Lifestyle changes in College
Music: This was an area of contention even as a child, and was not drastically changed in college, except that now I could publicly practice what I had privately believed. Growing up the rules were not set in stone and they tended to change from time to time. The basic idea was that all secular music was bad and any music that was similar to popular music or rock (even with Christian lyrics) was also bad.
There was this concept of intrinsic beauty which just so happened to align with the preferences of those who taught it. Perhaps more telling, this concept was opposed to anything they deemed sinful from their past. Thus, since the rock-in-roll of the 60’s and 70’s was seen as particularly rebellious and evil, rock was bad. However, the well-known dubious history of many hymns was never questioned (it is thought that many hymns were old bar tunes, with the lyrics changed). And musical styles with more recent origin (rap for example), were less likely to be condemned because there was no association with past “sinful” experiences.
The other odd thing about my childhood music listening boundaries that I never got, was the idea that some music was demonic. It was as if there could be an actual invisible spirit that inhabited certain music if you hit the right notes. Or perhaps it was more about the lyrics. Once again, a vague rule supported by vague concepts and the ever helpful “just trust God” thrown in there when the supporting arguments weren’t enough.
With music I quickly realized that despite my faith in God and belief in a relatively conservative Christianity, this was something I could not hold to. At a young age I began to secretly listen to all manner of music particularly post hard core rock (for whatever reason) and alternative. I managed to gain quite a collection of music for private enjoyment and listened to popular radio whenever I could get away with it. Explicitly sexual language and pervasive cursing were my two boundaries. Nowhere in the Bible could I find even a remote grounds to states that certain styles of music were more holy than others, a belief I hold to this day.