discernment, but some people might think that being of the world, so to speak if only for unbelievers, but we live here too and can utilize things, but just see them differently. To me, there is beauty in that. Think about it. Imagine looking at something the rest of the world is seeing something else completely different because they don’t know God, and you see it and smile because it reminds you of something in the faith! It matters. Again, I say it tentatively because sometimes as Freud himself said, a cigar is just a cigar. And no, I don’t like Freud much but he did say a few things that are true,he just left God out of the bigger picture.
I am an Artist. If I paint something, and think something sinful,, than the painting is tainted and ruined since I am a Christian. If I paint something and I am just expressing emotions, and painting without trying to be sinful and don’t have obvious imagery that says that than it is all subjective, and the viewer gets to decide. You certainly don’t make it easy for people to be tempted to sin, and it is best not to paint anything that tempts someone, but painting itself is just a tool and it is either bad or good.
It is in the abstract that meaning can be most attributed to God, and being a creative I love that, and it comes easy for me. I encourage those who are rigid and firm about it, to calm down and reconsider some things.
I personally do not get into worship music hardly at all. It makes me feel horrible, makes me think badly of God or that I am not good enough, so I usually avoid it. Yet, I can put on an Indie song and feel more connected to God than I ever would through a worship song because I was relaxed and open to different ideas.
There is only so far you can take things though, obviously, and we have common sense for that, so proceed with caution, but from what I read from uptight Christians online they scream, no way! You can’t hear secular songs ever! You can’t read any secular books ever! Well, again it depends, Don’t read a book on Evolution, no, but a typical fiction book might be okay sometimes.
And then there is tv and movies. You will know rather easily what is allowed and what is not, that is the easist. Sex scenes, nope. Murder, nope. Too much cursing, bad behaviors, nope. Sadly though 90% of tv and movies since the beginning of time all have sin in them, there is no exception, it is more a case of which one has the least, and is more wholesome, and tolerable. I watch movies from the 1940’s and 1950’s a lot because things were different then. They sure had their share of sin though, so there is no safe place but cutting out every single thing in your life until you sit in a chair and knit all day isn’t necessarily what God wanted.
I don’t watch that many movies, I watch home vlogs, and funny animal videos. Those are not sinful. I watch how to videos, or cooking shows. Make it easier on yourself, but I just thought that I would be the one to put it out there that really, truly, if you are a child of God, there really isn’t anything just “secular”. God is everywhere, in everything, and can be found in the most strangest of places if you look. Many things can be used and it is quite remarkable.
So the takeaway message is this: Look for things that are more abstract, not blatantly obvious, that are neutral and subjective, and then it becomes easier to put God in them! **Here is a playlist to give you an example of songs that personally have worked for me that are secular: Songs that remind me of God