MUSIC MATTERS: A WARNING AGAINST CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC!
When my pastor at my Pentecostal church made the announcement that he was leaving after 5 years, he followed it up with how the Music minister was also leaving! I was much more attached to my pastor's preaching than I was to this music minister's worship style (he was kind of lame compared to the previous music minister who had been there prior, in that he seemed to always do the opposite of what felt right - let up on the keyboards when he should move in deeper etc. and even one visiting preacher had called him out for not "flowing in the anointing better") but for some reason I broke out crying after I heard the latter, not the former. I thought at the time it was because the double news had been too much for me and that is why I cried after hearing both were leaving but I don't really think that was the whole issue. Yes, it was devastating that all of the leadership seemed to be leaving but I also think now, looking back with better clarity on things, that there was a lot of mystical power held in the music in Pentecostal worship services.
I mean, there was the way that they would do really dramatic worship songs, some that I still love to this day, but they would play the chorus part over and over and over, building up emotion in people and then they would end the song. But then a few seconds later, you'd hear the drum beat which would bring in that dramatic chorus part again, which would send someone like me through the roof with emotion! It was a spiritual high that I could live in easily and wanted to desperately so I never really could figure out how to adjust to the normal everyday life after these really high experiences in my church services. I felt like I was living in two different worlds and my mind could not reconcile the two but I pushed on with going there and living out normal life as best as I could because I figured eventually I would understand how the two "worlds" could come together. But I never did figure out how to reconcile church highs with everyday life and the rift in my mind caused me duress and made me feel like I was outside of my life looking in at the whole thing. But we also did plenty of Contemporary Christian music songs as well, along with old camp songs about stamping on the devil's head. (not something I would advise a Christian to sing about anymore!) The music collectively was very enjoyable and I didn't realize it at the time but it was used to set the mood pretty much from beginning to end. (The end of services were often loud music accompanying a 30 minute "soaking in prayer at the altar" time.)
There is a lot of speculation, especially in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles, that Satan, also known as Lucifer, was the worship leader up in heaven before he got greedy and wanted to be God and God threw him out of heaven. I don't see that there is proof in the Word that he was heaven's worship leader but the Bible does say he is now the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). And music does fill the air whether we are listening to it live or on the radio so it makes sense that the enemy can and does work through music. But you might ask, how can Satan work through music that is in praise and worship to God? And my answer to you is he can in that he can get a person's focus off of God and they will begin to focus on how good they feel about the music and then over time they get addicted to the music style and pleasure of it and then worship becomes about entertainment, not lifting up God. That is when Satan or Lucifer can get his worship. He will just step right on in and play that person like a fiddle and make them an instrument that is praising him, not Jesus. (Satanism is basically self-worship anyway with the creed of "Do what you will".)
And the Contemporary Christian music of today doesn't help matters any when most of the lyrics are "people-centered" rather than "Christ-centered". And even if a person does not begin to worship Lucifer by means of focusing on themselves rather than God, if the music lyrics are not rooted and grounded in Scripture it can still lead a person to worship Lucifer anyway, through his music (worldly) that merely has a label of "Christian" on it. The type of instruments used in worship music can also be an influence either toward or away from God. Chick.com, in their comic book Spellbound tells of a Christian missionary family who brought their American music with them to Africa and the teenage kids were playing it when some of the tribal people recognized it as their voo-doo type music they play when they want to conjure up devils. It wasn't that the kids were listening to rock n roll, no because their Christian missionary parents would not have allowed that, it was just plain secular music that is played on Pop radio stations all over America. The drums were the prevalent instrument that made the tribal people question whether the missionaries were trying to conjure up spirits but if there was also electric guitar in their music, that would've also seemed like screeching tones that would have alerted them too. (I imagine, my thoughts interjected there at the end.) Here is another piece found on Chick.com that proves the way the musical notes are arranged can turn the music from Godly to worldly, and worse, Satan's music - https://www.chick.com/bc/1999/rockmusic.asp
My older sister and her husband began to attend all kinds of Christian Rock concerts after she got saved in her late 20's. She and her husband, (who I never heard say he was saved) would collect all of the different Christian rock groups CDs. Her favorite group was Petra, and they were pretty much the pioneers of Christian Rock music. One of their songs was called God Gave Rock And Roll To You . The secular rock bank KISS also recorded this very same song on their Revenge album. What does that say about Petra's Christian influence? Another group was called Styper, they had long womanish hair, wore long earrings, mascara, lip-gloss, eye shadow and yellow and black (sometimes just black) spandex outfits with leather jackets. This is not how any of the Apostles would've presented the Gospel! No, but Stryper wasn't concerned with that because here are a quotes from the band members: Bass player Steve Gaines says , " . . . we NEVER wanted to get caught up in the whole Christian music scene in the first place. . ." (Inside Music, Oct/Nov 90 p.16) Robert Sweet confesses, " . . . we're about the MOST UNRELIGIOUS Christian band you could imagine. . ."(Hit Parader, Nov. 1986, p.21) And according to lead singer, Michael Sweet, "We don't consider ourselves to be overly religious. . .In fact, religion has NOTHING to do with what Stryper's all about."(Hit Parader, Feb. 1987, p.41) I had just prayed the prayer to ask Jesus to be my Savior at age 27, (prompted by my boyfriend at the time), and while I didn't know anything about these particular bands, I had just come out of the rock n roll scene out in L.A. and I knew there was nothing good in it So I did not approve of this type of "Christianity" my sister and brother in-law were into and stayed out of it but I had my own snares I got caught up in as a Christian. The first one was one from the past:
When I was a teenager, I discovered Jesus Christ Superstar, the musical, and I just got swept up into it, the vocals, the music, the drama itself was just so exciting! In fact I sang one of the songs from that movie in a talent contest at my Jr. High School that was called "I Don't Know How To Love Him". (This of course was very controversial to be singing in a school setting since the song was in the movie sung my Mary Magdalene, which the movie portrayed as a reformed prostitute, which is why she didn't know how to love someone so pure as Jesus.) But anyway, I watched that musical over and over throughout my teenage years and one time my grandma, who was a Christian who went to church every Sunday, saw me watching it and said "that is blasphemy!" I just shrugged her off because she was old and I figured she just didn't understand "cool" things. But years and years later, after I had my encounter with the Lord at 35, the Lord dealt with me about this musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The Holy Spirit convicted me one night, and actually over a couple of nights, while I lay in bed listening to the Bible on CD, (you'll see in my testimony page 2 that I tell about me playing the Word all night long in my bedroom while I sleep), that this musical was not of God! No, this was Satan's perversion of the Gospel (the storyline does not line up with Scripture) and he used rock music and vocals to make it seducing to the masses. I remembered attending a live presentation of this musical just a few years prior and the place was packed! The woman sitting next to me with her boyfriend, who I spoke with some during intermissions, wasn't Christian nor was her boyfriend, but they loved this musical and so now I know that this movie wasn't about letting people experience Jesus, (like I thought it was for me), it was really Satan's way to bring the masses a different Jesus, a different gospel and a different spirit. And most people are none the wiser either because if it hadn't been the Spirit of God convicting me of it, I would've never believed it was bad either. But I had to denounce the movie, the music and even the rock vocals in order to get free from it, because it was something that, now as a true born-again Christian, was tormenting me on a subconscious spiritual level in amongst the other worldly things that I needed to renounce in order to feel close to Jesus and God.
While as a Pentecostal Christian, I listened to all kinds of Contemporary Christian artists and Black Gospel groups and I belonged to a music club where I could order a bunch and get a discount, so I did all of the time. I would even make music compilations for my friends and family or to help someone get interested in Christianity and give it out as a witness. There was one particular CC artist that I was ga-ga over and his name was Carman. I went and saw him in concert a few times and had his CDs and videos and I even sent him one of my best modeling pictures and my Christian resume so maybe he would hire me as one of his back-up singers. Basically I was smitten with him, I dreamed he could be my future husband! Me, along with probably tens of thousands of young Christian women (since he remains single so he can serve the Lord and he holds attendances records for the largest solo Christian concerts in history with 80,000 outdoors in Charlotte, N.C , so you know there are scores of unmarried women who love this pretty faced Vegas performing evangelist). He used humor and made his evangelistic music cool so kids could receive Christ and I thought it was all good! I read one time that he said he was running out of money traveling all over doing concerts and so he emptied out his retirement fund because serving Jesus was more important than his retirement. I admired his dedication and felt sorry for him that he was out of money. Turns out as I perused through this website: http://www.av1611.org/crock.html Carmen signed a mid-7 figure salary with a secular music production company called Liberty, which you will find no where on any of his online Bios. Now to be fair, it must've been during his 10 year run of being on top of the industry, (his career slumped after his 10 year run), that he had the $5 million recording contract, which was prior to my hearing him say he is out of money, but still it is misleading because I thought all along he was doing Christian ministry with just the funds he collected from donations/sales, but that is not the case. And I wonder why a secular record label would be interested in a Christian artist? Or vice-versa, because Liberty must certainly have signed very questionable artists, so why didn't Carman care about that? Feeling sorry for Carman was stupid on my part because I just now saw on a "Get Net Worth" website that Carman is worth $20 million dollars!!! I should've known something was up with his music ministry when I saw one time that he was a favorite of Paul and Jan Crouch on Trinity Broadcasting Network, the money grubbers of all time!!! As AV1611 website points out, there is a lot of satanic imagery in Carman's videos and Carman says a lot of spiritual warfare stuff, even saying that because he is a child of Jesus Christ, he can talk to demons like they are dogs. This is very dangerous because while the Bible says we can cast out demons in Jesus name, it does not tell us to wage full-on battle with the devil and his horde of demons. He is inciting young Christians to go out and fight the devil and take back cities for Christ but Jesus never told us to do that, He tells us to share the Gospel in love and truth one person at a time Also the author of AV1611 shows how disrespectful, and he says blasphemous, Carmen's lyrics are about Jesus Christ, calling him J.C. and having John the Baptist say "Hey Baby" to Jesus. (That last part just doesn't even make sense!) I was surprised to see AV161 categorized Carmen as a Christian "rock" artist because I had never thought of him that way, but now I have to admit he is right because Carmen is like the "Evangelistic Elvis". If you don't believe my analogy, listen to what Carmen says about his shows, which I found on his website: “I would go to Vegas shows and Broadway and find a lot of magic acts and see what I can put on stage that will blow people’s minds,” Carman said. “I want to do something they can’t see anywhere else.” Well magic is not of God, so why would he think the Gospel needs magic to attract kids and what do you think happens to their profession of faith after the Carmen concert? They would most likely go and seek out signs and wonders in the Charismatic movement so they can continue on with the "magic" (which he plays out more as supernatural things on stage I am sure rather than actual magic tricks), that they so enjoyed at his show or the alternative which is they would lose all interest in Christianity since there is no magic in Christianity. A profession of faith not securely rooted in the Gospel does not make a Christian convert, so his large salvation numbers are a hoax! And as I mentioned above, me and thousands of young Christian girls had a crush on him and with him staying single "for the Lord's work" it kept young girls coming back time and time again to buy concert tickets and CDs and T-shirts and make donations to his work.. Bottom line, it was good for business! But that is a tactic the secular rock guys use too, and it is not very kind to get girls hopes up, when he is not really looking to get married some day, "when the time is right", as he says on his website. And actually, it turns out he was not being celibate for the Lord at all! Not that I am advocating to listen to rumors but it just goes without saying that a man cannot go without sex his whole life, so I was not surprised to find that there are rumors of a short-term marriage he never discusses (that took place during his career, in 2004, and the woman he married, after a 2 year affair with her, was already married to Maurio Marillo, (for 23 years!), who was a friend of his in "Christian" ministry and then he tried to quietly annul it, which didn't work so he paid her off to keep her from using his last name and writing a book about him and his problems.) and an extra marital affair during that brief marriage and also many other illicit affairs before and after, leaving a string of broken hearts along the way. You can read this article for yourself: http://bijog.com/biography/carman-licciardello and you can also fill in some more details by reading this blog: http://carmanlicciardello.blogspot.com/2005/06/carman-licciardello.html One blogger even says Carman faked his cancer so he could get money (which worked, $230K worth of donations came in), and the fact that this was a scam seems credible to me now in that I know many Christians who die with terminal cancer, and yet Carman who is living in sin, gets a miracle healing? Also, one blogger says she watched his recent concert(s) and he has no singing voice left and after only 10 minutes of preaching, which she said he says many inaccurate things, he begins begging for money.
Another CCM artist I want to cover a little bit is Michael W. Smith. He is probably the #1 CCM artist of all time, who is also not married, during his long career. There are many rumors that have circulated around him for years about his being gay. He has not commented on those, nor has he ever said anything about being hetersexual. But this is not why I bring him up. You may have already gone to http://www.av1611.org/crock.html and read through the CCM artists, but if you haven't, you can go to it now and read some things about Michael W. Smith that make him a very questionable "Christian" artist. My main concern is his youth concert venue called Rocketown in Downtown Nashville. Please view this video to see why Rocketown and Michael W. Smith are on my "bad list": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4avjBG1ckpU&index=61&list=PL28ESZR3k-CgxFkXIz-uelNw0Aq4C1g8T
David Cloud, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist preacher, writes the one of the best full reason exposes on why Contemporary Christian music is bad for the church of Jesus Christ so I will insert a link to one of his articles so you can read through it and learn directly from him on this matter. The article, which comes from a book he wrote is called, Why We Are Opposed to Contemporary Christian Music: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/opposedtoccm.html
another piece David Cloud writes he says the following: The
Christian Music field is permeated with false christs and false gods.
Whatever doctrinal differences a Baptist would have with Martin Luther or John Wesley or Fanny Crosby, (who wrote the old hymns found in hymnal books that used to be in the pews at churches), we share the same God, but that is often not true for Contemporary Christian Worship.
Many of the influential CCW artists worship a non-Trinitarian God. For example, Geron Davis and Joel Hemphill are “Jesus Only” Pentecostals who deny the Trinity. To deny the Trinity is to worship a false God.
Other CCW artists worship a non-vengeful God. Stuart Townend, for example, denies that God is vengeful, which is a brazen rejection of the very God of the Bible (Stuart Townend, “Mission: Worship, The Story Behind the Song”).
A great many of the CCM artists worship a God who is non-judgmental, universalistic, does not send people to an eternal hell, and puts no obligations on them. Consider the popularity of The Shack among CCM artists. It has been directly endorsed by Michael W. Smith and has been well received in prominent CCM circles such as Calvary Chapels, Vineyard churches, and Hillsong. It was promoted at the 2009 National Pastor’s Convention in San Diego, which was sponsored by Zondervan and InterVarsity Fellowship. Young was one of the speakers and a survey found that 57% had read the novel. Young was enthusiastically received, and in an interview with Andy Crouch, a senior editor of Christianity Today, there was not a hint of condemnation for his false god. Crouch is a CCM musician in his own right and led one of the praise and worship sessions in San Diego.
The Shack is all about redefining God. It is about a man whose becomes bitter at God after his daughter is murdered and has a life-changing experience with God in the very shack where the murder occurred; but the God he encounters is most definitely not the God of the Bible.
Young says the book is for those with “a longing that God is as kind and loving as we wish he was” (interview with Sherman Hu, Dec. 4, 2007). What he is referring to is the desire on the part of the natural man for a God who loves “unconditionally” and does not require obedience, does not require repentance, does not judge sin, and does not make men feel guilty for what they do.
In that same interview, Young said that a woman wrote to him and said that her 22-year-old daughter came to her after reading the book and asked, “IS IT ALRIGHT IF I DIVORCE THE OLD GOD AND MARRY THE NEW ONE?”
This is precisely what a large portion of the Contemporary Christian Music generation is doing.
Cloud also quotes from an author whose book I have read and I whole heartedly agree with:
Lucarini, author of Why
I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement: Confessions of a
Former Worship Leader (which
I highly recommend), says:
“No one should deny the power of music to proselytize! Pastors in particular must defend their flocks from false teaching, heresies and ‘ear ticklers’ who bring worldly sensuality into the congregation; you are right to point out how easily this comes into a church through worship music. It seems wiser to decline the use of what seems to be a perfectly good song, rather than to give any honor and hint of endorsement to the composer and his/her mission” (e-mail, May 24, 2009).
So, dear reader, I pray that you will take all of this warning to heart and not participate in Contemporary Christian Music in any of its forms (rock, pop or rap) because it is not good for your walk with the Lord. You will find yourself seduced by worldly spirits and not have an appetite for the things of God, such as reading your Bible. It can also do more harm than just that, it can take you away from Christ all together. So, please guard your faith and your heart and find a church that does not lean on Contemporary Christian music! I know it's getting harder and harder to find a church that sings out of a hymnal but if possible, please find one. Also I encourage you to listen to BBN Radio http://www.bbnradio.org/ which has the old time hymns, or one similar in your area, rather than Contemporary Christian radio stations such as Joy FM or worse, Spirit FM, which is a Catholic radio station made to draw in listeners of all denominations.
Contemporary Christian music was created to be an ecumenical tool, which means it was designed to blurr denominational lines, causing Christians to be in worship along side Catholics, until eventually both religions are one. The Vatican wants this so Protestants "will come home" but that is the last thing a Protestant should do! We were never a part of Rome, because Jesus was never under a Pope, (please see my Catholic page), so don't be fooled by the Contemporary Christian Music party, it has a sinister agenda, it is after your faith, one way or another!
If you want to get born again in Christ Jesus, please take this time now to talk to God. You can say something like this: God I know I am a sinner and I need a Savior and I believe Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah. I believe Jesus Christ was born of a virgin mother, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that He lived a sinless life because He was God in the flesh, and that He was crucified as the once for all sacrifice for mankind's sins. I believe he was buried and rose from the grave and was witnessed alive before ascending to heaven where He now sits on the throne as King of Kings. I repent of my sins and accept Jesus' gift of salvation today and I ask Him to be my Savior and Lord. I ask the Holy Spirit to come and make a dwelling in my heart and to lead me into all righteousness. Thank you God for hearing my prayer and for sending your Son to save me by dying in my place at the Cross so I can be in the family of God. And Father, I understand that while I am saved by my confession of faith, it is also Your will for me to get water baptized to show my private confession in a public way, and so I ask you to lead me to the church or baptismal situation you have for me so I can get baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen!