WHAT IS CHRISTIAN ROCK?
"One of my first experiences with Christian rock music came a few years ago when a Christian rock group, representing a small Christian college, came to town to present a 'contemporary sacred concert' in the local high school gymnasium.
"It was typical of the scores of similar groups that were springing up all over the country in colleges and church youth groups. The phenomenon of 'Christian' rock was then just getting a start. I had never heard one of these groups and thought it might be interesting, though I really didn't know what to expect.
"The concert was scheduled for 8:00. By 8:20, with no sign of the performers, the audience began to get a little restless and noisy.
"I noticed a young fellow of about 19 or 20 dressed in a white T-shirt and faded jeans, whom I supposed to be the janitor, still setting up chairs in the back. Then, suddenly, the 'janitor' took a running leap onto the stage and introduced himself as the leader of the group. He was joined by the other members who were all about his age, and dressed in the same faded jeans and T-shirts.
"The leader began his introductions, telling everyone how glad they were to be there and that the only reason for their coming was to glorify God.
"Then, suddenly, the concert began. The first chord exploded over the audience, ricocheting off the walls in an ear-splitting roar. We were off like a rocket hurling into space!
"The group had two levels: loud and louder. The audience clapped along, talked among themselves, and were obviously enjoying it. My ears hurt.
"What few words they were singing that could be heard over the loud accompaniment didn't seem to relate in any way to the music—or to anything godly. Although some lyrics mentioned God, they didn't go with the earthly, sensuous style of the musical delivery.
"I left the gymnasium that night with my ears ringing, my senses dulled, and depressed about the whole thing."—Lowell Hart, Satan's Music Exposed, 1980, pp. 19-22.
Hart then described the next "Christian concert" he heard that year:
"Later that same year, another contemporary group came to town. They called themselves The Hallelujah Sound, representing the Salvation Army. The only Salvation Army groups I had known played stirring arrangements of hymns. This one was different.
"They were an ensemble of six . . with two electric guitars, electric organ, drums, alto sax, and one trumpet. The audience was about equally divided between youth and adults.
"The spokesman for the group announced that the concert would be in two parts: the first, the more formal and traditional; the second, informal and contemporary. They said they 'just wanted to praise the Lord.'
"With that the concert began. As with the previous concert, it began with another loud explosion of sound—which traveled over the audience, bouncing off the walls . .
"Hearing a rock version of 'The Old Rugged Cross' is a shocking experience! It is, frankly, hideously secular.
"After the intermission came the 'informal part.' It was. During one song the trumpet player took off on a 'hot ride,' hips swinging back and forth as he played. What this had to do with the 'gospel song' he was supposedly playing, I didn't know.
"Before the evening was over, the entire audience was swinging and swaying to the glorious beat. If you have never watched a group of middle-aged people swaying back and forth in the pews and clapping their hands to the music, you've missed something.
"This was the Salvation Army? What would General Booth have thought?"—Ibid., pp. 22-23.
Here is another description of a rock concert:
"Audio Adrenaline, one of those I have seen advertised in Christian college student newspapers, hauls in huge speakers, band equipment, synthesizers, and smoke devices.
"When the show starts, everyone goes wild. While a singer (if that is the proper word) is screaming into the mike, other mikes are picking up the noise of the band. All of it is piped through the huge speakers. The mesmerized audience hears decibels so loud it damages their eardrums, and sound waves literally beat on their chest. All the while (especially if it is an outdoor event) four smoke machines, evenly spaced across the stage, are sending billowing clouds of white smoke into the air, where floodlights illuminate them."—Demon Possession and Music, by Dr. Juanita McElwain.
Juan Carlos Pardeiro, who has since found Christ as His Saviour and has totally abandoned his former life, recalls what it was like at the rock concerts he used to give, when he was the leading rock singer in his nation:
"In my youth I was a nationally famous rock star in Uruguay, my home country. God has brought me a long way. I especially remember a particular evening long ago:
"The air was warm and radiant; the screams could be heard several blocks away. Thousands of cars overflowed the parking lot of the huge stadium. Inside, the voices of the wild audience mingled with the screeching of electric guitars and the lead singer's intense yelling. Smoke rising through colors flashing from the strobe lights, along with the fans' frenzied dancing, helped create a bewitching atmosphere. Every movement the rock stars made was watched by thousands of intently adoring eyes. As the sounds burst from the stage, a wave of screaming and uncontrolled crying flooded back.
"From the outside, the scene in the stadium resembled a cage of demons. Inside, the sensual atmosphere made everyone lose command of self-respect and sanity.
"Everyone was caught up in a single torrent of emotions, as if guided by invisible hands toward an abyss of endless ecstasy.
"Everyone, that is, except the lead singer. He was there watching it all, unable to understand it. I was that lead singer. I was a major cause of the madness."
In the 1960s, Louis Torres, now an evangelism instructor, was the bass player in Bill Haley and His Comets. Looking back on those days before he was converted, Torres says this:
"I recalled the effects of the music I once helped produce in nightclubs. I remembered seeing sensuality, uncontrolled emotions, rebellion, violence, and what I would now call devil possession. I heard people on drugs blurt out 'Wow!' as they experienced highs stimulated by our music. I also saw extreme lethargy. I confess with shame that our ability to produce these different reactions and sensual responses to our music filled us with glee. Yes, we knew we were manipulating people's minds."
A crucial decision was made early in 1980. Several of the major, secular recording companies announced the signing of Christian singers, to introduce "gospel music" into the mainstream of the nation's churches.
The final step in the secularization of contemporary Christian music had begun, as records, tapes, radio stations, and local concerts blared this "new Christian sound" to the public.
The effect was not the changing of worldlings into Christians, but Christians into worldlings. Why did the secular music industry do this? The reason was the money they would haul in! In an article about the Christian recording industry, a major trade journal explained the reason:
"Gospel music is a flourishing multibillion dollar enterprise. Prominent artists can realize more than 756,000 unit sales for a given album."—The Music Scene magazine, January-February 1980 issue.
The situation continues on down to the present day. The secular music companies want to continually increase their profits. If they destroy genuine Christianity in the process, who cares? —They surely don't.
In 1979, Paul Baker in his book, Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? wrote this:
"In 1964 there was no rock equivalent in the gospel realm . . By 1979, every secular form of music, short of punk rock, had its counterpart in Christian music. Both contemporary gospel and Jesus music had added extensively to the variety of Christian music available."
In the above statement, he said that every secular musical form is now being played in Christian churches and in Christian concerts.
At last, the world in all its worst sordid musical forms has permeated Christianity. Surely, we are nearing the end of time.
Contemporary Christian Music magazine has this definition of Christian rock music:
"A screaming, syncopated style of music used to glorify Jesus and edify the young ones."—Contemporary Christian Music, November 1982, p. 71.
In the November 1982 issue of Contemporary Christian Music, one of the feature articles was entitled, "Rock Artists Look at Gospel Music." Here are several quotations from it:
William King (of the Commodores) is quoted as saying:
"Contemporary Christian music is what we call a pop sound, yet with gospel lyrics. But any song that people would normally dance to—because of the beat—is now coming into the churches . . Everyone is not comfortable with God, but contemporary music is a way of making them comfortable."—Ibid.
Any "gospel" which makes sinners "comfortable" is not the genuine Gospel of the Bible!
Alan O'Day (singer/musician and composer) wrote this:
"To me, Contemporary Christian music is the station that I tune in on the radio, thinking that I'm hearing secular music because it sounds so hip—until I catch the words and realize the lyric has a slightly different intent. I'm happy to see that Christian music is moving into the 20th century, and that in some cases, the distinction between Christian and secular music is being blurred."—Ibid.
Laurence Juber (former lead guitarist for Paul McCartney):
"Christianity is a point of view that's been around for a couple thousand years, and over the last few years it's been quite good at adopting contemporary styles of music. I'm not terribly religiously motivated, but I'm sure that contemporary Christian music is going to become more commercial because the better the music is, the better it is going to get sold."—Ibid.
Richard Harrington, writing in the Washington Post, says that the religious record industry recognizes the terrific sales potential in pushing more "positive pop" into the churches. He says it is capitalizing on its opportunity to make big sales by fusing current popular musical styles with religious words.
Harrington mentions a statement by John Styll, editor of Contemporary Christian Music magazine, which says that "the record companies realize they are dealing with a commercial product and they have to consider the entertainment factor of the record in order to increase sales."
The rock music industry recognizes that "entertainment" is the key to penetrating the churches. And in doing that, it is changing church congregations into church audiences.
In his book, Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? on page xv, Paul Baker says "Jesus music has emanated from people for whom rock music has been a natural language."
Elsewhere in his book, Baker explains that "Christian rock" entered the churches—not through Christian musicians who sought to glorify the Lord—but by unsaved, secular rock performers who capitalized on religious themes.
What is today hailed by church administrators, pastors, and youth leaders as a great victory—something that will energize the youth of the churches and bring in young people from the streets,—is actually a device of the devil to destroy everyone in the churches!
Rock music, by its very history and what it does in the lives of those who tamper with it, is unholy. To attempt to use it "to glorify God" is blasphemy.
Rock music began as a rebellious sexual style of music. It remains that today. It is offensive to God and to genuine Christians who love Him and seek to obey His Word, the Bible.
From its inception, rock music has been associated with sex, perverted sex, drugs, rebellion, and immorality of every kind. It is associated with nightclubs, disco halls, dance halls, and barrooms. Any music which is at home in such places cannot be used to the glory of God.
Trying to unite a holy message with the unholy music of the world is an abomination in the eyes of God.