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Is it ok for Christians to listen to opera?
The Bible gives us these instructions when considering music for personal listening: Ephesians 5:19, "Speaking TO YOURSELVES in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Does the opera fit that description? The Bible gives further instruction for performing music for others: Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; TEACHING AND ADMONISHING ONE ANOTHER in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
Does the opera fit that description? The SAME music that we listen to in PRIVATE, is to be the SAME music that we listen to or play in PUBLIC. Are we willing to admit that God knows more about how music affects people (including us) than we do? Music powerfully affects the emotions and the flesh, which then greatly influences thinking and decisions.Another factor to consider in the matter of opera is the understanding factor. Can you really understand what they are singing? Many people would have to confess that they do not understand much of what is sung in an opera. I Corinthians 14:6-11 says, "Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me."
In this sense, opera music is as vain as tongues-speaking by the Charismatics today. If the point is not to cause the hearers to understand, then what is the point? Just one -- pride. Pride in one's ability to impress those who are impressed by such foolish things. How much better to talk and sing so intelligent people can understand what is being said or sung. Can you imagine a child getting up in church and singing "Jesus Loves Me" in opera fashion? Would it exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, or the child? The child. That shows you it is not Scriptural. I Corinthians 10:31, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD."
(Note: After receiving this reply, this man wrote back and said that he has read the actual words from some opera, and that the words indeed are very vulgar. Once again, Christians may be listening to music that would horrify them, if they actually knew what was being sung.)
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