When I attended church as a teenager, one thing that was always discussed among the teens in the youth ministry was Christian music. We would have it played every week before our midweek Bible study and even hang out at the Christian book store up the road talking about the latest albums that were released.
When it came to "secular" music, it was like leprosy, it was hardly discussed. Ironically, during the summer of my senior year, our church choir decided to perform non-Christian songs with some form of Christian meaning. In other words, we were Christianizing the songs.
As I heard people give their testimony of how Jesus changed their lives, one thing that stood out from a few of them was they dumped their "secular" music in the trash. So I thought that is what Christians do. As a Youth Pastor, I commended the listening of "secular" music even though it was okay to see movies even they were not Christians. Do you see the hypocrisy? I condemned any Christian listening to "secular" music.
By God's grace, I began to realize that music is a gift of common grace from the Lord. It is a form of art. Some use it for the glory of God while some use it to communicate their own propaganda. There are even those that love music that they do it for the love of it.
Now comes the question you might be asking yourself, should I (as a Christian) listen to non-Christian (what we call, secular) music? Here is my answer: It depends. Like any form of entertainment, music must be approached with discernment. If you starting listening to an artist who is known for having some profanity in their lyrics or sexually explicit songs, you might want to stay away from them. There are some good non-Christian albums that you can enjoy without worrying about the lyrics. If you are mature in your faith, then the lyrics won't be a problem unless your kids are around.
For the past few years, there are some great non-Christian albums I have really enjoyed from different artists. Some of them came by recommendations from Steve McCoy on Twitter. Others have come from my own discovery. You can enjoy music from any genre from any artists all for the glory of God. I will admit, I am still not a huge country music fan even though I am from Texas.
Now to address the elephant on this post. There have been a few times, I referred to non-Christian music as "secular." I am sure you have noticed the quotation marks around it. You might be wondering why I did that. First, that is what many Christians call things that are non-Christian. Anything non-Christian we call secular meaning it is of the world. Second, everything in this world, including music, belongs to God. Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein." Everything in this world belongs to him.
We can use our time in listening to music to honor God whether it is a worship song from the Getty's or enjoying the latest song from Imagine Dragons. We can enjoy banging our heads to Red, Disciple, and Three Days Grace (hopefully not at the same time). As I mentioned earlier, music is a gift from God and should be enjoyed like any other form of art, but one must exercise caution when listening to music. I am not talking just non-Christian music either, which is another subject for another time.
Should you and I listen to non-Christian music? Yes, but, like movies and books, with discernment.