For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours
become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
1 Corinthians 8:9
Karaoke singing is a new phenomenon and is gaining popularity in Asian countries and perhaps even in the West in recent years. KTV lounges are sprouting up in many cities all over the world. Karaoke singing is a form of entertainment where anyone can participate in singing along on a microphone while watching the lyrics and movie played on the television via a CD player. Such entertainment is available from Karaoke lounges, restaurants or even at home. In fact home Karaoke systems are readily available and its cost is also not too inhibitive for homeowners to own a set as well. Songs of the world are mostly sung but there are also “Christians” karaoke CDs to cater for the “Christian” market and their songs are normally those of Contemporary Christian Music.
Singing is a natural form human expression and exercise which is a God-given gift. We find people in the Old and New Testament singing. Of course their singing was the results of victory over their enemies or God’s deliverance from trouble as well as simply motivated out of thanksgiving to praise and honour our trice Holy God. So it is expected that both the saved and the lost people in this world sing as naturally as they talk and walk upon the face of the earth. For a Christian, he is even giving a commandment to sing.
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (Eph 5:19)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Col 3:16)
The object for which a Christian is commanded to sing is to sing to the Lord and not to sing to be admired by or to impress fellow men. The types of songs to be sung are psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Such singing can be considered a part of worship whether it is during congregational singing or singing in private. The purpose of this kind of singing is also to teach and to admonish one another which may also be viewed as part of the edifying of the body in Christ.
In contrast, karaoke singing has a very different purpose and also serves to achieve a very different objective. To fallen men, this is part and parcel of their relaxation and entertainment whether to sing away their woes or to psyche up their emotional well-being. This gives them a “feel good” effect and a good distraction from their daily grinds. Since fallen men living under the curse do often feel the toils exact upon them, they need an avenue to express or release themselves and to find solace from the harsh reality they have to face.
But for a born again child of God, the Lord Jesus Christ is our all sufficiency. We should no longer feel the burden of the guilt of our sins upon us because the Lord Jesus Christ has already bore it for us at Calvary.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor 5:17)
Not only a Christian has become a new creature in Christ, he is also given a new song to sing.
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (Rev 5:9)
And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. (Rev 14:3)
Every day is a day nearer to glory and to the celestial land promised to them. A Christian should have no business wallowing in their sad estate of the past and instead to follow the example of the apostle Paul according to Phil 3:13 &14.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Why should a child of God, destined to be a joint-heir with Christ, continue to wallow in the flesh belching out the filth from his sinful heart in such singing? Have not the child of God been warned about the horrible stench of the flesh that proceed from heart out of the mouth?
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. (Matt 15:11)
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (Matt 15:18)
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luke 6:45)
Some may object that the verses above do not cover singing. Is this a reasonable objection? Besides, there are also warnings on what should be acceptable communication from a child of God.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Eph 4:29)
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. (Col 3:8)
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (1 Cor 15:33)
Isn’t singing a form of communication? According to Col 3:16, the Christians’ singing is for the purpose of teaching and admonishing one another. Isn’t it reasonable to acknowledge that singing is indeed a form of communication? During times of wars, opposing nations do compose songs to charge up the morale of their people and soldiers. It is also used as propaganda to unite its people under threat from a common enemy. Singing is without doubt a form of communication.
In fact, Karaoke is a big business. It is not simply just restricted to singing. I know of a person who operated two Karaoke lounges in which I had also visited in the course of my work. Karaoke singing is just a platform to bring in the customers. Besides renting out dimly lit Karaoke rooms, the other major part of the business comes from the sales of drinks. Anyone who does not believe that hanky panky often occurs in such premises must be very naïve and ill informed. Insurance companies charge such business a premium to insure their business premises because this is indeed a high-risk business where fights often break out in or around such premises. Quite often patrons have been reported killed during such fights.
Moreover, some of such lounges are in fact places where moral decay sets in as karaoke hostesses are employed to entertain clients. In fact the correct description for their nature of work is to flirt with the clients. This is another avenue for big money to be earned by mamasans. Recently, a mamasan was charged in court for under declaring her income from commissions earned from bookings of the hostesses. She was fined a six-figure sum! More on KTV lounges can be read via the links below.
Sincere born again Christians would not go to night clubs or brothels and why should they compromise by patronizing such places and indulge in foolish jesting?
Won’t a child of God want to, Abstain from all appearance of evil? (1 Thess 5:22)
Moreover, Christians by exercising their liberty and getting involved in such worldly entertainment run the risks of casting a stumbling block for weaker Christians.
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (2 Pet 2:19)
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Gal 5:13)
As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. (1 Pet 2:16)
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. (Rom 14:13)
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Col 4:6)
May the Lord grant you the wisdom and discernment to exercise right judgment on this matter!