For you - the Christian Rock Critics

In spite of my efforts to spare you, you have chosen to enter this part of the site. The responsibility for what you read, and its potential impact on your spiritual life, is now YOURS and YOURS ALONE.

A lot of you have been writing lately, some more gracious than others. I have divided my comments into two sections, the first for those who have been in submission to Ephesians 4:31-32:

31. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

I have something to say, but I will let Paul say it much better than I ever could:

12. Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace. 13. For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, 14. as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus. ---2 Cor 1:12-14

KJV only people, go look it up in your translation. It says the same thing. Paul had received reports that the church at Corinth had not responded well to his counsel in his first letter. Many people within the church were attacking him personally. In that regard, he knew the same type of sorrow I have experienced. I knew that there would be people who would not receive what I had to say, and that is one reason I divided the site. The other reason is the people who COULD not receive the information:

1. Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3. But the man who loves God is known by God. 4. So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 5. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), 6. yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. 7. But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. 9. Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? 11. So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

This music is a classic "idol meat" scenario. The decision on the front page of my site is put there for the weaker brother, as Paul describes him above. Verse 9 is crucial to understanding. I have the freedom in Christ to listen to this music. So do the others who enter the site as being in favor of the music. I have provided an alternative for you to visit. Take it - one critic told me I have EXCELLENT links there. Those are good people who disagree with me, and agree with you on music. I agree with 99% of the other things on their sites, and visit them often.

On the exercise of freedom - I don't believe Paul is commanding anybody to abstain from idol meat in this passage. This is a reversal of his earlier position in the book of Acts. He personally was so afraid of offending anybody that he would not even eat meat, much less idol meat (V13). This is a bit of a hyperbole, and regrettably I cannot abstain from ALL music for the sake of the weaker brother. Christian rock music, as performed during the worship services in the Bible believing, Bible preaching church I attend, is an important part of worship. I must exercise my freedom to listen, because it fills my heart with true worship of the Lord. In the case of this music, unlike the idol meat, it DOES bring me closer to God (V8). Without it, I would not be able to engage in worship in Spirit and in Truth, as traditional music does not bring me to the same level of worship. I do everything I can to keep you - the weaker brother - from knowing anything about it. I must worship, and I must not destroy your faith. Verse 9 says it all - be careful in the exercise of your freedom. Therefore - I have you make a decision to enter or not enter this site. If you barge in uninvited and see the idol meat being eaten - it is YOUR fault, not mine. I made every effort to keep you out.

The mere existance of God fearing men who disagree with you should be no threat to you, any more than your existance should be a threat to me. I rejoice in your position, it is right for you. It is not binding on me, as long as I am careful in the exercise of my freedom. I will never flaunt my freedom in front of you. Let it end there, and let us love each other as Christ commanded.

OK, those of you who have been gracious to me as Christ commanded, please go here with my blessings. See you in heaven!

I have to say that a few of you have been anything but Christ-like. This disturbs me, because you hold yourselves up as being defenders of the true faith, yet you miss the simple teaching of Jesus to love your neighbor as yourself. Regardless of what you think of the music, it is never your place to attack me personally. Write scholarly analyses of my essays, rip them apart scripturally, and I will thank you - and incorporate your corrections. Attack me personally, attack my faith, salvation, or ministry - I will no longer even give you the benefit of a reply.

I have asked many critics to answer this question: "Why did you click on the link saying you agree, when you don't?". My next question, of course, is "Since when is false witness suddenly "OK" with God?" Talk about turning your back on scripture to suit your needs and compromise with the world - you just did, congratulations!!! I told you why I had you make the decision. It is because I love the weaker brother and do not want to destroy him. I am not "afraid" that you will read the essays, and come up with some scriptural bombshell that will negate the whole intellectual foundation of my faith. I do not want to debate you, I do not want to answer you. I do not want a list of questions, I do not want a list of scriptures (I have HUNDREDS that supposedly agree with you - I have seen your arguments before). I will answer each and every one of them eventually.

I am aware that some of you did not enter through the front door of the site, and therefore my comments above do not apply. Please enter ONLY through the URL Think about the implications of what I have said each time you hit the "in favor" link. Please visit your side of my site.

A couple of you have written that you are offended by the "Prozac church" link. I was intending that to be a good natured joke, not insulting. Some of you have no sense of humor at all! I may reluctantly remove it so I won't offend anybody. Of course, that is what traditional church music is to ME - music that is good for putting me to sleep instead of worship in Spirit and Truth. I also despise muzac in public buildings for the same reason. Bland and boring ----

A lot of you come right back with the passage above on idol meat and say "aha - you should abstain because of the weaker brother!" What a pathetic attempt at behavior control. You are on a power trip - and have to control everybody or your own position is shaken. You know what I honestly think? I think you are uncertain of your own salvation. You have to nit-pick every area of your own life, or you despair of not being good enough to deserve salvation. That is salvation by works, my friend. Nobody will ever be good enough to face the judgement seat on their own. Your righteousness is stinking, filthy rags in front of Jesus Christ. He will turn his back on your works. It is your acceptance of His death on the cross as a blood atonement for your sins and your personal repentance that saves you. It is the abundance of your love for Him, and your love for your fellow believers that gives your life joy and happiness. It is the burden you have for the lost, and how you act on that burden, that determines your reward in heaven. Not how you Petra bashed. Bashing somebody else's ministry is not a gift of the Holy Spirit. I tell you truthfully - Jesus Christ is concerned with souls. If Petra wins kids, you better be using Petra, even if you personally hate the music. How are you going to face Jesus with the blood on YOUR HANDS of the kids who could have been saved, but weren't, because you refused to use the tools HE GAVE YOU to do the job? One word answer: ICHABOD. Get busy saving the lost and quit throwing stones at your fellow believer. I intend to bring as many kids into the kingdom of God as I can, and I don't care how I do it, as long as I do not violate the Word of God, and their conversion to Christ is sincere, committed, and leads to follow up in a local Bible believing church. These debates over music are a WASTE OF TIME compared to that calling. I only put these essays up here because some of YOU try to mess up the mighty work Jesus Christ is doing in kid's lives. You have some of these kids convinced they are going to hell for flipping on a radio playing a Christian rock song. I have to pick up the pieces of your false doctrines all the time. Do everybody a favor and listen to your little hymns somewhere and SHUT UP! These kids and the Lord Jesus Christ don't need any more of your "help". I will see a lot more kids in heaven saved by the Lord's ministry through me than you will, you can be SURE.

I have had some of you ask if I would change my position if the Lord spoke to me. The answer is emphatically "yes". I am also telling you right now - YOU are NOT the Lord. So quit pretending to speak for him. Especially when your emails are laced with bigotry and hatred for anybody who disagrees with your positions. I have responded to every ugly email with love and mercy - and even offered to let the critics work jointly with me in writing these essays. I have posted large sections written by them without any changes. That is far more open minded than many a critic is! I have yet to see a single link to my material on their sites. Yet I link EVERY ONE of them.

As further testimony of this statement (that I would change my position) - I got a couple of emails from a critic. One email was encouraging, uplifting, and a two way dialog. The other email was ugly - very negative, very un-Christlike - from the same person. He read the essays from the other side, that contain ugly, negative, un-Christlike lies, misinterpretations, and slanders. For him, they were heros, and the fruit of what he had been reading (the hatred) spilled over onto me. I am human - this hurt me, because I was starting to like the guy. I am never beyond questioning myself, and I asked the Lord to show me if I was wrong in my basic position. Is this music bad after all? I asked the Lord to guide me to scriptures, have the pastor preach on the subject, bring Godly people I can respect across my path. I was open to the other viewpoint. Do you know what the Lord gave me? The very scripture I quoted at the top of the page - 2 Cor 1:12-14. The scripture about how to answer when men of God endure personal attacks just as Paul did. I do not believe in co-incidence. The church I attend is one that teaches the Word of God verse by verse, from a fundamentalist, inerrant perspective. I think I can bank on this scripture being God's answer to my prayer. I will NOT recant my position that Christian rock music is a valid medium for worship and entertainment for Christians, and a valid way to win young people to Christ. Yes, there are problems in the industry, but that does not invalidate the style of music.

This is NOT the only time the Lord has given me the exact scripture or wisdom to counter the critics. It has happened at least a dozen times. It comes during quiet times with the Lord and deep study of His Word - times at which I doubt satan could ever attack. The only attacks by satan I have been enduring are unwelcome flame emails. I am starting to get the idea that the critics may be wolves in sheep's clothing. Of course they make the same accusation of me! Here is my answer to your ugly emails and your UNDESERVED CURSES:

1. Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool. 2. Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. 3. A whip for the horse, a halter for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools! 4. Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. 5. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. 6. Like cutting off one's feet or drinking violence is the sending of a message by the hand of a fool. 7. Like a lame man's legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. 8. Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool. 9. Like a thornbush in a drunkard's hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. 10. Like an archer who wounds at random is he who hires a fool or any passer-by. 11. As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. 12. Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. --- Proverbs 26:1-12

Holy Holy HOLY is the Lamb who delivers me from the folly and wisdom of fools. Your curses come back upon you - I am FREE of your hatred and bigotry in the precious, holy name of JESUS! Read verse 6 again before sending me another email. See if you have the stomach for God's word of correction, coming from a man who truly fears God!

I have seen an ugly trend in some of my essays. A lot of you have been trying to link me to the Roman Catholics. Hear this loud and clear: I am NOT Catholic! I am not part of some conspiracy to make everybody Catholic through the "ecunemical" movement using Christian rock. This is so stupid as to be laughable. I have a first class example of your stupidity. A lot of you have been trying to say that Sandy Patty is a Catholic, or Catholic sympathizer. Yet one of Sandy's most popular songs totally flies in the face of the authority of the pope, by differentiating the words used for "rock" in MT 16:18. For those of you not familiar with this passage:

|2504| I also |1161| And |4671| to you |3004| say, |3754| - |4771| You |1487| are |4074| Peter, |2532| and |1909| upon |5026| this |4073| bedrock |9999| {statement} |3618| I will build |3450| of me |3588| the |1577| community |2532| and |9999| {the} |4439| gates |0086| of Hades |3756| not |2729| will prevail against |0846| her.

A Catholic will invariably say that Jesus meant to build his church on the foundation of Peter - that in mid sentence he quit talking to Peter and turned to the other disciples when he was saying it. The literal Greek is quite different - indicating that Jesus was saying to Peter that he would build his church on the principle that He, Jesus, was the Christ, the son of the living God (MT 16:16). When Sandy sang "Upon this rock of revelation ----" she is bound to have angered Catholics!

If you like conspiracy theories that much, go and watch the X-Files or something and leave me alone. I am also not anti-Catholic, and know some true believers within that church who are stuck there due to family pressures. Some work for change from within - God's elect trying to reverse millenia of bad doctrine. Read the story of the current pope - who has evidenced more faith than you have. Faced with imminant execution by the Nazis, he got flat on him back in prayer before the Lord - and was miraculously spared. He spent much of the communist occupation of his nation in prayer, and opposed the Godless atheism of the Soviets. I am humbled when I see that level of faith, none of us in this nation have ever experienced persecution for our faith like that. This pope may indeed be a Christian. Lest anybody think that I am in favor of Catholic doctrine - I wrote an essay taking the Catholic church to task for their treatment of Hypatia. The current pope has made public statements that it is time for his church (note little "h" on "his") to repent of past sins. I submit that cleaning God's house of some bloodthristy, murderous "saints" would be an excellent place to start!

I am also not ecumenical. I believe that church splits throughout the centuries have been a very positive force, forwarding the ministry of Christ. Splits give every believer a church body where they can worship according to their own conscience. We do NOT need to try to force everybody into the same mold - any more than we need to force everybody to worship to the same music. You have your hymns, I have my Christian rock. Be comforted that I will never force my music on you. Afford me the same courtesy. Applying the principle to the broad spectrum of issues: translations, day of worship, order of worship, type of church government - God is very wise in splitting up those who differ on these topics. There would be open warfare in the church if we all tried to get under one roof. We should co-operate with other churches on common goals, such as fighting abortion, pornography, and the radical homosexual agenda. But try to become one church? Not a good idea.

Another really ugly thing I have seen in your emails is an intellectual bigotry. You hold up classical music as being better intellectually than Christian rock. Your proud hauty intellect will mean NOTHING on the judgement day. You are not better than me, or anybody, because you like classical music. I would listen to a lot more classical music if I didn't see your attitude. I don't want to be like like you - puffed up and strutting around spewing out that you have a higher IQ because you like that type of music. My God is the God of the humble, not the arrogant and prideful. You talk a lot about bad attitudes coming out of Christian rock - what about your own attitude? Where does it say in the Bible that you can insult and put down people based on their musical taste? Where does it say that better educated people are better or more important that other people? I want scriptures supporting it! If you can't quote them, shut up.

I need to warn you classical fans - don't cram this music down your kids. I was such a kid. The moment I encountered music that was upbeat and fun as a young man of 11, I listened to it in preference to classical. To this day, I prefer it because it is fun. I can sing along and not sound AWFUL. The upbeat rhythms are happy and joyous. Some advice from an experienced youth leader: You will have quite a struggle on your hands if you hold Christian rock music from your kids as "forbidden fruit". Your attempts will have the exact opposite from the desired effect. I guarantee it. You may get away with it in 4 or 5 year olds, but probably not when they are 11 or 12. They will be listening to secular rock if you don't have Christian rock immediately available as a Godly alternative. Domgatism in parents = rebellion in kids. If you truly love your kids, give them the same gift God gave you - the right of self determination. A forced musical taste will have no conviction behind it. When they turn 18 and leave your house, they will dump classical music and despise it the rest of their lives. The fault will be YOURS.

I have saved the most ridiculous for last. I have actually read in some of your emails that I believe in a hippie, free love, God is my girlfriend, no accountabilty Jesus - or some such wording. I have to laugh at you when you write this. It is like you haven't even read any of my essays or emails. I am discovering the most freedom in my walk with the Lord comes in the fear of the Lord. Not being afraid, the Godly fear. His instruction and correction are comforting to me. I wish you people had something of importance to say from Him. Unfortunately, you don't. I welcome his authority over my life, I welcome his moral absolutes, and stand for them courageously. If you met me, and the subject of music didn't come up, you would immediately recognize me as a man of righteousness, prayer, conviction, and courage. I am your worst nightmare - a true man of God, bought by the blood, baptised in the Spirit, in the Word, committed fundamentalist Christian. And I don't agree with your opinion on music. Deal with it. I know the same Jesus you do, and am just as offended when somebody waters down the gospel in some sort of ecunemical universal salvation mess. You better get used to Christian rock fans, because there will be a bunch of us in Heaven along with you. Cleansed of the sin of your bigotry, maybe you can have fun along with the rest of us - and enjoy the louder side of the praise of our Lord!

In closing:

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