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Way of Life Bible College
CCM Groups Love Secular Rock
Updated March 2, 2002 (first published February 27, 2002)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
There are two chief problems with CCM as a whole: The message is unscriptural and the music is worldly. In fact, according to the philosophy of CCM, Christians should not separate from the world. One of the first things the Lord dealt with me about when He saved me the summer of 1973 was my love for wicked rock music. He gave me a new song and it was completely different from the old one! Apparently, though, the Lord deals differently with CCM musicians (or they serve a different lord), because they never separate from secular rock.

The popular group Third Day, which has had 17 No. 1 songs on the “Christian charts,” exemplifies this. Michael Herman of
Christianity Today asked the members of Third Day to “name a musician you’d pay to see in concert.” All five members of the band named secular rockers. Tai named U2; Brad, the Cars; David, Phil Collins; Mac, Tom Petty; and Mark, George Harrison (“Guy Talk” interview posted at Christianity Today web site, Feb. 26, 2002). Anyone familiar with the music and atmosphere at secular rock concerts should know that a Bible believer has no business there. Further, the band members of Third Day are looked up to as examples for the young people in many churches. What examples! I certainly don’t want my children following their worldly pattern.


“FOURTH WATCH cites groups like U2, the Police, Genesis, Pete Townshend, and the Alarm as major influences. MEMBERS LISTEN TO A GREAT DEAL OF MAINSTREAM MUSIC, MAKING NO APOLOGIES FOR IT, and they express a desire to play clubs and other non-church settings” (
CCM Magazine, April 1987, p. 19).

RANDY STONEHILL “listens to all kinds of music,” including hard secular rock (Devlin Donaldson, “Rockin’ Randy,”
CCM Magazine, August 1983).

PHIL KEAGGY also has no separation from the world in his music. He performs an unholy combination of secular rock and Christian rock/folk, and those who listen to his music are drawn toward worldly rock & roll. On his 1993
Crimson and Blue album, for example, he pays “homage to the Beatles” with several of the songs.

When asked by an interviewer who has influenced her music, CCM singer ASHLEY CLEVELAND replied: “There are at least thirty artists I could name from the late sixties and early seventies that influenced me: Stephen Stills, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Elton John, Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Little Feat...and rock-and-roll bands that capitalized on the acoustic guitar’s percussive qualities. I really think the acoustic guitar is the ultimate rock-and-roll instrument” (Chris Parks, “Interview with Ashley Cleveland,” Feb. 21, 1998, When asked what music was currently on her stereo, she replied, “
Living with Ghosts, Patty Griffin; What's The Story Morning Glory, Oasis; Exile On Main Street, Rolling Stones” ( In her concerts, Ashley Cleveland performs a very gritty rendition of the Rolling Stones hit “Gimme Shelter.”

The GALACTIC COWBOYS singer admits that their biggest influence is the Beatles: “I’d have to say that The Beatles are still the biggest influence on us, all the way around — except for maybe the guitar tones. They were great songwriters and vocalists” (Ben Huggins, cited by Dan Macintosh,
HM magazine, September-October 1998).

The CCM group 77’s says their musical influences are “Led Zeppelin, the Beach Boys, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots” (“Biography of the 77’s,” 77’s performs the Led Zeppelin’s song “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” on their
Drowning With Land in Sight album. Led Zeppelin’s famous guitarist, Jimmy Page, is a follower of Satanist Aleister Crowley and purchased Crowley’s mansion. The Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven,” the most popular rock song of all time, has an ode to Satan in back masking. Led Zeppelin’s song “Houses of the Holy” is sung to Satan. (The title song to one of 77’s albums is “Pray Naked.”)

In an interview with TLeM (
Lighthouse Electronic Magazine), the members of CAEDMON’S CALL said their greatest love in music is secular rock. They mentioned Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, David Wilcox, The Police, Fishbone, 10,000 Maniacs. The group often performs Beatles music. Cliff Young said one of his favorites is the foul-mouthed Alanis Morrisette. He mocked a preacher who warns that Christian musicians should not listen to secular rock, and said that he listens to secular rock & rollers because “they are being honest [about] struggles that they go through.”

The members of STRYPER love secular rock music. In a 1995 interview, Michael Sweet, who was the lead singer for Stryper, said: “I’m a fan of all that stuff from the ‘80s. Groups like Bon Jovi, Van Halen, and Aerosmith. Musically, I like a lot of that stuff, but back when I was a kid what I grew up listening to ranged from Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino all the way to groups like Three Dog Night. Credence [Clearwater Revival] was one of my favorite bands and a group called Bad Company. I just loved them and Elvis, of course” (
CCM Magazine, November 1995).

STEPHEN CURTIS CHAPMAN recorded some of the songs on his
Greatest Hits album live at Abbey Road Studios in London, the studio where the Beatles recorded their albums. No music group has had a more ungodly and spiritually destructive influence than the Beatles. It is beyond me to understand why CCM musicians by the dozens continue to listen to and glorify this wicked rock group.

The hard rock band COMMON CHILDREN admits that they were influenced by Nirvana. “We listened to Nirvana when they came out and thought they were cool and everything, but our main influences have been Pink Floyd and groups like that” (Chad Benham, interview with Common Children,
RIM magazine, 1998, Common Children’s lead vocalist, Marc Byrd, says: “The thing about Nirvana is they rock, yeah, but Kurt Cobain wrote incredible melodies” (Ibid.). Nirvana, led by Kurt Cobain, was a very dark and occultic band. Cobain, an antichrist blasphemer, killed himself with a shotgun.

Bloom album includes the song “Free Ride” from the Edgar Winter Group’s They Only Come Out at Night album. Rock star Edgar Winter was featured on the cover of this wicked album dressed as a homosexual “drag queen.” The lyrics to “Free Ride” claim that “all of the answers, are come from within.” This is rank heresy, because we know that the answers do not come from within man’s fallen heart, but from God’s revelation in the Bible.

STEVE CAMP says, “I’ll have a Foreigner 4 album going in my car.” He also says: “I am dedicated to good music whether it’s pop, Christian, gospel, R&B, blues, jazz, classical, rock or whatever. I just love good music” (Steve Camp,
MusicLine magazine, Feb. 1986, p. 22).

Joey Belville of THE ECHOING GREEN “proudly lists Duran Duran among his biggest influences” (
CCM Magazine, August 1998, p. 20).

KERRY LIVGREN, formerly the lead guitarist and songwriter for the secular rock group Kansas, left Kansas in 1983 because he wanted to work with those who were like-minded with his new-found Christianity. Since then he has pursued a solo career and recorded Christian albums, but he has also reunited with Kansas (1990-91) on a tour and performed with them on the 1992
Live at the Whiskey album.

Some of DC TALK’S musical role models are the Beatles, David Bowie, and The Police, all of which are wicked secular rock groups. dc Talk’s album “Free at Last” contains a song titled “Jesus Is Just Alright,” which was first sung by the Byrds (the song was later covered by the Doobie Brothers; a “doobie” is a marijuana joint). dc Talk’s Kevin Smith admits that he listens to mostly secular rock music (
Flint Michigan Journal, March 15, 1996, B19). dc Talk opened its “Jesus Freak” concerts with the Beatles’ song “Help.” They also perform Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze. Hendrix was a drug-crazed New Age occultist. Toward the end of their concerts dc Talk plays the rock song “All Apologies” by the wicked secular rock group Nirvana, formerly led by Kurt Cobain. Terry Watkins notes: “Kurt Cobain is one of the worst Antichrist blasphemers since John Lennon. Kurt Cobain decorated his home with blood-splattered baby dolls hanging by their necks! The inside of Nirvana’s album In Utero, which is the album dc Talk got ‘All Apologies’ from, has pictures of chopped up babies! Cobain ran around his neighborhood spray-painting, ‘ABORT CHRIST’ and ‘GOD IS GAY.’ Cobain’s first band was called ‘Fecal Matter.’ Cobain killed himself a couple of years ago” (Watkins, Christian Rock: Blessing or Blasphemy?)

JARS OF CLAY names Jimmy Hendrix and the Beatles as their inspiration (Dann Denny, “Christian Rock,”
Sunday Herald Times, Bloomington, Ind., Feb. 8, 1998). The lead guitarist for Jars of Clay is said to be a “Beatles fanatic” (Christian News, Dec. 8, 1997). When asked by Christianity Today to list their musical influences, Jars of Clay members “listed no Christian artists” (Christianity Today, Nov. 15, 1999). Jars of Clay performs Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” during their concerts. Osbourne is the filthy-mouthed former lead singer for the occultic rock group Black Sabbath. Though members of Black Sabbath today claim it was all done in innocence and “fun,” they promoted occultic themes through their music and concerts, including upside down crosses and altar calls for Satan. They blasphemed Jesus Christ and railed against the authority of the God of the Bible. Osbourne has almost died several times because of his outrageous drug abuse and alcoholism. He has dressed in women’s clothing and stripped off most of his clothes during concerts. At one point he attempted to kill his wife and had to be jailed. He is deeply scarred by his savage lifestyle and maintains a semblance of normalcy today through the drug Prozac.

JON GIBSON says: “I consider it an honor to tour with Stevie Wonder. I’m thrilled.”

AMY GRANT says, “I love to hear Billy Joel, Kenny Loggins and the Doobie Brothers” (
Time, March 11, 1985). Amy’s album House of Love includes the environmental-mother-earth song, “Big Yellow Taxi,” by new-age-priestess Joni Mitchell (Ibid.). Mitchell is infamous for her open relationship with a spirit she calls “Art.” Obviously she is communing with demons, and it is unconscionable for Amy Grant to be promoting Mitchell’s music to Christian young people.

DALLAS HOLM claims: “My all-time favorite group was the Byrds.”

Dana Key (of DEGARMO AND KEY) notes that he has been influenced most by B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, and Billy Gibbons (of ZZ Top) (
CCM Magazine, January 1989, p. 30).

Bob Hartman of PETRA admits that the influences upon their music were the 1970s “guitar heroes” like Hendrix, Clapton, Page and Walsh (
CCM Magazine, January 1989, p. 31). Petra plays songs by secular rock groups Argent and Kiss.

HOLY SOLDIER plays songs by the Rolling Stones.

The group IN REACH are said to be influenced by secular rock groups like Rush, Deep Purple, and former Beatle Paul McCartney.

The late RICH MULLINS, popular CCM song writer, said, “John Lennon was a big hero of mine.”

POINT OF GRACE, on their
Life, Love and Other Mysteries album, recorded “Sing a Song” by the occultic, antichrist secular group Earth, Wind and Fire.

RACHEL, RACHEL plays songs by Kansas.

REZ BAND sings songs by Jefferson Airplane and the Who, very wicked and openly blasphemous rock groups. Jefferson Airplane’s song “The Son of Jesus” says Jesus had a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene and they produced an illegitimate daughter.

The worldliness of DELIRIOUS is evident in their choice of “musical heroes,” which include “U2, Radiohead, Blur and other big British modern rockers” (
CCM magazine, July 1999, p. 39).

The Christian rock group UNVEILED includes the Rolling Stones occultic song “Sympathy for the Devil” on one of their albums. In an attempt to justify this they said, “We HAD to do this song — we recorded this mostly live about one mile from the Altamont Speedway — and if that doesn’t tell you why, you don't know your rock and roll history. [This is where a young man was brutally murdered by the Hells Angels during a Rolling Stones concert in 1969.] And as for the bad word...I think the Devil swears” (

The group DELIVERANCE performs songs by secular rock groups. Their
What a Joke album has the song “After Forever” by the vile, blasphemous, pagan rock group Black Sabbath.

BOB ROTH, music critic for the magazine
Youth!, displays his love for secular rock in his articles: “Cloud Nine demonstrates why George Harrison is still having fun. It is a work of love and compassion and hope and silliness. All the stuff the Holy Spirit uses to give us inner power...” (Youth!, April 1988). Roth tells his young readers that former Beatle Harrison, a Hindu, is doing the work of love, and he claims that the Holy Spirit produces silliness! Roth even promotes the wicked rock singer Sting of the Police. Roth says, “Sting sings these profound songs in his usual mellow, grainy voice” (Roth, Youth!, March 1988). This is what Sting thinks about marriage: “I don’t see the point [of being married]. One can procreate without the dreaded ritual ... I am terribly good in bed and I want people to know that...” (Jeff Godwin, What’s Wrong with Christian Rock?, p. 199). Sting sang “Murder by Numbers,” about killing your family or anybody else you “find a bore” (Ibid.). Roth even says it is all right to worship filthy rock stars: “If you are into Bruce [Springsteen] worship, don’t feel guilty about buying this disc. (Just admit your addiction!)...” (Roth, Youth!, February 1988). If you allow your young people to be influenced by the Contemporary Christian Music world, this is the type of foolish and unscriptural advice they will hear.

MICHAEL W. SMITH admits that his music is influenced by Alan Parsons, one of the most Satanic of rock musicians. One of Parsons songs is titled “Lucifer.”

Joel Taylor of UNDERCOVER testifies: “I’m not connected to Christian music at all. I can’t stand Christian radio stations.”

I went through one issue of
HM magazine (formerly Heaven’s Metal Magazine) (May-June 1998) and discovered the following worldly connection: LETHAL MOB noted that they are influenced by gangsta rap. MORTIFICATION testified that they are into Death/Grind, Black Metal; they play in Melbourne’s Hell Club. MAYFAIR LAUNDRY, a group that got its name from a scene in a Beatle’s movie, cites influences from the Beatles to Red Hot Chilli Peppers. ZAO says they listen to a lot of Neurosis, Bark Market, Portishead, and Deftones. THE HUNTINGTONS new album pays homage to their favorite band, The Ramones, a very wicked punk group. The producer of this album is Mass Giorgini who also produced albums for The Queers and Screeching Weasel. THE DINGEES told HM magazine that their major influences are the Clash, the Specials, and “movies where everything is blowing up.” D’GRUVE, which has a “heavy, dark sound,” got its name from an early 90s dance hit and cites influences as diverse as the Beatles and Saigon Kick. DALLAS EMBODYMENT, which plays concerts in secular clubs, is described this way: “truly heavy, metal/punk, Kevin peering over his bass ominously and Andrew banging his head full of hair like a true metalhead, shrill close-to-the-mouth hardcore screeching.” ULTIMATUM’S new album is described as their most brutal extreme metal onslaught.

When asked what is currently in her CD player, CRYSTAL LEWIS replied: “I have six. Michael Jackson,
Thriller; Billy Holliday; Led Zeppelin; Radiohead, Ok Computer; Radiohead, Kid A; and Sting, Nothing Like the Sun (“Ten Questions with Crystal Lewis,” CCM Magazine, March 2002).

In a 1999 interview at the Christian Artists Seminary in Estes Park, Colorado, CCM superstar JACI VELASQUEZ said, “I listen to a more of a very, very straight-forward pop-type music … I love the music from pop artists” (“Transcript from the 25th Annual Christian Artists’ Seminar in the Rockies, August 3-4, 1999,” as telecast live from, (In 2002, Jaci signed a $2 million endorsement deal for a hair products company.)

Beware of Contemporary Christian Music. It builds bridges to the world, and that is disobedience to the Word of God and is very, very dangerous.

For more information about Contemporary Christian Music, see the author’s 450-page book,
Contemporary Christian Music under the Spotlight, which is described in the online catalog at the Way of Life Literature web site –

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