An Actual Exchange with a Christian Rock Critic

by Bruce Carter

One cannot post a site like this on the web without attracting the attention of people holding the opposite viewpoint - that Christian rock is wrong. The following is a series of three emails that I had from a Christian rock critic. Before I go on - I want to say that I do not want anybody asking for his email address. We are admonished in scripture not to flaunt liberty in front of weaker believers, and I strongly believe that the writer is weak in the area of music. That is why the Lord gave him these convictions, and he should stick to them. I am also quite honored that a critic would engage me in something approaching a scholarly debate. Sadly, I was never able to win our point of view with him, but I feel like he left with a healthy respect at least for my motivations, and an acknowlegement that I, too, am a Christian - saved by grace. I consider that major progress! In a round about way - I hoped he would be a hostile member of our accountability group - holding us and admonishing us to the highest scriptural standards in what we play and do. He terminated the emails abruptly at that point, which is unfortunate - because I was beginning to consider him a friend.

As I do in other essays, I will switch to italics for my responses.

Email 1

The critic wrote My response

On January 21, 1983, I was delivered of a demon that dwelled within the beat of rock music. The fact that I make such a statement has caused countless people to question the validity of my statement. One of the main questions asked of me is whether or not demons actually do exist, and how can I know for sure?

I have no problem with the concept of demons. I also believe in angels. I do disagree that a demon can exist within the framework of a particular beat of music. The Bible clearly teaches that they are servants of satan, and as such are interested in indwelling people and disrupting God's perfect plan, not in dwelling in transitory patterns of sinusoidal waves. I have previously documented the neutrality of the anapestic beat.

I realize that by saying rock-n-roll music, no matter what variety, is a tool of Satan geared to pull a person down into the pit of hell is blunt. I know how most of society enjoys the music, its rhythum, its beat, and the feelings accompanied by listening. For 14 years I couldn't live without it. You could say anything you wanted to about me, but DON'T YOU DARE CRITICIZE MY MUSIC!!! (sound familiar?) That stated, this writing is not from an ultra-conservative point of view, rather from one who has been there.

I became enslaved to a demon which infested my soul. Whether it was by free choice or not, the demon was there, and is no more, praise be to God and his glorious Son Yahshua the Messiah. I had no power or strength to overcome its tempting force which it joyously tormented me by.

Here again is a typical statement by a Christian rock critic that we who differ with them are all stiff necked little children, stomping our feet in the face of "authority" and "truth". Anybody who has read all of my essays know that I encourage you to find the truth yourself, read both sides. I even say that if the Lord convicts you to have the other viewpoint - do so with my blessing! But go in love, do not hate those who have the other opinion. Jesus has great love for the diversity of talents and worship needs of His people. After all, he would have died for any of us individually. That is a lot of love! He has graciously provided a myriad of denominations and musical styles through which we can praise him. And I think there is a lot of room for just plain good entertainment as well.

I could go into all the things I was involved in prior to becoming a Christian, but suffice it to say I am blessed just to be alive. It is only by the grace of God I am able to now walk in liberty.

I rejoice in his new found faith and freedom in Christ. Even in his anti-Christian rock conviction. It is obviously working for him, even if the Lord has never given me such a conviction, but has given me the opposite conviction after reading His word on the subject of music.

It is my intent to prove by means of the scriptures and other relevant research tools the validity of my claims. If you question the information hereon, then study it yourself. Please feel free to show me where I am wrong in this study. My only desire in this life is to serve God, and seek truth, and live by it, and share it with others out of the love given to me by Yahshua.

This guy is exactly what he sounds like - very studious and genuine. I tried to query him about what his denominational affiliation was. He seems to use the term "Yahshua" a lot.

Do demons really exist in this world today? Many people say that when Yahshua was crucified all demons / evil spirits were defeated and have no power over mankind. Others believe that demons are an expressive level of consciousness, that when we do wrong, we say only to rid ourselves of guilt that the 'devil made me do it'. And still others say that demons and the devil are just a way to allow us to place a name on evil with personification. So many ideas about demons, the devil, and evil given by so many people. So what is the truth? Either demons exist, or they do not, period.

In Mark 1:23-27, Yahshua entered the synagogue to teach. It is recorded that as he spoke, a man with an unclean spirit, or demon, cried out. "Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, Yahshua of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." Though it isn't recorded, the question still remains of why was a demon possessed man in the synagogue? Could it be that he had no idea he was possessed, and the demon had masked his presence so well that no one thought this man to be possessed, including the man who had the demon? The demon tried to hide, but to no avail. It feared destruction, and knew who Yahshua was. The man was then set free for Yahshua commanded the demon to come out of him. The demon left because Yahshua spoke with authority, and they had to obey.

In Mark 5:2-15 we read of another man who was possessed. The difference is this man obviously was possessed, unlike the man who was in the synagogue. Here was a man who lived in the tombs, could be bound by no men, not even with shackles and chains. He was somehow able to break these to pieces. So tormented was this man that he cut himself with stones. But when he saw Yahshua, he ran to him and worshipped him. Once again the demon pleaded not to be tormented. Legion was cast out into a herd of about 2000 swine, which turned and ran violently down into the sea, and drowned.

Unlike the first case above, these demons wouldn't let the man rest, but tormented him continually. The demons sought to do one thing, destroy. That is why they requested to be sent into the swine. They had a mission to fulfill, if even it being just a herd of pigs. This also shows that demons are not restricted to possessing just humans.

Comparing these two accounts we see that demons can hide, but don't have to as a rule. They want to torment, destroy, and if possible kill that which they possess. Certainly a demon will possess gladly anyone who opens the door and allows them in, but it isn't necessarily a condition for them to do so. In neither case was it told how they came to be possessed, only that they were. These were just two cases of people who were delivered from demons. We could cover the young Syrophenician daughter (Mark 7:25-30), the son who had the dumb spirit (Mark 9:16) that the disciples could not cast out, or Mary Magdalene who was delivered of seven devils (Luke 8:2), but as it says in John 21:25 - "And there are also many other things which Yahshua did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written."

To say that demon activity ended when Yahshua was crucified is unscriptural. If this were the case, then why did Yahshua say after his resurrection:

Mark 16:17
"And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils..."

We also see in several places in Acts demons being cast out (Acts 5:16, 16:18, 19:12) So to say demon activity ended on the cross is incorrect. In fact, we are warned that Satans activities would continue, and in a broader fashion then before. How? Well just take a look:

II Corinthians 11:14 - 15
"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."

The following facts can be stated:

  1. Demons existed before and after Yahshua's death.
  2. The purpose of demons is the same as satans - to lie, to decieve, to torment, to destroy, and to kill.
  3. Demons, unclean spirits, devils, etc. cannot always be recognized by the person the possess. In fact, Satan and his ministers actually appear as ministers of righteousness.
  4. The believer has been empowered to cast out devils.

Please Note: There is one instance of a group of men who thought they could cast out a demon, but ended up being victimized themselves.

Acts 19:13 - 16
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of [one] Sceva, a Jew, [and] chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Where can we identify demon activity today? As with the two cases above, some are obvious, some not so obvious. The obvious can be seen in rampant suicide, drug addiction, violence, and murder, including unborn children. It is a natural desire in all humans to survive. For someone to stick a gun to their head, eat massive amounts of pills, put a razor blade to their wrist to end it all is not natural. So why do they do it? They are being influenced by demons to cause them to take their own life. Hateful, isn't it?

But what about the not so obvious? How many people are entering their synagogues not even suspecting the fact that they may be possessed of a demon, or even oppressed by a demon? Remember this also, satan and his army have weapons at their disposal they use everyday. Lies and deception. You must ask yourself what their goals are, and who it is that they will focus their attention on to promote their goals.

Satan hates truth, so he twists it. He hates love, so he offers the fleshly substitute to those he knows will fall for it. He hates the sacrifical life to Gods glory, so he promotes the selfish life, where God is there only to serve the needs of the individual. He hates God, and those who worship Him, because he cannot stand the thought of not being the most powerful being, and the object of worship.

I have let the critic go on a long time here, because he is stating scriptural fact, an interesting discussion of demons. I agree with him totally on the subject of demons. I must caution, though, that there are some fruitcakes out there who take the subject of demons to ridiculous extremes. I was victimized by some of these people when I was a college student in Midland, TX. I was accused of having a demon because I:

  • Was EXTREMELY tired one night at their Bible study and lay down on the floor. I was promptly descended on "we don't DO that here!"
  • Liked going out with girls - both as friends and as dates. I still can feel the demonic presense: from THEM - one night when I was ushered into a private room filled with the "elders" - all of whom were my age or YOUNGER. Incidentally - their true motivation was revealed later when it turned out that one of the "elders" married a girl I knew from college, and thought was a friend of mine. I can only imagine the miserable existance she has had all these years in that cult! I can't understand what she saw in that nitwit, but I do know that my father ended a business relationship with his father over the whole incident. At least that put a significant dent in this cult's financial future.
If you live in Midland, Texas, beware of this cult!!!!

Their favorite author is Derek Prince, and I was required to buy and read his books or I would not be allowed to fellowship in their group. There is a common thread to these people. One common thread is King James only'ism - and some of their material presented that archaic translation as the only valid one. Notice through here that the author also uses King James exclusively! I can only pray for the writer of this exchange that he is not a victim of a demonology cult. When I started hearing utter nonsense like "you are demon posessed if you can see the white of your eyes over the iris" - I left shaking the dust off my feet in the process. The very next year at Texas Tech University I found a Spirit filled Bible study led by Harold Humphries, and a new REALLY good church. My spritual life grew as never before.

Are demons real? Yes! Am I demon possessed just because of the music I listen to? OF COURSE NOT! Looking for demons can become like looking for communists in the early 50's. After a while, you find a demon under every bed and around every corner. Whenever something bad happens - rebuke a demon. See something you don't like? It has to be a demon, better rebuke it.

I hope you see the danger in this type of thinking. You are, in a sense, deifying satan and his minions. You give them power and authority where they have none. The average cultural Christian is at considerable risk of being oppressed, but NOT somebody who is founded in the word, knows where TRUE spiritual battles are. After 25 years in this walk, it becomes easier and easier to discern when there is a demonic presense. I recall one incident where a family friend had bad nightmares when her bed was placed one way in her bedroom, but not the other. She wanted me to pray, and I correctly discerned a demonic presence. Unknown to me, her daughter had a collection of TROLL dolls on the other side of the wall. When the elements of ancient Norse religion were removed, the problem ended.

In the next section I hope to bring to light just one of Satans tools. Just how powerful is this thing called rock music? Does Satan use music to draw people away from true worship? Hopefully you will see the not so obvious influence of Satan, and his demons, in this world today.

As was stated in the first section, demons can be both obvious, and not so obvious. In fact probably the number one lie Satan has in his book of lies is that he doesn't exist. Second biggest is that he isn't anywhere around, so you need not worry about his influence. His demons act in the same way he does, with the same lies.

In worldy rock music, we can see the obvious influence of Satan. The musicians preach their message of sex, drugs, perversion, anti-God propaganda, satanic worship, violence, murder, and to always rebel against the authority. The following quotes are from three musicians well known among the worldly rock:

Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)
"Pop music is the mass media for conditioning the way people think."
Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones)
"We're moving after the minds, and so are most of the new groups."
Jimmy Hendrix ( Self)
"Because music is a spiritual thing of its own you can hypnotize people, and when you get them to their weakest point, we can preach into their subconscious what we want to say."

These musicians fully know what they have been promoting. They fully know the powerful influence that rock music has, even to the point of mind control, or at the very least, brainwashing. What is it that they use to bring people to such a point that they can influence their minds in such a profound way? It is the music itself, not the lyrics. In many cases the music is played so loud that you cannot even understand what they are singing. These are the obvious ones who are influenced by demons to promote their message. These musicians are the promoters of the music from which 'Christian' rock has its roots.

OK, lets stop here and take stock. First of all, I have no respect for secular sources when they are talking about spiritual matters. They are spouting the lies of their father, satan. Now if satan knows that Christian rock hurts Christian kids, the last thing he is going to do through his servants is advertise the fact. Yet here we have three prominent secular rock musicians trying to convince us that Christian rock is bad??? Obvious fallacy - they were all talking about secular rock not Christian rock.

The quotes also can apply to ALL forms of music, not just the rock music style. I think it is essential to realize that Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young were primarily folk musicians, only some of their music was even based on the anapestic beat. Much of it has broad "easy listening" acceptance.

Expanding on this concept - I am appalled that almost every church uses music for mind control, placing slower, more "worshipful" music right before the sermon, in an effort to "hypnotize" the listener into a state receptive for the preaching of the word --- EXACTLY AS JIMI HENDRIX SAID!!!!!!

What about the not so obvious? Is it possible that what is called 'Christian Rock', 'contemporary', and soft rock have the same effect as the hard heavy metal rock? The initial answer is yes. The only difference between heavy metal rock music, or soft rock, or country rock, is the volume in which it is played. The beat is still the same, from one to another. Heavy metal plays heavy, bass - evoking an eerie feeling to the listener. Soft rock uses the same beat, but with lighter notes - and some songs will bring a person to tears because of the emotion it evokes. I could go into descriptive beats that drive rock music, but I want to keep this as simple as possible.

Now before we go too far into this I do not want anyone to think that I am against beat music, or rhythm. There is nothing wrong with rhythm as long as it doesn't leave its place in the song. How do you know when it does this? When the music becomes the driving force behind the song, and not the lyrics, you have a problem. The focus then becomes the method in which you are promoting the message, and not the message itself. So how do you know when that fine line has been crossed? Just watch your physical reactions to a song as it is being played. Are you being motivated to sing along because you like the message, or are you focused more on the music, and how it makes you feel?

Christian rock fan - listen carefully to the message above! There is nothing wrong with enjoying your music, but there is something wrong with putting it before the Lord. Otherwise, you are following a musical style instead of Jesus Christ. The temptation will be to go to secular rock when Christian rock is not available. Secular rock is a dangerous and ill-advised substitute, and should never be listened to casually without carefully analyzing what the artist is saying for spiritual conflict, or conflict with Biblical principles.

There have been studies conducted that prove that when listening to rock music, the following effects can be detected in the body: hypnosis, trances, excessive adrenaline flow, excessive hormonal secretions, heightening of the scare/fright mechanism, and an opposing to natural rhythmic functions of the body (heart beat). It is not the lyrics that generate this effect. It is the music.

True, but all forms of music can have the same effects. The musical style is extremely subjective. In past decades, for instance, accusations of sexual stimulation have been leveled at crooners, opera singers, even classical composers. I also read the same old accusations that rock music is counter to the body's natural rhythms. In other essays, the Christian rock critics claim that rock music re-enforces the body's natural rhythms and stimulates to frenzy. BOTH ASSERTIONS CANNOT BE TRUE!

So where is Satan involved in all this, or is he? Let's take a look at what the Bible has to say:

Isaiah 14:11-15
"Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."
II Thessalonians 2:3 - 4
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Is. 14:11 - noise - Hebrew - hemyah - noise, from the root of hamah; to make a loud sound, (like English - "hum") by implication to be in great commotion or tumult, to rage, war, moan, clamor - to be in an uproar.

The passage from Isaiah is from the middle of a song of triumph against Babylon. The problem with using this as a proof that Christian rock is "bad" is that "viols" are not central to the passage. The fall of Babylon is the central message of the song. In fact, "viols" are translated as "harp" - two types of which were used in the Jewish temple in worship. One of which is the melodious harp we think of David playing to soothe King Saul's mood. The other type of harp, however, was large, loud, and harsh sounding! It would be logically inconsistant to condemn the use of "viols" or "harps" here, and then approve them as instruments of praise and worship in Psalm 150:3.

The passage from II Thessalonians is talking about the revealing of the anti-christ, which has not happened yet.

This Term "noise" is not to be mistaken with Psalm 100:1 where it says: "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands." Noise in this context is to break out joyfully, to make a loud noise. Praise means 'laudation'. This means a warmly enthusiastic praise, glowing.

Excuse me, but it DOES sound like a Christian rock concert to me. I have seen more sincere worship at concerts than I have seen in many a church sanctuary filled with an organ, choir, dusty old songbooks, and a congregation that sounds more asleep than enthusiastic.

Notice that the viols,(and the tumult, rage, war, uproar that comes from them) are Lucifiers. In the same context, we find him to be the one who did weaken the nations. We also find him wanting to be the object of worship, to exalt his throne above the stars of heaven, and sits upon the mount of the congregation.

Wrong again. They were Babylon's. Babylon itself was a historical empire, unfortunately one that chose to follow satan. It was composed of people, however, many of whom would have seen its abuses and rejected them to join other nations. Not everything that came out of Babylon was automatically "evil", as Israel's use of "viols" or "harps" in the temple of the Lord demonstrates.

Any questions as to what satan is aiming for? Any questions as to what he uses as tools to accomplish his goal, to be like the most High?

The Apostle Paul warned against such activities in Romans 13:13

"Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying."

Rioting - Greek - komos, a carousal, as if letting loose.(def. - a noisy or drunken feast, jovial revelry) reveling, rioting.

Definition of revelling - to take great pleasure or delight in, to make merry; indulge in boisterous festivities. To make a tumult.

Sounds like the "noise" Moses heard when he was on the mount receiving the tables of stone, doesn't it?

So does the tumult that accompanied Jesus when he returned to Jerusalem to be crucified "if I told my followers to be quiet, the stones would shout". Or the tumult that accompanied the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem - with David dancing for joy. I sincerely doubt that there was drunkeness, wantonness, strife, envy, or rioting at either occasion. There is definitely NOT at any Christian rock concert that I have attended. Although I have witnessed rude behavior, and I hope that those engaged in such behavior hear the message and get saved at the concert.

The question now arises as to how we know whether the music that accompanies our worship time, in church, home, car or work, is in deed glorifying God and not satan. Music that creates a physical reaction such as described above is obviously drawing on one thing, the flesh. When a listener aligns himself with such music, where is the spiritual worship centered around? Once again, if the music is the driving force behind the song, it is out of its place. Music is to compliment the song, not dominate it.

Hear this - Christian rock fan! When you are driving or listening to it while performing other activities, it is OK to be passive and have it in the background. But when you focus on the music, what are the artists saying? Listen and worship actively when you can!

I hope I am not hearing another re-statement of the discredited rock music is sex argument!

In Galatians Paul says that the flesh and the Spirit are warring against one another. In Romans Pauls says that the carnal man is enmity against God, because the carnal mind is not subject unto God, and cannot be.

Romans 8:7 - 8
"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

Yep - I am afraid this is the same old thing - calling a style of music "carnal". I remind the critic that I am not stimulated in the least by the music. Only stirred to woship. You play me your boring "praise and worship" stuff, and I go to sleep. Play me Christian rock, and I worship in Spirit and Truth.

So if the carnal mind and the flesh are not subject to God Almighty, then who are they subject to? The god of this world, satan. It is no great thing that satan has infiltrated the church, to have his songs sung rather than the true praise of God. Remember, he wants to be the object of worship and praise. Remember also, marvel not, for Satan transforms himself into a minister of righteousness, and his angels with him.

No - I am not worshipping satan, either. Satan despises worship of Jesus Christ, and flees from it. After 25 years, I know my shepherd, just as He knows ME! Praise God for the Lamb's book of life! I am in it and will go straight to heaven the moment I die. Will you - Christian rock critic? Or are there some works you have to do first?

John 4:23-24
"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."

If a form of music draws upon a persons flesh, how can that person worship in spirit and in truth? It is impossible. If they are caught up in the music, then the worship is misdirected. The music becomes an idol, and God is not glorified.

I advocate the use of slightly more subdued music during actual worship services than during concert for this reason. But I would not criticize a church that uses hard Christian rock during worship. It is the heart of the believers that matters, and I can't judge that. So when I see the sign downtown that says "the flock that ROCKS!", I rejoice that it is there.

I suspect the writer of these emails is young, both in age and in his faith. Dogmatism and fanaticism are necessary "evils" when you are first saved, because they tend to focus attention on the contrast between the old life and the new. That is why Paul was careful of those who did not like idol meat, and characterized them as "weaker brothers". As I get older, I tend to get more and more tolerant of my Christian brothers. Not tolerant of sin, but tolerant of other viewpoints on issues. There are truths in the Bible we cannot violate, such as injunctions against homosexuality, or against sorcery (drug use). But Christian rock, Bible versions, and a myriad of other issues are not good/evil, black/white issues.

The most tolerant person I know is my own father. He has lived his whole life in an atmosphere of classical music, yet freely attends my church when he comes to visit. He does not enjoy the Christian rock worship music, but he does not condemn us. In fact, he realizes the need for it in his own church, which is losing younger members.

I have witnessed on a number of occasions church services that were dubbed "revivals" that started off with a 'good' half hour to an hour of driving music, that caused entire congregations to "feel the spirit". It is usually in these services that dancing in the spirit happens, running the isles, people are slain in the spirit, and general chaos ensues. I have left such services because I responded physically in a way that was in direct repulsion of the activities and music. It was in no way uplifting or edifying. It was oppressing, stifling, without peace. The same thing is true for concerts. It leads me to ask the question, of what spirit are these services being motivated by? And if the participants cannot see the true spirit behind these services, then just how powerful is this weapon that is permeating every facet of our society?

I truly believe that most churches are so hungry for a manifestation of the spirit they will do anything to receive it. Even compromise the worship service and call the mayhem an old fashioned revival. Where is the edification? Where is the true bond of peace? It is not in a worship service, or musical tape, or revival concert that uses music to drive home a message of salvation. Whatever happened to the simple proclamation of the truth, singing of psalms and spiritual hymns to uplift the body of Christ, not just the individual?

Whoa, there, slow down!!! You are covering a lot of ground and different issues in one paragraph :o) My church uses Christian rock in worship, and we have none of the other stuff! The service is well organized, people behave themselves, it is orderly, and the worship time is followed by an hour of Biblically based teaching. I am sorry you had a bad experience, I probably would have left, too. Those other experiences may be meaningful to some believers, and I hope they worship in Spirit and Truth to them. But to me it is so much confusion and disorder. It is not an environment where I can worship. I can say that because I have been in a church like that. Only the music was traditional or country bumpkin gospel. I was without peace for over a year and a half.

As far as concerts, I go to them for entertainment. They are not meant to be primarily worship experiences, although thankfully many artists will use their concerts as a platform for a little testimony or an altar call. These alter calls are usually very fruitful, sometimes overwhelming the workers! The Christian kids bring their unsaved friends to concerts, knowing their friends would not go to church. A lot of them get saved - the word of God, even to a rock beat, never returns void. Are you saying the word of God returns void when sung to a rock beat? What part of "NEVER" do you not understand?

Be of good cheer! The noise of the viols ARE brought down!

I don't think you would have liked the musical group in the ancient Jewish temple. My research shows it would have a real similarity to the modern rock bands!

Email 2

The critic wrote My response

Dear Bruce:

Greetings in the Lord Yahshua! It seems I have disturbed you by posting my "food for thought". Please understand that is exactly what it was intended for, elsewise I would have titled my post "food for provocation". I realize that my view is not popular by most of the world. I can live with that.

There is some really BAD selfishness sneaking through in this attitude. What difference should it make to him where I stand on the subject of music? He states that he was not trying to provoke me, but starts out by saying he intended to "disturb" me. Since when is an unwelcome "disturbance" not provocation? Was I supposed to just sit around and not write back - trying to talk some sense to him?! He has a real problem with love for those of other musical opinions, and I thought I could re-awaken Christ's love in him for other believers. He is obviously in a very sectarian environment, where love for your Christian brothers in other denominations is non-existant.

The reason I visited your site was two fold. One, because I can, since it is public domain. And two, as a Christian I seek truth where I can find it. Frankly I never saw the warning, but I will go by and see the warning as soon as I am done writing this reply. I know you ask me not to visit your site any longer, which I will honor. It is unfortunate, however, that you would shut someone out simply because they have a differing opinion than yours concerning music, and satans involvement within it. That to me is pharasitical.

Notice how the definition of Pharisee gets twisted to mean anybody who does not believe the way you do? Pharisees were the ones who did not want new ideas (that were dangerous only to their own authority) to be presented. Sounds like those who are trying to suppress new styles of worship music to me!

Regular visitors to my site know full well the warning was right there on the index page to the apologetics site. The fact that he chose to ignore the warning is further proof to me his intention was to provoke, not exhort. As a result of this exchange, I re-structured the site to where you MUST agree with Christian rock to enter. Whoever enters the site by clicking that they agree, when their intention is to provoke, is bearing false witness.

My faith is not founded upon my musical views. My musical views are an extension of my faith and understanding. As far as trying to save a lost Christian rock fan, that was not my motivation. But I can understand where you would draw such conclusions. My hearts desire is to see the body of Christ in one accord, each member supplying to the others what they have to offer. I as a member of the body simply offered the understanding I have come to about music. It isn't my desire to debate over the truth either. But I will speak it in love.

Here is a glimmer of a modern heresy - that every believer has to be so much of one accord that we all do things in the same way and attend the same church. I state in other essays that I cannot walk in some churches, even though I know some of the members are Christian believers beyond any doubt. A good example is anything called "St. Cyril's", because Cyril of Alexandria murdered the brilliant scholar Hypatia.

Another cult I encountered is called "the local church". I cannot exactly document this cult, because I got out before they had their hooks in me. All I know is that their basic idea is that every Christian believer in each locality should go to the same church - THEIRS. To them, it is evil to have different denominations and ways of worship. Everybody should be of one accord - THEIRS. They utilize the teachings of somebody called "Watchman Nee", whose quotes are exalted almost equal to the Bible. Their monotonous "Bible" study consisted of everybody sitting in a circle for TWO HOURS or more - groups of 2 to 5 getting up and "spontaneously" spouting off a quote from Watchman Nee.

It appears that this particular group has communal single sex living arrangements for single men, as a group of them lived together in bunk beds near the campus. It also appears that they have arranged marriages, because when I expressed to one of the men I was closest to my interest in a nice girl I had met in the group - I was informed that my interest was out of order.

If you live in Austin, Texas, beware of this cult!!!!

The point to all this is that the only churches that I am familiar with that teach "single church for each city" are either cults or really cold hearted sects. May God help this Christian rock critic if he is wrapped up with these people.

I'm sorry you see this issue as trivial and insignificant. Especially when you lay the charge that by speaking the truth in love I am trying to establish a heresy, and idolatry.

Regrettably, he misinterpreted something I said to him at this point. It proves he has a temper! I did express to him the importance of the deity of Christ from the foundation of the universe, and the inerrancy of the word. Compared to these truths, Christian musical styles is a relatively minor issue. I am devoting space to it only because of mis-information and outright lies that are on the web. Somebody needs to respond.

Seems to me that is what alot of what rock performers, no matter what the medium, are doing. When I read how this band RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, or that band ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, it is clear to me where the priorities are in those peoples lives. Glorifying Christ? Their own words prove the point.

Christian rock fans - read that point above carefully and understand! I NEVER like hearing those descriptions for exactly this reason. You are giving the Christian rock critics some VERY VALID criticisms. No matter how good the music, no matter how it stirs your faith - they are merely messengers who are sinners saved by grace, the same as you. They do not deserve to be exhalted, and will tell you that to your face. Only Jesus Christ "RULES"!

Remember, I've been there, did it, done it. This isn't coming from an ultraconservative view of some denominational church. This is coming from someone who loves the Lord Yahshua, and the truth. Pharasitical element? My Bible says to obstain from all appearance of evil. If I have been given the discernment to see the evil, is that pharasitical to obstain from it? I guess anything goes with this type of liberty you speak of. Why not bring peyote buttons into the church? There are many native Americans that believe this is a way to enter the spirit world and worship their god(s). Can't block those folks out, now can we? That would be pharastical, legalistic, and wrong with your line of thinking.

You see, the problem here is not that you are speaking the truth as you understand it. The problem is that you are forgetting that you, too, are fallible (1 Corinthians 10:12). Was your conviction given to you as a personal conviction, or is it a general truth? Be careful how you answer!!!! If you are getting general revelations from God that should apply to the whole body of Christ - you better think about writing another book of the Bible! But we know that isn't going to happen, because of the curse in Revelation. New truths are not possible, only new interpretations of what is already written in the Bible. I have scriptural proof of my point of view, you have scriptural proof of your point of view. Where is the truth? Either one of us is totally wrong and the other totally right - or perhaps both of us are wrong. Perhaps both of us are right. Interpret scripture in context, interpret scripture with scripture, and even then people disagree on a myriad of topics. Why? Because satan has blinded some people's eyes, but not those who seek the word daily - like you and I. So why the disagreement? Because there IS room for both of us in God's kingdom - and both our interpretations. Your reward will be to never hear rock music for worship. Mine will be to never hear opera music for worship. The savor will be just a sweet for the Lord Jesus Christ because all he cares about is worship in spirit and truth. The Christian rock makes my spirit soar to new heights of worship with Him. How DARE you challenge my perfectly valid worship experience! I would never presume to judge the quality of your worship. Go listen to the fat lady singing to opera church music if that is how you worship. You will please excuse me if I slip out the back door and barf -----

I am REALLY getting tired of being lumped together with drug addicts because my musical preference is different than yours. This is offensive. PLEASE STOP in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am asking very nicely, I would really appreciate it. The Holy Spirit told you not to write that - YES - YOU! You knew it was wrong, yet you wrote it anyway. How did I know that? I asked HIM. So don't do it again - EVER!

In closing, I agree that there are many elements within the church that shove not only youth away from the truth, but many adults as well. The hypocrisy of the denominations is staggering. This is why I am not a member of any local congregation. I am, however, a member of the WHOLE congregation of believers. As the ambassadors of Christ, we have to truly trust the faith of Christ in us, and believe that by speaking the truth we can reach those who need to be reached. The Bible never says to compromise a principle of truth. We obviously differ in this. I don't think that the ends justifies the means. It is the truth that will set people free.

Wrong again! To Paul, the ends DID justify the means (1 Corinthians 9:22):

  • He taught believers to temporarily compromize their personal freedom to indulge in idol meat to accomodate weaker brothers (Romans 14:15,21).
  • He advocated becoming all things to all men for the sake of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:22)

Hear Paul's message plainly - as long as the end is winning souls to Jesus Christ, the end DOES justify the means - provided you do not violate scriptural principles to do it!!! Peyote buttons are DEFINITELY out - what a "shame".

Email 3

The critic wrote My response

Dear Bruce,

Greetings in the name of the Lord Yahshua.

Somehow you have come to some kind of conclusion that I am using double speak, for the intent purpose of deception. You can take me as you read me, for I would say the same things to your face as well. There is no hidden agenda here. My hearts desire is exactly what I say it is, to see the body of Christ fitly joined together in one accord, in one mind, as the early church was, and the end time church will be.

I did not archive my side of the exchange, but I believe I did confront him about his motivations. Here again you see the possibility that he is involved in the CULT called "The Local Church" that I mentioned above. If I am incorrect, I do apologize. If we were all of one accord in the way he suggests, we would all be clones of each other. Not a very desirable condition.

Chuck Swindoll has really had a helpful series on the radio while I have been working on this essay. He reminded me that disputes are nothing new to the body of Christ. Paul and Barnabas had an ugly dispute that is documented in the Bible! They did reconcile at a later date.

You are absolutely right, though that our enemy has a hidden agenda. I believe that I have a view of that hidden agenda, thus my article. You have a choice to accept or reject, based on the truth it presents. The devil desires to be the object of worship, and how better to do so then by infiltrating the church through the gift he was given of God? Satan in the church? The scriptures are very clear about this:

1 Thessalonians 2:3 - 4
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."

2 Corinthians 11:14 - 15
"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."
Revelation 2:8 - 9
"And unto the angel of the church of Smyrna, write... I know the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan."
Revelation 2:12 - 13
"And to the church of Pergamos write....I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satans seat is..."

Clearly the devil has an agenda. He will be revealed in the temple of God, shewing himself as God.

I cannot believe this critic is seriously proposing that the anti-christ has already revealed himself through Christian rock. This is so ridiculous I don't even need to say more. Except I wouldn't be here - I would have been raptured.

As far as eating meats offered unto idols, I can assume that you agree that this tool used for evangelizing could be considered a "meat offered to idols". I cannot escape the scriptures that clearly says:

Acts 15:20, 28 - 29
"But we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these NECESSARY things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: for which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well."

I don't believe exercising liberty in Christ means that we continue in these things, do you? The reason this was spoken to the Gentiles in the first place was because their were Jews who were trying to cause the Gentiles to follow the law. And we both know that following the law is falling from grace. That doesn't circumvent the principle of truth, though. If these were not necessary things, than why would the Bible call them such?

This is interesting, he mis-quoted the scripture. Unless the redundancy above is actually in the King James (there are other cases where this happens in this archaic version). I use the New American Standard for serious study, it is a better translation than King James, more faithful to the manuscripts. No - not he awful Greek "Textus Receptus" (written by a HUMANIST) or the Latin "Vulgate" - I am talking about manuscripts written by students of Paul, himself, etc. Key to the passage is who the "them" is. It seems to be new Gentile Christians at the Antioch, from the verses that precede it. Here is an "ungarbled" translation:

Acts 15:20, 28 - 29
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.

There, much more readable :o) Strange that this particular critic would be quoting from Acts 15, because this is also one of the chapters that talks about the ends justifying the means (i.e. circumcision). Obviously, he is familiar with that scriptural concept, then.

Now for the church at Antioch, and the "them". The Antioch church had a problem. It was filled with Jewish converts who were trying to enforce circumcision on the gentiles who converted to Christianity. Naturally, the gentiles did not want to submit to this painful mutilation of their bodies. The Jewish converts, in this case, were acting just like the Pharisees who demanded absolute obedience to the law. This is not love! It is not even scriptural. Paul tended to write to churches about the things that were causing the most problems in that particular church. To the church at Corinth, it was about love. To the church at Ephesus, it was about spritualism and works. The church at Antioch needed this dispute settled, and Paul did that by concentrating on a relatively minor point of Jewish law - the diet - instead of circumcision. There evidently was a problem with fornication in the Antioch church, so he also mentioned that at the same time. I would tend to interpret this scripture in a narrow context - the detailed instruction he gave applying only to that church at that time. The broader principle applies to us today - if we are in a church that has legalists in authority, we are to obey their directives to the best of our conscience, but not to the extent of violating our deepest doctrinal beliefs. I think that is what it is saying.

This critic would probably be busily typing his reply by now, that I am trying to water down what sounds like a clear directive from Paul. I remind the reader that you cannot "prooftext" the Bible - you need to interpret scripture with scripture, find all relevant passages, and take the complete balance of what is said in all the passages, which may be in direct contradiction with each other (honor your father and your mother - Exodous 20:12 vs. Luke 14:26 (If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother ---) Which is true? The answer is BOTH - in their proper context. Exodous 20:12 talks of your attitude towards your parents, Luke 14:26 is a hyperbole talking about the relative importance of your parents to the Lord Jesus Christ. So it is with "viols". If they are used to glorify satan, they need to be overthrown. If they are used in worship of Jesus Christ, so much the better.

There needs to be a balance to interpretation of scripture. If you take specific instructions to churches of the time literally, you better set up a barber shop in your church, because a lot of women come to church with their heads uncovered (1 Corinthians 11: 5-6). You can get totally ridiculous if you try to take the instructions in these letters as literally applying to all churches today.

This balance applies to the issue of "idol meat" --- or Christian rock. You can take the scripture above, and then find one that directly contradicts it:

Romans 14:13-14
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this - not to put a stumbling block in a brother's way. I know and am convinced that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything is unclean, to him it is unclean.

Read the entire 14th chapter of Romans to get the context. I don't want to type it in here - but you should read it. When you finish, you will see why I am free to exercise my liberty, as long as I do not flaunt it Christian rock critics. I simply choose to fellowship with stronger believers in a different body. This demonstrates my love for weaker brothers, because they never even know that I exist (providing that they obey the warning on my opening page).

Want more proof that Christian rock can be used for spreading the gospel in spite of it being "idol meat" in the presence of critics?

Mark 9:38-40
John said to Him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to hinder him because he was not following us." But Jesus said, "Do not hinder him, for there is no one who shall perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is for us".

Yes, I am well aware of the other scripture that says in the last days many shall come to Jesus saying "Lord, Lord, we did miracles in Your name ----" (MT 7:22). That is why I add a second criteria to Christian rock prior to airplay - that the artist be a Christian. As I said, you interpret sripture with scripture in context. Beware of prooftexts, and those using them. Christian rock is "clean", approved for use as a tool to win the lost, but controversial. Avoid the critics. Walk away from aguments with them. Leave churches that preach against it. Exercise your liberty with joy, while doing it out of sight of weaker brothers. Be as wise as foxes looking for hypocritical artists or unscriptural messages. When you find them, purge them from your listening as being worse than secular rock, because they are liars and deceivers who pretend to be Christian leaders.

I'm not asking you or telling you to stop eating / exercising your "liberty" to satisfy my convictions. When the floods of trial come and we are put to the test we will all see the foundation we are built upon. Obviously you feel that we cannot have fellowship because of our differing views. My friend, where is the "one heart, one mind, one accord" that God would have us to be joined in Christ with?

My one heart, is the love for this critic not to bother him with my personal musical taste. My one mind with him is my unwavering faith and love for the Lordship of Jesus Christ. My one accord with him is the desire to see as many people saved as possible prior to the rapture. I did not terminate the contact, HE DID. I attempted to fellowship with him on every other topic than on music, and found him to be very compatible as a friend. It is regrettable that he chose to break fellowship over the one little thing that we differ.

Actually, there are many Christians that I have less accord with than this critic. I went to an Episcopal chruch service with my uncle, who is a very committed Christian. His denomination practices communion with the "common cup" - and as that filthy thing approached my mouth I felt that unmistakable "upchuck" reflex. It took every ounce of willpower I had to avoid adding something very disgusting to the cup's contents! Am I supposed to be of "one accord" and attend that church? What if the only church in town was named after the bloodthristy killer "Saint" Cyril? Am I supposed to be in one accord with the people who decided he was worthy to name a church after? No, I am not slamming Catholics - other denominations name churches after "saints".

Plain and simple, you cannot be in "one accord" with everybody over everything. Perhaps you can be of one accord on the major things like the diety of Jesus and the inerrancy of the Word, but never in "perfect accord". I personally think denominations and even church splits are good things - they keep the body of Christ from erupting into open warfare.

Carrying this "body of Christ" concept even further, the Bible teaches that we are one body with many parts. But a hand cannot do the job of a mouth, a heart cannot function as a foot. Where is the "one accord" in a human body if you transplant the wrong type of organ? Put a lung where a heart used to be and the patient dies in seconds. Put a stomach where the brain is and there may be a viable vegetable on life support for a while, but no mind to praise God. This is the Bible's metaphor - not mine - that I am expanding on. Asking me to fellowship with and operate in a worship environment foreign to me, and the whole body of Christ suffers. I would never ask this critic to attend my church, knowing his convictions. He would probably expect me to openly endorse and attend his, or he would think me "unsaved".

As I stated in my last letter to you, I cannot see the ends justifying the means. If this were the case, we should allow any kind of tool into the church to draw souls unto Christ, or supposedly unto Christ. Peyote buttons to enter the worship realm, yoga, eastern mysticism, etc. All claim to open the door for spiritual worship. Mix the gospel of Yahshua Christ with it and what do you have? A hodge - podge of the truth. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Paul openly taught the ends justifying the means (1 Corinthians 9:22), as I pointed out above. This does NOT mean, however, that you violate Biblical principles. It only applies to those areas like Christian rock where there is definitely no direction. Here he brings up peyote again - but the Bible specifically condemns "sorcery", which literally translates as drug abuse. So he is either ignorant of the Bible or purposely ignoring those verses. Yoga and Eastern mysticism are specifically condemned in the ten commandments, when it states we shall have no other gods before Him. Not even ourselves. He is right, you cannot mix lies of satan with the gospel - you WILL have a mess. I am quite conservative about what I listen to. Any Christian rock song that approaches new age - I reject. There are some very popular songs, even praise and worship songs - that have horrendous heresy. I will take whatever heat I have to - to avoid playing them on the air. I play songs that have the TRUTH in their lyrics. Not popular heresies.

You have not offended me in anyway, Bruce. So you can get up tomorrow with a clear heart. Those who involve themselves in so called "Christian" rock do not offend me. I will not partake of the table you are willing to eat from. I know how it has effected me in the past, and I know how it will effect the church in the future (and already has). I cannot help but speak the truth in love, just as you feel compelled to reach out to the desperate of youth, and adults.

Well thank you for the compliment, and please do NOT listen to Christian rock. To you, it is a sin, and you are responsible for staying clear of it. Your personal revelation of truth relevant to your situation is not binding on me, however. I can give another example. This is guaranteed to start a fight - the same as Christian rock. The issue is alcohol. Paul advises Timothy to take a sip of wine every so often, to settle his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23). This is good advice, by the way, in the middle east where sanitary standards in the water supply are lax to the present day. Would you believe that there are people who are so concerned about this issue that they fabricate a whole system of lies - they even claim that ancient wine was non-alcoholic!!! Only problem is that sealed emphoras have been found in ancient shipwrecks. When the contents are analyzed - the wine definitely was alcoholic. I can tolerate a lot of things, but lies from pulpits or in material meant to teach the body of Christ is offensive to me. Anybody lying like that should be removed from the ministry. So --- Paul was telling Timothy to partake of alcohol! No way around it! Jesus personally drank on several occasions, including the last supper. This certainly gives Christians the right to consume alcohol. Now --- find a recovered alcoholic that accepted Christ and was delivered from alcoholism. To him - consumption of alcohol is most certainly a sin. But it is not a sin to somebody who has partaken in moderation their entire life.

Where do I stand on the issue of alcohol? I don't like it. I don't drink it because I don't like it. Do I think it is a sin? NO. Would I do it in front of a recovered alcoholic even if I enjoyed it? Of course not. Neither do I play Christian rock to a critic, or flaunt my freedom to listen to them.

You seem to have many works to your credit by the dozens, perhaps hundreds of kids who have been saved. My question is, saved from what into what? No paradox to me. Falls right into the ultimate goal of the angel of light, Satan, who will sit in the temple of God showing himself that he is God. If you feel you have something to offer that I may be edified by, then please do. Don't worry about "shaking my personal convictions". If what you have to present is scripturally based, then I will be more than happy to consider your view. Up to now you haven't really provided any defense against the truth in my article, nor my last post. Bring it on, I am teachable if it agrees with the Holy Spirit of God.

Two topics here. First is a real personal slam at my motivations. If I am serving satan, he is sure one confused, divided demon! He must enjoy being abused, whipped, and destroyed by the fragrant prayers of a man of God directed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course that is nonsense - satan will not war against satan. The kids have been saved from satan's kingdom into God's kingdom, and their fruit reveals it.

Second topic - I am not going to write every critic personally and try to persuade them of anything. I believe that Christian rock CAN be a sin for one person and not another, just as alcohol - as I stated above. So why would I engage a critic in debate? The whole purpose of these essays is to help young people to think for themselves, and not be disturbed in their personal convictions when the mis-information starts flying around. Christian rock has been and will be a powerful ministry tool, proven beyond any contradiction to be useful for edifying and building the body of Christ. Young people will occasionally hear something to the contrary, and they can come here to get balanced, Biblical, and logical answers FOR THEMSELVES - not to go argue with somebody.

So NO - I will not ever provide any defense to a critic who writes me. Also - for very practical reasons, I cannot spend the time tailoring a response to every critic who demands one - right then, right away.

Bruce, I have never doubted your sincerity, the sincerity of the musicians themselves, pastors, evangelists, etc. who have no problem with this medium of music to reach the lost. I respect the fact that you honor the authority of your pastors and elders as well. I, of course, could not place myself under their authority to lead me to the promised land. I do however challenge the sources of doctrine that would allow a congregation to partake of something that can be scripturally proven evil. The Holy Spirit doesn't lead to such places. As far as accountability, we all must answer for the deeds we have done in this world, and the words we speak.

This is a reasonable statement for somebody who is unshakably convinced Christian rock is evil. I would love to discuss Psalm 150 with him, but I won't do it out of respect and love for him. I believe if anybody could handle it, he could. But that is NOT my calling. NOBODY is ever going to be called to go into a room of Christian rock critics are argue them down. That just is not done, the same as any other doctrine of men. I am not going to walk into a Catholic church and argue St. Cyril. I am not going to walk into a Baptist church and argue about alcohol. It's not my calling. Telling you - the Christian rock fan - that it is OK ---- that is part of my calling. You guys have suffered a lot of abuse, now lets turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and worship Him in Spirit and truth with our selected musical style. Instead of gazing downward, wondering if we are in sin - we can hold our heads high, our arms stretched heavenward, and rejoice! We were right all along! But only right for ourselves - and others who believe as we do about the music.

It is not up to me to change your "belief structure". It is my duty to speak that which I have been taught, in love. It is then up to the individual whether they will receive that word or not. The time is short, and the man of sin will be revealed. I disagree that the issue of "Christian" rock is pointless. Someone must sound the alarm, COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE, THAT YE BE NOT PARTAKERS OF HER SINS. She is a harlot, one who has committed spiritual fornication, and those that remain in her will receive of her plagues. It is more than just musical taste, it is but one way in which she has seduced the world to lie in bed with her for the pleasure of the moment.

Here is another heresy - that if it is pleasurable it must be bad. This was a common view for hundreds of years, and has almost died out. But you will hear it occasionally to this day. In its heyday - it led to horrible bloody displays of people carrying crosses in the middle ages, being whipped all the time. It led to countless marriages where sex was reserved for baby making only - and frustrated, unfulfilled women. It led to churches where each family was isolated from others by wooden partitions - and deacons who had wooden sticks they would beat you with if your attention wavered from the preacher. Praise God we live in an era when worship can also be fun! I will openly say - if you are bored in your church, if you don't look forward to attending, if you don't have fun - GET OUT! go find a church that is Biblically based AND fun. That is where you need to be.

This was the finish of the exchange. I sincerely wish the critic well, but I cannot in good conscience hope that he ever reads my response. The response is for you, the Christian rock fan, when you get presented with these arguments. In fact, if this particular critic reads this response, I will be disappointed in him. He visited the site in spite of my warning not to.

I guess the main thing that bothers me about his arguments, in general, is that he overdoes the "spiritual warfare" and "demonology". I agree there are many times when a problem has both a secular and a spiritual aspect. Balance is the key - while you can't discount the possibility of demonic involvement in a problem situation, neither should you deify demons to the extent of looking for them under every bed. In the case of music - to ascribe them to a certain style of music is ridiculous. But it is VERY possible that they inspire the lyrics and lifestyles of certain secular artists.

The debate over whether it is the words or the lyrics that influence young people will probably rage on regardless of what I say here. If it is the musical style alone, then logically you would expect that Christian kids who enjoy Christian rock would be constantly falling away into satan worship. But this is not happening - there is a steady stream of salvations going the other way - kids who used to be devil worshippers becoming saved - through the ministry of Christian rock music / concerts.

On the other hand, if the lyrics are what matters, you would expect to see salvations, which are happening, and you would expect secular rock to lead to satan worship - influenced by the lyrics. There have been a series of school shootings and suicides, some of them "copycat" killings based on messages in secular rock, lifestyles of secular rock artists, or some other aspect of popular culture. The suicide of Kurt Cobain is a good example. I had a death in my own family - a troubled young man who imitated his idol, Kurt Cobain. Why just Kurt - his musical style has a lot of imitators, both secular and Christian. If it was demons hiding in the musical style, then logically the suicides would be spread evenly among all performers of that style. But no - the suicides occur with Kurt's music alone. It was the desperation and hopelessness in Kurt's lyrics, not his combination of musical notes, insturments, scales and rhythms.

I can assure you - if there ever was a musical style that automatically led to suicides, shootings, and other violent behavior - the armed forces would quickly seize it and classify it as a top secret weapon!

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