Christianity: It’s all about music?


In light of all the discussion surrounding music, I thought this piece by Columnist Ben Ratliff of the New York Times on High Desert Church in Victorville, California is apropos. If I didn’t know any better after reading his whole article, I’d think Christianity is all about music.

I’ve quoted fifteen points from this article (and numbered them for your convenience if you wish to comment on particular ones). I think you’ll find them rather interesting!

1).Mike Day, singer and guitarist, gathered his rock band around him. Dressed in a faded black T-shirt, jeans and skateboard sneakers, he bent his shaved head. “God,” he said, “I hope these songs we sing will be much more than music. I know it’s so difficult at times when we’re thinking about chords and lyrics and when to hit the right effect patch, but would you just help that to become second nature, so that we can truly worship you from our hearts?” A few minutes later the band broke into three songs of slightly funky, distorted rock with heaving choruses . . .

2).There has been enormous growth in the evangelical Protestant movement in America over the last 25 years, and bands . . . now provide one of the major ways that Americans hear live music. [Of] the house bands that play every weekend in High Desert Church there are a dozen or so [who] scavenge some of their musical style from the radio and television. They reflect popular taste, though with lyrics about the power of God, not teenage turmoil.

3).“When you start a church,” said Tom Mercer, 52, the senior pastor, “you don’t decide who you’re going to reach and then pick a music style. You pick a music style, and that determines who’s going to come.”

4).HighDesertChurch has a sprawling concrete campus that includes a lavish auditorium, a gym, classrooms and office space for its 70 employees.

5).A number of factors encouraged the church’s expansion . . . . in 1993 the church hired Jeff Crandall, the drummer for a Christian punk band called the Alter Boys, as its music director. Mr. Crandall, 46, spent more than a decade crossing the country in vans, playing in churches, nightclubs and high school gyms, fighting the battle for a more progressive and aggressive worship music. “I knew that the future, even in the early ‘80s, was with bands in churches,” he said. “I liked hymns as a kid, but I just didn’t see myself waving my arms and directing them. I’ve always been one of those guys who tries to figure his own way.”

6).What he did was to pack the church with rock ‘n’ roll. He organized a rotation of bands . . . playing to multiple services. And then he let them play, loudly.

7).High Desert Church holds three different large services over the weekend for three different age groups, with music tailored to each audience . . . Seven . . . the 18-to-30-year-old set . . . Harbor, the 30-to-55 group . . . and Classic, for people 55 and over.

8).The church also maintains even more bands for services at the junior high, high school and elementary levels. Each band carefully calibrates its sound toward the pop culture disposition of the target age group.

9).Young people and future generations are in fact the fixation of High Desert Church, which has already broken ground on building a children’s ministry complex called Pointe Discovery, a $20 million project financed entirely by worshiper donations. “If I ask God’s people to give me $20 million,” Mr. Mercer said during an interview in his corner office, “when I stand before God someday, I don’t want to hear him say, ‘Dude, you wasted a ton of my money.’ I want him to say, ‘You did a good job.’ My definition of a good job is that it will impact people until Christ comes back.”

10).Praise-rock is at the heart of that impact. The teenagers and young adults at High Desert . . . say they joined the church for the teaching and the community, and stayed because of the bands. But some are clearly more enthusiastic about the music itself. “I started out in Harbor, but I moved to Seven because I liked the music more,” said Tony Cherco, 32, a recent arrival to the church who would not have been out of place in the EastVillage: he wore a long beard and large rings in his earlobes. “Between Pastor Tom and the music of Seven, I was like, yes!”

11).To generalize, the music tailored to the Seven service is modern rock, with a modicum of wired aggressiveness. (In its sets before and after the pastor’s sermon, the band does play some adaptations of hymns, including a power-chord version of the doxology. It was arranged by the worship minister Matt Coulombe to approximate the droning, locomotive style of the secular New York rock band Secret Machines, one of his favorite groups).

12).The music of Harbor, meanwhile, resembles U2 from about 1985, while the Classic crowd gets a softer and more acoustic sound, like the West Coast folk-rock of the 1970s. For the children, in both their Sunday school classes and youth group events, the music is pop-punk. The idea is to keep their attention with high energy, then to slide gradually toward contemplation.

13).On a Saturday afternoon in October a group for the junior high contingent, called Power Surge, which included four guitarists and two bassists, played in the church gym, rehearsing a version of the Jason Wallis song “Hey God.” Fifteen girls performed choreographed hand motions to the music, which sounded like pious Ramones:

Hey, hey, hey, God I love you

Hey, hey, hey, God I need you

I know there’s not anything you can’t do

I know there’s nothing you won’t see me through

Hey God!

14).For the most part the groups at HighDesertChurch don’t write their own songs; they are high-functioning garage bands, playing cover versions. But they operate in a large, modern auditorium with top-quality sound, lights and video operated by young volunteers; there are smoke machines and overhead screens that announce the title of each song and its lyrics.

15).Bobby Stolp, 39, a drummer in several different bands here, agreed. “It’s all about the heart of worship,” he said. “God can enjoy a distorted guitar as well as a clean guitar. Especially when you’re playing it for him.”

26 thoughts on “Christianity: It’s all about music?

  1. That, I’m sorry to say, is my mother’s church. I toured the state of the art, theatre-style auditorium once. In my church we have little 3/4 inch holes in the side decks of the hymbook racks to hold empty communion cups. At High Desert Church, the holes are big enough to hold a Big Gulp cup from 7-11.

    A couple years ago the older generation (my 83-year-old mother’s cohorts) were relegated to a large meeting room across the campus for their own version of an archaic, traditional church service with those pesky, old-fashioned hymns written by dead composers. They had their own staff pastor. Recently, I learned that their pastor is gone, now the rest of the staff rotate the pastoral responsibilities for the older members and their services have been rescheduled to Mondays because, on that very large, multi-ministry campus, there is no room for the old people.

  2. Ralph said, “…because, on that very large, multi-ministry campus, there is no room for the old people.”

    How very sad and heartbreaking! But we should not really be surprised that there is no room for the old people for Jesus got shoved aside along time ago in places like this!

  3. Today’s “Christianity” is all about music. We have lots of converts to CCM and not to Christ. Take away the music and the converts will leave also.

    Berean Wife

  4. I agree with Berean Wife. I have many friends who get excited about who’s playing at a service or how well they played. I feel people can use music as worship individually, like starting a band to help spread the good news. That is awesome, and I enjoy hearing that music and what people have to say. But when it gets turned into a worship service. I feel the music distracts from the message, and gets in the way of my ability to worship God with a clear mind.

  5. Well said TrailblzrX. You said “I feel music distracts from the message” and I would take it a step further and say that a lot of CCM distorts the message. I can not think of any CCM-esque group that is willing to say “once I was dead and now I am alive”, “I was once an enemy of God, separated from him because of my sin, but now through Christ I have saved and raised to new life” and “it was not because of anything of merit that I had done.”

    There are too many singing the likes of

    “Hey, hey, hey, God I need you

    I know there’s not anything you can’t do

    I know there’s nothing you won’t see me through

    Hey God!”

  6. Does a church really need to compete with a civic auditorium, with lights, chrome, bells and whistles to attract a membership? Certainly not.

    Truth is we live in a culture where where entertainment is expected. The dumbing down of America is in part because of America’s failure to generate youth who are excited to read a book; one of the most important requisites to entry into any University.

    Multimedia is fun. But freedom is often obtained by discipline rather than turning up the power.

  7. With respect to point number 3, I am hard pressed to really see the distinction between the two approaches. Granted, there is a different start point, but ultimately you are matching music to audience as is pointed out in point number 7.

  8. i love old hymns. i also love ccm. i have friends highly involved in writing and singing both.

    worship… singing our love for Him to Him… is amazing.

    if someone isn’t happy with a church, go somewhere else. find your style. look around. not every church is for every person, right?

    what is written here in your comments is right. it’s right for you, your situation.

    is ccm going to ruin the church? probably not as much of a potential problem as compared to the fact that 5 of 10 christian men who regularly attend church are addicted to online porn…

    God bless you guys and keep singing your tunes…

  9. Just a thought for Scott Paschal to think about:

    Maybe we should be more concerned about finding God’s style of worship than our own. Worship is for Him isn’t it?

    Berean Wife

  10. Berean Wife and others…weren’t those “dead composers” at one point alive and, dare I say, contemporary? Way to keep on rooting against styles and then turn around to root for a certain style. Can’t you see that makes no sense?

  11. CuddleBear,

    CCM is a genre of music that consists of pop, rock and worship styles. CCM and the term “contemporary” as applied to “Christian” music does not refer to a time frame but a style. There are hymns being written every day. But these hymns are not referred to as CCM. There are old hymns that are incorrect theologically and should be thrown out, also.

    CCM attempts to take the World’s music and stick a few religiously vague terms to it in order to appeal to the World. Worship is to be for the Lord and be pleasing to the Lord, not to man. If your goal is to have the accolades of man than stick to CCM but if your goal is to receive the Lord’s “Well, done, good and faithful servant” than you must read all of the Scripture for guidance.

    Berean Wife

  12. King David was looked down upon for dancing in the street worshipping God. 2 Samuel 6:13-23. We can find any reason to frown upon someone else. Doesn’t Paul talk about bickering amongst eachother? Faith in Christ means we will all be singing together, praising God. Sounds like it’s all about the music to God.
    1 Chronicles 15:16
    David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.

    Judges 5:3
    “Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I will sing to the LORD, I will sing; I will make music to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
    Psalm 150
    Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments andpipe. Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!

  13. Dear JoyfulNoise:

    Thank you for your comment and thank you for attempting to use Sola Scriptura for your argument. There’s no better place to start!

    You said: “Sounds like it’s all about the music to God.”

    No sir/mam, it’s all about Jesus Christ to the glory of God; a stumbling block to the Jew and an offense to the Gentile.

    I am not saying that we should not “praise” God, so please resist suggesting otherwise. We should praise God and often. However, if you think that that’s what this post was about, then you grossly missed the point and I suggest you re-read it.

    This was my exact premise of this post: One comes away from that NY Times piece wondering if Christianity is all about music.

    Newsflash, it’s not!

    The worship of God has been hijacked by modern evangelical Christianity. It’s now compartmentalized to a 30 minute music set preceding the pastor’s pep-talk.

    No, worship is a 24/7 lifestyle.

    The article clearly indicates that HDC’s Golden Calf of music is not about God and what He desires, but about what these people like to hear, what type of “music” makes them feel good and tickle their ears.

    Let us never forget that Cain brought what he thought was acceptable to the Lord and it was rejected!

    I also want to caution you. When you make your argument based on Old Testament Scripture alone, you must be cautious. The cults (think JWs & LDS) are famous for making a huge case for their false theology on the OT alone.

    Don’t make the same mistake by camping in the OT to find proof-texts for whatever doctrine, teaching, current church practices/fads or preferences you may hold to.

    The New Testament contains the teachings, instructions, admonitions, and examples of how the Church is supposed to function. If you are in a professing Christian Church then your model for daily life and Church practice should derive from the Gospels and Epistles.

    You referenced four verses from the Old Testament in your defense of the entertainment-driven philosophy being peddled at High Desert Church; can you be fair to the context of the whole of Scripture and now provide us with four verses from the New Testament to support your argument?

    Thank you.

    Sincerely and Respectfully,
    – The Pilgrim

  14. Wow, I didn’t know we were putting God in a box concerning what music he likes and does not like. God uses all to His glory, and to bring others to Christ. If the music comes from the heart and praises Jesus Christ, than why would he not approve. I know that my kids would fall alseep with the old hymns and therefore when the message was spoke they would not be awake enough to listen to it. Music and worship prepare the heart for the message that is to follow. Since God loves worship it brings us into His presence and prepares our hearts for His words. To me when it is said they are making worship more important than the service, (Actually, there is a time of worship and an equal if not more time hearing the word at this church) and look at the music they are playing, heck that doesnt honor Christ, well than I had better stop singing cause if Jesus is worried about the music, he surely would not like my voice cause I can’t sing a note. Yet it isnt really about the note, or style of music is it. It is what comes from the heart when your singing that note, that song, whatever style.
    In closing, worship prepares the heart, brings us into His presence, and gets us ready to really hear the message. I am sure that Christ is happy to hear any music that glorifies Him. We all don’t have the same tastes so variety is a wonderful thing. After all, look at us, His creation.
    God will use what He will use to bring those lost to our Saviour Jesus Christ. Always remember, judge not yet you be judged, and don’t ever put God in a box and try to limit Him. It just won’t work.

  15. Wondering why~ I wonder why this is the ONLY passage in ALL of scripture emergent, seeker sensitive types memorize, ‘Always remember, judge not yet you be judged’ and don’t ever put God in a box and try to limit Him. It just won’t work.” Some things never change!
    As for ‘putting God in a box’, where in scripture is contemporary Christian music found?
    What does scripture say about worshiping God? “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24 I find nothing in that passage that says ‘take what originated in the world and throw some feel good lyrics in, then serve it up as worship’.
    From Paul Washer’s ‘One True God’ study…”The reference to worshiping God “in spirit” has two possible implications: (1) We must worship God with all our being, sincerely and profoundly. (2) We must worship God in the power and under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The reference to worshiping God “in truth” also has two possible implications: (1) We must worship God truthfully, sincerely, and with integrity. (2)We must worship God according to the truth—i.e. according to the will of God revealed in the
    Scriptures.”
    True, genuine worship is guided by the Spirit of God, as we worship Him according to His truth revealed in His word.
    I often wonder why so many claim CCM style music is considered ‘worship worthy’ when in reality, it is nothing more than rock music with a different type of lyric. Also, if these CCM artists are truly leading in worship, why does one have to ‘pay’ to see them perform? I don’t recall David charging a fee when he worshiped. When we drag what originated in the world {i.e. rock, country, rap,etc.} and slap a ‘Christian’ label on it just because we’ve changed the words, do you honestly think that is considered worthy to present to a God who is Holy, separate from His creation, exalted high above this wicked world? It is like offering a ‘sacrifice’ that has a spot, or blemish.
    I have been to a CCM concert where one of the so-called ‘Christian’ bands performed Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘sweet home Alabama’…the crowd went wild. I knew right then CCM was nothing more than satan dressed as an angel of light. This is just one more way the enemy has infiltrated the church.
    The book of Psalms is a biblical way of praising and worshiping our Holy God.

    You also claim, ‘God uses all to His glory, and to bring others to Christ’. How does a Christian song break a lost sinner over his/her sins? Where in scripture did Christ sing to someone and they were saved?
    This is how lost sinners get saved, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
    Another example is found in the book of Acts. Acts 2:37, ‘Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?’
    What did they hear? Peter preaching the Gospel! What was the result? They were pricked in their heart. Then Peter said, ‘ Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.’ Acts 2:38
    When our Lord was tempted in the wilderness, He stated, ‘IT IS WRITTEN’. He never sang, or played a guitar solo. He spoke God’s word. Here’s sound biblical advice from the Apostle Paul, ‘Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us NOT TO THINK BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN.’

  16. wonderingwhy,

    The key statement by Tom Mercer (of High Desert) is the main point of contention here:

    “When you start a church,” said Tom Mercer, 52, the senior pastor, “you don’t decide who you’re going to reach and then pick a music style. You pick a music style, and that determines who’s going to come.”

    That’s the point right there: To these folks, the music is more important than what is being preached. It’s the music that brings people back–not the preaching of the gospel. So what he is saying is that if they were to change music styles, the people would stop coming–and this gathering would be known by those fruits.

    But you see, that’s where we differ on what is most important. High Desert thinks the most important thing is getting people in the door–we believe the most important thing is people being saved. And it’s not music that saves anybody (any more than it is a particular man’s preaching), but rather it is the Holy Spirit who saves, when the true gospel is preached. When people are made aware that they are wickedly sinful, fallen creatures who hate God and must be reconciled to Him by the blood Jesus shed on the cross (and that they can do nothing to earn it) lest they burn forever in the Lake of Fire.

    So, do you still think it’s “all about the music?”

  17. Wow, this debate can go on forever. So I will simply say, I am a born again believer, have been for some 29yrs. I study my bible and listen to ccm. There are times that the message that is contained within touches my heart and I believe that God uses his word, wheter through a pastor or a song to bring the lost of the world to Christ. Praise God for this. What else is important. I have known a few biker folk who would have never stepped into a church where people were wearing suits and ties and singing hymns from long ago. Why? Because they would have felt they did not belong. So If a contempory christian song can draw a hard core biker into a church to hear the scripure that is followed, and gives his life to Christ than I believe that God uses what he uses to bring the lost and dying world to Christ. It is not for us to say what music can played at a church. If it glorifies and praises God and it prepares the heart for the word that saves than I say amen, amen and amen. Now my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, if i dont meet you before we get to heaven, I will see you all there. I am sure we will forget all about this debate when we stand before our King. I will be the one who has an electric guitar in my hand, belting out a loud, probably contempory song of praise, and bowing before the king! I am sure He will be delighted since it will be from the depth of my heart. God bless you all!
    sincerly, wondering why

  18. Wondering~you claim ‘So If a contempory christian song can draw a hard core biker into a church to hear the scripture that is followed, and gives his life to Christ than I believe that God uses what he uses to bring the lost and dying world to Christ.’ If a ‘hardcore biker’ were too uncomfortable to go into a church because of dress, what difference will listening to a CCM song make? {BTW, we’ve had bikers attend our service; we do not have a ‘praise’ band; nor did we make them feel anything but welcome}.
    You also state, ‘It is not for us to say what music can played at a church’, yet, you insist CCM is appropriate. I must ask you this, would it be appropriate to take a well-known rock song, such as Led Zeppelin’s ‘stairway to heaven’, change the lyrics and insert something ‘Christian’, and offer that to the Lord as praise?
    The phrase ‘rock and roll’ was coined by Alan Freed. It referenced immoral sexual activity going on in the back seat of a car while the radio was playing this style of music. Rock and roll was birthed out of the wickedness of evil; the lyrics were almost always suggestive in nature, the ‘beat’ led to suggestive moves on the dance floor. How is taking something meant for evil, immoral behavior and changing the lyrics to what some claim ‘Christian’ now worthy to serve up to a Holy God who is separate from His creation? Again, this is holding onto love of the world and what is in the world{1 John 2:15}. Rock music, as well as country, hip hop, rap, etc ALL originated in this world. When one truly grasps the attributes of a Holy God, then and only then will one be able to discern what is acceptable to Him as praiseworthy. Surely, taking a form of music originating in this world [with the same beat, same type and style of music pagans infiltrate their minds with] and ‘dressing it up’ as Christian is not acceptable. How is CCM glorifying God when those who do listen to it always claim, ‘it makes me feel good’? It appears to uplift and glorify ‘self’.
    I volunteered briefly at a CCM radio station as a d.j. The lyrics to most of the songs were not Christ honoring, nor did most of them glorify God. It was difficult sometimes to figure out exactly who they were supposedly singing about. There was an ‘awards’ show a couple of years back that our station promotions director attended. When she returned, she was thoroughly disappointed in what she witnessed. Many of these Christian bands were back stage partying, drinking alcohol and such, just like their pagan counterparts.
    The bible commands us to pursue holiness, for without holiness, no one will see the Lord{Hebrews 12:14}.
    Holiness comes from the Greek word ‘hagiasmos’ meaning ‘consecration, purification’. The root word of ‘hagiasmos’ is
    ‘hagiazō’, which means ‘to separate from profane things and dedicate to God, to purify internally by renewing of the soul’. How are we being holy when we listen to a style of music originating in the world; the only difference is the wording?

    This is an excerpt from Pastor Don Currin’s article, ‘When the Entertainment God comes to Church’….
    In his article Music in Worship: Demanding a Distinction, Lenny Seidel wrote, “The church has capitulated to a reversal of emphasis in worship: the focus is now on the individual worshiper rather than on a holy God who is the object of worship. The result is a flood of music characterized by weak theology and designed to make people feel good. The issue is that the gospel should not be presented in an entertainment mode. The reason is that the gospel is about a person-the Lord Jesus Christ-and nothing about His like was entertaining.”

    With the increased temptation to lower God’s standard in music, let us wage war against the God of this age who would seek to bring contempt upon the Lord’s song. Let us resolve to guard the sacredness of that holy song by protecting our worship services from music that appeals to the flesh and “serves and worships the creature” more than the Creator. Let us strive to preserve the sacredness of the Lord’s song that Christ may receive the preeminence that He rightly deserves.’

    The entire article may be read here… http://www.doncurrinministries.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46:when-the-entertainment-god-comes-to-church&catid=1:the-awakener&Itemid=50

  19. Dear Wondering Why:

    I am amazed that after 29 years in the faith and studying your Bible, that you’d still resort to such worn out cliches such as “don’t put God in a box.”

    Nobody puts God into a box, but God has put Himself into a box. Allow me to give you a few examples of what I mean:

    God cannot lie . . . Box!
    God cannot sin . . . Box!
    God must punish sin . . . Box!
    God will redeem His elect . . . Box!

    Now this same God who has put Himself into a Box also requires certain things to be done certain ways. If you believe you can come to God offering Him whatever you think is acceptable to Him, then I direct your attention to Abel and how he brought an offering to God that he thought was acceptable.

    It’s not about us, our tastes, our desires, our preferences, our lusts . . . it’s about God and it’s always been about God. Before me, you, CCM, and your version of worship ever came along God was!

    Although the original post was more about the unbalanced emphasis placed on the god of music than on the style, it is all an important topic. We can spend our whole lives bringing strange fire before the Lord and although it makes us feel good, if it’s not what God approves, we’re just spinning your wheels.

    In closing, I challenge you to read the New Testament (especially the Acts of the Apostles and all the Epistles) and find how much reference there is to music. Then compare that to the distracting emphasis that modern Chrurchianity has placed on music

    I trust that you will see the current idolization of music finds no such basis in the early Church. Back then Christians sought to crucify the flesh, today we seek to satisfy the flesh.

    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

  20. This conversation is way over my head. It is so sad that something so simple becomes so complicated. I believe that everyone should find their own truth, by reading the Good News for themselves. When they come across a part they need clarified, they should pray, and meditate for discernment. I refuse to believe that my truth is your truth and vice versa. Your personal testimony is the main resource, so work harder on yourself. If your mission is to bring others to Jesus, you must represent his work in your life.

    God Bless, and thank you for letting me share
    Ekim

  21. I won’t dive too deep into these waters except to note a few points. First, I was raised in the world of rock and roll & heavy metal and drank it down like water. Music was my life and even today I have countless lyrics seared into my brain where all I need to do is hear a note or a chord and it all tries to come flooding back into my mind.

    After I got saved, I started to wean myself off what I deemed to be the “bad” stuff (Led Zeppelin, etc.) and to hold on to what I felt was good (Eagles, etc). This continued for a while. It was also during this time that a friend told me about Stryper, which he started to follow as he came out of a similar rock background as myself.

    Thankfully I never got hooked on “Christian” heavy metal like Stryper but I did morph into the world of CCM. Carmen, Steven Curtis Chapman and many others I would blare from my stereo even as so many of the songs, especially Carmen regularly blaspheme God. And through all of this I thought it was of God as my discernment was basically, if it says it’s Christian then so it must be.

    Only in time after I did some research into the industry and big busine$$ of CCM, as well as looking at the lives of the “stars” and their web sites (most are devoid of even a modicum of the gospel) did I come to see by God’s grace that all was not well with this indu$try. The merchandising of what were said to be the things of God all for the praises and applause of men is at heart really no different than what I experienced at rock concerts or witnessed with worldly musicians.

    This was when I was a free-willer where Glory be to the Living God, the Spirit graciously worked on my heart and opened my eyes to the doctrines of grace, where today, I am a staunch defender of the Scriptural doctrines of election, predestination, etc. During this time, still listening to CCM, I got convicted due to my studies above to purge the leaven of CCM out of my life.

    But the “praise and worship” continued in church and again, I started to be convicted to study this out as I started to see some serious issues with this music as it was CCM coming into the church. Michael W. Smith being a perfect example with his ecumenical, mantra-like chants and doctrinally devoid songs being one of the favorites of so many.

    During my studies, I was led to the writings of the reformers about the Scriptural pattern of worship known as the regulative principle. Something which I initially rejected outright, but in time came to believe that this is where the Lord’s church needs to be as it is the apostolic model (I’m not debating here singing psalms vs. also singing scriptures, etc.). For only it, faithfully followed (in Spirit of course), will help to protect the bride of Christ from the traditions of men like Romanism that have poured into the church unabated under the guise of “grace” and freedom from law.

    I encourage others to study it out for themselves. I in no way judge others who believe otherwise and love you just the same, but this in no way negates our responsibility to study and listen to those who came before us. Recommended materials include Girardeau’s excellent study (listen on Sermon Audio) and William Mencarow’s study also on Sermon Audio. SWRB and A Puritan’s Mind also have some good works.

    Blessings -

  22. Look at the fruits of contemporary Christian music. It splits churches, older people get pushed out, all the rest are divided. What is the sense in a local church ( yes I know we are the church,) when no-one of different age groups know each other, or has any kind of fellowship. Where is that in the Bible that they were divided according to their musical preference. This is a disjointed, deformed body that will never accomplish anything. We need each other before we need the music of our choice

  23. So I guess you guys don’t like calvary chapel folk either huh. Have you ever been to a harevest crusade? I have been twice and brought my kids and unsaved husbund. Yes they had contempory music. Low and behold I saw many give their lives to Christ those two times. My unsaved husbund as well. The music may have drawn them there, but it was the message that touched their hearts. It was an awesome event both times.
    By the way pilgram, I have read the book of acts many times, as well as the bible in whole. No where does it say, hey guys, dont listen to that music cause I dont like the beat. So as I said this debate will surely rage on. If you are lead not to listen to ccm, than don’t listen. I have not been lead that way. Everyone has their own style, and as for me I like the old hymns and I like some ccm. Casting crowns has a great song called from the east to the west. listen to it. It does glorify God. It goes like this, Jesus tell me just how far the east is to the west, I don’t want to see the man Iv been rising up in me again, Jesus can you tell me just how far the east is to the west, one scarred hand to the other.
    Now I am sure there will be someone who will not agree with this view point. Isnt there always. We are not all the same. We like different things. God made us individuals and isnt that great? Cause it sure would be boring to be just like the next guy. stamped out like cookies on a cookie sheet. Now if you would all excuse me, I gotta go look up when the next spirt west coast concert will be held. God bless all.

  24. I was in worship for a little while. It was wonderful, at first, playing in the Spirit and watching God move…..I thought, but I was a fool. I was worshiping my Lord, but not a few were fixated solely upon me. I wanted to die from fear and shame when it became clear what was going on. It’s all flesh and idolatry and craft, that stage and arena, no matter what any do upon it. I won’t mince words at all because I know the truth and love the truth. People love to dance and sing but hate to obey the gospel because it is Satan they truly worship, not God at all. They just call him “Jesus” is all. And these who Yeshua called “many” will dance and sing all the way to the end, murdering the saints as they go for speaking the truth which condemns them. I prayed about that stage and I repent of it completely, so I’ll stay in the gutter and sing praise, thank you. Because I know that no shorter distance can be stepped up on that can remove a soul as far from God as stepping upon a stage before man does. There is only one solution for those of us who fear God, come out of her! Shalom

  25. Not all ccm music is feel good. Some of its just a reflection of the person and their struggles. But specifically for worship. A lot of music seems to be I centred. But even I surrender all is very self centered to me. And amazing grace. The only song I’ve heard that I thought was true worship is Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, I never heard a reference to self in it

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