BJU, Contemporary Music, and Rome
Whereas just five years ago, the overwhelming consensus was that CCM is simply wrong and unacceptable, today the consensus is quickly forming around the position that CCM can be safely used in moderation, that it is OK to mess around with it.
Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster, California, home of West Coast Baptist College, is leading in this direction, and we have warned about this because of their wide influence. In a September blog, Ed Stetzer said, “Pastor Chappell is arguably the most influential IFB pastor in America.” (See “Analyzing Adapted CCM Songs” for an extensive list of contemporary worship songs used by Lancaster over the last few years through late 2012 -- www.wayoflife.org/database/analyzing_adapted.html.)
Bob Jones University (BJU) is also promoting this position. The compiler and copyright holder of Hymns Modern and Ancient, Fred Coleman, heads up Bob Jones University’s Department of Church Music. It is published by Heart Publications, a ministry of Steve Pettit Evangelistic Association.
The hymnal contains 38 songs by Getty/Townend -- 16 songs by Keith Getty, nine by Stuart Townend, and 13 co-written by both men.
Soundforth’s 2013 Spring Selections preview CD contains four Getty/Townend numbers out of 19 songs.
Majesty Music’s Rejoice Hymns features about 10 songs by Getty/Townend, as well as ones by David Clydesdale, Scott Wesley Brown, Steve Amerson, Bob Kilpatrick, and Chris Christensen, all of whom are out-and-out Christian rockers and radical ecumenists who are using music to build the end-time, one-world church.
Getty/Townend are unapologetic one-world church builders. Townend enthusiastically supports the Alpha program which bridges charismatic, Protestant, and Roman Catholic churches. Townend is holding hands with the “broader church” in all of its facets and heresies and end-time apostasies, and his objective in writing the “hymn-like” contemporary songs is ecumenism.
In July 2012, Townend and the Gettys joined Roman Catholic Matt Maher on NewsongCafe on WorshipTogether.com. They played and discussed “The Power of the Cross,” which was co-written by Getty-Townend. The program promoted ecumenical unity, with Maher/Townend/Getty entirely one in the spirit through the music. Major, fundamental doctrinal differences are so meaningless to these people that they are not even mentioned. Spiritual abominations such as papal supremacy, the mass, infant baptism, baptismal regeneration, and Mariolatry were entirely ignored. Jude 3 is despised and Romans 16:17 is completely disobeyed for the sake of building the one-world church through contemporary Christian music.
This is the movement and the spirit that is promoted in Hymns Modern and Ancient. By promoting Getty/Townend and other radically ecumenical contemporary worship musicians, bridges are being built to a most dangerous spiritual world.
In the Preface to the hymnal, BJU’s Fred Coleman praises the 19th century Oxford Movement in the Church of England as a “stately stream,” with not a hint of warning. Actually, it was a Roman stream, and though Rome might be very stately, it is neither godly nor scriptural. That was true in the 19th century and it is equally true in the 21st. (See reports in the Roman Catholic section of the Article Database at www.wayoflife.org/database/rccheader.html.)
Coleman says the leaders of the Oxford Movement wanted “to restore the glory of the ancient church (Rome and Byzantium).”
That much is true, but it is not something for a Bible-believer to praise, for the “ancient church of Rome” is not the “church” found in the pages of Scripture but an apostate entity that was formed from the vain tradition of men. It is christianized paganism, or paganized Christianity, but it is not biblical Christianity. (See the following page for photos of Rome’s Mary on Christ’s throne, on God’s ark, and on the Cross -- www.wayoflife.org/database/maryolatry.html.)
(The Oxford Movement was so called because of its association with Oxford University. It was also called the Tractarian movement for a series of Tracts for These Times written by John Keble, Richard Froude, and John Henry Newman.)
A voice for the Tractarian Movement, the Union Review, stated: “The work going on in England is an earnest and carefully organized attempt on the part of a rapidly increasing body of priests and laymen, to bring our Church and country up to the full standard of Catholic faith and practice, and EVENTUALLY TO PLEAD FOR HER UNION WITH [ROME]” (Union Review, 1867, p. 412).
Another organ for the Oxford Movement said: “Justification by faith, the most immoral of Protestant dogmas, has run its tether, and happily died of self-strangulation” (Church News, November 1867).
It is not surprising that many of the leaders of the Oxford Movement ended up in Rome’s lap. These included Frederick Faber as well as John Newman, who was rewarded for his support of Rome by being made a cardinal.
In fact, several hundred Anglican clergy joined the Roman Catholic Church in the 19th century, and a large number of those who remained were “Anglo-Catholics.”
The terrible fruit of the Oxford Movement is evident in the following statistics: In 1840 there were not 500 Roman priests in England, but by 1890 there were 2,600 (H.G. Guinness, Romanism and the Reformation, 1891, pp. 2-3). In 1840 there were only 16 Catholic convents, but by 1890 there were over 400 convents with more than 15,000 nuns. In 1840 there were only two colleges in England for training Catholic priests; by 1890, there were 29.
Consider the testimony of historian J.A. Froude, who wrote in great detail of the wretched spiritual climate in Britain in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Froude’s father was an Anglican parish minister, and an older brother, Richard Hurrell Froude, joined the Oxford Movement and wrote one of the Tracts for these Times which popularized the movement. Thus J.A. Froude was in a position to have first-hand information about the religious situation in England at that hour. He testified that the twin evils of Rationalism (theological modernism) and Romanism (via the Oxford Movement) had devastated the Church of England.
“Now, while one set of men were bringing back medievalism, science and criticism were assailing with impunity the authority of the Bible; miracles were declared impossible; even Theism itself was treated as an open question. ... Both these movements [Romanism and Rationalism] began within a short distance of one another, AND WERE EVIDENTLY CONNECTED. ... there is scarcely a clergyman in the country who does not carry upon him in one form or other the marks of the Tractarian movement. ... The Church of England has not only admitted Catholic doctrine but has rushed into it with extraordinary enthusiasm” (Froude, Short Studies about Great Subjects, 1883, pp. 163, 164, 218).
The field of Contemporary Worship Music represents the same spirit as the old Oxford Movement. It is a back-to-Rome, one-world church movement cloaked with a form of godliness and a profession of love for Christ. And the fact that many independent Baptists and fundamentalist preachers and leaders cannot see this is evidence of gross ignorance or frightful spiritual blindness.
We document this extensively in The Foreign Spirit of Contemporary Worship Music, a multi-media video presentation that is available as a free download from www.wayoflife.org.
Let’s take another look Keith and Kristyn Getty. Their goal is to “bring everyone together musically” (www.keithgetty.com). They want to “bridge the gap between the traditional and contemporary” (www.gettymusic.com/about.aspx), but Bible-believers should know that this is a “gap” that must not be bridged, as it is a gap between Christ and the world, between the Spirit and the flesh, between true churches and harlot ones. In October 2012 the Getty’s displayed their spiritual blindness by joining hands with emerging heretic Leonard Sweet at the National Worship Leader Conference in San Diego. Sweet calls his universalist-tinged doctrine New Light and “quantum spirituality” and “the Christ consciousness” and describes it in terms of “the union of the human with the divine” which is the “center feature of all the world’s religions” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 235). He defines the New Light as “a structure of human becoming, a channeling of Christ energies through mindbody experience” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 70). Sweet says that “New Light pastors” hold the doctrine of “embodiment of God in the very substance of creation” (p. 124). In Carpe Mañana, Sweet says that the earth is as much a part of the body of Christ as humans and that humanity and the earth constitutes “a cosmic body of Christ” (p. 124). Sweet lists some of the “New Light leaders” that have influenced his thinking as Matthew Fox, M. Scott Peck, Willis Harman, and Ken Wilber. These are prominent New Agers who believe in the divinity of man, as we have documented in the book The New Age Tower of Babel. Sweet has endorsed The Shack with its non-judgmental father-mother god, and he promotes Roman Catholic contemplative mysticism and dangerous mystics such as the Catholic-Buddhist Thomas Merton. (For further documentation see the Contemplative Prayer section of the Articles Database at www.wayoflife.org/database/contemplativeheader.html.)
Churches that are messing around with contemporary worship music are building bridges to this extremely dangerous world, and the next generation in particular will walk across this bridge.
One reader rightly observed, “Truly, contemporary music represents the ecumenical spirit of the age.”
Justifying the use of contemporary worship is a loud warning that a ministry is heading in the wrong direction, yea, a most dangerous direction. If you justify it, you are justifying the end-time apostasy that ALL of the mainstream contemporary worship musicians represent. You are justifying the breakdown in biblical separatism. If you justify it, you will use more and more of it, and you will give your family and church an appetite for it, and you will build bridges to that extremely dangerous world: bridges over which your church will eventually walk.
Those who are justifying the use of contemporary worship music are playing with fire, and they will be accountable to God for their unwise decisions.
(For extensive documentation of the danger of building bridges to the world of contemporary worship music, see The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians, a free eBook available from Way of Life -- www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/.)
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