The Feminization of Christian Music
Christian music doesn’t have to have a backbeat to be problematic. In my preaching meetings over the last couple of years, I have become increasingly concerned about the “sweetness” and “softness” of the Christian music that is being sung as choir numbers and specials. It is a problem that is not easy to describe, not easy to nail down. It involves a backing away from the bold, dogmatic, militant sound that characterizes the best of the old hymns. The music is sweeter, more pleasant -- too pleasant, I believe. I am convinced that the new soft sound ministers not to the spirit but to the soul. It is soulish. It doesn’t bring spiritual conviction. It doesn’t change lives. It is pleasant, entertaining, appealing, but not powerfully godly.
The following important warning is from Confronting Contemporary Christian Music by Dr. H.Talmadge Spence:
"In 1973 a Neo-Evangelical movement swept across America called 'Key '73.' Many of the evangelical denominations, including the Pentecostals, joined this movement, believing it would be the strongest evangelistic thrust to date in our country. An extensive invitation was sent out for new music to be written that promoted the message of 'Key '73' with several stipulations: the words righteousness, judgment, holiness, repentance, and several other biblical terms were not allowed to be used, and THE LYRICS WERE TO BE OF A POSITIVE NATURE. There was an intentional effort made to write NON-OFFENSIVE songs. A number of these were produced that year through this evangelical effort, strengthening the move away from biblical, doctrinal standards in the music.
"By 1972, Bill Gaither, a member of the Nazarene Church who started his public music career in Southern gospel, was experimenting with a disco form of music, and because of the reaction from the more moderate element of the evangelical spectrum, he started the Bill Gaither Vocal Band in order to further his music in the strong contemporary vein. It has only been in the last few years that he has returned to his Southern gospel roots and conventional style, especially in his reminiscing Gospel-sing videos. He is the man who promulgated the 'praise' music which was at its height during the mid 1980s and early 1990s. ITS INFLUENCE IS NOW AFFECTING THE BORDERS OF THE FUNDAMENTALISTS' MUSIC WITH THE CHARISMATIC SOUND IN A NUMBER OF CHORUSES SUNG IN THE CHURCHES AND YOUTH CAMPS. No, we are not against praise, but such an emphasis with certain types of music can be a ploy to make us leave off taking a stand against the apostasy of our time. Gaither's song 'Get All Excited' was written to pull the people away from speaking against anything that would cause division among 'God's people,' specifically doctrine and biblical concepts of separation. It truly intimidates the child of God in taking a stand in his church that is drifting away from the Word of God. The Charismatic leaders are regularly reminding us that the Book of Psalms is truly a hymnbook dedicated to praise. But we must carefully read this precious book: praise is often in the context of battle themes, imprecatory prayers, overcoming those who are against God, and instruction of godly living in opposition to carnal living. THE BATTLE THEME IN PRESENT DAY FUNDAMENTALIST MUSIC COMPOSITIONS IS CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT. The term apostasy is never mentioned. The melodies and arrangements are progressively lacking strength and literally CREATING THE 'SOFT SOUND' IN CHURCH MUSIC.
"One of the characteristics that should be upon the hearts of Fundamentalist music leaders is the hope for balance in the repertoire. When the 'easy listening' and the 'soft sound' flow steadily from the pens of the music composers, the music will definitely produce soft and weak Christians. We were told back in 1969 that the 'music is the message,' not just the lyrics. MUCH OF THIS SOFT AND PRETTY SOUND IS COMING FROM FEMALE ARRANGERS TEACHING IN OUR CHRISTIAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. God made the feminine gender soft and pretty. And her tendency in history has been to write from that perspective. A few women in the past have written lyrics with strength and fewer have written melodies with strength. In this age when love and softness on apostasy have practically become the perfume of the modern Church, our dear Fundamentalist ladies who are part of the music ministry must be careful that they do not contribute to this 'falling away' with their published, weak arrangements of once strong hymns. SUCH MUSIC ENCOURAGES PASSIVITY ON THE BATTLEFIELD. WE ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF STRONG MELODIES BEARING ALONG STRONG LYRICS, FEEDING STRENGTH TO THE WARRIORS FOR CHRIST" (Dr. H.T. Spence, Confronting Contemporary Christian Music, 1997, pp. 142-143; Foundations Press, P.O. Box 1166, Dunn, NC 28335. 910-892-8761).
Distributed by Way of Life Literature's Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR. This material is sent only to those who personally subscribe to the list. If somehow you have subscribed unintentionally, following are the instructions for removal. The Fundamental Baptist Information Service mailing list is automated. To SUBSCRIBE, go to http://www.wayoflife.org/wayoflife/subscribe.html . TO UNSUBSCRIBE OR CHANGE ADDRESSES, go to the very bottom of any email received from us and click "Manage My Subscription." If you have any trouble with this, please let us know. 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. Some of the articles are from O Timothy magazine, which is in its 27th year of publication. Way of Life publishes many helpful books. The catalog is located at the web site: http://www.wayoflife.org/publications/index.html. Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061. 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org. We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications, but only from those who are. OFFERINGS can be made at http://www.wayoflife.org/wayoflife/makeanoffering.html. PAYPAL offerings can be made to https://www.paypal.com/xclick/business=dcloud%40wayoflife.org
WAY OF LIFE LITERATURE 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 very expensive literature, video, and foreign church planting ministry. Way of Life’s content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, video presentations, O Timothy magazine, and FBIS articles. You are free to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family. You are also welcome to use excerpts from the articles. 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 edition of our books, PDFs of the books, etc. These items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we need the income from the sale of these to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy.