An Answer to:

CHRISTIAN ROCK

Paganism in the Church By David A. Noebel

(Please wait for the table to load)

Original Text My response

This sermon was preached back in the early seventies. How relevant the message was that was preached at that time, warning of the dangers of so called "christian rock". The message is as relevant now as it was then.

The names of the artists (if one could call them that) may have changed but the filthy abomination and perversion that they preach is as dangerous, if not more so. Because of the worldliness of today's church Satans hordes have infultrated the Church and is making it ineffective in the service of God because it has become unclean, "Then said Haggai, If [one that is] unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. Then answered Haggai, and said, So [is] this people, and so [is] this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so [is] every work of their hands; and that which they offer there [is] unclean." (Haggai 2:13,14)

This foreword introduces the sermon below as if it were a timeless classic. Unfortunately, it is laughably out of date in many of its details. It attempts to make several points that are now completely moot, as the culture has moved on and swept away trends mentioned. There are some points that need to be refuted, and that is my purpose in reproducing it here.

The reference to Haggai assumes that you believe Christian rock to be "unclean", like a dead body. Obviously I do NOT, neither does the Bible.

The Apostle's Creed of the Christian "now" generation is: "We believe in God, love and rock 'n' roll."

Christian young people tenaciously defend their infatuation with secular rock stars and heatedly argue over the spiritual insight of certain rock members e.g., My Sweet Lord by Harrison of the Beatles; In the Presence of the Lord by Clapton; Spirit in the Sky by Greenbaum etc.

One theme common to the anti-Christian rock essays, and ESPECIALLY to this one is an attempt to confuse the issue by discussing secular rock along with Christian rock. The anti-Christian rock critics will tell you "there is no difference", when in fact the truth is that "there is no STYLISTIC difference". If you happen to believe the style is inherently wicked, then your conclusion that Christian rock is wicked is logically consistant - and off you go slamming both as co-equals. If, however, the style is not inherently wicked - then you are left with two distinct bodies of music. One that glorifies Christ, done by people who walk the walk - as opposed to a secular body of music the purpose of which is not to glorify God, and whose artists may or may not be moral people, or Christian believers who are backslidden enough to write and perform music that is at best neutral, and at worst anti-Christ.

Obviously I am of the persuasion that the style is inherently neutral, and we should separate secular and Christian rock into two issues for discussion. I am not familiar with the Eric Clapton song, but the other two songs are very bad. George Harrison is singing about Hare Krishna in "My Sweet Lord", while Norman Greenbaum shows how deceived he is by singing "I've never sinned" in "Spirit in the Sky". Both are very bad songs.

If you have not heard or noticed such developments, you are too isolated from youth. for a tremendous struggle is engulfing Christian young-people. The battleground is not rock festivals but the church's choir loft.

Bible schools, seminaries, Christian colleges and universities are sending forth "Christian" rock groups to local churches to entertain and inspire the saints. But the saints are confused, bewildered and approaching the breaking point.

In fact, all that some of the elders and deacons need is the information contained in this study and the three books I will be suggesting for further study to go on the offensive and cleanse the church of those who have turned the house of prayer and praise into a house of confusion, contention and carnality.

OK, lets stop here for a moment. The "saints" you are discussing are obviously NOT the Biblical definition of the sainthood of believers, where every believer is a saint. You are using a more secular definition of "saint" referring to the supposedly older and wiser church leadership. There is a lot to be said for the wisdom that comes from years of service to the Lord, but when people are given too much authority, and left in those positions for too long - little feifdoms tend to develop. People perpetuate their authority for the sake of their authority alone - not necessarily for the sake of the ministry. There is a comfort zone that comes along with the familiar, the tried, the true. It tends to shut out new ideas, and those who are thinking creatively. The church becomes comfortable, stable, non-changing, the average age in the pew gets older and older, but the money keeps pouring into the plate steadily every week. The leadership never has to deal with complaints about anything changing. Younger, more creative ways of worship are risky to the financial bottom line, and those wanting something else can always go to another church.

GOD FORBID that we think there is anything desirable in that type of condition. The most stable church congregation in the world is the one buried in the graveyard in front of it. Stability and "playing it safe" is another way of being DEAD - lukewarm and complacant just as John described the church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation.

I agree that Christian rock can cause contentions. That is the very reason why I publically call for separate worship services for those who prefer this type of music. I also publically call on both sides of the issue to quit throwing stones at each other. The existance of old fogie music doesn't bother me, and I don't call those who prefer to worship to it carnal, questioning their salvation. All I want from them is the same courtesy. Lets each worship Jesus Christ in our own way, and let other people do the same!

Instead of "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" to build up and edify the believer, the brotherhood is beset with a relentless beat (which weighs on one's nerves and pounds in one's head until you feel you will break open) and syncopation (which evokes the most basic sensuous response from our bodies) which is purposely aimed at the physical and sensual instead of the spirit and the spiritual.

When music is aimed at the baser part of our nature, i.e. the promiscuous, then the spiritual has a difficult time surviving. And right 'now, many parents, pastors and elders are beginning to understand the drawing power of rock music -- played by either secular or sanctified groups -- viz., sex!

I am so sorry to see this tired old argument appearing in a serious essay. The old "rock music is sex" argument has been abandoned by most Christian rock opponents, who now realize that it is a totally false statement.

Or as Bob Larsen put it, "Rock musicians and singers are not only exponents of a musical form. They are secular gods to which young people easily relate because they embody the characteristics of this generation. They advocate promiscuous love, decry war, wear freaky clothing and long hair."

I need to put in a couple of words of caution regarding Bob Larson.

  1. During an interview with the Christian rock group Stryper, he was so impressed with their Christ-like attitude of love, even for Christian rock critics, that he changed his views right then and there on his program. He changed the thrust of his talk show from rock music to "cults and satanism" after that show. To cite him as a Christian rock critic now is dishonest. As far as I know, he is still a critic of secular rock (as I am).
  2. I was a regular listener to Bob Larson's "Talkback" show for several years, until I moved to a location where it was not on the air. I greatly admire his viewpoints on many issues, and believe him to be sincerely committed to Christ. There have, however, been some serious allegations of fraud by ex-employees of his ministry. These allegations may or may not be true, but until the matter is resolved in Bob's favor by independent authority, it is probably best to back away from using him as a source of information. I am speaking more to the Christian rock critics than my own point of view here. Bob may or may not be discredited. If he is discredited, the Christian rock critics will have to be quick to get references to him out of their essays! If you quote a discredited source, your own credibility is seriously in question!

Throughout the anti-Christian rock essays, there is a consistant and deceptive attempt to confuse secular rock with Christian rock. NO CHRISTIAN ROCK ARTIST advocates promiscuous love! Those that have been caught in adultery (only two out of over a thousand artists) have been ostracised by the Christian rock fans themselves, who demand sexual purity just as much as you do.

The "decry war" has a distinctly "Vietnam war" era ring to it. I believe that this sermon dates from the Vietnam War era. Personally, had I been in a church where the pastor had publically called for support of that unconstitutional conflict, I would have had to leave that church. Time and history has proven the Vietnam War critics right. There are times in the history of the church when Christian leaders have been WRONG, yet preached their mistakes as Biblical truth - sometimes with DEADLY results. Some examples:

  • The church adopted the cosmology of Plato as being absolute Biblical Truth. As a result, anybody saying that the sun, not the Earth, was the center of the universe was considered guilty of HERESY! Galileo spent the last years of his life under house arrest, after being forced to lie and say that the Earth was the center of the solar system, not the sun. It took that particular denomination until the 1990's, almost 400 years later, to publically acknowlege their error.
  • Cyril, the archbishop of Alexandria, Egypt - absolutely dispised the last serious scholar at the great library of Alexandria. At a time when women were essentially property, with no options in life but servitude and child bearing - Hypatia was a brilliant scholar, trying to recover what knowlege could be recovered after the great fire that destroyed most of the library. Because of Cyril's hatred of her, she put herself at great personal risk by remaining in Alexandria. Eventually, a fanatical group of Cyril's followers attacked and brutally murdered her. Cyril was made a SAINT for his actions. I personally will not walk in any building called "St. Cyrils" - because I honor the memory of Hypatia, not Cyril. The denomination that "sainted" him has never revoked his sainthood status.
  • Throughout the ancient world, statues are missing noses because somebody mis-interpreted one of the ten commandments. Bands of "Christian" vandals roamed the known world in the middle ages, disfiguring much of the art of the ancient world.
  • "Christian" crusaders in the middle ages tried to convert people of other faiths to theirs with swords and torture instead of the Word of God. And they even did it to each other over doctrinal differences. AND THEY ARE STILL AT IT TODAY!!! I can assure you, those who advocate violence in Northern Ireland will not see the Kingdom of God no matter which denomination they are.
  • Elderly women living alone in New England were often falsely accused of witchcraft and brutally murdered.
  • As late as the 1950's, African Americans were said to be an inferior race, and discrimination against blacks was justified because they were cursed by God with "the mark of Gideon".

Yes, I am being hard on the church, but with good reason. When we make mistakes, we harm the cause of winning the lost to Jesus Christ. Our foolishness is condemning people to hell, and we will be held accountable. There are certain things that have been preached in the past THAT SHOULD NEVER AGAIN SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY!!! I believe, for example, that every existing copy of "mark of Gideon" sermons directed against African Americans should be destroyed. They are embarrassments to the cause of Christ. I also believe that sermons preaching on the vailidity of the Vietnam War are also in this category. The Christian rock critics are holding Jesus Christ up to ridicule by resurrecting this FOSSIL (look at the file name) and putting it on the web. Americans who chose to fight in the war should be honored as veterens, but God's hand of blessing was not on our nation in the conflict and as a result we suffered our first wartime defeat. The Christian rock critics should at least take all refences to this conflict out of this document!!!

Wear freaky clothing???? Give me a break! Glory be to the Lord Jesus Christ that now, 25 years later, we can wear pretty much what we want to church. At least in the ones I go to. I live in FLORIDA - I don't see very many sport coats in church here. Yet at the time this sermon was preached, not wearing a sport coat would have been a scandal in a conservative church. Your bias against different economic backgrounds is showing. A church in an inner city would be filled with "freaky clothing" today. Are you going to throw them out and not let them hear the gospel?

Long hair? I guess I better repeat myself - I would not recommend you talk about long hair on men to Kevin Sorbo of the "Hercules" or Joe Lando of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman". Both are rather large, powerful men who would not receive your comments well. If you insist on applying "Biblical hairstyles", then none of the women in your church should have short hair.

The local congregation is having a difficult time believing that "Christian" rock groups are really adorning the gospel with a life style that befits Christ Jesus, the Lord. Many "Christian" or "gospel" rock groups are doing their best to fashion themselves after the world of the subculture.

Men sport long hair, tight fitting pants and black velvet jackets with Lennon sunglasses; women appear in mini skirts and establish a wiggle that exploits their sex appeal to the best advantage -- an advantage that would not, under normal circumstances, be considered conducive to worship.

The Christian rock performers are being all things to all men for the sake of the gospel, just like Paul. Got a problem with that? I didn't think so.

I am at the point of laughter reading the stylistically dated descriptions here. Visions of the late 60's or early 70's are dancing in my head - what a comical scene the styles mentioned above would be in a church today. What is even more funny is that I have seen at least two churches sponsor social events for their older adult members where these styles are the focus of the nostalgia and fun!

I do not advocate manners of dress that would attract attention to a woman's body during a worship service. But I will say that if a man is carnal enough to look - nothing the woman wears is going to matter. He is going to focus his gaze on the wrong places. The job of the pastor is to preach repentance of that type of lust.

Christian music, of course, should be music that worships and glorifies God and spiritually uplifts the believer or as Bach wrote, "The aim and final reason of all music should be nothing else but the glory of God and the refreshment of the spirit."

Rock music by its very nature, however, expresses an unspoken desire to smash such a worship to pieces since its appeal is not to the higher elements of man's nature, including his new nature, but to his lowest. Teenagers do not listen to rock because of its fine quality, but because of its erotic qualities.

So why can't exciting, vibrant, creative music with a fast beat be to the glory of God and refreshing of the spirit? You never do answer that because you like the boring fat lady singing opera, not the guy with the guitar singing to the youth.

I also make a distinction between "entertainment" and "worship" experiences. There are things that transpire at a Christian rock concert that are more entertainment than worship. For one thing, paying for a ticket to attend a concert implies an exchange. You pay money to be entertained, while a worship service is "free" (they pass a plate for contributions, however). It is free in the hope that more people will attend. But that does not mean that people can't worship in a concert, or be entertained in a church service.

Teenagers have a good deal more musical taste than you give them credit for. Rock music has many fine qualities, and I belive it is the most logical extension of the romantic period of classical music from the last century. It takes decades for time and the musical establishment to recognize what is "classical", and what is not. Rock music is beginning to validated by the classical musical establishment with people like the songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney being recognized as serious musicians. Unfortunately, they did not use their talents for the glory of God. Thankfully, there are good Christian rock musicians who are making inroads into this new style of music. They deserve praise, not criticism.

I have already commented on the erotic qualities of rock music - this is utter foolishness.

Jerry Rubin explains: "Hard animal rock energy-beat surged hot through us, the driving rhythm arousing repressed passion. Rock-and-roll marked the beginning of the revolution."

I have a problem with the Christian rock critics when they quote SECULAR sources for their "proof". I am not interested in anything Mr. Rubin has to say. He is about as totally sold out to the devil as they come. The devil is the father of lies - why should I trust anything he has to say? If the devil says rock music is bad, then maybe it is actually good!

And Bob Larsen said, "Rock makes an appeal to the physical and carnal. Those who live superficial lives spiritually will obviously gravitate quickly to such an approach .... rock which entertains by arousing the listener sexually, seems extremely ill-fitted to be clothed by the gospel, although in most instances rock becomes a cloak for the gospel."

See my comments above concerning Bob Larson. I think he would have a different opinion today. I would appreciate a recent quote from him on the subject, one after his interview with Stryper.

Some time back (1971) I spoke to a young people's rally in New Orleans. Over 700 Christian teenagers assembled at a church to hear a message on The NewPop Prophets -- a critique on rock music.

Preceding my sermon, the youth were treated to some "religious" entertainment by the church band - a rock band. For 20 minutes the amplifier blared forth a new sound; not a new sound to the world, but a new sound to the church. And it wasn't only "Christian" rock challenging one's eardrums. In fact. the last song on the program was John Lennon's atheistic rendition, Imagine.

As I listened to the new sound, my thoughts went back over my study of rock music and its influence on teenagers. Whoever observed that the church is only 24 hours behind the world spoke the truth.

Like the author of this piece, I am apalled that "Imagine" would be performed at a church for any purpose whatsoever. This is an extremely unfortunate incident, and the people involved deserved the harshest dicipline the church governing body could inflict!!! This incident, however, does not invalidate the ministry of Christian rock musicians. It was an unfortunate mistake made by the people in that church.

Only yesterday the world, the flesh and the devil initiated rock 'n' roll as an invaluable tool to populate hell and only yesterday it was rejected as heathen, atheistic and immoral. Today, the church is mimicking the world and trying desperately to dry clean or launder the music to make it acceptable for worship.

The Scriptures, of course, urge the believer to imitate God (Eph. 5:1 ) not the world, but in this modern age -- when everyone 13 to 16 years of age knows more than God -- who cares!

And, to add sin upon sin, Christian men who should know better, and probably do, write "Christian" rock music and apologize for it.

I have a different understanding of the history of the rock music style than you do! The best possible ancestry traces it to the black church of the last century. To the extent that Satan influenced the justification and perpetuation of slavery, he would be responsible for the black revival and negro spirituals. But you and I know that satan HATES men of faith, no matter what race they are. And he HATES negro spirituals that speak of the love and goodness of Jesus Christ.

To say that satan got together with demons and dreamed up the rock musical style is utter nonsense. I can't believe an intelligent person would propose such an idea.

Young people 13 to 16 do not know more than God, but they may indeed know more than you. Here again you show your prejudice against young people. Obviously you have very few (if any) friends this age, and if you have kids this age you are totally alienated from them. Kids this age demand (and deserve) recognition for being well on the way to adulthood, and have the right to their own musical taste and viewpoints on what is genuine and valid worship for them. If you disagree and force your standards on them, you will lose them.

"Christian" rock music is as consistent as "Christian" pot parties, "Christian" promiscuity or "Christian pornography. In fact, it might not be too long betore the latter will be defended with the same logic as "Christian" rock is presently being defended, viz., "You don't want to lose these teenagers now, do you?"

Do I even have to explain why this statement is ridiculous? I think this is a case where the critics make fools out of themselves, and alienate people. I have Biblical proof of the validity of Christian rock. I am totally opposed to drug use, promiscuity, and pornography. I can find scriptural condemnation of all three! That is the difference: THE WORD OF GOD - which you distort, misquote, and ignore when it does not conform to YOUR musical taste.

Lose them? What are we saving them from? And besides when has the end ever justified the means! Christians are never to pervert the right ways of the Lord. (Acts 13:10) Squeezing in a few "thank you, Jesus,'' or "Hallelujah, it's done" in rock music does not cleanse rock of its evils. Indeed, the lyrics of rock were not its main sin for some time. The beat of the music was its evil. In fact, a leading Marxist writer, Irwin Sulber, acknowledged that beat music was un-Christian. He said the great strength of rock was its beat, a beat which is "basically sexual, un-Puritan (i.e., un-Christian) and a threat to established patterns and values."

Here is another secular source. I cannot think of anything more anti-Christian than Marxism. It is of the devil, so if the devil tells me "don't read the Bible", or "don't go to church", or "don't use effective music to reach teenagers", am I supposed to listen or something? Of course a Marxist will say anything to keep the church from being an effective minister to young people at their point of need. The weaker brother merely has to here that something is sexual and he will condemn it like a good little puppet. The Marxists know exactly how to push your buttons and manipulate you. And you are doing their bidding.

And Bob Larsen noted in his work, The Day Music Died, "Syncopated rhythms evoked the most sensuous response from the human body, particularly when they are electronically accentuated. Many of the vital processes of life are based upon mythm. The vascular, respiratory and autonomic nervous systems all use it to perform their functions. Man is a rhythmic being and therefore has an inherent affinity for certain rhythms." Adding Christian words to a sensuous beat does not change its evil nature any more than adding Christian morals to a sinner changes his sin nature. The core is bad.

Once again they are quoting Bob Larson, who no longer feels this way. This is dishonest. As far as the beat disrupting natural rhythms, read my essays on plants and the anapestic beat. Hopefully that will bury these old rotting arguments.

Alice English Monsarrat in an article enlitled Music- Soothing, Sedative or Savage? wrote, "With the advent of the 20th century, the meters began to gallop brokenly stirrup to stirrup with harmonic dissonance and discord in the melodic line.

"A broken meter in the treble, played over an insistently regular beat in the left hand with gradually increasing rapidity almost to the point of frenzy... is capable of producing the identical disintegrating and almost hysterical effect on an organism; as if a person would try to rush madly in two directions at the same time."

She concludes, "Any psychiatrist knows that it is precisely this two-directional pull of conflicting drives of emotions that is helping to fill our mental hospitals with broken wrecks of humanity."

More deception here on the part of the anti-Christian rock critics. The key phrase is right there at the start "WITH THE ADVENT OF THE 20TH CENTURY". This is more than 50 years before anything even approaching rock music was recorded!!! As far as rock music's precursors, this was still the era of negro spirituals. There was no recorded music, so there could be no recording industry. Music was always heard performed live. So what music could she have been talking about? Certainly not rock music or any of its precursors, which are all characterized by extremely precise beat. She is talking about music with gradually increasing beat. I don't recall any rock songs secular or Christian fitting that category. If there is a change in tempo, it is sudden - and almost always at a multiple of the original beat. She also describes "broken meter in the treble". I am an electrical engineer. There were no "meters" (the volume indicator type) to break in 1900, so she is using a musical term for music WITHOUT a regular rhythm. That is the exact opposite of rock music. Indeed, there is a substantial amount of so-called classical music from the turn of the century through the early decades that abandoned traditional musical structure, traditional rhythm, traditional musical scales, etc. It is so disturbing that it is said to have caused people to get up and leave, and even cause fights. But this type of music is decades before rock music.

Miss Monsarrat correctly points out that it is precisely at this point that rock 'n' roll becomes potentially dangerous. To maintain a sense of well-being and integration, it is essential that individuals are not subjected too much to rhythms not in accord with one's natural body rhythms.

Here is the old anapestic argument again, these guys repeat themselves too much.

Add to this the fact that rock music is a music rooted in uncoated sexuality and you have an explosive situation. Jeff Greenfield in his work, No Peace, No Place, points out that Alan Freed, father of rock 'n' roll, made a discovery that shook the world. He discovered that white teenagers were attracted to rhythm and blues records recorded for black adults. Freed rechristened the adult music rock 'n' roIl and made history.

Here is yet another VERY thinkly veiled attack on black people. As though white teenagers should not be listening to rhythm and blues, because it is done by "black adults". Bigotry is very offensive to me - and Christ. As for rock music being sexual, this is NONSENSE.

Greenfield writes, "The twelve thousand who danced and sang and cavorted for hours let New ,York City know that this music was a good deal more than a fad --it was reaching something deep within the American teenager."

That "something," of course, was sex. "Each night, sprawled on my bed on Manhattan's upper west side," says Greenfield, "I would listen to the world that Alan Freed created: To a 12 or 13-year-old, it was a world of unbearable sexuality and celebration; a world of citizens under 16, in a constant stage of joy or sweet sorrow. The rhythms of the fast tempo songs were hypnotic; and you could lie still when Little Richard screamed out 'Tutty-Fruity,' or when 'Shake, Rattle and Roll' came bouncing out. New sexual sensations, driven by the impulses that every new adolescent generation knows, we were the first to have our music rooted in uncoated sexuality. In a sense, the editorials in the Archdiocese papers that demanded a stop to this obscene music were right; having been aimed for a decade to an adult audience, rhythm and blues music was a powerful boost of sexuality for a 13 year-old."

What a bunch of balony. Utter subjective nonsense - a total fantasy world. Kids respond to the WORDS in the songs, not the beat. The beat is enjoyable, yes - much more so than the fat lady singing opera garbage. But sexual? Give me a break. Kids that age know what sexuality is - it is a new sensation that they misuse like a loaded gun. BODILY CONTACT in dancing to the beat is sexual, and kids know that. But the music itself - NO! What is needed is careful supervision of the bodily contact at any youth activity, Christian concert, etc.

I am reading more bigotry against black music here - most distasteful.

Dr. Ronald Spranglet, chief school medical officer in Nottingham, England, charged that teenage pop music was probably to blame for the mounting obsession with sex. And Dr. Masterson, head of the adolescent outpatient at Payne-Whitney Psychiatric Clinic says, "The music is, in a way; a kind of sexual expression. The beat has genuine sexual implications."

Dr. Granby Blaine acknowledged an element of sexuality in the primitive rhythm and Dr. Bernard Saibel, supervisor of the State Community Services in the state of Washington reported a Beafte concert by stating, "The music is loud, primitive, insistent, strongly rhythmic and releases in an undisguised way the all too tenuously controlled, newly acquired physical impulses of the teenager."

And, finally, Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention put it very plainly, "Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body's rhythms."

Another secular source ----

In other anti-Christian rock essays, you will read that the beat is unhealthy because it is COUNTER to the body's natural rhythms, draining strength. Here, their "expert" says it matches the body's rhythms. WHICH IS IT? You CANNOT have it BOTH WAYS!!! Make up your mind and then make a consistant point.

Is it any wonder that Martin Perlich, vice president of Disc Records, insists that rock music has radicalized the young. Perlich says, "It radicalizes them by estranging them from the traditional virtues which they no longer see as relevant." And Time magazine notes that all rock is revolutionary because by. "its very beat and sound it has always implicitly rejected restraints and has celebrated freedom in sexuality ."

Reader's Digest (November, 1964) also observed something very important regarding rock music. "Rock 'n' roll," says Reader's Digest, "treats the concept of love with a characteristic doubleness. The lyrics generally capitulate to the Concept of true love, but the music itself expresses the unspoken desire to smash it to pieces."

Still more secular sources. I am not interested in the world's interpretation of Christian rock music. Of course satan does not like it.

Rock music, either worldly 'or churchly, is essentially materialistic and sexual. And as Bob Larsen notes, "Christian rock uses the beat and the sound which even the secular world associates with promiscuous SEX."

The church is hugging to its bosom, therefore, a form of music that will not turn its worshipers to God, but to the genitals, which is exactly What the old paganism did.

Although its lyrics might capitulate to the concept of true worship, the music itself will express an unspoken desire to smash it to pieces. "Christian" rock, therefore. is a form of spiritual fornication.

Again, the whole argument is built on the foundation that rock music is somehow sexual, an argument that I have disproved.

Phallic religion, whether Baal worship or Moloch, was essentially sexual. For some reason, it seems promiscuity is ever one stop away from religion. Indeed Rushdoony, in his Institutes of Biblical Law accents this very point. He says, "The relationship of sex and religion is thus a real one, it is an aspect of man's revolt from God. When man turns to self-worship, he ends by worshiping his own sexual vice."

He also says, "The frequently close connection of sex and religion can be granted; fertility cults are found in every part of the world, past and present. This relationship is, in fact, declared in Scripture to be an attribute of false religion... (Rom. 1:22-25)."

"As one approaches the death of an age," says Rushdoony, ."man's sexual activity becomes all the more intensely perversed, because his religious hunger has increased, and sex is his substitute God."

Rushdoony concludes by saying, "Sex and religion are thus closely and inescapably linked in every nonBiblical faith. It is the religious result of apostasy: man worships his own sexual evils and exalts his disgrace into a way of life."

Sorry to disappoint you, but you have the facts wrong. Phallic religions are extremely ancient, and no record of the music used during this type of worship survives. Indeed, there was probably no music at all - everybody was probably too busy having promiscuous sex. The only thing that we know for certain about phallic religions is the sexually exagerated features on the idols used. There are many examples of phallic statues in an excellent pre-Columbian art exhibit in the Mexico pavillion at EPCOT. The sexual features are so exagerated as to be almost humorous - it is a mystery how anybody could be sexually aroused by them. Certainly if they were real people clothed, they would receive many a comment about diets and breast reduction surgery to improve their appearance.

My point here is that there is absolutely no connection between phallic religions of the ancient world and rock music. Why are the critics trying to equate them? Rushdoony was indeed correct, but he was talking about phallic religion, not rock music.

Unfortunately, today, Christians are mimicking the rock stars who indeed could pass as high priests of any phallic cult.

I had no idea that you had mastered the art of time travel to know what phallic priests looked like. I am sure archaelogists would want you to take a video camera with you on your next trip back in time - so they could fill in the gaping holes in our knowlege of the subject!

And although some Christian teens have their eyes open to the evils of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jefferson Airplane, they generally have their eyes closed to the Osmonds, Cassidy's and other bubblegum rock stars. Only the most naive, however, can believe that these singers are morally acceptable for Christians.

As Bob Larsen writes, although words like "wholesome" are used to describe the Osmonds, "These words are really a shame, for the, whole performance is based on a crescendo of excitement that amounts to an orgiastic climax not known to the audiences of even some of the heavier rock stars. If the mother is naive enough to think that such idol worship is merely child's play, one can only feel pity knowing that slick Hollywood promotional agents have groomed these five soul-bubblegum idols into sex symbols with the adolescent record market."

Referring to David Cassidy of the television series, The Partridge Family, Larsen says, "He readily admitted his involvement in drugs and spoke mockingly of his female fans who after his concerts leave behind thousands of sticky seats."

I am laughing again - these artists are almost TWO generations old! Many people who enjoyed these artists are now GRANDPARENTS. Time passes.

Being more serious, I am in total agreement that these particular artists were ALL bad news, because they were ALL SECULAR. Again, the critics are confusing the issue by mixing the discussion of secular and Christian rock.

And one need only look at a "modern" congregation to see those who are mimicking the new masculinity look -- a look originating with the rock subculture. Just a few years' ago, we spoke of the long-hairs who appeared to have emerged from Central Park Zoo. Today, the "gorilla look" is in the Sunday school and church.

Are you saying you believe in evolution?! If you look at a gorilla, you will see that their cranial hair is actually quite short. Their hair is on their body - so your analogy is a very stupid one.

It took barely five years for Christians to accept rock into the Church and even less to accept men who call themselves fathers but look like mothers; Jacks who look like jills. It has been one of the slickest coups in church history, and all in the name of not wanting to offend youth. If Christian youth had been told the truth from the start, the Church would not be treading water now. But, of course, in a promiscuous age, there are no blacks and whites.

The Christian long-hairs tell their elders that the length of hair isn't an issue. But again only the totally naive and uninformed could fail for Such a ploy. In Jerry Rubin's book, Do It, a work which its publisher, Simon and Schuster, says is the "Communist Manifesto of our modern era" Rubin says. "Young kids identify, short hair with authority, discipline, unhappiness, boredom, rigidity, hatred of life -- and long hair with letting go, letting your hair down, being free, being open ."

He says, "our hair tells people where we stand on Vietnam, Wallace. campus disruption, dope. We are living television commercials for the revolution. We are walking picket signs."

Rubin further states, "Man was born to let his hair grew long and to smell like a man. We are descendants from the apes, and we are proud of our ancestry... long hair is the beginning of our liberation from the sexual oppression that underlies this whole military society. Through long hair we are engaged in a sexual assault that is going to destroy the political-economic structure of American society."

Here you go again, harping on issues like long hair that are hopelessly outdated. This is the 90's - and now the "problem" isn't long hair, but skinheads, and not all of them are men! There are many skinheads who would sooner slit your throat than hear anything about Jesus Christ, because the culture that was merely ambivalent to Christianity when this sermon was preached is now becoming violently opposed to it. Why? Because the parents and grandparents of today's youth were never reached by the church. It rejected the very types of music and ministry that might have reached them.

Now, one and sometimes two generations after you told the youth that their music was wrong and not welcome in the church - you are reaping a bitter harvest from what you sowed. You are reaping a harvest of people to whom church is:

  • irrelevant
  • boring
  • out dated
  • not intellectual
  • has no value to society
  • is actually a very negative place filled with "don'ts"
  • is a place where they will be uncomfortable and out of place
  • offers only judgement, not love

The fault is YOURS - Christian rock critics. Contemporary music is just one piece in a bigger problem - old established Pharisee families in political control of the leadership of churches. I submit that the people who are resisting change in the church so they can perpetuate their own authority are doing more damage to the Kingdon of God than satan and his minions!

So what do you do about skinheads? Tell them to grow hair?

Here goes yet another reference to America's war of shame - Viet Nam. I still say that the veterens of that war should be treated with the same respect as any veteren. But I also say that one's stand on VietNam has nothing whatsoever to do with their faith, and sermons such as this are an embarrasment to the church.

WALLACE???? The man was a BIGOT who stood in the entrance of a white school to prevent young black students from entering! If THAT is the type of man you are defending, I will take my stand with the black students trying to get in the door.

Evangelicals smirked when rock bands brought two strippers dancing down the aisles in liberal churches, but recently in Tulsa, Andre Crouch, at a Wednesday night prayer and praise service, had the worshipers prancing in the aisles.

and what is wrong with dancing with joy before the Lord? Ask Michal, the daughter of Saul ----

And Bob Larsen in his work, Rock and the Church, relates an incident Of a rock group from a well-known Midwest Christian university which performs in Southern California during the summer in the following manner:

NOTICE: The group is not specified!!!! It may or may NOT be a Christian group. WHERE is the accountability here??? How can we, ther Christian rock fans, hold this group accountable for un- Christlike behavior if we do not know who they are? Nathan the prophet stood before David and said "YOU are the man!" Why doesn't Bob Larson stand up and say to this group before their peers and the Lord "YOU are the man!"?

"The introductory song was Cream's big acid-rock hit, In the Sunshine of Your Love. It contains lyrics with reference to the sex act that are too crude to repeat. Fortunately this was a completely instrumental version. This group almost out-creamed the Cream. The driving rhythm and brass sections were kept going by not one, but two drummers, each with a complete trap set. For the first half-hour of the performance I waited vainly for at least one tame pop message song. No way. Just lots of good old heavy,'savage rock. At one point a young man from the group led the way with uninhibited frenzy in a dance up and down the aisles. Others followed him. I hadn't seen anything like this since l left the Far East where I observed heathen self-mutilation and torture rites."

This rock group, according to Larsen, told the audience "We're here to tell you of our personal faith in God." He said this statement was followed by a medley from the atheistic production Hair. Larsen said he waited in vain to hear about their personal faith in God, and in fact, the rock band never mentioned the school they represented which was probably a blessing in disguise for the school.

Of course, I'm sure some will argue that those prancing up and down the aisles were under the control of the Holy Spirit. Someday, the Holy Spirit will have the opportunity to defend Himself, but in the meantime, the Church will continue to sexualize and paganize her youth with "Christian rock."

If I knew who this group was, I would hold them accountable for their behavior and refuse them airplay until these unGodly actions stopped and they repented for their actions.

Rock music, either worldly or churchly is essentially materialistic and sexual. It makes as much sense to defend "Christian" pot parties, "Christian" promiscuity or "Christian" pornography as it does to defend "Christian" rock.

Here again, you are equating something that God has blessed in His word with things that are totally condemned in His word.

Christians, therefore, should seriously and prayerfully reassess "Christian" or "gospel" rock music, for following reasons, some of which are sufficient alone and others accumulative:

First, since Christian music is primarily music which worships and glorifies God and spiritually edifies the saints, "Christian" rock does not qualify since by its very musical nature it is erotic and not spiritual.

Turning worshipers on sexually was always part or pagan worship but never part of Christian worship. Christian worship accents the spirit. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).

Here is the old sexual arousal heresy again. Give it a rest - you guys are WRONG!

Second, since rock 'n' roll initially and obviously was of the world, flesh and the devil, and not of God, it would seem quite apparent that Christians should have nothing to do with it....

Some music is doubtlessly neutral regarding good and evil and some music can be either good or evil, but other music as Dr. Howard Hansen noted, "Can be soothing or invigorating, ennobling or vulgarizing, philosophical or orgiastic. It is power for evil as well as for good."

Why would Christians wish to toy With a music that is vulgarizing and orgiastic? Certainly, II Corinthians 7:1 should be considered cogent at this point, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

More of the sexual arousal myth, mixed in with a misunderstanding of the roots and history of rock musical style, rooted in negro spirituals of the black church. If you don't like jazz or the blues - remember it was the evil sin of slavery that caused that musical form to arise.

Third, "Christian' rock is essentially the uniting of Christian words to beat music. If God condemned the uniting of an ox and an ass (Deut. 22:10, 11) under a common yoke and wool and linen in the same garment (remembering the ox, ass, wool and linen were all of God) it seems nearly self-evident that God would condemn the uniting of His Word or words with music that is of the old nature.

And even the world admits that. beat music is not of heavenly origin. Nor is it from the higher order of man's nature, but from his lowest. "Christian" rock, therefore, fails under the prohibitions of II Corinthians 6:14f, i.e., uniting the righteous with the unrighteous, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with dark"ness?"

This is only true if you believe Christian rock is evil. I have strong Biblical evidence to the contrary. Therefore it is NOT being unequally yoked. It is in perfect harmony.

Your personal musical taste may be different than mine, but I really don't appreciate all the repeated attempts to criticize my musical taste as "wrong" and yours as "right". They are both right - for us. And wrong - for the other. And I am still not interested in your secular sources.

Fourth, "Christian" rock is an obvious compromise with the world, flesh and devil, and the Scriptures, both Old and New, exhort believers to choose the godly and shun the ungodly. Paul i.n II Corinthians 6:14 17 establishes the truth that there is no concord between Christ and compromising with the world of unrighteousness. are supposed to come out and be separate "and touch not the unclean thing."

Joshua, in Joshua 24:15. asked Israel to choose between the Lord and the false gods of Canaan,.and Elijah said: "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him, but if Baal, then follow him" (I Kings 18:21).

Rock music today. as Dr. Barn Ulanov said, "might be a liturgical music for a new kind of religion." But it is a false religion and the sooner Christians make up their minds and choose which God they wish to worship, the better for the Church.

It is NOT an obvious compromise with the world. Not to me, not to my pastor. Not to a lot of people who are too polite to confront you. But politeness is not always Christlikeness. Sometimes the truth needs to be spoken in love.

Fifth, "Christian" rock is essentially spiritual fornication and, therefore, fails under the condemnation of Scripture. The Greek word for fornication is porne from which we derive our English word pornography. The expression "fornication" covers a much wider swath than just a sex act.

It includes sexual perversion of the mind as well as the body. Indeed, rock music, with its erotic. promiscuous nature, performs in music what pornography performs in literature.' I1 arouses the lewd side of human nature. Scripture. therefore, condemns rock under the aegis of fornication and/or pornography.

You keep repeating yourself - the same arguments over and over. Rock, Christian or otherwise is NOT sexual. If it were, I would be aroused listening. So would you. So would anybody. I don't experience arousal. You didn't. Bob Larson didn't. So - it is NOT automatically a sexually arousing force. Liking it or hating it is not a factor. You - a critic are not aroused. Me - as a fan am not aroused. Nothing - zero - zip. If I am not, there must be others who are not. If there are others, then some of them will be teenagers. Maybe its not some, maybe it is most teenagers who are not aroused. Maybe there are some "kooks" out there who are. Maybe some of the kooks are teenagers. But then maybe there are kooks who are aroused by the fat lady singing opera, too. Your arguments are VALUELESS because they are built on a wrong assumption - that rock music is sexually arousing.

Sixth, "Christian" rock conditions Christian young people to listen to secular rock with its emphasis on drugs, sex and revolution. In fact, most of those advocating "Christian"' rock have little or no criticism of secular rock and some even have a permissive attitude toward pot. Such influence on Christian teenagers is catastrophic.

Finally, semi-new theme in here! Whew - like a breath of fresh air. NO NO NO! A thousand times NO! I do not encourage anybody to listen to secular rock! I have taught seminars about it, and gone on the air about it. Do NOT listen to secular rock! If you MUST - exercise your mind actively and listen to the lyrics. If they begin to say something that grieves your spirit, find another song immediately. You are playing with loaded dynamite. Some, perhaps most of the songs are pretty benign. Pretty useless, but perhaps entertaining. But satan has your ear, you are on his station, beware of his messages!

Do you know who is encouraging young people to tune into secular rock? It is the Christian rock CRITICS! Radio is too pervasive for kids to avoid. It is everywhere. The Christian rock critics have done an excellent job in keeping it off the radio. Without a Godly alternative, most kids and now most adults tune to non-Christian radio OUT OF SHEER BOREDOM!!!! There is nothing on the radio that they can relate to, so they find something they can relate to. Satan happily obliges, laughing at you critics who have subverted the very tools that Jesus provided to reach your kids.

Seventh, "Christian" rock bridges the gap between the secular and the sacred and therefore breaks down the barrier between the Church (the ground of Truth) and the pagan world. Christians are forgetting that "friendship of the world is enmity with God ... a friend of the world is an enemy of God" (James 4:4).

Good, another new point. Lets examine it! There is a heresy that came into the church, almost un-noticed with DEVASTATING results. The heresy is that because the world is tainted with sin and somehow "nasty", that we Christians should retreat into the walls of the church and separate ourselves from the world. You may have seen traces of this "theology" in several of their points above. The problem with this idea is that it ignores the passages in scripture about being "salt and light" to the world - about being sowers of the good seed, do-ers of miracles, evangelists. If we turn inward we minister to our own needs and do nothing to win others. We become self centered and selfish.

Eighth, "Christian" rock enhances the possibility of neurosis since the music causes a conflict between knowing one should be spiritual but feeling carnal.

What a pathetically weak argument compared to the last two, which were actually compelling before you analyzed them. I have no conflict - and I am a man with a strong faith who is totally sold out to the Lord Jesus Christ, walking in His Spirit. I am one in the Spirit with many others who do not have such a conflict. Our existance should not be a stumbling block to you, it should be a JOY to you - to know that the Lord Jesus Christ loves such a diversity in those who loves Him totally.

Ninth. "Christian" rock makes a shambles of means and ends. Christianity has never believed the end justifies the means. There is a right way to present the claims of Christ (Acts 13:1 O) and a wrong way (Acts 16:17, 18). Yet Christians are now arguing t!at the end (saving teens) justifies the means (rock music).

WRONG! Paul taught circumcision, even if he personally saw no use in it and knew that it was no longer valid. The end justified the means! Paul taught this many times, that becoming "all things to all men" was absolutely necessary to win as many as possible to Christ.

Tenth, "Christian" rock ends up glorifying the identical things secular rock glorifies viz., "the big beat, ??ncopation, long hair, mini-skirts, freaky clothes, and 'in many instances tne subculture's lett-wing stance. Since most Christian young people know nothing of the Communist conspiracy. they should listen carefully to the following statement by Susan Sontag, a Castro apologist.

Writing in Ramparts Magazine, Sontag said, "Tne American new left is correct to be anarchic, because it is out of power. The freaky clothes, rock, drugs. sex are pro'revolutionary forms of cultural subversion and so you can have your grass and your orgy and still be moral and revolutionary. But in Cuba, the revolution is in power, and so it follows that such disintegrative 'freedom' is inappropriate."

Unfortunately, many Christians are aiding the pro-revolutionary subversion of our culture.

Gee- your text recognizer software is bad! Next time get Textbridge Pro (yes I DO endorse it!!!) Anyway, from here on out, the original text contains more and more typos, an indication that even their editor was getting bored with reading this outdated material.

I have talked about the "beat" in the essay on the anapestic beat. I frankly feel that the beat is the result of the industrial society, filled with rhythmic, repetitive sounds. It becomes a familiar pattern of sound for millions upon millions of people, and naturally "beat" shows up in music as well.

If you are talking about "syncopation", it has another name: STACCATO. This type of short, abrupt note has been around since the beginning of written music - are you saying it is evil to compose music with staccato notes? Better throw out the "Hallelujah Chorus" then. Its so full of staccato that it is extremely difficult to perform.

More long hair references and miniskirt references - both are so hopelessly out of style I won't even respond to them any more. Also more bigoted "freaky clothes" references.

Any Christian artist that expouses a communist stance is quickly removed from airplay at every Christian station I know anything about. Communism is in decline world wide, and not the threatening menace it was at one time. There are a few holdouts such as Cuba and China, but they are mainly hanging on because of a charismatic leader, or group of leaders. When Castro dies, Cuba's communist regime probably does as well, for example. Therefore, the point made here is very weak or irrelevant. But - if you want to look at what is taking communism down world wide, it is the desire of the population to be MORE LIKE the United States in freedom and prosperity. A small part of it is the young peoples desire to hear rock music (unfortunately not always Christian).

Eleventh, "Christian" rock groups are constantly playing secular rock, including some of the most blasphemous material available. This. of course, gives an aura of respectability to a music that has no spiritual justification or redeeming Christian qualities. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to warn Christian teenagers about the dangers of rock music in general.

WHO????!!!! Give me a name, and they are OFF THE AIR! But you can't, because there may have been only one or two - and they don't exist as a group 25 years later. The Christian community purged itself of them long ago.

Twelfth, "Christian" rock groups have brought into the Church a music created by a permissive society. Thus, Christian youth are not even being given our culture's finest music, but worse. Indeed, we are musically feeding these youth our cultural refuse.

No again! Check your musical history again. The negro spirituals of the last century that led to the blues and jazz are a direct result of revival in the black church. A revival that started when black slaves were oppressed by the SIN of slavery! The church and therefore its music have always flourished in the midst of persecution. It was NOT a permissive society, that created it.

As for Christian youth being given our culture's finest music, I presume you mean the big fat lady singing an opera solo in front of an uncomfortably dressed congregation, complete with choir in hot sweaty robes and amateurs trying to sound like an orchestra. I am sorry - but I would rather hear a bunch of cats fighting and mating in an alley than opera screeching. The cats would sound better. Or maybe you are talking about the man with the deep bass voice (how many cigarettes did it take to deepen his voice like that?) I am sorry, but I would rather hear a herd of cows moo'ing - it sounds better. Why is it that you would presume to sit me in front of boring music that I absolutely cannot understand and absolutely hate? I would never force you to sit down in front of a Christian rock band knowing how much you hate it. Does that make your music wrong and mine right? No more than it makes my music wrong and your right.

Thirteenth, "Christian" rock groups are mimicking the secular rock groups life style instead of adorning the gospel of Christ and imitating God (Eph. 5:1; Phil. 1:27). Yet there are few as immoral as the secular rock stars.

In fact, one writer stated that these stars "have the morals of a rabbit hutch." Why Christians would desire to reflect such a life style is proof that Satan is still the prince of power of the air.

NOT the stars I have met and interviewed live on the air. Not the ones I have researched extensively before giving them airplay. We have high standards for airplay, and any group who is not living a lifestyle worthy of emulation by young people is pulled immediately. Thankfully there have not been any (we do not play Sandy Patty or Michael English because they do not fit our format - but they would have been pulled if we did).

What writer? Give sources! The Bereans checked out every word that Paul said, and only after they had verified it did they accept Jesus Christ. Please give us the same opportunity. If you have a point to make, let us research it and let it stand up to rigorous scrutiny. The Bible warns against things done in secret.

As far as the "rabbit hutch" goes, I presume you are referring to sexual promiscuity, which I have already addressed. Your attempt at sounding "cute" is laughable. Remember - breeding babies is the LAST thing someone caught in adultery wants to do. That exposes their sin to the whole world. As for "morals" - how can rabbits have any? In fact, they are doing exactly what God in His wisdom designed them to do - having lots of baby rabbits because predators take most of the babies. If the rabbits are doing exactly what God designed them for, then they are a good deal more noble than man, who continually rebels against God's plan! In the sense of doing what God designed me for (having fellowship with HIM), I wish I were as in tune with His plan as those rabbits are!

If you want to talk about sexual promiscuity, I remind you that one of the most outspoken Christian rock critics - Jimmy Swaggart, was caught in adultery and brought the name of Jesus Christ into much ridicule.

Fourteenth. "Christian" rock stars whose morals approach the secular rock stars have no more business singing about Christ and the Christian life than preachers who can't practice what they preach.

Christ labeled the Pharisees hypocrites because they outwardly appeared righteous, "But within were full of hypocrisy and iniquity" (Matt. 23:28). Paul also took out after those who failed to walk their talk (Rom. 3:22).

Since rock music inevitably leads to loose morals, if most "Christian" rock groups would cease living a double life, most "Christian" rock groups would cease for lack of participants.

I whole heartedly agree with your first paragraph. We are all sinners saved by grace, but someone who has a problem with blatant sin should not be involved in ministry in any way. The church should, and in many cases does have accountability and restorative authority. Anyone in ministry who falls publically MUST submit themselves to a local body for this restoration.

Careful - it was the Pharisees who tried to preserve tradition and their own authority. They would not embrace "new" and "radical" concepts such as repentance, baptism, and the inconvenient (for them) appearance of the Messiah.

I am not in agreement with your last paragraph. Rock music does not lead to loose morals any more than classical music leads to good morals. Both are musical styles, nothing more, nothing less. Since an overwhelming majority of Christian rock stars ARE living Christ centered, moral lives - well they have not ceased yet in the 25 or so years since this was written.

Fifteenth, "Christian" rock groups, by looking like the secular hippie subculture, are helping to promote the blasphemous idea that Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, is the ideal super hippie.

The days of hippies are long past, making this point moot.

Sixteenth, "Christian" rock groups prove the validity of Luke 16:8, "the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." The children of the world along with the powers of darkness know exactly what rock is doing to teenagers. If Martin Pedich knows that "rock radicalizes them by estranging them from the traditional virtues which they no longer see as relevant," then Christian musicians should know as much. But for some reason, the children of light cannot or will not grasp the most elementary facts of life regarding rock music.

What ARE you talking about? What a mess! You tried to make a logical point and just lost your readers. I am above average intelligence and can't follow your statement. Here is my attempt at interpretation --- it sounds like you are criticizing young fans of these groups for questioning authority of their elders regarding Christian rock. I agree that it is important for younger believers to look to more mature believers for guidance in their spiritual life, and I encourage every new believer to find a mentor somewhere - someone they can be accountable to. It has been 25 years since this sermon was preached. There are plenty of older believers who listen to Christian rock. I have gotten calls from people in their 70's and 80's.

Seventeenth, "Christian" rock groups are establishing the bunkers in which carnal Christians may hide from the reality of true spirituality. When Christian young men and women can dance up and down the aisles with uninhibited frenzy to the heat of "Christian" rock, approaching the antics of the heathen, then it's time someone preached on sowing and reaping to the flesh (Gal. 6:8).

Notice the careful verbage here - "frenzy" and "heat", trying once again to say that the rock music style is somehow sexual. When is the last time you looked at the translated lyrics of some operas? Filthy and pornographic do not seem strong enough ---. I recall that about the time this sermon was preached - the BALLADS of Elton John, hardly rock music at all, were the subject of "burnings" at church youth groups, because the passionate lyrics WERE sexually stimulating young people.

I deeply resent being called a "carnal" Christian just because I choose to worship to a different style of music than the author. Also, I have covered the subject of Michal, the daughter of Saul, and what happened to her when she tried to forbid dancing as an act of worship to the Lord.

Eighteenth, "Christian" rock is divisive. Whereas both young and old can enjoy the Haflelujah (;horus, oider saints cannot take the loud, heavy, rock sound and are walking out of services. Since secular rock was geared to fracture still further tne generation gap, it seems rather foolish for Christians to be responsible for splitting young and old because of music bred in hell. Besides, Christian young .people are to love their fathers, mothers and their elders.

This is admittedly one of the more valid points that the author makes. It is the "eating meat offered to idols" dilemma. On the one hand, you have the weaker brother - in this case the one that objects to Christian rock, and the stronger brother, the one who realizes he has freedom in Christ to listen to Christian rock. Paul was clear that he abstained from idol meat so the weaker brother wouldn't stumble. I strongly advise Christian rock fans not to flaunt theire freedom to "shock" their elders. On the other hand, there is the opposite problem. If we abstain from everything that makes a weaker brother somewhere stumble, sooner or later we couldn't get out of bed and say "its a nice day" without offending somebody. So what do we do? Practice our individual musical preference in churches and settings designed for our taste, and avoid places where there are apt to be Christian rock critics. The burden is on us to demonstrate our love for the weaker brother. It may mean we have to change churches, use headphones, not use the radio in the car --- whatever is appropriate to not inflict our musical taste on somebody else. It is unfortunate, but true, that our very existance as Christian rock fans will bother some people. But Paul also talks about not being entangled again in a yoke of legalistic bondage. You cannot help that there are anti-Christian rock bigots out there who would publish hate literature such as this. I only hope that this bigotry against our doctrinal views does not graduate to hate crimes of the type that happen in Northern Ireland.

Nineteenth, "Christian" rock, like its progenitor "secular" rock, manifests a characteristic doubleness, Although its lyrics may respect, for example, the concept of true love, the music itself expresses the unspoken desire to smash it to pieces.

So in worship, although the lyrics might acknowledge the concept of true worship, the music itself expresses the unspoken desire to smash it to pieces. 1'his, of course, leads to the most basic denials on the pan of Christian young people including a deniai of God, salvation and true spiritual Christianity. The spiritual shipwrecks caused by rock -- Christian or secular -- will be legion.

This shows an unmistakable dislike of the musical style. For those that worship to Christian rock, there is no double mindedness - this is the way that they worship. Not everybody is quiet, namby pamby, laid back. Those who listen to Christian rock are primarly those who are "army of God" types - an "in the face", up close and personal, change the world, fight the enemy, reclaim the world for Christ type of person. I feel like I am in good company. I am tired of associating with spiritual couch potatos.

I think 25 years is enough elapsed time to call this point a prophecy. He is half right and half wrong. The spiritual spipwrecks caused by secular rock are legion. To the best of my knowlege, there are no spiritual shipwrecks caused by Christian rock. Many of the young people he was concerned about are still faithfully following Christ and passing their love for creative church music on to their children and grandchildren. The dire predictions of disaster were greatly over exaggerated.

I remind the author that true prophets are NEVER wrong, even in the slightest detail. You might want to quickly rescind your prophecy - the fate of false prophets in the old testament was stoning! In the new testament, under the new covenant, false prophets are thrown in the lake of fire.

Twentieth. it seems a bit inconsistent if not incongruous, for Christian young people to praise "Christian" rock because someone tacked a Christian or near Christian message to beat music when these same Christian young people defend their listening to secular rock by arguing they do not listen to the lyrics, but only to the beat. If this is true, why should the unsaved listen' to the lyrics of "Christian" rock?

This would be a valid point, except for the fact that Christian young people often have no choice. You and I both know the process of salvation is a walk. At the moment of salvation, the penalty of eternal separation from God for sin is lifted, with life changing consequences. But these life changes, for the most part, occur gradually. There may be dramatic healings, lifting of addictions, etc., but the person is left in tact, with their same personality, talents, abilites. It is reasonable to assume that their musical taste after being saved will be the same as it was before. The young person will now have spiritual blinders off, and be able to appreciate the message in the Christian rock. They will be open to discarding secular rock completely, and substituting Christian rock.

It is very presumptuous of a church or ministry to try to enforce on a newly converted young person their standard of "right musical style" and "wrong musical style". This puts a WORK into the young person's salvation, at a time when they need re-enforcement of basic doctrine that salvation is by grace, not be works! The wise youth leader waits for the young person to ask HIM or HER, rather than coming on too strong with suggestions and advice that may or may not be welcome. You are dealing with a person who is functionally an adult - would you enjoy having your musical taste criticized at this emotionally vulnerable time?

Most Christian young people have no steady source of Godly Christian rock music. The Christian rock critics have really done a number on the church, and the Christian radio stations. I am frustrated by it myself. I am sorry - slow ballads on Christian "rock" stations do not mean anything to me. I am 43, and there are some real clunkers being promoted on supposedly "hot AC" and "CHR" stations. Whenever you guys play a clunker, I can either turn the radio off or change the station. I change the station. Hopefully the other "AC" station in town is between clunkers. I think the clunkers are put in there by well meaning but mis-guided station managers who still feel intimidated by the preaching station across town, or the old fogies in their church. There is a real bias against stations that play music, and especially those that play Christian rock. There are those who would replace all Christian music stations with just preaching. And they have a lot of clout. It takes a brave, committed man to stand up for teenagers and say "NO CLUNKERS" on my station. He risks much ostracizing by the old fogie power stucture.

So what if there are clunkers on every station, or no music at all. I am NOT going to listen to opera screeching or cows moo'ing crooning, 4:4 soprano choirs, classical arrogance orchestras, or country bumpkin gospel just because somebody else thinks it is more spiritual. I take a cue from the Godly Christian woman God gave me as a wife. I turn on the "oldies" station - when secular rock was mostly benign love songs. It gets monotonous, hearing the same songs for the 50th time. The Christian rock exists, I would rather be hearing things that lift my spirit instead of being a waste of time - but the Christian radio stations are afraid to play it. How many spiritual shipwrecks does THAT cause among young people? They may be unaware of the dangers of secular rock and go right back to their secular music after being saved, because the Christian station in town let them down!!! They gave it a try, and heard "Butterfly Kisses" which is sickening to them. Or George Beverly Shea. Or Jimmy Swaggart. The possibilities are endless ---- Not to take anything away from these songs or artists. They are just meaningless to young people who are NOT READY for that style of music. They tune to it - "what is THIS junk??" "change the station - QUICK!!!" "Oh YUK!" "That s_cks". Congratulations, Christian radio. You just lost another listener. It may be a long time - if ever - before they tune YOU in again!

Twenty-first, the Christian Church has neglected a basic principle enunciated in I Timothy 5:22, "Lay hands suddenly on no man." Following the conversion of many drug and rock freaks, Christians forget to instruct them tully in the ways of the Lord, but instead made them into instant Christian leaders.

Many of these drug freaks became "Jesus" freaks, by .substituting "jesus" for pot, heroin, cocaine. etc., but continuing the same basic life style of the pagan hippy subculture.

Instead of a real break with the world these youth simply transferred their hang-ups to the Church, thereby infecting Christian youth with their hang-ups. Talking of "Jesus" swinging to ,Christian" rock, sporting Lennon or Rubin hairdo's became the new Church look.

All talk of separating from the world (II Cor. 6:14f) was ban i shed as irrelevant and Pharisaism. All that mattered was showing the world that "Christian" young people could be just as hip as it.

OK, this is definitely a new one! What the author fails to realize is that there is no such thing as instant stardom. Most of the artists that produce Christian rock have "paid their dues" in the music business, taking years to reach their pinnacle of success and their national recognition as a Christian leader.

Also, comparatively few Christian rock groups are converted secular rock groups or musicians. Most groups formed within a church, and are Christian right from the start. You say "many", I say few - or at least 25 years later: NONE. Of the Christian rock groups formed during the Jesus Freak movement, I believe all have dissolved over the years. Which is a shame, because some of the early Christian rock groups produced some of the most evangelical recordings ever done in ANY style.

Suppose there were Christian rock groups formed by former drugs users / addicts - just for argument's sake. WHO are YOU to judge their salvation experience? If it is genuine, you may not have to fellowship with them, but you MUST accept them as fellow Christians, and LOVE them. If it is not genuine, the Christian rock fans and recording industry will not tolerate them for long!

More discussion of styles long past ---- sigh. I wish I still HAD hair to fashion into a John Lennon (or any) style.

Believe it or not - they do make a valid point (but very badly). If Christian young people are emulating styles of clothing or music to impress the world, then they are WRONG! Be yourself - if you listen to Christian rock because that is how you find meaning in worshipping the Lord, then continue. But if you listen to Christian rock because its sounds so much like secular that you can "get away with it" around your friends - if it does not help you draw closer to the Lord, but only closer to secular friends: DISCONTINUE listening IMMEDIATELY.

By the way --- hippie (see point 15) or hippy - get the spelling consistant!

And finally, St. Paul sets forth two thoughts [hat are germane to this discussion. ln I Timothy 4:1, he says that in the end times some shall depart from the faith, '*giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrine of demons."

And in I Thessalonians 5:21 he says, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." Rock music should not be held fast since it is not good and it could well be a seducing spirit promoting doctrines of demons.

In this late hour it is time for those who truly believe to "show their deeds" (Acts 19:18), .by doing exactly what the early Christians did with their "Satan-inspired works" viz., "burned them before men" (Acts 19:19). And the results would undoubtedly be similar, "So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed" (Acts 19:20).

Yes - by all means beware of seducing and deceiving spirits. Just remember, the devil can, and occasionally has dressed in a $2000 5 piece suit with a jewel studded watch, preaching false doctrine. Test everything, study everything, read both points of view on the issue of Christian rock, find the place where the Lord would have you, and stay there with confidence - the confidence of an informed, spirit-filled, free, intelligent person. Just as God created you - to be in fellowship with Him. Not necessarily in fellowship with these critics, however. They have made their decision, it appears irrevocable. They have a right to their opinion, but it is an opinion, NOT Biblical proof - unless the Lord gives you a conviction against this music. Then it IS binding.

Apologetics Index | Email Me