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Is It Wrong to “Argue” Over Christian Music Styles?
Reprinted February 21, 2006 (first published June 8, 2003)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
866-295-4143,
fbns@wayoflife.org
In January 2003, Jack Graham, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said it is wrong to “get all uptight about the kinds and styles of music” in the church. Speaking at the Mississippi Evangelism Conference in Tupelo, Graham said: “I don’t care if you’re singing Southern gospel, classical hymns or contemporary songs in praise and worship--if it’s about Jesus, I get excited about it” (AgapePress, Jan. 31, 2003). He said he is tired of the “worship wars” and that it is time to stop debating music and worship styles.

Apparently Graham would not have any walls of separation in regard to music. The only danger that he sees is the danger of division.

I have some questions for Pastor Graham.

Shouldn’t we analyze what “Jesus” or what “spirit” or what “gospel” the music is presenting (2 Cor. 11:1-4), and by so doing, doesn’t that create divisions and disturbances in the churches? Are you saying that such divisions and troubles are wrong, even though the Bible commands us to do that very thing?

As the Bible contains many warnings against worldliness, is it wrong for God’s people to try to apply those warnings to music? Does that not result in debate and even division? Is such debate and division wrong, even though it is the Bible itself that contains those warnings?

Similarly, as the Bible contains many warnings about end time apostasy, is it wrong for God’s people to apply those warnings to the field of Christian music? And does such application not result in debate and even division? Is such debate and division wrong, then, even though it is the Bible itself that contains those warnings?

And as the Bible says we are to make a distinction between that which is spiritual and that which is carnal, that which is holy and that which is unholy, is it then wrong for God’s people to seek to apply such an important Biblical truth to music?

I have one more question. If a preacher, having prayed about and studied the subject earnestly, is convinced that God has led him to take a stand against certain kinds of music that he believes are wrong and hurtful to the testimony of Christ and the purity of the churches, should he keep his mouth shut merely for the sake of peace and to please those who think the area of music is a non-issue?

If someone knows Jack Graham, please give him these questions and ask him to answer them.


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