Question: What is your opinion of Christian rock music? (from our archives)
Response: I am not an expert on music, but I know that music can be used of Satan as well as by God. It plays a big part in all religions, from Christianity to paganism. In this case, I am referring to the “beat,” or rhythm, not the words. The particular beat of music can put one into an altered state of consciousness where demonic influences can actually invade one’s mind. This is especially true of a loud and monotonous beat that is both hypnotic (monotonous) and isolating (so loud that thinking of anything else is impossible).
There is music that is clearly uplifting, and there are other kinds that are not at all suitable for praising God but rather for arousing man’s baser instincts. You don’t need to be a musician to see the results and to sense it in your spirit as you listen. If that kind of music forms the background for supposedly “Christian” words, then I think we have a perversion.
It has been my limited observation that in most rock, Christian or not, it is nearly impossible to understand the words that are being sung because of the loud music being played. Thus the “beat” is the main element that moves the audience. The words, no matter how good, have little effect except upon those who already have them memorized.
Nor is it just “rock” that is a problem in today’s evangelical church. The old hymns that had solid doctrinal content to teach and bow the heart in worship and grateful praise have been replaced in many churches by shallow, repetitive choruses composed by contemporary writers who are mostly young both in years and in the faith. They have little to offer except catchy tunes, a snappy beat for clapping, loud noise, and very little reverence for our Lord—hardly appropriate for entering God’s holy and awesome presence. This is not a blanket criticism, but it fits the general situation.
Sadly, today’s “worshipers” seem content to sing, over and over, for example, “I will sing of your love forever,” or “I love to praise you, Lord,” or “We have come into your house to worship you,” or similar empty phrases. Why are they “empty”? The answer is obvious to anyone who stops to think for a moment.
To repeat the phrase, “I will sing of your love forever,” is not singing of His love at all. You are only saying you are going to sing of His love. If you are sincere, then stop promising to sing of His love and get to it! Sing of His love! Recite what He has done in love, how much He has loved you, and tell Him how much you love Him and why. This should be obvious.
The same is true of “I love to praise you, Lord,” or “We’ve come to worship you.” This is neither praise nor worship but merely saying that you love to praise Him or are going to worship Him. If so, then let’s praise and worship Him! Praise is not saying that you love to praise, nor is worship promising to worship. Let’s really do it! How?
There are so many powerful hymns that praise Him for His love and that express our love and gratitude to Him! Here are sample excerpts: “The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell; it goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell.... Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the sky of parchment made, were every blade of grass a quill, and every man a scribe by trade. To tell the love of God above would drain the ocean dry; nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky!”
Or, “Son of God, ’twas love that made thee die our ruined souls to save; ’twas our sins’ vast load that laid thee, Lord of Life, within the grave.... What was it, blessed God, led Thee to give Thy Son, to yield thy well-beloved for us by sin undone? ’Twas love, unbounded love to us, led Thee to give Thy Son for us!”
What about a more recent favorite: “I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You, O my soul rejoice. Take joy, my King, in what you hear. Let it be a sweet, sweet sound to your ear.” Is that any better? Slightly. At least we say, “I love you, Lord.” But to say, “I lift my voice to worship you,” is again only an empty promise to worship—but without actual worship. Asking the Lord to take joy in what He hears and hoping it will be a sweet, sweet sound in His ear is offering nothing. How about singing words that would actually bring Him joy and be a sweet sound in His ear? But, as with the others, the song contains none of what it seems to promise.