Is It A Sin To Listen To Taylor Swift?

By: Slow to Write Topic: culture

Some Christians believe it’s a sin to listen to Taylor Swift, but I don’t think they can defend that with scripture. 

Last week I shared a humourous tweet saying: 

“My wife and I do not fit stereotypes. We’re on a road trip…and guess who wanted to listen to Taylor Swift and who didn’t? 😂😂😂 Not being a Swiftie is one of her rare flaws.” 

Considering the last words in the tweet, I assumed everyone would understand the unserious nature of my words. To my surprise, however, some Christians demanded that I repent and publicly renounce Taylor Swift. Because of my sense of humour, I thought their overly serious reactions were hilarious.

But that doesn’t mean this topic isn’t important. The music we listen to matters. We will all give an account to God over what entertains us. However, some Christians are neglecting what the Bible says on this topic.

Because of my tweet, this might surprise some of you, but I don’t like Taylor Swift. She’s a feminist who has made a career out of whining about the many men she’s dated. It’s probably only a matter of time before her current boyfriend becomes the latest villain she makes a song about.

She is a god to many “Swifties,” and some of her worshippers are Christians. If you are a Christian and you are tempted to idolize Taylor Swift, you should probably stop listening to Taylor Swift. Jesus said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell (Matthew 5:29).”

So if Taylor Swift causes you to sin, you should cut her music off. Remove her songs from Spotify. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a sin to listen to Taylor Swift. Anyone who says that is elevating their opinions over the word of God.

Some of her critics have highlighted blasphemous lyrics in a couple of songs in her latest album, but as my friend and favourite Swiftie (Alex Clark) suggested on her podcast this week if that is the standard for labeling an artist’s entire music as sinful, then it’s sinful for Christians to listen to any secular artist.

That isn’t tolerance for blasphemy. Nor does it mean Christians should listen to the two songs on the album with blasphemous lyrics. But in a sinful world, not every song by a secular musician will be “pure and praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8). To a lesser extent, I think the same is true for every Christian musician. 

When we elevate our opinions over God’s word, we attempt to make inconsistent thinking superior to consistent, universal truth. For instance, I doubt Christians who believe it’s sinful to listen to Taylor Swift believe it’s sinful to listen to Joe Rogan.

I’ve been listening to Joe Rogan for many years. I’ve shared this publicly. But despite his many blasphemous, crude, and anti-Christ word, no one has demanded that I should repent and publicly renounce Rogan. 

What’s the difference between listening to Joe Rogan and Taylor Swift? 

Some of Taylor Swift’s critics say she performs witchcraft. I haven’t seen any legitimate evidence to support that. Regardless, that doesn’t mean it’s sinful to listen to her. If practicing witchcraft makes her music sinful to listen to, then isn’t it sinful to listen to any artist who unrepentantly practices fornication or any other sin? 

And especially, if God’s word says it isn’t a sin to eat food offered to idols, why is it a sin to listen to music offered to idols? So long as a song isn’t explicitly promoting evil, I think Christians have the liberty to listen to it. 

 Romans 14:10-14 says: 

“Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.”

That doesn’t mean we should enjoy evil forms of entertainment. God says “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them (Ephesians 5:11).” There are songs I refuse to listen to because they are inherently sinful. When I became a believer, I stopped listening to the majority of the songs I used to listen to because they explicitly promoted crude language, sexual sin, and violence.

So the question shouldn’t be “Is it a sin to listen to Taylor Swift?” The question should be, “Are some of Taylor Swift’s songs pure and praiseworthy?” 

The answer is, of course, “yes.” 

And yet, that doesn’t mean Christian parents should encourage their children to listen to Taylor Swift. The Bible says, “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up (1 Corinthians 10:23).”

I recently encouraged a young, impressionable Christian to stop listening to Jordan Peterson. This is because although Jordan Peterson is one of my favourite cultural commentators, his heretical views on Christianity could be too dangerous for undiscerning Christians. 

So although it’s lawful to listen to Jordan Peterson, it might not be helpful for some people. In the same way, it’s not a sin to listen to Taylor Swift—but it might not be helpful for some of you. 

Slow to Write