A drum circle is a group of people who get together to beat out rhythms on various types of drums and to be carried along by the interminable pounding beat. Drum circles are a logical outgrowth of the addiction to the rock & roll back beat, which is an integral part of contemporary Christian worship.
The group Rhythm Praise is dedicated to hosting drum circles and “rhythm events.” It is said to “open up a dialog within a community where communication, shared values, self-esteem and unity can be attained” (http://www.rhythmpraise.org/). It is “a vehicle to break down barriers between people and to foster healing.”
Mike Perschon is the associate pastor of Holyrood Mennonite Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He teaches contemplative practices at youth retreats. Writing for the Youth Specialties web site in 2004, Perschon described entire nights “devoted to guided meditations, drum circles, and ‘soul labs’” (“Desert Youth Worker: Disciplines, Mystics and the Contemplative Life,” Youth Specialties, www.youthspecialties.com/articles/topics/spirituality/desert.php). This was part of the church’s “alternative spiritual expressions.”
In 2004 the Cameron United Methodist Church in Denver, Colorado, hosted a community drum circle night entitled “drumming up the spirits” (Christine Stevens, “Drumming up the Spirits,” Christian Sound & Song, Issue 9, 2005, http://www.ubdrumcircles.com/article_spirits.html). This was “a kick-off to future church based drumming programs” and since then the women’s spirituality group has taken up drumming.
Stevens says: “Drumming is happening in churches across America. It is being used in children’s programs, worship services, family events, and men’s and women’s groups.”
The Church of the Holy Comforter of Richmond, Virginia, founded by Regena Stith, uses drum circles. Stith first experienced the drums in the late 1990s during a yoga retreat (Roger Oakland, Faith Undone, p. 70). She said that during the drumming “you move out of your head.”
Roger Oakland writes:
“Even though some in the emerging church might consider the drumming at the Church of the Holy Comforter in Richmond a bit extreme, it is growing in popularity and use in the postmodern religious scene. And according to proponents, drumming is a doorway for ecumenical harmony” (Faith Undone, p. 70).
Oakland quotes Zachary Reid who says drumming “can transcend denominational and cultural boundaries” (“Feeling the Beat: The Spiritual Side of Drum Circles,” Richmond Times Dispatch, March 10, 2007).
Oakland also sites an article by Asher Main at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship web site (March 2005), that says, “It would be to our advantage as worshippers to harness this resource that we see in secular world culture and adapt it and bring it into the church.”
I have a niece who was heavily involved in drum circles when she was using hallucinogenic drugs. The weekly drum circle became her “church.” She would dance for hours in a trance-like state, caught up in the power of rhythm. After she repented and got right with the Lord she realized that she had been communing with devils.
Can you imagine the Lord Jesus and Peter and John sitting by the Lake of Galilee pounding away on drums in order to have a mystical experience with God, and the rest of the disciples dancing around in a trance!
When one lets go of a strict commitment to the Bible as the sole authority for faith and practice and rejects the biblical practice of separation from error (Romans 16:17; Ephesians 5:11), there is no end to the confusion that can result.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Sharing Policy: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our expensive literature and foreign church planting ministries. Way of Life's content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, O Timothy magazine, FBIS articles, and the free eVideos and free eBooks. You are welcome to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family, but they cannot be posted to web sites. You are also welcome to use excerpts from the articles in your writings, in sermons, in church bulletins, etc. All we ask is that you give proper credit. Things we do not want copied and distributed freely are items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print editions of our books, electronic editions of the books that we sell, the videos that we sell, etc. The items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we use the income from sales to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy. "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Timothy 5:18).
Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.
Offering: We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6) if they can. We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications. We seek offerings only from those who are helped. OFFERINGS can be mailed or made online with with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Paypal. For information see: www.wayoflife.org/about/makeanoffering.html.
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials