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CONTEMPORARY MUSIC EXPERIMENT:

AN APPROACH TO APOSTASY

The Word of God states in Colossians 3:16:

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

This is an article about music, and I assume that you are already aware of my position. It is a much abridged version of a message that I preached in our church. Personally you may hate or love contemporary Christian music; you may allow your children to listen and participate in it, or forbid them to have anything to do with it; or you may feel the best policy is to grit your teeth and tolerate the inevitable tidal wave that is sweeping across every denominational line. Evangelist Billy Sunday said in a message that he preached in Richmond , Indiana , in 1922: "You assault any old or powerful stronghold in the church and you must prepare to have yourself become the object of the scorn or derision of the gang or clique who feed on that."

I believe that Christians who stand for or against this new music in the churches must be ready to face facts: Contemporary Christian Music (CCM hereafter) divides Christian people, divides Christian homes, and divides Bible-believing churches. How many churches today have gone with two services, not solely because of size, but because of the music they allow? Blended services were tried. They were proven to not work. CCM won out every time. It was fun and lively. Entertaining. Churches then began to lose people with backbone and scriptural maturity. And for what, a worldly approach to worship and holiness. It doesn't make sense, but it does build or maintain attendance at churches, youth groups, and colleges. And that's all that counts, right? Growth, no matter the cost. Just grow!

Galatians 1:4, states, "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world , according to the will of God and our Father:"

After eating out one evening my wife and I went to a national home improvement store to pick out a phone system. Once inside, the played music was loud - much too loud, and very irritating. It was one of the many forms of the world's rock music. I found myself unable to concentrate on what I went there for and desirous to just get out of there. Today, most restaurants and stores feature the same menu of music. After getting our vehicle fixed at a garage, our radio was turned on loudly to a country rock station. Major theme parks in the Orlando area send materials to our church which feature special nights for young people to listen, sway, gyrate, and even dance to CCM artists performing the world's music and beat, but sung with religious phraseology. A local Christian school advertised a concert before school started last fall: it was called 'Rock-Fest' (And Jesus Christ wasn't the rock). Many evangelists report that as they travel to various churches around the country, CCM is now regarded as normal (A well known pastor and college head recently declared that there is a spiritual awakening taking place in the land, and attributed one of the two reasons to CCM). Even our Christian bookstores headline these artists. After all, this music reaps huge profits. In those bookstores that are in larger outside mall settings, try being blindfolded and led around by someone to several stores, including the Christian bookstore. In most you'll never be able to tell the difference between the Christian bookstore and a Marshall 's, Old Navy, or Payless Shoes. They are exactly alike in the style of music.

Where can all of this lead us? Well, a larger Baptist church in the area is hosting a 'Pops Concert' which is to feature among their totally secular selections the music of the decadent Beatles. Brethren, I said that to say this, the LAST PLACE that I, as a born-again child of God through faith alone in Jesus Christ and redeemed by His precious blood from " this present evil world ". the very LAST PLACE I want to go and be subjected to ANY form of the world's music. is at CHURCH!

I praise the Lord for Christian music - whether Messianic, Praise, Southern Gospel, or otherwise - but only on these conditions:

1) It does not have the world's sounds or beat,

2) It contains sound doctrine,

3) It is produced by faithful born again Bible-believing Christians, and

4) It seeks to glorify solely Jesus Christ, edify the saints, and not entertain.

The second message the prophet Jeremiah gave to Judah contained this important verse:

"Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." -Jere.6:16

I put forth a challenge to us all: Which one best represents us as individuals or ecclesiastically in verse 16 in relation to the music situation: The world's way or the old paths- the good way of God? My 85 year- old aunt lived about 30 minutes north of me. She was a tremendously godly woman and faithfully attended an evangelical church in her town for many years. Well, that is, until they started experimenting with the music; and then the service times. Once CCM completed the take over, the 'traditional' people, mostly older saints in the Lord Jesus Christ, were relegated to attend the 8:30 AM service. Many of them found that difficult due to their age. The prevailing attitude was, 'too bad, "the times they are a changin," and you either fit in where we put you or you find another place to go.' Have any of you tried finding a church lately which still has services the way they used to be? They are out there, but they are falling away in great numbers every week.

One last thing. Seeing how CCM divides Christian people, Christian homes, and Bible-believing churches, and we say that the Scriptures are our authority for faith and practice, let us consider our response to Romans 16:17:

"Now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."

May the Lord give all of us the courage to do the scriptural thing. For Jesus' sake. And for the sake of the souls of the next generation.

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