Britt Williams: Contemporary Christian Music – Inspired by God or deceived by devils?

From: Britt William’s Facebook Notes

Contemporary Christian Music: Inspired by God or deceived by devils?
by Britt Williams

Contemporary Christian Music, or CCM, has incredible influence today. With multi-million dollar sales, thousands of rabid fans packing concert halls, and even a magazine named after the movement, who can doubt the incredible sway CCM holds over the modern professing church? However, for those who love and obey the Bible, a close and honest examination ofCCM reveals an array of troubling issues. It is my observation that CCM has become a much more dangerous threat in the church than even secular music.  Someone, somewhere, somehow must face the bold, belligerent, uncircumcised, and unchallenged giant in our midst.

There are many problems with Contemporary Christian Music. Some of the most common issues, but certainly not limited to, would include the following…

UNHOLINESS

The CCM movement is characterized by musicians whose lives are anything but holy and separated from the world (I’ve personally confronted many of today’s most popular CCM artists and have not met one who professes to live a consistently holy life; not one[1] “Why, of course we sin every day, who doesn’t?”, they say. see Lk 6:46; Jn 14:23-24; 1 Jn 2:4). The typical CCMstars that I’ve encountered may be sincere but are alarmingly ignorant of the Scriptures, unblushingly sinful, and doctrinally dangerous.

Men who have not been spiritually proven (1 Tim 3:6, 10) and who fail to demonstrate lives of indisputable character, holiness, and an unwavering fidelity to Jesus Christ, are unfit to lead others into the holy presence of God (Lev 21:8; Num 4:19; 2 Chron 23:6; Ps 96:9). According to the Scriptures, those who are allowed in positions of leadership and influence, especially over young people and children, must live holy (Lk 17:2; 1 Tim 3:2).

Moreover, who can deny the spiritual essence and quality of music? Music is a unique way to communicate “spirit” in a medium mere verbal expression alone lacks. Thus, in music, something mystical, even spiritual, is allowed to influence the soul. Those who either compose or perform the music itself impose and infuse the presentation with their own spirit. How could it be otherwise? Hence, to truly embrace music, whatever character it may possess, requires we open our heart to the spirit behind the song and commune. If the spirit communicated in such music is unregenerate, we are unwisely opening ourselves up to worldly influence (2 Cor 7:1; Eph 5:11).

A DE-EMPHASIS OF BIBLICAL TRUTH

Typically, songs in the CCM genre’ offer lyrical content that may contain some Biblical words or concepts but usually are either too shallow to communicate full Scriptural truth or subtly undermine sound doctrine (there are occasional exceptions). In 1999 I did a survey of the most popular “Christian” music airing on a local “gospel” radio station in Baton Rouge. [2]  The survey essentially included the “Top 40” playlist of current hits by the most popular CCM artists of the day. Of course, love was undoubtedly the major lyrical theme of many of these so-called Christian songs. However, though love is indeed a central theme throughout the Bible, the word love, without qualification, does not unequivocally define a song as distinctly Christian. In other words, just because many CCM songs contain the word love does not qualify them as unmistakably Christian. Why? Because love is also one of the most popular, if not the most popular, theme in secular music as well.  Hence, to use the term “love”, so as to judge a song’s spirituality, would be faulty.  Whereas, the name of Jesus or terms and phrases like the “blood of Jesus”, the “cross of Christ”, or the “Holy Ghost”, etc. are rarely, if ever, mentioned in worldly music and therefore could possibly set a song “apart” as spiritual.

Nevertheless, what I found in my survey was shocking. For example…

• Amazingly, only 1 out of 8 songs mentioned the name of Jesus. How can you exalt Christwithout mentioning His name?

• The lyrics of less than 2 out of 10 songs mentioned terms synonymous with the gospel. Or, in other words, 80% of the music was so ambiguous that it failed to communicate basic Biblical truth.  How can Jesus be exalted and the church edified if Biblical truth is withheld (Jn 4:23)?

Only 3 out of 100 songs could be described as praise or worship songs (simply meaning “vertical songs” – or songs written and sang directly to God in praise, worship, or adoration).

Remember, this survey was undertaken in 1999. The CCM industry today has waxed far more liberal with unspeakable worldliness now overlooked or altogether condoned. As the Church of Jesus Christ, if our music does not clearly and boldly communicate the great truths of the Bible, it must be rejected (2 Cor 3:12; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 2:2-6).

DISORDER

Music, as defined by the Scriptures, has a very narrow and limited purpose, namely, to worship and glorify God (1 Cor 10:31; Col 1:16)CCM, though few would admit it, is generally ego-centric as opposed to what sacred music should be, namely, Christ-centric.  In other words, the focus is the sound, the music, the musicians, the show, etc. rather than a simple, pure, and child-like effort to exalt and magnify Jesus Christ.

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