“Why do you pick on Lancaster? Do you have an agenda toward them? There are many others who are doing the same thing.”
My reply is as follows:
First, as far as I know, my motive in this is love for Christ and His truth and hatred of worldliness and error (Psalm 119:128).
I have stood against CCM and those who use it for 40+ years. The only new thing in this present battle is the fact that prominent independent Baptist churches and schools are now “adapting” contemporary worship in a brash manner. I am convinced that these warnings are from the Lord, but I have been targeted with a great amount of vitriol and lies; I’ve lost friends and supporters and “influence”; but I stand firm in God’s will and would gladly do it again.
Second, I have warned about many churches and schools other than Lancaster. In my book Baptist Music Wars, I warn about Pensacola Christian College, Bob Jones University, Baptist Bible Fellowship, Southwide Baptist Fellowship, Northland University, Trinity Baptist Church and College, Crown Baptist College, Majesty Music, and others. I said, for example, “Men such as Paul Chappell and Clarence Sexton and Ron Hamilton, who should know better but who are defending the use of contemporary praise music either by word or example, will answer to God for the souls that cross the bridges they are building to the dangerous world that is represented by this music.”
Third, I warn about Lancaster because it is at the forefront of the “adapting” of contemporary worship music among independent Baptists. This has been my method through the years. I use prominent men and institutions to illustrate my warnings. Southern Baptist Ed Stetzer was right when he commented in his blog a couple of years ago that “Pastor Chappell is arguably the most influential IFB pastor in America.”
Fourth, I warn about Lancaster because of its influence. Lancaster Baptist Church with its West Coast Baptist College is one of the largest independent Baptist institutions, if not the largest. The influence is massive. I started warning about Lancaster after seeing its influence first hand in other countries, particularly the Philippines and Australia. Prior to 2011, I had heard from various men that Lancaster’s music was becoming contemporary, but I paid scant attention. It was when I began to see the influence on the “mission fields” that I took particular note. The final straw, so to speak, was when I saw on the internet that Lancaster had used Hillsong’s “Shout to the Lord” in a Sunday service that I knew they were far down the road in using contemporary music. So on February 18, 2011, I issued my first warning entitled “Lancaster Shouting to the Lord.”
I wrote, “I don’t care what else you are doing right; if you allow CCM a foot in the door you are on the slippery slope of compromise. Like many others, Lancaster Baptist and West Coast are saying the right things about being opposed to CCM, but increasingly their actions don’t match the rhetoric.”
In that little report I also said, “I urge Pastor Chappell and the leaders at Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College to put a stop to the music people who are digging in the garbage bin of CCM in search for something acceptable.”
Sadly, that hasn’t happened, and the influence continues.
For a list of contemporary worship songs that have been used at Lancaster and West Coast, see “Examples of Contemporary Music Used at Lancaster Baptist Church” at www.wayoflife.org.
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