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Is Contemporary Christian Music "Christian"?

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Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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« on: August 04, 2013, 08:09:44 am »

Is Contemporary Christian Music "Christian"?

I hear quite a bit that it isnt the music thats bad just the words. As long as the words are good and proclaim God then the music doesnt matter. Well you really need to watch this.

1 Corithians 14
6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2013, 02:29:56 pm »

And call it blasphemy too - CCM/"Christian Rock" mixing hymn lyrics with the same sounds/beats/rhythms of secular music is no different from an unbeliever saying Jesus' name in vain.

If CCM is Christian, then by this logic the unbeliever who says Jesus' name in vain regularly should be a Christian as well. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2014, 08:01:18 am »

The CCM Philosophy Spreading Among Independent Baptists
Mar/27/14 06:00 Filed in: CCM
See end of report to Print or Share
Updated and enlarged March 27, 2014 (first published March 26, 2011) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143) -


In recent days I have warned about the aggressive “adaptation” of Contemporary Christian Music at independent Baptist churches and schools.

This is going on widely, but even more serious than the “adaptation” of the contemporary music is the adaptation of the contemporary philosophy. Of course, the two things go hand-in-hand, which is why contemporary music brings such radical and rapid changes to churches.

I trust that church leaders will heed our warning and renounce the following philosophies. Every fundamental Baptist church and school today needs to have a top to bottom review of what is being taught and what is being not being taught, of what is being emphasized and what is not. Every teacher should be vetted so that no foreign philosophy is sneaking in.

I am convinced that every Independent Baptist church that refuses to plainly and boldly renounce both the music and the philosophy of CCM will be fully contemporary in stance within 10 years.

Consider some examples of the CCM philosophy that has been espoused to me in recent correspondence by students at fundamental Baptist colleges:

1. Grace means that in questionable things we should come down on the side of the broader, the least strict, the path of greater liberty. Strictness is a mark of legalism and is a grace killer.

“Another thing that is taught is that if there is a doubt or question concerning practice, standards, or anything else, that because we are under grace, we should choose the broader path, otherwise we are still acting under yoke of bondage” (Northland student).

This has long been a prominent New Evangelical philosophy. Consider the following statement by Charles Swindoll:

“There was a time ... when I had a position that life was so rigid I would fight for every jot and tittle. I mean, I couldn’t list enough things that I’d die for. The older I get, the shorter that list gets, frankly. ... More than ever we need grace-awakened ministers who free rather than bind” (Grace Awakening).

Calvary Contender editor Jerry Huffman observed that Swindoll’s book leaves “the impression that rules or restrictions upon the believer steal from him the exuberance and joy of the Christian life and relegate him to a morbid and dreary existence.”

This is precisely the philosophy that is permeating IB churches and schools.

In the aforementioned book, Swindoll implies that those who strive for strict moral purity are legalists who need to learn grace. He claims that it is legalistic to make prohibitions about movies, dress, music, dancing, etc. Actually Swindoll redefines grace as a form of license. Biblical grace teaches us “to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts” and calls upon us to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). To live in such a manner requires the constant exercise of judgment and the most extreme caution pertaining to all forms of entertainment, etc.

We are to “have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). That is a very strict standard and a very narrow walk.

We are to keep the New Testament precepts “WITHOUT SPOT, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Tim. 6:14). A “spot” is a small thing, so Paul was teaching Timothy to pay attention to every detail of Scripture.

This is the very “jot and tittle” strictness that the New Evangelical crowd hates and that is now permeating the IB movement.

Further, strict is safe. The Bible repeatedly and emphatically warns about spiritual dangers and particularly in the context of the end times.

There are temptations and snares. The devil is wily and subtle and beguiling and appears as an angel light and his ministers as ministers of righteousness. There are seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We must prove all things and try the spirits. There were be a great falling away, a turning from sound doctrine to fables. There will be men who operate by cunning craftiness and that lie in wait to deceive.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

2. It is wrong to have a critical eye.

“[When I first arrived] I had a critical eye toward all that they had going ... [But] I would rather give account for singing songs written by contemporary artists but sung in a conservative way than for having a critical attitude toward a fellow man of God” (West Coast graduate).

In fact, we don’t have to make a choice between being wishy washy about songs written by contemporary artists or having a critical attitude toward men. We should rather aim to have a “critical eye” without having a “critical spirit.”

The Bible commends a “critical eye” in the sense of exercising keen spiritual discernment and testing everything by God’s Word. Like judging, criticism can take two forms - carnal and godly.

We are exhorted to “prove ALL things” (1 Thess. 5:21). Paul had a critical eye toward Peter’s hypocrisy and Demas’ worldliness and Phygellus’ inconsistency and Philetus’ heresy. Christ Himself had a critical eye toward the Pharisees’ hypocrisy and legalism and the Saducees’ rationalism and the disciples’ hypocrisy and hardheartedness.

I remember when I went to Bible School at Tennessee Temple in the mid-1970s. I was only one year old in the Lord, but I had a powerful dose of salvation; I had devoured the Bible during that year and I knew that God wanted me to test everything by it. Psalm 119:128; Acts 17:11; and 1 Thessalonians 5:21 were as precious and real to me then as today. I began to see things that I felt were wrong, particularly the shallow, unscriptural soul winning (I have since labeled it Quick Prayerism), the man-centeredness, the carnal over-exaltation of man, the big numbers big church bragadociousness, and the refusal on the part of the leaders and visiting speakers to speak out plainly on some important issues (and men). I had a "critical eye," and insofar as I had an ungodly attitude and lack of mercy and compassion and "balance," I was wrong, but insofar as I was identifying things that were unscriptural and wrong, I was right. By God's grace, I have grown in the depth of my spiritual life over these past four decades and I believe and hope that I am much more merciful and compassionate and gracious than I was when I was a new Christian, but I also thank the Lord that I have not given up my "critical eye" in a biblical sense. I still reject the things I rejected 35 years ago, because they are still unscriptural. If ever there were a time to have a critical eye in a right sense it is today. It will keep you protected spiritually. It is the devil who wants everyone to give up all criticism. If we do that, we have no shield. I am concerned that many IB churches and schools are putting humanistic eye wash in the biblical critical eye.

At the same time, we must guard against a carnal, critical spirit. James described the right spirit:

“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:13-15).

I have often emphasized the importance of exhibiting balance, of not having a critical spirit, of always giving church leaders the benefit of the doubt, etc. My sermon and article "Keys to Fruitful Church Membership" is one attempt at this. Another is "I Am Not Your Pastor." Both of these articles can be found with the search engine at the Way of Life web site.

The CCM philosophy of not being critical about music comes from the charismatic movement, which teaches people to “let go and let God,” to go with the flow, to not “put God in a box.” This was the philosophy of John Wimber and the Vineyard churches that are producing so much of the influential CCM. It is the philosophy of Hillsong. It is the philosophy of Graham Kendricks and most of the CCM artists.

The Bible teaches just the opposite. We are to be very strict, very careful.

The philosophy expressed by the West Coast graduate in an e-mail to me is definitely something he was taught at West Coast. In 2006 they had the following on their web site:

“Students at West Coast Baptist College will be taught the importance of appreciating and growing spiritually through the means of godly music. Students will also be taught that worldly music and Christian rock music are destructive to their maturing as a Christian. West Coast Baptist College believes in the importance of following the Scriptural admonitions regarding music found in Ephesians 5; therefore, our emphasis revolves around psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. The 200-voice choir of Lancaster Baptist Church, as well as all musical groups and instrumentalists, adhere to conservative music standards, emphasizing a distinct melody and godly music theory.  STUDENTS WILL NOT, HOWEVER, BE TAUGHT TO HAVE A JUDGMENTAL SPIRIT OF OTHER MINISTRIES WITH SLIGHT VARIATIONS IN MUSIC STYLE FROM THAT WHICH IS TAUGHT AT WEST COAST BAPTIST COLLEGE. THEY WILL BE TAUGHT THAT A CRITICAL AND JUDGMENTAL SPIRIT IS AS GRIEVOUS TO THE LORD AS PERHAPS AN UNINTENTIONAL VARIATION IN MUSIC STYLE BY A LIKE-MINDED FUNDAMENTAL CHURCH.”

The first statement about the importance of having the right music and the destructive nature of worldly music is largely negated by the second statement about not judging or being critical, and it is the second statement that has become the predominant philosophy at West Coast. It has allowed the music people to push the boundaries farther each year.

While we should be gracious and wise in our judgments, we must judge! While we should not be carnally critical in attitude, we should most definitely be critical of sin and worldliness and error!

I would ask West Coast at what point is it right to be judgmental and critical toward music? If it has a backbeat? If it has other forms of dance syncopation? If it has non-resolving chord patterns? If it incorporates worldly vocal techniques? If it has CCM repetition? If it has a vague CCM message? If it is written by CCM people for charismatic mystical worship? If it is written by those who deny the Trinity and promote a non-judgmental God? If it is written by those who believe that Roman Catholics are part of the “body of Christ” and who associate with the pope?

Where are we allowed to start drawing clear lines and become “judgmental” without breaking West Coast’s rules?

In my estimation, it is not possible to obey West Coast’s rules on music without disobeying God’s rules.

3. Personal edification is a major standard of music.

“Can a Christian not be edified by these songs? Is it not more important for a person to be edified?” (West Coast graduate)

“The music standards were changed so that the students could listen to any music they wanted to, as long as it didn't offend their conscience” (Northland student).

These statements reflect a perfect description of the CCM and emerging philosophy. I have read at least 100 of their books, have attended major conferences with press credentials, have attended their church meetings for research, and communicated personally with many of them, and the CCM crowd could not have stated their philosophy more clearly than it is being stated by students at fundamental Baptist colleges.

What is spiritual edification and how does it happen? “Edification” means to build up spiritually, of course, and it happens by God’s Spirit through God’s Word. True edification in a biblical sense can only happen in accordance with God’s Word. Acts 9:31 associates edification with walking in the fear of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 14:3 associates edification with Bible preaching.

If I am acting contrary to Scripture and still say that I am being edified, I am deceived. That is blind mysticism. I am convinced that using charismatic ecumenical music is paying tribute to the end-times apostasy piper, who is the devil, and that is doubtless forbidden in God’s Word. The use of CCM is disobedience to Scriptures such as Psalm 119:128; Proverbs 4:14-15; Romans 12:2; 16:17; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Ephesians 5:11-16; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 3:5; 4:3-4; Titus 2:11-12; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17.

Leaders at West Coast and elsewhere argue that they don’t actually use CCM; they just adapt some of it. What is the difference? How can a church or school be consistent when they say that hard rock is wrong but soft rock is O.K.?

It is important to understand that mysticism is sweeping the planet, both in the secular, religious, Christian, and now fundamentalist realms. In the book What Is the Emerging Church we document the fact that mysticism is a major element of the emerging church, and to hold the philosophy that “personal edification” is a major standard for testing music is to be on the emerging mystical road in philosophy.

Rock music has always been mystical. It is all about a good feeling. The 60s song “Hooked on a Feeling” summarizes the whole thing. Modern society is hooked on the feeling produced by sensual music. It stirs up powerful emotions. It doesn’t even need words.

Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, who recorded some of the first rock & roll hits, including Elvis’s first recording in 1954, knew the power of rock. Reminiscing many years later about why rock became such a social phenomenon, he said, “It all came out of THAT INFECTIOUS BEAT and those young people wanting to FEEL GOOD by listening to some records” (“Rock ‘n’ Roll Pioneer Sam Phillips Dies,” USA Today, July 30, 2003).

Rock can be hard or soft, fast or slow, loud or quiet, and it is still rock because it still has a sensual, heavily syncopated swing rhythm that moves the body, and it is still “infectious” and it still makes people “feel good.”

We need to test ourselves. If I need sensual, body-moving music to be “edified,” and sound doctrine sung in a truly sacred “old fashioned” manner doesn’t do the job without the dancey syncopation, then I am addicted to sensual music.

A good feeling does not equate to biblical edification.

4. Love is more important than music.

“Last I checked, the Lord Jesus Christ was more concerned about our love than He was about our music or anything else” (West Coast graduate).

This is another statement of the contemporary philosophy that is permeating fundamental Baptist churches, including its largest schools.

In fact, if we define love by the Bible, we find that it is never set in contrast to godly judging and holy living.

Paul said godly love does not behave itself unseemly, thinketh no evil, and rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth (1 Cor. 13). John said that godly love purifies the saints and keeps God's commandments (1 John 3:1-3; 5:1-3). This is true Christian love, not the feel-good, rock & roll-driven mysticism of the contemporary movement that preaches a world-loving license and broadminded tolerance.

5. We should not be afraid to push the boundaries of music and external standards.

“There was a huge push, at least toward me and another one of my friends who was struggling with the changes, TO RETHINK WHAT OUR PARENTS HAVE TAUGHT US. I was told by Dr. Olson and one of the dorm supervisors that I must rethink my music philosophy and make sure I didn't just believe what I am taught, but I need to choose my own standards” (Northland student).

While it is good always to test everything by Scripture, the Bible itself warns us not to remove ancient landmarks (Proverbs 22:28). This does not mean that we blindly follow tradition or that we accept something just because our parents did it, but it does mean that we not reject tradition lightly.

But Christian rock has the same insubordinate attitude that its intimate friend secular rock has. It is quick to overthrow absolutely anything or anyone that gets in its way.

Rock & roll burst on the scene in the 1950s and 1960s chock full of insolence toward tradition and authority.

And the e-mails I receive from young people who defend CCM represent the same insolence. Typically they are filled with mocking ridicule and a flippant spirit, and this attitude is applauded in circles that love CCM.

Consider the following from a student at West Coast Baptist College in response to my warnings about the music, and don’t forget that this is a mere kid writing to a grandfather preacher who has been in the spiritual battle for nearly 40 years:

“Your hypocrisy and misinterpretation and out-of-context use of the Bible sickens me. May God have mercy on your soul you arrogant, raunchy man. I cannot help but wonder if those who call you ‘brother’ are sadly mistaken. Your choice of replies, continued attacks and unScriptural bellowing shows clearly who you are. I challenge you: post my previous email. Write a smart reply to the issues it addresses. Why haven't you? Because you're full of holes, arrogance and grotesque pride.”

To write and “rip into” someone like me who warns about CCM is the sporting, clever thing to do. “Let’s see how ridiculous we can make that old fundamentalist look. Who cares whether we are speaking the truth with godly respect. We’re ever so cool, and we’re having fun, and we all know that he’s a nutcase.”

Young people have every right to challenge their elders and to disagree with them if they believe it is necessary, but God hates pride and mocking and disrespect. When God-loving Noah had a temporary moral failing, two of his sons showed honor to him even in that difficult situation, while one son showed disrespect and mocking. Which sons were blessed?

God’s Word is unequivocal on this matter.

Leviticus 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Proverbs 14:3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

Proverbs 30:17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

I personally know the issue of rebellion from every perspective. I was an insolent adolescent. For many years, I reacted to authority in the flesh, because I was unsaved and I lived in the flesh. As a teenager, I rebelled against my dad in a pretty vicious way. I mocked him and told him he wasn’t going to tell me how to live or how long my hair was going to be or anything else. I really broke his heart, but I didn’t care. Everything was about me. When I was drafted into the army, I did enough to survive and get an honorable discharge, but I was a rebel through and through, thumbing my nose at authority every chance I got. When I got out of the army, I was still a rebel. I made two foolish vows: one, not to wear green again, and two, not to cut my hair again. I became a rock & roll New Age hippie. I grew my hair down to my shoulders, and if I thought that someone was offended by it, that made my day! Glory, hallelujah!

The attitude that I have experienced countless times from CCM defenders reminds me very much of the attitude I had as a lost, drug-addicted, rock-drunk hippie.

Since I was saved, though, I have had a different spirit by God’s grace. I’m not saying I can’t get in the flesh, but thank God I no longer “live in the flesh.” There has been a tremendous change in my attitude toward authority, and I know that a humble, respectful spirit is what pleases the Lord. I have stood against error since I was first saved, after the example of Psalm 119:128, but I have always tried to do it in the spirit of 2 Timothy 2:24-26.

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

And James 3:13,

“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.”

If your contemporary philosophy has granted you the liberty to mock and disrespect elders and spiritual authorities, to do anything but show godly humility -- you are self-deceived because this type of thing is far more of this world than of Christ.

The fact that rock & roll has always been about thumbing your nose at authority and doing your own thing is 180 degrees contrary to the Biblical faith, and this is one of the many fundamental reasons why I reject rock & roll in every form (hard or soft). This attitude is a godly, solidly Scriptural reason that will stand up at the judgment seat of Christ.

Defend “Christian” rock and any other type of rock if you will, but I will not. Disagree with me if you feel you must, but don’t mock me and treat me like a fool. A sincere believer who is trying to take God’s Word seriously can be wrong, but he is no fool.

Intimately associated with the insolence of secular rock and Christian rock (and even the soft CCM) is the unconcern about offence. Consider the following Scriptures:

Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

1 Corinthians 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.

The Bible warns about giving unnecessary offence. Paul taught that even in matters of liberty, matters in which the Bible is silent and in which I thus have personal liberty before God, we are to restrict our liberty if we know we are causing offence and possible spiritual harm.

I find these Scriptures very interesting in light of the attitude that I have typically encountered among Contemporary Christian Music defenders. Paul was willing to give up things such as meat which are not wrong in themselves, but the CCM crowd is not willing to give up anything whatsoever, not even deeply questionable things.

When you try to explain to the CCM crowd that as a young person you were almost spiritually destroyed by rock music and that you are convinced from personal experience and from the Word of God that every aspect of rock is of the world, the flesh, and the devil, they have no sympathy that I can discern. They have no fear of offence. They are much too busy getting in your face with their music and their “liberty.”

Live in contemporary dreamland if you want, but this is not genuine biblical Christianity and it is yet another fundamental reason why I am opposed to the CCM movement.

6. Soft rock is not sensual, dangerous. and worldly like hard rock.

This is a strange, inconsistent position that is held only by those who have just recently begun walking on the CCM road. At first they say (and they might actually believe) that they are opposed to Christian rock, and what they mean by that is full-blown, get down, pull out the stops rock and roll.

Fundamentalists who begin to adapt CCM, don’t start with full-blown rock. They still say that full-blown rock is wrong, but they use soft rock that has the same basic sensual rhythmic features.

The inconsistency of it all doesn’t seem to bother them, and rarely are they challenged about it.

Tell me, what makes “hard rock” wrong that doesn’t apply to soft rock?

Biblically, how can you make a case for condemning hard rock that cannot be turned around to condemn soft rock?

There simply is no significant difference. Hard rock is just louder and more forceful. You don’t have to be in danger of ruining your hearing like Pete Townshend of The Who to be addicted to rock.

This is why it is so important that pastors, music people. and parents get as much of an education as possible about contemporary music. It’s not necessary to get a Ph.D. in music theory, but we need to have some basic understanding of rhythm. We need to listen to men like Graham West, Pastor of Tamworth Bible Baptist Church in Australia and director of Music Education Ministries. He has a background in writing and producing pop music and understands the essence of rock as well as anyone I know. His series on “The Rhythm of Rock” is available as a video download from the online catalog at the Way of Life web site.

I don’t have any personal association with Pastor West. In fact, I have never met him, and I did not tell him that I was going to publish a warning about Lancaster. But he has supported me in this battle, and I greatly appreciate the wisdom God has given him about music. He could help IB churches like Lancaster if they would listen.

Graham West warns about the anticipated beat, which is used frequently at Lancaster. It is a subtle form of syncopation that produces a physical swing effect and it is at the heart of modern pop music. (He also explains that syncopation in itself is not necessarily wrong, if used in moderation, but as another music expert said, in pop music syncopation is “a fundamental constant presence.”)

There are many aspects to the rock syncopation that create its danceability. Pop music uses syncopation to create a jerky, dancey feel. The music skips, stutters, pulsates. John Makujina in Measuring the Music says, “Rock’s danceability is due predominately to its emphasized syncopated rhythms, which invite the listener to supply the missing beats either mentally or through a series of physical gestures.”

In my new DVD presentation “Music for Good or Evil” I deal with six types of pop syncopation: the back beat, the silent beat, the staccato beat, the swing eighth, the break beat, and the anticipated beat. The Rhythm Bible has over 1,000 types of rhythmic styles that pop music uses. The essence of rock is much more than a heavy back beat.

West warns that when the anticipated beat and other forms of swing rhythm or pop syncopation are introduced to a church, even in the softest forms, the people quickly become addicted to it and they crave for more, just like a drug addict. Sensual music is that powerful. As Steven Tyler of Aerosmith says, “Rock music is the strongest drug in the world.”

West says:

“Once you begin listening to soft rock, you begin sliding down that slippery slope to the more aggressive forms of rock. Soft rock begins to orient the whole way of perceiving music around rhythm and away from melody. Your musical interest will change. Hymns will seem dull in comparison to your newly acquired tastes. It’s a progression I’ve seen over and over again in the lives of Christians. It’s a downward spiral. It happens in the lives of individuals; it happens in the lives of families; it happens in the lives of churches.

“There is a gray area of ignorance about the power of pop syncopation. And the devil, taking advantage of this, being not only the master musician but also the master of subtlety, comes along to a strong fundamental church or a Bible college and he offers his wears of CCM rock ballads.

“It sounds great. There’s no drums, no wild electric guitars, no obvious back beat, just the piano or guitar and the singer. And it’s ALMOST the same as the songs that they used to sing, except the rhythm kind of trips a little bit. But that’s O.K. because it’s exciting, and the young people love it.

“The problem is that when the rhythm does that little trip it means that the music contains a basic, distinctive rhythmic feature of all rock & roll since its inception in the 1950s.

“In this way, before you’ve even known it, you’ve been deceived by the subtle strategy of Satan. This is the blind spot that Satan is using to his advantage. He knows that once a church accepts rock ballads, complete capitulation is almost inevitable.

“In the case of vigilant, serious-minded Christians, he has to start them up at the very top of the slope with very gentle rock so that the conscience doesn’t scream out, ‘This music is wrong!’ Just as long as he can get your started, he has won, because just like a drug pusher he knows that his users will want more and more of that sensual rhythm” (Graham West, The Rhythm of Rock).

(Graham West’s presentation “The Rhythm of Rock” is available as an immediate download from the eVideo section of the Way of Life Literature online bookstore.)

Dan Lucarini, a former contemporary worship leader, also says that the slide toward CCM begins with soft rock. In the book “Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement,” he explains how that he led churches from a sacred music position to a contemporary position, and it was all about incrementalism. He did it in gradual steps, THE FIRST BEING THE ADOPTION OF SOFT ROCK.

Lucarini says:

“The rock was softer, but it still contained the rock rhythm that undeniably appeals to our flesh. The listener soon develops a craving for it. Just like an addict, there is no turning back. What happens over time is a steady slide.”

A great many IB churches have already committed themselves to the soft rock slope, including some large churches and schools that are influencing many others to be comfortable with this direction.

Consider an “adapted CCM” number performed by a music group at Lancaster Baptist Church in California. We have taken an excerpt from the YouTube posting and put it on the Way of Life web site. First view this number and analyze it in your own mind.

I asked Graham West to analyze the piece rhythmically and he replied in a passionate manner. He said that it is loaded with Beat Anticipation. Eight of the 10 phrases of the piece end in Beat Anticipation, plus it incorporates a heavy dose of other types of syncopation. He wrote:

“Taken together with the other forms of syncopation [used in the piece] we have a very common contemporary style in which the basis of the rock feel is achieved by the Beat Anticipation, and the other forms of syncopation simply take on board that rock feel because it is used within a context of the more dominating forms.

“Music exhibiting this kind of highly syncopated rhythmic patterns will always promote sensual body movements. Too many studies by people on both sides of the issue have been done to deny this. The compulsion to move the body when this kind of music is played is very great.

“It appears that the vocalists in this example have successfully suppressed sensual body movements, which may be due either to a keen awareness of their being inappropriate or to coaching. In my opinion this is dangerous spiritually because it masks the true nature of the music.

“If the body tends to move sensually [to a piece of music], the answer is not to suppress the movement, but to reject the music.

“If we accept that music is not neutral in its spiritual direction, then we dare not turn our backs on the warnings of so many godly men of the past and the testimony of so many wicked musicians that it is the rhythm above all other features of contemporary music that promotes rebellion and sensuality.

“The essential spiritual character of fleshly music does not change if we dress nicely, or suppress sensual bodily movements, nor if we play on classical instruments, nor if we do it sincerely as an offering to God, nor if we do it with all our hearts, nor if the words are Biblical and edifying (in this case they are quite shallow).

“These are outward trimmings and do not change the spiritual character of the music itself and the consequences of that character will inevitably surface! ‘Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?’ (Prov. 6:27-28).

“In my opinion, West Coast Bible College is heading in the wrong direction musically and has been for some time and if it continues in this direction it will pay a high price for not listening to the musicians, the prophets, the men of God who have been warning God’s people about these things for 20 and 30 years.

“I plead with you to open your minds to this. Could it just be that Satan, the master musician and the master of subtlety, has used both to infiltrate the church of the last days to rob it of its glory and spiritual power?” (West, “Analysis of Vocal Syncopation in 16 Bars of ‘My Friend,” March 5, 2011).

Graham West, we repeat, has an extensive background in writing and producing pop music before God changed the direction of his life. He knows the character of the world’s music as well as any fundamental Baptist preacher alive today, and he is deeply concerned.

This illustrates what is happening widely. Many IB churches are adapting CCM, but while they think they are removing the “rock” from Christian rock, they are actually just toning it down to “soft rock.” They think they have tamed the rock beast by softening it, but they are only deceiving themselves. Many men of God are warning us that the adoption of this soft rock will eventually lead to full-blown CCM, if not in the church services, then at least in the private lives of the people, if not under the present administrations, at least under the next.

The only hope is that these churches leap off the sled that is already racing down the hill and grab hold of something solid and laboriously climb back off the slope. I’ve never heard of a church doing that, but by God’s grace anything is possible if the leaders and people are repentant of the direction they have taken and are unreservedly committed to doing whatever is required.

7. Contemporary Christian Music is wrong only when it is accompanied by hard rock and only when it has the most shallow or unscriptural of lyrics.

Another thing that is moving IB churches rapidly down the CCM road is to narrowly and insufficiently define what Contemporary Christian Music is.

Typically, those who begin “adapting” CCM and toning it down a bit rhythmically claim that they are still opposed to CCM. But what they do is define CCM so narrowly that it is really meaningless, and they make hypocrites of themselves in the process.

By the narrow definition, CCM is blaring Christian rock and 7/11 lyrics (7 words sung 11 times). CCM is Stryper but not Steve Green. Any lyrics that are substantive at all, and that don’t remind you of a girl singing to her boyfriend, are not CCM, and any lyrics sung to soft, non-boisterous rock are not CCM, and vocal styles and techniques of presentation have nothing to do with CCM.

By this definition, fundamentalist churches can go very far down the contemporary path before they even know what is happening to them. We need to understand that there is a lot more to Contemporary Christian Music than a blazing rock band and some mindless lyrics.

Consider the previously mentioned adapted CCM song “My Friend” as performed by a music group at Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College. View it again.

The people at Lancaster apparently think that this is NOT CCM, because the church and school still profess to be opposed to CCM. But in reality this is PURE CCM. It is conformity to the contemporary world from top to bottom.

It has the seductive soft rock rhythm, the sensual scooping and sliding voice technique, the cameras coming in from various angles to highlight the musicians (man-centered), the highly polished showmanship, the shallow, vague, non-convicting message, the repetition (remember that we have only shown an excerpt; the repetition in the full number goes on much more extensively).

Consider the scooping, sliding vocal technique frequently employed by IB music groups today.

In his book How to Sing for Money, Charles Henderson defined scooping as “sliding up to a note from an attack below its true pitch,” and he identified it as a “common practice as a swing effect” (1940, p. 36). Note that the scooping technique was created as a part of the modern dance music scene, which is all about sexual license. The technique is a fitting accompaniment to the sensual backbeat rhythm. In a secular book The Foundations of Rock, Walter Everett says, “Many rock vocalists reach out to their audience largely through the PHYSICALITY of their singing.” Scooping has even been described as “sexual utterances” (Charles Brown, The Art of Rock & Roll, p. 68).

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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 08:01:40 am »


Everett observes, “Classical singers traditionally strive for constant beauty of tone, but this is rarely of interest to rock vocalists, who reject the dogma of there being one ‘right’ way to do anything.” This is a telling statement. Note that rock vocalists don’t care about beauty of tone, but God’s people should strive for beauty in singing style because we are serving the God of beauty and singing about His lovely truth.

Further, rock singers contort their voices and slip and slide around the notes because they have rejected absolute truth. Their singing style reflects their philosophy of moral relativism.

Decades ago Dr. Frank Garlock issued the following warning that the scooping vocal technique reflects a worldly philosophy.

“The identical methods EMPLOYED BY THE WORLD TO MAKE THE SOUND SENSUAL are now being used by many popular contemporary Christian music vocalists. THE STYLE ITSELF REFLECTS AND PROJECTS A PHILOSOPHY. These techniques include swaying and dancing, scooping (sliding up to a note from an attack below its true pitch), vocal sliding, flipping below and above the actual written melody, whispery, breathy voice, and delayed vibrato” (Garlock).

Techniques that are used by the world to create a sensual sound and that reflect a pagan philosophy are not things that God’s people should imitate.

We would also observe that the scooping style of singing is not only sensual and worldly, but it also draws attention to the singer, which is another major element of both secular pop and contemporary “Christian” music. In contrast, when we sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, the attention should be fully upon the Lord and upon the message of the lyrics.

Therefore, you can call this musical number (West Coast’s “My Friends”) whatever you please, but it is actually unadulterated CCM. Churches that use these styles might as well strike up a full-blown rock band, because that is the only thing that is missing, and if it is all right to use the aforementioned contemporary styles, then it is all right to use “real” rock and roll.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

8. To apply biblical principles to things such as music is going beyond Scripture.

I don’t have a quote right at hand at the moment, but fundamental Baptist college students who have written to defend the adaptation of CCM have often brought up the philosophy that since the Bible doesn’t specifically condemn it, then it is not right to apply more general biblical principles.

It is absolutely true that the Bible doesn’t condemn hard rock or soft rock or really any aspect of CCM specifically, but it does address such things in principle.

The Bible doesn’t specifically condemn smoking **** or even wearing a bikini. These are only wrong if the biblical principles such as being sober-minded and not being naked are applied to daily living. The Bible plainly condemns nakedness, but what does this mean? Does it mean that as long as you are wearing any scrap of clothing whatsoever you are acceptable? Not even the emerging church believes that, so it is obvious that even the clear commandment against nakedness must be defined and socially applied.

The following are a few Bible principles that are applicable to CCM:

    the principle of separation from end-time apostasy (2 Timothy 3:5)
    the principle of not conforming to and loving the world (Romans 12:2; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-16)
    the principle of doctrinal purity (1 Timothy 1:3)
    the principle that our music should be spiritual (Colossians 3:16)
    the principle of making a clear distinction between the holy and the profane (Ezekiel 22:6)
    the principle of being sober-minded and spiritually vigilant (1 Peter 5:8)
    the principle of not communing with devils (1 Corinthians 10:21; 1 Timothy 4:1).

And those are only a start.

Consider just one of these: the Bible commandment and principle of separation from the world.

Psalms 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Proverbs 4:14-15 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Psalms 26:4-5 I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Strict separation from the world is a major teaching of Scripture. It is a fundamental Bible doctrine.

It was this doctrine that convinced me as a young Christian that I had to give up rock & roll if I was going to please the Lord. It wasn’t an easy decision, because my flesh loved rock. I was addicted to the backbeat, the sensuality and fleshly excitement of it. I didn’t give it up because I was some sort of legalistic Pharisee. I didn’t even give it up because someone was preaching against it. My pastor at the time knew next to nothing about rock and never mentioned it in his preaching. I gave up rock because I knew that God’s Word REQUIRES that I give up such things.

But it wasn’t because the Bible says anything specific about rock music. It doesn’t say anything about it directly, but it says plenty about it in principle!

Separation from the world, non-conformity to the world, is not an optional part of Christianity. The emerging church principle that you can be “theologically conservative and culturally liberal,” is heresy (and it is also ridiculous).

Yet watch any typical CCM performance, and there is an obvious conformity to the world in countless ways, in fact, in practically every way. The musicians sound and look exactly like the world. They dance sensually to enticing, body-moving music like the world. The CCM promotionalism and awards system and charting system are all patterned after the world. Their marriages break up about as often as the world’s. They often curse like the world and drink like the world. They love R-rated movies and trashy sitcoms like the world. They love any sort of secular rock & roll like the world. How is this not “worldly”?

As far as I can discern, if there is such a thing as worldliness as defined by 1 John 2:16 -- the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life -- it would have to describe the modern pop music field and its accompanying pop culture and its religious counterpart, Contemporary Christian Music.

Therefore, we could not disagree more with those who claim that the Bible has nothing to say about the use of contemporary music in the churches.

9. Musical sounds cannot be labeled good or evil.

“My strongest conflict is that a certain sound is defined as ‘good’ or ‘evil.’  What really constitutes an evil sound? Is a traditional hymn what we should consider a ‘good’ sound? What about classical music?  Are there certain pieces that we should not be listening to because of a certain harmonic, melodic or rhythmic pattern found in the music?”

It’s not a matter of the sound being good or evil; it is a matter of the sound creating a certain effect in man and representing a certain philosophy.

The anticipated beat and other rock syncopations are not evil in themselves, but they have a very sensual effect on man, because the body wants to move into the gaps created by the musical style. This is not an accident. The creators of rock music have always wanted to create this sensuality, to make people want to dance and jive. The effect is very sexual, and the rockers themselves have often stated this. Jimi Hendrix, for example, said, “I guess my music is sexy, but what music with a big beat isn’t?” He was absolutely right. Music with a big beat is sexy because of the effect it has on the human body. Also, these types of sounds reflect the philosophy of rock, which is to let yourself go, do your thing, don’t be restrained by laws, follow your heart.

The same is true for the “deceptive cadence,” which we deal with in the sound section of Music for Good or Evil. The deceptive cadence is not an evil sound, but its non-resolving character has a certain effect that is the opposite of spiritual. It creates an emotional effect in people of restlessness, unease. “The deceptive cadence is charismatic in effect. It never resolves, so it builds you up and it gets you into an emotional frenzy where you feel that you are really worshiping God.” That is the objective of charismatic music. Also, it reflects the CCM philosophy of doctrinal relativism, of “let’s be flexible and not so dogmatic; let’s focus more on unity than doctrinal absolutes.”

10. If we are going to reject CCM, we should also reject old hymns written by Lutherans and Methodists and the King James Bible written by Anglicans.

“It seems from your continuing articles and email campaigns, that you have taken issue with this song and others mainly due to their associations with ungodly people and/or people who hold to other doctrines with which we do not agree theologically. In short, we should not use these songs due to their associations. This is a very common approach to considering music selection and it is a fair approach to take. Unfortunately, there are several weak aspects to this philosophy. For instance, where do you draw the line” (West Coast Senior).

A pastor who wrote to criticize me for my warning about West Coast’s adaptation of CCM, mockingly said that if my position is true I should stop using the King James Bible, because it was written by Anglicans.

This is a very typical argument used by CCM defenders, and it is amazing to hear it on the lips of an Independent Baptist preacher who would doubtless think of himself as a real defender of the faith. If we buy into this argument, we will not be able to resist the onslaught of CCM in any effective manner except perhaps to stand against hard rock, and that stand won’t last very long. Those who accept soft rock will eventually accept “hard” rock. It’s the same fleshly beast.

In a nutshell, I would offer three rejoinders:

First, the old Protestant denominations were fundamentally different than their modern counterparts.

The old Lutherans and Methodists were militant for the Christian faith and were not infiltrated by theological modernism and other new thinking. They hated popery! The old Protestants were much closer, doctrinally and spiritually, to the position of today’s old-fashioned Baptist church than to that of the contemporary movement.

Second, CCM represents a philosophy of end-times Christianity that is diametrically opposed to and an avowed enemy of every “old-fashioned” Bible church.

The use of an old doctrinally sound hymn by a Lutheran like Luther or a Methodist like Wesley does not put our people in danger of becoming Lutherans or Methodists. I have never heard of an Independent Baptist becoming a Lutheran by singing “A Mighty Fortress.” Likewise, I have never heard of an Independent Baptist becoming an Anglican simply because the KJV translators were Anglicans.

But the use of CCM is turning IB churches into emerging ones everywhere. That is because CCM is not just music written by people of questionable doctrine; it represents a philosophy and a movement of end-time apostasy that is diametrically opposed to an “old-fashioned” Bible stand, that is an absolutely enemy of what an “old-fashioned” Baptist church stands for. Large numbers of formerly fundamental Baptist churches have gone down the emerging path through the influence of CCM. (see “Contemporary Music Brings Great Changes to IB Churches”).

If you think it is a mere coincidence that CCM is at the very heart of every change of this nature, you are welcome to your opinion, but I do not share it, and I would far rather err on the side of being too “strict” about music than too “tolerant.”

Dan Lucarini, author of Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement: Confessions of a Former Worship Leader (which I highly recommend), says:

“No one should deny the power of music to proselytize! Pastors in particular must defend their flocks from false teaching, heresies and ‘ear ticklers’ who bring worldly sensuality into the congregation; you are right to point out how easily this comes into a church through worship music. It seems wiser to decline the use of what seems to be a perfectly good song, rather than to give any honor and hint of endorsement to the composer and his/her mission” (e-mail, May 24, 2009).

Third, the Contemporary Christian Music field is permeated with false christs and false gods.

Whatever doctrinal differences a Baptist would have with Martin Luther or John Wesley or Fanny Crosby, we share the same God, but that is often not true for Contemporary Christian Worship.

Many of the influential CCW artists worship A NON-TRINITARIAN GOD. For example, Geron Davis, Joel Hemphill, Mark Carouthers, Lanny Wolfe, and Phillips, Craig and Dean are “Jesus Only” Pentecostals who deny the Trinity. To deny the Trinity is to worship a false God.

Other CCW artists worship A NON-VENGEFUL GOD. Stuart Townend, for example, denies that God is vengeful, which is a brazen rejection of the very God of the Bible (Stuart Townend, “Mission: Worship, The Story Behind the Song”, ).

A great many of the CCM artists worship A NON-JUDGMENTAL GOD. Consider the popularity of The Shack among CCM artists. It has been directly endorsed by Michael W. Smith and has been well received in prominent CCM circles such as Calvary Chapels, Vineyard churches, and Hillsong. It was promoted at the 2009 National Pastor’s Convention in San Diego, which was sponsored by Zondervan and InterVarsity Fellowship. Young was one of the speakers and a survey found that 57% had read the novel. Young was enthusiastically received, and in an interview with Andy Crouch, a senior editor of Christianity Today, there was not a hint of condemnation for his false god. Crouch is a CCM musician in his own right and led one of the praise and worship sessions in San Diego.

The Shack is all about redefining God. It is about a man who becomes bitter at God after his daughter is murdered and has a life-changing experience with God in the very shack where the murder occurred; but the god he encounters is most definitely not the God of the Bible.

Young says the book is for those with “a longing that God is as kind and loving as we wish he was” (interview with Sherman Hu, Dec. 4, 2007). What he is referring to is the desire on the part of the natural man for a God who loves “unconditionally” and does not require obedience, does not require repentance, does not judge sin, and does not make men feel guilty for what they do.

In that same interview, Young said that a woman wrote to him and said that her 22-year-old daughter came to her after reading the book and asked, “IS IT ALRIGHT IF I DIVORCE THE OLD GOD AND MARRY THE NEW ONE?”

This is precisely what a large portion of the Contemporary Christian Music generation is doing.

Young admits that the god of “The Shack” is different from the traditional God of Bible-believing Christianity and blasphemously says that the God who “watches from a distance and judges sin” is “a Christianized version of Zeus.”

This reminds me of the modernist G. Bromley Oxnam, who called the God of the Old Testament “a dirty bully” in his 1944 book Preaching in a Revolutionary Age.

Young depicts the triune God as a young Asian woman named “Sarayu” * (supposedly the Holy Spirit), an oriental carpenter who loves to have a good time (supposedly Jesus), and an older black woman named “Elousia” (supposedly God the Father). God the Father is also depicted as a guy with a ponytail and a goatee. (* The name “Sarayu” is from the Hindu scriptures and represents a mythical river in India on the shores of which the Hindu god Rama was born.)

Young’s god is the god of the emerging church. He is cool, loves rock & roll, is non-judgmental, does not exercise wrath toward sin, does not send unbelievers to an eternal fiery hell, does not require repentance and the new birth, puts no obligations on people, doesn’t like traditional Bible churches, does not accept the Bible as the infallible Word of God, and does not mind if the early chapters of the Bible are interpreted as “myth.” (See “The Shack’s Cool God” at the Way of Life web site, www.wayoflife.org.)

The false CCM non-judgmental, universalistic god is represented by emerging church leaders Brian McLaren and Rob Bell, both of whom are very popular with CCM artists.

McLaren calls the God who punished Jesus on the cross for man’s sin “a God who is incapable of forgiving, unless he kicks somebody else” (McLaren, http://www.understandthetimes.org/mclarentrans.shtml and http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2006/01/brian_mclaren_p.html). He presents the traditional God of the Bible as a tyrant who “gets his way through coercion and violence and intimidation and domination. McLaren says that the “power of the blood” gospel “raises some questions about the goodness of God.”

Rob Bell, author of the extremely popular and influential book Velvet Elvis, claims that the God who would allow multitudes to go to eternal hell is not great or mighty (Love Wins, location 1189-1229). He says that such God is not loving and calls the preaching of eternal hell “misguided and toxic.” says there is something wrong with this God and calls Him “terrifying and traumatizing and unbearable” (Love Wins, location 47-60, 1273-1287, 2098-2113). He even says that if an earthly father acted like the God who sends people to hell “we could contact child protection services immediately” (Love Wins, location 2085-2098).

It is obvious that Bell worships a different God than the One we worship in “traditional” Baptist churches.

Bell’s God is more akin to New Age panentheism than the God of the Bible. He describes God as “a force, an energy, a being calling out to us in many languages, using a variety of methods and events” (Love Wins, location 1710-1724).

“There is an energy in the world, a spark, an electricity that everything is plugged into. The Greeks called it zoe, the mystics call it ‘Spirit,’ and Obi-Wan called it ‘the Force’” (Love Wins, location 1749-1762).

Bell worships a false christ. His Jesus is “supracultural ... present within all cultures ... refuses to be co-opted or owned by any one culture ... He doesn’t even state that those coming to the Father through him will even now that they are coming exclusively through him ... there is only mountain, but many paths. ... People come to Jesus in all sorts of ways ... Sometimes people use his name; other times they don’t” (Love Wins, location 1827-1840, 1865-1878, 1918-1933).

Many of the CCM artists worship A REBEL CHRIST, which is certainly a false christ. Mark Stuart of Audio Adrenaline says, “Jesus Christ is the biggest rebel to ever walk the face of the earth” (Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola, Fla., March 1, 1998, pp. 1, 6E). Sonny of P.O.D. says, “We believe that Jesus was the first rebel; the first punk rocker” (http://www.shoutweb.com/interviews/pod0700.phtml). This is absolute blasphemy. The Bible says rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23). A rebel is a lawbreaker, but Christ was the lawgiver who He came to earth to fulfill the requirements of His own law (Matt. 5:17-19). Christ was not crucified for rebellion; He was crucified for testifying that He is God (John 10:33).

Many of the CCM artists worship A ROCK & ROLL PARTY CHRIST. In his Live ... Radically Saved video Carman says, “Jesus is always cool; He’s got his thing together.” In Resurrection Rap Carman portrays Jesus as a street hippie; in The Standard he calls Jesus “J.C.”; and in Addicted to Jesus he speaks of “Jammin’ with the Lamb.” Robert Sweet of the Christian rock band Stryper had “Jesus Christ Rocks” painted on the back of his drummer chair. Petra claims that “God gave rock and roll to you/ Put it in the soul of every one.” In “Party in Heaven” the Daniel Band sing, “The Lamb and I are drinkin’ new wine.” Phil Driscoll says, “God is the King of Soul; He’s the King of all rhythm” (quoted by Tim Fisher, Battle for Christian Music, p. 82). Messiah Prophet Band says, “Jesus is the Master of Metal,” and Barren Cross says, “Better than pot, Jesus rocks.” John Fischer described God as puffing on a cigar and swaying to rock music (CCM Magazine, July 1984, p. 20), while J. Lee Grady says Jesus enjoys dancing with the angels and “grooving to the sound of Christian R&B pumped out of a boom box” (Charisma, July 2000).

The fact that the CCM crowd typically worships a different kind of God than the “old-fashioned” Biblicist, is why they are perfectly comfortable using music that has been identified as sexy by the secular world.

“... that is what rock is all about--sex with a 100-megaton bomb, the beat” (Gene Simmons of KISS, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987).

Note that Simmons was not referring to the words of rock music; he was referring only to its backbeat rhythm.

Music researchers Daniel and Bernadette Skubik, in their study on the neurophysiology of rock music, warned:

“Whether the words are evil, innocuous, or based in Holy Scripture, the overall neurophysiological effects generated by rock music remain the same. There is simply no such thing as Christian rock that is substantively different in its impact” (“The Neurophysiology of Rock,” an Appendix to Ken Blanchard, Pop Goes the Gospel. pp. 187ff).

The reason that statement doesn’t bother a CCM defender is because he sees Jesus as a rock & roll party Dude who loves a good time.

“Those who envision God as a special friend, a kind of lover, with whom they can have fun, see no problem in worshipping him by means of physically stimulating music. On the other hand, those who perceive God as a majestic, holy, and almighty Being to be approached with awe and reverence will only use the music that elevates them spiritually” (Samuele Bacchiocchi, The Christian and Rock Music).

By the way, we urge churches to be careful even with older hymns. We have never said that if a hymn is old it is good or if it is new it is bad. We must examine all hymns as to musical character and doctrinal purity. In my estimation, there are hymns in the standard hymnals used by Independent Baptist churches that shouldn’t be used (e.g., “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations”).

11. An emphasis on “a heart for God” is more important than music or any “external” thing.

“While at West Coast one the most important things I learned was the importance of having a heart for God. The music was a lot more of a concern to me when I first started to hear it and I thought of the fact that it was CCM artists that perform it. But seriously, are the words evil?” (West Coast graduate).

Observe that this young man grew weaker in his convictions about music through West Coast’s influence. He learned that “a heart for God” is the paramount issue.

I agree with the importance of emphasizing “the heart” as far as it goes and as long as it is defined properly in today's context. It is so important to emphasize the heart and true godliness as opposed to mere externals, and I have tried to emphasize that in my ministry (such as in the book “Keeping the Kids”) and it is one of the things that has discouraged me about so many IB schools and ministries (the shallow emphasis on the externals and neglect of the heart).

But that is no excuse for going down the road of saying that music doesn't matter as long as the “heart is right.” That is one of the fundamental philosophies of CCM and the emerging church; and it is heretical and eventually leads to a complete collapse of godly standards and even of absolute truth itself. This is because of the nature of the human heart and the subjectivity of the principle.

The philosophy of testing music by the passion for God exhibited by the performers and listeners or whether my heart is pleased with it is the mystical charismatic approach, which lies at the heart of CCM.

This philosophy is akin to John Piper’s Christian Hedonism doctrine. He says, “God is most satisfied with us when we are most satisfied with Him.” A passion for God is promoted as THE major principle and sanctifier of the Christian life. As Dr. Peter Masters of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London says:

“Delighting in God ... is made the organising principle for every other spiritual experience and duty. It becomes the key formula for all spiritual vigour and development. Every other Christian duty is thought to depend on how well we obey this central duty of delighting in the Lord. The entire Christian life is simplified to rest upon a single quest, which is bound to distort ones perception of the Christian life and how it must be lived” (“Christian Hedonism - Is It Right?” Sword & Trowel, 2002, No. 3).

Only a fool would say that a passion for God is not the most important thing in the universe; but it is also true that it is easy to deceive ourselves that we are being passionate about God when we are actually being passionate about ourselves. It is not a sufficient standard for saints who are still “in the flesh” in this present sin-cursed world.

The Bible warns that “the heart is deceitful above all things” (Jer. 17:9), and, “he that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Prov. 28:26).

The passions of the heart must be continually and always tested by the clear teaching of God’s Word. If a “passion for God” were THE important standard of Christian living, the New Testament would not be packed with so many various things. Take the book of Ephesians alone. It contains some 88 specific commandments, by my reckoning, that the grace-saved, born again believer is obligated to obey.

Therefore, the test of our music is not merely whether our heart is pleased with it and whether we feel that we are being passionate for God when we enjoy it, but the test involves many things. We have laid some of these out in this article, such as, is the music conformed to the world, can it be identified as “the lust of the flesh” or “the lust of the eyes” or the “pride of life”? Is it associated with end-times apostasy? Is it doctrinally unsound or even doctrinally questionable? Does it lead to a lack of sobermindedness and spiritual vigilance? Does it make a clear distinction between the holy and the profane? Is it unspiritual?

If the answer to any of these is yes, then it doesn’t matter if I think I like the music because of my passion for God or not -- it is still wrong!
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2014, 11:54:22 am »

I got this 21 page PDF file in my email the other day, and read it - yes, a lot of this is VERY subtle and crafty(no surprise, as Satan is the most subtle beast of the field). Once you allow this, then worse leaven will eventually infiltrate its way through.

Yeah, another reason to avoid ALL of these church buildings - at least once in these services, they'll have someone(s) sing a solo/double where they end up focusing it on THEMSELVES when they're singing(and not to the Lord).
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2015, 12:54:28 am »

Audio Inside Link: Sound The Battle Cry - Toby Mac, DC Talk & CCM: Counterfeit Christian Music
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2015, 11:51:53 pm »

Audio Inside Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=121215222151
Amy Grant - Queen of Counterfeit Christian Music
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Leviticus 19:31  Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2015, 12:05:58 am »

Audio Inside Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=121215223552
Michael W Smith - CCM Apostle of Apostasy
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2016, 07:14:33 am »

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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2016, 06:15:10 pm »

This is 3 hours long, but WELL WORTH IT! Learned and was edified by a number of things I never knew about before!

Are There Biblical Guidelines For Christian Music or Just Personal Preferences?
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2016, 04:17:19 am »

Contemporary Christian Music and Rome

July 6, 2016

Contemporary Christian Music is ecumenical music. In fact, Contemporary Christian Music is one of the most powerful forces of the end-times ecumenical movement. It is the music of the "one-world church."

In his book Making Musical Choices, Richard Peck makes the following important observation about modern church music.

"Aside from its commercialism and its increasing resemblance to the world, contemporary Christian music is becoming a religious melting pot. Some in the community admit that they are not believers. And while this is still an exception, CCM IS PROUD OF ITS ECUMENICAL AND CHARISMATIC SPIRIT. THIS ECUMENISM EXTENDS OPEN ARMS TOWARD APOSTATE PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH" (Making Musical Choices, Bob Jones University, 1986, p. 86).

NOT ONE popular CCM musician that I know of stands against ecumenism and stands boldly for ecclesiastical separation.

Contemporary Christian Music is at home in the most ecumenical of contexts. The same music is perfectly comfortable and acceptable in a Roman Catholic retreat or a World Council of Churches conference or a charismatic "laughing revival."

CCM is the music of ecumenical evangelism, as epitomized by Franklin Graham and Luis Palau crusades.

Contemporary Christian Music is the music of ecumenical charismatic conferences, such as New Orleans '87, held in July 1987. I attended this meeting with press credentials. After four days of "renewal" choruses and Christian rock, it was obvious that CCM was the preferred music of the 35,000-40,000 ecumenical-charismatics in attendance. Approximately 40 different denominations and groups came together under one roof, including Episcopalian, Church of Christ, United Methodist, American Baptist, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church USA, and dozens of others, including roughly 20,000 Roman Catholics. Roman Catholic priest Tom Forrest delivered the closing message and brought the mixed multitude to their feet when he called for unity. "We must reach the world," he cried, "and we must reach it the only way we can reach it; we must reach it TOGETHER!" At those words the crowd became ecstatic, leaping to their feet, shouting, stomping, speaking in tongues, dancing. This same priest spoke at a conference I attended in Indianapolis in 1990 and said he is thankful for purgatory because he knows that he will not go to heaven except through that means. Obviously he does not believe in the once-for-all sufficiency of Christ's atonement. At the book sales area in New Orleans one could purchase rosary beads and Madonnas to assist in one's prayers to Mary. A Catholic mass was held every morning during the conference.

The music that held all of this confusion together was CCM. Youth Explosion '87 was held at the same time, and 5,000 young people were bombarded with a steady diet of unscriptural teaching, ecumenism, testimonies by sports stars and entertainment figures, and "Christian" rock music.

CCM is perfectly at home in the midst of such apostate confusion.

The contemporary praise anthem "We Are One in the Spirit," which became the "banner song of the Jesus Movement," was written by PETER SCHOLTES (1938-2009), a Roman Catholic priest. He wrote the song in the 1960s while working as a parish priest at St. Brendan's on the South Side of Chicago. In that capacity he worked with the modernistic Baptist preacher Martin Luther King. Scholtes's motivation in writing the song was to find something that would fit a series of ecumenical events. The song has been sung by churches of every denomination and represents the ecumenical spirit that is creating the one-world church.

When Pope John Paul II visited the United States in January 1999, well-known contemporary Christian musicians joined hands with hundreds of thousands of Catholics to welcome him. Featured at a Catholic youth rally connected with the Pope's visit, were dc Talk, Audio Adrenaline, Rebecca St. James, and Jars of Clay (Music and Entertainment News, web report no longer available).

The very popular JOHN MICHAEL TALBOT is a Roman Catholic who prays to Mary and believes in dreams and other forms of extra-biblical revelation. He became a lay "brother" in the order of Secular Franciscans in 1979 and lives in Little Portion Hermitage in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This is the home of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, "an integrated monastic community of families, celibates and singles" founded by Talbot. In his book Simplicity, Talbot stated: "Personally, I have found praying the Rosary to be one of the most powerful tools I possess in obtaining simple, childlike meditation on the life of Jesus Christ." The Rosary is largely a prayer to Mary as the Queen of Heaven. In 1984 Talbot said: "I am also feeling the presence of Mary becoming important in my life. ... I feel that she really does love me and intercedes to God on my behalf" (Contemporary Christian Music Magazine, November 1984, p. 47).

Talbot says: "Music is an extension of my life. When I became a Christian, my music became Christian music. When I became Catholic, my music became Catholic music" (B. Cole Bennett, "John Michael Talbot: An Encounter with the Counter-Culture," Shout! magazine, February 1996).

Talbot's albums were the first by a Catholic artist to be accepted by both Protestant and Catholic listeners. In 1988, Billboard magazine reported that Talbot out-ranked all other male Christian artists in total career albums sold.

In an article entitled "Our Fathers, and Our Divided Family," in the Catholic charismatic magazine New Covenant, Talbot called for Christian unity on the basis of the Roman Catholic papacy:

"A Roman Catholic, I respect other Christians. We are especially close to those who value apostolic tradition as well as Scripture. But even in this we face further debates that are obstacles to complete Christian unity. THIS IS WHY THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH INSISTS THAT SCRIPTURE, TRADITION AND MAGISTERIUM ARE NECESSARY FOR A FULLY UNIFIED PEOPLE. WE ROMAN CATHOLICS FIND THIS IN THE POPE AS BISHOP OF ROME, TOGETHER WITH THE BISHOPS OF THE CHURCHES IN FULL COMMUNION WITH ROME. This has theologically freed us to develop the greatest mystical and functional unity in Christendom. It has also given us an authority that enables us to enter into interfaith and ecumenical dialogue without defensiveness. ... May we all hear these ancient truths and experience real conversion of heart" (emphasis added) (John Talbot, "Our Fathers, and Our Divided Family," New Covenant, September 1997, p. 21).

There is room for Talbot's apostate theology in the doctrinally confused world of Contemporary Christian Music. He is considered a brother in Christ and is welcomed with open arms, even in the face of God's commands that we mark and avoid those who promote doctrine contrary to that taught by the apostles (Romans 16:17-18).

This is one of the many reasons why we refuse to have anything to do with CCM and its rebellious musicians and worldly musical styles. The devil is using the ecumenical thrust of CCM to break down the walls between truth and error toward the completion of the one-world apostate "church."

Referring to the mixed crowds who attended his concerts in Catholic churches, Talbot said that he delights to see Protestants who never would have darkened the doorstep of a Catholic church come to one of his concerts. "All of a sudden they say, 'Hey, I feel very much at home here. That doesn't mean necessarily I want to be a Roman Catholic, but I feel very much at home worshipping God with other people who are not that different from me'" (John Talbot, quoted in "Interfaith Album Strikes Sour Note," Peter Smith, Religious News Service, Dec. 8, 1996).

Surveys show that 60 percent of Talbot's listeners are non-Catholic.

In 1996, Talbot produced an album jointly with fellow CCM performer MICHAEL CARD (who claims to be an evangelical). They also embarked on a concert tour which included concerts in eight cities, "with the audience mix estimated at 50 percent Catholic and 50 percent Protestant" (Charisma, December 1996, p. 29). In March 1996 they performed together for the largest gathering of Catholics in America at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. Roughly 20,000 "clergy and laity" attended this congress. Both men also spoke at the formation retreat for the Catholic Musicians Association. Talbot is the president of this new association.

On their album, Talbot and Card sing:

"There is one faith/ One hope and one baptism/ One God and Father of all/ There is one church, one body, one life in the spirit/ Now given so freely for all."

What one faith, baptism, and church? The Roman Catholic faith is not the Bible's faith. Its infant baptism certainly is not biblical baptism. The Roman church is not the New Testament church found in Scripture. Consider what the Second Vatican Council said about purgatory:

"The doctrine of purgatory clearly demonstrates that even when the guilt of sin has been taken away, punishment for it or the consequences of it may remain to be expiated or cleansed. They often are. In fact, in purgatory the souls of those who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions are cleansed after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt" (Vatican II documents, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, 3).

Purgatory means to cleanse or purify. It is a plain and open denial of the perfect sufficiency of the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ to take away all sin. The Bible says, "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (Heb. 10:14). Rome has a faith, a baptism, and a church, but it is not the one we read about in the Holy Scriptures. Why, then, would Michael Card pretend that he and John Talbot are singing about the same thing? If Card believes Talbot's faith is the one true faith, why does he not become a Roman Catholic?

Of this ecumenical venture with Talbot, Card testified: "Doing this project has enabled us to become real friends. And along the way, THE DENOMINATIONAL LINES HAVE BECOME REALLY MEANINGLESS TO ME, AND TO JOHN, TOO" (CCM Magazine, July 1996).

It is painfully obvious that doctrinal truth means nothing to these CCM performers. If Talbot really took his Catholic doctrine seriously, he would not yoke together with those who deny that doctrine, and if Card really took his Evangelical doctrine seriously he would not yoke together with a man who denies that doctrine. If the Pope is truly the Vicar of Christ and the head of all Christians, it would be wicked to deny it; but if the Catholic papacy is nothing but a man-made tradition, it is wicked to believe it. If Mary is truly the immaculate, ever-virgin Queen of Heaven, it would be wicked to deny it; but if the Catholic Mary is a demonic idol, it is wicked to believe it. If the Catholic priesthood really is ordained by God, it would be wicked to deny it; but if it has no authority from God and is merely a tradition of man, it is wicked to accept it. There is no middle ground here. There can be no fellowship between those who hold doctrines this diverse. The Bible says those who teach doctrine contrary to that which the Apostles delivered are to be marked and avoided (Romans 16:17). The Bible wisely asks: "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3).

In 1996, Talbot was instrumental in forming the CATHOLIC MUSICIANS ASSOCIATION to encourage Catholic musicians and to help them find a place in the more mainstream Contemporary Christian Music world. Talbot's friend Michael Card performed at the formation meeting for the new association. Joining Talbot at the founding meeting in April 1996, were Tony Melendez, Dana, Susan Stein (an executive of Catholic-owned Heartbeat Records), Paulette McCoy (Oregon Catholic Press), Catholic church officials and professionals involved in marketing and publicity (Steve Rabey, "Association Formed to Support Catholic Music," CCM Update, May 27, 1996). At the meeting, Stein said she "would like Protestants and Catholics to set aside what are basically petty differences" and she urged Evangelicals "to be a bit less judgmental and a bit more open to understanding" (Ibid.).

You can be sure that Stein's advice will be taken by the ecumenically-minded CCM crowd.

The most prolific musician with Heartbeat Records is DANA. She performed for Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day in 1993, and has a album titled "The Rosary" which is about praying to Mary as the Queen of Heaven. Dana's album "We Are One Body" is a call for ecumenical unity.

Other Catholic musicians who move within Contemporary Christian Music circles are KATHY TROCCOLI, TOM BOOTH, SARAH HART, DANNY LANGDON, AND SHERYL CROW. The National Catholic Register mentioned all of these in an article in the March 8-14, 1998, issue, stating that they are using their music to "evangelize" Evangelical young people into the Catholic faith.

KATHY TROCCOLI, who has been nominated five times as the Gospel Music Association female vocalist of the year, is a Roman Catholic ecumenical bridge builder. She was mentioned in an article in the National Catholic Register in March 8-14, 1998, which stated that she and other Catholic musicians are using their music to "evangelize" evangelical young people into the Catholic faith. In an interview with CCM Magazine in 1997 she said: "But I'd been very judgmental toward the Catholic church for years, and I've recently been able to go back to it without having a chip on my shoulder. I now have a much greater capacity for—as the album says—Love and Mercy."

Troccoli preaches an ecumenical, non-judgmental, anti-fundamentalist philosophy:

"To me it's very simple: if the world doesn't see God's love in us and our love for each other, they're never going to want what we have. Our dogma and legalism strangle the love of Christ right out of us" (CCM Magazine, June 1997).

This sounds good to many ears, and there is no doubt about the importance of Christian love; but it is impossible to obey the Bible without being deeply concerned about doctrine ("dogma") and obedience to the details of God's Word ("legalism"). Jude 3 explains that God has given one faith to His people, and that faith, as recorded in the New Testament Scriptures, is to be preserved and fought for until Jesus returns. It is absolutely impossible to obey Jude 3 and be ecumenical and non-judgmental at the same time. The chief thing which divides denominations is doctrine.

Troccoli's 1997 album, Love One Another, has an ecumenical theme: "Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for Christ and each other" (Dave Urbanski, "Chatty Kathy," CCM Magazine, June 1997). The recording of the title song involved 40 CCM artists: Amy Grant, Gary Chapman, Clay Crosse, Sandi Patty, Michael W. Smith, Carman, Tony Vincent, Jonathan Pierce, Mark Lowry, Phillips, Craig and Dean, Aaron and Jeoffrey, Jaci Velasquez, Lisa Bevill, Scott Krippayne, Sarah Masen, Babbie Mason, Sara Jahn, Carolyn Arends, Vestal Goodman, Paul Vann, Billy and Sarah Gaines, Tim Taber, Sarah Hart, Peter Penrose, Janet Paschal, Beverly Crawford, Phil Joel of the Newsboys, Kevin Smith of dc Talk, Tai Anderson of Third Day, plus the members of Out of the Grey, Beyond the Blue, 4 HIM, Christafari, and Audio Adrenaline.

The song talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division.

"Look around the world today/ There is anger there is hate/ And I know that it grieves His heart/ When His people stand apart/ Cause we're the only Jesus they will see/ Love one another, and live as one in His name/ Love one another we can tear down walls by His grace" ("Love One Another").

The broad range of participants who joined Kathy Troccoli in recording "Love One Another" demonstrates the ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music. The song witnessed Catholics, Pentecostals, Baptists, etc., yoked together to call for Christian unity. The New Testament repeatedly warns of widespread apostasy among those who claim to be Christians, yet the ecumenical movement ignores apostasy and calls for almost unqualified unity among professing Christians. While there is little doubt that God is grieved by some of the divisions among Bible-believing Christians, it is not true that the heart of God is grieved by all divisions within Christianity, because there are divisions He Himself has commanded. He has commanded that His people separate from those who follow doctrinal error.

Popular CCM musician PHIL KEAGGY made a commitment to Christ in an Assemblies of God church in 1970, but he has not rejected Roman Catholicism. Note the following statement from a 1995 interview:

"… the gospel is preached in many Catholic churches, and the truth is known there. … Over the years, I've been a part of many nondenominational churches and denominational churches, but I have even a higher regard and respect for my Catholic upbringing, because I believe it planted the seeds of faith in me. And I read books that give me a greater understanding of the Catholic faith today. I'm not a practicing Catholic, but I believe that I'm a true believer who responds to the truth that is there. Because it's ancient tradition; it goes way back. I think Martin Luther had some great ideas, and showed us that we're saved by grace through faith, but he was a Catholic when he posted all that up! … I have great fellowship with my Catholic brethren today. I have some dear friends across the country that I've made. That's a whole other subject; but I think when the Lord looks at his Bride, he doesn't see the walls that we use to divide ourselves from each other. He sees one body, and that body is comprised of his children, those who he bought and paid for with his blood … I love the liturgy; I think liturgy with the Spirit is one of the most powerful ways of communicating the life of God to us" (Phil Keaggy, cited by Tom Loredo, "Phil Keaggy in His Own Words," Way Back Home, December 1995).

It is true that Catholicism can plant general seeds of faith in God that can sometimes be watered by the gospel, but to imply that Catholic churches preach the gospel is completely untrue. It is true that Martin Luther was a Catholic when he first made his protest against Rome, but he did not learn salvation by grace alone from Roman Catholicism. He learned it from the Bible IN SPITE OF Rome, and Rome quickly condemned him. Rome's Council of Trent, which responded to Luther, boldly cursed anyone who says that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone by the blood of Christ alone without works or sacraments, and Trent has never been rescinded.

Any Catholic church that preaches the true gospel that salvation has nothing whatsoever to do with works or sacraments (and I don't know of any) is preaching contrary to what Roman Catholicism teaches in its official proclamations. The Catholic Church plainly states that salvation is by grace PLUS works and sacraments. Not only does the Catholic Church deny the gospel of the grace of Christ by its formal declarations, but in many other ways, as well. The all-sufficiency of Christ's once-for-all atonement is denied by the Catholic Mass, which alleges to be a continual re-offering of Christ's sacrifice. The all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ is also denied by the Catholic priesthood, which alleges to stand between the believer and Christ. The all-sufficiency of Christ is further denied by the Catholic sainthood, which alleges to mediate between men and God.

Keaggy says he loves the Catholic liturgy, but it is contrary to the Bible. There is no mass in the Bible. In fact, there are no sacraments in the New Testament Scriptures. Sacraments are supposed to be channels of grace, but the ordinances of true New Testament churches (believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper) are not channels of grace but are symbols and simple reminders only. Grace comes directly to the believer from Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Christ said, "Come unto ME" (Mat. 11:28; 19:14; Jn. 6:35,37; 7:37).

Keaggy discounts the importance of sound doctrine when he says that God does not see differences between churches and denominations. The Lord Jesus Christ warned that there would be many false teachers who would lead many astray from the truth (Matt. 7:15). He warned that as His return draws nearer, false teachers would increase (Matt. 24:11,24). The Apostles likewise warned of a great apostasy or turning away from the true New Testament faith, of the rise of many false teachers, of the creation of false churches, of false christs, false gospels, false spirits (2 Cor. 11:1-4; 1 Timothy 4; 2 Timothy 3-4; 2 Peter 2; 1 John 2,4; Jude; Revelation 17). If God sees all denominations as a part of His one body, where are the false teachers? Where are the false churches? Where is the spirit of antichrist? Where are the false christs, gospels, spirits?

The following is from a more recent interview:

"I'm just pro-Jesus. I'll go into any church where His name is honored. I don't know where it will take me. I just know that Christians need to love each other" (Phil Keaggy, cited by Dave Ubanski, "Fret Not," CCM Magazine, Nov. 1998, p. 36).

This sounds good to many, but Keaggy ignores the Bible's warning that there are false christs (2 Cor. 11:3-4). The "Jesus" honored by many churches is an unscriptural Jesus, and the Bible warns that God's people are not to fellowship with these (2 John 10-11). Christian love is important, but the Bible says that true love is obeying God's commandments (1 John 5:3).

In an interview with Religious Broadcasting, Keaggy further emphasized his ecumenical philosophy:

"I think also the unity that is so necessary in the body of Christ is important. I admire Charles Colson. He got a lot of flack for writing the book, The Body, and being associated with Catholics. I was raised Catholic and my mother's influence was powerful in my life. I came to the Lord when she passed away. She sowed the seeds in my life for me to become a believer. There are divisive voices out there. People who thrive on disunity are the ones [to whom] you've got to say, 'I'm not going to contend with this, I'm not going to argue, I'm just going to go about my business'" ("Saran E. Smitha and Christine Pryor, "Integrity Times Two: Michael Card and Phil Keaggy," National Religious Broadcasters, July-August 1995).

The Christian life would be much simpler if one could follow Keaggy's advice and not get involved in contentions about doctrine and Christian living, but faithfulness to the Word of God does not allow it. Keaggy says he is not going to "contend," but God requires that His people "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3) and reprove the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). Obedience to such commands does not allow me to follow Keaggy's compromising advice.

Keaggy's unscriptural ecumenical philosophy and anti-fundamentalist attitude is perfectly at home in the world of Contemporary Christian Music.

MICHAEL W. SMITH performed at the Catholic-sponsored World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado, in 1993. Smith and guitarist-songwriter BILLY SPRAGUE performed with Catholic Kathy Troccoli at a concert in November 1985 in Tampa, Florida. The concert was sponsored by Youth for Christ and the First Assembly of God of Clearwater, Florida (St. Petersburg Times, Florida, Religious Section, Nov. 9, 1985, p. 3). Smith also wrote the foreword to Brennan Manning's The Ragamuffin Gospel, which is published by Multnomah Press. Manning is a Roman Catholic who attends mass. Smith's 1998 single "Live the Life" was "inspired by the life of the Catholic St. Francis of Assisi" ("New Releases October 28, 1997," Christian Music Online, [link removed, website no longer active]).

In the Fall of 2009, Michael W. Smith toured with the Roman Catholic Matt Maher on the New Hallelujah Tour.

In 1994 the Catholic St. John's University gave its highest award, the Pax Christi, to AMY GRANT (Houston Chronicle, May 7, 1994). Pax Christi is the radical International Catholic Peace Movement.

MARGARET BECKER claims to have had a religious experience which has made her more appreciative of her Roman Catholicism. In a 1994 interview she said she began mixing faith with her music and gained a greater appreciation for her own faith, Catholicism. "Now, I'm taking that knowledge with me back to the church of my youth." Becker declared: "The familiar prayers and practices are very rich and touch me in a different, more intimate way" (The Fundamentalist Digest, May-June 1994). She is ecumenical and moves in a wide range of denominational forums. For example, she was scheduled to appear at the First Assembly of God in Warrenton, Virginia, in September 1993. That same month she was featured in a "Margaret Becker Youth Fest" at a large Baptist Bible Fellowship church, Riverdale Baptist Church, Riverdale, Maryland. She was scheduled to appear at a Church of Christ in Converse, Indiana, in March 1994.

The very popular SANDI PATTY moves freely in ecumenical circles. She has entertained audiences as diverse as Billy Graham crusades, Jerry Falwell meetings, Southern Baptist Convention annual conferences, and Pope John Paul II masses (she performed at a papal mass in Los Angeles in September 1987).

SHEILA WALSH frequently "performs" in ecumenical settings. Together with roughly 20,000 Roman Catholics, she participated in the North American Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelization in New Orleans in 1987.

When Pope John Paul II visited the United States in January 1999, many well-known contemporary Christian musicians joined hands with hundreds of thousands of Catholics to welcome him. Featured at a Catholic youth rally connected with the Pope's visit, were DC TALK, AUDIO ADRENALINE, REBECCA ST. JAMES, JENNIFER KNAPP, THE WS, AND THE SUPERTONES (CCM Magazine, April 1999, p. 12). According to Music and Entertainment News, JARS OF CLAY was also scheduled to appear, though other reports did not mention them (Music and Entertainment News, [link removed, website no longer active]). Knapp said she was excited about joining the Pope to "build on the unity of faith" (CCM Magazine, op. cit.). dc Talk's Kevin Max praised the Catholic youth for coming out to hear the Pope, describing John Paul II as "someone with something of substance to say" (Ibid.). A large group of nuns and Dominican priests "danced with abandon" at the Supertones rock music. Each attendee received a rosary with instructions about how to pray to Mary.

The VINEYARD CHURCHES, founded by the late JOHN WIMBER, have had a wide influence with their praise music. Wimber himself, who was the manager of the secular group, The Righteous Brothers, before his conversion, wrote many popular songs, and many of the Vineyard churches are noted for their influential music groups. Wimber frequently spoke on the same platform with Roman Catholic priests and apparently saw no serious problem with their doctrine. In 1986, Wimber joined Catholic priest Tom Forrest and Anglican Michael Harper at the European Festival of Faith, an ecumenical meeting in Birmingham, England. The Festival leaders and the 8,000 participants sent the Pope of Rome a message: "We are ready to join you in the united evangelism of Europe" (Australian Beacon, March 1988).

Wimber was a featured speaker at the North American Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelization in Indianapolis, August 1990. In that forum he joined hands with roughly 12,000 Roman Catholics, including many priests and nuns. A Catholic mass was held every morning. I was present at this conference with press credentials and heard Wimber speak.

In October 1991, the Wimber conference in Sydney, Australia, featured Catholic priests Tom Forrest and Raniero Cantalamessa, as well as Catholic layman Kevin Ranaghan. Tom Forrest spoke at Indianapolis '90 and said he praises God for purgatory. Cantalamessa was the papal preacher at the Vatican. Ranaghan claimed that the Roman Catholic Church alone contains the fullness of God and truth and that the Pope is the infallible head of all churches. In spite of their heresies, these men were featured by Wimber as Spirit-filled men of God.

In his church planting seminar Wimber said there is nothing scripturally wrong with the Catholic practice of seeking healing through relics: "In the Catholic church for over a 1,200 year period people were healed as a result of touching the relics of the saints. We Protestants have difficulty with that ... but we healers shouldn't, because there's nothing theologically out of line with that" (John Wimber, Church Planting Seminar).

Wimber was not only open to Roman Catholic doctrine but actively encouraged the reunification of Protestants with the church of Rome. "During the Vineyard pastors' conference, he went so far as to 'apologize' to the Catholic church on behalf of all Protestants ... He stated that 'the Pope, who by the way is very responsive to the Charismatic movement, and is himself a born-again Evangelical, is preaching the Gospel as clear as anyone in the world today'" (Pastor John Goodwin, Testing the Fruit of the Vineyard, San Jose, Calif., citing John Wimber's Church Planting Seminar, audio tapes, 5 volumes, unedited, 1981).

In an article in the June 2001 issue of CCM Magazine, contemporary Christian musicians are quoted praising Mother Teresa. MARK LOWRY, who sings with the Gaither Quartet, said: "Diana and Mother Teresa were using their influence for good. One from a palace and the other from poverty. That's what we all should do" (Gregory Rumburg and April Hefner, "The Princess and the Nun," CCM Magazine, June 2001).

RAY BOLTZ, who met Mother Teresa in 1996, was also quoted in the article. He said: "Mother Teresa was an example to us. When she started this ministry, she was a teacher. She felt God calling her to minister to the poor. At that time, for a woman to tell her superiors she was called to ministry—that was really out of the ordinary. I am impressed she did not go along with status quo, but followed the call of God. That is refreshing and different and part of why she stands out" (Ibid.).

Neither Lowry nor Boltz had a word of warning about Mother Teresa's false gospel that has caused multitudes to die with a false hope.

BONO of U2, who is praised as a Christian by the CCM crowd, says that the older he gets the more comfort he finds in Roman Catholicism. "Let's not get too hard on the Holy Roman Church here. The Church has its problems, but the older I get, the more comfort I find there ... murmuring prayers, stories told in stained-glass windows, the colors of Catholicism--purple mauve, yellow, red--the burning incense. My friend Gavin Friday says Catholicism is the glam-rock of religion" (Bono on Bono, p. 201).

ERIC WYSE, whose "Wonderful, Merciful Savior" is included in Majesty Music's new Rejoice Hymns, is a one-world church builder who sees music as a major aspect of this endeavor. One of the web sites most highly recommended by Wyse is Internetmonk.com, which promotes such things as handmade Franciscan-inspired rosaries, the blogs of apostate emerging church leaders Shane Claiborne and Scott McKnight, and the Merton Institute for Contemplative Living, which is dedicated to the philosophy of the Buddhist-Catholic monk Thomas Merton. In his blog, Wyse published a statement by Steven Harmon promoting ecumenical relations with the Roman Catholic Church. Note the following from Wyse's web site:

"In a previous post I expressed my my appreciation for the Baptist-produced Celebrating Grace Hymnal (2010) in light of the implications for receptive ecumenism of the Baptist practice of hymn singing that I noted in my 2010 Lourdes College Ecumenical Lecture (subsequently published as "HOW BAPTISTS RECEIVE THE GIFTS OF CATHOLICS AND OTHER CHRISTIANS" in Ecumenical Trends 39, no. 6, June 2010, pp. 1/81-5/85). BAPTIST HYMNALS ARE ARGUABLY THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ECUMENICAL DOCUMENTS PRODUCED BY BAPTISTS. They implicitly recognize hymn writers from a wide variety of traditions throughout the history of the church as sisters and brothers in Christ by including their hymns alongside hymns by Baptists…[In addition to numerous] patristic hymns, Baptists receive through their hymnals the gifts of Francis of Assisi and Teresa of Jesus, Martin Luther, the post-Reformation Roman Catholic author of 'Fairest Lord Jesus' from the Münster Gesangbuch, the Methodist Charles Wesley, and more recently the Pentecostal pastor Jack Hayford, to name a few hymn writers whose ecclesial gifts Baptists have gladly received with their voices and hearts" ("Baptist Hymn Singing, Receptive Ecumenism, and the Nicene Creed" by Steven Harmon, published by Eric Wyse at HymnWyse, March 14, 2011).

This statement reflects the spiritual blindness that permeates the contemporary praise music movement, and Bible-believing Baptist churches that are messing around with this music by "adapting it" are building bridges to this extremely dangerous world.

GRAHAM KENDRICK is one of the most prominent names in Contemporary Christian Music, and one of his objectives is to break down denominational barriers and created ecumenical unity. He was a founder of the ecumenical March for Jesus program, which not only involves Roman Catholics but Mormons as well. A biography at Kendrick's web site boasts: "Crossing international and denominational barriers, his songs, like the popular 'Shine Jesus Shine,' have been used from countless small church events to major festivals -- including Promise Keeper rallies, Billy Graham crusades and a four million-strong open air mass in the Philippines capital Manila, where the Pope 'swung his cane in time to the music.'"

DARLENE ZSCHECH of HILLSONG MUSIC is another example of the radical ecumenism that permeates CCM. One of Zschech's themes is the importance of unity, which, of course, is the false ecumenical philosophy. For example, she makes the following comment about the album You Shine — "There is a new sound and a new song being proclaimed across the earth. It's the sound of a unified church, coming together, in one voice to magnify our magnificent Lord" (from the album cover).

She gives no warning about the fact that vast numbers of churches are apostate and that the Bible says that unity apart from doctrinal agreement is wrong. The New Testament warns repeatedly that the end of the Church Age will be characterized by apostasy and spiritual confusion rather than faithfulness to the truth (i.e. Mat. 24:3-4, 11, 24; 1 Tim. 4:1-5; 2 Tim. 3:13; 4:3-4; 2 Pet. 2:1; Jude 3-4). That is precisely what we see when we look at Christianity today. Yet, the authors of most of the modern praise music give almost no warning about apostasy.

In an interview with Christian Leader magazine, March-April 2002, Zschech said she had a vision about the importance of unity:

Q. What do you envision for the future of the contemporary worship movement?

Zschech: You know, I had this vision a few years ago of how God saw the worshippers and worship leaders, linked arm and arm – the "musos," the production personnel and everybody that is involved in the worship of God. There were no celebrities out in front. We were all together in the line just walking together. It was how I imagined God's heart for what we are doing. We were all in line, and we were slow, but we were all walking around and we weren't leaving anyone behind. We were taking everyone with us. But then I saw a picture of what it is like now, and although we were arm in arm, there was a struggle going on. People were running forward in pride while others were shrinking back out of insecurity. There was very little movement because of disunity. I think that means we've got to become strong people so that we can stand strong together. God says he will bless us, and when God says "blessing" it's an out-of-control blessing, but that only comes when we are bound together.

This is a vision of her own heart, because it is contrary to the Scriptures. The New Testament nowhere says that God's blessing is out of control or that it only comes when professing Christians are "bound together." To the contrary, the Bible says God's blessing is always under control, always orderly, never confused. "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints" (1 Cor. 14:33). "Let all things be done decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14:39). Paul instructed Timothy to allow "no other doctrine" (1 Tim. 1:3). That is an extremely narrow approach to doctrinal purity, but it is the apostolic example that we are to follow until Christ returns.

This strict biblical attitude about doctrine is 180 degrees contrary to the philosophy of those who are creating the modern praise movement. They teach that the Holy Spirit cannot be "put in a box," meaning we cannot be sure how He will act and that He can create disorder and confusion. They teach that doctrine is less important than unity. They teach that women can be leaders. These philosophies are in open and direct rebellion to the Word of God.

In 2003, Zschech participated in Harvest '03 in Newcastle, NSW, north of Sydney, Australia. The ecumenical rock concert, which featured U.S.-based evangelist Greg Laurie of Harvest Ministries, brought together a hodgepodge of churches, including Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, Anglican, Seventh-day Adventist, Church of Christ, and Roman Catholic ("Hunter Harvest -- Rock Evangelism," [website no longer available]). A participating Assemblies of God pastor stated, "The bridge building going between churches has been awesome." In reality, it was spiritual confusion and open disobedience to the Holy Scriptures (i.e., Mat. 7:15; Rom. 16:17; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Tim. 2:16-17; 3:5; 4:3-4; etc.). The Word of God commands us to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3), yet the aforementioned denominations hold each dozens of heretical doctrines that are contrary to that faith, including the false gospels of baptismal regeneration and sacramentalism, both of which are under God's curse in Galatians 1.

In a 2004 interview with Christianity Today, Zschech expressed her radical ecumenical philosophy: "I've been in the Catholic Church, in the United Church, the Anglican Church, and in many other churches, and when worship is offered in truth, this sound emerges-regardless of the style. It's the sound of the human heart connecting with its Maker" (quoted by Michael Herman, "Zschech, Please," christianitytoday.com, June 4, 2004). She doesn't explain how worship can be in truth in the context of denominations that teach grievous doctrinal error.

STUART TOWNEND is another one-world "church builder." He is charismatic in theology and radically ecumenical in philosophy, supporting the Alpha program which bridges charismatic, Protestant, and Roman Catholic churches. In July 2012, Townend joined the Gettys and Roman Catholic Matt Maher on NewsongCafe on WorshipTogether.com. They played and discussed "The Power of the Cross," which was co-written by Getty-Townend. The 10-minute program promoted ecumenical unity, with Maher/Townend/Getty entirely one in the spirit through the music.

MATT REDMAN, one the most influential names in the contemporary worship movement, supports the Worship Central training school sponsored by Alpha International. Redman says, "Worship Central is a fantastic resource designed to uplift and inform worship teams everywhere" (www.worshipcentral.org). There is a Roman Catholic arm of Alpha.

SANCTUS REAL and STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN played a concert in 2003 at St. Mary Seminary sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. Retired Catholic bishop Anthony Pilla celebrated the Mass at the event. Chapman told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that it's "a good thing" that "the Catholic Church is showing a greater openness to contemporary Christian music" (Plain Dealer, Aug. 7, 2006).

AUDREY ASSAD converted to the Roman Catholic Church in 2007. Like her fellow Catholic musicians Matt Maher, Kathy Troccoli, and John Michael Talbot, Assad is an ecumenical bridge-builder. She says that "the response to her music from Protestants is just as positive as it is from Catholics," and, "radio has influenced and grown my Protestant fan base, which used to be more Catholic, but now it's about half-and-half" ("Audrey Assad: A convert whose spiritual walk is a melody," Catholic Online, Nov. 10, 2010).

In a 2016 interview, Assad said that she is passionate about musical ecumenism and explains that it "disarms" people. "Ecumenism, true actual dialogue between different branches of Christianity, is absolutely one of my greatest passions, and so music is a great way to accomplish that. Christians of many different stripes can come together to sing worship songs with each other. It's a good way to open up the potential of dialogue … And so I just think music is disarming. I think it paves the way for people to put down their weapons for a minute. ... So I'm just very intentional about making sure we remain in a conversation going to all different kinds of places" ("Audrey Assad Shares Her Inheritance," JesusFreakHideout.com, Feb. 9, 2016).

MATT MAHER (b. 1974) had a "profound awakening" through a charismatic Catholic group. This consisted of an emotional experience that he had while watching a skit "The Broken Heart" about a girl who gets a new heart from God after giving hers away to a young boy.

"'I was standing in the back of the room and I burst into tears,' Maher remembered. Not long after, he started writing worship songs for the group's prayer sessions and devoted himself to performing Christian music" ("Catholic Rocker Matt Maher," Religion News Service, May 17, 2013).

The skit did not present the biblical gospel, and Maher's conversion was not a biblical conversion. It was a religious conversion that did not include repentance from error and rejection of Rome's false christ and false gospel.

Maher's wife is Methodist, but they are raising their son "in the Catholic Church," while also taking him to Methodist services "so he can experience both traditions" (Religion News Service, May 17, 2013).

This is the perfect recipe for the building of the end-time, one-world "church."

Maher ministers at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Tempe, which is devoted to Mary as the Queen of Heaven. The sign at the front of the church says, "Mary, Mother of Life, pray for us."

Maher calls himself a "musical missionary," a missionary for Rome, that is. Christianity Today says "Maher is bringing his music--and a dream of unity into the Protestant church" ("Common Bonds," CT, Oct. 27, 2009). He says, "I've had co-writing sessions with Protestants where we had that common denominator, and I've seen in a very radical way the real possibility of unity." He says, "I look at it like the Catholic church is my immediate family, and all my friends from different denominations are extended family."

David Wang says Maher is "one of the most successful Catholic artists to cross over into mainstream Christian rock and find an audience among evangelicals" ("Catholic Rocker Matt Maher," Religion News Service, May 17, 2013).

In the following video clip, Maher performs at the 2013 Catholic World Youth Day in front of the pope, a great venerator of Mary as the Queen of Heaven, and a massive crowd of Roman Catholics, singing his popular praise song "Lord I Need You."

Click here for Maher Youtube video

Maher led worship for Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the Rally for Youth in April 2008.

Maher says, "The arms of St. Peter's are really big" (Religion News Service, May 17, 2013).

Maher, who tours with non-Catholics, comments:

"What's fantastic about it is we're all Christians from different denominations and we're learning to understand each other. It just means that we're writing about mysteries that we don't fully understand."

Leaving the Catholic Church is not an option for Maher, because he says, "I love my faith and the expression of it." He intends, rather, for his music to be "a bridge." He says that contemporary worship music is a way to "build relationships with people and link arms with them for the Kingdom."

He says that touring with people like Michael W. Smith is producing ecumenical unity because people come to the concerts and find themselves standing beside a priest or nun, and they learn that "we're all in this family together."

THIRD DAY and TOBYMAC performed for the Roman Catholic Youth Rally in 2011, which featured Pope Benedict XVI and a Catholic mass during which a piece of bread allegedly became Jesus.

CHRIS TOMLIN, who has been called "the king of worship music," has a close association with Roman Catholicism. Catholic Matt Maher wrote Tomlin's hit song "Your Grace Is Enough," and Maher and Tomlin co-wrote "Crown Him (Mastery)" and "Your Grace Is Enough." Tomlin invited Roman Catholic Audrey Assad to perform on his 2009 Christmas tour and album and sang her song "Winter Snow" as a duet. Tomlin supports the Worship Central training school sponsored by Alpha International, which has a Roman Catholic arm. Tomlin is using his music to build the one-world "church."

In July 2012, KEITH AND KRISTYN GETTY joined Roman Catholic Matt Maher on NewsongCafe on WorshipTogether.com. They played and discussed "The Power of the Cross," which was co-written by Getty-Townend. The 10-minute program promoted ecumenical unity, with Maher/Townend/Getty entirely one in the spirit through the music. Major doctrinal differences are so meaningless that they are not even mentioned. Spiritual abominations such as papal supremacy, the mass, infant baptism, baptismal regeneration, and Mariolatry were entirely ignored. Jude 3 was despised and Romans 16:17 completely disobeyed for the sake of building the one-world church through contemporary Christian music.

In July 2016, popular CCM artists demonstrated their radical ecumenical philosophy by participating in "Together 2016" in Washington, D.C. Pope Francis delivered a video message to the crowd. The "Papa" was joined by Hillsong United, Kari Jobe, David Crowder, Kirk Franklin, Jeremy Camp, Lacrae, Michael W. Smith, Passion, Casting Crowns, and Matt Maher (Catholic CCM artist).

As we have documented in The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians, CCM is permeated with Roman Catholic contemplative prayer mysticism.

Churches that use contemporary worship music are building bridges to the one-world "church," and I can't think of a more dangerous practice. This is one reason why we warn that churches that use contemporary worship music will be emerging within 20 years.

"Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners" (1 Corinthians 15:33).

"A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9).

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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2016, 03:35:40 am »

CCM and Homosexuality

In The Gospel Sound, which first appeared in 1971, Anthony Heilbut said, “The gospel church has long been a refuge for gays and lesbians, some of whom grew up to be among the greatest singers and musicians.”

Douglas Harrison, a homosexual who grew up Southern Baptist, said, “... you can’t swing a Dove Award without hitting upon evidence of the longstanding, deep-set presence of queer experience in, and its influence on, Christian music culture at all levels” (“Come Out from among Them,”
Religion Dispatches, April 30, 2010).

In 1998, CCM star Kirk Franklin said that “homosexuality ... is a problem today in gospel music--a MAJOR CONCERN--and everybody knows it” (
Church Boy, pp. 49, 50).

James Cleveland, who has been called the “King of Gospel,” was a homosexual who died of AIDS.

Marsha Stevens, author of the popular song “For Those Tears I Died (Come to the Water),” co-founded Children of the Day, one of the first Contemporary Christian Music groups associated with Calvary Chapel. In 1979, Marsha broke her sacred marriage vows and divorced her husband of seven years, with whom she had two children, because she had “fallen in love with a woman.” Eventually Marsha “married” Cindi Stevens-Pino who she calls “my wife.” She started her own label called BALM (Born Again Lesbian Music) and performs between 150 and 200 concerts a year. She has a program called “upBeat” through which she produces a praise and worship album annually with a variety of singers and songwriters.

Marsha Stevens’s lesbian praise music ministry is recommended by Mark Allen Powell, Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and the author of An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. He states:“The Mother of Contemporary Christian Music continues to capture hearts for Jesus. Argue interpretations of Scripture and debate the ethics and origins of homosexuality all you want--no one with sensitivity to things of the Spirit can deny God is using Marsha Stevens to bring the love and mercy of Christ to people whom God apparently has not forgotten.”

To ignore the teaching of Scripture for a feeling or an intuition that God is using an unrepentant homosexual for His glory is blind mysticism.

The Bible condemns homosexuality as a sin in no uncertain terms and demands repentance from it of those who come to Christ. Romans 1 condemns man-with-man and woman-with-woman sexual relationships as “vile affections,” “against nature,” unseemly,” and “a reprobate mind” (Romans 1:26-28). No amount of interpretive gymnastics by homosexual-rights activists can change the clear meaning of this passage.

According to Scripture, God made human sex for the context of marriage, and anything outside of the context of marriage is fornication and adultery and is subject to God’s judgment.
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

From the beginning to the end of the Bible, God-ordained marriage is defined as a holy contract between one man and one woman. Polygamy was practiced even by some of the Old Testament saints, but Jesus taught that this was never God’s will and He referred men to God’s law of marriage at the beginning.“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6).

Since the Bible teaches that all sexual activity outside of marriage is sin, and since legitimate marriage is only between a man and a woman, there is absolutely no possibility that God would bless homosexual relationships.

Popular CCM singer Ray Boltz announced his homosexuality in 2008. He divorced his wife to live with a man. Today he “tours the country playing at liberal churches and gay-pride events that receive him and his gay Christian message” (
Jesus Rocks the World: The Definitive History of Contemporary Christian Music, vol. 2, p. 173).

In June 2013, popular CCM singer Sandi Patty performed with the homosexual Turtle Creek Chorale at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas. In July 2012, the Chorale had attended the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA) in Denver (“Turtle Creek Chorale’s 2012-2013 Season,” Turtlecreek.org).

In 2016, Trey Pearson, lead singer of the popular Christian rock band Everyday Sunday, “came out” as “gay.” The band’s 2001 namesake album has sold 250,000 copies. Pearson has toured with Toby Mac, Switchfoot, MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, and others. In a June 2016 cover story interview with
614 Magazine, the married father of two said, “I grew up in a very conservative Christian home where I was taught that sexual orientation was a matter of choice,” and though he was attracted to other males, he attempted to suppress his feelings. His “coming out” is presented in terms of “being true” to himself. The 614 Magazine cover story was titled “Gay, Christian Rock Star: This Is Who I Am.” After counseling with emergent apostates like Rob Bell, Pearson says that “there is absolutely no conflict with accepting who I am and following Jesus,” because “God wants me to be healthy, authentic, whole, integrated, and my truest self.” For the Selfie generation, it’s all about ME, as prophesied in Scripture (“lovers of their own selves,” 2 Timothy 3:1-2). His vow to be faithful to his wife unto death is thrown aside, because his desire to be faithful to himself trumps everything. He claims to be “free” now and to be pursuing “health and wholeness.” In reality, he is in great bondage because he is being reconciled to his fallen nature. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19). To say that one should be true to “feelings” of homosexuality is no different than saying that a man who is attracted to women other than his wife or to children should be true to those “feelings.” The Bible plainly identifies such “feelings” as sin, and there is nothing right, godly, or honorable in yielding to them. The emergent program categorizes “loving, committed same-sex” relationships as honorable and as acceptable before God, claiming that Scripture only condemns abusive and idolatrous acts of homosexuality, but this is nonsense. The Bible plainly teaches that apart from the union of holy marriage, sexual activity is sin, and there is not a hint anywhere in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, that a holy marriage can consist of a same-sex union. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). The Lord Jesus Christ pointed to Genesis 2 as God’s standard for marriage. “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6).

Other homosexual CCM artists are Anthony Williams, Kirk Talley, Clay Aiken, Doug Pinnock of King’s X, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls, Jennifer Knapp, and Ty Herndon.

In April 2014, Dan Haseltine of the popular CCM band Jars of Clay announced his support for “gay marriage.” He wrote the following in a series of Twitter posts:
“Not meaning to stir things up BUT… is there a non-speculative or non ‘slippery slope’ reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one. ... I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ... I don’t think scripture ‘clearly’ states much of anything regarding morality. ... I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is ‘wrong.’ I care more about how it says we should treat people” (“Dan Haseltine,” MetroWeekly.com, April 22, 2014).

Haseltine tried to back peddle a bit after his Twitter comments were made public, but he did not renounce the concept of a “homosexual Christian” or reject same-sex “marriage.”

In August 2014, Vicky Beeching, British CCM musician, announced that she is a lesbian. Beeching, who has led worship music at many North American churches and whose “lyrics are sung by millions in America’s Bible Belt,” says, “I’m gay; God loves me just the way I am.”

“I think God has very much walked me through this, hand in hand. I do not feel I left God in back there, in the evangelical church. I feel like he’s become closer and closer. I feel I was in the desert, making this decision, and he’s been in the desert with me, that this is something he's led me towards, something I am supposed to do” (“Vicky Beeching on Coming Out,”
Christian Today, Aug. 14, 2014).

She says that “the well-known Biblical texts from Leviticus, for example, should not be used to condemn ‘permanent, faithful, stable same-sex relationships.’”

Beeching, who grew up Pentecostal and is now Anglican, says that she begged God to take away her sexual attraction to females beginning when she was 13 years old, made confession to a Catholic priest, and sought deliverance through a charismatic exorcism.

The very fact that she sought help from priests and charismatic healers demonstrates that she has has looked in the wrong places for spiritual help. Spiritual victory doesn’t come by sacraments and priestcraft.

And even for those who are truly born again, God doesn’t take away the old nature in this present life. Sinful thoughts come from the “old man,” but the believer doesn’t have to act on them. Paul says that those who continue to walk in sin as a way of life demonstrate that they haven’t been born again.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are
these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

The believer’s spiritual victory is described in the same passage: “
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:16-18).

In an interview in October 2014, Brian Houston, pastor of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, which birthed Hillsong worship music, refused to give a definitive answer when asked to clarify his stand on “same sex marriage.” He said that “the Western world is shifting its thinking on this issue, and churches are struggling to stay relevant” (Jonathan Merritt, “Hillsong’s Brian Houston says church won’t take a public position,” Religion News Service, Oct. 16, 2014). He said, “The real issues in people’s lives are too important for us to just reduce it down to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer in a media outlet.”

Earlier, Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong New York City, told CNN that Hillsong has “a lot of gay men and women in our church and I pray we always do,” and he claimed that he is “still waiting for someone to show me the quote where Jesus addressed it on the record in front of people” (“Hillsong New York pastor Carl Lentz,”
Christian Today, June 6, 2014).

What Jesus did was plainly and publicly limit marriage to one man and one woman as in the beginning of creation (Matthew 19). Obviously this leaves no room for “same sex marriage.”

In the same CNN interview, Laura Lentz, Carl’s wife and Hillsong co-pastor, said, “It’s not our place to tell anyone how they should live, it’s--that’s their journey.”

Like the CCM world as a whole, Hillsong is so “relevant” that they are traitors to the truth of God’s Word, yet their music influences multitudes of Baptists and fundamentalists. When asked by a reporter why Hillsong is so successful, Brian Houston replied, “We are scratching people where they are itching” (“The Lord’s Profits,”
Sydney Morning Herald, January 30, 2003). That is right out of 2 Timothy 4:3, which is a warning of apostasy. It describes people who itch for a new kind of Christianity, and it describes heaps of preachers who will scratch this illicit itch. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”Conclusion

The reason for all of this is not difficult to discern. Typically, CCM musicians have been accepted as Christians upon the flimsiest testimony of faith and have not been properly instructed and discipled. They have fed their spiritual lives with dangerous authors such as C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Brennan Manning, Leonard Sweet, Rick Warren, and Rob Bell. They have loved corrupt Bible translations such as The Message, immersed themselves in sensual music, practiced contemplative mysticism, and have sought after emotional highs and “signs and wonders” instead of living by faith. They have played with the world, which is more dangerous than any poisonous snake, instead of living separated lives.

They have sown to the wind and are reaping the whirlwind.

The fact that Contemporary Christian Music is home to many homosexuals and the fact that the vast majority of contemporary Christian musicians do not reprove this sin publicly is evidence of its deep apostasy.

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« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2017, 02:34:27 pm »

God and metal: scenes from a **** Christian music festival

Photographer KC McGinnis went to Audiofeed, a Christian rock and metal festival, to revisit his roots. He found a surprising cross section of believers, incredibly loud music and a serious rock attitude

by KC McGinnis at Audiofeed, Illinois

At the beginning of July, I photographed Audiofeed, a Christian rock and metal festival in Illinois.

This was a bit of a reunion for me. As a teenager growing up in the evangelical subculture, I was a huge fan of Christian hard rock and metal in the early 2000s. The music helped me feel adventurous and unique, and it was an important way for me to craft an identity. I lost track of the scene after going to college, but I never stopped enjoying the music.

Since 1984, every Christian punk’s dream was to play at a festival called Cornerstone – a weeklong bohemian campout commonly likened to a Christian Woodstock. Cornerstone went defunct in 2012, and Audiofeed is in part an attempt to reunite the Cornerstone crowd, some of whom have moved on from Christian rock or from evangelical Christianity altogether. One of this year’s headliners, David Bazan, is a vocal ex-evangelical.

I came to this festival to get a clearer picture of what the next generation of post-culture war evangelicals will look like. A veteran of the festival recalled the days he couldn’t wear his Slayer T-shirt in church. Attending this festival made me wonder what kinds of things the current generation of evangelicals may be more tolerant of in, say, 20 years.

What I found was a surprisingly diverse cross section of evangelicalism: a predictable share of conservatives and charismatics, but also a vocal contingent of progressive evangelicals, including a transgender teen who claims to have both come to Christ and come out as trans at this festival. I also found many who have left the faith but who still see members of the Christian **** scene as their closest family.

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