WHY DO SO MANY CHURCHES
PLAY MUSIC SO LOUD?
An alarming trend is that an increasing number of churches are playing music
very loud. In many cases, the music is loud enough to cause hearing damage. Here are some
facts about this practice:
- Churches are doing this to attract younger people.
- Many young people first encounter modern Christian music at concerts.
- Pastors are worried that not enough is being collected in offerings to pay for
- Other churches that are playing music loud are attracting more people.
- Many who already damaged their hearing with loud music go to these churches.
Advantages of Playing Music Loud
- It attracts younger people.
- Older people can hear it better.
- It attracts people who have already damaged their hearing with loud music.
Disadvantages of Playing Music Loud
- It causes hearing damage.
- It causes discomfort and even pain in some people.
- People who value their hearing are leaving these churches.
- Playing music too loud is the work of the sinful nature, not the Holy Spirit.
- It attracts people who might not want to believe.
Is This Really God's Will?
- The following verses refer to making music loud:
1 Chronicles 15:28; Psalm 33:3; Psalm 95:1-2; Psalm 150:5; Isaiah 12:6; and
- The voices and instruments used in these verses could not damage hearing.
- Electronic amplification was unknown when these verses were written.
- It is not God's will that people should be injured or harmed while worshiping Him.
- Providing earplugs for those the loud music bothers shows that the leaders know the
danger and don't care about it.
- People can't hear themselves think when the music is loud.
- The still small voice of the Holy Spirit is too faint with loud music.
- The rush the loud music causes is adrenaline, not the Holy Spirit.
- This last fact shows that the loud music is the work of the sinful nature, not the Holy
What About Loud Music Causes the Hearing Damage?
- Exceeding the Sound Pressure Level (SPL) and duration recommended by NIOSH
- For the average duration of music in a church service, this is 94 dBZ SPL.
- Exposure to normally inaudible but high level infrasonic sound.
How Can You Find Out if the Sound Level is Dangerous?
- Look for the following symptoms of hearing damage:
- PAIN - You feel pain from the sound
- TEARING - You hear a tearing or shredding or sound in one or both ears
- BUZZING - The sound makes a buzzing noise in one or both ears
- DISTORTION - The sound as you hear it is distorted
- MUFFLED SOUND - The sound is suddenly muffled
- PAIN - Your head aches from the sound
- RINGING IN EARS - You have ringing in your ears lasting longer than one day
- WRONG DIRECTION - You hear sounds of visible events coming from the wrong direction
- LOSS OF BALANCE - If you have loss of balance and have just listened to loud sounds
If a symptom in red type occurs, leave the area at once to prevent more damage.
- Get a Sound Pressure Level (SPL) meter and measure the level. Use the NIOSH tables
here. Be sure to get one with the new dBZ scale.
- If the pastor, any other church official, or the sound man likes music loud, leave.
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