I sure had! And trust me, there were a few people that enjoyed discovering new artists as much as I did. It was like finding a gem under all the useless rock. I mean... rocks. Everything acoustic I owned, from some Appalachian bluegrass boys, fiddling away, to Irish Songwriters, singing of lovers with their old guitars. I genuinely enjoyed it! This music did not glorify Christ in any way, shape, or form, but they were talking about love, and stuff. Love is good, right?
I mean, there is a difference between the beats of Lil'Wane (or however his mother spelled it), and the culturally rich strumming of Mumford and Sons. There is a difference between Marilyn Manson, and Of Monsters and Men. However, we use that vast difference to justify our acceptance of the latter, and create a self-righteous image by condemning the former as 'evil.' This 'difference' that we point out is just accusing one kind of worldliness instead of another. It is hypocritical. After all, what is the difference between a foul-mouth, immoral, perverted and vain rapper, and an indie-rock band, if they both do not glorify Christ?
Sure, one might be explicitly singing about sin, and the other talking about who-knows-or-cares-what-as-long-as-its-not-sex; but instead of measuring the quality of music on how little sin they talk about, how about we measure their quality on how intensely they worship Christ? After all, you sang a few Sundays back of how you wanted more of Jesus, didn't you? You didn't sing about how much sin you didn't want, obviously.
The term "christian" music was a vague term that not many people could define, and I don't like using that term. It sounds basic, and ignorant.
We can divide music into two spiritual categories. That music which was intentionally written to glorify Christ, and/or that intentionally instills that desire; and music that does not. We can call the latter "worldly" music. As far as Christ is concerned, all music is either for Him, or against Him.
The Apostle John was a man that was radical about two things. The beloved apostle was radical about love, and about holiness. 1 John 2:15-17 reads:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Worldly music is of the world. Christians are called to reject the things of the world. Therefore, Christians are called to reject the music of this world. Like what I did there?
No, it's not a sin to listen to music that is not of Christ. I mean, after all, every time you walk into a retail store, you hear of another love story that is not founded on the love of Christ. However, when you choose to partake and enjoy music that does not glorify Christ, you are enjoying the things of the world. It is that simple.
Do not love this world, and do not love it's music.
You can try and reason around it. You can try and ignore it. You can try to say that I quoted John out of context. You can try and misquote Paul by saying how this "is permissible but not beneficial." You can try and say that you only listen to worldly music so you can be 'relevant' to the people in your school. You can make excuses, like I did; but sooner or later you will come to the same conclusions, and then you will make your choice.
It is not about whether it's 'right' or 'wrong,' it is about whether it is holy or not holy.
I reduced my library of thousands of songs, and hundreds of artists/bands, to less than one hundred songs, and one author. I burned my bridges, and I confess, I did it without double thinking. I feared that I would reason myself out of this one, too.
Every time I think of all that music I threw away, I'm a little disturbed. "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith." (Philippians 3:7-9)
Do not dismiss this as a 'conviction' of mine, because you don't want to deal with conviction from the Holy Spirit. If you don't think you have been called to this, think again. You just read 906 words convincing you. It is that simple.