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Contemporary Christian Music – Godly or Worldly?
After careful consideration I have decided to publish this study on contemporary christian music (CCM) with the hopes of bringing to light the truth behind the music. It is not my intention to criticize or offend anyone or to appear self-righteous in any way. I believe we are presently living in the end age and the much anticipated return of Christ is imminent. With that being said, I also believe, because we are living in the end age, Satan is working harder now than ever before to deceive “the very elect”. We must remain vigilant in protecting ourselves from the “wiles of the enemy”. The apostle Paul wrote “Having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.” (2 Tim 3:5-6)
When and why was music created?
Surprisingly, music was created when God created Lucifer. Ezekiel said of Satan, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” (Ez. 28:13) The Hebrew word for tabrets is toph which translated means tambourine. Lucifer (Satan) has music built in him. Lucifer was given the ability to play beautiful music through his “workmanship” and to understand its purpose as well. Music is a part of who he is. Are we so naive to think that he wouldn’t use what he knows best to deceive God’s children? Why did God create music? God created music for His enjoyment! So we could sing praises to Him, worship Him, and give thanks to Him. (Psalm 95:1, 104:33, 150:2 Eph. 5:19) Music in the bible was always positive. It was never used in a negative way.
What’s wrong with CCM?
Contemporary is a well suited word to describe this music as it includes all the various styles such as rock, jazz, blues, dance, metal, rap, alternative, new age, grunge, punk, thrash, death, gothic and industrial. Regardless of the form, the essences of all Contemporary Christian Music are the same, to share God’s love to the current generation in a way that can be both understood and enjoyed. Some CCM artists are sincere but most are seeking fame and fortune. Being sincere, however, does not make it right. So how can we distinguish the contemporary music from the more traditional christian music? Simple, the beat. CCM usually has a backbeat rhythm, whether loud or soft. Emphasis on the 2nd and 4th beats or on other unnatural beats. Listen carefully for the beat. Test it by letting your body respond to the rhythm. Does it make you feel like dancing or jigging? If it does, it’s the backbeat rhythm. That dance feeling is what makes backbeat music fleshly. It is the beat that activates our fleshly lusts regardless of the lyrics. Remember what Jesus said in John 4:24; “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” No mention of us worshipping Him in the flesh. Following is a quote from a former Satanist concerning beats, “I am very sensitive to the beat in music, because when I was a boy I played the drums during our village worship rituals. The beats I played on the drums was to get demonic spirits to enter people. When I became a christian, I rejected this kind of beat because I knew the damage that was being done. When I turned on a christian radio station in the United States I was shocked. The beat I used to play to summon evil spirits was in the music I heard on the christian radio station.” There are many testimonies about summoning evil spirits through beats and drums and it’s no wonder that many artists are drug addicted and practice homosexual lifestyles including CCM artists. There are many CCM artists that are proud self-proclaimed homosexuals such as Tonex, Ray Boltz, Marsha Stevens, Jennifer Knapp, and others. As we know, this kind of behavior is detestable to God but yet, churches all over the country, all types of denominations, continue to play their music as an offering to our Holy God. One of the major problems I believe in churches is the lack of discernment and judgment. The attitude is “if it sounds good let’s play it!” This attitude is the same attitude expressed in the satanic bible, as their motto is “do what thou wilt”.
Supporters of CCM have two main arguments when defending their music. First is the need for change. They claim that teenagers and young adults no longer respond to the traditional “gospel” music and the church needs to stoop to their level to reach them. And that sounds good but what are you reaching them with? The church has taken what was described earlier as fleshly or worldly music and slapped some weak lyrics to it and call it Godly music. I’ll talk more about the lyrics later. CCM is nothing more than well-disguised rock or pop music. That’s why young people are so attracted to it. Not because of the lyrics but because of the rhythm or beat. We know this is true because when asked, young people admit they like rock or pop music because of the beat and many times they don’t even know or can’t understand the lyrics. If we really need to stoop to the sinner’s level to reach them, where will it stop? Should the church build a liquor store so to reach the alcoholics? Maybe the church should open a strip club as to reach the people involved in smut. Putting worldly music in church does not make it anymore christian music than christian porn.
Secondly, CCM supporters ask how can songs with Godly lyrics be evil or demonic? Let us look at some CCM songs that are on top of the christian music charts. Mandisa put out a song titled “Overcomer” that hit number one on charts.
Staring at a stop sign
Watching people drive by
T Mac on the radio
Got so much on your mind
Nothings really going right
Looking for a ray of hope
Whatever it is you may be going through
He’s not gonna let it get the best of you
You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ’til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds you
That you’re an overcomer
Everybody’s been down
Hit the bottom, hit the ground
Oh, you’re not alone
Just take a breath, don’t forget
Hang on to His promises
He wants you to know
The same man, The Great I Am
The one who overcame death
Is living inside of you
At first glance, these lyrics appear to be good. And these lyrics are typical of most CCM artists. Very positive and uplifting. It certainly makes you feel warm and fuzzy doesn’t it? I have a couple of questions… where’s Jesus? Where’s the Blood? Where’s the message of salvation? How does this song bring glory and honor to our Lord? We can give these lyrics to a Muslim or a Buddhist and they would have no problem with it because they both believe in God. The one thing that makes us, as Christians, different is our belief in the redemptive, sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ. And a great majority of CCM songs steer clear of that subject. Why you ask? Because this is a business. This is how these artists make their living. They sing what’s popular and acceptable to the majority. The super popular band Third Day’s lead singer, Mac Powell, said in an interview, “Also another thing that God’s been teaching me is the unity of the body of Christ. He really wants us to join together. He says, “Just as I have loved you, you must love one another.” So it’s time that we tear down denominational walls and time that we tear down racial barriers and social barriers and things that separate us and come together hand in hand and start loving one another. That’s when the world is going to know who we are. They’re going to know who we are by our love for one another. That’s what the Lord’s been teaching us and wanting us to share with people.”
That certainly sounds good and many Christians have jumped on their bandwagon but what does the bible say about this? Jesus said He came to separate people, “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Matthew 10:35) What did Jesus mean by this? He simply meant that the truth of His message would divide people. He would rather we separate because of truth than to unite in error. If you are like me, I have often wondered how the antichrist would be able to unite all the religions of the world and form one religion. I now know how that is possible; by teaching tolerance. By tearing down denominational walls and living in unity with each other. Jesus said “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34) We, as true Christians need to stop looking for “peace on earth” and start speaking and teaching the truth. Our peace will come when our Savior returns! Have you ever noticed that the disciples and apostles never had peace with the world? They also suffered tremendously but the majority of today’s Christians have total peace with the world and believe that they shouldn’t suffer at all? Getting back to the lyrics. Most CCM lyrics purposely leave out the message of Jesus because it’s offensive to some people. How can they sell their music to people they offend? This is why most CCM lyrics have a spirit of tolerance in them. Jesus clearly said that His message was going to separate people and cause division. To try and mend the division is nothing more that ecumenism. By definition ecumenism is “A movement promoting worldwide unity among religions or denominations.” This is truly the work of Satan. CCM artists that promote peace among religions and strive to tear down denominational walls, which is most of them, are working to achieve Satan’s goal, which is to unite the world’s religions into one. This dear brothers and sisters is the spirit of antichrist. Let’s look at another song that made it to number three on the billboard charts. “Help Me Find It” by Sidewalk Prophets.
I don’t know where to go from here
It all used to seem so clear
I’m finding I can’t do this on my own
I don’t know where to go from here
As long as I know that You are near
I’m done fighting I’m finally letting go
I will trust in You, You have never failed
If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it
If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever your will
Can you help me find it
I’m giving you fear and You give faith
I’m giving You doubt
You give me grace
For every step I’ve never been alone
Even when it hurts, You’ll have Your way
Even in the valley I will say
With every breath You’ve never let me go.
Once again the lyrics are not blatantly false or evil, however, there’s no message here. Never does the song say who “He” is. We could infer that He is Jesus or God or we could replace he with Allah’s name or any other name and it would make perfect sense. My point is, CCM artists do this on purpose so that any denomination or any religion for that matter can identify with it. Songs like these cannot possibly please God because there’s no praise, worship, reverence or even acknowledgement of God. They are simply worldly songs with a hint of religion poked in them. This is a spirit of tolerance that is attempting to “set aside” our differences and only focus on similarities. How much tolerance did Jesus have for the Pharisees or Sadducees? Absolutely none! He continued to speak the truth of the Gospel regardless of who it offended. He never tried to co-exist in peace with beliefs or doctrines that were in error. All forms of offerings, including music that we give to the Lord should be worthy offerings. Any offering that is fleshly or worldly will be rejected by our Holy God. Worldly music with religious lyrics is still worldly music and should be left in the world and not offered to our God.
Furthermore, when visiting the websites of these ultra-famous CCM artists, I noticed there was something missing. There’s absolutely no mention of salvation. No prayer to guide you through salvation; no explanation of the salvation plan and no offers of help. You won’t find anything but an order form to buy music and t-shirts and a schedule of their concerts so you can buy overpriced tickets. Actually, it’s exactly the same as any worldly rock band’s website! I challenge you to visit video websites such as YouTube and watch clips of these concerts. You’ll find screaming teenage girls on the front row shouting their devotions and admirations for these guys. EXACTLY like a rock concert! Some of these CCM bands are worshipped like Elvis or the Beatles were. How can this be Godly? These artists, and I use that word cautiously, must be of the world to be that popular. Because Jesus said, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you; for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26). Jesus also said, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19) I can only come to the logical conclusion that these bands are of the world. John wrote in 1John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things of the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
The apostle Paul wrote, “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2Cor 6:14) When we yoke ourselves together with the world we are actually coming into agreement with what they believe. The ultra-famous Christian metal band Jars of Clay, perform with self-proclaimed Satanist Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy, as many know, was the guy who used to chew the heads off live bats during his concerts. So, we have a so-called Christian group doing concerts with Satanists. Can any music they produce bring glory or honor to God? As I said before, many of these CCM artists are searching for fame and fortune with no regard for God’s Holy Word. Jars of Clay named Jimmy Hendrix and the Beatles as their inspiration. Amy Grant said, “I love to hear Billy Joel, Kenny Loggings and the Doobie Brothers”. The band Delirious said, “Our musical heroes are U2, Radiohead and Blur”. The group Deliverance performs songs by secular rock groups. Their “What a Joke” album has the song “After Forever” by the vile, blasphemous, pagan rock group Black Sabbath. These CCM artists are nothing more than wolves in sheep clothing. And they have no place in our churches. Many CCM songs chart on rock and pop charts. This should tell us that the world accepts and approves of their music. According to John 15:19, anything the world approves of should not be in our churches.
As I have already stated, I do not have the desire to offend or disrespect anyone. However, if the truth of this message offends or angers people, then it couldn’t be avoided. Our goal as Christians should be to please and worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in truth and spirit. We are called to separate ourselves from the world; not incorporate the world in our churches.
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