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Look, Listen and Stop

Young People, take a walk with me, please-a walk through our church and high school parking lots, as they are filled with the various modes of transportation before Young People’s Society and church itself, or the daily schedule of classes, or a walk through your own private rooms where homework is done and hobbies are worked on, or a walk to the local pizza shop where all the guys and gals gather after the basketball game. Notice with me the tapes and records lying on the front seats, or on the bed, bookcase, desk, or in the playing machines of the eating places. Now notice the titles on the various tapes and records as they lie strewn around in careless abandon. There’s one of the “Beatles”, another by “Chicago”, one by John Denver, and yes, one by “Kiss”, too.

Now listen with me as many of these cars leave the parking lots to drive along to their individual destinations. With those Jensen speakers in the back, or those grotesque homemade boxes sticking up on the rear deck, the private auto becomes an exclusive concert hall; ex­clusive because all else can be tuned out except the sounds of the music from the tape deck. Even as the homework (catechism. Y.P.S. studying) is being done, “outside” noises can be shut out easily with the use of the head phones. Exclusive concerts “‘off limits” to all who are concerned with what sort of things young people listen to. Exclusive concerts because it is a way of not really letting others know exactly what is being heard.

And just what is being listened to? As we listen closely to the lyrics, we discover that those singers really tell it like it is! They know the true meaning of love. Love is never saying you’re sorry. Love is meeting a stranger in the night. Love is that head-long tumble of passionate embraces, and that desire for someone else’s wife or husband. A sweet angelic voice sings out for months on end in #1 spot, “How can it be wrong when it feels so right?”. And what about the establish­ment? Here too, they tell it like it is. Our parents hang on to us too rigidly. Our church life holds us back from experi­encing life in all its fullness. Our materialistic world exploits us.

And what are we to do? The lyrics tell us to rebel. We are to seek out those who really understand our problems, even though it means throwing away all we have learned. Listen again to the effemi­nate painted guys sing of the joys of drugs. Forget the misery of today, they tell us, and turn to true joy.

What has happened to the truth that God has prepared a mate for each of us to marry in the Lord? What is put across about finding our friends of like back­ground, experience and faith? The music of today has that thrown so far out, it’ll never come back, and it laughs in our faces with mocking words against these principles. What about the commands to obey for God’s sake, when every other song urges us on to rebellion? If ever any of these things were true, they aren’t any more. If ever Christ was the answer, He isn’t any more today.

What is happening to us-those who listen openly to, shake with, and sing along with this modern melee? What is happening when parents confront us with a stand against the powers of hell as they are seen and heard in the contemporary music? Look and listen to the majority of the tapes and records that are played. Really look and listen! I think one would be absolutely amazed if he took a moment to really hear the words. And it is so easy to just sing along with those words and ideas, building them up inside us as insidiously as a disease spreading un­noticed for a while. Young people, how can God be pleased with WLAV? How can He be pleased with the majority of those $8 tapes in our collections? How can we possibly imitate Christ in our joining in the spirit of the “rock groups” we follow? Only a fool would imagine that can be done.

After really looking, really listening, it is high time we stop! If the listening is just because others do, stop! If it’s because that sort of thing is actually craved and looked for, stop!! It is time to get rid of the addiction to today’s music. And in stopping, then look for a use for those tape decks in which God’s name is not blasphemed, and the breaking of His law is not advocated. Certainly the filling of that void is harder than the actual throwing away of those tapes. But it can be done! Perhaps in the next few months more can be written concerning this question.