Does Jesus Groove to Rock Music
Republished December 23, 2009 (first published July 3, 2000) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
The July 2000 issue of Charisma, the very influential Charismatic publication, has an article exhorting the readers to “Get in the Groove.” The author, J. Lee Grady, mocks traditional Christian music as “dirge-like” and “lily-white” and something only for “grandmothers.” He goes on to make the pretentious claim that worship music in Heaven will feature “a dozen Hammond-B3 organs and a procession of hip-hop [rap] dancers.” Not content with this brazen claim, Grady tells us that Jesus Christ “loves all music--even the funkiest” and that Jesus Christ enjoys dancing with the angels and “grooving to the sound of Christian R&B [rhythm and blues] pumped out of a boom box.”
How does Grady know this? The simple and frightful fact is that he knows no such thing. He is preaching a false christ, and the Contemporary Christian Music movement in general is preaching much the same thing. They tell us that Jesus Christ is not separated from the world, that He loves every sort of music in this wicked world, that He boogies to rock and roll, that He is pleased when His people hip hop around on a stage after the fashion of modern rappers.
I challenge any CCM supporter to show us where the Bible says Jesus Christ dances to rock music. Show us even one instance where Jesus Christ shakes His body or jives to the beat of rock music. Show us even one little hint that the saints in Heaven are dancing around to anything like rock or rhythm & blues or rap music. On the contrary, the Lord Jesus Christ we see in the book of Revelation following the Resurrection and Ascension is not a grooving Jesus; He is a fearfully holy Jesus. When John saw the resurrection Christ, he did not join Jesus in a boogie dance but fell at His feet as dead. The 24 elders are not dancing around with Jesus to some groovy rock beat; they are falling down before Him (Rev. 4:10; 5:8). They are not banging on drums; they are playing harps (Rev. 5:8). There is not the slightest hint of a modern rock dance going on in Heaven.
Grady thinks that Psalm 150 depicts a rock concert, but that is absolute nonsense. The Jews of old observed Psalm 150 in their worship, but they didn’t use rock-type music or anything remotely like rock music. When someone like Grady thinks of drums and loud cymbals, they automatically think of their beloved rock music; but drums and loud cymbals are also components of an orchestra and a marching band. Drums can be used to make all sorts of music other than rock music. Grady says that dancing requires a rock-type drum beat, but that is pure foolishness. I know of no other way to describe it. There are all sorts of dances that do not require a modern dance beat. The Jews and other groups of people have long had traditional dances that were nothing whatsoever like the licentious modern dances associated with rock and rhythm & blues.
At the heart of the battle about music in the churches is the very character of God. Our concept of God will determine what kind of music we use to worship Him and the manner in which we worship Him. If we think that God is a cool dude who hip hops to modern rock music, we will worship him with such music and our lifestyle and very appearance will reflect this concept of God. If, on the other hand, we believe that God is a fearfully holy God before whom the hosts of Heaven fall in awe and reverence, our worship music and our very lifestyle and appearance will reflect holiness and separation from the world.
THE FALSE CHRIST OF CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC
Contemporary Christian Music is filled with blasphemous depictions of God and Christ. Carman has a song entitled the “Holy Ghost Hop.” He sings about “jamming with the Lamb” on his song “Come into This House.” His Live...Radically Saved video depicts Jesus and John the Baptist as hip-hop street kids. Carman says “Jesus is always cool; He’s got his thing together.” He blasphemously depicts the Lord Jesus walking along in a hip-jive manner, doing “the Messiah walk.” Carman’s Resurrection Rap video portrays Jesus Christ as a street hippie. The crucifixion takes place in a back alley gang fight, and Jesus’ body is tossed in a garbage dumpster. On Carman’s The Standard album Jesus Christ is blasphemously referred to as “J.C.”
“You take Him high/ You take Him low/ You take J.C. wherever you go/ Now tell me, who...who...who...who...who...who?/ Tell me who’s in the house? J.C./ Tell me who’s in the house? J.C./ Tell me who’s in the house? J.C./ Tell me who’s in the house? J.C.”
Carman is not the only CCM musician who uses the blasphemous term J.C. to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ. The group called J.C. and Friends explains that their name can stand either for Jesus Christ and his followers or for J.C. Meyers and his pals (MusicLine Magazine, October 1985, p. 27).
The following song by Daniel Band further demonstrates the blasphemous and worldly philosophy of many CCM groups:
“There’s a party in Heaven/ The bread is unleaven/ The tree of life is growin’ fine/ It’s way past eleven/ My number is seven/ The Lamb and I are drinkin’ new wine” (“Party in Heaven”).
These words are sung to hard rock music. This CCM group seems to think Heaven will be a worldly booze party, at least that is the idea that many worldly people would get from the lyrics.
Consider the following blasphemous statement by Mark Stuart of Audio Adrenaline:
“... the only difference [between rock and Christian rock] is the lyrics and then the difference is sometimes subtle ... at the basic root, there’s no difference. ... Christianity is about rebellion. JESUS CHRIST IS THE BIGGEST REBEL TO EVER WALK THE FACE OF THE EARTH ... he was crucified for his rebellion. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL IS ABOUT THE SAME THING--REBELLION ... TO ME ROCK AND THE CHURCH GO HAND IN HAND” (Mark Stuart of Audio Adrenaline, Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola, Florida, March 1, 1998, pp. 1,6E).
That is absolute blasphemy. Jesus Christ was not a rebel. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a rebel is “one who revolts from the government to which he owes allegiance, or one who willfully violates a law.” The Lord Jesus Christ was not a rebel in any sense. He did not revolt; he did not violate the law. To the contrary, Christ was the law giver, and He came to earth to fulfill the requirements of His own law (Matt. 5:17-19). Christ was not crucified for rebellion. Pilate, the chief political authority who judged Jesus, said he could find absolutely no fault in him. Christ was not crucified for rebellion but for testifying that He was God (John 10:33). Mark Stuart was referring to a false christ.
Petra promotes the blasphemous idea that God is the “God of Rock and Roll”:
“God gave rock and roll to you/ Put it in the soul of every one/ If you love the sound/ Then don’t forget the source/ You can turn around/ You can change your course/ You can love the Rock/ And let him free your soul” (“God Gave Rock and Roll,” Petra).
This song was first sung by the secular rock band Argent. Petra changed some of the words, but the overall message is the same, that God is the author of rock music. To say that the Holy God of Scripture is the author of filthy rock & roll in any sense whatsoever is blasphemy. The father of rock & roll is a god, yet not the God of Scripture but the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). I know from experience that the true and living God did not put rock & roll into my soul. It was the Devil who did that to foster my rebellion and licentiousness. The very term “rock & roll,” which is commonly shortened to “rock,” refers specifically to illicit sexual relations. Most music dictionaries and histories of rock music admit this. The term was popularized in the early 1950s by Alan Freed, one of the first white disk-jockeys to play rhythm & blues. Noting the sexual connotation of the new music, Freed decided to name it after a ghetto term used by blacks for premarital sex in the back seat of a car. (Freed died young of alcoholism.) To try to connect this morally dirty music with a holy God is blasphemous.
Robert Sweet, of the now disbanded Christian rock group Stryper, had the following saying painted on the back of his drummer chair: “JESUS CHRIST ROCKS.” This is blasphemy. Jesus Christ is the Rock of Ages, but He does not rock & roll. He does not love to boogie-woogie to sensual music. He does not love to watch girls dance licentiously. He does not enjoy stirring up rebellious impulses. He does not love anything connected to wicked rock music. He “loved righteousness, and HATED iniquity” (Hebrews 1:9). He is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26).
Phil Driscoll thinks God is the King of Soul Music. He says, “God is the King of Soul; He’s the King of all rhythm” (Phil Driscoll, quoted by Tim Fisher, Battle for Christian Music, p. 82). We believe this is a blasphemous portrayal of God. The God of the Bible is not the author of rhythms which enhance demonic possession, such as the poly-rhythms used by certain African tribes. The God of the Bible is also not the author of rhythms which stir up illicit passions in men and women, and there are certain rhythms which do exactly that. As we have noted, the very term “rock & roll” itself describes immoral activity; and the musical rhythms associated with rock were designed to encourage this activity.
Messiah Prophet Band goes even further, calling Jesus Christ the “Master of Metal” --
“You hear a loud guitar/ You wonder what we are/ You say we’re all the same/ You see us dressed in black/ Preparing to attack/ You say it’s such a shame/ But do you really know/ The force behind our show/ Our one way ticket home/ WE’RE ROCKIN’ FOR THE ROCK/ And we will never stop/ And this you’ve got to know/ Jesus said upon this Rock my church will stand/ ... HE’S THE MASTER/ THE MASTER OF METAL...” (“Master of Metal,” Messiah Prophet Band).
To say that the high and holy Lord Jesus Christ is the Master of rebellious heavy metal rock music is outrageous blasphemy.
The “Christian” rock group Barren Cross says Jesus Christ is better than marijuana and invites their followers to smoke on His love!
“Give it a chance, freedom at last/ Yours for free, take and receive/ Better than pot, Jesus rocks/ Come and believe/ You will find out joy will come to you/ Take it, drink it, no fee, come and believe/ Smoke on His love -- believe/ Smoke on His love and you will see the rock -- roll/ Believe” (Barren Cross, “Believe”).
We are convinced that this is blasphemy.
We could give many other illustrations, but this should suffice.
WHAT ROCK MUSICIANS SAY ABOUT ROCK MUSIC
Consider the following testimonies of rock musicians themselves as to the nature of rock & roll:
“Rock ‘n’ roll is 99% sex.” . . . “The main purpose of rock and roll is celebration of the self” (John Oates of the rock duo Hall & Oates, Circus, Jan. 31, 1976; interview with Timothy White, 1987, Rock Lives, p. 594).
“Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body’s rhythms” (Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention, Life, June 28, 1968).
“Rock ‘n’ roll is pagan and primitive, and very jungle, and that’s how it should be! The moment it stops being those things, it’s dead … the true meaning of rock … is sex, subversion and style” (Malcolm McLaren, punk rock manager, Rock, August 1983, p. 60).
“Rock is the perfect primal method of releasing our violent instincts” (Ted Nugent, rock musician, Circus, May 13, 1976).
“When you’re in a certain frame of mind, particularly sexually-oriented, there’s nothing better than rock and roll … because that’s where most of the performers are at” (Aerosmith’s manager, USA Today, Dec. 22, 1983, p. D5).
“Rock music is sex and you have to hit them [teenagers] in the face with it” (Andrew Oldham, manager of the Rolling Stones, Time, April 28, 1967, p. 54).
“Rock ‘n’ roll is sex. Real rock ‘n’ roll isn’t based on cerebral thoughts. It’s based on one’s lower nature” (Paul Stanley, cited by John Muncy, The Role of Rock, p. 44).
“Pop music revolves around sexuality. I believe that if there is anarchy, let’s make it sexual anarchy rather than political” (Adam Ant, From Rock to Rock, p. 93).
“Rockabilly was the face of Dionysus, full of febrile sexuality and senselessness; it flushed the skin of new housewives and made pink teenage boys reinvent themselves as flaming creatures” (Nick Tosches, Country: The Twisted Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll, p. 58).
“Rock and roll is the darkness that enshrouds secret desires unfulfilled, and the appetite that shoves you forward to disrobe them” (Timothy White, Rock Lives, p. xvi).
“Rock and roll aims for liberation and transcendence, eroticizing the spiritual and spiritualizing the erotic, because that is its ecumenical birthright” (Robert Palmer, Rock & Roll an Unruly History, p. 72).
“Rock and roll is fun, it’s full of energy, it’s full of laughter. It’s naughty” (Tina Turner, cited in Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, p. 12).
“Mystery and mischief are the two most important ingredients in rock and roll” (Bono, cited in Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, p. 12).
“Rock and roll was something that’s hardcore, rough and wild and sweaty and wet and just loose” (Patti Labelle, cited in Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, p. 17).
“An incessant beat does erode a sense of responsibility in much the same way as alcohol does. ... You feel in the grip of a relentless stream of sound to which something very basic and primitive in the human nature responds” (David Winter, New Singer, New Song).
“Rock 'n' roll is all sex. One hundred percent sex” (Debbie Harry of the rock band Blondie, cited by Carl Belz, “Television Shows and Rock Music,” as it appeared in The Age of Communication, William Lutz, 1974, p. 398).
“That's what rock is all about--sex with a 100 megaton bomb, the beat!” (Gene Simmons of the rock group Kiss, interview, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987).
“The main ingredients in rock are … sex and sass” (Debra Harry, Hit Parader, Sept. 1979, p. 31).
“Rock is the total celebration of the physical” (Ted Nugent, rock star, Rolling Stone, Aug. 25, 1977, pp. 11-13).
To take a form of music which was created to encourage and accompany immoral behavior, a music that has literally created an immoral revolution, and to attempt to glorify God with it is a great confusion. It is to confuse the holy God of the Bible with the unholy god of this world.
Those who claim that Jesus Christ grooves to rock music are worshipping a false christ, and that is an extremely serious matter.
“Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, 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 11:1-4).
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