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Music of the Great Apostasy: addendum

Churches give music preeminence because it entices people, especially young people, to “go to church,” something that parents used to have a battle with.  It is entertaining, so the church meeting isn’t as boring for disinterested youth and nominal Christians.  High energy music will draw secular people from all walks of life into the building.  Some of them will even profess Christianity, as long as it is a bare-bones version requiring no major changes and not initiated by conviction.  In fact, the current trend in Church Growth is to make adherents by rendering Christianity palatable to secular people.  The actual philosophy is, “If we can’t bring them in by the biblical standard, let’s lower it to a level that is comfortable and convenient for them.”

Music has been enlisted to assist in this type of conversion.  The leader of a major Christian band (at that time), “Bride”, during our debate insisted that scores of young people were getting “saved” during their concerts.  What actually occurred was another “gospel” was “preached” by the music, and during the consequential emotional cool-down period, they were invited to the front.  They said the “sinner’s prayer” and received some literature.  There is absolutely no way for the man and his fellow band members to know if that person was truly saved, or if they continued in their profession.

In that period, which was near the end of the last century, they would have been hard pressed to find a church offering the religion they experienced at the concert.  Today, they can come back to the concert Sunday after Sunday.  “Saved” has been reduced to any sign and degree of commitment, even if it is just attending a concert/church meeting.  The philosophy is, “Anything to get them inside of the church.”  That is no guarantee that they have been included in the Body of Christ.

Salvation is not getting people inside of a church building, convincing them to say the “sinner’s prayer,” or any of the modern methods for getting someone onto the attendance rolls.  Salvation is the result of being convicted by the Holy Spirit after hearing the Gospel.  One must come to the realization that he or she is a sinner, else why would he or she need the Savior.  If they do not recognize the need for the Savior, they do not see the need to be saved.

The struggle of rebirth begins during that conviction.  The individual decides during that struggle whether to accept deliverance from the chains of sin and darkness, or to reject God’s gift of salvation.  If salvation occurs, it is because that person submitted to the atoning work of Christ Jesus as well as surrendering to His Lordship.

The ones who claim salvation by gradually merging into a Seeker-Friendly, Emergent, Launch, or another church where music is given preeminence over the Gospel, have no spiritual birthdays.  Further, they may never have one if they do not believe they are lost.  They came into a church where the major force was overwhelming carnal and devilish sensationalism.  The preached word is more like an afterthought that one endures.  The only validation of this method of “conversion” is its widespread acceptance.  It has no scriptural paradigm.

What has actually occurred is, a generation has arrived that does not recognize the line of demarcation between light and darkness, good and evil.  A verse in Isaiah caused me to think about what might have caused this deficiency.

“Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, And sin as if with a cart rope;” – Isaiah 5:18.

After reading that verse long ago, I had a vision of Christianity tied to the world system with a rope.  When the world system moved on and became worse, eventually Christianity was drawn into the position the world system once occupied.  Trying to maintain a certain distance between us and the world system may eventually bring us to accept evil that we once rejected.  The biblical pattern is to draw near to God.  If one has that mindset, the gap will continually widen between them and the worlds system.

I refuse to compromise to appease people who desire the apostasy.  If it means our church will remain small, or become even smaller, so be it.  Someone might say, “But don’t you care that you are not getting them into the church?”  That was never my goal.  I was commissioned to invite them into the kingdom of God.  If getting them into the church is the goal, then sure, use whatever means necessary.  In fact, turn the church into a musical circus with all the sights and sounds and back-flipping clowns that the flesh desires.  However, as the apostasy degenerates into such rancid wickedness that churches completely replace every vestige of Christianity with secular patterns to get people to come, what’s next?  Where does Hillsong go next when what they are doing now gets old and boring?

8 Comments

  1. Dynamite, as usual! 🙂

  2. Several years ago, I had a brief conversation with a contemporary church singer and musician. I had hoped to discuss some of my concerns about the music that he and other musician were performing in that church. I was told by him that the different styles of music that are in the church are nothing more than a matter of preference. He was so wedded to that belief that I didn’t even try to discuss the situation. He wasn’t interested in hearing about the harmful side of using drums and certain types of rhythms.

    Before I became a Christian through the grace of God, I had over two decades of involvement with occult practices and gnostic Christianity. During that time I learned that certain sound, certain melody progressions, certain kinds of rhythms, and certain instruments have direct influence over the activity of the human soul. This is studied by occultist and Satanists, because it is a way to control the feelings, the minds, and even the behavior of people. Based on what I learned, it is clear that Satan can influence people to create music that on the surface seems to worship God, but in reality, the music actually functions like a wall between people and God. It confuses and distorts the reality of the one true God.

    I was saved out of the world of the occult in 2003 and have watched with horror as more and more of the principles that I learned as a student of the occult are coming into church organizations. I am super sensitive to all of this, because I lived in the occult and taught others to live by such principles.

    I went to a men’s conference one time where there was high energy rock music performed in the name of Jesus. Men shouted and screamed the lyrics to the songs and some even cried. They called the experience the Holy Spirit. The music certainly brought a spirit into the room, but it was not the Holy Spirit that I knew.

    I will say that it is easy to find fault with modern church music, but there are also songs throughout the last 75 years that present false and misleading doctrine. Sometimes I am really left in amazement when certain “hymns” are sung, which have catchy melodies, but teach heresy.

    I sometimes write songs, and struggle with making sure that the words don’t take people into a place that God would not want us to go. Over the years, I stick closer and closer to the words of scripture. Somehow it seems to me that respectfully singing the Words of God without emotion grabbing instrumentation is a safer way to worship. Sometimes I wonder if the churches that don’t use instruments in church worship have a better idea. I think about the last supper, which ended by Jesus and His disciples singing a hymn. We don’t know what they sang, but I don’t think they were accompanied by a rock band. They worshipped in Spirit and Truth. I can’t imagine that their singing could have been anything other than simple, direct, and honoring to God.

    Matt 26:30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

    For the record, I grew up in the 1960s and rock music was “my music” of choice. I can no longer listen to extreme Satan honoring music. Yes, I have a preference — my preference is for music that is honest and doesn’t manipulate people to have certain feelings. It is about praising and worshiping the God of the Universe. Let us be careful that we submit to Him and not to some other spirit when we gather together as Christians and try to sing to His glory.

  3. God's follower

    April 26, 2015 at 3:34 am

    I agree with you about everything you said. Those Christians say that “it doesn’t hurt to use contemporary genre of music for Christian songs if it means we could draw even more people to God~” I think that is sooo wrong. I thought all this time that I have no one else who shares my opinion with (my family and I share the same opinion regarding Christian music). Gone were the days of singing songs for God with no musical accompaniment, when all the music we could hear are the believers’ voices. It’s very sad to look back at such times. And I never experienced that – being born in 90’s and spending my childhood-until now with music getting louder and louder and more appealing to fleshly desires. However, God is very good, and led me here. I’m soo glad to find people like you who showed me what I believe in has been right all this time. I’m very glad I never gave up to pressure around me to appreciate contemporary Christian music. In the previous church we attended, one of our members remarked why my sister and I are not singing as feelingly as they are. I didn’t say my thoughts straightaway… What I wanted to tell that churchmate is …”We went here to know more about God, not to sing along rock Christian music for 1 hour.” But that churchmate was one of the electric guitarists… so I just held my thoughts in and said a simple “We are not familiar with the songs yet.” But we already left after 3 Sundays since that. I can’t stand the fact they focus more on the praise & worship singing than the explanation of God’s Word : (

  4. That is the point I am making all the time, what is the point of ‘bringing them to church’ if they are not going to get the gospel there!?! It’s like; bring them to WHAT?! To the church building for the sake of the church building? Our mandate is The Great Commission! The goal is to preach the gospel so that people GET SAVED. If that is not part of the event, and the goal, then there simply is no point to the event at all. You can call it a ‘show,’ or a ‘performance,’ or ‘entertainment,’ or something like that. But it is worse. It is deception and corruption. They are supposed to get the truth, but they don’t. Even further, it is a harlot. They only want to get them into the building so they can drop their money in the bag. They draw them with worldly bait and they keep them with worldly bait, so that they will drop their money in the plate as it gets passed. They have no intention of ever giving them the truth because that will drive them, and their money, out the door. They are the harlot (a part of it). That is how a harlot operates. The church is not a business. A pastor’s job is to teach and preach the truth, come what may. Whether people come or go, whether any money comes in or not, that is their job. A true shepherd will agree to that. And it is possible. I work a full time job and I study the word and would be well qualified to give powerful sermons. I don’t need ‘all week’ to prepare, that is ridiculous. I would have no problem doing it on Sunday for free if it blessed the flock. There are several reasons why I am not in that situation. But I know it is possible. These people are just ravenous wolves and hirelings.
    God bless!
    P.S. That is correct about rhythms and drums in the music by the way. I hear so much of that now, it’s this monotone trans-inducing beat, all the better to hypnotize and brainwash you, my dear….(wolf to little red riding hood)

    • “all the better to hypnotize and brainwash you, my dear” TRUTH! This is precisely what that kind of “music” does to people, and when you think about how long this kind of stuff has been infecting ears and souls? It’s no wonder we have a society teeming with a bunch of intellectual and spiritual zombies.

  5. While I agree much of today’s contemporary Christian music is just feel good, emotion driving and non-convicting. I also say we cannot throw the baby out with the bath water. One of the commenters here seems to suggest we are at risk of being led astray if we use any musical instruments at all. This is clearly not biblical and is also grounded in fear. God does not give us a spirit of fear. Fear comes from the enemy. You mention in the first part of this article that you liked Hillsong early on. I was a worship leader for about 8 years during that period. We had a strict code that songs we used would be biblical. Back then, much of the Hillsong lyrics were directly from scripture and I feel God used them as well as many others. I agree music has taken on too much importance in some settings but we cannot rule out music as a useful Godly tool to break down human emotional barriers. I have witnessed many hardened hearts drawn to the alter through music for true repentance and healing. Mine included a few times. From my personal experience, I would never suggest contemporary music, on the whole, is a work of satan. (Although there may be some cases) The God I serve looks at peoples hearts not what others may see as a bad choice of music.

    Having grown up in a Christian school for many years, I really see no difference in your concerns for today’s church vs. what I experienced as a child. At least not in the end result. That experience included being repeatedly preached to about hell and judgement. Never a loving relationship with God. Only a fear to the point of trying to be good enough to meet His standards. And of course we would sing Just as I am for the alter call. (Now there’s an emotional song) Back in school, many of the kids would get “saved” week after week over and over again because there was no discipleship or encouragement. Just fear. In the end, the result was the same as what you speak of with the current mega churches. Watered down Christians, if they were saved at all. On one had they are “free” on the other hand they are working in vain to make themselves good enough.

    I guess what I am trying to say is, yes, there are major problems in the church today but it is hard from, my perspective, to see them as worse than years ago. Just different problems and a matter of history repeating itself. Many of the churches I grew up in were just as devoid of any real teaching as the feel good churches of today. Sure they looked more traditional and stepped on more toes but they did little to foster a close relationship with God. I love reading here and you make a lot of good points but I feel you may sometimes mistake America’s fall for the end of all times. I know many missionary friends in less fortunate places who see great works of God and revival on a regular basis. God moves where folks are devoid of self. In our country and most of the west, it’s hard to find many people desperate enough to really seek God but when they do, He is there, regardless of the music style. C.H. I do not say this to stir up trouble on your site and I do not mind at all if you decide not to post this comment. If you respond, you can use the email provided. If you respond here, that’s perfectly ok too. What I say here is in love and with a recognition that I may be in error.

  6. Thank you for your site and articles on music and the believer. if it were possible, it would be great to read more about your testimony – and how to Biblically discern pure music from the “Adrenalin” you warn about. Blessings to you

    • SPQR: basically, anything using (junglesque) drums and electric guitars, and at an earsplitting volume to boot, qualifies as inappropriate for worship. Read Patton’s TRIUMPH OF VULGARITY: the guy is a thoroughgoing secularist who LOVES Rock, yet even HE recognizes that it is (a) pantheism and hence (b) utterly incompatible with orthodox Christianity. Bottom line: if the music is sensual (appealing to carnality), then it doesn’t honor God or edify the believer.

      Also, take a look at this (http://tinyurl.com/me7j5jo)

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