I originally wrote this in 2009. Dusted it off for those who missed it then – which was probably the whole with the exception of six people. Even though the two key witnesses in this article are both deceased, the article is just as relevant today as then.
I just listened to the rendition of the song God Gave Rock and Roll to You by KISS. Ironic that they sang about God since the letters KISS supposedly represent Knights in Service to Satan. The term god is very generic. To a Satan worshiper, Satan is god. It is better we use the name Yahweh or Elohim or something. Anyway – that’s a discussion for another day. This is about music.
Chuck Colson wrote a column about the use of music in the church and the worship wars taking place. Chuck is much more eloquent than I on the subject, however, eloquence can’t be equated with truth. You can read his words at http://www.breakpoint.org/commentaries/12125-worship-wars
In searching for the Colson article I ran across this one also by Colson dealing with music.
and one from Get Religion
David Wilkerson recently preached that music is taking over the church. His concern is that we are focusing on the music and not the creator. This is a form of worshiping creation instead of the creator, something done by pagans. That is cause for concern.
I know that some people choose their churches based on the music that is used in the services. Some churches offer multiple services, one with traditional music and one with contemporary music, so they can make both crowds happy. My church had a Saturday night service which featured loud and cool music. Does God care which songs we use to worship Him? Are hymns more pleasing to the Father than a chorus?
Do some risk the practice of the Pharisees who resisted any change in tradition if we choose to hang on to the hymns? There is a danger of that. Are drums and guitars evil whereas a piano is holy? I don’t think so. You can choose to disagree, but that doesn’t mean you are right. In the end, as with all such questions, what really matters is what God thinks and not what you and I think.
Perhaps we are entering a phase of the universe in which the final battle cry is about to be sounded. Is it possible that the focus is on battle music to help the army of God to gather together and brace itself for the fight ahead? Drums have always been used in battle.Food for thought.
If the lyrics of the song promote worship of God and love of our fellow man, can they be wrong? The title of my piece concerns rock and roll. This is an area of more concern to me. I see Christian rock and alternative forms of music taking center stage – not much in church but outside of it. The topic of the evil of rock music has been debated since the Beatles. I grew up along with rock music, but I always found there was a darker side to the world of rock that repulsed me. You might say I liked the soft rock, which perhaps wasn’t even considered rock by the bad boys. They used the term bubble gum music.
I think that the world has much to learn about the impact of music on the human soul and spirit. Scientists have discovered that DNA is actually arranged in an order which would play classical music if the notes were produced audibly. The heavenly bodies have been discovered to all give off their own unique song. Some music has been shown to impact plants and even non living things. Music is an integral part of God’s creation.
Experiments with plants have shown that hard rock music with emphasis on loudness, bass and strident sounds, and a lack of harmony and eloquence has a negative impact on growth and health. Rock music seems to lead to a frenzy of emotions and perverse behavior. So why did Christian musicians venture into this area? I actually like a group called Petra which have produced some very rocky tunes, but also have put out some beautiful songs. The rock songs are appropriate for battle but not for seeking that small still voice of the Lord. God said “be still and know that I am God.” That is not possible when your soul is agitated by sounds that make the listener hyper.
Now how do we determine if Amazing Grace or Shout to the Lord is healthier for our spirit? Perhaps it depends on the role that you play in the body of Christ. Not all body parts need and use the same thing. It might be possible that Hillsong is exactly what part of the body needs and the old hymns are exactly what another part of the body requires.
In the song God Gave Rock and Roll to You, one of the lyrics is that you have to have faith in a loud guitar. Rest assured that there is no holiness in volume, and God is not into cool. No doubt he hates that word with a passion. I embrace the theory that each believer needs to examine himself to determine if anything is taking him closer or further away from God. It’s not about feeling good and being entertained. The purpose of the music is to put you in contact harmoniously with your heavenly Father.
I have discovered that when I listen to music, one or more of the songs stay with me for several hours or even into the next day. I might wake up with a song in my head. The tune and the message keeps playing over and over in my consciousness and unconsciousness. If the message of that song is good, I should reap the benefits of its influence. If the message is one of worldliness or even of evil, then the influence of those elements may impact my behavior and attitude negatively. I have arrived at the conclusion that music is like food. We can choose healthy food, junk food, or toxic food. Junk food is better for us than toxic, but God wants us to choose the best for our lives. You are what you eat, what you read, what you watch (movies, TV), and what you listen to. Make wise choices in each area if you want to be close to God.