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How would you explain to your friends the WAY of God and how, eg. music, can lead them to hell
Requested by Hh_woof and Answered by Fr. Antonios Kaldas on 26-Oct-2005 06:41 (2096 reads)
I would begin by talking about something really basic, like: "Do you generally like to follow 'good' or 'bad' ?" I would then point out that 'good' means things like life, light, love, joy, peace, truth, justice etc. 'Bad' means the opposite, ie. death, darkness, hatred, sadness, anxiety, lies, unfairness etc.

Obviously, given this choice, we all would choose 'good'. But it's not that simple. In today's mixed up world, things can often start out looking 'good' but end up 'bad'. Someone who takes up drugs, for example, may be looking for happiness, which is 'good'. But the drugs will probably lead him to addiction, illness, stealing and even death, all of which are 'bad'. So how can we find the wisdom to see ahead to these possible results?

One way might be to look at the lives and the words of others whom we consider 'good' and wise. There are many such people throughout history, but no one fits the bill anywhere near so well as Jesus of Nazareth. So if you want to see what He said about life, go to the Gospels and read. A good place to start might be with the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew ch. 5-7).

In this passage we find some mind-blowing ideas, such as the ultimate importance of love, and the freedom that comes from wanting nothing from this world. In it we find lots of advice about how to live our lives so that 'goodness' becomes a part of us.

We can then apply these teachings of Jesus to today's issues, such as music. Is music evil? Jesus never said THAT. But He did say that if anything causes you to sin ( = join the 'bad' side) you should get rid of it at any cost. "If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out" He said. So if you love listening to music, you have to honestly ask yourself, "What is this music teaching me? How does it affect my thinking and my feelings? What are it's results in my personality and my life? Does it cause me to sin?"

If I bravely and honestly answer this question, I will find out whether music is leading me to hell or not. For example, if listening to heaps of violent songs makes me want to go out and hit someone - that's not good. If, on the other hand, I listen to a love song and I find I can apply the words appropriately to my own love for God, then that music is helping me, not hurting me.

But I must stress that word, "honestly"! It is not hard to convince ourselves that a bad and harmful habit is actually pretty harmless after all ... harmless until it destroys me! Here is where the guidance of a Confession Father can come in really handy as an objective opinion that helps keep me on the right track.

By this stage, of course, you've got your friend reading the Bible, seriously questioning what he's listening to, and meeting up with Abouna for guidance and confession. Not a bad day's work ....