“I have been reading some of your stuff online about Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College. In particular, the music, I don’t understand where you’re basing all this information on. I would appreciate it if you would respond. How do you know that the music is contemporary and that Paul Chappell is leading people the wrong way. Have you ever been to one of the services?
“I think that you are making a big issue out of nothing. Who said contemporary worship songs are wrong? A lot of the songs that are in the old time hymn book were written by methodist, catholics etc.
“How about we start worrying about souls being saved? I was at the easter musical and hundreds of visitors came and scores of people got saved, but you don’t care because they sing contemporary songs in a non-contemporary way.
“I am not claiming to know everything about the Bible, but I do know a few things. You are going to be accountable for the bad things that you have said against the Man of God. No matter if you agree with him or not, it is not right for you to criticize a man that has spent his life trying to reach people for the cause of Christ. Yes, you may not agree on a few things that he does, but you will be held accountable unto God for the things you say about Pastor Chappell and Lancaster Baptist Church.
“Sir I'm not fussing at you. I just want you to realize the harm and hurt you are doing. On some issues you are correct. I'm not confronting you about your opinion. I'm just solely confronting you on your method of spreading your opinion.
“If you have a problem with another Man of God, go confront Him. Don't cowardly spread it over the internet. Just as you are going to be held accountable for your actions, so is Paul Chappell and every other pastor” (e-mail from a supporter of Paul Chappell and a justifier of his use of contemporary worship music).
REPLY FROM BROTHER CLOUD
When your e-mail arrived, I was in the midst of a three-week trip, traveling about 25,000 miles from S. Asia to various places in the States from the West Coast to the East, and back to S. Asia, preaching and teaching nearly 20 times, and visiting some of my kids and grandkids. I am always deluged with mail at the best of times, but I want to try to help you by answering your questions, even if my answer is a bit delayed.
First, I am not a coward. Cowards don't spend 25 years in one of the spiritually darkest countries on earth as a missionary. For 10 of those years, it was illegal to preach the gospel and I was continually in danger of being arrested. I was in Nepal when no other fundamental Baptist missionaries were there, and I have been there far longer than any other Baptist missionary. We started the first Baptist church there. Cowards don’t preach in secular universities and jails. I could give a thousand evidences of how that by God's grace I am not a coward. I’m not saying I don’t have fear; I’m saying that I have learned to conquer my fears in Christ. This is a vicious slander and personal attack. I have never attacked Paul Chappell or any other preacher in a personal way like this. I don't know men’s hearts. I test their doctrine and practice, and I have every right to do so. In fact, I am commanded by God to do so. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 and Jude 3 are authority enough.
Second, I have taken the time to listen to Lancaster’s music on the Internet. There is no need to hear it firsthand in a service. That is a red herring, a non-issue. I have documented at least a couple dozen examples of how Lancaster and West Coast have used contemporary worship music. (For documentation see “Lancaster Baptist Church and Contemporary Worship” at www.wayoflife.org.)
Third, to say that I don’t care about the souls who are saved at Lancaster or anywhere else is another slander against me and another personal attack. Do you know the motives of my heart? You sound exactly like those who justify Billy Graham and ecumenical evangelism and Promise Keepers and Christian rock and the emerging church. Souls are being saved, they say, and that is enough. It is frightful to hear fundamental Baptists spouting the same vapid, unscriptural arguments that the aforementioned crowds spout. You are weak and unscriptural in your reasoning because your spiritual leaders are weak in their teaching. They have a lot to answer for, but you also have a lot to answer for because you have chosen to blindly follow them instead of walking the path of the noble Bereans (Acts 17:11).
Fourth, where did we get the idea that no warnings should be given in regard to “good” men and “good” churches? That is one of the vain and unscriptural traditions that fundamental Baptists have inherited from their forefathers. Jesus reproved the good church at Ephesus for the very reason that He loved it and wanted to see it prosper and not be destroyed. Paul reproved the good preacher Peter because he loved Christ and the truth and didn’t want to see hypocrisy destroy the work of God. The prophet Jehu reproved the good king Jehoshaphat for his compromise because God commanded him to do so and he was obedient to God and doubtless because he cared for his own king and nation.
Fifth, speaking the truth in love and preaching warnings from God's Word is not wrong, is not gossip, and is not slander. Yes, I will be held accountable to the Lord for what I say about preachers, and as a God-fearing man I don't take that accountability lightly. That is why I make every effort to know what I am talking about and to base my warnings on well-researched facts and not second-hand information and hearsay. When I am wrong, I correct it. I spend a lot of time praying about what to warn about and what not to warn about. I seek the Lord's mind in these matters. None of this is done lightly. I am not a novice preacher. God called me 41 years ago.
Sixth, this is not a private matter. I have spoken to many preachers in private about private matters, but Chappell's use of contemporary worship music and his promotion of New Evangelicals and contemplative mystics and worse is a very public issue. (See “Paul Chappell’s Pragmatism and Dangerous Associations” at www.wayoflife.org.) He is the one who is influencing churches in many parts of the world to lower their music standards and to build bridges to end-time apostasy. Are you telling me that Chappell has the right to publish his teaching and his music and thus influence people and churches far and wide, and I don't have the right to challenge this in a public forum?
Seventh, the issue of the type of music that Chappell is using is a major issue. This is no light matter. He is doing something extremely dangerous. He is building bridges to the one-world church. Just the Gettys alone prove that. Their music is used by West Coast and Crown and BJU and many others. The Gettys work hand-in-hand with Roman Catholics and promote ecumenical relationships with everyone. That is the one-world church. Probably no independent Baptist preacher is as well-informed about these things as I am. That's not boasting; it is a fact. Contemporary worship music has the power to transform a staunch Biblicist church into a contemporary church, and it has happened hundreds of times in the past 15 years.
Eighth, as for singing the old Protestant hymns, that is a completely different matter. I don't know of one independent Baptist church that has become Lutheran from singing Luther's hymns, but I know many, including Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga (home of my alma mater Tennessee Temple), that have gone contemporary by messing around with contemporary music. I have documented this extensively in the free eBook The Collapse of Biblical Separatism.
I urge you to educate yourself and stop blindly spouting the party line.
I would urge you to download our free eBook The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians and read the introduction and look up Keith Getty and Stuart Townend and Darlene Zschech and other contemporary musicians whose music is being used by churches like Lancaster. Find out who these people are and what they stand for.
I would urge you to download and prayerfully watch the free eVideos "The Transformational Power of Contemporary Worship Music" and "The Foreign Spirit of Contemporary Praise Music" at www.wayoflife.org
Please stop justifying this dangerous compromise.
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