I would like to preface I don’t believe all contemporary Christian music (CCM) is bad, but from what I have listened to much of it lacks any kind of anointing from what I can discern. I wonder why that is? I heard songs from a Christian radio station based in the Los Angeles area and tell you the truth I can’t distinguish it from secular music. Hardly any recognizable scripture can be heard in most of the songs and the name “Jesus” – the name above all names is hardly uttered. Yes, I am sure there are exceptions but for the most part, it is what I have observed.
According to “Christian” rocker, Tim Lambesis, most “Christian” rock bands are not even Christian. They just claimed to be Christian for money.
Tim Lambesis said:
I remember one Christian festival where an interviewer wanted one of the guys to share his testimony. And he just froze up and let one of the guys who was still a Christian answer the question. We laughed about it afterward, but we were only laughing because it was so awkward. When kids would want to pray with us after shows, I’d be like, “Um, go ahead and pray!” I would just let them pray. I’d say ‘Amen.’ If praying while I have my hand on their shoulder makes them feel better, I didn’t want to take that away from them. When they would specifically ask me to pray for something, I’d say, ‘I don’t really like to pray out loud, but I’ll take that with me to the bus.’
They were just doing it for the money:
“Yeah. It was cowardly, looking back. But did I really want to get into a huge explanation? Before my arrest, my plan was to tour for as many really good years that we actually had left—four, five. I wanted to save up that money and then stop doing it altogether, stay home with my kids, have the money we needed. If I had to work at McDonalds, it would easily pay the bills. Because my house would be paid off, and all we’d need was food.”
Did you notice the fun fact in the graphic? I couldn’t find any message of the Gospel and repentance on any CCM’s official website. Not one! Most of them you won’t even find the word “Jesus.” If someone can find one please notify me. Aren’t they supposed to be ministers unto the Lord? You would expect a minister to be all about Jesus especially on their official website.
I am not saying all the bands and singers are not really Christian but it really does make one question if they really are. Didn’t Jesus warn us that there will be many wolves in sheep’s clothing?
You have to ask yourself is it really about singing to God if the Christian music artist you listen to receives worldly honor and awards for their music – in other words about the praise of men? [ Compare with “43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” – John 12:43]
Are they celebrities? [Compare with “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” – Isaiah 42:8 and “…for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” – Luke 16:5)
Are they peddling their music for money when it should be about God? [For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God. – 2 Corinthians 2:17]
There is even a Christian music awards ceremony.
Something about this rubs me the wrong way. Considering Jesus was hated and even said if you were of this world the world would love you should really raise red flags concerning this matter. Should there even be a Christian awards? Why is man (or woman) receiving an award for music that should be dedicated to the Lord and was supposed to be received by His Spirit? Must I repeat all glory goes to God? This just builds up pride and Christians are supposed to be peculiar and set apart instead of aping this fallen world.
When Israel broke down the walls of separation and failed to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, the holy and the unholy, God judged them.
“Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them” (Ezek. 22:26).
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2).
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12).
Yet the modern church is bringing the world into the church:
Dan Lucarini, a former worship leader, describes the worldly influence that even the less radical contemporary Christian musicians have on Christian young people:
“We took teens to concerts given by popular CCM artists. These were not the ‘radical’ heavy metal or hip-hop artists, but the middle-of-the-road performers who seemed to be good role models. But we noticed that the artists, probably under the influence of their recording companies, imitated secular artists in music, concert performance techniques, dress, hairstyle and merchandising. Everything seemed to be geared to making money by winning fans. The poor teens were manipulated in the same way as when they were listening to their secular teen idols. They were hooked in the beginning by safe, careful lyrics and moderate music but the artists always progressed to an edgier, rockier and harder music style with a lifestyle and image to match. And the teens followed along. The CCM artists became role models for different kinds of immorality: indecent dress, rebellious images, improper crushes on married men by young girls, lustful interest in sexy females by adolescent males.”
(Lucarini,Confessions of a Former Worship Leader, p. 117)
Scriptures command Christians to sing TO God. It is not about us, being entertained, or our flesh. God created music so we can sing UNTO Him.
“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.” – Colossians 3:16
“I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing PRAISE to thy name, O thou most High” – Psalm 9:2
“Sing praises TO THE LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.” – Psalm 9:11
“(A Psalm of praise.) Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” – Psalms 100:1-2
“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” – Psalms 95:1-2
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” – Ephesians 5:19
“A Psalm. O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.” – Psalms 98:1
Isaiah 12:2 sums it up wonderfully, “. . .for the LORD JEHOVAH is . . . MY SONG . . .”
“1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. 3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. 4 How shall we sing the LORD’S SONG in a strange land?” – Psalms 137:1-4
“1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 3 And he hath put a NEW SONG in my mouth, even PRAISE unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” – Psalm 40:1-3
“I will sing a NEW SONG unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.” – Psalm 144:9
Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a NEW SONG, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Psalm 149:1
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. Colossians 3:16
“Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.” – Psalms 33:3
“O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.” – Psalms 96:1
“Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” – Psalms 30:4
“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints.4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” – Revelation 15:3 – 15:4
“For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.” – Nehemiah 12:46
“I will also praise thee with the psaltery, [even] thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. 24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.” – Psalm 71:22-24 – 22
“(To the chief Musician upon Gittith, [A Psalm] of Asaph.) Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. 2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.” – Psalms 81:1 – 81:2
“I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” -Psalm 13:6
“21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy [endureth] for ever. 22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.” – 2 Chronicles 20:21-22
Dr. Frank Garlock, author of several books on Christian music, and an instructor in Christian music for over 40 years. Dr. Garlock writes in his book, Music in the Balance:
“Contrary to popular opinion, sacred music is not for entertainment. Christian music is first and foremost a vehicle for praise unto the Lord.” (Garlock, Frank & Woetzel, Kurt, Music in the Balance, Majesty Music, 1992 p.54)
If the artists bring more attention to the music itself or himself or herself rather than to Jesus Christ that is idolatry.
From what I’ve seen CCM concerts seem to glorify the performer rather than Jesus. All glory and praise should be directed towards God.
Some of these CCM or Gospel artists are celebrities and loved even by the secular world. That should raise red flags when Jesus said (again, I quote) “. . . that which is HIGHLY ESTEEMED among men is ABOMINATION in the sight of God”. Luke 16:15
The most important question I ask with these Christian celebrity singers is who is getting the glory here? Is it really all for Jesus? The Bible reads (again I quote) “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” – Isaiah 42:8
Making Money Off Music Dedicated Unto the Lord?
I think there is something not quite right when music that should be dedicated unto the Lord is sold at a price when they have concerts. I am not against receiving donations, that I believe is biblical. But I can’t imagine any of the apostles throwing a rock concert selling tickets to the public for profit.
Bethel music has ticket prices starting at a whopping $199 (actually more than that when other fees are added)!
If it really was about God then why do a lot of these “Christian” music acts sell their music for money? Didn’t Jesus say freely you have received freely give? If their music is inspired by the Holy Spirit then they should freely allow people to download their music. There should be no copyright on their music. I can’t imagine the Apostle Paul and Peter selling their music to people. Am I the only one who thinks it is wrong to commoditize what God supposedly gave you?
In contrast, there is Fanny Crosby. From what I have gathered Fanny Crosby was a Christian. She was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs, with over 100 million copies printed, despite being blind from shortly after birth. Fanny used over 200 different pen names because she wanted to make sure God got the glory and not her.
If I didn’t know better I would think Satan is using the watered-down, secularly blended “Christian” music to quench the Spirit of God. The enemy knows how influential and powerful music is. We have to remember we are in a war and he is fighting it at every front even when it comes to music.
You can’t serve two masters. You can’t serve Jesus and the devil at the same time. If you are going to serve the Lord then do it wholeheartedly.
Knowing the spirit behind Rock music is of the enemy and most “Christian” rock bands are not even Christian what spirit do you think is operating behind their music?
You may also want to read Ex-Worship Leader: Why I Left the CCM Movement