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Music – the god that cannot save

December 2001 | by Philip Taylor

‘The Verve’ music band have a picture of the cross on the inside cover of their 1995 album entitled A Northern Soul. The caption alongside the cross is ‘Music saves’.

The statement makes its message quite clear – in today’s society, music has become the focus, even the god, of many people’s lives. It is the one thing they live for to escape the monotony and stress of everyday life.

All too real

The recent terrorist disasters in New York and Washington produced some very revealing comments from those involved in the music and pop scene. When faced with tragedy, musicians are obliged to admit their own helplessness.

The edition of the New Musical Express published on 22 September contains some very interesting comments from the world of pop music. Noel Gallagher of Oasis declared: ‘We’re powerless, we’re not the army, we’re not political, we’re just … musicians’ (page 3).

Three days after the atrocity, April Long, a freelance musician living in New York, wrote: ‘I’m so sick of hearing the word “surreal” right now, I could scream. It was all too real… After something so disgusting has happened right before our eyes, can anything ever be the same again? … It seems totally trivial to talk about music right now … In the face of a national disaster, who … cares about indie rock?’ (page 4).


Gavin McInnes, another journalist working for NME, also lives in New York and responded to the incident in much the same way. ‘After seeing two planes decimate buildings that can hold 100,000 people, everything else seems totally superfluous … everything seems so irrelevant. My job is to write about hip-hop and fashion and I couldn’t imagine anything more redundant’ (page 5).

An unemployed citizen of New York, Jess Carstensen, shared his thoughts with NME concerning the terrible tragedy: ‘The attack … made a lot of the things I do and love – all music-related – seem insignificant’ (page 4).

Each of these individuals would probably claim music to be the most important thing in their lives. Their reactions when tragedy struck are all similar – music became irrelevant and worthless. It was powerless to help anyone in tragic times. It is a failed god!

Noise, comfort

Though they acknowledge the failure of music to help them, they also show their own spiritual blindness. April Long went on to write: ‘The music scene will continue to flourish – it might even get bigger and bolder than it was before … music is therapy, catharsis, noise, comfort … let’s get through this. Then let’s make some noise’.

Jess Carstensen observes: ‘Throughout the ordeal I only looked forward to normality, and to me that meant listening, seeing and playing music again’.

But music cannot meet your deepest needs, because they are spiritual needs. It cannot save a sinner nor bring peace with God.

Jesus died and rose again from the grave to save sinners. He is the only Saviour and he will freely forgive you and save you from your sins if you repent of all your wrongdoing and trust in him.

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