Music as Therapy for the Oppressed
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
Sometimes I forget about music. Days and months go by and I am caught up in the business and stresses and worries of ministry and life. Life devoid of music is not a good thing, especially for a Christian.
Music is a gift from the Lord to His people. God is the ultimate composer – He sings (Zeph 3:17). He is the one who inspired the hymnody of Scripture, the Psalms. He gave us instruments and voices and heaven is full of His praise – much of it in the form of music. Consider —
Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Revelation 15:, “And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!”
Psalms 92:1-4, “A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath. It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; (2) to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, (3) to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. (4) For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.”
The Lord has given us music to praise Him, and as a gift to help us. We sing when we are joyful, even if we are not very good singers. We sing when we sense the nearness of the Lord and experience His goodness and love. Music needs to be a part of every Christian’s life. Abuse victims may not feel like singing very often, but listening to music is a great therapy. Especially if you can find music that honors the Lord and speaks His truth to you. That means you have to weed out the superficial stuff that so often plagues the church today. Like our prayers, our music doesn’t need to be characterized by meaningless repetition. There is good music to be had.
If you can, I might suggest that you get an iPod, load it up with music, and bring “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” into your life. Here are some suggestions: (OK, we have different musical tastes. Don’t stone me) —
- Keith and Kristyn Getty (In Christ Alone)
- Stan Williams, Piano Hymns
- Mannheim Steamroller
- Sovereign Grace Music (Valley of Vision)
- Jim Brickman (Piano Solos)
- Paul Hillier (Choral music)
- And yes, the soundtrack from the Lord of the Rings, especially Into the West which is the last song playing as Frodo and company sail out in the closing scene.
With an iPod touch, or even just on your computer, you can tune in to Pandora Radio and pick just about any kind of music you want, free.
This sounds, perhaps, like a strange article for a blogsite committed to exposing abuse and educating the church about it. But we also want to provide victims of abuse any kind of help that we can. I can tell you, music will be therapy to your soul.