“This music is 45 minutes away and a scourge to our church as many of our visitors have or like this music. When I preach on music like this people don’t come back to our church. We are separating from them and they are separating from us even though we are independent Baptists!”
“Amen and Amen! We've been watching the slide of the Clark family in the area of music for several years now and we have stopped listening to all their new albums due to the overt worldliness of the vocals and rhythms etc. Thank you for your courage to make this plea publicly.”
“It is sobering to read this article about the Clark Family as I have listened to them quite a bit and my wife, who knew some of them before we were married, told me they were headed down the CCM road. I recently have felt uneasy about their music and have stopped listening to them on YouTube. And since then, it seems [I] have come out of the spiritual slump I’ve seemed to be in. Whether they profit from it or not, I do heed the warning and thank you for the cautionary advice.”
“Thank you, Brother Cloud. I appreciate your excellent spirit blended with zeal for righteousness. You remind me of my Saviour.”
“God Bless you Bro. Cloud! Continue to ‘Cry aloud.’”
“[O]n Facebook you were called Satan, and a jackass and all kinds of things. ... If these responses are the fruit of the Clark’s ministry then I’d have to really question if you were not overly gracious in your article. It’s almost a Hyles cult like loyalism. The way I see it, these people are addicted to fleshly music and they respond just like an addict when confronted about their addiction.”
“Thank you very much for the book ‘A Plea to Southern Gospel Music Lovers.’ I was both amazed, challenged and saddened when I started reading it. I have generally ignored warnings about Southern Gospel because I associated it with groups like the Gaithers, the Cathedrals, the Blackwood Brothers, etc - groups that, when I was a teenager in Independent Baptist Churches, were preached against. So I didn’t think I had any issue with this. I was amazed to read the book to discover that I have, in my music collection, some of the songs mentioned in the book! ... I have been challenged to cut these songs out... the points in the book are certainly valid; especially that the words are vapid and wispy for many of the songs. I used to think that it was okay to listen to the songs in private, even if I would never sing or play them in church. However, I believe that if I continue to listen to such songs, it just becomes easier to allow or make excuses to allow them in our churches. Finally, I am saddened; as I travel or listen to services around the country, I am highly saddened by how many Independent Fundamental Churches are allowing Southern Gospel music in their specials. I've been listening to the Pastors and Workers conference at North Valley Baptist Church (pastor Jack Trieber), and most of the specials are Southern Gospel style. I recently returned from a Men's Conference from a solid church in my area, and a couple of their specials were Southern Gospel style.”
“I am getting sick and tired of independent Baptist churches and ministries messing around with CCM. I appreciate your research into the issue and stand concerning it. It has been very helpful, and a clarion call to the independent Baptist movement to stay out of it!! Keep on preaching it true and right!! God bless you and your ministry.”
“Thank you Brother Cloud for your stand on worldly vs. godly music. I know there were times when I would hear a ‘Christian’ song performed in an ungodly manner, but would be hard-pressed to put my finger on what exactly was wrong. This article shows that it is not subjective or based on individual tastes. It makes it crystal clear what the difference is, by showing specific techniques used in worldly music (scooping, sliding, etc) and how they violate biblical principles. As always, you give more than enough information and documentation to totally destroy any argument against you, including numerous Bible passages. ‘Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers’ (Titus 1:9). Unfortunately, there are many who are unwilling to face the truth. They hold on to this music because they like it, not understanding, or even caring, how much God hates it. ... I indulged this sensual, CCM-fueled desire for years, and was also part of the charismatic movement, with the two going hand in hand (also using NASB and NIV). Over time, however, by the grace of God, I was able to see the many areas where I was wrong. I am now the song leader in a fundamental KJV-only Baptist church ... pastored by a man ... who shares my views on conservative Christian music. ... I know you are concerned with the growing tide of FB churches going worldly, but by God’s grace ours won't be one of them. I've been down that contemporary road, and want no part of it. ... Thank you for your ministry. I know there must be times when you feel like John the Baptist, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight’ (Mark 1:3).”
“I remember a few years ago talking to Charlie Clark about their teen camps and I told him back then the music would keep us from attending. It’s only gotten worse as the Northeast Vision/Summit has become a major uniting force for Independent Baptists in the Northeast that struggle because of small size. I’ve been invited each year and my answer is always the same. I can’t because the music has turned it into a big emotional gathering appealing to the flesh rather than a doctrinal truth based meeting. They all see Clark getting bigger like Chappell out west and they want to be like them. Thus the CCM gets passed to the smaller churches that follow them. I guarantee if they took out all the southern gospel CCM and just sang sacred hymns or songs, the attendance at the Summit would drop like a rock! It really is sad because like Chappell and others, the Clark ministry has a lot of good to it. It’s always the little foxes and the little leaven that destroys. ... These are difficult days and I admit that speaking truth becomes a more difficult challenge than in years past. I am thankful however that you do it.”
“Boy there are some angry people out there! Romans 12:10 ‘[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.’ 1 Thessalonians 4:9 ‘But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.’ Those that judge you to be unsaved must be God to have that knowledge or at least have a such a perfect relationship with Him that He told them that you were not saved. ... I believe you are saved and therefore what can we say about these angry people? Better still let’s hear God on the matter: 1 John 3:10 ‘In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.’ The children of God then doeth righteousness and loveth his brother, not this anger and hatred towards you. I know you love the Clark family and all you want is for them to present Christ with gold, silver, and precious stones but if they continue slide you are talking about then all they will present Him with is wood, hay, and stubble. I wonder if those that are so against your warning ministry that they have ever thought about examining their own heart. ... I have often sent your emails onto others and they have gotten angry with me for sending them. All I say is if you don’t like what you read are you reading in the flesh or in the Spirit. If in the Spirit just hit the delete button it’s as simple as that.”
“Bro Cloud, as usual you have hit a nerve in the Baptist crowd. But also as usual you have done a GREAT job in your study and yes in your reproofs. As Proverbs 6:23 says, ‘reproofs of instruction are the way of life...’ I know you get it. Thank you for your boldness! Some of the negative responses are very unchristian. ... But you are appreciated even the more for your teaching and the love on the Word of God. Thank you and may the Lord Bless, as he has.”
“Keep on keeping on Brother Cloud. Negative, vile and viscous responses only tells me that you hit a NERVE and are right on! Otherwise these individuals that responded would have prayerfully read and meditated on what you wrote and seek GOD'S direction and revival, but obviously they only want to do what they want to do and they are sincerely in need of revival in their hearts. We need to pray for them! Music is a very critical part of the church and therefore MUST be held to the highest and strictest standards, your documentation and scriptural references are right on, please continue on with the work God has chosen you to do. We are praying for you and your ministry.”
“Just read your articles on the Clark family, and the responses to it. For what it is worth, I thought the article was very gracious. It is appalling to see the ungodly responses to such an article: the cursing, pride, and outright hatred. I have been to Solid Rock Baptist, and will not go back.”
“I can’t believe all the comments people are making on social media over your article about the Clark family and all the mockery of you. They fail to see you are not always negative such as in your book Portrait of Christ or your apologetics courses and other things. In my opinion you may not even have gone far enough. Here in the south all the bluegrass gospel that I know of progresses to southern gospel. I have friends involved in this type stuff. ... Sure there are innocent songs in bluegrass and bluegrass gospel but, as you say, lines are being blurred. ... I appreciate your warning to the Clark family. If only people would see the experience you have and the testimony all around of changed churches they would not be so quick to judge but be as Mary who pondered such things in her heart. God Bless.”
“David Cloud, may God strike you dead and send you to hell for condemning another Christian’s music like the Clarks.”
“You are a worthless piece of -------. Absolutely sickening that you profess to be a christian. You are a minister of Satan if there ever was one. Quit harassing the Clark family. Quit harassing Brian Free and assurance and all other gospel artists. For that matter quit harassing the news boys. You think that you can stand on your high platform and condemn people for having different opinions than yourself. You are nothing but a bully doing nothing more than turning sinners against christianity. So congratulations on that you worthless sack of air.”
“I see your article about the Clark family to be just that, an attack. I think it’s time for you to focus more on your dying ministry and leave others alone. I am cutting all links to your ministry and will never purchase another thing from them. You spend too much time finding fault and not enough time doing the work of the ministry.”
“I have a hard time respecting a man who is constantly building himself up and others down. You constantly are writing articles telling people what they are doing wrong based on YOUR opinions of how YOU interpret the Bible. I don't have a problem with godly reproof when needed but when you pretty much have a whole ministry revolved around making sure everyone lines up with your standards and convictions that’s a problem. ... Sir I think you’ve lost your focus on the main thing. Get your focus off of others standards and convictions and start loving people and sharing the gospel with all those. All reproof should be done with truth AND GRACE. Learn that. And I don't believe you truly know the Clark's enough to call them a ‘friend,’ so that verse you used in your last article is irrelevant. I think your new life verse should be: ‘And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you’ - 1 Thessalonians 4:11. I will now go back to worshipping God through listening to the Clark’s on my phone and precede with my day! Thanks and have a peachy day!"
“Dear David, it is so sad that people like you that have a subscription of probably 50 people have nothing better to do than try to force your occult opinion on a hand full of people. It’s also sad that you speak about things you know nothing about. I thank God every day that true Christians know the word of God well enough to recognize a false prophet when they see or hear one. I pray that one day you will be full of Jesus and not religion so that you can feel what it’s like to know the true God of love.”
“The article about the Clark family should never have been presented publicly just because the Clark family is public. You are out of line. ... You will stand before the Lord and give an account of your life some day. All of this strife and contention will not only be considered stubble then, but it is sin right now. I plead with YOU to change YOUR ways. I would encourage you to read your Bible through every year, if you don’t do this already, daily attending to the Word. This will renew your mind and help you to think clearly. Are you faithfully attending a church that preaches the whole counsel of God? Do you fellowship with other believers that will reprise you when YOU are out of line? Something is awry in your life. I urge you to examine your life.”
“I just wanted to congratulate you on officially being the most nauseating writer I have ever chose to waste my time reading after in my life. I am an Independent Baptist pastor who has spent seventeen years witnessing the divisiveness within our own movement that is robbing our churches of its unity and power. I've seen preachers like yourself waste their time attacking their own brethren over petty issues such as dress, music, worship style and fellowship instead of investing it in obedience to Christ by preaching the Word, evangelizing the lost and loving sinners to Jesus. The independent movement prides itself on church autonomy when in reality, most of its churches are more denominational than the denominations they attack. You are the same man who ridiculed the Burlington revival last year and now you are slandering God fearing families like the Clark family. You are a modern day Pharisee who hides your own sin in the cloak of self righteousness by attacking and insulting those of whom you don't approve of. It's people like you who make me question my own allegiance to the Independent Movement and if your version of Christianity were correct I would not want a part of it. Get a life, man, and get right with God.”
“You sir need reproof of a major proportion. First you should forgive whoever hurt you. Secondly, the pride which you display in your writings in itself, is more of an abomination to God than any of the absurd accusations that fill the pages of your work. Ask God to forgive your over the top, love lacking, pompous, judgmental review of Gods anointed vessels. Ask our God to forgive your blasphemy of His precious Holy Spirit. Just because you don't understand something in scripture (and it is indeed scriptural - you should try reading the WHOLE bible) doesn't give you the right to lash out at the very one who is our very present help. Please stop being a disgrace to Christianity. It must be hard for you to kick against the pricks.”
“In regard to your piece on the Clark’s - Matthew 5:7 - ‘And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?’ God has not placed you in a place to judge others, especially on a subject like music which you have no education in. Playing clarinet in High School doesn't make you an expert on Christian music. Your "plea" to them is clearly more an attempt at sabotage than anything. If you'd like to have an educated discussion on music within church and God's clear guidelines in HIS word, I could send you multiple passages explaining why there isn't a single thing wrong with the Clark's music; I could show you from the Greek if you'd like. My plea to you is private, but I ask that you read Matthew 5 and realize you are acting the same as the Pharisees that Jesus called snakes. Educate yourself on what God says about music before spewing anymore judgmental ignorance.”
CONCLUSION FROM BROTHER CLOUD
It is obvious that these people have not read the report carefully and prayerfully before God with an open Bible before them (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
The responses themselves are a loud warning to the effect of worldly music on the spiritual thinking of people.
Not one person has sought to engage with the substance of my warnings. They simply respond knee-jerk fashion, emotionally, and engage in character assassination.
If your love for a certain type of music produces bitter anger toward a grandfather preacher (nine grandchildren), a veteran foreign missionary who is concerned about the truth and the future of Christ’s churches and is trying to deal with moral and spiritual leaven, you need to examine your heart. Even if he were wrong in some way, the Word of God itself forbids you to treat him in such a way.
“Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren” (1 Timothy 5:1).
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient” ( 2 Timothy 2:24).
I have not attacked anyone and I have not injured anyone. I have only tried to help. If the Clark family and the churches that support them would heed my warning it would help them greatly and would protect the next generation.
It is clear that this is not going to happen. One of their friends wrote and said that they all had a big laugh about my warning.
So I will conclude with my personal favorite response to the report on the Clark family, which is,
“Retarded. Get saved.”
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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.
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