Prelude - I personally find this among the weakest, and most insulting, of their arguments. Weak, because it is an "ad-hominem" argument. If they can't refute our agruments, they attack us personally. Insulting, because I am a born-again, spirit-filled, mature Christian man. I have a feeling that these critics are stereotyping Christian rock fans as being some disobediant little snip of a teenager, or a pot smoking 20 year old who confesses Christ only with his mouth, not his heart. I am not comfortable with stereotypes, although I have to admit I, too stereotype the critics as being some stodgy old man who is totally out of touch with young people and have no time or love for them. Perhaps both sides should refrain from stereotypes. I am willing to accept the critics as sincerely and purely motivated Christian believers - IF they will afford me the same courtesy.
I will never make such strong accusations without proof. Here is an example of their arrogance:
C-Rock teaches teens to sneer at traditional church music as boring and to rebel against their parents and their church as being out of touch with their worldly music tastes. This shows contempt for the richest wealth of Bible music ever created.
Notice the words "sneer", "rebel", "worldly", and "contempt". These are very negative words. After reading these words, what would you think of a young person who happens to like Christian rock music, but is Godly and walks a good walk with the Lord in every other way? Excuse me, but I think some of the lyrics of Christian rock music today are much deeper and more meaningful Biblically than some of the hymns. Here is one with deep intellectual and scriptural foundations:
GIVE ME THAT OLD TIME RELIGION Refrain 'Tis the old time religion, [or Give me that old time religion] 'Tis the old time religion, 'Tis the old time religion, And it's good enough for me. It was good for our mothers. It was good for our mothers. It was good for our mothers. And it's good enough for me. Refrain Makes me love everybody. Makes me love everybody. Makes me love everybody. And it's good enough for me. Refrain It has saved our fathers. It has saved our fathers. It has saved our fathers. And it's good enough for me. Refrain It will do when I am dying. It will do when I am dying. It will do when I am dying. And it's good enough for me. Refrain It will take us all to heaven. It will take us all to heaven. It will take us all to heaven. And it's good enough for me. Refrain
Now, contrast the spiritual fluff above with lyrics below:
Third Day Third Day CD Love Song I've heard it said that a man would climb a mountain Just to be with the one he loves How many times has he broken that promise It has never been done Well I never climbed the highest mountain, but I walked the hill of Calvary Just to be with you I'd do anything There's no price I would not pay Just to be with you I'd give everything Oh I'd give my life away And I've heard it said that a man would swim the ocean Just to be with the one he loves All of those dream are empty motion It has never been done Well I've never swam the deepest ocean, but I've walked upon the raging sea Just to be with you I'd do anything There's no price I would not pay Just to be with you I would give everything I would give my life away And I know that you don't understand the fullness of my love How I died upon the cross for your sins And I know that you don't realize how much that I give you And I promise I would do it all again Just to be with you I've done everything There's no price I did not pay Just to be with you I gave everything Yes I gave my life away I gave my life away Just to be with you
Ex - cuse me, but I'll take the depth of Third Day's "Love Song" lyrics ANY TIME over the trivial, mindless, clonelike faith expressed in "Give Me That Old Time Religion".
Another example of intellectual arrogance:
If I sang gospel rock, I would be ashamed before my university professors who taught me better than that. They knew the difference between the voices that are in the world. They knew that sounds are supposed to be pure, and that music was supposed to contain beauty. The classical composers, even the ones that were not saved, said that music was for the refreshment of the soul and to portray the ennobling things of life. Our Christian music should be understandable to the folks who hear it. The melody should be clear, and the harmony and the rhythm should paint a picture of Christ.
If we use dirty rhythms, dirty harmonies, and dirty melodies, we are not painting a proper picture of Christ. If we use the sensual rhythms and harmonies that the world uses today, instead of painting a picture of the pure, spotless Lamb of God, we will paint a perverted, fornicating Christ. What we do with our music is very important.
These are the last days, described in the Bible as perilous times (II Tim. 3). We've lived to see the day when church platforms and pulpits have been transformed into Broadway stages, while loud, up-beat drums, electric guitars and digital key-boards have replaced the worshipful sound of the organ. The sound and style of music found in worldly places of amusement is now heard in the sacred places of worship. The demand and acceptance of radical changes in Christian music has done more to hinder the work of the gospel of Christ and advance the growth of apostasy within the professing church than anything that has happened since Pentecost.
I can sum up these paragraphs in a nutshell - this guy likes classical music, and looks down on anybody who does not agree with his musical taste. This is not the first, or the last time I ran across this type of intellectual arrogance in the essays. It is a thinly veiled attempt to legitimize classical music as the only "acceptable" style of music for the church. The only problem is that this not only criticizes Christian rock, but other styles of Christian music as well.
For those of you that propose opera style music is appropriate for church music, because it is "classical", and rock music is unredeemably linked to sex and the flesh, here are some Godly, Christ centered opera lyrics for you.
SONG--FREDERIC from THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE by Gilbert and Sullivan Oh, is there not one maiden breast Which does not feel the moral beauty Of making worldly interest Subordinate to sense of duty? Who would not give up willingly All matrimonial ambition, To rescue such a one as I From his unfortunate position? From his position, To rescue such an one as I From his unfortunate position?
If you persist in criticising Christian rock for its roots, I can and will come up with a lot more examples - some of which I would not DARE reproduce on a Christian web page! Opera has just as worldly and fleshly background as Rock. Are you willing to use a musical style that associates the pure, spotless Lamb of God with the perveted, fornicating pirates in the lyrics above? What we do with our music REALLY IS important! Enough said (I hope)
One aspect of classical music that has always distressed me is this intellectual snobbery and arrogance. The attitude is that I am more intelligent than you, more refined, because I like classical music and opera. What a Christlike attitude! I was a classical fan at one time, in agreement with my parent's taste. I was pretty good on the piano. Perhaps talented. Perhaps to the point of making a career at it. When I was about 11 or 12, my parents had me play a recital for some big important - somebody. I don't know who he was. I only know he was a JERK! I sat down and politely said hello to him - at which point he gruffly told me to shut up and start playing. I dutifully played, got some sort of certificate, and quit piano within a few weeks. If that was the world of professional music, that common courtesy is not even observed - I wanted NO PART OF IT. And I still don't.