How has Rock music been able to so successfully permeate into every facet of culture today?  Have you ever wondered about that? Is it just a mere coincidence?  Or, is there a reason behind it all?

It is my prayer that you find this study helpful as you consider the topic at hand.  If you have not read the article, “Music: A Matter of Taste or Biblical Analysis?”, then I would suggest taking a look at that first as it helps explain more basic questions you may have about areas in music that may not be covered here.  Please enjoy and may the Lord bless you!

The History & Permeation of Rock Music

A Predicament: How has Rock music been able to effectively penetrate today’s culture?  No matter where people are, they are met with this distinct music.  There is no getting away.  Its essential ingredient, the rock beat, has found its way into many other genres today.[i]  Why has it been so prevalent the past sixty years in an increasingly godless culture?  Are these two ideas connected at all?  Is one a reflection of another? Where did this music come from?  These are mind-provoking questions that are too often left under the rug without so much a realization that they exist, but they nonetheless need considered.  Greek philosopher Plato offered some haunting words on this issue, saying, “To measure the spiritual temperature of an individual or society, one must mark the music.”[ii]  What exactly did he mean by this?  Did this heathen man recognize a power for good and evil in music that too many Christians fail to realize, whether unknowingly or willingly?  Even his disciple Aristotle, another secular philosopher, said “if one listens to the wrong kind of music, he will become the wrong kind of person; but conversely, if he listens to the right kind of music, he will tend to become the right kind of person.”[iii]  Both Philippians 4:8 and Proverbs 23:7 attest to this in that the thoughts, which music sparks, will mold one’s character.  This is further affirmed as scientists have researched music’s power to affect neural activity everywhere in the brain.[iv]  It is true that music strikes a chord within people that cannot be easily expressed in words[v] for it was music without words that affected King Saul three-fold: physically, emotionally, and spiritually (1 Samuel 16:23).

Seeking Answers in a Rock-Permeated Culture: In lieu of these questions and thought-provoking remarks from God’s Word, scientists and ancient philosophers, it is necessary to analyze the history of Rock music from various angles to best achieve a full picture of what role it possesses.  From a Western Culture journey through the classical eras of the sixteen hundreds into the present to a peruse through cultures worldwide, the beginning of time, rock artists’ influences and inspirations, the music’s intricate nature, its affects, and its introduction into Christianity, a musical world will unfold.

From the Classical Age to the Present: What is commonly defined as the Classical music time period from the seventeenth century into the twentieth, culminated throughout the years, changing from the Baroque to Classical and into the Romantic musical forms.  These eras were characterized with a style known to this present age of western civilization, that of dominate melody.[vi]  It varied with this beautiful melody, technical beauty to broadened expressions, solid harmonics, and controlled rhythm.  However, serious change dawned on the horizon with the late-nineteenth century, evolutionary influences of Nietzsche and Darwin.[vii]  The rule of God’s Word was severely attacked by humanistic reasoning as morals, absolutes, and rules were tossed out the window.  Man was viewed as sole authority to determine right and wrong, and with this came the Contemporary Classical age where musical boundaries were not regarded.  It was then through the outbreaks of two world wars and a Great Depression that man’s hope of attaining universal peace was crushed and the focus further shifted to that of nihilism and existentialism.[viii]  What better way to communicate this frustration than through a universal language that could express emotion better than words!  This was done as society’s temperature in music grew colder towards God and His morals through the culmination of the present-day influences such as Country, Jazz, Blues, and R&B into the outbreak of Rock ‘n Roll.[ix]

Rock hit the stage in the fifties and sixties, featuring complete rebellion against absolutes as riots broke out at rock concerts with injuries and fatalities.[x]  Allen Fried, the man who coined “Rock ‘n Roll”, did so after ghetto terminology, meaning fornication.[xi]  It was characterized by the driving backbeat on the second and fourth beats.  It was as if this generation of young people were hit with a potent drug in the face and went ballistic, most likely due to its barbaric appeal and the damaging influence it has.[xii]  Was there something intrinsic in this music or was it just a tool used in one culture’s upheaval of absolutes?  While the latter question may be tempting for some to argue, the truth of the matter is that the polyrhythms of Rock music were not just confined to the past century.  No, it stretches back a lot farther than that.

Into Cultures Worldwide: Drummer for the Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart, noted in his extensive research into drumming that the backbeat is one of the drum grooves, though not the only one, for trance and ecstasy in the jungle tribes of motherland Africa.[xiii]  In fact, this music can be found in cultures around the world from South America to Africa to Asia to Scotland and onward[xiv] with the purpose of trance and ecstasy.[xv]  This was not the controlling of the Holy Spirit as Ephesians 5:18-19 describes as its prevalence existed in cultures void of Biblical morals.  So, what spirit was invited?  This leads to deeper analysis.

European music a few hundred years ago was based off of a predominant melody line in contrast to a dominance of rhythm and repetition in African music,[xvi] labeled by Hart as “syncopated past comprehension.”[xvii] As seen in the Scriptures though, God’s ordained musical order of its three basic components places melody first (Ephesians 5:19, Isaiah 53:2), harmony second, and rhythm last (John 7:38[xviii]).  This is due to the Biblical truth that melody, harmony, and rhythm affect man’s spirit (Ephesians 5:19), mind, and body (John 7:38) respectively.  Include in this that a Christian ought to be focused on firstly spiritual things (Matthew 6:33), then mental (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), then physical (Romans 13:14).  This is God’s ordained musical order that when flipped out of order becomes sensual,[xix] even like it does when the natural rhythmic order is constantly flipped,[xx] which is further understood by implication, mathematics, and physiology[xxi].  What significance does this have?  A large reason why the general European music of the sixteen to eighteen hundreds was able to be Godly was because the church and Scripture was a dominant influence at large.  Men like unsaved Beethoven or saved Handel could create Godly music because they followed God’s set principles for greatness.[xxii]  In a spiritual dark Africa, however, a knowledge of God and His morals were void through a rejection of the Almighty as the influence of the converted Ethiopian Eunuch had been in his homeland (Acts 8). Over the years the darkness set in with complete obliviousness.  Where the influence of God dissipated, the influence of “the prince of the power of the air [the devil] (Ephesians 2:2)” gained rule in every aspect of life.  Why is this so important?

Scripture declares that both God is musical (Zephaniah 3:17) and His created being Lucifer, now known as the devil, is musical.  In his state of perfection, Lucifer equipped with built in musical instruments as Ezekiel 28:13-15 describes glorified God in his music.  But in his five infamous pride-filled “I will’s” to grab all the glory that rightly belonged to God, he was cast down to the grave and corrupted with his musical instruments (Isaiah 14:12-15).  No longer with perfect music that once glorified God, Satan now uses this corrupted music to glorify himself.  Consequentially, music will either glorify God or the devil.  Does the flipped order in both the music and the rhythm begin to make sense?

Rhythm, unnatural at that, was Africa’s, like so many other tribal cultures where Godly morals were absent, predominant component.[xxiii]  Hart found out that villages’ shamans would become demon-possessed through the polyrhythmic music as the ego left the man, leaving room open for the god Orisha to enter through the head and take over the whole body, creating the erotic dancing movements.[xxiv]  These immoral movements were elicited from the music, governed by evil spirits.  A master drummer from India experienced these demonic trances to which Hart credited the backbeat as the essential tool.[xxv]  The ecstatic states, the erotic bodily responses, and the stark opposition to Biblical morals were all characteristics of this, that which 1 John 2:16 defines as of the world, not of the Father.  Satan’s goal in his futile rebellion attempt against God to grab all the glory for himself has been effective in godless cultures through his corrupted music.  America and Western Society at large have followed this same path and same intoxicating means as hauntingly predicted by Henry David Thoreau back in the eighteen hundreds.[xxvi] Where the family’s spiritual void was present, Rock easily filled that void.[xxvii]  Is it not true that where the place God held in society is vacated, something contrary to Him will fill the gap?  Then what about the Rock musicians?  Were they purely naïve of any outside influences? Or if not, who were they? Did the tribal cultures play any role with them?

Satanic Masters’ Influence & the Rock Beat’s Intrinsic Nature: The underlying philosophy and beliefs of many Rock artists developed from a man at the turn of the twentieth century, known as Aleister Crowley, one of the greatest Satanists.[xxviii]  In his absolutely perverse book of which he dedicated to Lucifer, he sketched the philosophy of, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole measure of the law.”[xxix]  No morals, no God, no rules- nothing, except for every man being his own god.  Timothy Leary, who considered himself a reincarnation of Crowley, noted that in spreading anti-Christ philosophy one must start with Rock music that will charm people back into the pagan dance of harmony, something the Beatles did stunningly well[xxx] through their music they said caused confusion, riots, and revolution.[xxxi]

This infamous Beatles band heralded Crowley as one of their heroes on the front cover of their album.[xxxii]  Does this not say something of these culture-changing men to have a devout Satanist as one of their heroes?  Hitler’s face would have appeared on their cover as well had it not been for a last-minute decision to cut him from the final photo-shoot.[xxxiii]  In an August 8th, Saturday evening post in 1964, Alfred Aronowitz said that the Beatles were so anti-Christ, even more so than himself, that it shocked him, which was not easy to do.[xxxiv]  Lennon, who claimed they were more popular than Christ, talked about spirits passing in and out of him as if he were a hollow temple.[xxxv]

Crowley’s disciple Anton Levey was the head of the satanic church.  He in turn mentored Marilyn Manson, a well-known Rock artist today, who had this to say to parents, “Raise your kids better or I’ll be raising them for you.”[xxxvi] Rock star, David Crosby made further comment in saying that the only thing to do is swipe the kids by “changing the value system, which removes them from their parents’ world very effectively.”[xxxvii]  This is because, as Rock promoter William J. Schaeffer says, Rock is linked with a distrust of reason and logic, superstition, main Western thought, an obsession with the unconscious mind with a drug culture to free man from his restriction of his gross physical body.[xxxviii]  This dangerous scenario is inevitable unless parents hold back the silver platter of Rock music that contains those things that were held off until the kids were mature.[xxxix]  But in reflecting over the early years of Rock, Hart commented that they did not understand this music’s power in producing the screams, ecstatic states, and hysteria.[xl]  The problem was that neither did the young people but they were not scared like their parents as they were irresistibly drawn into the dance of this music’s dictates, governed by the backbeat.[xli]  If people knew what this driving rock beat, pop music of today was saying, not what the words are saying, but what the music itself is saying, they would ban it, smash all the records, and arrest anyone who tried to play it.[xlii]  Oh the influence of Crowley, heralded as a great by many Rock artists, whose philosophy helped in the demise of a great culture!

It is no joke that these Rock musicians were under the influence of satanic masters, who helped them find rhythmic release in their music.  Lead singer of the Rock band “The Doors”, Jim Morrison, described his encounter with Satan on a Californian beach before his rise to fame.[xliii]  At times when he was hesitant of coming out on stage, his band would begin drumming and drumming until finally the demons possessed him and he came out.[xliv]  The movements in his performance were identical to that of a tribal shaman[xlv], who allowed the demonic god Ori to overtake him and cause the ecstasy and erotic dancing.[xlvi]

Mickey Hart explained how he studied under master polyrhythmic drummers in India, who fell into demonic trances.[xlvii] He describes tracing this beat back to the motherlands of these tribal cultures. When the unsaved say what the backbeat does in bringing demonic influence, should not Christians realize that this music is not of God’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18 & 1 Cor 14:33)?  Through a mid-western man’s journey into Shamanism, he explained how that the polyrhythmic drumming, including the backbeat[xlviii],took the individual out of the beta-wave state in the brain, where critical thinking occurs, to an alpha and theta state in which one is hypnotized.[xlix]  It is in these places that Rocker Jimi Hendrix said to slip the sublimal message without the audience even knowing it.[l]  People have fallen into the music, weakened their guard, and responded to the music’s dictates.  Allan Bloom, secular professor at Chicago University, describes it succinctly with no high intellectual sources, but that of one appeal only, a barbaric appeal, to sexual desire undeveloped and untutored.[li]  This is because a line has been crossed in music with the driving unnatural rhythm as the body movements have become immoral.  Frank Zappa simply put it that Rock music is sex and that its big beat matches the body’s [sexual] rhythms.”[lii]  Even Gene Simmons, known as the demon for the rock band KISS echoed that rock is sex with a hundred megaton bomb, the beat,[liii] and that the two are inseparable.[liv]

From reading this can it not be said that Rock’s characteristics of rebellion, hypnotization and confusion, and immoral bodily movements are not just associations?  They are intrinsic characteristics of the music itself, having been used and witnessed in cultures worldwide and today’s as well, reflecting godlessness and glorifying the musical devil.

Why then does such a worldly music exist in Christianity when Scripture declares rebellion to be as a sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23), confusion not of God (1 Corinthians 14:33), and immoral things of the world and not of the Father (1 John 2:16), which are to be mortified (Colossians 3:5-7 & Romans 13:14)?  Can one take Secular Rock’s cutout and put it into Christian Rock, and thereby glorify God? How, when, where, and why did it even come about?  These questions compel believers to search for answers

The Foundational Roots of CCM: One of the critical foundational roots of Christian Rock began in southern California in the starting of Calvary Chapel.  With a burden to evangelize the lost hippies around him, Chuck Smith began a ministry to reach out to them.[lv]  His evident sincerity in serving the Lord is not at question; rather, the issue is the means of getting results.  One of his helpers who was instrumental in flourishing growth was a hippie by the name of Lonnie Frisbee, a mystic.  He “put the freak in Jesus freak. With his long brown hair, long craggily beard, dusty clothing, scent of Mary Jane and glint of his last LSD trip in his eyes, he showed up out of nowhere, at the height of the ’60s, literally on Chuck Smith’s doorstep.[lvi]

Previous to this his conversion to Christianity came off of a trip on LSD with an experience where he claimed that God had given him a mission to reach a lost world.[lvii]  His homosexual struggles, vague conversion story, and early tragic death in 1993 of AIDS[lviii] leave room for adequate concern.  But whatever one may argue about the outcome of his testimony to be genuine or not, it is certain that Lonnie Frisbee had a heavy influence with Chuck Smith in the beginning of the “Jesus Movement.”  Weekly meetings were held and numbers swelled significantly, but in doing so the hippie’s music was brought in unchanged to now be used for worship.  While they embraced the teachings of Christ, there was a rejection of many aspects of the institutional churches,[lix] that of practical Christianity.  There were still those in the counter-culture hippie movement who kept connections and lifestyles once inside the church along with the long hair, dress, and music known to them, which was somehow given a free pass.

Not long after, this Jesus hit the American mind- communal, earthy, spontaneous, and anti-establishment.[lx]  The continuing transformation of American worship into an informal, contemporary, yet true to core principles communion and celebration unbuckled the Bible belt from American Christian life.[lxi]  But when the holiness of God is properly understood, will it not beckon believers to worship God His way in true holiness (Psalm 29:2), not according to one’s desired lifestyle?  What occurred that transformed the spotless Lamb of God to fit the culture of rebellion, into a buddy level, and severely degraded?  Along with everything else Rock music was influencing, here it had re-shaped for the hippies the image of Jesus Christ, and thereby many in the years to come.

Dr. Frank Garlock gives the account of the missionaries who reached a jungle tribe in Africa.  Upon arriving, they found that the people were already worshipping Jesus, but as they learned the language and preached Jesus Christ, they found it rather impossible to reach the tribe.  They came to find out that this “Jesus” the tribe was worshipping was actually a demon that the witch doctor had conjured up in a séance and introduced to the tribe for worship.[lxii]  While it can be assumed that many Christians have the sincere desire to worship God in their worship with Rock music, is this Rock music that has redefined Christ truly worshipping the Jesus of the Bible?

Larry Norman, known as the father of Christian Rock, came on the hippie scene from southern California.  He toured with “The Doors” and Jimi Hendrix before recording his groundbreaking works under contract with Capitol Records, home of the Beatles and Beach Boys.[lxiii]  This included, “Why Should the Devil Have all the Good Music” in which God declares, “I don’t like those funeral marches/ I ain’t dead yet.”[lxiv] Really?  Is this not a misconstrued portrayal of a holy God? Yet, he did so in an attempt to reach the lost on their level, who refused to have anything to do with most traditional churches, somewhat like himself.[lxv]  Over time, he was led to Smith’s and Frisbee’s hippie reach-out movement, spending a few years there, where his Rock music found acceptance in the crowd bringing in the world’s music for God-ward worship.

Another pioneer of the CCM movement, John Fischer, described his call to play Rock music for God, noting other pioneers who had received similar visitations around the same time.  As a teenager with parents who forbade him to listen to Rock music, he would still listen to it in the car by himself and switch it back to a different station before arriving home from whatever trip he had taken.  On this particular night after a youth group activity that seemed to have brought God’s presence, he started up the old Ford.  The radio blared on the Beatle’s “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”  As he instinctively reached to turn it off, feeling it was not right, what happened in the following seconds changed his life.  God, as Fischer, claimed, showed up and asked him, “Why are you turning it off?”  A conversation ensued, where he told God he was feeling close to Him, but Rock ‘n Roll being bad was supposed to take his mind off of God.  To God’s question that posed if his mind was off of Him, he replied that he had never felt closer.  Hesitantly over the conversation, he went on to tell at God’s promptings that the music made him happy and free, just like God said He made him.  God’s reply was that he should enjoy Him and the music at the same time, let Fischer worship Him, and write Him this music, inferring acceptance of the sing-along-with-the-Beatles as praise.[lxvi]

What is the likely-hood of God showing up through the means of rebellious music, not to mention the teen’s actions towards his parents?  In consideration of this question, it is interesting to note that Fischer acknowledged that a spiritual experience came when the music turned on.  But what spirit was it that was casting doubt, saying this music was not all that bad?  Was it God as he proposed? Or, was it Satan who is described as “an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14)?”

The World in the Church: All in all, CCM was birthed, but now Christians were faced with a glaring problem.  How could they justify bringing this music into churches to worship God- a music found in godless cultures throughout the world, intrinsically linked with sex, rebellion, and demonic hypnotization- and suddenly claim it glorified God?  Was it the magical power of a “Christian” label?  Something came about that had not been the general knowledge to mankind for thousands of years.  This was the claim that music is amoral as identified by CCM’s definition of Christ-based lyrics underlined with popular (the world’s) music and the Christian Rocker’s Creed that claims all music is created equal by God and no musical genre is evil.[lxvii]  To this type of thinking, Plato offered some choice words over two thousand years beforehand in saying that it is foolishness to say there is no right and wrong in music and that it can be judged by likes and dislikes.[lxviii]  What a sobering day when the unsaved world is wiser than Christians (Luke 16:8), and consequentially has to rebuke them.

What difference is a lost world going to see if Christians try to use this sensual music for evangelism?  Hippies and rebellious teenagers have refused to accept Christ because they see no difference between the two.[lxix]  From the fundamentals to greater orthodox churches and into Parliament in the early 1990’s, Russian pastors and officials told the missionaries from the United States to stop bringing over Christian rock music, as they called it devilish and destructive.[lxx] These pastors acknowledged that Rock music truly attracts people to the church, but not to Godly living, and begged for true spiritual bread over against the false cake.[lxxi] The Israelite’s attempt of mixing God and the devil in worship was condemned despite a clear purpose to have this pagan means of worship directed to the Lord Jehovah (Exodus 32).  Even when sincerity was present, David’s instance of transporting the ark by means of a Philistine method fell short because God’s way was unheeded (2 Samuel 6:1-7 & Number 4:15-20).  Cain’s offering did as well (Genesis 4:2-7).  How is it suddenly different today?  Rock music is ultimately a Biblical moral problem in which God’s principles have been violated, a sad truth that has been echoed in its permeation of godless cultures worldwide, including America and into Christianity’s churches today.  Is it any wonder why, as Charles Spurgeon said, the church has so little influence over the world?  It is because the godless world and its music has drastically influenced Christianity, causing them to lose their salty savor (Matthew 5:13) as “evil communications corrupt good manners (1 Corinthians 15:33).”  Galatians 5:17 declares that the Spirit and flesh being opposite cannot be joined.

Conclusion- A Call to Holiness: What place then has this worldly music in a believer’s life in which God has become their music and song (Exodus 15:2, Psalm 40:2-3, Psalm 118:14, Isaiah 12:2)?  The answer?  “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).”

[i] Richard Aquila, “Rock Music” in Encyclopedia of American Social History Volume III, (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1993), p1808

[ii] Shelly Garlock Hamilton, Why I Don’t Listen to Contemporary Christian Music, (Majesty Music, 2013), p21

[iii] Dr. Neil Nedley, Music and the Frontal Lobe, (Amazing Discoveries, January 12, 2011), http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception-music_frontal_lobe_limbic

[iv] Joshua Leeds, The Power of Sound, (Healing Arts Press, 2010), p111

[v] Ibid, p15

[vi] Waldo E. Martin Jr., “African American Music” in Encyclopedia of American Social History Volume III, (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1993), p1758

[vii] Dana F. Everson, Sound Roots, (Bible Revival Ministries, 2011), p80

[viii] Ibid

[ix] Aquila, p1795

[x] David A. Noebel, The Marxist Minstrels, (American Christian College Press, 1974), p44-47

[xi] David Byers, Christian Rock: Fresh Fire or Strange Fire?, (Calvary Chapel, –)

[xii] Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, (Simon and Schuster, 1987), p73

[xiii] Mickey Hart, Drumming at the Edge of Magic, (Grateful Dead Books, 1990), p185&228

[xiv] Christian Berdahl, The Distraction Dilemma, (Shepherd’s Call Ministry, 2012)

[xv] Leeds, p15

[xvi] Martin Jr., p1758

[xvii] Hart, p197

[xviii] Everson, p137-138

[xix] Frank Garlock & Kurt Woetzel, Music in the Balance, (Majesty Music, 1992), p65

[xx] Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Jay Cannon, Striving for Excellence, (Institute in Basic Life Principles, 1989), p11&18

[xxi] Leeds, p72-73

[xxii] Tim Fischer, The Battle for Christian Music, (Sacred Music Services, 2004), p16

[xxiii] Berdahl, 2012

[xxiv] Hart, p202-203

[xxv] Ibid, p154

[xxvi]Hamilton, p21

[xxvii] Bloom, p76

[xxviii] John Blanchard & Dan Lucarini, Can We Rock the Gospel?, (Evangelical Press, 2006), p82-84

[xxix] Tim Maroney, Do What Thou Wilt, (The Tim Maroney Web Collections, 2002), http://tim.maroney.org/CrowleyIntro/Do_What_Thou_Wilt.html

[xxx] Blanchard & Lucarini, p86

[xxxi] Billy Shepherd, The True Story of the Beatles, (Bantam Books Inc., 1964), p70

[xxxii] Berdahl, 2012

[xxxiii] Raul, Hitler Did Not Make The Final Cut On The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” Album Cover, (Feelnumb, January 14, 2010), http://www.feelnumb.com/2010/01/24/adolf-hitler-did-not-make-the-cut-on-the-beatles-sgt-pepper-album-cover/

[xxxiv] Joseph Schimmel, They Sold Their Souls for Rock ‘n’ Roll, (Good Fight Ministries, 2004), http://theater.goodfight.org/

[xxxv] Ibid

[xxxvi] Berdahl, 2012

[xxxvii] Garlock & Woetzel, p10-11

[xxxviii] Ibid, p26

[xxxix] Bloom, p73

[xl] Hart, p228

[xli] Ibid

[xlii] Hamilton, p25

[xliii] Jim Morrison, The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison, (Vintage, 1988), p.36-37

[xliv] Byers, —

[xlv] –, Jim Morrison (Doors) Demon Possessed Must Watch (WorksBurned’s Channel, December 21, 2009), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntNLEvC4kwU

[xlvi] Hart, p202-203

[xlvii] Hart, p143-155

[xlviii] Ibid, p185

[xlix] Jaime Meyer, Why Do We Drum?, (Drumming the Soul Awake, 2014), http://www.drummingthesoulawake.com/why-do-we-drum.html

[l] Blanchard & Lucarini, p54

[li] Bloom, p73

[lii] Blanchard & Lucarini, p114

[liii] Ibid, p115

[liv] Hamilton, p33

[lv] Robert King, Calvary Chapel History, (Calvary Chapel History & Beliefs, 2014), http://calvarychapelhistory.com/Calvary-History.html

[lvi] The Roots: Lonnie Frisbee, (InPlainSite,—) http://www.inplainsite.org/html/vineyard_lonnie_frisbee.html

[lvii] David D. Sabitino, Frisbee: The Life & Death of a Hippie Preacher, (Passion River, 2008)

[lviii] Ibid

[lix] Robert King, The Jesus Movement, (Calvary Chapel History & Beliefs, 2014), http://calvarychapelhistory.com/Jesus-Movement.html

[lx] Erick Davis, I’d Like to Dedicate This Next Song to Jesus: The Freaky Origins of Christian Rock, (Slate, July 31, 2007),http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2007/07/id_like_to_dedicate_this_next_song_to_jesus.html

[lxi] Ibid

[lxii] Frank Garlock, Can Rock Music Be Sacred?, (Musical Ministries, 1974), p8

[lxiii] Michael Ciana, CCM Hall of Fame: Larry Norman, (Todays Christian Music powered by CCM Magazine, –), http://www.todayschristianmusic.com/artists/larry-norman/features/ccm-hall-of-fame-larry-norman/

[lxiv] Woody Woodland, Larry Norman: A Righteous Rocker Remembered and my Rock ‘n Roll Pilgrimage, (Today’s Christian Music powered by CCM Magazine, March 10, 2008), http://www.todayschristianmusic.com/artists/larry-norman/features/larry-norman-a-righteous-rocker-remembered-and-my-rock-n-roll-pilgrimage/

[lxv] Gregory Rumburg, Rock for the Ages, (Today’s Christian Music powered by CCM Magazine, –), http://www.todayschristianmusic.com/artists/larry-norman/features/rock-for-the-ages/ 

[lxvi] John Fischer, Finding God Where You Least Expect Him, (Third Day Books, 2013), p8-9

[lxvii] Scott Aniol, Worship in Song, (BMH Books, 2009), p76

[lxviii] Eric Holmberg, Hell’s Bells -The Dangers of Rock and Roll Part, (Reel to Real Ministries, 2006)

[lxix] Frank Garlock, p26-27

[lxx] Youth Who Have Found Freedom, How to Conquer the Addiction of Rock Music, (Institute in Basic Life Principles, 1993), p23-24

[lxxi] Ibid

Daniel Diedrich- posted July 27, 2015

The Battle for God's Truth in an Age of Compromise

The question: “What does the Bible say about Christians using Halloween to evangelize the lost?”

First off, let me reiterate that I treat Halloween (October 31st) like any other day in that “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24 paraphrase) It is the Lord’s day and therefore I will have nothing to do with the devil’s holiday, Halloween. If I were going about my normal (please take note of the word ‘normal’) activities and an opportunity arose to share Christ, then by God’s grace I would do so. However, I would not go make a special trip out or do something special on Halloween (October 31st) as an evangelistic outreach because of the purely demonic origins of the holiday.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light…

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Are we as believers living subject to authority? Should we? If so, why? What does the Bible have to say on our relationship to our authorities?

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” –Romans 13:1-2

Every individual lives under some sort of authority. We ultimately answer to God, regardless who we are- Christian or non-Christian. Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

To have God as our authority in this life, we must first accept God’s free gift of salvation. Without it we are not a child of God but rather of the devil as Jesus Christ points out in John 8:44.

Now we as Christians ought to be subject to the authorities that God has placed in each of our lives individually.

As I thought of this subject, I remembered the story of a teen in an unsaved family who became a Christian and began bucking her parental authority. Over a period of time and counseling, she decided to get back under her parental authority, telling her parents sincerely, “I want to trust that God will lead me through you.” The unsaved parents became concerned, wanting to lead her in the right way, and started reading the Bible. As a result they were saved because of the teen’s choice to place herself back under God’s ordained authority.

In speaking on authority, the apostle Paul describes the different outcomes of those who subject themselves to authority and those who refuse to do so. Clearly, the former is the best way to go- not only for results but because of the following four reasons. But before we look at the reasons, let’s ask ourselves, “What does it mean to be subject to authority?”

The word “subject” as used in Romans 13:1 comes from the Greek 5293 “hoop-ot-as’-so”, meaning subordinate, reflexively to obey, be under obedience, submit self unto, put under.

Being subject is…

• Not bucking at commands or orders given by authority, but being obedient unto them (inside what we as Christians can obey of course- we obey God over man) not with just the outward compliance but with a Godly heart attitude.

• Not being complacent in our Christianity, but being obedient and living by God’s Word daily in every area of our life.

You may ask, “Well, who is my authority?” Let’s look at some examples.

God– Romans 14:12 says, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

Parents– Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

It is relevant to note that Jesus, the Son of God, God robed in human flesh, was subject to his earthly parental authority. In Luke 2:51-51 we read, “And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

Government officials (president, state, local, law officers, etc)- Romans 13:1-2

Your Pastor– Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

Your Boss– Ephesians 6:5-7 says, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.”

 1 Peter 2:18-19 also says, “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.”

Any delegated authority (ultimately, these are God-ordained)

For a wife, the husband– Ephesians 5 (this is a team effort here- a topic for another post)

Now with this basic foundation of authority laid in our minds, let’s take a look at 4 reasons why Christians ought to live subject to authority.

1. The Authority Is God-ordained– Romans 13:1-2 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”

God has put our authority in the position they are in. “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” –Psalms 75:6-7

God does not make mistakes and nothing takes Him by surprise. Therefore, we should not take matters into our own hands, but rather trust God to work through that authority. If you think about it, resistance to human authority is ultimately resisting God.

Ask yourself the following questions: “Who put my authority in that position?” “When I’m complaining about my authority, who am I ultimately complaining against?”

In 1 Samuel 8:7, God told Samuel that Israel’s resistance of Samuel was actually a resistance of God. It says, “And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”

When we resist our earthly authority, we are resisting God’s authority in our life because it is God who placed them where they are. True, we may not agree with the person, but we are to still respect their office and submit accordingly. Why?

God has a purpose. Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”

Look at Pharaoh! He had the Israelites enslaved in Egypt, but in all of that God’s hand was present as Romans 9:17 declares, “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.”

When we realize authority is God-ordained, it drastically changes how we see life.

2. Not Only for Wrath But Also for Conscience Sake– Romans 13:5

Our obedience should move beyond the aspect of fear because obeying for wrath’s sake will not last; it will not take care of inward obedience. We will be trying to get away with as much as we can when they’re not looking… but have we forgotten that God is always watching? If we live in constant realization that God is always present, how will our lives change? Is this change coming because we are afraid of God or because we love God? We need to be love driven. David demonstrated this in 1 Samuel 24:6 when he had the chance to kill King Saul- the man who had been hunting for his life-, but he would not kill Saul because he would not touch the LORD’s anointed. Because of David’s love for God, he obeyed. God wants inward obedience.

Outward compliance + inward refusal = disobedience

In the story of the prodigal son, the elder son may have been serving his father all those years, but REALLY, by his bitterness seen, did he have inward obedience or was he doing all the actions? Was he doing the actions because he loved his father or because he had to do them?

Jesus said in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Doing what is right will be a natural by-product of loving Christ. But if you don’t love Christ then don’t bother with the commandments because what will happen is you will mar the name of Christ.

3. To Live a Quiet and Peaceable Life in All Godliness and Honesty– 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

When you pray for those in authority, pray in realization of Proverbs 21:1 that, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” What a glorious assuring truth to grasp a hold of that we can give our burdens to God and have peace because we know Who directs our authorities! No more will we need to “…be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. (Romans 13:3b-4a)” Our peace will be both spiritually and physically.

Let’s see the spiritual implication though: David was subject but he was being hunted by King Saul for his life. Is this a contradiction? No, because spiritually David was still living a blameless life in submission to his authority when the opportunity was there to kill his authority. Inside he was free.

The progression thus far: Realize authority is God ordained; therefore, we submit not only for wrath but for conscience sake. NEXT, we pray for those in authority because (knowing #1 & #2) for God to direct and live a Godly life in subjection. Next we see the 4th step/results.

4. To Bring Glory to God and Draw People to Christ– 1Timoth 2:1-4 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Notice in this subjection passage (see also Titus 2:9-11) that some of the biggest salvation verses in the Bible follow right after the command for Christians to be subject to authorities. Wow! This is so cool, and so important to realize because, think about it… “How will Christ shine through me when I am not subject to God but in disobedience his clear command?” Christ admonishes believers in Matthew 5:16 to, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

This is our Purpose as Believers. God didn’t leave us on earth when we got saved to do nothing. Had that been the plan, He could have just taken us to heaven. God wants us to live for Him and daily yield to His leading- in subjection to the Him. (Galatians 5:16). God directs us through the authorities He places in our lives to shape us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29).

It is WHEN we submit to God’s authority that we can do great things for God. We need to die to self. Remember John 12:24? It says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” As a believer, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)”

So in conclusion, we have seen we are to submit to our authorities because they our God-ordained, for conscience sake as well, so we can live a quiet and peaceable life, and to bring glory to God and draw people to Jesus Christ.

This simple question of “are you living subject to authority?” will be answered by your thoughts, words, and actions throughout everyday of our life.

The question is, “Are you marring Christ’s name by refusing to submit to your God-ordained authority? Or are you applying these Biblical principles and living in subjection to authority with the right heart attitude so that the lost can be drawn to Christ?”

Friends, it is your choice. God does not force you. But God does lay down what is right and acceptable. Your choice will make an impact that you may never imagine can be so big. So don’t delay if things aren’t right with your authorities. Get it right with God, and purpose by God’s grace to live right.

Let’s live subject to authority. (:

So… “What is our Christianity about anyway?” I was reading through a book by Dan Lucarrani and John Blanchard recently and stumbled across this passage. Finding it a very interesting passage, I later went back to look deeper into it. The passage was Romans 14 in which Paul was addressing our Christian liberty in Jesus.

“I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of:For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.” -Romans 14:14-18

Paul is saying to quit getting hung up on what things you can and cannot eat and drink as a believer because there is nothing of that evil of itself. Having charity is key here, since our good should not be evil spoken of. Don’t give opportunity for people to accuse you because you are lacking charity and discretion with something that you eat/drink that may offend someone. Why? Because Christianity is not about that. It’s rather about following after righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Notice that first Paul mentions righteousness. This is because we as believers are to be seeking God’s righteousness first in every area of life (Matthew 6:33) since Christ-likeness is the end goal for each one of us (Romans 8:28). When we are following God’s way rather than our own selfish choices, a peace will come to us. God promises this in Isaiah 26:3 that those whose mind is stayed on God will have a perfect peace. This peace belongs to those that love the Lord’s ways (Psalm 119: 163). A natural by-product of this is that we will strive to live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18). When this is followed in the order given of righteousness, then peace, only then will we have true joy in the Holy Ghost.

This is important to catch that joy in the Holy Ghost comes when God’s way is followed, not the way we please. Think about that! How true it is! There is a joy that fills a person’s heart when they are doing God’s will- it’s a joy that only God can offer. All the world can offer is momentary happiness. But we have someone a billion times better- a Savior Jesus Christ, who fills all our needs!

The promise is then that God will accept this form of “worship” (which is anything you do in your life), and the world (though they may hate us for it) will approve of it, seeing a difference in us that they expect because we claim the name of Christ.

So when you think about your relationship with Jesus Christ, remember that it’s not about the good things you can and cannot eat/drink since charity is to be the focal point there, but rather it is about following righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost because of our love we have for God and desire to reflect Christ in all we do. (:

The following are rebuttals from Simeon and the responses I offered accordingly on the music article.

Please notice that under the blog format it was impossible to carry over the format from the forums, so some of the responses and quotations may be a little harder to follow.  I will say this: all of Simeon’s responses are included in the ‘block quotations”.  All italicized quotations inside those are sections in which Simeon quoted me.  Also, the facial expressions changed from the forums to the blog in case you are wondering.

 

 

Rebuttal #1

simeoncameron, “Daniel: First, thank you for your careful and respectful approach to addressing people on this subject. Thank you for trying to discern what God truly wants in this situation. Thank you for bringing your thoughts out of a heart of love.

Although I agree with your heart and some of what you say, I would like to ask a question regarding/address something you said [quote]What’s wrong with using sensual music while swaying back and forth to it with a whole bunch of people in an attempt to worshipping God? The Israelites attempt was condemned by God. Not only this, but this music is focused on the physical with the driving beat (not the spiritual) eliciting the sensual bodily movements and goes against the natural creation of music. This music is not ministering to the spirit but to the body… and it is sadly fooling Christians.[/quote]
The Israelites were [b]not[/b] attempting to worship God “When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, ‘Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.'”(Exodus 32:1) In this verse we see that they are deliberately turning their backs on God and pursuing idolatry. They weren’t attempting to use secular songs for worship, they were literally worshipping another “deity”. In calling the back beat “un-godly”, I wonder, where do you find Scriptural basis for that? Music is absolutely not neutral, I agree, but instruments are. In the the same way that a drum is used to create a beat, a rhythm is used to keep tempo. A tempo is no more sinful than an electric guitar. Genres aren’t sinful. To say that would be to akin to saying that Renaissance art is sinful because some people painted some sinful pictures during that time. Just as what is on the painting makes it right or wrong, it is the product of lyrics that are put to music that defines whether or not that song is sinful or not. Back beat is simply one of the colors of paint with which an artist composes his work. And what would you say of the music by these Christian rock artists that use ‘natural’ beat. It is still rock music, so how would you go about condemning it? You quoted secular artists on how they use their music to corrupt people… yet you gave no example of Christian artists saying such things. Musicians in the Christian ‘realm’ have a whole different approach. Take for example Thousand Foot Krutch’s song “War of Change” [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_Ub6pW71Zsor[/url] or “Already Home” [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22RkJAVRFno&feature=kp[/url] both have not only positive, but Christian messages and do not spark ‘urges’. Similarly, the rap song “Don’t Waste Your Life” by the hiphop artist Lecrae posits a lifestyle of not wasting your life: [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RWEllqh5J0&feature=kp[/url]. Maybe it’s not the style of music that you like, but you have no grounds to call this unbiblical or sinful. Rap wasn’t around in Scripture… but poetry was and rap is a form of poetry. Scripture never condemns a style of poetry. It condemns words we use, not music that we use. “Amazing Grace” is said to have been composed in the style of bar tunes, yet it is one of the most popular and well known hymns in the world. Even if instruments or certain tempo beats [b][i]are[/i][/b] ‘of the devil’ as you say, in 1 Cor. 8:4-5 “Therefore, as to eating of food offered to idols, we know that an idol has no real existence, and that there is no God but one. For although there may be so-called ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’ — yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom all things exist.” Is the devil a real threat? Absolutely. Is music that is glorifying God that has a beat that is foreign to you sinful? Not biblically. Again, God never established a certain beat. Do our hearts beat “1,2, 1,2”? Yes. Can I see your point of caution? Yes. But I don’t quite see your point about how this music, that without a doubt glorifies Jesus, is sinful. To say that the devil owns anything is to say that he won… and he didn’t. Jesus is the Redeemer of [i][b]all[/b][/i] creation. The world was perfect, we sinned. Jesus died, He saved us. He owns all of creation, not Satan. Satan doesn’t even own hell.
Now, on the other hand, if you do find that this music produces in [b]you[/b] a sensual feeling or posture, than I am not going to infringe upon your own convictions. All that I am saying is this: in my understanding of Scripture in regard to music, God never lays out what instruments or tempos are to be used. He does say to be “in this world, not of it” as well as “a tree is known by its fruit”. I find it interesting that you chose tobyMac’s song “Forgiveness” to prove your point that this kind of music is sinful. You said that this music is not ministering to the spirit, but to the body. Yet, if you look at the fruit of the music, you will see that it is producing anything but sinful behavior. Is there “Christian” music that is groundless and borderline secular? Yes. Is there so-called “Christian” music that is sinful? Absolutely. But your example is, I believe, suggesting that you are elevating a personal preference to biblical law status. In this instance, it IS lyrics that define whether a song is good or bad, because the lyrics are what we sing. Will some people use some of this music for dancing in a sinful way? Possibly. Because people will always find ways to sin. It is in our human nature. Will they do so using a song called “Forgiveness”? I doubt it. Why do I doubt it? Because the song is about forgiveness. I suggest you use music that proves your point to show us an example, not one that bears much good fruit.

Thank you, and please know, I am also trying to approach this out of a heart of love. 😀

Reponse to Rebuttal #1

Simeon,

Thank you for your response and for making it your aim to approach this out of a heart of love. I appreciate it! 🙂

First off in Exodus 32:4, when the golden calf was presented to the children of Israel, they said, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” It was JEHOVAH God who had brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, and now these people had taken the Lord God and put Him into the image of the golden calf. In their minds, this was JEHOVAH God, The One Who delivered them from Egypt, and they were now worshipping Him in the form of a golden calf; not only that, but they were doing it their own way with that which was not Godly music at all (as I elaborate on in that section of the paper).

You asked, where do I find Scriptural evidence the backbeat being ungodly? Throughout my article I provide numerous Scripture passages that clearly show how that the backbeat is devilish and not Godly, given its characteristics of constantly going against the natural-rhythmic pattern which God created, a music of confusion (1 Corinthians), rebellion (1 Samuel), eliciter of sensual responses (1 John). (Also, keep in mind that the ‘backbeat’ section cannot be looked at by itself; everything in the paper goes hand-in-hand and must be looked at in its entirety to see what Scripture says.) Also, I did not say that there were some instruments that were inherently evil or not neutral for it is how they are used that make them so. Music does have great power for good and evil. And I also said that I liked certain of this ‘sensual’ music, but do not listen to it because of what I like and dislike (if that was my reasoning, I would listen to it), but rather because of what God’s Word clearly teaches about music.

I quoted the secular artists because you would expect quotes like that to come from a Christian. When it comes from the world, it should wake us up that the world knows the destructiveness of this certain music that Christians refuse to acknowledge. It is very sad (Luke 16:8).

You say that these Christian Rock/Rap artists come with a whole different mindset. Sadly, that makes no difference; the same music is being used. Using this music of destructiveness with a spirit of compassion does not change anything; it’s like giving someone hemlock, but saying that you will do it with compassion and therefore it won’t harm you when in reality the destructive results remain the same. They may have a heart that seeks to do right, but as we saw over and over God wants worship in “spirit and truth” and obedience to His Word with the right heart attitude. From the examples you gave, I’m sorry to say, but other than the words, the music that is supposed to be Christian is exactly the same as the worldly music from which we have been delivered as believers (Psalm 40). There was no difference. How is this contrasting a difference between the believer’s life and the lost world? (2 Corinthians 5:17, “behold, all things are become new.” Even music.)

Also, good lyrics don’t make a song God-honoring if the music is sensual. In David Byers’ music series (which is very good, but not recommended for reasons addressed in the paper), he told how that “The Rolling Stones” Band (these are secularists) said in essence that they had finally come to realize that the music is all that matters. Also, Garlock and Woetzel quote Dr. Richard Taylor, a graduate of Boston University, in his work The Disciplined Lifestyle, [b][i]“Words are a timid thing. Decibels and beat are bold things, which can easily bury the words under an avalanche of sound.” [/i][/b]

Scripture furthermore tells us that you cannot join God and the devil. You cannot join devilish music with Godly words. I’ve already said this in the paper, but Satan took that which was Godly music and corrupted it just like he does everything else. There is Godly music and there is music that has been corrupted by Satan (again, this is presented throughout the paper’s entirety). Music going against God’s rhythmic creation of music, that of confusion, rebellion, and eliciting sensual responses does not glorify God, but rather the devil. While I agree that my opinion is no authority to claim something right or wrong as you pointed out, God’s Word has all the authority to do so. And the Bible does just that.

With all due respect, while I have provided numerous Scripture passages about music in communicating my musical position, you have not used any Scripture to defend your musical position or why as you say this sensual music is God-honoring, that this music cannot be evil, that God never established a certain beat, etc. Friend, the Word of God is our sole foundation for Christian living in every area of our daily life, including music; our foundation is not our personal opinions. When we make our opinions our basis for our beliefs, we in essence are building upon the sand (Matthew 7). But God’s Word is a solid Rock that will withstand even the greatest tests of times. 🙂

Just a note about Lecrea…. To be honest with you, I really don’t know who he is. I had just heard that he was some Christian Rock/Rap (sorry I don’t know which category… it uses the backbeat though) artist from CP students so I looked him up to see if I could find a good demonstration of the backbeat. It was merely given as an example; I have nothing personal against the man at all; as I said, I don’t even really know who he is. o_O (actually, when I clicked on your examples you provided I thought, “I could have used one of these for my example. Again, it the song was merely an example.) I am not judging the man at all nor do I wish to do so for that is God’s job. I’m sure he loves the Lord. 😀 I’m sure God can bring good out it (God brings good out of anything, like the Nazi camps but in no way condoned the Nazi’s actions), but that doesn’t mean God thereby condones the channel/method (this is elaborated on more in the paper).

It is certainly true that God is the creator of music; and as believers we ought to use Godly music (this new song) to glorify God since He is our music (Exodus, Psalm, Isaiah). Satan, being musical, corrupted music and made music that glorifies himself. As I said before, there is certainly God music. God made other things that Satan has corrupted; that which is corrupted is not Godly; God’s original creation of it was Godly. The same concept goes with music, a topic on which Scripture has very much to say. God’s original creation of music is Godly (since there is Godly music), but like everything else, this musical devil made a corrupted form of music to glorify himself. These are results of the fall; it’s not surprising. Ought not we as believers to be showing a distinction from the world in every area of our lives as the Bible commands us in 2 Corinthians 5:17? By this new music of a believer in Psalm 40, many will hear, fear, and trust the Lord. This is glorious! But how is this supposed to be done if we are being conformed to the world (Romans 12:2)? Let’s be that difference for Christ, showing for the spirit of love.

I pray that this response has likewise come across in the spirit of love (Ephesians 4:15). Isn’t it so great to be able to discuss with a spirit of love? Thanks for doing it, Simeon!! It builds respect for you as an individual when you do so. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts as well!

I hope I have clarified your questions/concerns. May I say just this: let’s allow God’s Word to shape our opinions over against our opinions shaping God’s Word. I will honestly admit that I grappled with some of these concepts for a while in the 2 month process of writing this paper. For instance, the backbeat- at the outset, I was going to build up and show how Scripture speaks against the backbeat, but then as I started getting into my paper, I began to think, “I know this is wrong, but I don’t see anywhere where Scripture speaks against it in principle… I’m not going to write about the backbeat…” And so for a while, I did not. But the more and more I studied and delved into Scripture, I realized (without intending) that Scripture did have clear principle and teaching against the backbeat and its sensual characteristics. (there were other areas that I grappled with as well… and I have not written that which I fully believe Scripture clearly teaches about. Yes, I have more to say… but I had to stop sometime. XD)

Even if we end at a point of disagreement on music, we will still see each other in heaven one day because of what Christ did on Calvary, not our positions on this issue, albeit a very important topic. Again, thank you for the reply! 🙂 May God richly bless you as you follow God’s leading in your life. 😀

Because of Christ,

Daniel

 

Rebuttal #2 (the parts italicized bracketed in the following rebuttal are the sections which Simeon quoted me)

simeoncameron- “All. Right. here is my reply. Sorry, it’s [b][i]only[/i][/b] 2,895 words (and half of those are quotes)… 😆

So, Round 2. I readily admit that I did not come to the ring with my gloves on last time. For this bout, however, I am set in my corner, ready to come out swinging. I am going to cover several issues in your argument. I also believe that I have addressed your problem with my lack of Scripture (I use the English Standard Version). 😀

First

[DanielDiedrichquoted ]They were using this music to worship the golden calf which in their mind was JEHOVAH God. […] Here were the children of Israel attempting to worship God their own way with sensual music, actions, and the golden calf… and in reality worshipping the devil. [/quote]

Here you are wrong. Why do I think you are wrong? If you look at Exodus 32:1-3, you will see that the Israelites were not attempting to worship God in their own way: [quote] When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” Ex. 32:1-3[/quote]In Exodus 20, the Lord speaks to all of Israel out of the cloud and gives them the Ten Commandments, the second of which is “You shall not make for yourself a carved image…” The Israelites knew exactly what they were doing when they told Aaron to make them godS (emphasis on the pluralization). Your argument that they were trying to worship God is invalid because He, The Lord GOD, had already commanded them to make no graven images.

[DanielDiedrichquote]Yet how many times in the Christian life do we know God’s commands but disobey them and then try to speak our love to God by saying how much we love Him[/quote]

You mention several times how the back beat is ‘sinful,’ yet you give no solid Scriptural evidence as to how it is. The Bible constantly refers to singing a new song to the Lord which indicates writing new music… sometimes writing new music would indicate using different song structure. Scripture even promotes yelling in music

Psalm 33:3-4
“Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud SHOUTS.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.”

Isaiah 42:10-21
“Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,
the coastlands and their inhabitants.
Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,
the villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the habitants of Sela sing for joy,
let them shout from the top of the mountains.
Let them give glory to the Lord,
and declare his praise in the coastlands.
The Lord goes out like a mighty man,
like a man of war he stirs up his zeal;
he cries out, he SHOUTS aloud,
he shows himself mighty against his foes.”

I added emphasis on SHOUTS to indicate what I was referring to. Now, you may say “Simeon, you don’t have much basis for saying that shouting is indicative of yelling,” and I would want to retort with “Neither do you have any basis for saying that the back beat is sinful,” but, instead I will point you to the Hebrew definition of this word: “rua: to raise a shout, give a blast: to shout a war cry.” Both Psalm 33:3-4 AND Isaiah 42:10-21 are written regarding songs, the writing of songs, and the singing of them. Both of the passages include shouting as an integral part of music. Isaiah calls for people of all nations and places to sing praise to the Lord… but according to you, the can only sing in a certain beat? Every people group has music that is known as their folk music, and yet, if their folk music has a back beat, they can’t honestly be praising Jesus? But I digress.

Next:

[quote]What’s Wrong with Christian Rock by Jeff Godwin wrote:
“No one can deny that the music of Elvis Presley and the Beatles sent millions of teenagers all over the world into sobbing, screaming, hysterical frenzies. If C-Rock’s [Christian Rock] natural philosophy is true [that good words to rock music overrides the music], then that mob insanity surrounding Elvis and the Beatles was the result of their LYRICS, not their music. Here are the lyrics to two of the biggest hits Presley and the Fab Four every produced:
TEDDY BEAR [Presley]
“Just wanna be your teddy bear/ Don’t wann be a lion/ Cause lions play too rough/ Don’t wanna be a tiger/ Cause tigers aren’t the kind you love enough…”
I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND [the Beatles]
“Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something’/ I think you’ll understand/ When I say that somethin’/ I wanna hold your hand…”
Sorry C-Rock fans, but those lyrics had nothing to do with the mass hysteria surrounding Elvis and the Beatles. Something MUCH bigger than the dim-witted stanzas of Pop/Rock music turned those little girls into screaming maniacs writhing in {improper action- words replaced to stay inside rules}… The power behind Presley and the Beatles’ success was made up of two elements: the MUSIC and the spirit BEHIND the music- the spirit of antichrist.”[/quote]

Is it so unbelievable to think that the “mob insanity surrounding Elvis and the Beatles was the result of their LYRICS, not their music”? The answer is no. The seemingly meaningless lyrics pumped massive amounts of emotion into the thralls of teenage girls. The prospect, no matter how unachievable, of a young ‘hot’ man, singing love to women everywhere is more of what made them writhing masses than anything else. The apostle James says (in Chapter 3 of his book, beginning in verse 3 and going through verse 9), [b]“If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly posion. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”[/b] Here we see that, although our God is musical, He values words much higher than music. Words have the power to build up and tear down, music has the power to uplift or depress. The former is of more importance.

[DanielDiedrichquote] Rock artists also purposefully utilize the backbeat continuously throughout the song, repetitively, in an attempt to control the listener’s mind. The constant repetition has the ability to do just that; once done, they can slip their message in at a sublimal level without our noticing it. (“Christian Rock” series by David Byers). Yet does not the Scripture command believers to be filled with the Spirit?[/quote]

also

[quote]William J. Schaffer wrote: “…rock has acted as a catalyst, a force uniting and amplifying ideas and feelings. It is a medium, a means of communicating emotions… the medium is the message. Associated with rock, for instance, is a cult or irrationality, a reverence for the instinctual, the visceral- and a distrust of reason and logic; this form of anti-intellectualism can be highly dangerous, can lead to totalitarian modes of thought and action. Linked with this anti-intellectualism can be interest in the occult: magic, superstition, exotic religious thought, anything contrary to the main currents of Western thought. Also directly connected is an obsession with the unconscious mind; the force of drug culture has been in promise to reveal the hidden, instinctual man, to free the individual from restrictions and limitations of his conscious mind and his … physical body”[/quote]

If these facts are true, “that rock artists can ‘control peoples minds’ (I paraphrase) and that “rock is a force uniting and amplifying ideas and feelings,” why on earth should we concede to let the devil hold that power? Jesus is the Redeemer of creation and He has the power to save all genres of music, if they are indeed fallen. To say that this music is the devil’s music is to admit defeat. It is to say that Jesus is not the Conqueror of ALL creation, and this, friend Daniel, is far from the truth.

[DanielDiedrichquote]Yet the extensive usage of the backbeat brings forth a music of confusion. It does not follow the order or the natural rhythmic patterns created by God.[/quote] 

Again, you fail to give Scriptural proof of God ordaining certain beats and condemning others.
You used this reference as a weapon to smack down rock/rap music:

[DanielDiedrichquote]Jesus said in Matthew 15:16-18, “…Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”[/quote]

Yet, elsewhere, Jesus also says, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil” (Matthew 12:34b-35). Look at these contemporary Christian songs and see if you can tell me that they are biblically sinful:

All to Us (by Chris Tomlin): [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoXPhuDVp4U[/url]
Forever Reign (by the Passion Worship team): [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpUJkFmv8kE[/url]
Man of Sorrows (by Hillsong): [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6jXqdtZi10[/url]

 

In regards to the ‘Amazing Grace rap’ you stated that

[DanielDiedrichquote] It was also irreverent to use as worship to God for a believer. [/quote]

Although I disliked this rap (merely because it was poorly executed and not pleasant to listen to), biblically, you have little ground to say this. 1 Samuel 16:7 says “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Please, be careful in casting judgment on others in such a heavy way.
[DanielDiedrichquote] Just as the Christian who places priorities on the physical things in life is sensual, even so music that is primarily focused on rhythm is sensual.[/quote]

In focusing on the beat, rather than the lyrics of songs, would you say that you are becoming legalistic and (to use your wording) ‘sensual?’ Where the writers and performers of these songs are changing peoples lives, you say

[DanielDiedrichquote]Using this music of destructiveness with a spirit of compassion does not change anything; it’s like giving someone hemlock, but saying that you will do it with compassion and therefore it won’t harm you when in reality the destructive results remain the same.[/quote]

Yet you give no statistical evidence for these ‘destructive results’. You appear to be consumed with sensual things and focusing on the less relevant beat. Earlier, I referenced Matthew 12:34b-35, a cross reference of that verse takes us to Luke 6:43-44b, “For no good tree bears bad fruit, not again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit.” The fruit that these as Christian artists are producing is revealing that God is using them to bring thousands to Him.
Take for example:
Once and For All (by Disciple) [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NryE8daUauc&feature=kp[/url]
This song clearly lays out the path of a sinner to redemption through Jesus… and yet, because it has a beat you aren’t familiar with, it is of the devil?

Or what of this song by the Christian rock band Kutless:
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jehF0SYiaSU[/url]

or this one by the same band:
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaJ-wiGgrDs[/url]

These songs clearly and beautifully declare the glory of God. I caution you to cast such weighty judgment on the work of people glorifying their Maker with the gifts that He has given them.
[DanielDiedrichquote]Friends, ought we really to be using this sensual music to worship our holy God? It does not work. God about had it with the Israelites…. and yet, we are doing similar to that of the Israelites in our attempt to worship God. Many a church is out on the battlefield for Christ and have left its back doors wide open through which Satan has crept in through the medium of music- one of his greatest tools. He wants us to enjoy that which He has made and use it to reflect His glory (as we stay inside His basic principles)[/quote]

To say that God about had it with the Israelites, going back to my previous point, is groundless in condemning rock music. As stated earlier, the Israelites were not attempting to worship God. They were deliberately rebelling against Him and creating idols, which He had commanded them not to do. I completely agree that the Lord wants us to enjoy that which He has made and use it to reflect His glory. The song “Holy God” by contemporary Christian artist Brian Doerksen captures (just as well as Holy, Holy, Holy) the magnitude of HIS splendor.

Listen well:
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjuLrSv6PgA[/url]

or the cCm song “I Will Glory in My Redeemer”
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC5-ZuQTBgk[/url]

How are these ‘sensual’ in nature? If all contemporary Christian music is sinful, what of these?
[DanielDiedrichquote]Christians, I do want to make a note that if we are using the new, Godly song (Psalm 40) from which many will see and come to Christ, then we are going to need to have some joy and enthusiasm in this new song.  Too many times do we sing songs of praise to God, yet by the pitiful looks on our faces, one would never know we truly meant what we were singing.[/quote]
I would like to point out that (and it may only be in my personal experience) I have seen more joy in these churches that sing “sinful” songs than in the ones that sing hymns. Why is this? I highly doubt that every single person in those churches are happy because they are sinning by singing devilish songs about ::gasp:: praising Jesus. (God forbid we do something so horrible)…. Okay, I apologize for my brief sarcasm, I honestly am approaching this out of a heart of love for my fellow Christians. Back to the subject now, out of the couple dozen churches I have visited, I have seen more dead-looking congregations on your side of the coin then mine. Now, I am not at all saying that your type of church is more or less alive than my type, because, after all, the Lord looks on the heart. What I am saying is that you, dear friend, seem to be missing the forest for the tree that you don’t like. A pastor that I look up to and deeply respect said, “We need to be careful to not let our preferences become our prejudices,”(Mark Driscoll in the sermon ‘Your Seat, Jesus’ Seat) and, although music is a very big issue in the life of a Christian, I believe that you are focusing on a part of music that doesn’t matter as much. It would be akin to saying, “Animal skin/products are the only materials that can be used to make clothes because cotton and polyester didn’t originate until more recently and sinful people use them for bad things therefore it must be the devil’s so we can’t use them. And God made clothes out of animals not plants while Adam and Eve tried to use plants, so it must be wrong to use plants for clothing.” As far fetched as this example may seem it is extremely similar to your theory on music. The ‘back beat’ that you reference so constantly is merely a building block for creating music.

I believe my argument has come to a close. Thank you for reading.
One last thought regarding sensuality: I recommend that you go and read the extremely sensual Song of Solomon. Sensuality is biblical. The devil perverted it into SINFUL sensuality, but sensuality was God’s idea first. I encourage you to think about that.”

 

 

My Response to Rebuttle #2:

 

“simeoncameron- “All. Right. here is my reply. Sorry, it’s [b][i]only[/i][/b] 2,895 words (and half of those are quotes)… 😆 .”

No worries about the word count, friend. 😄 I was very surprised to see your post so soon after you said you would be taking a while on it. I was like, “So soon? My ‘take a while’ would be days…. weeks…” 😆 Thanks for all the hard work you did in sharing your thoughts. Thank you for putting Scripture in your response. 😀 I aim to address your concerns…. all, like we’ve been doing, in the spirit of love. 🙂

simeoncameron- “First

[DanielDiedrichquote]They were using this music to worship the golden calf which in their mind was JEHOVAH God. […] Here were the children of Israel attempting to worship God their own way with sensual music, actions, and the golden calf… and in reality worshipping the devil. [/quote]

Here you are wrong. Why do I think you are wrong? If you look at Exodus 32:1-3, you will see that the Israelites were not attempting to worship God in their own way:

“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” Ex. 32:1-3

In Exodus 20, the Lord speaks to all of Israel out of the cloud and gives them the Ten Commandments, the second of which is “You shall not make for yourself a carved image…” The Israelites knew exactly what they were doing when they told Aaron to make them godS (emphasis on the pluralization). Your argument that they were trying to worship God is invalid because He, The Lord GOD, had already commanded them to make no graven images.”

I’ll have to disagree. First of all, had the Israelites not intended in their minds to worship God, they would not have said when they presented the golden calf, “these be the gods that brought thee out of Egypt.” They could have said if they had no intent or mindset of worshipping God in a false way of the graven image, “these be the gods of Egypt” (or other things along the same lines) Who brought them out of Egypt? JEHOVAH God did. Yes, this golden calf was a graven image as you correctly implied, but it is very important as Scripture shows to note that Israel was attempting to place JEHOVAH God into the form of this graven image. They were making God into their own image of the golden calf, and in their minds worshipping JEHOVAH God, but the devil’s way.

simeoncameron- “The Bible constantly refers to singing a new song to the Lord which indicates writing new music… sometimes writing new music would indicate using different song structure. Scripture even promotes yelling in music.
Psalm 33:3-4
“Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud SHOUTS.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.”

Isaiah 42:10-21
“Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,
the coastlands and their inhabitants.
Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,
the villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the habitants of Sela sing for joy,
let them shout from the top of the mountains.
Let them give glory to the Lord,
and declare his praise in the coastlands.
The Lord goes out like a mighty man,
like a man of war he stirs up his zeal;
he cries out, he SHOUTS aloud,
he shows himself mighty against his foes.” “

I whole-heartedly agree with you that the Bible talks about singing a new song as believer as Psalm 33:3-4 and Isaiah 42:10-21 in your example talk about. I talked about this ‘new song’ extensively in the music article. This ‘new song’ is that song which God has given us as believers when He delivered us from that “horrible pit (by definition: pit of noise and confusion)” in Psalm 40 and saved us. Confusion is an exact characteristic of a music with backbeats, and yet God has delivered us from that horrible pit and given us a new song (even as the passages you presented further support)! 😀 You even say that this ‘new song’ could indicate using different song structures, and I have this to say: from Scripture’s teaching this pit of noise/confusion could use the emphasis of the 2nd and 4th beats- structured against God’s natural created rhythmic pattern of duple form. Now that we’ve been saved as believers, our new song does not follow this old worldly structure, but it is characterized by a new structure- that structure which God has created in the basics rhythmic patterns of the duple and triple form. With this basic new structure as our foundation, we have the freedom to create all kinds of music that glorifies God with this ‘new song’. But yes, this ‘new song’ is distinct from that old song of confusion as Scripture clearly states. This is so cool! 😀

I also agree that we are to sing with all of our hearts to the Lord with shouts of praise. We are to give the Lord our all, not partial.

The word “noise” (KJV) or in the ESV version “shout” comes from (as you said) the Hebrew word: [i]clamor, that is, acclamation of joy or a battle cry; especially clangor of trumpets, as an alarum: – alarm, blow (-ing) (of, the) (trumpets), joy, jubile, loud noise, rejoicing, shout (-ing), (high, joyful) sound (-ing).[/i] Just a note: if the definition does not render the usage of the word ‘yell’ then it ought not to be taken that way. We need to stick to what the definition has to say. Even if you were to be given the word “to yell”, I don’t see what you are trying to prove. Yes, I do agree that we are to sing with all of our hearts, joyful shouts of praise to God. 🙂

While you talk about shouting in song, how does this show that the backbeat is Godly? You make a very good point of singing whole-heartedly to God, 😀 but this doesn’t approve of the using of the backbeat.

simeoncameron- “If these facts are true, “that rock artists can ‘control peoples minds’ (I paraphrase) and that “rock is a force uniting and amplifying ideas and feelings,” why on earth should we concede to let the devil hold that power? Jesus is the Redeemer of creation and He has the power to save all genres of music, if they are indeed fallen. To say that this music is the devil’s music is to admit defeat. It is to say that Jesus is not the Conqueror of ALL creation, and this, friend Daniel, is far from the truth.”

Jesus Christ came and paid the penalty of mankind’s sin. Christ gives those who accept this free gift of salvation a new life in which all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17), even in our music (Psalm 40:2-3). Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse Himself (Galatians 3:13). Christ has not redeemed all of our creation YET (yet- is the key word). If right now all of creation is redeemed, then there should be no suffering and sin in this world. All creation has not been redeemed YET, but there will be a day when Christ redeems everything and there will be no more suffering or rebellion when He comes to earth to reign for 1,000 years in the Millinuem.

Consider the following example (all kept inside forum rules): God created marriage in its holy form (Hebrews 13:4); Satan corrupted marriage. Satan’s corruption of marriage does not glorify God, but it is sin. Yet following your thought-pattern in your argument, the devil’s corruptive form of marriage does glorify God? The point is this: God created music in its holy form to glorify Him. The musical devil’s corruption of music does not glorify God, but rather himself. Why is it being used in attempt to glorify God? Christ has redeemed us from this old lifestyle through His death on the cross and made all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Through Christ we can live in victory over our old nature. Why ought we to go back to the old song when Christ has redeemed us to a new life in Jesus?

I like your question on why should we allow the devil to hold that power? Let’s not allow the devil that opportunity by getting rid of his old worldly music and using music that glorifies God.

simeoncameron- “You mention several times how the back beat is ‘sinful,’ yet you give no solid Scriptural evidence as to how it is.”

Yet where is Scriptural backing for saying that backbeats in music are Godly? While it may be tempting to say, “Scripture says nothing about it”, Scripture is clear that there is music that glorifies God and music that glorifies the devil since both our musical. Therefore, it behooves us as believers to look to Scripture and evaluate what music is Godly and what music is devilish. To say any music can be used doesn’t float the boat. (we have seen the backbeat’s characteristics and how that they are spoken against in Scripture- 1 Corinthians 14:33, 1 Samuel 15:23, 1 John 2:16, Psalm 40:2-3). The backbeat is characterized by that of the old song, but why are we as believers using it in our music when we have the much better ‘new song’ which God has given us?

simeoncameron- “Is it so unbelievable to think that the “mob insanity surrounding Elvis and the Beatles was the result of their LYRICS, not their music”? The answer is no. The seemingly meaningless lyrics pumped massive amounts of emotion into the thralls of teenage girls. The prospect, no matter how unachievable, of a young ‘hot’ man, singing love to women everywhere is more of what made them writhing masses than anything else. The apostle James says (in Chapter 3 of his book, beginning in verse 3 and going through verse 9), “If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly posion. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.” Here we see that, although our God is musical, He values words much higher than music. Words have the power to build up and tear down, music has the power to uplift or depress. The former is of more importance.”

Yes, it is unbelievable. Someone saying those lyrics monotone would not cause these thralls. The music behind the words was the major catalyst in eliciting this response. Let’s look further though…

A Christian Rock (Rock- extensively utilizing the backbeat) performer held a concert in Russia. His song included Christian lyrics, all of which being in English were foreign to the Russian-speaking people. The crowd didn’t understand any of the words, but they were still bringing forth inappropriate bodily responses from the music he was playing. The music, not the words, elicited these responses, holding the greater power.

But we will return to this idea after touching on the passage in James. This passage is not talking about words but rather the power of the tongue, which can be deadly indeed. The tongue encompasses more than just words (i.e. tone of how you say something, etc). Let’s read the following passage:

“And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with 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.” –Acts 16:16-18 (emphasis mine)

There’s a question to be asked: how was the demon-possessed damsel saying this message? Was this said sincerely? Was this said mockingly? Was this said in distress? Was this said angrily? The Scripture doesn’t say, but Paul was grieved. Had the message been communicated in either one of these ways, it would have altered the meaning of the message. Depending on the music used, the context of the words is changed. Imagine looking at a picture of Christ on the cross with the backdrop of Looney Tunes (please don’t stone me for suggesting this- merely an example). Music defines the context of the words and setting and changes the meaning accordingly. The way one says something defines the context. This all lies in the power of the tongue (not the words), which James is talking about.

Furthermore, James does not mention music at all in this passage. Therefore since no comparison at all is given, a conclusion that one is more important than the other cannot be made from the passage.

As was seen in the paper and Scripture passages, music alone has great power. In 1 Samuel 16 when David played for King Saul, Saul was refreshed physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The music David played had the power to drive away the evil spirits, not the words (they aren’t even mentioned in the passage). Jim Morrison became demon-possessed not by the words, but by the music that his band played. (this is merely one example, mind you) Music was used to pave the way for the hand of the Lord coming upon Elijah in 1 Kings. The context and meaning of lyrics are changed based on what type of music is used. Music is not neutral; Scripture affirms that it has a wealth of power both physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

simeoncameron-

[quote=”Daniel Diedrich”]]Yet the extensive usage of the backbeat brings forth a music of confusion. It does not follow the order or the natural rhythmic patterns created by God.[/quote]
Again, you fail to give Scriptural proof of God ordaining certain beats and condemning others.”

You will notice that had you quoted me while opting out the Scripture passage in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that directly followed. Also in the paper, we already saw how that the duple/triple forms (without which there would be no music) are created by our musical God. God’s created rhythmic pattern of the duple form by nature emphasizes the 1, 2 (basic music theory). When the created emphasis of this basic rhythmic pattern is switched in the form of the backbeat, it does not follow God’s order; its intrinsic characteristics are that of confusion, rebellion, elicitation of inappropriate bodily responses- all of which God’s Word speaks against in 1 Corinthians, 1 Samuel, and 1 John. Our musical God has indeed created the natural emphasis of the first and third beats (base concept of the duple form).

simeoncameron- “You used this reference as a weapon to smack down rock/rap music:
[quote=”Daniel Diedrich”]Jesus said in Matthew 15:16-18, “…Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”[/quote]”

This verse was not in any way used to smack down rock/rap music. As seen in the context of the paper, I used this verse to further evidence how music was not a “meat offered to idols” issue in Romans 14 as some point out. Here is that section of the article in context so you understand what I am saying: 😀

[quote=”Daniel Diedrich”]Can we really call the music topic a Romans 14 “meat offered to idols”?

Jesus said in Matthew 15:16-18, “…Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”

Meat goes in and out of you. It does not defile the heart. Music goes in though and affects the heart, affects the mind, and affects the body. In music lies the potential to defile the heart as we have seen thus far.[/quote]

As seen, it was in reference to music not being a “meat offered to idols” issue. 😀

simeoncameron- “Although I disliked this rap (merely because it was poorly executed and not pleasant to listen to), biblically, you have little ground to say this. 1 Samuel 16:7 says “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Please, be careful in casting judgment on others in such a heavy way.”

Please understand that I am talking about the music itself. More than anything I want you to realize (as I have re-itereated this) that I do not wish at all to judge people’s hearts. That is God’s job and His alone, not mine. The music alone in the “Amazing Grace” selection (just a mere example) communicated a vastly different message than that of honoring God as it was focused on the physical (seen by the video itself); the focus was detracted to the performers that came from the music, which utilized the backbeat extensively itself, rather than be focused on God. Remember “Words are a timid thing. Decibels and beat are bold things, which can easily bury the words under an avalanche of sound. (Dr. Richard Taylor, graduate of Boston University in his work “The Disciplined Lifestyle”). Is God being shown reverence with music that elicits confusion, rebellion, and improper physical movements? It’s a good question to ponder.

simeroncameron- “In focusing on the beat, rather than the lyrics of songs, would you say that you are becoming legalistic and (to use your wording) ‘sensual?'”

Please be careful with the usage of the word ‘legalism’. Legalism has to do with following all the commands in an attempt to earn favor with God (Galatians would be a good read to understand the legalism concept). A Christian who loves the Lord and wants to obey God’s Word because he loves the Lord is not legalistic. It has to do with the heart, not the actions. Again because music has so much power and is so important, it needs to be evaluated in the grid of the Scriptures- all, mind you, in a spirit of love for Christ… as for every area of our life. 😀 So in answer to your question: no. The music holds greater power than the lyrics and must be evaluated in light of Scripture. Would we not all agree that the words in music need to be God-honoring? I believe so. Good words with wrong music makes wrong music (as we have seen).

simeoncameron- “The fruit that these as Christian artists are producing is revealing that God is using them to bring thousands to Him.”

I do not doubt this at all. However, just because God uses something, doesn’t mean God approves of it. And yes, there are evidences (sourced in David Byer’s “Christian Rock” music series) of negative results that cannot be mentioned under forum rules. But yes, God works everything for good- I believe that. We fall into a humanistic “end-justifies-the-means” train-of-thought if we say something is good just because God brought good out of it. Well then… what about the Nazi camps? God brought good out of it, but in no way whatsoever condoned it. The point is that there is a major flaw in that type of thinking, and it is not Biblical. Music (in our example) ought to be evaluated as good not by what the end-results are, but by what God’s Word says about music itself. Therefore, as in all things, we are to prove “what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10)”.

simeoncameron- “and yet, because it has a beat you aren’t familiar with, it is of the devil?”

Actually,I am familiar with the backbeat- it’s not a foreign concept. But the backbeat is opposite to God’s created rhythmic pattern. That’s what is meant when “unnatural emphasis” is used in that it’s against God’s pattern. Hopefully that helps clear it up.

simeoncameron- “These songs clearly and beautifully declare the glory of God. I caution you to cast such weighty judgment on the work of people glorifying their Maker with the gifts that He has given them.”

All your links (except the last song which is not in 4/4 timing) utilize the backbeat. As Scripture has shown this does not glorify God. You cannot mix God-honoring lyrics with music that glorifies the devil (1 Corinthians shows that Christ and Belial cannot be mixed). And while you say these songs declare the glory of God, you do so with just a simple statement. Why is that? Scripture speaks against this music… can we smack it down with a simple statement? …That doesn’t seem to work. I don’t wish to judge the individual at all :D, but the Bible commands to be “proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10)”. The music needs to be evaluated in light of Scripture- is it acceptable to the Lord? Is it that old song or new song? I do not doubt that God has gifted many artists with a musical talent, but again is the music being created acceptable or unacceptable to the Lord? Once inside God’s foundational guidelines, we can create all kinds of music to glorify God- yes, new music.

simeoncameron- “I would like to point out that (and it may only be in my personal experience) I have seen more joy in these churches that sing “sinful” songs than in the ones that sing hymns. Why is this? I highly doubt that every single person in those churches are happy because they are sinning by singing devilish songs about ::gasp:: praising Jesus. (God forbid we do something so horrible)…. Okay, I apologize for my brief sarcasm, I honestly am approaching this out of a heart of love for my fellow Christians. Back to the subject now, out of the couple dozen churches I have visited, I have seen more dead-looking congregations on your side of the coin then mine. Now, I am not at all saying that your type of church is more or less alive than my type, because, after all, the Lord looks on the heart.”

I brought that point to sing with joy up as an important reminder to Christian churches (who don’t use your music- if I may label it that without getting into to much) as if to warn them, “just because the whole paper has been on what music is acceptable to God, it doesn’t mean you are scott-free because you use acceptable music.” Why? God commands to be worshipped in “spirit and truth”- with the right heart attitude and according to God’s way. Using Godly music accept with a bad attitude is just as disobedient to God as using wrong music with the right heart attitude. (and yes, I’ll admit to not having the joy I should be having in worshipping the Lord at church at times. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it happens sadly at times. :/ And when that happens, I have sinned and not worshipped the Lord in “spirit and truth”.) We ought to worship God in “spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

simeoncameron- “What I am saying is that you, dear friend, seem to be missing the forest for the tree that you don’t like.”

The tree I don’t like? I’ve already said this a couple times before that if I were giving you my ‘preference’ and likes on music, I would not in a million years have written this paper because there is definitely some of that music that appeals to me that I like. But I do not listen to it, not because of my likes and dislikes, but rather because of what Scripture says about the issue of music.

simeoncameron- “although music is a very big issue in the life of a Christian, I believe that you are focusing on a part of music that doesn’t matter as much. It would be akin to saying, “Animal skin/products are the only materials that can be used to make clothes because cotton and polyester didn’t originate until more recently and sinful people use them for bad things therefore it must be the devil’s so we can’t use them. And God made clothes out of animals not plants while Adam and Eve tried to use plants, so it must be wrong to use plants for clothing.” As far fetched as this example may seem it is extremely similar to your theory on music.”

Well, I must disagree and here’s partly why.:D The clothing comparison you give to parallel with what I’ve said first off fails because it has solely to do with associations and a judging of people’s hearts for the criteria of rejecting things like cotton and polyester. The music article did not use that criteria, but rather evaluated the music itself in light of Scripture, not the people involved. Also just on a note, the duple and triple rhythmic patterns are basic building blocks for Godly. The backbeat is contrary to this…. and I’ll leave you with a question…. From reading all of this and seeing Scripture, for what type of music is the backbeat a building block? The answer… well, you know what I’m going to say… but I’ll let you say it. 🙂

In regards to the word ‘sensual’, it has to do about “me, me, me”- it’s a focus on self and pleasing oneself- the old sin nature. I would have varied the use of the word ‘sensual’ in the paper with other words, but because of forum rules and the nature of the other words (no they’re not bad 😛 XD), I was rather limited.

Thank you so much for reading and being willing to discuss. Please understand that I have spoken all of this in the spirit of love, and I hope it has come across that way. We are fellow believers in the Lord, who will see each other in heaven one day because of what Christ did on the cross of Calvary, not our agreement on these other issues albeit important. Thank you, Simeon! 😀

And alas, my response has come to a close. With this said, I am going to be bowing out of the music debate as you all know where I stand on the issue of music. Thank you all for taking the time to read what I’ve said and for generating some great discussion! 😀 [i]Actually to be quite honest, I am looking forward to taking a nice break from these controversial topics… *long happy sigh[/i]* 😄 Well, tally-hoe with the discussion and have fun! 🙂 May God richly bless you all!! 🙂

Because of Christ,

Daniel[/quote]

Part 1 Rebuttles on “Music: A Matter of Taste or Biblical Analysis?”

 

Below are rebuttles that came in to the music article, posted back in February.  There were a couple social media forms through which these responses came.  Since there was overlap in some of the rebuttles from this various channels, what I have done is selected the best of the rebuttles and provided my response to those accordingly.  Please enjoy.

 

Isaac Anderson, “Thank you so much Daniel for your extremely thoughtful, and engaging paper. One point I would like to pick at, and I’m afraid it is your main point, is your explanation of the backbeat. “The backbeat constantly goes against the natural rhythmic patterns of music which God created. ”

Why is this? You say it causes confusion, but I don’t understand how this is so, the musical piece in and of itself is still a symmetrical pattern. How does having the emphasis on a different beat create confusion?

I think this may have to end up being something we agree to disagree on, but in your paper, I believe we have come to an understanding on where we stand and thats awesome 😀 😀

Thank you for this hard work Daniel :)”

Isaac, thank you for asking that question so I can better clarify that point. 🙂 The major thrust I want to leave you all with is the truth that Scripture has much to say about the music in a believer’s life, and it thereby behooves us as believers to be constantly “proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10).”

While I address your question on the confusion aspect of the backbeat, please keep in mind the paper in its entirety (as all of it is essential together) and then also the other points that were addressed by the backbeat.

Okay, so let’s ask this question, “Why does the backbeat cause confusion when in and of itself is still a symmetrical pattern?”

It does constantly go against the natural rhythmic pattern and emphasis of music (duple form), which we had concluded God to be the creator of, since without these patterns music is dead.

The accompanying lyrics in the melody follow the natural rhythmic pattern of music. For example, the natural emphasis will tend to be on the 1st and 3rd beats; this merely follows natural poetic form.

With the repetitive usage of the backbeat (always replacing the emphasis off from God’s natural emphasis to the 2nd and 4th beats), the rhythm has become an entity of itself. This means that if we removed the melody and harmony, the rhythm would still exist in the form of the constant driving backbeat (an over excess of rhythm (which is talked about)). Rather than complimenting the melody, the backbeat is continuously contradicting it. What happens is these two musical components are fighting against each other for dominance in the music when they should be working with each other and kept in their proper priority as Scripture speaks about. Because the melody (and lyrics) and rhythm are working against each other, this does not create unity but rather a music of confusion since there is no clear message, but rather two contradicting ones.

Remember, the Beatles said that their music (with this backbeat), “is capable of causing emotional instability, disorganized behavior, rebellion and even revolution.”

You may ask, “Why am I quoting secularists?” These music artists know full well what their music (with the backbeat) does and are honest about it. Furthermore, we may expect something like this said from a Christian defending what is being brought forth; it should get a hold of our attention even more so when the lost world is saying this about type of music. Look at the words, ‘emotional instability, disorganized behavior’- confusion.

Let’s build on this with the ensuing idea.

When the melody is present and the lyrics are God-honoring while the music extensively utilizes the backbeat, we have conflict taking place. These lyrics and melody ought to minister to us spiritually and seeks to draw us that way. But then at the same time the continuous backbeats in the music (thereby over-usage of rhythm) because rhythm affects the body, elicits a desired sensual, physical response to the music- it is appealing to our old fleshly nature. Remember that God’s desire is for Christians to be focused on the spiritual while Satan’s desire is that our eyes are off the spiritual and focused on the physical. Now, we have this music that is trying to draw us closer to God spiritually (through the melody and also the words) while trying to draw us closer to the physical, sensual aspect (in the unnatural backbeat form). But, how can music please God and Satan at the same time? The backbeat thereby creates confusion and distracts the believer from the spiritual through the physical aspect of its unnatural rhythm. Scripture tells us that Christ can have nothing to with the devil (2 Corinthians 6). These two things cannot be joined together. Two masters cannot be served. Even James talks about how a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways; a music in the which rhythmic part (in the unnatural backbeat) dominates the God-ordained order of melody is communicating two separate, contradictory ideas, creating a music of confusion.

But as we have seen in 1 Corinthians 14:33- “For God is not the author of confusion [instability, disorder, confusion], but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

Just for thought: Can this music really be from God when God is not the author of confusion? And why is it being used in worship of a holy God?

Hopefully, I was better able to answer your question on the backbeat creates confusion, Isaac. Thank you again for the reply. 😀 And yes, there is nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree if it comes to that. We’ll be in heaven because of what Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary. While these other Scriptural doctrines/topics are very important, at least they do not affect our eternal destiny. 😀 Thanks again!

Austin Harrison- “So here is a new question to stir the pot.  How can you justify going to places that play that music? The grocery store, Target, Walmart, etc. You are intentionally placing yourself in an environment where your ears will receive the sounds. Seems a bit inconsistent, if your typed standards are are strong as mentioned in posts.”

Thank you for your reply, Austin. 🙂 Unfortunately, you cannot go anywhere today without being affected by this sensual music. It is, like you said, everywhere you go (even too in the workplace).

Jesus Christ prayed to God the Father concerning believers in John 17:15, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”

We as Christian are here to stay on earth for a purpose after our salvation- to carry out the Great Commission as defined in Matthew 28:18-20). God could have just taken us home to heaven to get us out of this mess, but He left us with the purpose that we be shining lights for Christ. Jesus said in Mathew 5:15-16, “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (we diminish the light when we conform to the evil of the world (Romans 12:2)). Jesus wants us to be kept from the evil in this world, not taken out of the world. We cannot be lights for Christ secluded in our own homes (and mind you, this music has the potential to penetrate inside the home as well; it is everywhere.) We as Christians are to be in the world, but not partakers of the evil in the world. Saying that we will not go anywhere but confine ourselves to our homes is not the solution to “I love listening to this inappropriate music”. That is not a Biblical solution (yes, we are to be separate from the evils of the world (in our example: rock, rap music, other sensual kinds) but we were placed by God in the world for a purpose.) It is like jumping from the ditch in one side of the road to the ditch in the other side of the road. There are Godly folks on the music issue that say, “Just play it extremely safe so there’s no possibility.” (In essence, make another fence around God’s Word). The problem is: you will get ‘burned’ because your thinking is not based upon the Word of God. We have to be careful about making man-made rules that act as a fence around God’s Word. We ought to let God’s Word speak for Itself and the follow it accordingly. Staying confined in a home and not going about normal activities is in essence jumping to the other ditch. God’s Word is our rule of authority, not our thoughts.

Because this wrong music is everywhere, it is even more important that we are constantly walking in the Spirit when we are out and about in our normal activities. Galatians 5:16 says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” It is important that we put on the armor of God to withstand Satan’s fiery darts (Ephesians 6). Satan would so desire the we as Christians lock ourselves in our homes and never go to the grocery store or out to eat, so that the lost do not see our light. (and yes, there are certain places that Christians ought to stay away from, but that is not for this discussion).

There are places you must go in life as part of the daily routine, work schedule, and what God has. And we need to remember to walk in the Spirit so we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. It is harmful to us. And sure, it would be nice if everywhere played good music, but the devil doesn’t work that way.

It is a given that we are going to get our feet dirty in the world; it’s life; it’s our sinful human nature; it’s going to happen, regardless what sin it is (sin is sin), what we say, or even the wrong thoughts we think. That is why we need to walk in the Spirit continually and be in God’s Word for a daily spiritual cleansing.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” -2 Corinthians 10:3-5

As we walk in the Spirit and have on the armor of God, we need to be constantly casting down everything that exalts itself above Christ. This is a constant battle from day to day for me, as I’m sure it is with all of us. Again, Christ does not want us out of the world, he wants us kept from the evil. We need to “proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10)” and have the spirit of discernment to “be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16).

Thanks again for the question, Austin! God bless!

David Haymond, “I completely agree that we need to base our views entirely on Scripture. However, Scripture is clear in numerous places (Psalm 150 for example) that music, as an art form, is created by God and meant for His worship and our enjoyment. Unless there is Scriptural evidence that a particular style of music is evil, we are free to use that style in appropriate ways. In other words, I don’t think we need to have “Scriptural proof” that rock music (for example) is evil. Rather, [b]all music[/b] is good unless Scriptural principles say otherwise. I am not saying that Scripture does or does not condone rock; I am just pointing out that unless either Scripture forbids it, or the music itself is not appropriate for the context, it is not wrong.”

I absolutely agree with the usage of Psalm 150 in that any instrument can be used in worship to God. Nowhere does the Bible say that a certain instrument is inherently evil in and of itself (just a side note: you may have noticed drums in the first video of Ben Everson’s “My Hope is Jesus”- they were used inside God’s created rhythmic pattern). It is how instruments are played that can make them to be used for evil. The passage doesn’t reference style though- it’s about instruments. Can [b]all[/b] music really be good though since both God and the corrupted devil are musical…. since there is music that glorifies God and corrupted music that glorifies the devil? Thanks for the thoughts, David! 😀

Nathan L, “Daniel, I have a couple questions for you, and these are honest questions that I want to know your thoughts on, not sarcasm or mockery. 🙂 (also, if you answered the questions in your paper go ahead and point me to which post it was in. 🙂 )

First one: If Rock didn’t have a backbeat, would it still be wrong?

And I forgot the other question. :|”

It’s a good question. And here’s the answer (well… the backdrop to the answer): If Rock music did not have the backbeat, it would not be Rock music (it could become “folk’ or a ‘ballad’). The extensive utilization of the backbeat in Rock music is what sets Rock apart from any genre. With that said however, the rock-beat (backbeat-same thing) can be found in other genres as well. One of the aims is not to look at genres but evaluate the backbeat tool (a removing of the dominant emphasis on the 1st and 3rd beat as created by God in the duple form and placing this emphasis on the 2nd and 4th- which is against God’s created order) in light of Scripture.

The backbeat is not the only tool in Rock music. Under the section “Invading the Intimate Zone” how the voice is used is talked about and evaluated. So, removing the backbeat from Rock (which would make it not Rock right there) does not guarantee its goodness. Depends on what else is being used. Hopefully, this answers your question. 🙂

I must say that your second question was the easiest one to answer. 😛 I very much liked it. 😉

 

 

Aside  —  Posted: March 25, 2014 in The Bible and Music

So here is my post finally…. Over a couple months later and I don’t know how many hours. 😄 I attempted to break it down to make it an easier read. I just want to note that writing about the topic of music is hard enough… trying to convey my thoughts across to you all in this comparatively small post is even harder. Yes, 11,000 words is still small believe it or not…

I would like to thank Luke Remegaldo for helping me out with the music paper and the encouragement he has been to me in taking this unpopular stand. I would also like to thank you all for voicing your thoughts in this thread; it has really helped me dig deep into the Scripture in knowing why I believe what I believe.

The Intent

I realize that music is a very touchy, hot, and personal issue for each individual. Our musical choices are so much a part of us that when something negative is said of that music, it’s almost like an attack on each of us individually. Please understand that I endeavor to communicate in a spirit of love (Ephesians 4:15). It is my prayer that as you read this paper, you would be open, ponder what is said, see if these things are true in the Scriptures, and be willing to let God’s Spirit (not my position) lead you accordingly.

The Question

Does God really care about what music we listen to or play? Should the discussion of music be shaped by our personal preferences of likes and dislikes? Or, should we let God’s Word help shape our musical choices? Better yet, does the Bible have a bearing on the issue of music?

Not only does the Bible reference music hundreds of times, but we also see that God Himself is musical. We cannot leave God out of the equation when discussing music. Many a time it’s said that God doesn’t care either way in such and such (you name the subject); all He cares about is the heart. While the heart is definitely important, God does care how we live our lives as believers because of who He is; God has given us His Word to help us along in daily-living that we follow. In so doing though, it is vitally important that we do not place the cart in front of the ox, that we do not follow the rules in an attempt to earn God’s merit.

Christ said in John 14:13, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” If you don’t love Christ, don’t bother with the commandments. Why? When we live by the rules without love to earn God’s favor, we will mar the name of Christ. First and foremost, we need to have a love relationship with Jesus Christ. Only then as a result of that love relationship, it will only be natural that we would want to follow God’s principles because we love Him so much.

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” –Philippians 1:9-11

Even in Paul’s prayer, he desires that the believer’s love for Jesus abounds in knowledge and judgment so that we can approve things that are excellent. Out of our love for Jesus Christ comes the desire to live our lives by God’s Holy Word.

The Need

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” –Ephesians 5:8-10

Because we as Christians are light in the Lord, we are to walk as children of light with Christ’s love. And we do this by proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. But sadly, Luke 16:8 accurately describes a problem that exists in Christianity today.

“And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” –Luke 16:8

It is indeed a sobering scenario when the children of darkness are wiser than the children of light. Too often do we as Christians stick our heads in the sand on Biblical issues and refuse to accept what the lost world acknowledges. This is indeed sad.

We also ought to make it our aim to allow God’s Word to speak for itself, and not let our personal interpretation interfere (I am speaking to myself as well by the way. Remember when my finger goes out, there are three pointing back at me). Why?

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” -2 Peter 1:20-21

Before we delve deep into the music discussion on what is acceptable unto the Lord, we must first address and come to a Biblical conclusion on the major question, “Is music moral or amoral?” What I mean by this is: “Is there good and evil music? Does music by itself have power? Or is music some neutral channel?” In presenting our case we will take a look at our Creator God and the devil Satan.

God Is Musical

Let’s read the following passages in seeing if God is musical: “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” –Zephaniah 3:17 (emphasis mine)

“And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.” –Zechariah 9:14 (emphasis mine)

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” -1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (emphasis mine)

In these three separate Scripture passages, we see that God both sings and plays instruments. Pretty cool, isn’t it? Our God is musical! And because God is musical, we cannot leave Him out of the discussion.

Psalm 42:8 further shows how that God has a song, “Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

God is not only musical as a Being, but has also made His creation musical- even the stars themselves sing and bring glory to God.

“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” –Job 38:7

(Science has once again caught up to the Bible with NASA being able to hear the stars bring forth music with special technology.)

The Devil is Musical

Our question now is, “Is the devil musical?” Let’s take a look at two passages to answer this question.

“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. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” –Ezekiel 28:13-15 (emphasis mine)

“Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” –Isaiah 14:11-15 (emphasis mine)

The devil has built-in musical instruments! Before his fall, Lucifer was perfect in his ways and was the chief cherubim. He used the musical instruments that God created in him to bring glory to the Creator God. But when Satan sinned and fell, everything in him was corrupted. In his five prideful “I will’s” he rebelled because he wanted to be like the Most High God; the devil wanted all the glory for himself instead of JEHOVAH God. As a result, Satan’s pomp and music (stringed instruments) were brought down to the sheh-ole (grave/hell from the Hebrew 7585). The devil with built-in musical instruments was corrupted in every way. This perfect music with which he once glorified God has been corrupted. Now, Satan uses this corrupt music to glorify himself. Think about it… what glorifies the devil? From these Scripture passages we see that there is music (music without words also) that glorifies the devil.

Ought this not to raise concern for believers? Can we really turn a blind eye to the topic of music when one of Satan’s greatest tools is music itself as it is a part of him?

But If My Heart is Right…

My friend asked me, “But if the music is bad and your heart is right, isn’t it alright then?” If your heart is in the right place, does that overrule?

David had the right heart attitude when he was bringing back the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 6, but he wasn’t doing it God’s way. God had clearly set down the guidelines on how the ark should be carried (1 Chronicles 15); these rules were ignored and it was transported by oxen, just like the heathen Philistines did it. As a result, Uzzah died. David’s heart was right, but he clearly ignored the requirements that God had laid down. Consequences followed.

In Genesis 4 Cain wanted to give God the best that he could, but he didn’t follow the example that God had his parents follow. As a result, God did not accept his sacrifice.

When the golden calf was made in Exodus 32, the children of Israel were told that this was the god that brought them out of Egypt. In their minds they were worshipping JEHOVAH God, but they were not following God’s way. They may have had good intentions, but they completely ignored God’s laws. God was very displeased with the Israelites.

Yes, good music can be played with a wrong heart attitude and be just as sinful. But the point in all this that I am making is to show how Scripture clearly shows us that having a right heart attitude without following the commands God has laid out in His Word does not make something good.

“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” -1 Samuel 15:22

In essence Samuel was saying to Saul, “Look Saul, you may have good heart intentions, but God deems obedience to be of much more importance.” If your boss told you to clean up the office, and instead, you make him a card expressing how much you respect and look up to him, is your boss going to be happy? You disobeyed him. Yet how many times in the Christian life do we know God’s commands but disobey them and then try to speak our love to God by saying how much we love Him.

God said, “To obey is better than sacrifice.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

With this question of the heart addressed, we build up to the case being presented. God is musical. The devil is musical; his originally God-honoring music has been corrupted in his fall. These are opposites: i.e. there is music that glorifies God, and there is music that glorifies the devil.

Again we pose the question, “Is music moral or amoral? Is there good music and evil music?”

The Case Resolved: Scripture Affirms Music Cannot Be Amoral

“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” –Proverbs 15:3

We will culminate the idea of God and Satan being musical as we look at the following Scripture passage and see the power that the music alone has.

The context: Saul had just recently disobeyed and turned his back on God; as a result, God had rejected him for being Israel’s king. With this in mind we read the passage.

“But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent In matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.” -1 Samuel 16:14-18

“And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” -1 Samuel 16:23 (Notice first off that the Bible makes no indication on whether David sung or not: the emphasis is on the music itself.)

From this passage in 1 Samuel, we can draw three points on how music has an impact:

1. Music has a physical impact.

“…so Saul was refreshed…” The Hebrews word for ‘refreshed’ literally means to breathe freely.

2. Music has an emotional impact.

“…and was well…” The Hebrew word for ‘well’ means to be glad. So first of all, Saul breathed freely, then his emotions were put at rest and he was glad.

3. Music has a spiritual impact.

“… and the evil spirit departed from him.” First off this evil spirit was sent on Saul from God as a result of his rebellion and God’s Spirit leaving him. We see in 1 Kings 22 for just one example, where God asked the evil spirits who would go for Him to deceive King Ahab into going into battle to Ramothgilead so that he would die as prophesied. One of these spirits then came on wicked King Ahab. This was a demonic influence. It is important to note that this was more than just emotional; it is spiritual as the context implies. We also note in the New Testament that evil spirits talked (Acts 19:15-16). These are the same words, ‘evil spirits’ that were described as coming on Saul as a result of him turning from God; they were indeed demonic influences.

The evil spirit departed because of the music that was playing. Music not only impacted Saul physically and emotionally, but also impacted him spiritually.

(the 3 basic points found in this passage were taken from Evangelist Ben Everson’s message on “The Power of Music”)

Also, in 2 Kings 3:14-15 we read, “And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee. But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.”

Music was used in this passage to pave the way for the hand of the LORD coming upon the prophet Elisha.

To ponder before reading further: Since there is music that drives away evil spirits (as in the 1 Samuel 16:23 case), could there not be music that brings in the evil spirits? (we are simply considering the other side of the coin)

Jim Morrison (1943-1971) was the lead singer in the rock band, “The Doors”. Morrison called this band “The Doors” because he viewed their music as doors to the spiritual realm. At times he would refuse in fear to come out on stage to perform knowing full-well that when he did, he would be possessed by demons. In these instances his band would go out and start pounding (noise- no music at all) and pounding until he became demon-possessed and came out on stage to perform (“Chrisitan Rock” series by David Byers).

Music alone is able to notify you of what is going on. Take for example that you are reading a book while a movie is playing rather loudly in another room and hear the music in the movie playing. By the music alone, you would be able to identify what type of scene is happening: suspense, horror, romance, happy, distressed, childish, someone just died, etc… Why is this? Music communicates a message, even without words.

Here’s an interesting quote I read in “Sound Roots” (Dana Everson) about the power of the music by itself:

What’s Wrong with Christian Rock by Jeff Godwin wrote: “No one can deny that the music of Elvis Presley and the Beatles sent millions of teenagers all over the world into sobbing, screaming, hysterical frenzies. If C-Rock’s [Christian Rock] natural philosophy is true [that good words to rock music overrides the music], then that mob insanity surrounding Elvis and the Beatles was the result of their LYRICS, not their music. Here are the lyrics to two of the biggest hits Presley and the Fab Four every produced:TEDDY BEAR [Presley] “Just wanna be your teddy bear/ Don’t wann be a lion/ Cause lions play too rough/ Don’t wanna be a tiger/ Cause tigers aren’t the kind you love enough…” I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND [the Beatles] “Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something’/ I think you’ll understand/ When I say that somethin’/ I wanna hold your hand…” Sorry C-Rock fans, but those lyrics had nothing to do with the mass hysteria surrounding Elvis and the Beatles. Something MUCH bigger than the dim-witted stanzas of Pop/Rock music turned those little girls into screaming maniacs writhing in sexual frenzy.  The power behind Presley and the Beatles’ success was made up of two elements: the MUSIC and the spirit BEHIND the music- the spirit of antichrist.”

All of this then raises concern: Since Scripture has clearly shown that God is musical, the devil is musical, and that music is a moral instrument and cannot be amoral, then what ought the music in a believer’s life reflect?

From this concern alone we cannot stick our heads in the sand as believers and say, “The Bible has no bearing; as long as I like what I like and you like what you like, then everything is alright.” Friends, it is for this reason that the lost world around us has become wiser than the Christian community (Luke 16:8); they recognize what some Christians refuse to admit that music is moral. In the dark day and age in which we live, it behooves us as believers to live according to the Word of God and not shift with the latest trends of the world. It behooves us to constantly be “proving that which acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10)” in a spirit of love and discernment. With this in mind, we again pose the question: “What ought the music in the life of a believer reflect?”

The Song of the Believer

If God says something once, we ought to pay attention. You can imagine that God really wants our attention if He makes the effort to say something three separate times! Both Dr. Dana Everson and Dr. Frank Garlock note how that these repeated ideas are located in each of the three major sections of the Old Testament- historical, poetic, and prophets- as shown in the following passages.

“The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” -Exodus 15:2 (emphasis mine)

“The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.” -Psalm 118:14 (emphasis mine)

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.” –Isaiah 12:2 (emphasis mine)

The word ‘song’ used in all three of these verses (and only these three verses) comes from the Hebrew (2176) word zimrath, which means instrumental music. This has nothing to do with the words of the music but is in sole reference to the music itself. Why is this so important? We sometimes tend to think that as long as the words are glorifying God then it does not matter what type of music is used with the words. Yet Scripture has already shown that not to be the case. And furthermore, what does this passage say?

The LORD God is our strength, song, and salvation. Because God is our song/music as believers, our music ought to be such that reflects God’s glory. This is a natural by-product of being filled with the Spirit as talked about in Ephesians 5:18-19- “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

Colossians 3:16 also says, “ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Notice that the music being made here is to be to the Lord for God is our song. (:

Before salvation God was not our song/music. This song that God gives us as believers is a new song. Does 2 Corinthians 5:17’s message to the man in Christ who is a new creature of “old things are passed away; behold all things are become new”, apply to music as well? God definitely thinks so for look at the following example in Scripture.

“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” -Psalms 40:2-3

When God made us a new creature in Christ Jesus, he put a new song in our mouth, a song that praises God. As a result of this new, God-glorifying song, many will see, fear, and come to salvation.

Notice: this passage shows a difference in music that ought to be present from before we were saved in contrast to after we were saved. This new song is different from the old worldly song. Why? The lost notice a change, a difference, in this believer’s music given the words “many shall see it”. This ought to be the natural result of the new creation in Christ Jesus as all things (including music) are becoming new. But I have a question, “If the old song is just as good, why do we need the new song?” This new song is that which brings glory to God. This came about after God delivered us out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay. What is significant about this?

The word ‘horrible’ comes from the Hebrew (7588) root “shaw-one” which literally means a pit of noise. Secular rock artists have honestly said about rock and roll, “It’s a noise we make, that’s all. You could be kind and call it music.” (Mike Jagger of the Rolling Stones, p.19 of “Music in the Balance”). It is from this pit of noise that God has delivered us. Why are we using the old world’s music to attempt to promote Christ when God has given us a new, better song that is distinct from the old song? We are confusing the Gospel of Christ when it is corrupted with the old, worldly music. 2Corinthians 6:15a asks the rhetorical question of, “what concord hath Christ with Belial?” Nothing.

The believers’ music ought to be such that brings glory to God and is distinct from the old song. Our music ought not to be such that glorifies the devil, but the LORD our strength, salvation, and song. Now with this Scriptural foundation laid, we ask, “What music characterizes the song of the believer? And, what music characterizes the old song?” In the attempt to answer these questions, let’s return to the basic components of music and the nature of music itself, all kept in the light of Scripture.

Yes, now may be a good time for that cup of coffee or hot chocolate, that is, if you are still awake.

The Nature of Music

Music is made up of three components: melody, harmony, and rhythm. Let’s take a look at each of these components, how they fit together, and an important parallel between these components and how they relate to the spirit, mind, and body of man.

Melody is the horizontal arrangement of sounds/notes. This would be the first thing to be recognized in songs like for example, “Amazing Grace” or “The Star-Spangled Banner”. How did you know, for example, the song being played was “Amazing Grace”? By the melody- arrangement of notes.

Harmony is the vertical aspect of music. It is the sounds which are heard when the individual parts collide. It can be thought as a joint which joins the melody and rhythm together in a musical piece. You have probably heard the term if you are in a musical group, “Are you in harmony together?” When all the different parts in that musical piece are together, they are said to be in harmony. Again, harmony is that which is heard when all the parts come together.

Rhythm is the life-blood in music; without it music is dead and never moves forward. As the pulse is essential for the heart, even so rhythm is essential for music. Say aloud the following measure a few times, “1, 2, 3, 4”. You will notice that the natural inclination is to place an emphasis on the first beat: “1, 2, 3, 4.” This natural emphasis on the first beat simply shows the beginning of a new measure. Without it there would be no telling where a measure begins. A simple look at rhythm shows it in its 2 basic forms: duple and triple form.

Rhythm in its Basic Form

Duple Form: employs the basic, “1, 2″ “1, 2″. This is the foundation for certain time signatures such as 4/4, 2/4, 2/2, etc. The quadruple rhythmic form (1, 2, 3, 4) obtains its roots from the basic duple form; therefore, we maintain our focus on the simplest most basic forms.

Say out loud the following example to see how it fits in 4/4 timing: “1, 2, 3, 4″ “1, 2, 3, 4″. This duple form is a natural foundational structure on how God created music. Once I heard of this foundational musical concept, my attention was drawn to the natural emphasis on the first and third beats in the music I heard. To help you understand, listen to the following example:

Note: This is song is in 4/4 timing (where there are 4 beats in the measure and the quarter note gets the beat). As you listen, note how that the nature of the music with the lyrics, instrumentation, and singers lends to a natural emphasis on the 1st and 3rd beat (the nature of duple form which God has created).

Triple Form: employs the basic, “1, 2, 3″ “1, 2, 3″. This is the foundation for certain time signatures such as 3/4, 6/8, 12/8, etc. Once again, the natural tendency is for the emphasis to be placed on the first beat because this is foundational to how God designed music. An example of this would be “Eidelweiss” from the The Sound of Music or the well-known hymn, “Love Lifted Me”.

Mixed Form: this includes duple form and triple form mixed together. This is the foundation for time signatures such as 5/4, 7/4. It’s tendency is to create an uncertain feeling: follow along the 5/4 timing: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5″ “1, 2, 3, 4, 5″ Once again this is a mix of the two foundational rhythmic patterns designed by God. (special thanks to Andrew C for clarifying where the emphasis falls in this rhythmic pattern)

You may be wondering, “Okay Daniel, what is your point in saying all of this?” Catch this. This is very important. Without the duple and triple patterns, music would be absolutely dead. You cannot have music without either the duple or triple pattern. As we have seen from Scripture, God is the creator of music. Duple and triple forms are part and parcel of music- the life of it-, thereby implying that God is creator of that also.

Syncopation: is basically the shifting of the natural emphasis to a place that the listener is not expecting. A good parallel: just as the sprinkling of salt is used to bring out the flavor in meat, so syncopation can be used likewise in music. However, too much salt on meat would bring harm to a person. Is all syncopation wrong? No.

The Back-beat This happens when the natural emphasis of duple form “1, 2, 3, 4″ is switched to emphasize the unnatural beats “1, 2, 3,4“? Say the following measures out loud, emphasizing the highlighted beats to grasp this concept: “1, 2, 3, 4” “1, 2, 3, 4“. Basically, the emphasis has been switched from the natural emphasis in the basic rhythmic patterns of duple form to the unnatural beats of 2 and 4.

You may be so familiar with the backbeat because of its extensive usage in Rock music. However, the back (rock) beat is not limited to Rock genre and can be applied to many things.

Listen to the following recording in 4/4 timing. Remember, the nature of music is to lend a natural emphasis to “1, 2, 3, 4″. In this example notice how that the emphasis has switched to the 2nd and 4th beats in the music. You can hear this switched emphasis in the music. (helpful hint: the backbeat starts around the 15 second mark)

Yes, that song you just listened to is supposed to be “Christian” music. You may be asking, “So… what’s wrong with this? Let’s take a further in depth look at the backbeat.

1. The backbeat constantly goes against the natural rhythmic patterns of music which God created.

Rock music extensively uses the backbeat throughout its music. Its unnatural repetitive rhythm in the form of the driving backbeat constantly goes against the natural tendency of music. Rather than supporting the melody, this unnatural rhythm becomes an entity of itself. It contradicts rather than complimenting the melody. Not everything can be dominant, and later on we will see what Scripture shows to be a proper order. This constant driving beat brings about a sound of confusion.

The Beatles, openly honest about their music (in which is the extensive utilization of the backbeat), are quoted as saying, “Our music is capable of causing emotional instability, disorganized behavior, rebellion and even revolution.”

Rock artists also purposefully utilize the backbeat continuously throughout the song, repetitively, in an attempt to control the listener’s mind. The constant repetition has the ability to do just that; once done, they can slip their message in at a sublimal level without our noticing it. (“Christian Rock” series by David Byers). Yet does not the Scripture command believers to be filled with the Spirit?

Scripture also tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:33- “For God is not the author of confusion [instability, disorder, confusion], but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

Yet the extensive usage of the backbeat brings forth a music of confusion. It does not follow, but goes against the order or the natural rhythmic patterns created by God.

2. A music of rebellion From a historical perspective, the turn of the 20th century brought in the contemporary classical age where rules in music begun to be cast off, reflecting a society that was casting off absolutes and morals. With the 60’s, there came about the outbreak and rebellion against God’s morals and absolutes. This cry of rebellion was evident in audience’s shaking fists as they stood on their seats at Rock concerts. A major upheaval and rebellion against rules broke forth. But why? Why these actions? It is the rhythm that commands a physical response. The backbeat (unnatural) caused that unnatural response- a response of rebellion. The usage of the backbeat is a response of rebellion that helped throttle the 60’s.

William J. Schaffer, author of “Rock Music”, is not opposed to rock music yet he shows how that it is used to alter consciousness. Garlock and Woetzel quote him as saying the following:

William J. Schaffer wrote:“…rock has acted as a catalyst, a force uniting and amplifying ideas and feelings. It is a medium, a means of communicating emotions… the medium is the message. Associated with rock, for instance, is a cult or irrationality, a reverence for the instinctual, the visceral- and a distrust of reason and logic; this form of anti-intellectualism can be highly dangerous, can lead to totalitarian modes of thought and action. Linked with this anti-intellectualism can be interest in the occult: magic, superstition, exotic religious thought, anything contrary to the main currents of Western thought. Also directly connected is an obsession with the unconscious mind; the force of drug culture has been in promise to reveal the hidden, instinctual man, to free the individual from restrictions and limitations of his conscious mind and his gross physical body.”

This is an eye-opening quote where a promoter of Rock talks about how this music (which again, extensively utilizes the backbeat) is in essence a song of rebellion. Just a thought…. Do you think this music should be present in the life of a believer’s musical choices? (Philippians 4:8)

From reading this, should we really be taken by surprise? Satan rebelled against God and with his corrupted music used it as a song of rebellion against God. The devil desires glory for himself, not God. Sin, rebellion, inappropriate physical responses… all glorify the devil. And God deems rebellion as no light offense… it’s as a sin of witchcraft.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” -1 Samuel 15:23

So… ought we to use a music of rebellion to glorify a holy and perfect God?

3. The backbeat also elicits a sensual bodily response -1 John 2:16

As we have noted and will see in depth further along, it is the beat that commands a physical response. A physical response to music is not in and of itself bad; take a look at most marches which emphasize the natural rhythmic patterns… the desired response may be to march along but there is nothing wrong with this. When it has crossed that line and elicits a sensual bodily response, it is sinful. The unnatural backbeat helps elicit these inappropriate body movements. While God’s intent is for us to be focused on spiritual things (Matthew 6:33), but Satan wants the exact opposite- physical things. Furthermore, the devil will use the physical to draw us away from God. Look at the following passage.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” -1 John 2:16

Satan seeks to use fleshly things to satisfy when only God can give true satisfaction. We may ask, “But why is music with backbeats so popular? So easy to enjoy?” It’s not unnatural… it’s because our body is the first thing that responds to its excessive, unnatural rhythm- that driving beat. And because our bodies respond to rhythm so directly, it is of upmost importance that we use caution. Satan twists what God designed to be holy and corrupts those things through rock music for instance and the message and sensual responses that come along with it.

I will be honest with you; there are songs with backbeats that I like; they make me feel good. Lest you think I’m writing against music that I don’t like, that’s not the case. I like it. But why don’t I listen to it? If my musical choices were based off of what I like and dislike, I would listen to that music. But it’s because of what the Bible has to say about music and what ought to be present in the life of a believer- that’s why, friends. Can we really call the music topic a Romans 14 “meat offered to idols”?

Jesus said in Matthew 15:16-18, “…Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”

Meat goes in and out of you. It does not defile the heart. Music goes in though and affects the heart, affects the mind, and affects the body. In music lies the potential to defile the heart as we have seen thus far.

Let’s stop, revisit, and ponder the scenario. The Creator God is Musical as well as Satan. Before his fall Satan’s music glorified God, but then after he and his instruments were cast down into hell and corrupted, he uses music to glorify himself, not God.

Is it all coming together? The devil fallen from heaven, corrupted in his rebellion, seeks to glorify himself through one of his major tools that of music. This is a music in which the backbeat continually goes against the natural way God created music, a music of rebellion, a music that elicits sensual responses in contradiction to Godly morals, a music ridden with an overuse of rhythm and repetition in an attempt to control an individual. Does this sound like Godly music or devilish music? The answer should be quite clear.

But our analysis of this music does not stop here. There is an important parallel in relation to music that Garlock, Woetzel, and Byers address in their musical studies, which we will look into in this next section in the grid of Scripture.

As in Life, So in Music

As was mentioned earlier, man possesses spirit, mind, and body. In the life of a believer, these three aspects ought to be kept in proper order. What is this order that Scripture talks about?

1. Spiritual things

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you –Matthew 6:33

The first priority in the Christian life is to keep their focus on eternity, on Jesus Christ (spiritual things). God promises that when we do this, He will take care of the rest.

2. Mental things

2 Corinthians 10:3-5- “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

We as believers are not fighting a physical battle against the enemy as this passage points out. We are to take every thought captive into the obedience of Christ. Our minds need to be sharp. If we choose to be passive in spirit and mind, we will lose the battle as believers.

Take note though that if we do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ and are not walking with Him, then it does not matter how sharp our minds are. We will lose the battle to the devil every time. Spiritual things first then mental things.

3. Physical needs

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” –Romans 13:14

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” -1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Sure, it is important to live and have the physical needs met. But, these passages warn of not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. The physical realm needs to be kept in check… not annihilated… in check. When we put on Jesus Christ and seek Him first, remember God promises to take care of the rest, even our physical needs as Matthew 6 clearly implies. When our physical needs become more important than Christ and keeping our minds sharp (which comes along with that), we are in danger of fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and disqualifying ourselves as upright Christians.

We would agree that a Christian whose priorities are temporal things in this life is a sensual Christian- someone with misplaced priorities. And how many of us can plead guilty of this? Okay, maybe it’s just me. 😄 (I doubt it though…  ) Our focus as believers ought to be first-off on spiritual things (Matthew 6:33), then mental things (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), and lastly physical things (Romans 13:14 & 1 Corinthians 9:25-27).

Now… how does this all relate to music?

Just as man has spirit, mind, and body, even so music has melody, harmony, and spirit. In our study of music we will further see how the three different elements of music relate to the three different aspects of man and what the priority in music ought to be.

1. The Melody affects Man’s Spirit.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” –Ephesians 5:18-19

As a result of being filled with the Spirit, we will make melody in our heart to the Lord. It does not say that harmony or rhythm are results of Spirit-filledness, but rather a melody. When our spirit is controlled by the Holy Spirit, the Lord’s song will be on our hearts.

Melody- The Priority: Both Ephesians and Colossians make special note of the melody being priority in the Spirit-filled Christian. Isaiah 51:3 also says, “For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” Note again that in this verse that the LORD talks about the melody. The melody ought to be the prominent aspect in music.

Just as spiritual things ought to be the priority in the life of a believer, so ought the melody to have prominence in the believer’s music.

2. The Harmony affects Man’s Mind.

Have you ever heard a musical composition performed that was out of tune? For some reason the instruments were just not in harmony together…. Yeah, it didn’t sound too good, did it? But how did you know they were out of tune? What told you? It was with your mind that you were able to discern that the piece was not in harmony. It is with your mind that you are able to tell what type of chord is being played, if the composition is being played in harmony, etc.

It is the harmony that tells you a chord is minor or major. For instance the chord (harmony) can communicate a sad sound, a joyful sound, etc, thereby affecting one emotionally. It is the harmony that affects the mind.

Harmony- The Second in Priority: Just as the mind is of second importance in the life of a believer, even so the harmony (the mental part of music) ought to be second to the melody. Not everything in life can have prominence. The harmony is that which joins the melody and rhythm; it is helpful tool over against a dominant one.

3. The Rhythm affects Man’s Body. This is perhaps the easiest parallel to see because we can watch the body’s reaction to music. Have you ever been at the store, restaurant, or maybe just at home, and you find yourself responding to the music physically, whether it be tapping a foot, snapping your fingers, bopping your head, swaying your body, etc? Yes, you may have not even realized it at first, but the question is, “What part of the music brought about this physical response?” It wasn’t the melody or harmony; it was the rhythm. Remember, without rhythm no music exists because it has no forward motion.

To better grasp this concept, listen (and watch) to the following compositions of “Amazing Grace” (song used merely for an example). One version will be played in a normal hymn-style version; the other version as you will notice utilizes the backbeat. The point in using these examples is merely to demonstrate how that the rhythm affects the body.

(listening to a sample will suffice for catching the example)

From listening to these two examples, did one bring about a more physical response than the other? They were both renditions of “Amazing Grace”. The first one had a rhythm kept in check whereas in the second demonstration you could witness from the video alone the body movements that came as a result of the excessive amount of rhythm (which was in the unnatural form of the backbeat by the way); it was also irreverent to use as worship to God for a believer. The point we are making in all of this is simple: it is the rhythm that affects the body. Melody alone whilst it has the series of notes that create the tune does not move unless it has rhythm/pulse. Neither does the harmony do this. The rhythm is the essential ingredient and hence must be kept in proper check.

Dr. Garlock quotes secularist Simon Frith in his book: “The sexuality of music is usually referred to in terms of its rhythm- it is the beat that commands a direct physical response.”  This is interesting indeed that an unsaved individual recognizes this concept.

Jesus said in John 7:38, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow (pulse) rivers of living water.”

The word ‘flow’ in this passage comes from the base Greek word ‘rheo’ from which we derive the English word ‘rhythm’. With a grasp on this basic truth, let’s consider a parallel of this application.

A river that has no flow becomes stagnant and lifeless; a heart that has no pulse is dead; music that has no rhythm is dead. For the river to have life, it needs to have a flow. Likewise, a healthy heart needs to have a pulse under control and music a rhythm under control. If the pulse becomes too much (ecstatic), the heart is sick. Even so, music that has too much rhythm becomes sick.

“When pulsation and syncopation are the rhythmic foundation of the music at a dance hall, the movements of the dancers can invariable seen to become very sensual.” –English sociologist Simon Frith

Rhythm- Last in Priority: Because rhythm is the aspect of music that directly affects the body, it ought to be kept under control. Revisiting the “Amazing Grace” clips, the first piece had a rhythm kept under control while the second version had an excessive amount of unnatural rhythm eliciting inappropriate movements. We can see through the rhythm for what type of music is Godly and not Godly by the movements it elicits from the body.

Satan desires to misplace the believer’s focus away from the spiritual to the physical. He wants us to take our eyes off of the Lord and get caught up in temporal things. Whereas the physical out to be kept in check, the devil desire to make the physical our priority. This can carry over to music. Just as the Christian who places priorities on the physical things in life is sensual, even so music that is primarily focused on rhythm is sensual.

Just as the body ought to be kept in check in the Christian life and be last in priority, even so ought the rhythm in a believer’s music.

Something just to think about: What does the common CCM worship band in modern Christian churches today normally comprise? While there is most certainly variances from church to church, Dr. Garlock points out a normal composition of 5 instruments: drums and bass guitars as 4 rhythmic instruments and a lead guitar to carry the melody (again, this is not a given for each modern church). What is interesting about this is that this is composed of 75% rhythm, and also that which utilizes the backbeat (make note that the backbeat is also utilized in bringing about music predominated by rhythm). Do you see something wrong in this picture? Why is the physical aspect of music being brought out over the spiritual aspect in worship to God? The melody ought to have prominence, followed by the harmony, and then a rhythm kept in check.

Invading the Intimate Zone

When is the last time someone has invaded your intimate zone? Dr. Garlock talks about the different social zones in people. In a normal conversation, we keep our distance. If someone is getting too close, we may begin to feel uncomfortable with the thought that they are invading our personal space. The intimate zone is about 6 inches from you. Through studies and research, it has been proven that these social zones exist in the realm of music (“Music in the Balance” by Garlock and Woetzel).

Have you ever wondered why there are rock, rap, and other styles of songs in which the performer sings with a very breathy, whispery voice right up next to the microphone? This does not come accidentally in a voice, mind you, but rather done intentionally. There is a purpose in doing this. When this is done as research has shown, it invades your intimate zone. This technique is used to further create an inappropriate response on the audience’s part. Sadly, this technique of the breathy, whispery voice right up next to the microphone has infiltrated into Christian music and breaches that zone.

………….

If you have made it this far… congratulations! I’d give you something, but I have nothing available (that was heartfelt…hehe) … oh except for a couple questions *shift back to serious mode*: …

Why is this music being used to worship a holy and perfect God? What concord hath Christ with Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15)? What happens when the devil’s music is used to worship God?”

This last question leads us to an important passage of Scripture in which we will see what happened when the Israelites did just that.

The Golden Calf- Offering the Devil’s Music to a Holy God

The context: Moses has been on the top of Mount Sinai for 40 days receiving the law from God. Before going down, God warns Moses, “…Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 32:7-8)”

Moses and Joshua then descend the mountain. (keep in mind that Moses has full-knowledge of what is happening down at the camp while Joshua is unaware, having not been told.)

“And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.” -Exodus 32:17-19

A Problem Detected: From the sound that Joshua heard in the camp, he realized that there was something wrong. The music he heard notified him of something amiss for he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp.” This sound that he heard was not normal; something had changed over the 40 days of being on Mount Sinai away from the people. The music communicated a message- “Moses, there is something wrong in the camp!” What was this sound?

Perplexed, Joshua goes on to say that this sound of war was not the sound of those who are victorious or of those who have been defeated. It was a confusing sound… he couldn’t put his finger on it… it was a sound that notified Joshua something was not right…

The word that Joshua used to describe this strange sound was that of singing, that comes from the Hebrew 6301 ‘aw-naw’, which means: “(possibly rather identical with H6030 through the idea of looking down or browbeating); to depress literally or figuratively, transitively or intransitively (in various applications)- abase self, afflict (-ion, self), answer self, deal hardly with, defile, exercise, force, gentleness, humble (self), hurt, ravish, sing, speak, submit self, weaken, X in any wise” -this was a sensual sound, a sound of confusion. This is also further affirmed by the fact that the Israelites’ actions were sensual and in rebellion against God. Although the text does not say the exact sound, we can gather characteristics of this sensual sound- confusion, rebellion, a sound that promoted sensual actions. All in all, there was sin in the camp. They were using this music to worship the golden calf which in their mind was JEHOVAH God.

When Moses saw this sensual activity, he threw down the Ten Commandments that God had just given him and broke them. This action signified to the Israelites that they already broken God’s law. God was sick with this sin. Here were the children of Israel attempting to worship God their own way with sensual music, actions, and the golden calf… and in reality worshiping the devil.

And yet sadly, how many Christians come to God today using the devil’s music to worship a holy God? Christ said in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Not only are we to have the right heart attitude in our worship, but Scripture also commands us to worship God God’s way (according to the Scripture) not ours. Remember Cain, David, and the golden calf? Friends, ought we really to be using this sensual music to worship our holy God? It does not work. God about had it with the Israelites…. and yet, we are doing similar to that of the Israelites in our attempt to worship God.

I have had friends tell me of CCM performers that they love God very, very much. Please understand that I do not question their love for God at all; I’m sure they do; in fact, I know without a doubt Christians who love the Lord and are on fire for Him that listen to this certain music. I do not wish at all to judge their hearts; only God knows the heart. Yet what Scripture commands us as believers to do though is discern if the channel through which the message is coming through is Scriptural. The motives may be right, but is the channel and/or method Scriptural? Remember, a right heart attitude without following God’s principles is not acceptable to God.

What’s wrong with using sensual music while swaying back and forth to it with a whole bunch of people in an attempt to worshipping God? The Israelites attempt was condemned by God. Not only this, but this music is focused on the physical with the driving beat (not the spiritual) eliciting the sensual bodily movements and goes against the natural creation of music. This music is not ministering to the spirit but to the body… and it is sadly fooling Christians.

Many a church is out on the battlefield for Christ and have left its back doors wide open through which Satan has crept in through the medium of music- one of his greatest tools. The devil has been especially affective because many Christians have labeled the music topic as a matter of personal taste. Oh yes, there’s someone behind this sensual music- there’s an angel of light. The arguments for using this music are honestly quite convincing as well that we have to use this sensual music to reach the lost generation for Christ. “You’ve got to conform to the new cultural trends.”

After all, I have been told, “Look at all the good that has come out of using this Christian Rock/Rap music.” Again, please understand that I do not question the results. I know of people who have given me this witness. But, just because God uses something for good, does that mean the Lord thereby condones it? God brought good out of the evil Nazi camps in Germany, but God in no way condoned what the Nazis did. God used the time when Joseph was thrown into the pit and sold into slavery by his own brothers to save many people in the future 7 year famine, but God did not condone the hateful actions of Joseph’s brothers. What am I trying to point out in all of this? Friends, God works all things out for good (Genesis 50:20 & Romans 8:28), and God will work in spite of the circumstance. Why God does this is beyond me. All I can say is that this is the amazing grace of our God!  With that said however, just because there may be good results coming from this sensual music does not mean God condones of this channel and/or method. God desires us as believers to be “proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10)” in the spirit of love and discernment and living by His Word.

Ought we to be using this music when God’s Word offers some clear principles on the subject of music and basic grasp of what is Godly music and what is worldly music? Also, since when does Scripture tell us as Christians to build our lives on the latest cultural trends over against the Word of God? Psalm 40 did not say the old song full of noise and confusion draws many people to Christ. It is the new, Godly song- distinct from the worldly song that causes the lost world to see this difference in believers as 2 Corinthians 5:17 communicates. The question is: are they going to see this difference in the area of music?

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” –Romans 12:2

If someone was passing outside your church and could only hear the music and no singing, what type of music would they hear- rock and roll, rap, other sensual music or Godly music? Would they hear a difference between Godly music and worldly music? Would they hear a difference between the old, worldly and the new, Godly song that ought to be present in the lives of a believer? Would it sound just like sensual music? Is the music in your home as a believer the same or different from your lost neighbors’ home? Are all things becoming new (2 Corinthians 5:17)? Friends, Scripture clearly shows that there ought to be a distinction. Let not the lost world say, “Oh, those Christians use the same music that we do. There’s no difference.”

Charles Spurgeon said it well, “One reason the church has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church.” The world has had so much influence over the church in the area of music. It is very sad to see, but unfortunately it is the painful case across Christianity in our country.

Imagine if a John Phillip Susa march or a church hymn was played in a bar room. What would the response be? That music would be immediately tossed out because it does not fit the setting; it does not elicit the sensual movements. And yet while the world won’t tolerate Godly music, churches have embraced the world’s sensual music and use it to worship God in the house of God. We have conformed to the world in the area of music; we have dropped our guard and the devil has jumped right in and uses his music in the church. This music is not God-glorifying; it is glorifying the devil. How do we expect the world to see a difference in believers when we live just like the world?

To Ponder: What would Joshua be saying upon hearing the Contemporary Christian Music (rock, rap, etc) that is coming from churches across the nation? Would it be something similar to what he said to Moses when he heard this strange noise? “Lord, there’s a problem in the camp of Christianity.”

Quick Summarization: We have gone through Scripture and explored the points that God is musical, the devil is musical, the morality of music, whose the believer’s music ought to reflect, the nature of music as well as the backbeat, and important parallel on what ought to have dominance in a believer’s life and musical choices, and why the devil’s music cannot be used to worship a holy God.

A Biblical Solution:

Where do we go from here? Music used in worship to God ought to follow the natural rhythmic patterns which God has created and have lyrics that reflect Colossians 3:16- “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” But don’t you see how cool this is? When we have this Biblical foundation in music, we have freedom to create all kinds of music. God is a God of creativity. He wants us to enjoy that which He has made and use it to reflect His glory (as we stay inside His basic principles). Just some examples artists with newer hymns (I’m sure there are more but here are just a couple examples): Hamilton, Lynch, Garlock, The Wilds.

Christians, I do want to make a note that if we are using the new, Godly song (Psalm 40) from which many will see and come to Christ, then we are going to need to have some joy and enthusiasm in this new song.  Too many times do we sing songs of praise to God, yet by the pitiful looks on our faces, one would never know we truly meant what we were singing.

Psalms 33:2-4 says, “Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.”

Scripture tells us to sing unto God this new song that He has given us as believers (distinct from the old) and play skillfully with literally a joyful noise.

The truth does still apply: wrong heart attitude with Godly music is not acceptable to God just as a right heart attitude with wrong music is unacceptable. God wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

Even music outside the church in the life of a believer that is secular yet inside the basic principles of God’s Word reflects the glory of God. After all, God is the creator of music, and music (based off of God’s natural design of it) with appropriate words (if lyrics are included) reflects the beauty and creativity of our Creator God. We see the wonder of the Lord’s creation through the beauty of music. You see friends, what Scripture gives us in the issue of music is a basic guideline for the music in the believer’s life. Once inside God’s guideline, there is much freedom to what music we can choose. Let’s not use sensual music I will say this though: if anything, even if it’s good music, takes priority to our relationship with God, then it is not right.

Is the new song God has given you as a believer evident in your life? Is the joy and love of Christ flowing through your life so that the lost world around can see a difference by the way you live and the love of Jesus you show?

Concluding Remarks and Recommendations:

Thank you so very much for taking the time to read through all of this! I pray everything has come across in the spirit of love as we have delved into this issue on music and what the Bible has to say. If you are at all interested in looking to develop a Biblical music philosophy, I would recommend the following resources to be read/viewed in the order as given, all with your Bible in hand:

1. “Sound Roots” by Dana Everson (book)

2. “The Power of Music” by Ben Everson (audio sermon)

3. “The Language of Music” by Frank Garlock (6-part video series)

4. “Music in the Balance” by Frank Garlock and Kurt Woetzel

There are more valuable resources out there on this topic, but I will only recommend that which I have fully listened to/read.

Sources used in the paper other than the Bible: “Sound Roots” by Dana Everson (recommended), “Music in the Balance” by Frank Garlock and Kurt Woetzel (recommended), “The Power of Music” by Ben Everson (recommended), “Principles of Worship and Music” by Ben Everson (recommended), “Christian Rock” audio series by David Byers (while Mr. Byers brings forth some very good material, I would not recommend it, definitely to someone who is looking at music from the other side, because of some disagreements that I would have with some points that he makes), “Oh Be Careful Little Ears” by Kimberly and Lee Smith (not recommended- reason: only read small portion)

May God richly bless you all as you follow His leading. Thank you for your time and have a great day!

 

Because of Christ,

Daniel Diedrich