Friday, January 30, 2004
The general decline of spirituality in this country is most evident in the contemporary Christian music industry. It would be too difficult for me to cover the entire subject of godless Christian music in one column so this week I will be discussing Christian radio. I will have to reveal the dangers of modern worship music in another Newsletter.
Let me state first of all that the desire on the part of any Christian to be contemporary is misguided from the start. We are not called to be contemporary; we are called to be different from the current culture. And that difference is age. We are called to be "old fashioned" as some would like to call it. The Bible tells us to seek the old paths and not to remove the ancient landmarks. The best rule of thumb for determining if a song is spiritual is the question, "How old is it?" If the music you are listening to is 25 years out of date, then you are likely to have a good Christian song that has stood the test of time. You mark it down that if you enjoy music that was made after 1975 then you are a carnal Christian and need to repent in dust and ashes.
Unfortunately, even this rule of thumb is proving to be a weak guideline in today's culture. Here is an examples of how bad the situation is. Wayne Watson got his start in the 1970's and was widely regarded as a wild-haired, radical, hippie musician. Today, he is esteemed as a fairly tame, middle-of-the-road musician who only appeals to "conservative Christian" music tastes. Has Watson changed his music style? If anything, he has gotten worse and uses even more rock and roll styling. Yet he is as popular today as he ever was. This demonstrates how insidious the move toward contemporary Christian music is.
Even following the "25 Year" rule leads to some dangerous situations. Standards today have dropped to such a low level that even the most radical musicians of the past are regarded as respectable today. I remember when Dallas Holm and Andrae Crouch were considered dangerously modern and no spiritual Christian would listen to them. Now their songs are included in the newer hymnals (which no self-respecting Pharisee church would ever purchase, by the way). But the point needs to be made that if it was godless rock and roll then, it is still godless rock and roll today and should not be allowed in our churches. The next thing you know, we will be seeing songs in our hymnals by Twila Paris, David Meece, Rich Mullins and Michael W. Smith.
Sadly, I have left my main topic, which is "Christian" (in name only) radio. As if the airwaves are not bad enough, many stations have web sites where you may go and stream their audio broadcasts for listening right at your computer. If you can’t find a godless radio station in your area, now you can pull one up on the Internet and satisfy your flesh. Even worse, some broadcasters have even gone to strictly Internet stations and don’t even broadcast over the air. That is how bad things have gotten in this country. Taking advantage of that, however, for the purposes of this column I would like to include links to stations where you can see for yourself how awful
the situation really is.
Let’s begin with this little gem: http://www.altaredlives.com/ or even this
one: http://www.christian-hiphop.net/ as the most egregious examples of abuse of the medium. There is no way that God can be glorified by rap or hip-hop music. The fact that it is one of the most popular styles among young people is proof that it is not honoring to the lord and we should not be listening to it.
So what is our alternative? Well, stations like this: http://tvulive.com/radiou/ claim to be an "alternative" Christian radio station but if the alternative to rap and hip-hop is noise then I will patiently keep looking. If you want to ruin your Christian life and
testimony you can go to http://www.christianrock.net/ for a whole network of these kinds of stations. There is nothing of artistic merit or praise to God
in groups like the Newsboys, RelientK or Audio Adrenaline who promote screaming as music.
In fact there are sites dedicated to promoting the widest array of heathen melodies possible. You can visit such places as http://www.acaza.com/mediaplayer/ or http://www.eprayzeradio.com/ , which are supposed to give us more variety. But variety of an evil sort is not really variety, is it? These omnibus sites only point to the vast number of people and groups who are engaged in destroying godly music as we know it. They clearly do not love the Lord nor do they want to promote him.
So let’s tone it back and see what the "adults" are listening to. I ran on this site that was promoted as something appealing to people of my age: http://www.klove.com/ I have never been so insulted in my life. It is nothing more than worldly music packaged with Christian lyrics. Even worse are places like http://www.managinglife.net/ that package the world as if it were godly. John Wesley never did that, nor did any of the other great hymn writers. Their music was godly from the beginning. The very idea of taking worldly music and putting godly lyrics to it is proof of compromise with the
So what should we do? Should we listen to all preaching all the time at
http://www.myfaithradio.com/id20.html ? Well, if you want to be turned away from the faith, go ahead. There is not one Pharisee preacher in the whole bunch. While you might accidentally stumble on a truth by listening to these men, you are far more likely to hear error. I would recommend you avoid them altogether. Or you could listen to so-called praise and worship music at http://www.thenightwatch.com/ but even that is so far removed from spiritual music I would never recommend it.
No, dear Christian, the only places I would send someone who wanted to hear
true Gospel music that is honoring to God is:
http://www.gospelharmonymix.com/ or http://gospeltwang.com/ Both of these sites play the only kind of music that is truly honoring to God – Southern
Gospel and Bluegrass Gospel. It alone is written strictly for the edification of the saints, devoid of any corrupting influence such as a rock beat and is absolutely praiseworthy to the Lord. It is only Southern Gospel that has God’s approval due to the doctrinal depths in the lyrics and the upbeat, yet restrained musical accompaniment. And best of all, no worldly instruments are used in Southern Gospel, either. Only those instruments which praise God.
Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his might heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and
lyre, praise him with the tambourine and dancing, praise him with the
strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Psalm 150 (NIV)