Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Church Has Been Hijacked

And the Weapon of Choice is "Music"

A year ago, Steve Harvey gave an interview to Donnie McClurkin, where he gives a worldly critique of what is "wrong with the church".  One of his suggestions for how the church might be able to better reach the world was that they allow secular artists to come and sing in the assembly of the saints.

This mindset - that music is somehow just about individual talent - is shared by many, but is in error.  We have written about music before, but many people still do not understand that music is a ministry.  It is an offering to God used to usher in His presence and minister to His people.

This is why it is said that music is "food for the soul."  However, the question is, "What are you feeding your soul?  Is it edifying your spirit (conforming you more to the image of God) or fortifying your soul (making you soulish and conforming you to the image of the world)?"

There is a terrible misconception that what makes music sacred or secular is the lyrics. However, music has a power all of its own (apart from the lyrics) to minister to one's soul based on the spirit it carries.

"And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him." I Samuel 16:23

Notice above that music alone (no lyrics) can affect the spirit of a man; in this case for good.  When music is from the Lord, it can cast off evil spirits.  However, music can also be used to usher in the presence of that which is evil.

"Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace." Daniel 3:4-6

The decree that Nebuchadnezzar made for the people to worship the golden idol applied to all "people, nations, and languages" in the Babylonian Empire.  This is because music is the "universal language"; it can transcend language and culture.  Here we see that the music alone - again, no lyrics - is able to draw people into worship of false gods.

When "Christian" musicians sample music from Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Lil Kim, Tupac, Sting, U2, The Beatles...and bring it into the church, they are either flaunting their ignorance in this area or attempting to deliberately defile the people.  More importantly, such artists wouldn't be able to make a career in such things if the church also understood that we cannot clean up what is unclean spirits with "Christian" lyrics and make it acceptable to God. 

One way to discern the spirit behind music is to see how it "inspires" the people who hear it.  Does it inspire a humble heart of praise & worship towards God or does it inspire the pride of life by putting the flesh on display? Does it bring man's attention to the glory & majesty of God or does it lead man to focus on himself?  Is it sowing to man's spirit or to his flesh?

"For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Galatians 6:8

Bro. David Williams engages in a discussion below about these issues as he evaluates "How Gospel is Gospel music?"


  1. AMEN!! Finally someone gets it.

  2. Great article and link. I do have a question. If people don't listen to secular music how are they supposed to identify when "gospel artists" use secular music?

  3. Hi Anonymous,

    I don't listen to secular music, but neither do I go around trying to figure out what music has secular influences either. :-)

    I simply ask God to lead me to what He likes. In a song sits well in my spirit, I'll listen to it. If I don't have agreement from God's Spirit about a song, I won't listen to it.

    I don't think it makes any sense to go on a "music interrogation" so to speak. If we seek to please the Lord, then He will change us to like what He likes (and dislike what He dislikes).

    Don't get paranoid about music or legalistic about it. Just seek the Lord and let Him lead you as in all things.

    God Bless!

  4. I really appreciate your ministry. This blog is extremely informative; however, I think that the "church" today is not interested. If it sounds "good", then the "church folk" are all for it. I attended a PC(USA) retreat in Mississippi, and the presenters were discussing how to "grow" the "church". Being a new believer, I was astonished at the presentation encouraging us to have potluck dinners for the university students and "seeker-sensitive" services. Of course, I spoke out. I just left that life!

  5. Amen! Another great article sister. I watched the series by bro. David (God Bless him and the other brother) the other day and it sort of angered me and it let me know what sad state the church is in.

    Does any "gospel" artist create
    his own music anymore and why is this music labeled gospel? I have yet to hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in one of these songs. Furthermore where is the discernment that we truly need in this hour of deception? Finally has anyone read 1 John 2:15-16 and Romans 12:1-2 and actually take these verses seriously?

    These artists as well as some of these church leaders are treading on very thin ice when it comes to this mess that they are putting out. Sometimes this music can create a stumbling block to the new believer who has came out of the world and has truly been born again only to be re-exposed because of the carnality of these so called christians( I have personally been there as a fairly new believer myself). It's all a plot of the devil and the Lord is going to judge this!

    Am I saying that all "gospel/christian music" is a mess? NO! There are still a few out there that magnify and worship the Lord but they come few, far and in between. This is the very reason I will continue listening to Christian hymns and my audio bible and let the Lord lead me when it comes to music.

    God Bless you sister and please continue to keep me in your prayers:)

  6. the music is awful i thought i was in a club sunday why do they play the music while the preacher is preaching AWFUL

  7. Hey Anonymous! I have to agree with you, it's terrible. I have yet to find a church that's completely in line with the Word of God. Actually, a lot of them are far from it. I notice that a lot of the churches where I am from follow the same patterns--depending on the denomination a different approach, but nonetheless it's the same traditions of men instead of the commands of God. Anyway! I just have to say, a lot of the time when I'm in church, I get it mistaken for the club scene and then I have to ask myself "Where am I?"

    I died laughing when they showed the clip in the second part of the video of the lady dancing (I have no idea what the name of the dance was called) I declare she brought that two-step straight from the club. And those kids!! And the older people! (When something shocks me I laugh, that's just how I react to things... not because it's necessarily funny) But that service was anything but God. But another thing that made me laugh was that I see a lot of this in churches.

    And I've noticed too that they play the music right when the "Minister" is preaching and they play these short loud chords to get the congregation "hyped" up and it works every time. It's like watching the circus in town the way the people show out. That loud banging on the piano is a distraction and it irks me.

  8. Agreed 200%.

    I listen to instrumental music more than songs with lyrics, but I begin to wonder I was in the clear of listening to whatever music I want.

    Upon discerning instrumental themes, I found out that music in general, carries moods. Moods can change the way a person is feeling in a hurry. Music without lyrics can be sexual, sorrowful, happy, even stir up rage.

    So we have to be careful with any type of music that we put to our ears---just as long as the music is indeed glorifying the Lord.

  9. When the distinction between secular and sacred music becomes a matter of taste - as in ALL western churches where the sacred canon of hymnography has long ago been rejected – any kind of grossness masquerading as worship is possible. Western churches need to repent of pseudo-spirituality which confuses self-congratulation with liturgical worship. The latter is impossible until Western Christians return to the correct 'key' in worship, eschewing musical entertainment and instruments in favor of canonical hymns, sung clearly in the human voice.

  10. Hi John,

    I certainly agree that worship unto God is not to be dictated by human taste or preference. However, even David worshiped God in the playing of instruments, so I don't think it has anything to do with being acapella (II Samuel 6:5; I Chronicles 15:16-28; Psalm 33:2-3, 81:2-3, 92:1-3, 98:5, 144:9, 149:3, 150:3-6, ). There are even instruments in Heaven (Revelation 5:8, 14:2).

    The answer to Godly music is for the music to be birthed or inspired by Him. He puts in our mouths a "new song" to sing to Him, which can only come by His Spirit.

    Thanks for commenting!

  11. Has anyone noticed how christian rock and heavy metal reeks of flesh? I can't even count the number of professing Christians I know that love this stuff. It's not just the music but the dress and the atmosphere that goes with it. Topped off with throwing up the ol "horns".

    I plainly see it as unholy masquerading as holy. But around here I'm alone. [I'm critical and bound by a spirit of legalism]

    I've tossed 99% of my "christian" music collection.

    Good article.

  12. I agree I only listen to explicit praise music that actually. But to me, the melody itself doesn't matter as much as the lyrics/


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