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Way of Life Literature

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Way of Life Literature

Publisher of Bible Study Materials

Way of Life Bible College
Bill Gaither's Disobedience to God's Word
Enlarged May 30, 2024 (first published July 30, 1998)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
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The following is excerpted from The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians.

Bill and Gloria Gaither represent the heart and soul of Southern Gospel today. 

Bill and Gloria Gaither are graduates of Anderson College, a Church of God school, and attend a Nazarene church. They have written some very popular and well-known gospel music, such as “He Touched Me,” “Thanks to Calvary,” and “There’s Something about That Name.” Since the early 1990s, the Gaither’s Homecoming audio and video series has dramatically increased the popularity of Southern Gospel music in this generation.

Sadly, the Gaithers have used their vast influence to promote the lie that music is neutral and thus to encourage the deep inroads that the world has made into Southern Gospel. They have also promoted the “non-judgmental” heresy and the unscriptural ecumenical movement with its doctrinal tolerance and its lack of concern about doctrinal purity.

Gaither Believes that Music Is Neutral

In the 1980s Gaither bought into contemporary Christian music’s foundational premise that “MUSIC IS NEUTRAL” and that any type of raunchy music can be used to glorify God.

During a concert tour in New England in 1986, Gaither admitted that he had changed his musical style due to the influence of the “world’s culture.” It is a clear example of the Bible’s warning that “evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Co. 15:33). Gaither said he believes there is a place for Christian rock, expressing his philosophy of music in these words:

“God speaks through all different kinds of art forms and musical styles and musical forms” and the “format itself is not necessarily spiritual or non-spiritual” (FBF News Bulletin, March-April 1986, p. 3).

The following is an eyewitness description of the Gaither’s appearance at the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis in 1980:

“The Bill Gaither Trio entertained 15,000 Southern Baptists on Sunday evening with a musical program worldly enough to make any true believer weep. The music was so loud that some people left and others put their hands to their ears to block the intense amplification of the music” (Robert S. Reynolds, “Southern Baptists on the Downgrade: Report on the 1980 SBC Convention in St. Louis,” Foundation, Volume VI, Issue 1, 1985, p. 9).

Gaither has increasingly used every type of rock rhythm in his music. During the disco craze in the late 1980s, the Gaither Trio even recorded a disco album (Calvary Contender, August 15, 1989).

Bill Gaither has mentored many of the popular Christian rockers, including Sandi Patty, Russ Taff, Michael English, Carman, and the members of Whiteheart (CCM Magazine, July 1998, p. 20).

For more about the neutrality of music, see the video series MUSIC FOR GOOD OR EVIL, available from Way of Life Literature.

Bill Gaither and Rome: The Ecumenical Philosophy

Bill Gaither has had an ecumenical philosophy from the beginning of his musical career. In his autobiography It’s More Than the Music, he states that one of the fringe benefits of playing their concerts in “neutral, nonchurch environments” was that people from “all church denominations” attended. “Before long, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, charismatics, Catholics, and Pentecostals were all praising the Lord together. Subtly, the walls between denominations began to crumble...” (p. 115).

Gaither’s “Hymns for the Family of God” was purposefully “nondenominational” and included devotional readings from a wide variety of Christians, including heretics such as Deitrich Bonhoeffer (one of the fathers of Neo-orthodoxy), Malcolm Muggeridge (a liberal Roman Catholic who did not believe in Christ’s virgin birth or bodily resurrection), and Robert Schuller, who has wickedly redefined the gospel in terms of his humanistic self-esteem theology.

The Gaithers provided the music one evening at Indianapolis ‘90, a large ecumenical charismatic gathering I attended with press credentials. One-half of the 25,000 participants were Roman Catholics. A Catholic mass was held each morning, and Catholic priest Tom Forrest from Rome brought the closing message. At an earlier conference in 1987, Forrest said that purgatory is necessary for salvation. Roughly 40 denominations were present. The Gaithers were perfectly at home in this unscriptural gathering and entertained the mixed multitude with their jazzy music.

The Gaither Vocal Band performed at the Promise Keepers’ second major men’s conference in Boulder, Colorado, in 1994. In an interview with the Catholic publication Our Sunday Visitor, Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney said that full Catholic participation was his intention from the start. “Back in 1992, at our first stadium event, we very clearly stated from the podium that we eagerly welcomed the participation of Roman Catholics, and we’ve had scores of Roman Catholics attend and go back to their churches excited” (Our Sunday Visitor, July 20, 1997, p. 10). The Tidings (March 31, 1995), a Roman Catholic paper, stated that Catholics were encouraged to participate in Promise Keepers because “there is no doctrinal issue which should cause concern to the Catholic Church” and “there is no attempt at proselytizing or drawing men away from their [Catholic] faith to another church.” Catholic priest John Salazar spoke at a Promise Keepers meeting in Plainview, Texas, in December 1995 (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, December 3, 1995). The Promise Keepers field representative for the upper Midwest at that time, Steve Jenkins, was a Roman Catholic. A Promise Keepers Wake Up Call brochure distributed in San Louis Obispo, California, urged pastors, churches and their men to attend special rallies during March 1996, one of which was held at the St. Rose Catholic Church in Paso Robles. In 1997 Promise Keepers appointed a Roman Catholic, Mike Timmis, to its board of directors. One of the speakers at several of 1997 PK rallies was Roman Catholic priest Jim Berlucchi (“Making New Catholic Men?” Our Sunday Visitor, July 20, 1997, p. 10). In June 1997, Promise Keepers hosted a Catholic Summit at its headquarters in Denver, “sounding out Catholic volunteers and leaders from around the world” (Ibid.). Promise Keepers organized a Roman Catholic mass as part of its Rich Stadium conference in Buffalo, New York (The Humanist, Sept. 19, 1997). Following a luncheon with Bill McCartney in January 1998, Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver gave a “thumbs-up” to Catholic men who wanted to participate in Promise Keepers (The Catholic Register, quoted in Religious News Service, Jan. 19, 1998).

In 1999, Bill Gaither joined forces with hard-rocking dc Talk founder Toby McKeehan to “create a new modern worship music label, 40 Records” (CCM magazine, July 1999, p. 11). The goal is “to stretch the boundary of worship music” and to “give a youthful spirit to worship music for ANY DENOMINATION…”

Speaking of the new music company, Gaither said: “I view building bridges of understanding of different cultures and PHILOSOPHICAL POINTS OF VIEW as part of my calling. UNITY DOES NOT DEPEND ON OUR CONSENSUS OF OPINION, but on our unity in Christ.”

This is a heretical and dangerous statement. Biblical unity does depend on a consensus of opinion about doctrine. Ephesians 4:1-6, which speaks of Christian unity, says there is only “one faith” (verse 5). This refers to the body of truth delivered by the Holy Spirit to the apostles and recorded in the New Testament Scriptures. Philippians 1:27 also speaks of Christian unity, and it demands “one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” That is not a description of modern ecumenism. See also 1 Corinthians 1:10. Timothy was instructed to allow “no other doctrine” in the churches he was overseeing (1 Timothy 1:3). According to the apostle Paul, believers are not to unify with those who teach false doctrine; they are to separate from them (Romans 16:17).

Gaither’s friends Toby McKeehan and dc Talk are ecumenical and accept Roman Catholics as brothers and sisters in Christ in spite of Rome’s false sacramental gospel and its heresies pertaining to the papacy, Mary, the priesthood, etc. When Pope John Paul II visited America in January 1999, dc Talk joined hands with hundreds of thousands of Catholics to welcome him. Featured at a Catholic youth rally connected with the Pope’s visit, were dc Talk, Audio Adrenaline, Rebecca St. James, Jennifer Knapp, The W’s, and the Supertones (CCM Magazine, April 1999, p. 12). dc Talk’s Kevin Max praised the Catholic youth for coming out to hear the pope, describing John Paul II as “someone with something of substance to say” (Ibid.). Each attendee received a rosary with instructions about how to pray to Mary.

The Gaithers frequently perform and record songs which present an ecumenical philosophy. For example, “Songs that Answer Questions” from their Back Home in Indiana album has the following lyrics:

“Don’t want to spend my life a preachin’ sermons/ that give answers to the questions no one’s asking anywhere/ When there’s so much pain and hurting/ there’s no time to be searching/ for the needles in the haystacks that aren’t there/ I wanna spend my time a wearin’ myself out for Jesus/ with the news a cure’s been found to heal our land/ Stead of making lists, inventing creeds/ that aren’t concerned with people’s needs/ I’ll show ‘em how to touch the nail scarred hand/ Don’t wanna spend my time prayin’ prayers/ Bombarding heaven with requests to rain down fire on saints who care [unclear]/ In our methods we may differ, but if Christ the Lord we live for/ May we not forget the enemy is OUT THERE.”

This song contains half-truths and subtle errors, which are more dangerous than plain and obvious errors. While it is true that God’s people are to be concerned about suffering and are to show people how to “touch the nail scarred hand,” it is not true that preaching is to be limited merely to answering questions people have. The preacher is instructed to preach the whole counsel of God and the whole Word of God (Acts 20:27; 2 Tim. 3:16 - 4:1-2). The Bible warns that it is apostate people who will desire teachers who teach what they want to hear and what they feel a need for (2 Timothy 4:3-4). This prophecy sounds very much like what the Gaithers are singing about.

It is also not true that it is wrong to “make lists” or “invent creeds” that aren’t concerned with people’s needs. The lists and creeds mentioned in this song refer to doctrinal studies and statements of faith. Doctrinal studies must, first of all, faithfully represent Bible truth, regardless of whether or not it meets “people’s needs.” Sound Bible doctrine does meet man’s deepest needs, of course, but that does not mean that Bible doctrine meets the felt needs of unsaved or carnal people. The unsaved or carnal man does not feel he has a need to be told he is a sinner or that he is has no righteousness before God or that he is to repent or that he is to die to self or that he is to separate from the world or that there is an eternal hell, etc., but sound Bible doctrine tells him all of these things.

This song encourages the hearers to despise doctrinal study and research and teaching and statements of faith, which is the attitude typically found in the ecumenical movement. This is a recipe for building the apostate end-time one world church.

It is also not true that the divisions among Christians are merely about differing methods or that differing methods are not important. Take baptism, for example. Many denominations “baptize” infants, while others baptize only those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Some sprinkle; others immerse. These are differing methods, but they are not insignificant and cannot be ignored.

It is also not true that the “enemy” is limited to things outside of the churches. The Bible warns of false teachers, false christs, false spirits, false gospels, deluding spirits, doctrines of devils--all of which will be found within churches and among professing Christians (Acts 20:29-30).

It is also not true that fundamentalists are praying for fire to fall on those with whom they disagree doctrinally. That is a vicious libel upon biblical fundamentalists who wish no harm upon anyone but who care deeply about the truth of God’s Word.

The unscriptural and very dangerous message of this song is put across by the effective means of a country-rock rhythm and by repetition.

Another ecumenical song sung by the Gaithers is “JESUS BUILT THIS CHURCH ON LOVE” from their Back Home in Indiana album. The lead on the song is performed by Candy “Hemphill” Christmas, who has traveled with the Gaithers. The song is sung at many of the Gaither concerts and is done in the style of a mid-tempo jazzy black spiritual with heavy drum and bass guitar backbeat.

“Do you ever just get to wonderin’/ ‘bout the way things are today?/ So many on board this gospel ship/ Trying to row in a different way/ If we’d all pull together/ Like a family me and you/ We’d come a lot closer to doin’/ what the Lord called us to do.

Chorus: “Jesus built this church on love/ and that’s what it’s all about/ Trying to get everybody saved/ not to keep anybody out...”

This song implies that the divisions within Christianity are largely if not entirely man-made and unnecessary, that if professing Christians would merely “pull together” and exercise love, the divisions would be healed. It is a feel-good sentiment, a nice fairy tale which has wide appeal, but it is unreasonable and unscriptural. The Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles warned repeatedly that false teachers would lead many astray, that there would be false christs, false spirits, false gospels, false churches, doctrines of devils (Mat. 7:15-23; 24:3-5, 11, 24; Acts 20:28-30; 2 Co. 1:1-4; Galatians 1; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:13; 4:3-4; 2 Pet. 2; 1 John 4:1; Jude; etc.). (See “False Christs and False Gods” in this Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians.)

The book of Revelation predicts a one-world, end-time harlot Christian religion (Rev. 17). Those who preach an ecumenical unity rarely even mention these Bible warnings and never focus on them. They do not tell us where these false christs, false gospels, false spirits, false teachers, and false churches are in Christianity today. They imply, rather, that the denominational divisions are largely petty and could be overcome by a little ecumenical love. There are many problems among Christians that can be healed through love, but it simply is not true that love will heal the major divisions within Christianity. The differences between denominations involve serious doctrinal issues that cannot be ignored and that cannot be solved through sentimental songs.

This Gaither song also says the churches are “not to keep anybody out.” That is blatantly contradictory to the Bible’s command to separate from error and to exercise church discipline (Ro. 16:17; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Co. 6:14-18; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 2 Tim. 2:16-21; 3:5; 2 John 8-11; Rev. 18:4).

Another ecumenical Gaither song is “Loving God, Loving Each Other” from the album by that name.

“They pushed back from the table/ To listen to his words/ His secret plan before he had to go/ It’s not complicated/ Don’t need a lot of rules/ This is all you need to know/ We tend to make it harder/ Build steeples out of stone/ Fill books with explanations of the way/ But if we’d stop and listen/ And break a little bread/ We would hear the Master say/ It’s loving God, loving each other/ Making music with my friends/ Loving God, loving each other/ And the story never ends.”

The song contains more half-truths and subtle errors. Love is a very important part of the Christian life, but true Christian love is obeying God’s Word (John 14:23; 1 John 5:3). To say that we “don’t need a lot of rules” ignores the fact that the New Testament is literally filled with rules! The book of Ephesians alone, by my count, contains 88 specific “rules” for God’s people. To say that we don’t need to “fill books with explanations of the way” ignores the fact that the Bible instructs us to “study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). It ignores the fact that the Bible is given for “doctrine” (teaching) (2 Tim. 3:16) and that preachers are instructed to teach other men (2 Tim. 2:2), that older women are instructed to teach younger women (Titus 2:3-5), etc. Bible teaching certainly involves “filling books with explanations of the way.” That is precisely what the apostles did in their Epistles. The Bible itself contains 66 books with explanations of the way!

This Gaither song presents a simplistic, sentimental approach to the Christian life and ministry which appeals to a modern crowd, but which is patently contrary to the teaching of God’s Word.

Gaither Warns against Judging

In an interview with Kim Jones, a tattooed female rocker who writes a column for the Roman Catholic publication Holy Spirit Interactive, Bill Gaither said:

“Finger pointing is never, I think, of God. Because I know that Scripture ‘judgment is mine, saith the Lord.’ When we get out of the judgment business and just get into the being business, the being what God wants us to be, it will take care of itself” (Holy Spirit Interactive, Dec. 6, 2004).

The level of biblical ignorance reflected by this statement is frightening, especially when we consider the vast influence that Bill Gaither wields among churches in this generation.

First of all, the Bible nowhere says, “Judgment is mine, saith the Lord.” It says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Ro. 12:19). The believer is taught to give place unto wrath and to avoid avenging himself upon his enemies, because that is strictly God’s business.

On the other hand, though the believer is forbidden to judge hypocritically (Mat. 7:1-5) and forbidden to judge in matters in which the Bible is silent in this dispensation (Ro. 14:1-5; Col. 2:16), as in matters such as diet and holy days, he is most definitely taught to judge things by testing them against the Word of God and condemning them if they are in error. The believer is to judge sin in the church (1 Co. 5:12). He is to judge preaching and teaching (1 Co. 14:29; Acts 17:11). He is to reprove the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). As a matter of fact the Bible says that “he that is spiritual judgeth ALL things” (1 Co. 2:15). That is a very far-reaching statement. The spiritual man knows that he lives in a world of sin and spiritual darkness and error and he is warned repeatedly in the Bible about the danger of false teaching and apostasy and spiritual deception. Thus he carefully tests everything by the light of God’s Word. The spiritual man does not judge by his own thinking and opinion, but by the holy Word of God, which he has in the Scriptures.

Consider the following commands which require biblical judging:  

“The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going” (Pr. 14:15).

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Th. 5:21).

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).

“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14).

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Co. 10:5).

“ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).

When Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Mt. 7:1), He was talking about hypocritical judgment, not all judgment, and He made this perfectly clear. “Though hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Mt. 7:5). Thus, Jesus taught that there is judging to be done, but it is not to be done hypocritically. I am supposed to cast out the mote from my brother’s eyes, but only after I have cast out the beam from my own eye. In the same sermon, Jesus taught His people to judge preachers whether they are true or false (Mt. 7:15-20). He also said, “Judge righteous judgment” (Joh. 7:24). 

Recommending the Lesbian Marsha Stevens

The height of Gaither’s non-judgmental philosophy was reached when he welcomed lesbian Marsha Stevens to a Homecoming Conference on January 31, 2002, and had the crowd sing her song “Come to the Water (For Those Tears I Died).” Gaither told the crowd that Marsha was in the audience, and after they sang the song the first time, he told the crowd that some of them might have known of a Jesus who pushed people away, but that the only Jesus that he (Gaither) knows is the Jesus of Marsha’s song. It was New Year’s Eve, and at midnight Gaither had the crowd of 15,000 sing the song yet again as they held up little candle-like flashlights and balloons fell from the ceiling. It was a very emotional thing.

After the concert, Gaither and Mark Lowry had their photo taken with Marsha and her lesbian lover. You can find a video of that part of the concert and a copy of the photo online. 

On May 4, 2006, Gaither issued a statement “regarding misrepresentation” about his 2002 meeting with Marsha Stevens. I am guessing that he was getting some flack after I published a report on the 2002 event in Friday Church News Notes, Jan. 27, 2006. Gaither’s statement appeared on the front cover of the Singing Men’s magazine.

Now, Gaither called Marsha’s story “a sad one” and said it is “unfortunate” that she has publicly declared herself to be a lesbian” (“Gaither Issues Statement Regarding Misrepresentation,”, May 4, 2006). 

Gaither claimed that false reports of what transpired at the December 2002 concert had surfaced on various web sites and that he wanted to set the record straight. 

He made it sound like they only found out that Marsha was in attendance at the last minute. He made it sound like he was invited to meeting Marsha backstage, when it was the other way around. She couldn’t have been backstage without his invitation. 

At the same time, he admitted practically everything that Marsha Stevens reported on her web site.

He acknowledged that he invited the crowd to sing her song that night and that he told them that the woman who wrote it was present. 

Gaither acknowledged that his photo was taken with Stevens, but he said that “someone snapped a photo” of him and Lowry and Stevens, when the someone was actually a member of his own staff! It wasn’t a mere “snap”; it was a professional photo. He said that she “exploited the photo at her website,” but we do not see how it can be called exploitation to display a photo for which someone obviously posed. 

Marsha had called the Gaither headquarters beforehand and informed them that she was possibly attending the concert, and they had sent her special “meet and greet” passes so that she could meet Bill and Gloria and others. A photographer was present to take photos of all of those who were invited backstage in this way.

The picture shows the four of them standing in front of a blue backdrop that features the words “Gaither Homecoming Concert.” From left to right the picture shows Cindy (Stevens’ lesbian partner), Marsha Stevens, Bill Gaither, and Mark Lowry. All four are bunched together shoulder to shoulder and Gaither is standing as close to Stevens as one can get. It appears that he has his arm around her. Both Gaither and Lowry are smiling broadly. 

It was not a candid shot!  

Gaither acknowledged that he made the following statement to the crowd after they sang  “For Those Tears I Died.” 

“I then said that I love that song because someone may have seen a grownup with a Jesus that maybe is pushing you away, that wouldn’t let you in. And you were never good enough. The only Christ I know is the Christ in that song, with His arms out very wide, saying, ‘come to the water.’ That’s the only Christ I know--come as you are.” 

Gaither said this in the context of the prominent presence of a lesbian who is married to a woman yet claims to be a Christian who is right with God. 

Gaither didn’t say anything about repentance from sin, though this is demanded by God (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:31). He said nothing about the necessity of born again conversion which results in a changed life (Mat. 18:3; John 3:3). He said nothing about the fact that grace teaches us to walk in good works (Eph. 2:8-10). 

Gaither did not warn his Southern Gospel crowd about Stevens’ homosexuality. In fact, it can be said that he confirmed her and her lifestyle by making such a strong public statement of support for the song and its message. 

Even apart from the issue of Marsha Stevens’ homosexuality, this is an unscriptural song. It has power, but its power is not the power of truth, but of emotional mysticism. The Lord Jesus Christ did not die for tears; He died for sin. Christ suffered to save men FROM their sins not IN their sins. He taught us that there is no salvation without repentance. “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3, 5). To the woman caught in adultery Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (Jn. 8:11).  Christ did not receive the rich young ruler as he was. To the cripple man who was healed, Christ said, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (Jn. 5:14). The true grace of God teaches us to deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts” (Tit 2:11, 12). Any other “grace” is a false grace of antinomianism. 

The Bible plainly teaches that homosexuality is a grave sin. It is described in Romans 1:26-28 as “vile affections” (v. 26), “against nature” (v. 26), “unseemly” (v. 27), and “a reprobate mind” (v. 28).

Any sin can be forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ, but sin must be repented of and the sinner must be converted and regenerated so that he has a new impulse toward holiness and righteousness and a revulsion toward sin. To continue in sin and to boast that one is accepted by God in that sin, as Marsha Stevens’ does, brings the true gospel of Jesus Christ into confusion.

The believers in the wicked city of Corinth had committed every sort of sin before they were saved, but they had been changed. Paul warned them as follows:

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Co. 6:9-11).

Paul warned the church at Corinth that God would not tolerate their fornication. “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body” (1 Co. 6:18). If a professing Christian commits fornication and refuses to repent, he must be disciplined (1 Co. 5:11). Paul told the church at Ephesus that fornication should not be “once named among you, as becometh saints” (Eph. 5:3). The Bible teaches that any sexual relationship outside of marriage is a sin. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4). And the Bible nowhere condones marriage between people of the same sex.

Bill Gaither and Mark Lowry and the entire contemporary Southern Gospel crowd need to heed the solemn warning of God’s Word. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” Be not deceived! We are not saved by our righteousness, but we are saved unto righteousness through the power of conversion and the indwelling Spirit.

Paul was saying the same thing in 1 Corinthians 6 that the Lord Jesus said to Nicodemas: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3). 

Christ did not die so that the sinner can live as he wishes and still feel that God is pleased with him. Rather he “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14). 

By God’s grace, any homosexual can repent of his sin and cast himself upon Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, just as any adulterer can, but he cannot continue to live in his fornication and moral perversion and pretend that all is well between him and a holy God.

Hebrews 12 says that God chastens His children when they sin, and if someone can sin with immunity he is not a child of God. 

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Heb. 12:6-8). 

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (1 John 1:5-6). 

“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).

Is it wrong for believers to condemn sinful practices in this world? Is that Phariseeism? Is it legalism? Certainly not! 

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather REPROVE THEM. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light” (Eph. 5:11-13). 

To reprove the sinful things of this world is the Christian’s solemn spiritual obligation. Reproof shines the light of God’s Word upon wickedness so that the sinner can be convicted of his sin and brought to repentance and faith. 

The only part of Marsha Stevens’ report of the evening that Gaither attempted to refute was her statement that he and his wife told her that they support her ministry. In 2006, he said  hat he does not endorse her or her current life and work, but that he does believe that “God can, and does still use this song to minister to people.” 

In his 2006 statement, Gaither said nothing about what Mark Lowry allegedly said to Stevens, which was that he was proud of what she is doing and that he wished “the fundamentalist would find Jesus. They’re going to have a lot to answer for, leaving out people that Jesus died for” (Marsha Stevens, “New Years Eve 2002 with Bill Gaither,” That statement rings true to everything we know about Lowry and his hateful stance against fundamentalists.

Recommending New Age Writings

Gloria Gaither has begun recommending the writings of New Ager goddess Sue Monk Kidd and Catholic/Buddhist mystic Richard Rohr. In the Gaither’s Homecoming Magazine website, Gloria recommends Kidd’s The Invention of Wings, gushing that Kidd is “an amazing writer who tells a story with such skill that she somehow manages to both prick our consciences and give us great hope.” In an interview with Rohr, Gloria said, “I want to say thank you because so many of your books have been impacting my life, especially Falling Upward. ... I think that changed my thinking about ... just about everything. We have studied that book in our Monday night Bible study.” In 2009, Bill and Gloria Gaither hosted William Paul Young, author of The Shack. In 2005, they hosted emerging leader Brian McLaren, and New Ager Leonard Sweet at a Gaithers Praise Gathering. None of these people the Gaithers are promoting believe in the sacrificial blood atonement of Jesus Christ. None of them are born again, by their own testimonies. In her book Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Sue Monk Kidd describes her journey from a Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher to goddess worship by means of Catholic mysticism. Richard Rohr believes the path to God is found through “the teachings of both Jesus and Buddha” (announcement for Rohr’s 2008 Jesus and Buddha conference). In The Shack, William Paul Young re-imagines God as a woman. He believes God is non-judgmental and denies the need of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. These are the dangerous waters to which the Gaither’s are digging channels for their ill-informed, feeling-oriented, Southern Gospel-loving friends in Independent Baptist churches. (For more about this see the free eBook Evangelicals and Contemplative Prayer, available from Way of Life Literature.)

The Gaithers represent the very heart and soul of Southern Gospel music today. They have held “homecoming” specials which have brought together most of the well-known Southern Gospel groups. These include members of the Statesmen, the Blackwood Brothers, the Cathedrals, the Goodmans, the Speer Family, the Florida Boys, the Gatlin Brothers, and many others. Those who have attended these gatherings have put their stamp of approval upon the ecumenical-charismatic-rock music side of Southern Gospel by not separating from those who are guilty of these things and by not lifting their voices to reprove them.

The Bible instructs us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). Revelation 18:4 warns God’s people to come out from among the apostasy of the last hours “that ye be not partakers of her sins.” COMPLICITY WITH DOCTRINAL AND SPIRITUAL ERROR MAKES ME A PARTAKER WITH THAT ERROR. 2 John warns that even to bid God speed to a false teacher makes me “partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 11). I realize this is a very hard line and one that is completely foreign to the thinking of this ecumenically-crazed age, but this is what the Word of God says.

I also realize that the Gaithers have produced some lovely sacred music in the past, but this is no excuse for disobedience to God’s Word. When the Gaithers greet 12,000 Roman Catholics, including many priests and nuns, as brethren in Christ and “minister” to them in music, as they did at Indianapolis ’90, they are partakers of the evil deeds of Rome.

It is wrong to associate with those who walk in open disobedience to God’s Word and to support them with record sales and to bring their music with its ecumenical philosophy into our churches and homes.


This report is excerpted from The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians.

copyright 2013, Way of Life Literature

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