19. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20. idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21. and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23. gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. --- Galatians 5:19-23 (emphasis added)
1. If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2. then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus --- Philippians 2:1-6
I have resisted doing this essay. I had hoped that if the critics became aware of these pages, that they would respond in a scholarly debate with me. Indeed, a few critics have approached me graciously. We have engaged in a fruitful dialog, and their ideas and corrections appear on these pages. This page is in no way directed at you - who have read my pages and treated me with respect and dignity. I look forward to our next exchange. You guys have been AWESOME - thanks for making me THINK, and these pages better than EVER!
Other Christian rock apologeticists had warned me, however, that I could expect to be contacted by some of the well known critics, and that their attitude would be anything but Christlike. I am afraid that has happened. Some of the critics have acted shamefully towards me and towards other apologeticists. These critics tend to fall into some very undesirable (and un-Christlike) personality types:
The "Whiner" This type of critic has had an unpleasant experience at a Christian rock concert. They are usually either
confrontational or totally naive about what to expect at a Christian rock concert. One example is a critic that went into a concert
dressed in a suit - looking like a total nerd. He got stares and jeers, the complained about the attitude of the fans at the concert. In
actuality, he violated one of Paul's strategies in dealing with the people of the ancient world. Without compromising his standards
with the world, he would try to "fit in" with the people to whom he was witnessing. Another example of a whiner is a critic that was not
expecting theatrics, pryotecnics, and smoke bombs at a concert. He ended up hallucinating demons rising up in the smoke (probably due to a
medical condition). I caution ANYBODY going into an unfamiliar setting to DO YOUR HOMEWORK IN ADVANCE - and know what to expect! The
Bible talks about "counting the cost" before you build a tower. I believe the principle applies to any ministry. I am appalled by
churches that take kids from middle class neigbborhoods into inner cities with little or no training. I know of a girl who had her jaw
broken by a drunk because of incompetant supervision by a singles group. Likewise, if the critics attend a concert, they should try to be
inconspicuous, and at least view a video or two of the group's concert appearances before attending. AND WEAR EARPLUGS!!!
The "Brain" This type of critic has a tremendous intellect. Unfortunately, they do not know the difference between "knowlege" and
"wisdom". They promptly proceed to use their knowlege to "talk down to" the Christian rock fan. They do not realize that Jesus NEVER
talked down to anybody. Talking down to somebody is NOT a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Considering others better than yourself is the
essence of loving your neighbor as yourself. I have seen critics try to use a big vocabulary, throwing big words at a Christian rock fan
to try to demonstrate that they are "smarter" and should be listened to. This type of critic will often have quite a collection of quotes
to back them up. Unfortunately, those quotes are from secular sources. Secular sources have NO spiritual insight to offer AT ALL. Yet
the critics will quote them, even if they are not in accordance with their other positions. Some critics are anti-Catholic. Yet they will
quote Catholic sources to prove their position. Another tactic of the "brain" is to absolutely insist that everybody use 1611 KJV
Bibles, or they do not want to talk to us. They know full well that the AV 1611 translation is beyond the grasp of young people - who
have been purposely "dumbed down" by the state schools. The same young people who tend to like more creative, louder, and more skillful
music (Psalm 33:3). One very undesirable manifestation of "the brain" is intellectual arrogance. There is no way arrogance can be
The "Brick Wall" This type of critic always has to be right. No matter how open minded they claim to be, they are NOT. Exchanges
with them can go on for years, but are pointless. Their minds are closed to everything, including scriptual facts. Their reasoning is so
convoluted, circular, and closed in on itself that every point is built on every facet of their spiritual life. They have taken the story
of the "Three Little Pigs" and applied it to their spiritual life. The problem is the wind. The winds of change are NOT necessarily evil
or satanic. They do NOT threaten the church or the gospel message. The church changes over time. Our present church services bear no
resemblance to how people worshipped in the first century. Yet the church survives. I live in Florida, where periodic hurricanes ravage
the coastline. The trees that resist the wind - the old, hardened ones - BREAK and are uprooted. The trees that bend in the wind - the
young, supple, flexible ones - they survive. I am not talking about compromise with the world. Both types of trees are the same before
and after the wind. They have not changed species. Likewise, a Christian can bend and be flexible, yet remain a Christian. I fear for
the faith of the "brick wall" Christian. If you ever do break down even one of their cherished assumptions, their whole spiritual life may
come toppling down.
The "Fox" This type of critic survives by bluffing. They do not have any integrity. They will distort facts, even lie in their
material. They know they can get away with it, because the average web surfer will not bother to check up on them. They are clever at
their distortions, many times skirting, but never crossing the line of the legal definition of slander. Those that are not careful bank on
the fact that the Christian rock artists that they lie about will not take them to court, due to a misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 1-6.
That scripture was NEVER intended to be used as an excuse for us to slander each other without reqcourse. These critics forget that SATAN
is the father of lies. He is good at telling us HALF the truth, and leaving out crucial facts. The "fox" loves to twist the Word of God to
say what they want by prooftexting. And they will turn right around in the next moment and accuse US of twisting
The "Timebomb" You will not encounter this type of critic until you begin a direct exchange with them. You may
have a pleasant exchange with them at first, they will be very polite. You will think that you are making good progress
with them, even if they haven't conceded any points yet. Then - out of the blue - they will assault you with every verbal
weapon at their disposal. I have personally encountered this type of critic. I believe this is a variant of the
brick wall personality type, and this reaction comes when the light of scriptural truth and wisdom hits them like a
The "Bull" This is another type of critic you will encounter - primarily in a position of authority. You will be in a church,
performing youth ministry effectively, guided by the Holy Spirit, using Contemporary Christian Music effectively as the tool of the gospel
God intended. There may be those in leadership who disagree with you. You may go on for months or years, being tremendously effective in
the Kingdom of God. All of the sudden, you get a phone call. The head of the Christian education committee wants to meet with you. You
go in, and there are half a dozen old fogies "representing the church" (actually the old families that give most of the money, can anybody
say $ch-CHING!!$). The conversation starts "Brother _____, we have been noticing that you use some unacceptable techniques in your
ministry. The Lord has told us that it is time for you to step down from your position, it is just not working out." Far fetched? Not
really. I have been there. They told me, in effect "my way or the highway". Yes, I am using a business analogy. Some people involved in
ministry are power and control freaks who would be much more comfortable in the secular business world as managers than they are in the
church. Avoid these people at all costs. Don't wait - GET OUT QUICK! God gave you talents to use in His kingdom. Unless you are using
these talents and they have an outlet, you are not as effective in His kingdom as you might be. You will be continually frustrated and
under stress in a church environment like that. In spite of what you may have been told, there is nothing wrong with looking for a church
where you feel comfortable, where your set of gifts from God can find the best outlet. I am not advocating church shopping every time you
disagree with one sermon topic point, but a new church full of people who are like you can make you feel like you are breathing a breath of
fresh air. And your walk will blossom!
Look for these unpleasant characters in their own words below and in their essays!!!
|Apologeticist: So far, no one has responded to me except for _____ from the _____ website, and his reply was full of patronizing statements, name calling, and insults (meaning any credibilty for his 'ministry' went right out the window). I have tried to be frank, yet honest, with you in this short e-mail. I would ask that, should you resond, that you return the favor. I would like to think that ____ is not typical of the intelligence level of other CCM critics. Thanks you for allowing me to share my thoughts, and I welcome any response you might have.|
Critic: It was with some interest that I received your e-mail. I will not patronize you, as per your request, albeit, gracious demeanor usually calls for such, and those who have been trained in this school ought not to have their integrity slandered for utilizing what they consider to be normal intercourse. It was my desire to offer you a gracious letter simply stating my position and acknowledging the fact that you have stated yours. It would be my understanding from reading and "feeling the pulse" of your travail, that this methodology would only serve to aggravate you further. Therefore I will respond to you in a way which might be considered harsh, yet, will underscore the gravity of the question at hand.
Apologeticist: I would like to continue further discussions with you, as I find you to be a man of deep conviction and considerable intellect (hey, you lost me a few times!). I have the utmost respect for your views, even if we seem to be at odds.
My take on this exchange:
Apologeticist: I won't take time here to go through all of my statements disputing the claims made by your website (and others).
My second e-mail to you last fall answered every question and accusation you made against me and others who perform this style of music,
yet the only response I got was a short note saying you "didn't have time" to read it.
So far, I have only received one response, from _______, based on his treatise "______". While his response was sincere, polite, and (I believe), heartfelt, it was (behind all the big words) still merely opinion, totally without Scriptural support for the blanket condemnation of Christian music. Scripture was offered to prove several individual points, but again, they could just as easily be applied to CCM as well as any other musical form. Personal bias can never be a substitute for God's standards.
Critic: Please read this before e-mailing us an accusatory response! We get numerous ugly responses from people who "profess"to be Christians that quickly label us: "Pharisees," "slanderers," "false accusers," "legalists" and etc. Carefully consider the following articles linked here before you do: "Those Fundamentalist Pharisees" "Legalism" and "Legalism - A Smokescreen" "Is it Right to Judge?" and More Related Articles by topic from ______ plus What Does the Bible say about "Doctrine?"
To those who would respond with an accusatory response, save your time because your accusations will promptly be put in the [trash can]
Unless you can prove specifically what is posted is incorrect, don't waste our time or yours! Examples of criticisms that will gladly be responded to: Notifying us of a misquote and/or using scripture to rightly to defend what you say.
---On our page regarding C-rock I join a brother in Christ, Terry Watkins in saying:
We challenge anyone. Any preacher, CCM artists, musician, author, lay person, anyone ? to refute the clear teachings of the word of God presented on this site against CCM ? with the Word of God.
We do NOT debate. We do NOT argue. But we welcome any King James Bible answers to CCM. Your opinions, feelings, what you saw at a concert, what you experienced, etc. is NOT welcomed. Please do not send such. They will not be responded to and probably not even read.
Apologeticist: You can imagine my surprise when I reread my message and found absolutely no references to 'slanderers' or 'Pharisees' or 'false accusers' or any of the other terms you described. Putting words in my mouth doesn't do much for your credibility.
I do not mean to appear harsh, but it saddens me deeply to read such vitriolic rants, on any subject, when it is painfully obvious that the writers have little, if any, knowledge (Scriptural or otherwise) of what they are talking about.
Likewise, for an organization to label itself as a 'ministry', I am hard pressed to find anything on your site remotely resembling the heart of God, or an attitude of humbleness, or any of the fruits of the spirit as described in Gal. 5:22. I do, however, find that considerable effort has gone into tearing other people apart, simply because they don't meet your particular standards. As an example, I am wondering exactly where in Scripture it states that a man's hair should be cut above the ears, or that a woman's dress should fall so many inches below the knee, or that casual wear is somehow less spiritual than a suit and tie in worship. Scriptural clarification on many points would be appreciated.
It's obvious we are never going to agree on the subject of music, and that's fine. I find it rather telling that I am able to compose polite, respectful (but forthright) messages, yet you respond with curt, sharp edged, comments (_______'s original response to me was a dilly!), and without even a ubiquituous 'Sincerely' to close your letter. Nothing I can do will make you a more compassionate or polite person, but at the same time, nothing you can do will prevent me from adding you to my prayer list.
I would ask that God close the chasm between us; even if we don't agree, I do love you with the love of our Father in heaven.
Critic: I will not even say I'm sorry there was a miscommunication on this after reading your hate-filled e-mail. Now I know why _____ or ______ didn't waste any time with you.
Titus 3:11-12 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
Apologeticist: You apparently have an unusual idea of what constitutes 'hate', and for the record, a difference of opinion between two people does not meet the definition.
I guess it is much easier to hide behind blanket statements (baseless though they may be) and personal opinions presented as Gospel truth, than to have to admit you might actually be mistaken.
Read your own messages, ______. With the attitude you present, nobody is even going to mistake you for a servant of Christ. You are in my prayers, and while I may disagree vehenemently with your conclusions, I do not, in any way, hate you.
Critic: I've read my own messages again, and it is obvious you are sadly self-deceived defending the idols of c-rock and ccm. Again, its your hate that is evident. Just like the Pharisees condemned Jesus, you just condemned me with your own words. You are as much a contradiction as the c-rockers and ccmers you appear to worship.
Titus 3:11-12 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.Further communication from you will be deleted unread. (signed) II Cor 10:5
5. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Apologeticist: Given many criticisms of CCM, I will readily admit that we seem to have created a monster in this industry. CCM has
gone from being a Christ centered entity to a music centered one, and finally (and worst of all) to a man centered concept. I look at who
is getting signed to the record labels now, and they are mostly young, attractive, trendy types, and mostly under the age of 25. This
concerns me, as age does begat wisdom (if you are diligent in your study of Scripture anyway). Much music and CD packaging serves to focus
on the singer, not the One that is (supposedly) being sung about. Not to mention, many of these new artists, talented though they may be,
are still very much ill equipped to carry on a ministry, much less be thrust into a position where they have such influence over young
In addition, I will concede that a sizable percentage of Christian popular songs are being written with an eye on the sales figures and chart positions as opposed to Scriptural accuracy or genuine praise.
In addition, there are many Christian artists who seem to be deadset on becoming carbon copies of what the world has to offer. Prime examples: Rebecca St. James shamelessly ripped off the sound of Alanis Morrisette's debut album , X-Sinner was a virtual clone of AC/DC, and the list goes on. If you want to be an artist, Christian or not, it seems to me that the best place to start is being yourself, and utilize your own unique talents and gifts, instead of just trying to do what somebody else does.
Yes, CCM has it's problems, but in the overall view, they are certainly no worse or no more numerous than pastors or other servants of God who have fallen or gone astray. In no way should we allow a few bad apples to spoil the whole cart.
In my nearly ten years of full time ministry, I have had opportunity to meet many different Christian performers. Yes, some have been Spiritually shallow at best, but by and large the ones I have met have proven to be sincere in their faith, convictions, and ministry, utilizing their God given talent to the best of their ability for our Lord. It is certainly not a sin that some singers have a voice more suited for rock, or country, or R&B. Everybody can't sing like George Beverly Shea, or any of the classical singers or players. As a singer myself I realize where my strengths and weaknesses lie. I cannot sing classical works (at least not well), nor can I convincingly sing country (with it's characteristic drawl) or R&B. My sound is best described as melodic with a slight rasp in the vocal tone (a sound commonly heard in much rock and roll). No matter what I sing, whether it be an upbeat song or "The Old Rugged Cross", my vocal style and sound instantly gives me away as a rock singer. It is the voice I was given, and the gift I praise God for. Your reasoning, and that of other anti-CCM crusdaders, would have me believe that I am somehow committing sin because of the way I sound. I find such reasoning to be completely baseless.
Critic: The dialectical process rarely produces converts. You will note that after a rousing speech made by a Democrat on the floor of the United States Senate, you will be hard pressed to find an occurrence of a Republican walking the aisle in repentance of his suppositional bias and take up the Democratic cause. Philosophical biases are well-woven through the fabric of the mind. The dialectical process is indeed a poor tool to wrest erroneous ideals from proud mankind. The process of which we speak does it's greatest service by emboldening those who have not succumb to the positional biases of their antithesis. With this in mind, I will unapolegetically place you with those I consider to be my philosophical antithesis. Will I convince you of your error? No, but much the rather, embolden you to answer my assertions with reasonings which I believe are designed to assuage the biases which your heart (that seat of emotions--rudder of the soul) has lead you to believe are true. The unfortunate by-product of this effort will most certainly be to confirm you in your sin and place you under greater condemnation when the One, whom you abstractly and wrongfully define, returns for His elect.
It is of some merit that you are attempting a marginal level of discernment by identifying those within the CCM genre who are less that sincere in the ministerial motives, yet, you are by your own admission, forever inosculated to these individuals by your desire to be identified as a "Contemporary" musician. This association you no doubt use as a "springboard" to accomplish your own goals as a musician. In this you are a partner in their sin. If you are indeed vexed by the commercialism and unabashed worldliness of many within this musical genre, you have only one choice--separate! Is it going to cost you something? You bet it is _______! But it is when you identify wrong and separate from it, declaring though your life that reformation is as useless in salvation as it is in personal sanctification, that Christ is most glorified!
2 Cor 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Cor 7:1 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.
Apologeticist: For one, to set the record straight, I do not routinely identify myself as a "Contemporary Christian" musician, but rather simply as a songwriter and singer. Actually, I could care less about being identified with any particular style. I have written and sung works in the contemporary vein, the classical arena (usually as part of a group), traditional (I always include classic hymns in my concerts), as well as Praise & Worship music.
Also, I rarely follow the Christian music 'scene' anymore, due in large part to the concerns I aired for you in my initial message. I personally have no desire to try and become the 'next big thing' or the newest Christian 'superstar'. I believe our calling as ministers of the Gospel runs far deeper than whether or not we achieve celebrity status.
As for your admonition from 2 Corinthians 7, I can clearly testify to the change that was wrought in my life when I truly gave my heart to Christ in 1987. I was delivered from the control of alcohol, illicit sex, and rebellion. My relationship with my mother was restored after several years of being at odds. I learned for the first time in my life how to truly love others and seek to serve. But most of all, my heart wanted nothing more than to get to know Him more. Spending time in Scripture, in Bible study, in prayer, as well as telling my unsaved friends about Christ (they had already noticed the change). As for music, at the time of my conversion, I was the lead singer for a band specializing in 70's style southern rock. While I still enjoyed singing this STYLE of music, I really became concerned witht the lyrical content of many of our songs. In short order, I was fired and a new singer brought in who had no trouble singing these lyrics.
Yes, I repented of my sins and worldly passions. When it came to music, I was convicted regarding the message of the songs I was singing, but never the style in which they were played. This may sound strange to you, but again, I have not found any evidence to support the theory that music, particularly instrumental music, is capable of being sinful in and of itself. The 'goodness' or 'badness' of music is simply a question of whether or not it is played skillfully. If it is performed with skill, it is good. If it is performed without skill, it is bad.
I definitely see some more of "the brain" in the critic.
I was ABSOLUTELY FLOORED by the example given by the critic of a REPUBLICAN being converted to be a DEMOCRAT on the Senate floor! I am going to ruffle some feathers here, but they need to be ruffled. First let me say - I am not a Republican. I am also not a Democrat. I am not a member of any political party. I am concerned with what is SPIRITUALLY CORRECT, regardless of which political party promotes it. I have voted for fine Christian men who are Democrats, and for fine Christian men who are Republicans. With that said, however, I can also say that Christian values are not generally welcome in the Democratic party, and they are welcome in the Republican party. Go to your local precinct meeting after the next election - it is open to all registered voters. Try to promote the pro-life agenda, try to fight the homosexual agenda, etc. in each party's precinct meeting. You will likely get quite an education.
This critic chose to say "Republican converted to Democrat". He could have said it the other way, but he did not. Based on my experience, over 90% of the time, it is the Democrat that needs to get converted to Christ. Not to being a Republican. I have to ask myself - is this critic actually a member of the Democratic party? Did he vote for Bill Clinton? Does he support the anti-Christian, anti-family agenda written into the party platform of the Democratic party? Hopefully, if he is a Democrat, he is putting on sackcloth and ashes - and fighting a very hard battle to reform their abominable, Godless position on family issues.
Now that I have offended a lot of people, I will get off my tangent. The critic has just said that this apologeticist is not even saved - having not repented of his "sin" of contemporary Christian music. This is a very typical (and offensive) tactic that the critics use. They have a real problem. If they acknowlege that a Christian can be sincerely born-again, filled with the Spirit, saved by the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, AND be a Christian rock fan - then their entire "house of cards" arguments start to collapse in a heap of disorganization. It is IMPERATIVE for them to label ALL Christian rock fans as "unsaved". A truly saved Christian rock fan is too great of a threat to them. You notice - they did not answer the apologeticist. When they encounter a true man of God, who can defend themselves scripturally and intellectually, they either disappear or break off contact - the "brick wall".
Apologeticist: I stand by the conviction that music (instrumental music, specifically) is absolutely devoid of the
required elements that would make it either moral or immoral. Writings of Plato and Pythagorus notwithstanding (they are subjective at
best), the assertion that certain beats or rhythms result in agitation and disturbance of one's spirit are simply one person's opinion. I
have been a rock fan for many years, both secular and Christian, I can tell you that it does not adversely affect my spirit. What some
people may consider to be cacophonous noise makes perfect sense to me. I can pick out various parts, harmonies, fills, whatever. I would
not, however, be able to say the same thing about rap music or Ska. It's simply a matter of personal taste.
Music played with energy and passion lifts my spirit and helps me to praise God. I do not deny that music involves me emotionally, but some of the writings I have read state that this should not happen. I become very emotional when I pray, or when I attend church. Music that is genuinely born out of a desire to see God lifted up and extolls His virtues touches my heart. I am an emotional person, and that element is reflected in my worship of the Father.
I believe that music is a tool, and that all forms of music were considered to be 'contemporary' at one point or another in history. Your reasoning would ask us to believe that God only had His hand on the creation of music for a short time. Are we to believe that He is no longer placing a new song in the hearts of musicians around the world?
Music is a vehicle and nothing more. Since it cannot carry morality traits, it cannot be inherently evil. The lyrics, however, tell a different story. Thus, music can be used to carry messages of worldly pleasures, lust, alcohol abuse, adultery, etc, or it can be used to transmit words of hope, peace, and the love of a Holy God who desires that all men come to know Him.
Critic: Your assertion that music is a tool is correct. Operatic producers taught this very concept to the cinematic producers of our age. The early silent movies were always accompanied by a musical score, this was considered to be pivotal in producing in the mind of the viewer the understanding necessary to correctly comprehend the message, or story, which the producer sought to carry across to the audience. Consider yourself a producer. You have at your disposal a variety of music styles with which to accommodate the vast story line and plot. The musical style you choose must correctly match the scene before the eyes of the viewer. Vivaldi, Taichovsky, and Vaughner each have their place in an operatic expression of secular plots. But where do you place Bach, or Handel? In a War scene? In a Discotheque? Not hardly! That musical style is clearly worshipful. It is not conducive to self-expression or personal pride. Now, my friend, where are you going to place Jimi Hendricks? The music of Aerosmith ad. infinitum? Well, of course you are going to place in them in a scene where personal expression and freedom from restraints are the order.
Is this my conclusion, Nay, verily, it is the corroborative conclusion of all the secular musical analysts during the era of Rock's inception. It was, and still is, the music of licentious behavior, even among those professing Christ. I am loaded "to the teeth" with quotes which confirm this very fact. You on the other hand, attempt, in fine Sophist fashion, to place your opinion at the head of empirical rationalism. To further add to your lack of philosophical prowess, you make the statement the Plato's observations were subjective. You sir, need to review you History of Philosophy books. For was it not Socrates, of whom Plato was a student, who sought to base his observations on empirical rationalism? That being, observing through the eye, and through rational analysis, the result of certain activities and philosophical biases upon the constituency as a whole. His Apology is a condemnation of the Sophists, who, as if they could be found in our society, sought to place opinion and personal prejudice on the same level as empiricism. This is exactly where you are at, _______. Place yourself, then, within the Macrocosm of the Kingdom of God-place a musical score alongside each of the notable trends in Judaic and Christian thought down through the ages. What musical score are you going to use to depict the licentious behavior around the Golden calf? The calf they identified as Yahweh. Note that Joshua well speaks to the nature of the music being played. Surely in times of apostasy, and freedom from Theocratic restraint you will use a musical score similar to Rock music.
Apologeticist: With regards to rock music's beat: every composer who has ever lived has worked with time and rhythm. The only difference here is that the beat is usually very pronounced in rock music. The assertions that rock music's beat is somehow inherently evil implies that somebody other than God created the concept of rhythm. Exactly who would this other creator be? And if the pronounced beat is inherently evil, then where does that leave school fight songs? How about cadences for marching bands or military parades?
I certainly agree that certain styles of music have certain places where they fit in, and rock and pop tend to be more accepted where restraints are lifted. In my own ministry, I have performed in many different churches and settings. Some fellowships considered me 'too contemporary' while others though I was downright tame! Over time, I learned to be sensitive to different atmospheres of worship. Some churches are quiet and contemplative, while others are more emotional and energetic. I try to taylor my song selections to best suit each situation.
I consider rock music to be a very passionate, emotional form of music. I am an emotional person, and that emotion and passion comes out in my worship, in my singing and writing, as well as raising my kids, going to my day job (I'm taking some time off the road this year), or whatever else I set out to do. I find nothing wrong with allowing our emotions to show when expressing our love for Christ. Without Him, I am nothing, and knowing that shakes me to my very core. Is it possible to realize how small and helpless we are without Him and not be intensely moved?
As for music being a soundtrack of apostasy, I will admit that there is some music which sounds strange to my ears and causes discord within my heart and spirit. Discordant arrangements, overuse of minor keys, or arrhythmic deliveries are not pleasing to my ears, nor do they create a sense of peace when I hear them. But these maladies are definitely not limited to rock music, as I have heard traditional and even classical pieces which affected me the same way. Not to say these pieces are in and of themselves sinful or evil; they just don't appeal to my listening ear, much less affect my spirit.
More of "the brain". Earlier emails in this exchange were not available. Obviously, in the previous emails, the critic quoted the writings of Plato - a SECULAR philosopher, and Pythagorus - a SECULAR mathemetician. I am NOT INTERESTED in what secular sources have to say on the validity of Christian rock music as a form of worship and entertainment for the believer. Secular sources can only offer the insights of their father - THE DEVIL. The things of God are hidden from them, or are nonsense to them.
The critic betrays their own personal taste in music by citing various composers. Throughout much of the critic's writings, there is an implied bias for classical music. Sometimes, it borders on intellectual arrogance - which I cannot justify scripturally. Not in ANY translation of God's Word. At the risk of repeating myself - Wagner (the critic mis-spelled his name) was a vicious ANTI-SEMITE, who never repented of his ugly bigotry. Wagner's bigotry against Jewish people was so vehement that it inspired Adolf Hitler in his atrocities. And the critic is holding this man up as something Christians should listen to and admire???
The critic then goes on to mention Jimi Hendrix and Aerosmith, from the world of SECULAR rock. Another common tactic of the critics is to claim that there is NO DIFFERENCE between the secular rock musicians and Christian rock musicians (the "know it all"). It is unclear to me whether the apologeticist still listens to secular rock. If he does, at best he is wasting his time. There are some talented secular musicians out there. They have nothing to offer me. For every one of them, the Christian community has an artist or a group that has a similar style, and invariably the Christian artist or group is better. I am not interested in listening to secular rock musicians. The apologeticist is, and it is a matter between him and the Lord Jesus Christ. If he is not convicted of sin, he is obviously exercising extreme caution and discretion in the lyrical content, and in admiration of artists whose lifestyles may or may not be in submission to Jesus Christ. I personally cannot take the time to perform that level of analysis on the secular artists. It is easier to simply abstain from them, but it is tough to find Christian rock on the car radio. With the advent of high bandwidth wireless internet access in cars, it will someday be easy to access several channels of Christian rock music nationwide.
The critic is distainful of the apologeticists opinions and taste, but at the same time is "loaded to the teeth" with subjective quotes of his own, typical of "the brain". Excuse me, but that sounds a bit one sided to me. Where is the respect for the apologeticist and his opinions? Don't they count for ANYTHING? Or only opinions that happen to match up with the critic's own preconceptions? Actually, the apologeticist makes a fundamental error in logic. He stated that "ALL" secular music analysts support his position that the music is only good to support "licentious behavior". On the contrary - the music of John Lennon and Paul McCartney is now almost universally recognized as being high quality, "classical" music. Unfortunately, they were a secular songwriting team. Giving time and an atmosphere of creative talent - no doubt some Christian rock musicians may one day also acheive this high professional acclaim.
The critic makes another crucial blunder. He attempts to equate Christian rock music with "the music of the golden calf". I have totally refuted this flawed assumption. In a nutshell - it was JOSHUA who made the "sound of war" comment. Moses was not a bit upset about the musical style - he only became enraged when he saw the object of worship. Since Moses was acting as God's representative on Earth at the time, and he did not condemn the style of music, the passage proves OUR point - not theirs!
I will however, pose the same question to you that I have asked of the aformentioned web ministries: that you show me a single Scripture
that categorically condemns a specific style of music, or any medium of communication, for spreading the Word of God.
Likewise, I have found absolutely no Scriptural evidence, be it on your site or any other, that a certain musical style is wrong or sinful in and of itself. Certainly there have been excesses in the CCM scene (as in any other), and I make no apologies for artists who get caught up in themselves, or those who 'cross over' and drop any mention of God from their music in the process (Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, etc.). The CCM 'industry' is something I personally want nothing to do with, because I believe in many ways their goals are misguided. Well intentioned, but misguided just the same.
Critic: We have provided scripture, if you plan to twist what the Bible teaches I cannot stop you. Your statement shows me any discussion with you is pointless.
As to those other singers you mention and your complaint, take it up with _____. If you get no answer about it your reason why is above. There is nothing irrelevant about what we have shared, unless you do not believe what scriptures teach! C-rockers like yourself whitewash over scriptures to defend what is indefensible --- bringing the world and its pollution into the church! Its not the other way around! My final word to you is this: The ends DO NOT justify the means if you must compromise scriptures --- to do so is to walk as a child of disobedience!
Apologeticist: As for Scripture, I believe we are agreed on the Scriptural basis for acceptable music. The difference between you and I is that I do not place my own personal bias on par with holy writ. The writers of most of these anti-CCM articles do exactly that, time and time again.
Again, if Scriptural basis is indeed the standard here, then simply show me a single passage that categorically condemns a certain style of music or form of communication. It is my considered belief that you will not respond, simply because you cannot provide such Scripture. It is, after all, much easier to hide behind bold posturing and blanket criticisms rather than provide Scriptural proof for your claims.
My take on this exchange:
The critic did respond, with his rude "any further communication from you will be deleted" response. IN OTHER WORDS - HE HAS NO SCRIPTURE TO BACK UP HIS CLAIMS!!!
|Critic: Your comments on the testimonies of the young people is hilarious. Especially when you claim the Lord led you to doubt their veracity. These precious testimonies are real and the language used is very real. I know where these testimonies came from and when you find out, if you haven't already, your little damaged ears will be red. My dear brother; you are so dogmatic. Are you sure you are right?|
Apologeticist (me!): Boy, talk about the pot calling the kettle black!!! Dogmatic? The whole essay about the young people is clearly stated as my assumption, based on a check in my heart from the Holy Spirit that there might be something phony going on there. I would hardly call that a basis for being called "dogmatic". Assuming those letters are real - they have been out there for years. Any young person who might have written one of those letters has long since become an adult, so there is no need to "protect" an under-aged person from - whatever insulting thing the critics would accuse me of. I have functioned under the authority of the church as a youth worker for years, and the church does background tests on its youth and children's workers BEFORE they are allowed to serve. I passed. So ---- critics: put me in contact with the author of even ONE of the authors of those letters, and I will withdraw my charges. Yet - every time I issue this challenge - the critic disappears. You better believe I am more and more suspicious!
This is also so typical of the critics. Come in attacking low and fast, then disappear without a trace, leaving apologeticists no recourse, no way to contact you. WHAT are you AFRAID of? You are COWARDLY - without the will to really FACE me with your accusations. This is NOT the way of Christ.
WHAT is "little red damaged ears" supposed to mean anyway??? Are you describing my ears as red because I am supposed to be the devil? Are you describing them as red and damaged because you think I listen to loud music? That is so lame. I actually agree with you on the point of musical volume. I encourage concert attendees to use earplugs.
Am I sure I am right? NO! I am sure the Word of God is right. And it supports Christian rock. Everything MUST be submitted to the standards of God's word.
|Critic: On your essay "Is Christian Rock Scriptural?" you call "toph" a drum; however, "toph" does not mean a drum. The Hebrew "toph" is a noun meaning "a timbrel" or "a tambourine" and is derived from the Hebrew "taphaph" which is a verb that means "to play or sound the timbrel."|
Strong's Ref. # 8596, Romanized toph, Pronounced tofe, from HSN8608 contracted; a tambourine: KJV--tabret, timbrel.
The Tambourine (Heb. toph). The two instruments mentioned in Genesis 31:27, to which reference was made earlier, were the tabret (tupim) and the harp (kinner). The form tupim is the plural form of the Hebrew word tot. The toph was a small drum made of a wooden hoop and probably two skins, without any jingling contrivance like the modern tambourine. It was a rhythm-indicator, and used for dances and joyous occasions as well as religious celebrations. II Samuel 6:5 states that David employed the tot at the installation of the ark in Jerusalem. The tot is not listed among the musical instruments either of the First or Second Temple, despite its being mentioned three times in the Psalms: 81:2; 149:3; 150:4. The tot was played primarily by women: "And Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel (tot) in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances" (Exod. 15:20); Jephthah's unfortunate daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances" (Judg. 11:34); and the women of Israel coming to greet King Saul after David had slain Goliath, came "singing and dancing ... with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick" (I Sam. 18:6).
For some reason, the use of "drums" by David is intensely disturbing to some critics. It always concerns me when somebody has to change the Bible to fit their pet doctrine. As for myself - it the Bible says Timbrel, and that translates a small drum - so be it! If the plain sense makes sense don't look for any other sense, lest you end up with NONSENSE. Why should I try to tell God that drum doesn't mean drum, or He can't honor worship coming from people that use drums. That would be really presumptuous on my part. I have some good natured fun with the critics when they dogmatically say that there should be no drums in the church.
I have chopped up this critic's comments into separate points, which I will answer point for point. Not for his benefit, because
he terminated the exchange after this combined email / "guest"book entry. I will analyze it for you to give you weapons whenever someone
trashes you like this guy tried to trash me. Classic "time bomb", this guy was really nice until this email. Now I am scared of him, not
because he makes any points, but scared he is mentally unstable to have changed so violently - Bruce