He believes that the warnings are based on opinion rather than Scripture and that I should admit this. A reader of O Timothy magazine, he has written to me numerous times, always graciously.
The following statements are combined from two of this brother’s emails:
“I am writing about your article ‘The Problem Is Not the Soft Rock Itself’ (Friday News, Sept. 25, 2015). I would like you to comment on this email in a future issue as I believe that in this article you have shown that much of your positions are simply your opinions as opposed to scripture based ones.
“For example, you say, ‘First, the soft rock is addictive and creates an appetite for sensual music.’ While my opinion might be the same as yours there is no clearcut scripture that supports this conclusion. Some general verses may hint at it but they are not clear enough to support your position. The burden of proof is on you to produce a clearcut specific verse that supports you.
“You also state, ‘Second, the contemporary songs they are using are bridges to the one world church that is represented by the large majority of the contemporary worship musicians.’
“All of this is outside the four corners of the Bible. You can cite no specific scripture that clearly says any of this because the Bible simply does not speak clearly and specifically to these issues.
“I believe you may well be correct and thus I have no objection to your preaching this, but you need to acknowledge that it is just your opinion and not based on clearcut scripture.
“Perhaps I am unconsciously attempting to mediate the dispute between you and Pastor Chappell. Once you realize that your opinions on music are just that then all you can do is warn him as you are doing.
“Please respond directly or through O Timothy. The issue raised herein involves intellectual honesty: Do you have specific scriptures for your positions or are your positions merely your opinions regardless whether they are based on general verses, history or other matters.
“If you still are unsure of my point, let your company attorney review my two emails to you. So he will know that I know what I am talking about in reference to debating or arguing issues, I am attaching a list of my representative cases as a trial/appellate lawyer. Preach on!”
REPLY FROM BROTHER CLOUD
I agree that I hold some positions based on opinion. That’s true with every man, but the two examples you give are not in that category.
By the way, I should not have to answer your question, because I have already answered it, and you should already know my answer. You tell me that you are a regular reader of O Timothy magazine, and if you would study the materials that I have recommended on this subject, you would see that I have already documented my points and given the relevant Scriptures.
In my experience, most people are content with bits and pieces of information rather than getting a proper education on this subject, which simply is not sufficient. As a result, they remain weak, confused, and easily led astray.
I can’t recall one person of the many who have written to challenge me on this subject who has admitted that he had gone through the following materials before writing:
The Baptist Music Wars (book)
What Every Christian Should Know about Rock Music (book)
The Transformational Power of Contemporary Praise Music (video)
The Foreign Spirit of Contemporary Worship Music (video)
The Directory of Contemporary Worship Music (book)
These are serious materials based on 40+ years of research and experience, and we have made all of them available FOR FREE at the Way of Life web site.
I don’t know what else I can do.
As for soft rock being addictive and creating an appetite for sensual music, that is not stated in the Bible, but it is attested by the most prominent rock & rollers themselves and by many social scientists.
Frank Garlock, who has a Ph.D. in music, proved this decades ago in his writings and videos.
The same is true for tobacco and marijuana. The Bible does not say that these things are addictive and harmful, but it is not difficult to use our God-given minds to prove that they are, and once you prove that, the Bible addresses such things.
As for rock’s addictive quality, it has been admitted by many rockers and social scientists and I have given documentation in What Every Christian Should Know about Rock Music.
“Rock ’n’ roll is LIKE A DRUG” (Neil Young, cited by Mickey Hart, Spirit into Sound).
“Rock music is THE STRONGEST DRUG in the world” (Steven Tyler of the group Aerosmith, Rock Beat, Spring 1987, p. 23).
“Don’t listen to the words, it’s the music that has its own message. ... I’ve been STONED ON THE MUSIC many times” (Timothy Leary, Politics of Ecstasy, 1968).
Describing how she felt when attending her first big rock concert, Janis Joplin said: “I couldn’t believe it, all that rhythm and power. I got stoned just feeling it, like IT WAS THE BEST DOPE IN THE WORLD. It was SO SENSUAL...” (Joel Dreyfuss, “Janis Joplin Followed the Script,” Wichita Eagle, Oct. 6, 1970, p. 7A).
“Modern music is AS DANGEROUS AS COCAINE” (Pietro Mascagni, Italian composer, (Slonimsky’s Book of Musical Anecdotes).
“Rock music in particular has been demonstrated to be both POWERFUL AND ADDICTIVE, as well as capable of producing a subtle form of hypnosis in which the subject, though not completely under trance, is still in a highly suggestive state” (John Fuller, Are the Kids All Right?, New York: Times Books, 1981).
“Pop music is THE MASS MEDIUM FOR CONDITIONING the way people think” (Graham Nash of Crosby Stills & Nash, Hit Parader Yearbook, No. 6, 1967).
Rock is made up of many types of syncopation, but they all have the same effect on the body. It matters not whether it is soft or hard, quiet or loud. It matters not if it is played on an acoustic guitar, a piano, or an electric bass.
In Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement, Dan Lucarini describes how he led churches from traditional hymns to contemporary worship. The key was starting out with soft rock, which acts as an addictive, transformative influence on the congregation.
“In reality, what happens over time is a steady slide down the slippery slope, away from all traditional music into the latest, ‘edgiest’ contemporary styles. ... Contemporary always prevailed over Traditional, because it fed the sinful desire of our flesh” (Lucarini, pp. 119, 122).
A great many other quotations could be given. This being the case, it is a simple matter to consult Scripture about the danger of all such things.
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12).
“Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded” (Titus 2:6).
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Eleven times, believers are taught to be “sober” (1 Th.. 5:6, 8; 1 Tim. 3:2, 11; Titus 1:8; 2:2, 4, 6; 1 Pet. 1:13; 4:7; 5:8). This has far-reaching implications and applications.
The word “sober” means to be in control of yourself so that you are not taken captive by wrong thinking or fleshly influence. The Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity says, “Sober means to be in control of one’s mind and life to the end of obeying the Lord in all things. It refers to spiritual alertness and seriousness of purpose; prudence; temperance (1 Th. 5:6, 8; 1 Pe. 1:13; 5:8). This is to characterize every Christian, from the young to the old (Tit. 2:4, 6, 12). It is a qualification for Christian service (1 Ti. 3:2, 11; Tit. 1:8).”
When I was a young Christian, the Lord used these clear Bible principles to teach me to put away smoking, drinking, marijuana, and rock music. I loved all of those things, and I would not have given them up for mere opinion. All of these have a strong addictive quality and the potential to be harmful.
As for contemporary songs being bridges to the one world church and therefore to be avoided, it is a simple matter to prove that this position is not mere opinion.
We have documented the fact that the world of contemporary worship music represents a spirit foreign to biblical truth. This is irrefutable. Contemporary worship music in all of its incarnations today represents great spiritual danger.
Have you taken the time to watch “The Foreign Spirit of Contemporary Worship Music”? It is available for free at the Way of Life web site.
There can be no question that we are dealing with a foreign, deceiving, unscriptural spirit, a “one-world church” spirit.
Even Townend/Getty, who are promoted now by Bob Jones University, Frank Garlock, the Hamiltons, etc., are tied into the one-world church. They are buddies with, and have joint ministries with, the Roman Catholic Matt Maher, who is a Catholic “evangelist for unity.” That is the one-world church!
We have documented this in the aforementioned video The Foreign Spirit, as well as in Baptist Music Wars and The Directory of Contemporary Worship Music.
It cannot reasonably be denied.
That being the case, many Scriptures come into play, such as the following:
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
God’s Word warns that any communication with evil has a corrupting influence. That is a clear warning about the “bridge building” effect. Wrong associations being spiritual harm. That is not an opinion.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).
This verse says the same thing. Wrong associations are dangerous and should be avoided in the strictest manner (NO fellowship with).
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).
God’s people are to mark and avoid those who cause divisions and offences based on wrong teaching. That is exactly what the contemporary worship crowd is doing. They are causing divisions among God’s people. They are bringing strife and music wars. They are causing offense. They are causing many to stumble. They have overthrown the character of many churches.
This is not an issue of personal opinion.
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