1 John 2:15-17 King James Version (KJV)
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
James 4 (KJV)
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Ev 505 Music can be a great power for good; yet we do not make the most of this branch of worship. The singing is generally done from impulse or to meet special cases, and at other times those who sing are left to blunder along, and the music loses its proper effect upon the minds of those present. Music should have beauty, pathos, and power. Let the voices be lifted in songs of praise and devotion. Call to your aid, if practicable, instrumental music, and let the glorious harmony ascend to God, an acceptable offering.
SD 179 I feel alarmed as I witness everywhere the frivolity of young men and young women who profess to believe the truth. . . . They have a keen ear for music, and Satan knows what organs to excite to animate, engross, and charm the mind, so that Christ is not desired. . . . Solemn responsibilities rest upon the young, which they lightly regard. The introduction of music into their homes, instead of inciting to holiness and spirituality, has been the means of diverting their minds from the truth. Frivolous songs and the popular sheet music of the day seem congenial to their taste. The instruments of music have taken time which should have been devoted to prayer. Music, when not abused, is a great blessing; but when put to a wrong use, it is a terrible curse. || It excites, but does not impart that strength and courage which the Christian can find only at the throne of grace while humbly making known his wants and, with strong cries and tears, pleading for heavenly strength to be fortified against the powerful temptations of the evil one. Satan is leading the young captive. Oh, what can I say to lead them to break his power of infatuation! He is a skillful charmer luring them on to perdition.
MYP 291 The history of the songs of the Bible is full of suggestion as to the uses and benefits of music and song. Music is often perverted to serve purposes of evil, and it thus becomes one of the most alluring agencies of temptation. But, rightly employed, it is a precious gift of God, designed to uplift the thoughts to high and noble themes, to inspire and elevate the soul.
MYP 295 Angels are hovering around yonder dwelling. The young are there assembled; there is the sound of vocal and instrumental music. Christians are gathered there, but what is that you hear? It is a song, a frivolous ditty, fit for the dance hall. Behold, the pure angels gather their light closer around them, and darkness envelops those in that dwelling. The angels are moving from the scene. Sadness is upon their countenances. Behold, they are weeping. This I saw repeated a number of times all through the ranks of Sabbath keepers, and especially in _____. Music has occupied the hours which should have been devoted to prayer. Music is the idol which many professed Sabbathkeeping Christians worship. Satan has no objection to music, if he can make that a channel through which to gain access to the minds of the youth. Anything will suit his purpose that will divert the mind from God and engage the time which should be devoted to His service. He works through the means which will exert the strongest influence to hold the largest numbers in a pleasing infatuation, while they are paralyzed by his power. When turned to good account, music is a blessing, but it is often made one of Satan’s most attractive agencies to ensnare souls. When abused, it leads the unconsecrated to pride, vanity, and folly. When allowed to take the place of devotion and prayer, it is a terrible curse. Young persons assemble to sing and, although professed Christians, frequently dishonor God and their faith by their frivolous conversation and their choice of music. Sacred music is not congenial to their taste. I was directed to the plain teachings of God’s word, which had been passed by unnoticed. In the judgment all these words of inspiration will condemn those who have not heeded them. –“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 1, p. 506.
1SM 334 Music is of heavenly origin. There is great power in music. It was music from the angelic throng that thrilled the hearts of the shepherds on Bethlehem’s plains and swept round the world. It is in music that our praises rise to Him who is the embodiment of purity and harmony. It is with music and songs of victory that the redeemed shall finally enter upon the immortal reward.
3SM 333 Brother U has a good knowledge of music, but his education in music was of a character to suit the stage rather than the solemn worship of God. Singing is just as much the worship of God in a religious meeting as speaking, and any oddity or peculiarity cultivated attracts the attention of the people and destroys the serious, solemn impression which should be the result of sacred music. Anything strange and eccentric in singing detracts from the seriousness and sacredness of religious service.
Ev 510 Great improvement can be made in singing. Some think that the louder they sing the more music they make; but noise is not music. Good singing is like the music of the birds–subdued and melodious.
2SM 36 It is impossible to estimate too largely the work that the Lord will accomplish through His proposed vessels in carrying out His mind and purpose. The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.
Ev 512 The superfluities which have been brought into the worship in _____ must be strenuously avoided. . . . Music is acceptable to God only when the heart is sanctified and made soft and holy by its facilities. But many who delight in music know nothing of making melody in their hearts to the Lord. Their heart is gone “after their idols.”
SpTB05 42 On one occasion, when the armies of Israel were to go up to battle, the Lord commanded that they take with them singers and instruments of music. They went into the battle singing the high praises of God. When their enemies heard this music, the Lord caused fear to fill their hearts, and they fled. We need to have more music and less groaning. May God help us to put faith into our work, remembering that if trial comes, it will be because we need it.
2MR 347 Item 2. [Requested by A. L. White for use in answering questions on Ellen G. White’s attitude toward secular music.] For about an hour the fog did not lift and the sun did not penetrate it. Then the musicians, who were to leave the boat at this place, entertained the impatient passengers with music, well selected and well rendered. It did not jar upon the senses as the previous evening, but was soft and really grateful to the senses because it was musical.–Letter 6b, 1893. (Regarding the landing in New Zealand in Feb., 1893.)
CT 145 The first lessons are of great importance. It is customary to send very young children to school. They are required to study from books things that tax their young minds, and often they are taught music. Frequently the parents have but limited means, and an expense is incurred which they can ill afford, but everything must be made to bend to this artificial line of education. This course is not wise. A nervous child should not be overtaxed in any direction and should not learn music until he is physically well developed.
Ev 505 I have been shown the order, the perfect order, of heaven, and have been enraptured as I listened to the perfect music there. After coming out of vision, the singing here has sounded very harsh and discordant. I have seen companies of angels, who stood in a hollow square, every one having a harp of gold. . . . There is one angel who always leads, who first touches the harp and strikes the note, then all join in the rich, perfect music of heaven. It cannot be described. It is melody, heavenly, divine, while from every countenance beams the image of Jesus, shining with glory unspeakable.
Ev 508 In their efforts to reach the people, the Lord’s messengers are not to follow the ways of the world. In the meetings that are held, they are not to depend on worldly singers and theatrical display to awaken an interest. How can those who have no interest in the Word of God, who have never read His Word with a sincere desire to understand its truths, be expected to sing with the spirit and the understanding? How can their hearts be in harmony with the words of sacred song? How can the heavenly choir join in music that is only a form?
VSS 448 Music was made to serve a holy purpose, to lift the thoughts to that which is pure, noble, and elevating, and to awaken in the soul devotion and gratitude to God. What a contrast between the ancient custom and the uses to which music is now too often devoted! How many employ this gift to exalt self, instead of using it to glorify God! A love for music leads the unwary to unite with world-lovers in pleasure-gatherings where God has forbidden His children to go. Thus, that which is a great blessing when rightly used, becomes one of the most successful agencies by which Satan allures the mind from duty and from the contemplation of eternal things. –PP 594.
AH 407 I feel alarmed as I witness everywhere the frivolity of young men and young women who profess to believe the truth. God does not seem to be in their thoughts. Their minds are filled with nonsense. Their conversation is only empty, vain talk. They have a keen ear for music, and Satan knows what organs to excite to animate, engross, and charm the mind so that Christ is not desired. The spiritual longings of the soul for divine knowledge, for a growth in grace, are wanting.
LDE 86; EV 496 As the children of Israel journeying through the wilderness cheered their way by the music of sacred song, so God bids His children today gladden their pilgrim life. There are few means more effective for fixing His words in the memory than repeating them in song. And such song has wonderful power. It has power to subdue rude and uncultivated natures, power to quicken thought and to awaken sympathy, to promote harmony of action, and to banish the gloom and foreboding that destroy courage and weaken effort. || It is one of the most effective means of impressing the heart with spiritual truth. How often to the soul hard-pressed and ready to despair, memory recalls some word of God’s–the long forgotten burden of a childhood song–and temptations lose their power, life takes on new meaning and new purpose, and courage and gladness are imparted to other souls!–Education, pp. 167, 168. (1903)
1T 676 Yet no one took the interest in her case that we did. I even spoke to the large congregation before we went East last fall, of their neglect of Sister More. I spoke of the duty of giving honor to whom it is due; it appeared to me that wisdom had so far departed from the prudent that they were not capable of appreciating moral worth. I told that church that there were many among them who could find time to meet, and sing, and play their instruments of music; they could give their money to the artist to multiply their likenesses or could spend it to attend public amusements; but they had nothing to give to a worn-out missionary who had heartily embraced the present truth and had come to live with those of like precious faith. I advised them to stop and consider what we were doing, and proposed that they shut up their instruments of music for three months and take time to humble themselves before God in self-examination, repentance, and prayer until they learned the claims which the Lord had upon them as His professed children. My soul was stirred with a sense of the wrong that had been done Jesus, in the person of Sister More, and I talked personally with several about it.
2T 297 Music has been a snare to you. You are troubled with self-esteem; it is natural for you to have exalted ideas of your own ability. Teaching music has been an injury to you. Many women have confided their family difficulties to you. This has also been an injury to you. It has exalted you and led you to still greater self-esteem.
VSS 416 Music forms a part of God’s worship in the courts above. We should endeavor in our songs of praise to approach as nearly as possible to the harmony of the heavenly choirs. I have often been pained to hear untrained voices, pitched to the highest key, literally shrieking the sacred words of some hymn of praise. How inappropriate those sharp, rasping voices for the solemn, joyous worship of God. I long to stop my ears, or flee from the place, and I rejoice when the painful exercise is ended.–Ev 507, 508.
VSS 426 Singing should not be allowed to divert the mind from the hours of devotion. If one must be neglected, let it be the singing. It is one of the great temptations of the present age to carry the practice of music to extremes, to make a great deal more of music than of prayer. Many souls have been ruined here. When the Spirit of God is arousing the conscience and convicting of sin, Satan suggests a singing exercise or a singing school, which, being conducted in a light and trifling manner, results in banishing seriousness, and quenching all desire for the Spirit of God. Thus the door of the heart, which was about to be opened to Jesus, is closed and barricaded with pride and stubbornness, in many cases never again to be opened.
VSS 447 The chief subjects of study in these schools [of the prophets] were the law of God, with the instruction given to Moses, sacred history, sacred music, and poetry. . . . Sanctified intellect brought forth from the treasure house of God things new and old, and the Spirit of God was manifested in prophecy and sacred song.–Ed 47.
Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 190 Mr. Johanneson was training his children in singing, and we enjoyed the music of their little voices blending together in sacred songs. If parents generally would give more time to the education and training of their children, having really a home school for them, their families would be far happier. Children who are gifted with the talent or love of music may receive impressions that will be lifelong by a judicious use of these susceptibilities as the medium for religious instruction. Less time should be spent in the ornamentation of clothing, and far more attention should be given to making the character lovely. It is the inward adorning that will endure; the influences which give direction to these young lives will be far-reaching as eternity.
ST 6-12-82 The proper training of the voice should be regarded as an important part of education. The singer should train himself to utter every word distinctly. It should be remembered that singing as a part of religious service is as much an act of worship as is the prayer. The heart must feel the spirit of the words, to give them right expression. Parents should not employ to instruct their children, a teacher of music who has no reverence for sacred things, nor should they allow them to learn and practice dance songs and frivolous music.
21MR 421 This day I thank the Lord He has given me strength to bear my message under the large tent one mile from the sanitarium. The seats were all occupied. There was singing accompanied with music, and the music was distinct in sound and made a good impression upon the people. Then I spoke one hour and the Lord strengthened me, for which I praise His holy name. I presented the first chapter of First Peter, and the people listened with much interest.
AH 514 A view of one such company was presented to me, where were assembled those who profess to believe the truth. One was seated at the instrument of music, and such songs were poured forth as made the watching angels weep. There was mirth, there was coarse laughter, there was abundance of enthusiasm and a kind of inspiration; but the joy was such as Satan only is able to create. This is an enthusiasm and infatuation of which all who love God will be ashamed. It prepares the participants for unholy thought and action. I have reason to think that some who were engaged in that scene heartily repented of the shameful performance.
AH 515 Many of the amusements popular in the world today, even with those who claim to be Christians, tend to the same end as did those of the heathen. There are indeed few among them that Satan does not turn to account in destroying souls. Through the drama he has worked for ages to excite passion and glorify vice. The opera, with its fascinating display and bewildering music, the masquerade, the dance, the card table, Satan employs to break down the barriers of principle and open the door to sensual indulgence. In every gathering for pleasure where pride is fostered or appetite indulged, where one is led to forget God and lose sight of eternal interests, there Satan is binding his chains about the soul.