Often called the universal language, music communicates with a great deal of power.It can calm a troubled soul with comfort and peace, or it can march an army into battle.Music has the power to sing a baby to sleep, move a sinner to his knees in repentance, or it canlead a troubled teenager to commit murder or suicide.One can use music to beautify a church wedding as two come together in holy matrimony, or he can use it to justify sinful conduct in the back seat of a car.Music can move one to feelings of sorrow, joy, anger, fear, suspense, confusion, excitement, aggression, romance, or a host of other emotions.Perhaps you’ve heard of the Mozart Effect, the proven fact that students score better on tests when they’ve listened to Mozart prior to taking the tests.It has been tested and documented that even plants grow better, hens lay better, and cows give better milk when exposed to better quality music.One test even showed that a group of rats preferred living in a room filled with Bach music to living in a room filled with rock music!Music has power, plain and simple.In the Bible, it has the power to move even God (Acts -26, II Chron. -14).We’d do well to respect it.
Having the powerful force that it does, music can be used for a great deal of good or for a great deal of evil.Because of this, music should be studied and well understood by those who use it. Unfortunately, it isn’t.People simply “play” music much like a careless child would play with electricity, not knowing that he is endangering himself.
The electricity analogy is a very good one, except for the fact that people respect the power of electricity and they take measures to use it safely.Electrical substations are normally fenced in and secured from the general public.Electrical panels in homes are normally built out of the reach of small children, and some can even be locked.An appliance that runs on 110 volts cannot be plugged into a 220 volt outlet because 220 volt plugs are different.Even electrical tools, such as wire snips, come with rubber insulation on the handles to protect the worker from any live wires that he may encounter.These precautions are not taken because electricity is evil, but rather because it is powerful, and it can be dangerous.When used wisely, electricity can offer some great benefits, but it can bring great harm to anyone using it carelessly.
Music has just as much power as electricity, yet there are very few safety measures in place.With all of its power and energy, music is out there for the taking, unbridled and accessible to all.In fact, if electricians were as careless with their work as most musicians are with theirs, they would have their licenses revoked, and some would undoubtedly be jailed.Yet, musicians are given a free pass by society, as if their product were nothing more than a harmless little toy.
Any thinking person can see clearly that music is not harmless.It is a powerful tool, be it in the hand of God or in the hand of Satan.It has such power that the Bible makes over 500 references to it.
Lucifer, in his original state as the “anointed cherub” was perhaps the second most powerful being in the universe (Ezk 28:14; Isa. 14:12-15), yet he was fully equipped with musical capabilities (Ezk. 28:13; Job 38:4-7).So, today Satan understands very well the power of music, and he uses this power to further his own causes. The wise and discerning Christian knows this, and he takes measures to guard himself from Satan’s devices.II Corinthians says, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
The forthcoming pages will help the reader by discussing the fundamental principles of acceptable music.There are three broad principles that we’ll be covering, each of which could be broken down into several principles, but I believe we can cover the material sufficiently under three main headings.Hopefully this simple approach will allow for easier memorization on the part of our readers.After covering the three principles and establishing a Scriptural guideline for acceptable music, we will then narrow our study and establish some Scriptural guidelines for Christian music in particular, that is, music that Christians sing or play specifically for worship.
Please understand that this is not a booklet about “Christian music.”This booklet discusses the Scriptural principles and sub-principles, if you will, that Christians can use to make good decisions about any kind of music, anywhere, anytime.Many Christian authors fall short here, in my opinion, by implying in their writings that Christians should listen to, play, and sing “Christian” music only.This is not a Scriptural position, and it is not my position.If this were the view that God intended for us to embrace, then it would be wrong for us to sing even Happy Birthday or for a child to sing the A-B-C song, because neither of these are “Christian” songs.Our concern should be what is acceptable to God, not what is specifically “Christian.”No one eats only “Christian” food.
Ephesians says that the Christian should spend time “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”This can only be done by going to God’s word and studying what it says about any given thing, music included.Proverbs says, “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.”We do not have to play guessing games about music, nor must we follow the standard clichés of the well-meaning but ignorant brethren (“syncopation is wicked . . . if it causes body movement it’s wicked . . . that song has a beat, so it’s wicked,” etc.)No, God says that we can know what is acceptable.We can be 100% certain that our choice in music is right, just as we are certain of other Biblical truths.
What does God accept? That’s the big question.We know from the Scriptures that God is holy and that He will not accept anything that is unholy, but how does one discern that a piece of music is unholy?Some would claim that it is unholy if it doesn’t name and directly exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.This standard would mean that all instrumental music is unholy, even that which we find in the Bible.Obviously, there must be a more reliable standard to follow.
Many Christians in the south will drive an hour to hear a “gospel singing” with a country-western sound, but they won’t drive around the block to receive some sound Bible teaching regarding the righteous principles of music.In their willful ignorance of music principles, these people truly believe that a Bill Gaither video is superior to the works of Bach and Handel.It seems that words and a heavy beat are all it takes to make acceptable music for some people.Such people aren’t necessarily wicked; they’re just ignorant of God’s standard.Hopefully, we can change some of that with this booklet.
A great deal has been written about the evils of rock music, so-called Christian rock and contemporary Christian music (CCM).Although this has been needed, there is a downside.So much has been written and said about these evils that many Christians have developed the idea that anything outside these three categories is acceptable to God.This view gives a free pass to the sounds of country-western and bluegrass that are infiltrating so many churches.Much of this could have been prevented if we would have spent less time condemning rock and CCM and more time teaching sound doctrine concerning the Scriptural principles of music.Yes, rock and CCM are evil, but why are they evil?If you, dear reader, will “stick with us” and read this booklet through carefully, you will learn why they are evil, but even better, you will learn God’s standard, a standard that you can use time and time again with any piece of music you encounter.Never again will you have to ask, “What’s wrong with this music group?” or “Is that kind of music okay?”You will know how to discern for yourself.Much like a trained and certified electrician working with high voltage, you will know how to discern, control, and use the power of music for the glory of God.
An Acceptable Purpose
As we’ve already stated, music has great power, but where did this power originate?According to the Bible, all power comes from God:
“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.”(Psa. 62:11)
“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth . . .”(Deu. )
“God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.”(II Sam. 22:33)
“. . . God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down.”(II Chr. 25:8)
“. . . the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.” (Dan. 2:37)
“But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.” (Mat. 9:8)
“Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above . . .” (John )
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you . . . ” (Acts 1:8)
Being the original source of all power, God reserves the right to receive the benefit, or the glory, that any power produces.Just as an electric supplier receives monthly payments from its customers, God expects to receive a good return, a good profit, from the power that He dispenses to men.This truth can be observed in all of His handiwork.The oceans that yield their waters to the evaporation/condensation cycle eventually receive them back again after they’ve made their long journey and accomplished much good (Ecc. 1:7).The acorn that falls from the tree eventually either dies or it takes root and grows back upward.It does not live without directing its route upward.The apostles who received power from on high knew that this was for the purpose of glorifying God as they preached to the lost, not for the purpose of “serving their community” or making piles of cash for themselves.Just as a well rounded ball bounces upward when thrown downward, it is the duty of man to return all glory to the God who gave it:
“That no flesh should glory in his presence.”(I Cor. 1:29)
“. . . Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”(Rev. 5:12)
Music that accomplishes this goal in accordance with Scriptural principles is acceptable music to God.Music that fails to do this is basically the music of a thief because someone has stolen that which belongs to God.Just as I have no right to waste your money, you have no right to waste God’s power and glory.Music must be used in the way that God intended or it becomes unscriptural.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), one of the greatest of the composers, and a God-fearing Christian, once said that, “Music’s only purpose should be for the glory of God and the recreation of the human spirit.”He didn’t say it was for the recreation of our flesh; he said it was for the spirit. In defining the word “recreation,” Webster uses the words “refreshment of the strength and spirits after toil; amusement; diversion.” Certainly, this is in line with Scriptural principles (Psa. 51:10; 103:5; II Cor. ; Mk. ; Eph. ; Acts 27:3), so Bach’s purpose for music was right on target.
But notice how he first said that music was for the glory of God.Yes, man too receives a benefit, but God’s glory comes first.Actually, God is still glorified even when man’s spirit receives the benefit of music, so long as it is truly a spiritual benefit rather than a sensual one.So, in reality, all music should glorify God.Sometimes this is done directly, sometimes indirectly, but all music should be for His glory.
How to Glorify God with Music
The Scriptures are filled with admonitions for us to glorify God with music.In my studies of the hundreds of Biblical comments on music, I have learned that acceptable music can be directed to God, to others, or to ourselves.Furthermore, this music may be produced vocally, instrumentally, or with a combination of both, and all such music can glorify God. Note the various types of God-honoring music found in the Bible:
“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” (Exo. 15:1)
“And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended. Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.” (Deu. 31:29-32:3)
“Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves. Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel.” (Jud. 5:1-3)
“. . . the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.” (I Sam. 18:6)
“Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.”(I Chr. 23:4)
“Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD.” (I Chr. 23:5)
“I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.” (Psa. 108:3)
“And at Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” (Acts )
“. . . I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”(I Cor. 14:15)
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”(Eph. 5:19)
As already stated, and as the above Scripture reveals, acceptable music can be directed to God, to others, or to our selves, and this music may be produced vocally, instrumentally, or with a combination of both.
Some have the idea that music cannot glorify God unless it is directed to God personally, such as in the statement “I will sing unto the LORD.”This cannot be true or else verses like I Corinthians 10:31 would not be in the Bible:
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
God wants the glory in everything that we do, not just in things that we do directly before Him in worship.A Christian mother can homeschool her children for the glory of God, and a choir can sing for the glory of God.The Christian man in the workplace can glorify God in his moral conduct and witnessing, and his pastor can glorify God in the pulpit.The real test for the Christian isn’t “am I doing this just for God?”This mentality would confuse and divide the body of Christ and probably promote Nicolaitanheresy.The test is “am I doing this heartily AS to the Lord?”(Col. 3:23)The godly wife should not worship her husband, but she should submit to him “as unto the Lord” (Eph. ).This faithful obedience to the Scriptures glorifies God.
So it is with music.Sounds that are not in violation of Scriptural principles can be used for God’s glory whether they be played or sung in a worship service, during a private devotion, at a child’s birthday party, at a wedding, or during a romantic moment between a man and his wife.No, all of these can not be classified as “direct worship,” but all can be done for the glory of God.The Song of Solomon, for instance, doesn’t even contain the words “God” or “LORD,” yet God Himself chose to include this song in the canon of Scripture.Why?Because it contains great truths that glorify God even though the song isn’t sung directly to God and doesn’t mention God by name.
So, although singing or playing directly to God is the best and most common form of glorifying Him with music, God does accept and receive glory from other musical sounds, and that’s the whole purpose of music, to glorify God.
An Acceptable Balance
Music, like anything else in life, must have a proper balance.The tires on your car must be balanced, or they can vibrate, wobble, and make undesirable noises as you drive down the highway.Unbalanced music can also make undesirable noises.
Vocal, Instrumental, or Both?
Before we can discern good music from bad, we must first come to understand what it is about music that God likes.That will not be hard to do, if we stick with the Scriptures.
The idea that only vocal music can glorify God can’t be true, or else the twenty-four elders of Revelation 5:8 would be sinning:
“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.”
Although vocal music does follow in Revelation 5:9-10, harps are still being used.Then in II Samuel 6:5 we read of God receiving instrumental praise with no vocal singing at all:
“And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.”
For thinking people, this raises an interesting question: if no words are being sung, how does one identify the music as being music that glorifies God?“Well,” one might say, “if the music was written to be worship music, then it glorifies God.”If that’s the case, then much of the Contemporary Christian Music these days glorifies God because it was written with worship in mind.That, of course, is ridiculous.“Well,” another one says, “if the music goes with good words that we recognize, like Lead on, O King Eternal, then it glorifies God because we know that the words are acceptable even though they aren’t being sung.”This cannot be a reliable standard either because (1) the Bible never says this when only instrumental music is being played, and (2) some worship tunes have many sets of lyrics to them, even some secular lyrics.
God Delights in Certain Sounds
The fact is that certain sounds are pleasing to God, even when no words are present.The Scriptures confirm this quite well:
“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come . . .” (Song )
“. . . the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isa. 55:12)
“God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.” (Psa. 47:5)
“And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not.” (Exo. 28:35)
“Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.” (Lev. 25:9)
“With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.” (Psa. 98:6)
Now, the question becomes what KIND of sounds does God accept?What kind of music is acceptable to God?Again, God has not left us without an answer:
“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.”(Isa. 51:3)
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”(Eph. 5:19)
The key word is melody.The world likes to feed itsflesh with rhythm, but God prescribes melody for the saints.Webster defines melody as “An agreeable succession of sounds; a succession of sounds so regulated and modulated as to please the ear . . .” What is especially interesting is the fact that Webster’s definition of “music” (1828) doesn’t even mention rhythm, only melody and harmony!
Control that Rhythm!
Now, I’m not implying that music doesn’t need some rhythm, for it surely does, just as your body needs a pulse, but music doesn’t need to be dominated by rhythm.Music in the Balance, by Frank Garlock and Kurt Woetzel, illustrates this truth in the following manner on page 59:
Too much (or erratic) pulse-----------Body is sick
Too much (or erratic) rhythm--------Music is sick
No pulse--------------------------------Body is dead
No rhythm-----------------------------Music is dead
Pulse under control--------------------Body is well
Rhythm under control--------------Music is “well”
The pulse that God designed for your body is so well controlled that you cannot hear it without making a special effort.In fact, if you do hear it, you will not hear anything comparable to rock music, CCM, blue grass, or country-western music.According to the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health (www.pubmed.gov), the natural human heart plays a “duet” consisting of a “systemic waltz” and a “pulmonary waltz.”(The only exception to this is my wife’s heartbeat, which plays, “Fe fi fo fum, you kids are in trouble, ‘cause here I come!”)So, Elvis Presley’s heart didn’t play “Jailhouse Rock,” and Bill Haley’s heart didn’t “Rock Around the Clock.”
Whether we use the analogy of a soldier advancing in combat (II Tim. 2:4), a pilgrim on a journey (I Pet. ), a farmer plowing his field (Luke 9:62), or an athlete running a race (Heb. 12:1-2), the Christian life is depicted in the Scriptures as a forward movement.
Since music is an outward expression of an inward reality, our music should not contradict our forward movement in Christ.When it does contradict, we have a false balance, which is an abomination to God (Pro. 11:1).
Just as God told the Israelites not to wear contradictory clothing (Deu. ), the Christian ought not cloth himself with contradictory music—music that runs contrary to his forward march in Christ.EVERY weight should be laid aside (Heb. 12:1-2), including the rhythmic weights that frustrate the balance of our flowing melodies.The rhythm guitar, the dominating drumbeat, and the sensual sounding voices must be cast out lest we find our music bogged down with the elements of fleshy gratification rather than spiritual edification.In other words, there is a universeof difference between “Do Re Mi” and “oooohh DaDaBOOM, oooohh DaDaBOOM.”
How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Song
Sing the following words with their proper tune:
Hap-py birth-day to you.
Now, watch me single-handedly ruin a perfectly good tune by accenting the wrong count, or beat.Sing the words again and emphasize the capital syllables:
Ha-PPY birth-DAY to YOU.
Want a heavier beat?No problem:
Ha-PPY birth-DAY to YOU.
The original melody has been so altered that it’s hardly recognizable.Now, let’s take even another step downward by using a popular technique called text painting.Here’s Marylyn Monroe’s breathy rendition of Happy Birthday to John F. Kennedy at MadisonSquareGarden in 1962:
Haaaaaaa-py Birrrrrrrrth-Daay tooo Yoooooou.
Morally speaking, we have just gone from a child’s birthday party to a Las Vegas strip club—without changing a single word.
Now, watch what happens when we try this with a piece of traditional Christian music.Sing the following words two or three times and allow the melody to flow through your mind:
Je-sus loves me! This I know,
You’d never make a living as a Christian rock “artist” singing that, but you might make a few bucks on this one:
Je-SUS loves ME THIS I KNOW
If Miss Monroe were still around, she might purr out something like this:
Jeeeeeee-sus Luuuuuvs me, thiiis-I-knooooow
What are we doing with these examples?We are tampering with the balance of music, much like a careless child would tamper and play around with dangerous electrical current.This is what worldly musicians do for a living, and it’s what the ignorant masses use to entertain themselves.
Now, let’s get back to the beat.I am not implying that a song is unacceptable if it has a beat.That’s impossible because all music is made up of beats, or counts.It’s the accent, the emphasis, or various styles of tampering that can cause a beat to become unacceptable, as we’ve just illustrated.
Some people confuse this with syncopation and teach that syncopation is wrong.No, it is wrong to accent or otherwise tamper with beats in music so as to affect the right purpose and result, as we’ve illustrated, but this, in itself, is not syncopation.
The Body: To Move or Not to Move
I can remember sitting in a worship service some years ago and watching a Christian film.The film was fine, but the introductory music had a rather heavy and fast moving beat.This fact soon manifested itself in the form of a young man bobbing his head and shoulders around right there in the service.In addition to embarrassing his parents, he proved that some music feeds the spirit while other music feeds the flesh because he didn’t make these movements during the opening hymns.
This doesn’t mean that all musical body movement is wrong.The Bible even supports the practice of certain kinds of dancing (II Sam. ; Exo. ; Jer. 31:4), but it never supports sensual dancing which heavily accents the flesh and gives it the dominant role.
When a body movement is nothing more than a pure and holy outward display, or extension, of an inner joy, then that movement is acceptable to God.Such was the case with Miriam and the ladies who danced after God brought them through the Red Sea.A Christian lady would not be wrong for waltzing across her kitchen floor while preparing dinner for her family with lovely waltz music playing in the background (There went the brethren! Look at ‘em go!), but she would be in the wrong if she tried this at the gas station in front of unsaved men.The fact that this same piece of music (assuming it is a good waltz) might have been used wrongfully by someone else doesn’t disannul the fact that it remains good music.
In Matthew 7:20, Jesus said, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”One of the easiest ways to test a piece of music is to simply observe how people respond to it, or to see what kind of fruit it produces.Music usually generates some sort of body movement.Whether it be a Christian tapping his toes to Mansion Over the Hilltop or a teenage girl trying to move like Madonna or Britney, music tends to move us in some way.I can put on a CD of military marches and have all five of my children marching around the house without telling them anything.It just happens because of the power of the music.I can take a harmonica and have my one year old son, Jacob, twirling in circles without saying anything to him.Who taught him this?The music taught him this.Music is the universal language, and it has the power to move people.Since it is so powerful, we have the responsibility to control it and keep it acceptable to God.
Music that is acceptable to God will produce an acceptable movement that is directed and well controlled by the spirit (Miriam, David).Music that is unacceptable will bypass the spirit and heavily feed the flesh so that it can dominate the individual and glorify itself.Such was the case with the daughter of Herodias in Mark 6:22.
Sing in your mind the following lyrics and then think of the kind of body movements you’ve seen associated with this music:
The hills are alive with the sound of music
That’s Julie Andrews singing and gracefully running and twirling in the meadow in The Sound of Music.The rhythm didn’t dominate the music, so the flesh was well controlled and did not make sensual or suggestive movements.A Christian lady could do the exact same thing for the glory of God. Now, try this one:
BOMP, BOMP, BOMP, another one bites the dust
That’s not Julie Andrews.That’s a 1970’s rock band whose leader has since contracted AIDS and “bit the dust.”His refusal to control his flesh was a perfect parallel to the music he produced.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. )
A body that is “mortified” is not a body that never moves at all.A body that doesn’t move at all is dead and belongs in the cemetery.A body that moves too much, or in an inappropriate manner, is in need of some discipline.A body that is well disciplined will submit to the leadership of the spiritual man and it will yield itself to good purposes.This is just as true in the context of music as it is in the context of working, preaching, exercising, sleeping, or anything else.Paul also addresses this matter in I Corinthians 9:27:
“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.”
A professional orchestra of one hundred pieces might have a maximum of three or four instruments playing rhythm, and even then they don’t play continually.This means that less than four percent of the orchestra’s music is rhythm.The rhythm isn’t totally absent, but it is well controlled.By contrast, at least seventy percent of the average rock band’s music is rhythm.This is why rock music and Christian rock major in feeding one’s flesh, even when the lyrics to the music are acceptable (which isn’t often).
So, in order to be acceptable to God, music must be properly balanced with the melody playing the dominate role, the harmony next, and the rhythm last.For more study on this, I recommend Music in the Balance, which we mentioned earlier and also a book by Kimberly Smith titled Music and Morals.
An Acceptable Message
With music being the universal language, it is vital that we understand its ability to communicate powerfully.Every piece of music sends a message of some sort.The Christian must be careful not to send or listen to messages that are unacceptable to God.Just as we wouldn’t add to God’s word and give an unscriptural message to someone, we should also be careful that we never allow our music to communicate something that is contrary to Scripture.
In the Bible, God’s messages are always clear and simple, and He expects our music to be just as clear.Paul once addressed the Corinthians about the need for a clear message.These Christians were having all sorts of problems due to a spirit of confusion in their church, so Paul included these words of instruction for them:
“And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”
(I Cor. 14:7-8)
This is illustrated in Numbers 10:1-7 where God ordained that trumpets be used for various purposes among the camping Israelites:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee. When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward. When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.”
The blowing of one trumpet was one message, while the blowing of both trumpets was quite another.One could blow and sound an alarm, or he could blow and not sound an alarm.This was well understood by the common people and the blowers, so all was well and acceptable.The messages were clear.
Now suppose some young man decided to do things differently with his trumpet.Instead of sounding a proper alarm when the enemy was approaching, this fellow choseto sound the alarm to the tune of Jingle Bells.No one knew what this meant, no one prepared for battle, and the city was taken.In this instance, the message was confused.
Suppose the same young man played an understandable sound, but it was the wrong sound.He sounded an alarm when only a congregational gathering was needed.This constituted a false message, a lie, which misled the people and displeased God.
The above two examples illustrate the messages that are being conveyed today by the music of the world: confusion and falsehood.Rock and country-western music are jam-packed full of false messages regarding authority, love, marriage, sex, divorce, family, money, God, the Bible, church, salvation, heaven, and hell (just to mention a few).To listen to such music is to listen to unacceptable messages, be they conveyed through the lyrics, through the instruments, through text painting (Haaaaaaa-py Birrrrrrrrth-Daay tooo Yoooooou . . .), or through all of these.
In other words, Marylyn Monroe’s Happy Birthday number didn’t convey a happy birthday message at all.Her message was clearly sexual.The same is true with the songs of many female performers today, and many male performers as well.
Guard Your Intimate Zone
Elvis Presley used to intimately hold and sing into his microphone, and young females would completely lose control of their emotions.As the words “I can’t help falling in love with you” would flow from his lips, tears would stream down their cheeks as they screamed with outstretched arms.How could a young woman be moved in such a way by a man whom she’s never met—by a man who doesn’t even know her name?The answer is that she allowed him to invade her intimate zone.Her parents wouldn’t have permitted this man to speak this way into her ear personally, but, in their ignorance of the power of sound and music, they allowed him to do so through the “magic microphone.”
This technique is utilized throughout the music industry by both male and female performers, and it sells records and corrupts minds by the millions. If you are a Christian, no member of the opposite sex has any business whispering “love songs” into your ear, unless it’s your spouse.It is your responsibility to guard your intimate zone from these intruders.
Even some of the CCM performers use this technique.Just tune into any pseudo-Christian radio station and you can hear a few samples (but don’t forget to tune out!).Sometimes these people do present a mild to weak gospel message, but it is often canceled out by a sensual message that invades ones intimate zone and goes right to their heart.This explains why CCM performers like Michael W. Smith have concerts packed with screaming teenage girls.The message clearly is not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as the performers claim.
I’m not saying that a song must proclaim the gospel or speak direct praises to God before it can be acceptable, but a song cannot be acceptable to God when it conveys a message that is clearly contrary to God.Happy Birthday sung by a family at a birthday party is fine because the message is fine.Happy Birthday performed by a purring sex symbol is an abomination because an unholy message is being conveyed.
There are many other ways that confused or false messages are channeled through music.If a worldly philosophy is being promoted in a song, then that song is unacceptable, even though the music might be fine.That’s one reason why I usually prefer instrumental music to music with lyrics (for my private listening).Most musicians these days (Christian and secular) are so shallow in their theology (if they even have any) that they goof up and say something stupid every time they open their mouths.I just play it safe and listen mostly to instrumental music.Besides, I have a bad hearing loss in one ear which makes it hard for me to understand lyrics (and easy for me to ignore people that I don’t want to hear anyway).I also enjoy listening to traditional gospel music since I’m usually familiar with the lyrics, as long as it comes from reliable sources and sticks with Biblical principles.
Frank Garlock jokes that country-western music is worse than rock music, and he has a good point:because you can understand the words.Just tune into any country-western station and you’ll hear adultery and fornication glorified continually—not an acceptable message.Of course, the country-western beat is also unacceptable.
So, in addition to following the Scriptural principles of purpose and balance, music must also convey a proper message.It means nothing for a performer to stand on stage and say, “This is for the glory of God,” if the words or the music send a different message.Music must have an acceptable message, or it isn’t worthy of your listening time.
Acceptable Music for Worship
Up until now, we’ve dealt with music in general and the basic Bible principles that make it acceptable or unacceptable.Those principles apply to worship music as well, but some additional principles also apply because worship is a special activity set apart from everything else.Webster defines worship as “the act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being.”In worship, we are no longer interacting with our fellow man; we are directing our hearts to God.
This is well illustrated by the arrangement of the Ten Commandments.The first four commandments are Godward—written to keep us right with God.The last six commandments are manward—written to keep us right with our fellow man.It’s true that God inspired all ten of the commandments and that it’s a sin against God to violate any of them, but the first four still have their own special purpose. This corresponds to worship and how it has its own special purpose.
Most readers of this booklet know me well enough to know that I am not advocating ceremonialism or ritualism in our worship services, but I can’t go along with the slothful and half-hearted approach to worship that prevails in so many churches today either.If God is special to us, then our worship services should be special.We don’t come to church services for the sake of having a social gathering; we come to worship God.Our promptness, our appearance, our lessons, our sermons, our attention, and our prayers all deserve our very best effort.Amen?Does God deserve less than our best?Of course He doesn’t.If you’re going to give less than your best, then give it to yourself, to your cat, or to your fellow man, if you must, but don’t give it to God!God is holy and He demands a lamb without blemish (Exo. 12:5).A Christian should always strive to do his best in all things, but if he’s going to compromise somewhere, God forbid that it be in worship.Maybe we won’t “bat a thousand” during each of the 168 hours of the week, but we owe it to God to pull together and make an extra effort to knock every ballout of the park when we come to worship during those few hours each week.
This naturally includes the music “ball.”In a worship service, it is time for our very best.Just as a lady would bring out her best china for a special meal, God’s people should bring forth the very best music in worship.
In his book, The Battle for Christian Music, musician and music professor, Tim Fisher, writes that
“Christian music is that music in which text, music, performers, and performance practices are conforming to the image of Christ.”
Satan knows this well.He knows that the power of God can move mightily when God is praised and honored with proper music in worship, so he has a number of “curve balls” that enable him to “strike out” a worship service with ease.We need to learn to guard our worship from them.Here are a few pointers:
Major in Praise Music
By this I do not mean the worldly sounding “praise and worship” noise that has crept into our churches over the past quarter century.True praise music is traditional music like O Worship the King, Praise Him! Praise Him!, Crown Him with Many Crowns, and All Hail Emmanuel.This kind of music is written to exalt Christ alone, which should be the goal of any worship.Read through the Psalms and see for yourself that most of Israel’s music was filled with praise.
Some other music is fine, songs like Farther Along and Jesus Loves Even Me, but such music should not dominate our services.Probably seventy percent or more of our music should be praise music.To illustrate this for yourself, just pick which three lines below you would prefer hearing if you were the Lord:
Farther along we’ll know all about it
Crown Him with many crowns; the Lamb upon His throne
O tell of His might, and sing of His grace
To him that overcometh God giveth a crown
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me
Hark the herald angels sing, Glory to the new born king!
Please don’t take this to mean that many traditional hymns are wrong.It’s just that we, being humans, have a tendency to say too much for ourselves and not enough for the Lord.Songs like Amazing Grace and My Sins are Gone are good songs and should be sung in worship, but they should not dominate.
Also, songs that are not praise songs should still carry an acceptable message, a “new song” which testifies of God’s grace in ones life (Psa. 96:1; 40:3), not an old song like Stand by Me or Lean on Me, which even unsaved people would sing.
Promote Worship, Not Entertainment
Of the 168 hours in a week, most of the people in a church have spent at least a few hours being entertained, including the singers and players, so it’s very easy for an entertainment spirit to hijack a worship service.Folks might want to applaud after a special or “go on and on” later about “how well he did” or “how pretty her dress was.”If we aren’t careful, this can quench the spirit of true worship by directing the attention and glory to man instead of God.
Musicians Should Praise, Not Preach
In worship, musicians should know their place and stay there.It seems that some people can’t sing a single song without first spending at least five minutes talking into a microphone.Some of the dumbest things ever said in churches have been said during these little “sermonettes” that are brought forth by unqualified talkers.A good musician is not necessarily a good speaker, so these talks need to be kept to a minimum.Besides, this steals from the real preacher’s sermon time.Musicians should sing and play, not preach.
Music is Not for Evangelizing the Lost
This is where so many musicians are in error, especially among the CCM performers.Somehow their style of music is supposed to be justified if it “gets people saved.”Studies have shown that most of these “concert converts” aren’t really converted at all because their lives do not change after their profession (II Cor. ).
This should surprise no serious Christian since the Bible never told us to reach the lost with music in the first place.I Corinthians says, “. . . it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe,” not by singing.Music can assist this effort by helping to prepare hearts for the preaching, but music should not be thought of as a means of converting sinners.
Musicians Should Be Well Prepared
Just as a preacher must study to show himself approved (II Tim. ), musicians should prepare themselves if they intend to stand before God and men and produce worship music.Unprepared people should never be called on to play or sing before the church.“Ya’ll pray for us as we try and sang this song.Brother Johnny kinda put us on the spot, and we didn’t get to practice.”No, thanks!You can tell Brother Johnny to contact you ahead of time so you can be prepared to do your best for the Lord Jesus Christ.Musicians should be taught and skilled (II Chr. ; 34:12), not half-hearted and slothful.If you don’t have time to prepare, then I don’t have time to listen to you.
Use Live Singers and Players Only
Dead ones are no good.No, really, I’m referring to the use of “canned” music, which is music that is played on cassette or CD while someone sings along with it.“Did you bring a tape?” (or CD) is a common question in many churches.
In addition to promoting an entertainment spirit, this practice relieves the singers from having to learn to play instruments.In plainer words, they are allowed to do less than their best.If these people really want to sing for God, then they should spend less time watching television and attending sporting activities and start learning to play instruments.Meanwhile, they can sing a‘capella, have someone play for them, or remain in their seat.I know this sounds rather harsh, but God deserves our best, not a karaoke show.
All Music Should Be Clear and Understandable
In a worship service, no one should ever have to lean over to you and ask, “What was that song about anyway?”The music should always be clear and understandable to everyone present (I Cor. 14:7-8).
Sometimes music is unclear because of weak and generic-sounding lyrics.Songs like You Light Up My Life are so generic that you can’t tell if the “you” is a reference to Christ, to a baby, to a friend, to a lover, or maybe to the devil (II Cor. 11:14!).You be the judge:
So many nights I sit by my window
Waiting for someone to sing me his song;
So many dreams I kept deep inside me,
Alone in the dark but now you’ve come along.
You light up my life;
You give me hope to carry on.
You light up my days
andfill my nights with song.
By contrast, no one has to wonder about the meaning of these lyrics:
Jesus keep me near the cross
There a precious fountain
Free to all a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.
In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
Then sometimes a perfectly good song is ruined by unnecessary electronic devices, such as too many microphones (being held too close to the lips!), bass guitars, drums, amplifiers, and other assorted gadgets.Some amplification is usually necessary, especially in larger buildings, but this should not be overdone.Musicians should not be permitted to turn a church’s auditorium into a concert hall.As for bass guitars and drums, don’t get me started.
Having covered the basic Scriptural principles of music, it seemed appropriate to end this study with some recommendations for anyone interested in improving the music in their lives and their appreciation for it.As I tell my members, the largest room in the world is the room for improvement.So, let’s consider some recommendations for musical improvement.
Read Everything the Bible Says about Music
Simply take a concordance and look up the words musick (with a “k”), singing, sing, songs, singers, instruments, melody, praise, played, and similar words.Once you’ve carefully read each reference and mediated on it, you will have studied over 500 musical references in the word of God, something that very few Christians have ever done (performers included).Who knows, it might inspire you to write a book.
Burn All of Your Musical Junk
Just as the believers burnt their trash literature in Acts , Christians should burn their trash music.It’s actually fun to watch an ungodly tape or CD melt down into a useless blob.Church bon fires for this are especially nice, but don’t wear any white sheets or hoods to the event.
Start an Acceptable Music Library
Having burned all of the junk music, you’ll need something to replace it, which is another Bible principle.Romans says, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”God doesn’t want us to simply stop sinning;He expects us to REPLACE evil things with good things.This is a must because simply quitting evil things leaves a vacuum in our lives, which Satan loves to fill with other evil things.Isaiah 1:17-18 says, “. . . cease to do evil . . . Learn to do well . . .”II Corinthians says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”So, you need some new music.
Well, I just happen to own a music store!No, not really, but you do need to start doing some musical shopping.Don’t waste your time or your money with the local “Christian” bookstore unless you know it to be operated by true Bible-believing Christians, which is very unlikely.Most of what these people sell amounts to the trash that we told you to burn.I’ll not try to push all of my personal favorites on you, but hopefully I can head you in the right direction.
Go to Wal-Mart and buy a CD set titled Handel’s Messiah, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir (published by Madacy).If they don’t have it, you can ask them to order it, or you can find it on the Internet.Some music stores can probably order it also.You’ll get two CD’s with well over two hours of music, and it’ll probably cost you less than $10.00.There are some other good recordings of Messiah, but this one is as good as any I’ve heard, and cheaper.
While you’re at Wal-Mart, if you have a few bucks to spend (and why would you be there if you didn’t?), purchase any classical music by Handel or Bach.You’re on safe ground with these two.Later, maybe you’ll want to get some music by Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Vivaldi, and other composers, but start out with Handel and Bach.This stuff is also available all over the Internet.
Now, go to “www.johnmarshallfamily.com” and buy everything you see.This godly family has been producing excellent Christian music for three decades, and you can’t go wrong with anything they produce.
Bible Baptist Bookstore in Pensacola, Florida, has some good music available.Call and request a catalog at 850-477-8812, or visit their web site at “www.kjv1611.org.”An entire page of their catalog is dedicated to music recordings.My personal favorites are Hymnworks I and II, Hymns Triumphant, and anything by Rex Harrison.Of course, there are many others.
Still got money?Wonderful, dude!(Please bear with me.It’s getting late, but I told my wife that I’d finish this booklet tonight, so please bear with me.)Now, go to “majestymusic.com” and buy anything that looks interesting.Headed up by Frank Garlock, whom we referenced earlier in the booklet, these people are fine music specialists who produce really good sounding stuff.
One more stop.Go to “smsrecordings.com” and get anything you want.The “sms” stands for Sacred Music Services.They specialize in fine Christian music.
Well, that’ll get you started, as well as getting you broke, but at least you’ll have the best music of anyone on the block.
Seriously, it will take a while to get a good music library started.Most CDs will cost you $12.00 to $15.00 each, except for the classical music that isn’t in big demand anymore.Sometimes you can get three or four classical CDs for this amount, sometimes even in a neat little pack that looks all sophisticated.
But, as much as I love classical music, I must warn you that it has the ability to spoil you quite easily.The people who play and record classical music are professionals who have practiced and performed for many years.Please do not use their high standard of excellence to judge the Christian musicians in your church who usually are not professionals.Enjoy the pros, but also enjoy and encourage those humble believers who are doing their best for the Lord.Happy trails!
Sing in the Home
And it won’t cost you a dime!Just spend time together as a family singing.If it doesn’t sound good enough to call singing, then call it practicing. This will do wonders for your family.If you live alone, sing to the Lord and to yourself, as Paul told the Ephesians in Ephesians 5:19.Remember, there is great power in music.Use this power to improve your home and life.
David said that God had put a new song in his mouth (Psa. 40:3), not in his hymnbook.Paul and Silas sang praises to God at (Acts 16),so I doubt that Paul said, “Alright, Brother Silas, let’s turn to page 84 and sing My Redeemer.”Obviously, they had their music memorized, and so should we, or at least a good supply of it.
Play Music in the Home
If nice music could refresh king Saul by causing theevil spirit to depart from him (I Sam. ), then it can do the same for your home.Make God feel welcome in your home by having nice music.Turn off the television (or just shoot it), turn off the radio, and turn on some good music.Listen to it while dining, while reading, while cleaning house, while playing games, or while clipping your toenails.
Read Good Materials about Music
The sources that we’ve already mentioned also carry some good reading materials, and even videos, that will increase your understanding of the moral and immoral effects of music.Read some of this material, and be ready to recommend it to others by name when necessary.
Study Basic Music Theory
This will help you to familiarize yourself with staffs, notes, and other funny-looking musical things.Not that you need to major in this department, but it is comforting to know that those peculiar-looking things in your hymnbook are not strange people peeping through a fence at you.
In fact, if you have an imagination, music theory can become very enjoyable.For instance, when they tell you to remember the line notes of the treble staff (E, G, B, D, F) by memorizing the words Every Good Boy Does Fine, you can create your own words and come up with something more relevant to the music world, something like Every Good Boy Despises Fiddling or Elvis’ Giant Belly Did Flop.You can even write your own song as you memorize the notes and how they ascend in pitch:
Middle “C” is for Christ, the center of God’s plan,
“D” is for His Doctrine that we should understand;
“E” is for Eternity, a billion years and more,
“F” is for the Faithful who’ll stand on heaven’s shore.
“G” is for . . .
You get the point.Music theory does not have to be boring as so many believe.
A good resource for music theory is Essentials of Music Theory: Complete Self Study Course by Alfred Publishing.You can get the printed version, or you can shell out some bigger bucks and get the software package.Like everything else, it’s available on the Internet. (I even found my wife on the Internet. Just kidding!)
Learn to Play an Instrument
For children, there are far greater benefits in playing an instrument than in learning to run like a wild Indian all over a ball field.Having the ability to play a musical instrument is a treasure you can carry all throughout your life, and best off all, you can use it to praise God.Let’s see you try that with a soccer ball.
And you’re never too old to start.Even if you only learn to play by ear, it’s a real joy to be able to make music (unless, of course, you play with your ear).Just get the ole’ “I can do this” attitude and learn to play something.Yes, you can doit.If Satan can teach his crowd to play instruments for his glory (Jerry Lee Lewis, Keith Richards, Jerry Garcia, Liberace, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Hank Williams, etc.), then God can teach you to play something for His glory.If the Lord puts no desire in your heart to learn an instrument, then maybe He has other plans for you, but if He puts the desire there, then you can learn (Phil. ).
Well, I’m all done now.It’s , and I’ve had a very long day.Lord willing, I will now go home, take a cool shower, read for a while instead of writing, and, of course, I’ll have to soak up a bit of nice and acceptable music.I sincerely hope this material has helped you as much as it has helped me.Soli Deo Gloria!
“Rock has always been the devil’s music.You can’t convince me that it isn’t.”
It was none other than the one and only David Bowie who uttered those words for Rolling Stone Magazine in 1976 (Feb. 12, 1976, p. 83).
The devil knows his own, and they know their master. In the following paragraphs, you will read actual quotes from rock stars who confess that they are servants of Satan.In each case you will also be given documentation so you can check the accuracy of each quote.Words have meaning, so we should give special attention to the words of those who have so much influence in the lives of our young people.Notice what the Lord Jesus Christ says about the WORDS that people use:
“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”(Mat. 12:34-37)
Jesus will not judge anyone on the basis of what others think about them, but rather on the basis of their WORDS.God takes note of the WORDS that people use, in fact “every” word.Words mean things. You may not hold your rock idols accountable for what you are about to read, but God will, and God will hold YOU accountable as well, because he SAID he would (Rom. 14:12; Ecc. 12:14).Let’s consider some actual quotes from the rock stars:
“...you can’t ignore evil if you study the supernatural as I do.I have many books on the subject, and I’ve also attended a number of seances.I want to go on studying it . . .”(Jimmy Page, The Led Zeppelin Biography, by Ritchie Yorke, 1976, p. 183)
Are you a Christian?If so, why would you care to hear a man sing anything after making such a confession?Would Jesus Christ approve of your listening to the music of a student of Satanism?
Do you like the Rolling Stones?Would you still like them if Keith Richards confessed to being a follower of the Devil?That’s what he does in the following quote:
“Kenneth Anger told me I was his right hand man . . . Once you start, there’s no going back.”(Rolling Stones, by David Dalton, 1972, pg. 38)
Kenneth Anger is a devoutfollower of nineteenth century Satanist Allister Crowley, and he said that Keith Richards was his right hand man.
Here’s one from Ozzy Ozzbourne, one of the most ungodly creatures to ever set foot on a stage:
“Yes, I feel like I’ve met the Devil.I feel that I was a servant of his once . . .” (Ozzy Ozzbourne, Circus Magazine, Aug. 26, 1980, p. 26)
Ozzbourne once bit off a live bat’s head on stage, and I read one account of him sawing a live lamb’s head in two with a hacksaw.Is that the kind of entertainment you want? Is that what your children listen to and watch for entertainment?
In an interview with Circus Magazine, Ozzy Ozzbourne spoke of his days with the rock group Black Sabbath:
“There were these real weird people coming to hear Sabbath.These guys were lined up in the corridor dressed in black robes, holding candles . . .”(Circus Magazine, June 30, 1981, p. 28)
Why would Satanists be interested in a rock concert?Well, let’s consider the WORDS to the music they came to hear:
“Now I have you with me,
Under my power
Our love goes stronger now,
With every hour,
Look into my eyes,
You’ll see who I am,
My name is Lucifer,
Please take my hand.”
N.I.B. - Nativity in Black by Black Sabbath
I guess such music would attract people with black robes and candles!Now, are we supposed to believe that Ozzbourne and company didn’t realize this?Are we expected to believe that they produced such music in pure innocence?Was it in pure innocence that they labeled one of their albums with the title We Sold Our Soul for Rock and Roll?
Here are some words from aKISS song in the seventies:
“I’m the Lord of the wasteland,
I gather darkness to please me
And I command you to kneel
before the god of thunder
and Rock and Roll
The spell you’re under
Will slowly rob you of
your virgin soul.”
God of Thunder by KISS
The “god” that Gene Simmons is singing about here is obviously Satan, the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4).Only God knows how many deceived parents allowed their teenagers to listen to such wickedness!
Here’s one from Little Richard, a man who has been on the rock scene long enough to know where the music originates:
“I believe this kind of music is demonic . . . a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums.If you study music in rhythms, like I have, you’ll see that is true.I believe that kind of music is driving people from Christ” (The Life and Times of Little Richard, by Charles White, 1984, p. 197).
Voodoo?Imagine the joy that Satan feels in knowing that millions of professing Christians like listening to voodoo music!You say, “I see nothing wrong with it.”That’s because you’ve been blinded by Satan (II Cor. 4:4).You have less spiritual discernment than the people who produce the music!They confess over and over again that their music is wicked, yet you claim that it isn’t.You’ve been deceived by Satan.
Where will rock music take you?
“I’ve got my bell,
I’m gonna take you to Hell
Gonna get ya,
Satan get ya . . . Hells Bells”
Hells Bells by AC/DC
There, isn’t that clear enough?Is Jesus really your friend?Would you like to play that tune for him?Then why play it at all?
Did you know that John Lennon once confessed to being a servant of Satan?In Roy Coleman’s book, Lennon, the former Beatle is quoted as saying:
“I’ve sold my soul to the devil.”(Lennon, by Roy Coleman, McGraw-Hill, 1984, p. 256)
I can believe that, especially when I read the WORDS to some of his music instead of just feeding my flesh with the rhythm and beat.Nothing could be more Satanically inspired than Lennon’s 1971 New Age song, Imagine:
“Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No Hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one . . .”
No Heaven?The Bible declares that there IS a Heaven.No Hell?The Bible declares that there IS a Hell.Nothing above but sky?That means NO GOD.Lennon, who once claimed to be more popular than Jesus Christ, believed in a world where God-hating humanists like himself get to “share” the world with no accountability to God and no eternal consequences for their conduct.How did he come up with such music anyway?You say, “He was just talented.”Let’s ask Lennon about that:
“But my joy is when you’re like possessed, like a medium, you know.I’ll be sitting around and it’ll come in the middle of the night or at the time when you don’t want to do it - that’s the exciting part . . . I don’t know who the ______ wrote it - I’m just sitting here and the whole ______ song comes out.” (John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Andy Peebles, The Last Lennon Tapes, New York, 1981, p. 113)
I believe God’s word is quite clear about the source of Lennon’s music.All he had to do was read a King James Bible: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Eph. 2:2) The spirit of Satan inspired the man, and he should have known this since he knew that he had sold his soul to the devil.
With rock music being authored by the devil, it isn’t hard to find rock stars promoting sin and rebellion.Parents, if you fail to teach your children about sex, don’t worry, Satan’s loyal subjects will gladly take on the task:
“We collect underwear from girls and keep it on our stage amps.” (Vince Neal of the group Motley Crew, Hit Parader, April, 1985, p. 74-75)
“I may not go down in history, but I will go down on your little daughter.” (David Lee Roth, Van Halen, Musician Magazine, June 1984, issue 68, p. 52)
“There’s nothing wrong with going to bed with somebody of your own sex.” (Elton John, Rolling Stone Magazine, Oct 7, 1976, issue 223, p. 17)
“Rock Music is sex and you have to hit them in the face with it . . .” (Mick Jagger, Rolling Stones, Time Magazine, oct 7, 1966)
And let’s not stop with sex.They’ll be given some words of experience on the subject of drugs and alcohol also:
“I only ever get ill when I give up drugs.” (Keith Richards, in The Rolling Stones - An Illustrated Record, Harmony Books, NY, 1976, p. 82)
“ ‘Help’ was made on pot.‘A Hard Day’s Night’ I was on pills.That’s drugs, that’s bigger drugs than pot.I’ve been on pills since I was 15, no, since I was 17 or 19 . . . Since I became a musician . . . I’ve always needed a drug to survive . . .”(John Lennon, quoted in the book, Lennon Remembers, by Jann Wenner, Straight Arrow Books, 1971, p. 82)
“Sweet cousin cocaine
Lay a cool cool hand on my head
Tell me Sister Morphine
When are you comin’ round again?”
Sister Morphine by the Rolling Stones
“On bad trips sometimes I saw monsters too horrible to explain, and a drug-induced psychic horror is not easy to handle.”(Jimi Hendrix quoted, in the book, Jimi, by Curtis Knight, 1974, p. 207)
Oh, and let’s not forget the rebellion and violence which rock bands produce and promote so faithfully:
“We’re a Rock and Roll band.You know, we don’t _____ around, worrying about eleven people dying.”(Pete Townsend, The Who, Rolling Stone Magazine, June 26, 1980, issue 320, p. 38.This was said after 11 people were trampled to death at a Who concert.)
“People are going to tell you, You can’t do this.You can’t do that.They can all go ______ themselves collectively.You don’t need those people around, and that includes your parents.If people aren’t supporting you, they are your enemies . . .” (Gene Simmons of KISS, Faces Rocks, Dec. 1984, p. 25)
“Basically, our philosophy is, the middle finger for all.” (A Beastie Boys band member, Rock Scene, Aug. 1987, p. 10)
There you have it--actual quotes from the rock idols themselves.If you are a true God-fearing Christian, you will hold these people and people like them accountable for their words and alienate yourself from their music.
Due to the small size of this tract, we can only supply a limited number of quotes, so I’ve purposely selected some of the more traditional rock groups and starswhich have been around for many years.Anyone can pick up a modern rock magazine and read the same wickedness spewing from the lips of the latest stars.I have done so, and, believe me, these people are more wicked today than ever.The song lyrics by such groups as Kid Rock, God Smack, and Limp Bizkit are just too filthy to even discuss.Today’s rock is worse than ever, but let us not think that rock music went from good to bad.It was evil from its very beginning in the fifties, it helped fuel the rebellion of the sixties, and today its children are running our nation.Nothing short of a nation-wide Biblical revival will repair the damage that Satan’s music has done to America’s culture, and I see no indication that such a revival is in the works.America is on her way down for many reasons, butthanks to rock music, she’ll hit the bottom sooner and harder. Today’s parents were raised on the devil’s music, and they simply are not going to repent of it and embrace righteousness.Instead, they’ll feed the same wickednessto their children and then one day wonder where they went wrong.You went wrong when you chose to live as though I Peter 5:8 had never been written.
You Can Be Saved Right Now!
Friend, life can be so much better than rock music!Jesus Christ, the KING OF KINGS came into this world to lay down His sinless life for YOU.Jesus paid for your sins because you couldn't.Jesus is your only hope for salvation.Only by receiving Him as your Saviourcan you enter the gates of Heaven.There is no other way.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."(Acts )
The Lord Jesus Christ has come and PAID for your sins by shedding His own Blood on Calvary.By receiving Him as your Saviour, you can be WASHED from all your sins in His precious Blood (Rev. 1:5; Col. 1:14; Acts 20:28; I Pet. 1:18-19).Notice these important words from Romans 5:8-9:
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
Jesus PAID your way to Heaven for you!By receiving Him as your Saviour, you will be receiving God's ONLY means of Salvation for you.Are you willing to forsake YOUR righteousness and receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your ONLY HOPE for Salvation?Romans says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."Romans 10:9 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." He will save you just as He promised.Why not receive Him today and trust Him to give you a better way of life?
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