How churches use music to manipulate you

Think back to the last time you were in church enjoying the worship. You’re raising your hands into the air with your eyes closed soaking in the Holy Spirit. You can feel the warmth and the tingling. It’s almost like a high, standing there bathing in God’s glory. The Holy Spirit is there. You can feel it and so does everyone else in the building.


But is that really the Holy Spirit stirring you?


Ask yourself this question. When do you feel this stirring? Does it happen in just any old place? I’m guessing that when it does happen there’s usually something in common each time. That would be that there is music playing, most likely Christian music.


Think about Church again for a minute. The pastor has spoken an inspiring sermon and he’s doing his sum up. He is going to be conducting an altar call very shortly and calling people up for prayer or salvation. But what has changed in this time? What is different now than what was different through the majority of his sermon?


That’s right. There is now a musician or two playing music softly in the background as he speaks. They have slipped quietly onto the stage as the speaker has started his summing up. But why is this necessary? If God is really speaking through this man why does he need to have music playing in the back ground?


The answer is obvious. Music is used because it affects you emotionally and spiritually. It makes you more open to what the speaker is saying. It allows the speaker to manipulate you by making you think that his words are empowered by God. It makes you think that God is stirring inside you, calling you, speaking to you, touching you.


Think about a scene from a movie or a TV show. Without music it may seem just like an average scene, but as soon as you put in music your brain suddenly sees the scene in a completely different light. Add in scary music and suddenly it becomes a horror scene and your start to feel tense, maybe even a little afraid. Add in silly music and suddenly it becomes a comedy which may cause you to smile or laugh. Put in sad music and you may feel a tearing at your heart strings. You may even feel the need to hold back tears.


Old shows like the original Dr Who series, lacked some of the dramatic impact due to not making optimum use of background music.
Old shows like the original Dr Who series, lacked some of the dramatic impact due to not making optimum use of background music.

Yes, music very much manipulates our brain, which is why it is always used in television and movies. It enhances the experience of watching it. Just watch an old TV show from the 60s or 70s that didn’t make full use of music, like old episodes of Dr Who with William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton in it. Watch a fight scene and it really doesn’t seem so exciting and impacting as one with dramatic music. Watch a horror or thriller scene when the villain strikes. Without that sudden loud explosion of music his attack doesn’t seem quite so spectacular and it loses that dramatic edge quite drastically.


Studies have shown that the human brain will respond to something in a completely different way when there is sound  added. We as humans now know just how to use music to manipulate a person’s emotions. It’s why romantic music is used to woo that date. It’s why we sing lullabies to babies to sooth them. It’s why a preacher uses music when he’s about to conclude his sermon and offer that altar call…


Without that soothing music in the background, the speaker’s words are not going to have nearly as much of an impact on you. With that soothing music playing it gently manipulates your emotions, which makes you think that God is trying to reach you.


It really all comes down to one soul searching question. Why, if the Holy Spirit is everything its claimed to be, would God need music to be able to reach you? Is the Holy Spirit that feeble that it needs music to assist it?

Led Zeppelin could be the band playing in your church and your pastor's words would have the same effect
Led Zeppelin could be the band playing in your church and your pastor's words would have the same effect

The reality is that music is used in churches as a manipulative tool It doesn’t matter what type of music it is. One can listen to non-Christian music and feel stirred in their spirit. Even loud, secular rock music can affect you spiritually, just go to a rock concert and find out for yourself. As long as the music being played in your church is gentle and stirring, it’ll have that magical effect of enhancing the words of the speaker by stirring your emotions. A preacher could have “Stairway to Heaven” playing in the background and his words would still have the same impact.



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