The Sexuality of Contemporary Worship Music

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

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As we have documented in The Directory of Contemporary Worship Music, this field is rife with immorality.

Some of the prominent Contemporary Christian Music artists who have committed adultery and/or been divorced and remarried are Steve Archer, Steve Camp, Bob Carlisle, Ralph Carmichael, Gary Chapman, Ja’Marc Davis of Raze, Eddie Degarmo, Michael English, Ryan Gingerich, Amy Grant, Stacy Jones of the rap group Grits, Ray Boltz, Dana Key, Bob Larson, Mylon LeFevre, Nikki Leonti, Sandi Patty (who admitted to committing adultery with at least two men and who left her husband for one of her backup singers), Kevin Prosch, John Michael Talbot, Randy Thomas, Greg Volz of Petra, Sheila Walsh, Jaci Velasquez, Wayne Watson, Deniece Williams, Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Tom Howard, Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken and members of the disbanded Barnabas.

This is not surprising in light of the fact that rock & roll has always been associated with sexuality. The music itself is very sensual, affecting the body in sexual ways as many secular rockers have acknowledged.

Everyone takes it for granted that rock and roll is synonymous with sex” (Chris Stein, Blondie, People, May 21, 1979).

Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body’s rhythms” (Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention, Life, June 28, 1968).

“The sex is definitely in the music, and sex is in all aspects of the music” (Luke Campbell of 2 Live Crew).

Rock ‘n’ roll is 99% sex” (John Oates of Hall & Oates, Circus, Jan. 31, 1976).

Perhaps my music is sexy ... but what music with a big beat isn’t?” (Jimi Hendrix, Henderson, cited from his biography ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky, p. 117).

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 of KISS, cited from The Role of Rock, p. 44).

That’s what rock is all about—sex with a 100 megaton bomb, THE BEAT!” (Gene Simmons of Kiss, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987).

Rock ‘n’ roll is all sex. One hundred percent sex” (Debbie Harry of Blondie, cited by Carl Belz, “Television Shows and Rock Music,” The Age of Communication, Goodyear Publishing Company, 1974, p. 398).

“We respond to the materiality of rock’s sounds, and
the rock experience is essentially erotic” (Simon Frith, Sound Effects, New York: Pantheon Books, 1981, p. 164).

To think that one can Christianize this type of music and offer it as an acceptable form of worship to a holy God is insanity.

Further, the elements of contemporary worship create a broad field for sexual temptations.

Dan Lucarini, a former contemporary worship leader, describes this in
Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement: Confessions of a Former Worship Leader. In fact, the sexual element was one of the reasons why he turned away from that movement.

“... to preserve my marriage and to be faithful to God in all things, I needed to separate from the temptations that were ever-present in the CCM setting: the ego gratification and attraction to the female members of the worship team” (Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement, 2002, p. 34).

“When we brought rock music (and all its musical cousins) into the church service, we invited along with it a spirit of immorality with which that music is unavoidably associated. It wasn’t obvious at first. We didn’t use hard rock; instead we used more acceptable, watered-down forms of it: soft rock, pop/rock, country rock and easy listening jazz styles. These styles supported the warm and fuzzy, falling-in-love-with-God feelings we wanted to have in worship. They were less edgy but still contained the underlying rock beat that undeniably appeals to our flesh and reminds us of the world’s favourite music. Despite all our efforts to restrain this musical beast, the saints of God are being seduced by CCM styles. These styles are capable of corrupting the morals of any Christian, no matter how strong they think they are” (Lucarini, p. 42).

“Like other Contemporaries, I was blind to the subtle sexual influences creeping into my worship teams and unwilling to admit that my worship music could possibly be tainted by sex” (Lucarini, p. 69).

“When you combine the sensual dancing with the immodest dress of the women on the platform [in the praise teams], you place a very large stumbling block in front of the men of the congregation” (Lucarini, p. 71).

“Does your worship team mix single or divorced men and women together with those who are married? That is an open door for sexual immorality. If you put hot-blooded males and females into a passionate rock music group, there will be strong temptation for sexual sins. CCM styles facilitate an atmosphere where a female’s innate desire to have emotional intimacy with a man can easily be achieved. The problem is, most of the time that man is not her husband. This leads to something called emotional adultery, a problem that can later lead to physical adultery” (Lucarini, p. 71)

“... we use CCM to create this atmosphere. We dim the lights, we design the music to move people where we want to take them and we create the special mood, the right atmosphere. What is wrong with this? It is exactly what the world does to create sexual intimacy. Secular musicians use the same music styles and environmental methods to draw people into sexual intimacy with them. It is all about bringing sensuality into the public forum and breaking down all of our sexual inhibitions” (Lucarini, p. 72).

“CCM is stuck with this stigma of immorality, because the music styles carry with them the baggage of the world’s immorality. It does not matter if you change the lyrics. It does not matter if you change the musicians. It does not matter if you change the record labels. It does not matter if you ask God to sanctify it. Rock music and all its children, and by association CCM, can and will corrupt the morals of everyone who practises it” (Lucarini, p. 73).

“The CCM artists became role models for different kinds of immorality: indecent dress, rebellious images, improper crushes on married men by young girls, lustful interest in sexy females by adolescent males” (Lucarini, p. 117).

This is a very loud warning to saints who want to remain morally pure, and it is a warning that very few have been willing to admit.
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- The name “Way of Life” is from Proverbs 6:23: “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” The biblical instruction that molds men to God’s will requires reproof. It is not strictly positive. It does not focus on man’s “self-esteem.” It does not avoid controversial or unpopular subjects. It warns as well as comforts. It deals with sin and false teaching in a plain manner. It is reproves, rebukes, exhorts with all longsuffering and doctrine (2 Tim. 4:2). This is what we seek to do through Way of Life Literature. The Way of Life preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. A mail stop is maintained in Port Huron, Michigan.

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