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A couple of years ago, Southern Baptist Ed Stetzer rightly commented in his blog that “Pastor Chappell is arguably the most influential IFB pastor in America.”
This is why we have focused many of our warnings toward Lancaster, though we have not hesitated to mention many others, such as Pensacola, Bob Jones, Northland, Majesty Music, Bible Baptist Fellowship, Trinity Baptist Church and College in Jacksonville, and Southwide Baptist Fellowship.
The adaptation of contemporary music at Lancaster/West Coast is far reaching and extends back many years.
I first learned about it in about 2010 from men in Singapore, Australia, and the Philippines, where the influence of Lancaster Baptist Church extends.
Even if Pastor Chappell were to repent today and change the direction of the music, the damage has already been done in far-flung places. Many of the churches that he has influenced have already taken the music much farther than Lancaster. This is most definitely a “slippery slope,” and there is no end to the changes that accompany the adaptation of contemporary worship music.
By this practice, congregations are building bridges to the one-world “church” that the contemporary worship musicians represent. Most of the contemporary rockers (including Stuart Townend and the Gettys) are affiliated ecumenically with Roman Catholics, as we have documented extensively in The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians. To our knowledge, not one of them would condemn such affiliation.
These unscriptural bridges will definitely be crossed by many of the people in these compromising Independent Baptist churches, particularly the young people, and the results will be devastating to a sound Bible-believing stance.
Following are some examples of contemporary worship songs that have been used at Lancaster. This is not a private matter. It is the most public type of issue, and if there is repentance about using CCM, it should be expressed publicly.
The following list could be enlarged if one had the time and inclination to do the research. All of these examples were sent to me by concerned people, and I double checked them.
“Hallelujah to the Lamb” by Don Moen has been performed at Lancaster/West Coast. Moen is a one-world church builder who thinks that God is the author of the weird charismatic “laughing revival.”
“In Christ Alone” by Getty/Townend has been performed at Lancaster/West Coast. The Gettys are one-world church builders. In July 2012, they joined Roman Catholic Matt Maher on NewsongCafe to promote ecumenical unity.
“Stronger” by Darlene Zschech/Hillsong was performed by Lancaster high school’s mixed ensemble in 2011, and Hillsong’s “Mighty to Save” was performed in February 2012. Zschech/Hillsong are one-world church builders who have performed for Catholic Youth Day and Pope Benedict.
“Majesty, Worship His Majesty” by Jack Hayford has been performed at Lancaster/West Coast. “Majesty” is a Pentecostal “kingdom now” anthem, and Hayford is a one-world church builder who says that God personally told him not to preach against the Roman Catholic Church.
“Great Is the Lord” and “How Majestic Is Your Name” by Michael W. Smith have been performed at Lancaster/West Coast. Smith is a one-world church builder who has performed for the pope and a charismatic who has been “slain in the Spirit” and “laughed uncontrollably, rolling on the floor ... hyperventilating.”
“Faithful Men” by Twila Paris has been performed at Lancaster/West Coast. Paris works with Kathy Troccoli, a Roman Catholic musician, and with ecumenist Robert Webber, who promoted unity between evangelicals and Catholics.
“In Christ Alone” by Michael English was performed at Lancaster/West Coast. English is an ecumenist who spent the 1990s and early 2000s committing adultery with another man’s wife, bar hopping, dating a stripper, and undergoing “rehab” for drug addiction.
Songs by Steven Curtis Chapman have been performed at Lancaster/West Coast. Chapman is the most honored “high energy Christian rocker” of the 1990s who says he doesn’t preach “fire and brimstone” and describes God as “Lord of the Dance.”
Songs by Geron Davis have been performed at Lancaster/West Coast. Davis is an ecumenist and “Jesus Only” Pentecostal who denies the Trinity.
“I Will Rise” and “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” by Chris Tomlin were performed at Lancaster/West Coast. Tomlin is an ecumenist and member of an emerging church that seeks to build the kingdom in this present world. Tomlin, a one-world church builder, says “Music unites.” He has a close ministry relationship with Roman Catholics Audrey Assad and Matt Maher. The latter’s goal is to unite “evangelicalism” with Roman Catholicism.
“Word of God Speak” by MercyMe was performed at Lancaster in 2011. MercyMe is a hard-rocking contemporary band that is both ecumenical and charismatic. In early 2011 MercyMe included Roman Catholic Matt Maher on its Rock & Worship Roadshow.
Songs by Graham Kendrick have been sung at Lancaster/West Coast. Kendrick is a charismatic who says he was baptized with the Holy Spirit while brushing his teeth. A one-world church builder, Kendrick is co-founder of the radically ecumenical March for Jesus that unites everyone from Roman Catholics to Mormons.
Casting Crowns’ “Prayer for a Friend” was performed at Lancaster in 2011 and “Always Enough” in 2012. Casting Crowns is a one-world church building contemporary band that preaches against biblical separatism and mocks fundamentalists. In July 2012, Casting Crowns joined LifeFest in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where participants could choose from three worship services, including a Catholic mass led by Bishop David Ricken who officially approves of “Marian Apparitions.”
“Not Guilty” by the jazz CCM artist Mandisa was performed at Lancaster’s 2011 Leadership Conference. Mandisa is an ecumenist who says her musical influences “run the gamut from Whitney Houston to Def Leppard.”
“Above All Things” by Rebecca St. James was covered on West Coast Baptist College’s For the Faith of the Gospel CD. St. James is a hard-rocking ecumenist who performed for Pope John Paul II in 1999 and recommends books by the New Ager M. Scott Peck.
“Glorify You Alone” by Gateway Worship was performed at Lancaster in March 2012. Gateway Worship is a radically charismatic outfit whose objective is to bring people into a “sense and experience of God’s presence.” William Young, author of The Shack, which depicts God as a non-judgmental female entity, spoke at Gateway’s Father’s Heart Seminar in 2012.
“Step by Step” by Rich Mullins was performed at Lancaster’s Youth Conference 2012. Mullins was a one-world church builder and was reported to have been near to converting to Catholicism when he was killed in an automobile crash.
“How Can I Keep from Singing” by Chris Tomlin was used at Lancaster in August 2012.
In December 2012, Mark Rasmussen and his sisters produced a contemporary rendition of “All the Way My Saviour Leads Me” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZHLzTj9CUA. These are the children of the vice president of West Coast Baptist College and are prominent members of Lancaster Baptist Church’s music program.
Mark Rasmussen, Travis Chappell, and other West Coast students published a rocking a cappella version of “Well on My Way” in May 2013 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLsKsS8s3vQ. Most of these young men were part of the music program at Lancaster Baptist Church.
“Never Once” by Matt Redman was published on YouTube by West Coast student Mark Rasmussen, Jr., in 2013. Matt Redman says the Beatles are his greatest musical influence; his radical associations include Roman Catholics, New Ager Leonard Sweet, and emerging hell denier Rob Bell.
“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsong United was published on YouTube by Mark Rasmussen in 2014. “Oceans” is a popular contemporary song that features endless repetition in the original. The words say, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.” This is charismatic mysticism. The “real” Hillsong United rendition can be found at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK-MBCZ5K5Q. If you go to about 5:50 minutes into the nearly ten minutes of this contemporary worship song, you will see what “real” contemporary worship looks like. It’s all about a powerful sensual experience. It’s about “feeling God.”
“10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” by Matt Redman was published on YouTube by Mark Rasmussen in 2014.
“I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin was sung by the Lancaster Baptist choir in February 2014.
“Nothing Ever Can” by Ross King was sung by the Lancaster Baptist choir in March 2014.
Mark Rasmussen performed “Lord, I Need You” by the Roman Catholic contemporary musician Matt Maher and posted it to YouTube on January 2015.
“Not Guilty” by Mandisa was sung as a special by the Lancaster Choir in March 2015. She is an ecumenist who says her musical influences “run the gamut from Whitney Houston to Def Leppard.”
“Cornerstone” by Hillsong was sung as an Easter special at Lancaster Baptist Church in April 2015. (The aforementioned Mark Rasmussen is featured prominently in the Lancaster choir in this performance.)
It is obvious that Lancaster Baptist Church is committed to Contemporary Worship Music, even though they continue to speak out of both sides of the mouth on the issue.
(There are reports on all of these contemporary music artists in the 600-page Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians, available in print and free eBook editions from www.wayoflife.org.)
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