An answer to:

What's Wrong With Christian Rock's Fruit

by Jeff Godwin

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The other side says My response

In 1985, the Lord Jesus Christ put my wife and me into this ministry to expose Satan's dirty work in popular music. Nearly six years, dozens of meetings and several thousand letters have gone by since then. The Lord Jesus has taught us many things, but one of His greatest lessons is found in the following scripture:

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits... A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:15,16,18-20

I have been writing these apologetics essays for a year and a half now, and I have been exposed to Jeff's "ministry" style. I respect his right to his own opinion, and believe he honestly thinks he is doing right. His methods, however, are far from Christlike. He does not know his material in some cases, in others he attempts to confuse secular and Christian rock. He attempts to shift the focus from a Christian rock musician to the very worst of the secular rock musicians, without even telling you he has changed the subject. He resorts to personal insults directed at anybody who disagrees with him, even to the point of acting like some spiritual authority, and accusing anybody with a different opinion of being deluded, or even unsaved.

Those verses have a very simple meaning - FALSE PROPHETS ARE KNOWN BY THEIR ROTTEN FRUITS. Most "Christian" Rock defenders believe the "clean" lifestyles and glowing speeches of their C-Rock and CCM idols are C-Rock's fruit.

Not true! The C-Rock and CCM "fruit" is rebellion, and the fans are full of it! The rebellious lives of "Christian" Rock's fans are the real fruit of these modern musical prophets.

"Full of it" - be careful, Jeff - this has a different meaning! Unless, that is, you intend to REALLY insult us. Rebellion is a major theme of this essay. Yes, if I were under Jeff's authority, a member of his church or whatever he has - I would be in rebellion against this doctrine of his. But it is a doctrine of man, not of the Bible, which teaches a different message. I could not, in good conscience, place myself under Jeff's authority, knowing what he thinks on this issue, which is admittedly important to me. Christian rock is the most meaningful worship music for me, and the burden falls on me to find a body of believers that is in agreement with me on this issue. Fortunately, there are many churches around the country where this type of music is used to worship. Praise be to Jesus, who loves each believer at their point of need, there is a home church for every believer, regardless of their worship style. What matters is the teaching of Bibical inerrancy, and the deity of Jesus from before the creation. If Jeff has a problem with churches that teach this and happen to use rock music in their worship services, the problem is his, not ours.

Is this fruit godly and good - or wicked and corrupt? The Word of God has much to say about this issue, and anyone who claims Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour should have no problem accepting the Bible as the final authority. With that in mind, let's take a walk through the "Christian" Rock orchard.

Another characteristic of many Christian rock critics is to try to be "cute" --- "Christian rock orchard????" Give me a break!

In the years we've been involved in this ministry, my wife and I have had the privilege of meeting many hundreds of Christian teens and young adults at our Rock music seminars and other speaking engagements across the country. When the total hypocrisy behind "Christian" Rock is revealed to them, four reactions usually follow:

  1. ANGER
  2. CONFUSION
  3. DENIAL
  4. DELUSION

Here's an in-depth examination of each one:

ANGER

When confronted with the truth about C-Rock's ungodliness, the average fan fires back with all guns blazing:,

"What gives YOU the right to judge? What about all the good work these people do, feeding the hungry and helping the poor? They talk about teen suicide and staying pure until marriage. They're anti-dope and pro-God. How DARE you put them down?"

Already, Jeff is starting a process of subconsciously prejudicing you against Christian rock fans. He is trying to paint us all as be confrontational. I caution any Christian rock fan NOT to be confrontational. I counsel fans to simply walk away from encounters with the weaker brother for whom this music is a stumbling block.

These are all valid points. Let's see how the Bible addresses them.

"What gives YOU the right to judge another person's ministry?"

According to Leviticus 19:15, Matthew 7:1-5, & John 7:24, ANY Christian has the right to match anything against the Bible. If a ministry is truly of God, it will match up perfectly with the Bible. The problem comes when the things in question violate the Word of God. THAT'S when people get mad - when hypocrisy is unmasked and laid bare for all to see.

James 1:20 says, "For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." If you get MAD when I question your favorite music or star, this is powerful proof of Satan's influence in your life (2 Peter 2:19). Idol worshipers get angry when their idols are pulled down (judges 6:25-30).

Believe it or not, I am in complete agreement with Jeff here - as a look at the front page of my apologetics essays shows. If a Christian rock fan is in idolatry, putting music before the Lord, they should back away from Christian rock until Jesus is Lord of their life, not a musical style. But the counterpart of that is that if anger does not result, if a Christian rock fan can love the person questioning them enough to walk away from the confrontation, they it proves my point that we can be just as strong spiritually, and just as correct as Jeff. What does it matter to YOU, a Christian rock fan, WHAT Jeff thinks? It is his opinion. He is entitled to it, just as you are to your opinion. If you know where you are with the Lord, and the music is not an idol or stumbling block - then reading his opinion shouldn't bother you a bit. Read it, if you agree with it, stop listening to Christian rock. But if his arguments don't apply to you, don't be uspet by them. They are not worth another thought.

"But what about all those "good" works done by "Christian" Rockers?"

2 Corinthians 3:1,2 proves the Apostle Paul could care less about letters of recommendation from anyone concerning his good works. The fact that CCM stars throw their weight behind good causes shouldn't overly impress you. There are several reasons why:

The Satan-worshipping secular music stars do the same thing! They're up to their evil necks in Live Aids, Hear N' Aids, Aid For Africa, Farm Aids, Earth Aid and Aid for AIDS. As long as they keep getting free publicity, those chumps will play Aid concerts till the cows come home. Does that make them Christians?

Such activity is any Christian's REASONABLE SERVICE (Romans 12:1-3). Pumped-up brownie points may look good on a Christian resume' and boost record sales, but that doesn't mean God is glorified. Even the BEST of these musicians' good works doesn't impress God (Isaiah 64:6).

I also agree with Jeff on this one. Good works without faith are dead. Works are a result of love for others, coming out of the love you have for Jesus Christ. The secular artists may be good people. Unsaved, but good. The works do not help them attain salvation.

CONFUSION

As his anger fades, the average CCM fan falls into confusion: "But my favorite CCM star wouldn't do that, would they? How can they talk about Jesus, and still be doing the Devil's work? Why would Satan tell people about JESUS? That would be a pretty stupid thing for him to do, wouldn't it?"

Here is another subtle bias against Christian rock fans - "wouldn't do that, would they". Jeff is trying to paint us as uninformed about the subject, a favorite artist, etc.

Consider the following quote to get your answer:

"If we continue on this path, respectable, industrious and honest, if we fulfill our duty faithfully, it is my conviction, the Lord God will continually help us in the future. He will not leave respectable people in the lurch indefinitely. He may test them, but in the end He lets His sun shine upon them and gives them His blessing."

Guess who spoke this profound spiritual truth? Billy Graham? Martin Luther, perhaps? Could it have been John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, or some other great Christian leader from the past? No! The author of those words was:

Adolf Hitler!

Talk is always cheap. It's the FRUIT behind the words that really counts.

Anyone who takes "Christian" Rock at its media-hyped face value has fallen into deep deception. if you believe everything you read and hear about "Christian" Rock, the simple truth is this:

YOU DON'T KNOW YOUR ENEMY! (1 Peter 5:8, 2 Corinthians 2:11). Jesus Christ doesn't need a commercial from the Devil, as Acts 16:16-18 shows so well:

"And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed of a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour."

That demon-possessed girl was well able to proclaim God's truth. What does Satan gain from "Christian" Rock? The answer lies in one word - CONFUSION.

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." James 3:16

God is not in the business of confusing His people (1 Corinthians 14:33). But Satan is (John. 8:44).

Are you confused about "Christian" Rock? The only thing that will bring you out of it is the WHOLE Word of God (John 17:17), combined with the leading of the Holy Ghost (John 16:13). The Bible lays this out perfectly:

"Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:104,105

Confusion always breeds more confusion, and it isn't long until C-Rock followers start making excuses like these:

Pretty interesting, but also pretty irrelevant. Who is confused? Certainly not me! I know exactly where I stand with Jesus Christ, I am fully informed as I can be about the lyrics the artists are singing, and their scriptural or Christian life principle references. I am also very observant of the lifestyle of the artist - do they walk the walk or simply talk cheap talk?

"Why don't you just let God be God? He'll work it all out in the end. When judgment day comes, we'll know who was right and who was wrong."

People who use this half-baked reasoning are really admitting they simply don't KNOW right from wrong! Here's the good news - you don't have to wait until Judgment Day to find out. The Bible will tell you right now.

More of this theme of uninformed Christian rock fans. The Bible is not confused on the concept of Christian rock - just read Psalm 150. I have no idea why Jeff and other Christian rock critics ignore this passage and its implications. Whether it is conscious deception or just ignorance.

This is when C-Rock fans hit the roof and blow their tops. When God's Word exposes this spiritual con game for what it is, those enslaved by it have only two choices. They can get right with God and come out of it - or get really mad and try to justify their sin. When anyone tries to justify evil, confusion is guaranteed to reign supreme.

Come off it Jeff. I am not some hothead that comes unglued when I read your stuff. I am not about to "blow my top" at this point or any other. And I do not have just two choices. As a matter of fact, no choice is required at all, except to voluntarily exclude myself from fellowship with you. Christian rock is not sin, and therefore I am not trying to justify evil.

"I Know my own heart is right, and that's all God cares about. As long as the heart's right, everything else is O.K., right?"

Really? Compare 1 Kings 11:38 and Exodus 15:26 to Deuteronomy 12:8 and Judges 17:6. You'll find that we are to do what God's Word says is right, not what we THINK is right in our own heart. The heart is desperately wicked and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9,10). "Let your conscience be your guide?" That creed is a lying New Age smoke-screen for the universal rule of all satanism: "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole of the Law".

No - I don't know just "in my heart" that it is right. I have tested my conviction with scripture, and found it correct. I agree that the heart can be deceptive, maybe Jeff better look at his own motivation for his opinion. I have read some pretty hateful, deceptive, and just plain wrong things in his other essays. Where does THAT fruit come from, Jeff?

DENIAL

The next step down the deception ladder for an angry, confused CCM addict is denial. Here are some of the most common excuses:

"I pray for protection before I listen to the music or go to the concerts, so everything's O.K."

No protection is needed, because there is nothing wrong with the music.

Would it be OK to smoke some crack cocaine or visit a prostitute, as long as you prayed and asked God's protection first? Of course not. The same goes for participating in Satan's music. If something is of God, you don't have to ask Him to protect you from it. If it's not of God, why mess with it in the first place? Jesus set the record straight when he told Satan:

"Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Luke 4:12

Another deceptive practice - trying to associate listening to a musical style with things that are obviously sinful. But since a musical style is not sin, this comparison is nonsense.

Satan's music? Since you like to dredge up Hitler, his favorite composition was "Ring of the Neibelung" - a CLASSICAL composition. Do you know of anybody more sold out to satan than Hitler? I sure hope not, for the world's sake! His style of music was classical, does that make classical music satan's style? Of course not! That is nonsense, of course. On what basis do you call Christian rock "satan's music"? All the lyrics that I have heard would sicken satan to the point he would NEVER listen!

"I can listen to anything I want,, and it doesn't affect me."

That's the problem: It HAS affected you - you just don't know it! It's the spirit of REBELLION making you say those very words.

Yes, it does affect me. It draws me closer to Jesus Christ. That is why I listen.

"I was once a sinner, and God is using me. Why can't He do the same with the music?"

Converted sinners get new hearts. They are "born-again" (John 3:3). They become "new creatures" (2 Cor. 5:17). They become children of God (1 John 5:13). Rock music always has and always will belong to Satan. God wants nothing to do with the devil's filth.

I have never heard any Christian rock fan say this. It is nonsense - a musical style cannot get "saved", or fall into sin for that matter. Which is why I really wonder why you keep trying to say that Christian rock always has and always will belong to Satan. Christian rock has its roots in negro spirituals, which led to the blues and jazz - and eventually into the style we call "rock". Satan's stomach probably turns when he hears great expressions of faith in negro spirituals. Rock music could be called "black" music - are you saying that African Americans are SATAN?!

"I'm well-grounded in the Word, so Satan can't deceive me."

1 Corinthians 10:12 proves otherwise:

"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."

Good point, Jeff. Christian rock fan - stand firm in Christ, stand firm in your liberty, because Christ has made you free. But know why you listen to what you listen to. If there is idolatry, or any impure reason - do not listen. Sheer enjoyment, though, is not a sin or wrong.

DELUSION

One short step away from smug denial lies deep delusion. This next feeble excuse proves the C- Rock stars have trained their flock well to explain away sin:

"I prayed about my music, and the Holy Spirit didn't convict me that it was wrong so it must be OK".

Well, I certainly did pray about it, but I also searched the scripture, consulted other authority (including my pastor). Got a problem with that? I didn't think so.

If that's your excuse, please read Ezekiel 14:1-5. Those verses speak loud and clear. Until we clean the idols out of our life, God will tell us JUST WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR! Is that fair? Of course it is. If you have the audacity to come to God demanding that He approve your sin, why shouldn't He give you what you want?

Only one problem, Jeff. Christian rock music is a musical style, not a sin.

God doesn't HAVE to convict us to forsake something that clearly violates His Holy Word. True Christians are supposed to know better. Why? Because they read their Bible! If God says it's wrong, it's wrong. (For scriptural proof that C-Rock is not of God, see chapter 17.)

Well, chapter 17 was not reproduced here. I would really like to read it --- but I bet you did not put Psalm 150 in chapter 17, because it does not agree with you. What about Jesus sanctioning loud raucous celebration as he entered Jerusalem for the final time? Or David dancing for joy before the Lord? Somehow - I just can't imagine slow hymns or "praise and worship" music at either occasion.

Here's another possibility: Many a C-Rock fan has become so violent in their deluded defense of an ungodly, wicked mockery of Christian music they can't HEAR the Holy Spirit's voice anymore!

That's strange, I just had a very nice quiet time with the Lord (Holy Spirit) this morning. He gave me the inspiration to answer some of your stuff here. As a matter of fact, He was responsible for my Scriptural support for Christian rock essay. He is the one who pushed me to really get direct and confront your errors. I started by being much more subtle. He is the one who gives me the peace of a "job well done" when I finish a major section here. If the Holy Spirit is coming to me and giving me scriptures, Biblical principles, and fellowship with almighty God while writing these essays - then where does that leave your opinion? Oh - in case you think it is satan masquerading as the Holy Spirit - the same spirit convicts me of sin, directs me to more time in the Word, and teaches me how to be more Holy. Doesn't sound like things satan would be doing, does it?!

A young Christian couple in Australia sent me a letter recently. They are former C-Rockers who have been led out of that delusion by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Boldly witnessing the truth about CCM bondage, they are heartbroken at the wall of smug arrogance surrounding them. Their pastor told them to repent on their knees for being "unbalanced." They even witnessed to one of Australia's major Christian outreach centers. Here's how the organization replied:

"Firstly, to answer your letter, the Bible does not say anything directly about rock music - in fact anything it does say about music is positive - so to form a hard and fast doctrine on the subject is not Scripturally sound... Finally any doctrine or belief concerning rock music is entirely opinion, including mine. If you consider Christian rock sinful, it would be wrong for you to listen to it. I play and listen unto God, and draw closer to Him through it. I am not to judge you, nor you me. I will continue with it..."

Sounds really good to me. Why does the existance of Christian believers (included men God put in AUTHORITY), who disagree with you - bother you?

The Christian who wrote those words should be ashamed. HE'S the one who ought to repent on his knees! He's using the same lame excuse to justify his sin as the SECULAR Rock stars. Read these comments by KISS singer Paul Stanley:

"It's always interesting that people tend to interpret the Bible any way that they see fit in terms of how it applies to rock n' roll... Everybody has to decide for themself what works and what doesn't work and what works for me. I'm certainly not in a position where I should be telling people to live their lives the way I live MY life, but likewise neither should you be doing it... I respect you for what you're doing, and it's unfortunate you don't do the same for us. That's too bad..."

Something's dead wrong when Christians use the same ungodly excuses as the perverts in KISS to justify their wickedness!

Usually, the blind are going to stumble in a hole. But very rarely, an unsaved person can unknowingly come very close to a Biblical principle. Do you have a problem with Paul Stanley saying, in effect "Judge not, lest you be judged!" Paul Stanley is headed for the lake of fire along with satan, the anti-christ, the false prophet, and all others who willingly choose to go there by refusing to accept Jesus Christ. That does not mean, however, that he can't have an accidental insight into God's truth. His attitude or tolerance for other people is commendable.

This quote by a Christian bookstore owner in Texas shows why so many Christian youth are completely deluded about the music they listen to. He's describing a new type of "Christian" Punk called "Thrash":

"I regard this music, the lyrics, the dress, the performance, and lifestyle of the artists to be in a grey area which we will currently accept, but hopefully be constantly sensitive to the Spirit, whom we trust will keep us from even the slightest compromise, from that which is His highest will, desire, and pleasure."

If the Bible is silent on an issue, it is not black, white, or grey. It is simply not covered. We have to interpret the context with similar applicable passages. That is why I use scriptures that tend to support Christian rock right along with those that tend to condemn it. What is important? Reaching as many people as possible with the gospel message - in as many ways as it takes. Other considerations pale in importance, because time is apparently short before the second coming. I would sure hate to have the blood of countless kids on my hands because I failed to reach out to them with the effective ministry of Christian rock - just because I personally did not like the musical style.

What absolute hogwash! This kind of nonsense is typical of self-serving C-Rock deception. First: There AREN'T any grey areas in the Bible! From Genesis to Revelation, God lays everything out in blacks and whites: Blessings/Cursings, Life/ Death, Heaven/Hell, God/Satan, Christ/the world. Now make your choice. Why don't these supporters of "Christian" trash come clean and admit the obvious. If it sells, they'll sell it!

There is an obvious fallacy with this statement. They could make far more money selling secular rock, but are not doing so. They have a different standard than money. It is merely a standard that disagrees with you.

Anti-Rock minister Dr. Hal Webb put it better than I ever could:

"When Christian music carries the beat, instrumentation, and exact sounds of the lost crowd, it results in confusion and shame... It is shameful to use musicians who in shallow songs daze instead of praise, who entertain instead of train... They transfer the worship owed to Christ to 'concert hopping', money-hungry entertainers who have never left, the world far enough behind to stop sounding like it..."

Your musical taste bias is showing again. Christian rock is not "shallow" music. Some of it is more complex and better quality than the best classical compositions (are you talking about Christian classical or secular classical, by the way?)

I see no conflict with entertainment, there are multitudes of people who respond more easily in a less "threatening" less "churchy" environment.

The final stop for stiff-necked C-Rock defenders is found here:

A HARDENED HEART AND SPIRIT

The angry, confused, denying and deluded C- Rock fan will always hit one final button as a last resort in his effort to justify his sin: It's called self-righteous pride:

"I'm a Christian. I get good grades. I don't smoke. I don't drink. My parents are proud of me - and not one Bible verse says 'Christian' Rock is wrong. I know what I'm doing and I don't see anything wrong with it."

In the next paragraph, Jeff is about to make the point that we are not self righteous. I whole heartedly agree! You cannot justify sin with good deeds. Only one problem: CHRISTIAN ROCK IS NOT SIN!!!

Isaiah 64:6 says all our self-righteousness is a pile of dirty, stinking rags at God's feet. Yet C- Rock defenders continually justify their sin by patting their own backs. Noses in the air, they demand a scripture that says: "THUS SAITH THE LORD; THOU SHALT NOT LISTEN TO 'CHRISTIAN' ROCK". They overlook the fact the Bible also fails to specifically mention marijuana, cocaine, X-rated porno movies, and abortion as sins. Does that make them any less sinful?

Here is yet another attempt to associate the Christian Rock musical style with other clearly sinful activities. And Jeff is woefully ignorant of what the Bible DOES have to say about marijuana, cocaine (called "sorcery" in the Bible), X-rated porno movies (called "lust" in the Bible), and abortion (several places the Bible talks about the unborn as fully human, including the unborn John the Baptist leaping for joy in the presence of Jesus!).

Biblical holiness from Genesis to Revelation is swept under the rug by this kind of rock-hard, rebellious heart. C-Rock brainwashing has completed its task. The victim's rebellion is now set in concrete. Though living totally contrary to God's Word, the deluded, confused and hard- hearted C-Rock victim prides himself in his "'powerful" testimony for Jesus Christ.

But facts don't lie. The lives of hundreds of thousands of C-Rock fans are an ugly reflection of the face behind all "Christian" Rock.

It's called REBELLION!

Here is the same old rebellion theme again. I know it sounds like I repeat myself when I link to the same scripture over and over again, but you can see that Jeff keeps repeating himself, too. His favorite repetitions are that rock music is sex, rock music is sin, rock music is rebellion. The only point where he even approaches being correct is with rebellion. Only it is not rebellion against God and His word. It is rebellion against Jeff's opinion. It is really easy to avoid that problem by simply avoiding Jeff.

During some of my response, I may have sounded a bit like one of those stiff necked, rebellious teenage Christian rock fans that Jeff criticizes (a bit too harshly for my taste). From reading the general tone of my response, I hope the reader comes away knowing that I am a lot broader based scripturally and spiritually than the stereotype Jeff is presenting. I will say, however, that I would much rather fellowship with a teenage Christian rock fan, who has some tolerance for other people's musical taste - than with Jeff whose prejudices are many and varied.

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