We have warned that nothing can change the transformational power of this sensual, “one-world church” music, and nothing can keep it from transforming every ministry that does not heed the warning to separate from it.
In a recent article I said, “The transformation will be most evident in Paul Chappell’s children’s generation, but by the time the transformation becomes evident enough for the average independent Baptist preacher to recognize it, it will be far too late to do anything about it” (“Preacher Says the Brethren Are Galled at Brother Cloud,” FBIS, Oct. 28, 2014).
In my first warning about Lancaster’s music, I said:
“I strongly suspect that there are people in the music department that love CCM and listen to it regularly. This is why they frequently come up with toned-down CCM specials. They remove the heavy back beat (though the dance syncopation can still be present in the piano style); there is no drum kit, no bass guitar; but it is still CCM” (“Lancaster Baptist Shouting to the Lord,” Friday Church News Notes, Feb. 18, 2011).
Mark Rasmussen, Jr., and others are evidence that my warning was on target. Mark is the son of Mark Rasmussen, Sr., vice president of West Coast and the most conservative face at the institution.
Mark is a student of West Coast and has been a prominent member of the Lancaster Baptist Church music program. He and other members of the music program publish soft rock renditions of popular contemporary charismatic praise songs on YouTube under the names of Mark Rasmussen, 5FriendsFilms, and OneCauseProductions, and they have been doing this for at least two years.
An acoustic cover of Hillsong United’s “Oceans” is sung by Rasmussen and three other young people associated with Lancaster at https://youtu.be/tYThKgMl2lg. Though it is played in a soft rock style, Mark’s rendition would be accepted enthusiastically in any charismatic environment.
“Oceans (Where My Feet May Fail)” is a popular contemporary song that features endless repetition in the original. The words say, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.” This is charismatic mysticism. It is the philosophy of “take me out of the box; take me beyond the words of Scripture; take me to any strange experience; I won’t judge; I won’t test.” It is the philosophy behind such things as spirit slaying, holy laughter, holy shaking, continuing prophecy, gibberish tongues, female pastors, love for the pope, and uncertainty about the sin of homosexuality.
Those who are using this music are placing themselves in fellowship with this strange charismatic spirit.
The “real” Hillsong United rendition can be found at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK-MBCZ5K5Q. If you go to about 5:50 minutes into the nearly ten minutes of this contemporary worship song, you will see what “real” contemporary worship looks like. It’s all about a powerful sensual experience. It’s about “feeling God.”
You can be sure that countless young people at Lancaster Baptist Church are listening to the “real thing” because of the foolish example that has been placed before them at their own church. Few young people are going to be satisfied for long with the watered down version of this music when the super exciting “real thing” is only a “mouse click” or a “screen tap” away.
You can see Mark and Travis Chappell’s rocking a cappella version of “Well on My Way” at at https://youtu.be/R8ie7q3GyAs. Mark, Travis, and Dave and their buddies recorded this at West Coast in May 2013. They are all West Coast students then and at least most of them were part of the music program at Lancaster.
In “The Unworldly Song” they seem to be mocking biblical separation from the world, though the video is enigmatic enough for them to deny it -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCAaDjfXmI0.
Here is a contemporary rendition of “All the Way My Saviour Leads Me” by Mark and his sisters -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZHLzTj9CUA.
Mark and and his sister and Dave, who sings with him in “Oceans” and other contemporary clips on YouTube, were in the choir at Lancaster in the Christmas program in December 2013. They are on the front row -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYZ94UejGH4. Go to about 10:19 and you can see how contemporary Lancaster has become in the just the last year.
Here is another contemporary song by Mark when he was a student at West Coast in 2013 -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77w11bG8gkI. This one is by the contemporary Canadian band Downhere.
(If these videos are taken down from YouTube, I have copies of them on file.)
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