The verses regarding music in the NT… Psalms Hymns & Spiritual songs… is this to be interpreted as commands to the church directly (as regarding their worship service), or are we, as Christians, only to listen to these types of music in our personal life?
Before I begin, let’s look at the verses in question;
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5:18-21)
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. (Col 3:16)
There is no prohibition, as far as I can tell, against listening to other types of music. In our relations with other believers and as part of the teaching ministry of the Church, we are told to speak to one another in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs. These have been interpreted variously, but in my opinion I believe that they refer to songs found in Scripture (Psalms), theological songs about God (Hymns), and songs of testimony (Spiritual Songs). All three aspects should be present in our congregational worship (both teaching and praise).
Now for my opinion. Since there is no prohibition against other types of music, I would think that it is good to recognize the artistry that has been gifted to musicians by God. Music is a beautiful gift from God that is to enrich our lives. Obviously a lot of contemporary music, both Christian and secular, does not accomplish that in us. So that which does not cause us to be amazed at the God who can create such music should be rejected. If you can appreciate country music then listen to country music with wholesome lyrics. If you can appreciate classical music then listen to that.
On the other hand, music finds it’s fulfillment in Christianity. The ultimate purpose of music is to glorify God. So in my mind there is a significant difference in appreciating the artistry in music in the secular world and a Christian creating music that does not fulfill it’s greatest purpose, the worship of God and teaching of the saints.
The only secular music I listen to is Charlie Daniels. Everything else is music produced by Christians for the express purpose of leading me in worship and teaching me doctrine. I am not the model to follow, however. The two most important factors in choosing which music to listen to are Scripture and conscience.