A Challenge For Bible-Believing Churches About Music Today

December 17, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

Music is a powerful thing, both in secular society and in the churches. It is often at the heart of dramatic changes we have witnessed over the past 20 years.

Following are some challenges for preachers and church music people in Bible-believing churches in regard to music today.

1. Have you developed a clear biblical standard of music and taught it to the church? Have you developed biblical principles that can be applied to music and that can be used to determine where to draw lines?

2. How do you apply the issue of biblical separation to music today?

3. What are you doing to educate yourself and your church about Contemporary Christian Music? 

4. Are you vigilant about the music being used in the specials and at the youth conferences, camps, and Bible colleges to which you send your young people?

5. Do you make yourself familiar with the lyrics and associations of the CCM songs that your people might want to use in your church?

6. Do you educate yourself about the leaven that might be hidden in the lyrics of CCM songs from the influence of the theology of ecumenism, kingdom now, Pentecostalism, Charismaticism, Roman Catholicism, etc.?   

7. How are you teaching your people to identify and avoid these false teachings?

8. Are you informed enough to educate to your people about the popular contemporary musicians who are influencing Bible-believing church members? (Examples are Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, Mark Redman, Stuart Townend, the Gettys, Michael W. Smith, Tim Hughes, Graham Kendrick, MercyMe, and Third Day.)

Continue reading this article……

Contemplative Spirituality:Dancing with Demons

The Bible repeatedly warns about the danger of spiritual delusion and exhorts believers to be very careful. Consider the following:

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5).

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if
it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14).

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

“Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6).

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).

continue reading this article…….

Friday Church News Notes, Volume 15, Issue 50

The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.

EVERYONE LOVES THE POPE (Friday Church News Notes, December 12, 2014, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In a major documentation of the formation of a one-world “church” in our time, Christianity Today’s cover story this month is “Pop Francis: Why Everyone Loves the Pope.” It is a hugely positive report about Rome’s Pope Francis, calling him the “pop” or daddy of Christianity. The subtitle says, “From secular journalists to charismatic Christians, millions are taken with the Jesuit from Argentina.” This report demonstrates the complete spiritual blindness of Christianity Today, which was founded in 1956 by Billy Graham. The author of the report on the pope admits to being “bewitched by Francis of Assisi” and “swooning” at Pope Francis. The CT report says evangelical Protestants “need a healthy Catholic church as an ally.” It labels the Roman Catholic Church “the church.” It calls Pope Francis “the vicar of simple gospel truths.” It says the Second Vatican Council moved the Catholic Church in a more biblical direction. It ways that Pope Francis’ statement, “Who am I to judge,” when asked about homosexuality, is “entirely in keeping with Matthew 7:1.” It treats “Saint Francis of Assisi” as a Christ-centered, evangelical, ignoring the fact that he was committed to a false sacramental gospel that is under the curse of Galatians 1. Christianity Today wrongly and hypocritically says that “poverty is the surest path to God,” though most of its writers and editors don’t practice poverty.

THE QUEERING OF LEVITICUS (Friday Church News Notes, December 12, 2014, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - A Jewish organization in America is interpreting the Old Testament in “new ways” to support homosexuality. The organization, Nehirim, aims to provide “vibrant, pluralistic, egalitarian and accessible programming that cultivates and empowers LGBTQI [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, Intersex] Jewish souls.” (“I” for intersex has recently been ..

continue to full edition of Friday News..

Getting High on Worship Music

Updated December 11, 2014 (first published March 2, 2003) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

High on Worship Music
A 2012 study by the University of Washington concluded that megachurches “provide the same biological ‘high’ and euphoria as that produced by sporting events and concerts” (Ecumenical News International, Aug. 21, 2012). The study, entitled “God Is Like a Drug: Explaining Interaction Ritual Chains in American Megachurches,” was co-authored by Katie Corcoran and James Wellman. They attribute the worship “high” to the “upbeat modern music, cameras that scan the audience and project smiling, dancing, singing, or crying worshippers on large screens, and a charismatic leader whose sermons touch individuals on an emotional level.”

They believe that these things “trigger chemicals in the brain to give the individual an emotional ‘high’ and feeling of transcendence as well as a need to come back for another ‘hit.’”

On a research visit to City Harvest Church, the largest church in Singapore, on February 8, 2003, I was reminded of the power of rock music to create the emotional high that contemporary worshipers are seeking.

On Saturdays, City Harvest has two services, one at 4:30 p.m. and one at 7:30. I attended the 7:30 session. The music was pull-out-the-stops rock & roll and was the loudest I have ever heard in a megachurch or Christian conference, even though I have attended many of them for research purposes. City Harvest’s music featured two drummers, electric guitars, a keyboard, and a powerful brass section. Several worship leaders, both male and female, swayed and pranced at the front of the stage.

The massive auditorium was almost full and the people were very, very exuberant. As best as I could tell from my vantage point, almost every person joined in enthusiastically during the worship time, singing, clapping, jumping, swaying to the potent music.

When I walked out of the auditorium and got away from the sound of the music, I actually felt a little lightheaded from not being accustomed to such loud, sensual music. It had been more than three decades since I last heard music that loud in an enclosed environment, and that was at a rock concert before I was saved. It was such a relief to get away from the relentless pounding.

I am convinced that if you took away the rock music, churches like this would lose their large crowds almost instantly. Rock music is a drug in itself, and this generation is high on music.

Continue reading this article……

How Christian Homes Produce Rock & Roll Rebels

I grew up in a Christian home but spent many years of my life as a “rock & roll rebel” before the Lord mercifully granted me repentance (Acts 11:18) in 1973 at age 23. When we look around at churches today, even Bible-believing ones, we see that this pattern is being repeated frequently. What is the cause?

A Three-Fold Responsibility

The Bible teaches that there is a three-fold responsibility in the rearing of Christian children.

First, the child himself is responsible before God.

“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right” (Proverbs 20:11).

Though parents and churches have a dramatic influence on young people, no one will be able to stand before God and claim that he did not know the truth or be able to blame someone else for his rebellion. Jesus Christ gives light to every man (John 1:9). The book of Romans describes three forms of light: the light of creation (Rom. 1:20), the light of conscience (Rom. 2:11-16), and the light of the Scriptures (Rom. 3:1-2). When a man responds to the light he has, God gives him more. It is God Himself that enlightens men and guides them to the truth, but they must respond. The book of Proverbs describes this:

“How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called and ye refused: I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:22-33).

continue reading this article...