Music: Compromising God’s Standards to Accommodate Youth



There is a growing tendency among the Evangelical churches throughout the world to compromise the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to draw the youth. The idea of attracting or drawing them into the church is perhaps very commendable. No one, who has a burning desire to obey our Master’s command to go into the entire world and make disciples of all peoples, will deny this.

The question, however, is not whether we should draw the youth, but rather how we should draw them. Having said this, I would like to stress from the very outset that no method or mode we apply can or will be successful. Jesus categorically stated that no man is able come to Him, unless His Father who sent Him draws him. (John 6:44 & 12:32).

He alone draws mankind with cords of love by means of the cross (substitutionary death) of His Son. God will honour nothing else except the cross where His righteousness was vindicated and His love was satisfied. The preaching of the cross is the drawing power of God . . . only to those who are and are being saved. (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Only those who realize that they are lost sinners, who desperately need to be pardoned, will respond to God’s drawing power. The rest who regard the cross as mere foolishness will be eternally lost. No wonder Paul so emphatically declared that he resolved to know nothing among men except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2).

He was extremely careful not to deprive the cross of its power with ulterior motives. (1 Corinthians 1:17). Contrary to Paul’s resolve, many modern-day preachers seem to minimize the cross by giving it a secondary position with no apparent conscientious objections. Their sermons regularly contain references to the cross and they often encourage their listeners to “be born again, but with subtle hidden overtones. The preaching of the cross becomes a mere instrument to entice people into accepting another gospel that completely annuls the demands of the cross. (Luke 9:23-25). To say the least, these subtle ulterior motives are tantamount to an outright rejection of the cross of Jesus as mere foolishness.


The church as the body of Christ consists of believers who have been called out of the world to be separated unto the Lord as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people with the specific intent of showing forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Peter 2:9).

Paul’s appeal in 2 Corinthians 6 verses 11 to 18 that God’s children should separate them from the world and not to touch the unclean thing, ought to reverberate through the churches with thunderous fervour. The prerequisite for God to be your Father and for you to be accepted as His sons and daughters, is separation. We dare not call Him Father if we persist in our rebellious and compromising attitude toward the world.

Especially the youth regard it as very restricting and narrow-minded when ministers of the word confront them with God’s demand for separation. Their immediate reaction is “Why shouldn’t I” or “What is the harm in it” or “What is wrong with this or that”. In Romans 12 verses 1 & 2 Paul, with a heart full of endearment, draws our attention to the mercies of God: Look! he says, at all the magnanimous mercies God has bestowed on us. Think for a moment! – He showers His mercies on us while we do not deserve it.

All His mercies are embodied in His only Son Jesus Christ who gave Himself over for us as a holy sacrifice unto His Father. With these immeasurable mercies in mind, we too should present ourselves and our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. Let’s turn the coin around for a moment. If the mercies of God mean very little to you; if you regard His mercies as just another religious experience in your life; if His mercies are not a reality in your life – then you will find it very difficult to present your body as a living sacrifice to the Lord.

Is this not perhaps the reason why so many “Christians” so frivolously present their bodies unto the pleasures of the world? Is this the reason why so many Christians begin to argue the validity of it all when they are confronted with God’s righteous demands on their lives and capriciously say, “but what is wrong with a little enjoyment on the dance floor?”, “what is wrong with a little indulgences in the theatres of the world?”

Those who question God’s demands on their lives with “what is wrong with this and what is wrong with that” will never present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to the Lord. Paul’s uncompromising stance in regard to this particular doctrinal truth urged him to weather many a violent storm on behalf of his Lord. He refused to please men for the sheer pleasure of drawing them into the church, for he realized that he would forfeit his servitude to Christ. (Galatians 1:10). Are today’s ministers of the word compromising their servitude to Christ in order to draw the youth in ways that are clearly more common to the world?

It is an indisputable fact that unity among the members of a church is of the utmost importance. In His High Priestly prayer Jesus prayed that His disciples might be one, in the same way as His Father is in Him and He in His Father, and that they also might be made one in them. (Johan 17:21). Jesus did not pray for an institutional unity or an ecumenical unity in which the truth may be used as a trade-off to maintain unity at all cost. He was praying for a unity of love, a unity of obedience to God and His Word, and a united commitment to His will.

It is a unity that God alone can bring about by sanctifying His disciples in His truth, which is His Word. (John 17:17). Unfortunately preachers and ministers of the Word are often prepared to employ their own methods to obtain unity. Because it is a manufactured kind of “unity” one is very reluctant to refer to it as unity in the true Biblical sense of the word, and therefore I would rather use the word “congeniality” or the expression “a going together well togetherness”. This modern-day church “congeniality” will be discussed under the following headings.


Music has become the single most important factor in the lives of young people throughout the world today. Its enormous powers on the psyche of young men and women are evident from the vast throngs of teenagers who habitually attend pop concerts and spend vast amounts of money on records or CD’s. It is an entertainment medium that enables mass audiences to have the same experience instantaneously and simultaneously.

Its mesmerizing hold on the youth is something unprecedented. It is a well-known fact that many youngsters regard these concerts as congenial for the advancement of love, togetherness, solidarity, oneness and inter-dependency. In fact, music with a strong repetitive rhythm (or beat as it is commonly referred to) is able to sway youngsters en masse into a united assembly of like-minded people. In this state of euphoric uniformity they are easily influenced and manipulated. It is this very spirit of congeniality in music that is presently being carried into the church of Jesus Christ.

The same euphoric bliss that pervades the minds and hearts of the youth in the secular musical world is being used to draw the youth into the church. The essential concept of worship in Scripture is service to God with reverential fear, awe and wonder. As Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman in John 4, worshipping God involves a great deal more than the mere gathering of believers at a particular venue. God who is Spirit desires to be worshipped in spirit and in truth.

Anything else we conceive to be pleasing to Him will not suffice. In fact nothing that is designed to gratify the flesh is acceptable to God. Bearing in mind that secular pop music with its extreme emphasis on rhythm, emotional impact and theatrical display is designed to evoke feelings of vivacity and gaiety in the psyche of youngsters, it becomes evident that gospel rock music (despite the spiritual content of the lyrics) will have the same impact on the youth in the church.

From this, one may conclude that it is not a Holy Spirit infused desire to worship God that draws the youth, but the entertainment value of the music. The well-known adage that such and such a church is dead – although it may be true of many churches today – merely becomes a ready-handed excuse to join another church where the music is lively and its members are more demonstrative in their worship of God. Financial deficits and dwindling members often compel a church to introduce ways and means to draw new members, especially the youth.

Salvation is the complete translocation of a sinner who has been washed in the blood of Christ, from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His Son Whom he loves. (1 Colossians 1:13). Everything that is characteristic of the kingdom of darkness cannot accompany the redeemed sinner. It must remain behind. The notion that Satan usurped music for his own evil purposes and that Christians should reclaim it for God, is the main reason why secular pop music with all its peculiar traits (except the lyrics) has been brought into the church. Things of the world clothed in religious raiment are nothing less than instruments in the hands of Satan who disguises himself as an angel of light.

No one can deny that music plays an integral part in the worship of God. In Revelation the redeemed of Christ burst out in joyous chorale singing to express their eternal thanks for God’s great redemptive work on the cross of Calvary.


It must be emphasized from the outset that emotion cannot be divorced from worship. The redeemed in Christ will sing with exuberant joy the praises of Him who accomplished such a great salvation. It is however a joy that is orchestrated by the Spirit of God in every true believer who worships God in spirit and in truth. The joy emanates from the innermost being (spirit) that is controlled and led by the Holy Spirit.

It cannot be evoked by an external medium that has its roots in the world, no matter how religious or pious the lyrics may sound. A joy inspired by the Holy Spirit alone will hold out against the severest persecutions and tribulations. All the prisoners heard the resounding voices of Paul and Silas when they sang praises to God at midnight. Their circumstances were not favorable to emotions of joy but they were able to express the profoundest feelings of blessedness because the Holy Spirit cantered their emotions in Christ.

I am not suggesting that music has no part to play in the expression of a Christian’s emotions of joy and happiness. David’s Psalms are set to music for the lyre. In Revelation chorale praises to God and His Son are accompanied by harps. The question is not whether music is able to amplify one’s inner emotions, but rather what kind of emotions it exemplifies.

Apart from music, visual entertainment media such as the theatre (movies) and television have an enormous impact on the molding of young people’s emotions. The definition of romantic love with all its negative ramifications is determined by Hollywood images on our screens. It matters very little when couples on screen commit adultery or have a premarital sexual affair as long as they love one another.

Viewers unashamedly shun moral issues, as long as the two lovers are something to look at. While viewers look spellbound at their favorite romantic heroes, the soothing voices of world-renown pop artists ensure that these images of unmitigated fornication remain locked in their minds long after they have exited the movie theatres. Young girls and women flock to the stores to purchase their CD’s and recordings so that they may relive the emotions they experienced while watching these movies (Titanic).

Because religion has become a booming business enterprise in our day and age, the forging of congenial or well-matched emotions among members through music has become very profitable. Though Gospel music or Gospel rock cannot be equated with secular music in its lyrical content, the melodic and rhythmic similarities are quite evident.

The same emotionally charged melodic structures together with extremely articulated rhythms are capable of invoking emotions that reach no deeper than the soul, the seat of everything that embraces “self”. The music gives rise to a self-centered religion that is characterized by boisterous shouting, jumping, clamouring and an inordinately raucous atmosphere.


Paul forewarned that the last days would be marked by a deceptive, hypocritical or counterfeit kind of Christianity, so much so that its members would have a form of godliness. How often have you heard someone refer to someone else as a true Christian because so and so is such a wonderful person? These assumptions are purely based on the outward appearance of people. Goodness, kindness, even compassion are the qualities of many piously religious persons, but this does not necessarily make them disciples of Jesus.

They might have all these qualities and deny the power of the Gospel. In fact, Paul says in 2 Timothy 3, that their outward godliness means nothing because of their denial or rejection of the power of the Gospel. The Spirit of God always operates within the parameters or within the realm of the power of God. Anything acting outside of these parameters is a counterfeit spirit or “another spirit” as Paul defines it in the eleventh chapter of second Corinthians.

What is the power of God? Paul emphatically declares that the cross of Christ and the unadulterated preaching thereof is the power and wisdom of God. It was on Calvary’s cross where God’s righteous judgements and His immeasurable holiness were vindicated and His immutable love was satisfied. No wonder king David sings in Psalm 85:10. “Mercy and loving-kindness and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” This is undoubtedly one of the most unique verses in the Bible.

It is unique in the sense that it refers to only one single event in the entire history of the world. It COULD only refer to a single event in the history of mankind because nowhere else could God’s righteousness, truth, mercy peace and loving-kindness meet each other; and nowhere else could you and I benefit from such a kiss, – THAN ON THE CROSS OF CALVARY WHERE JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD WAS PUT TO DEATH 2000 YEARS AGO.

This simply means that everyone who desires to know what the righteousness of God entails, what His loving-kindness, His mercy, His truth, His peace encompasses, needs to come to the cross of Jesus. You will never benefit from the life-changing power of God if you do not come to His cross and you will never experience a continuous relationship with Him if you do not allow the Holy Spirit to effectuate or carry out the changing power of His cross in your life.

This is why Jesus said that “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:23-25).

The power of the cross of Jesus is increasingly being exchanged for all kinds of humanistic inventions to meet the needs of people. Motivational teaching, one of the fastest growing usurpers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, encourage people to look for the solution of their problems within themselves. They only need to tap into their own energy and resources to lift the burdens of life from their shoulders and to be successful.

Encouragement or motivation is not wrong in itself, but when it is used to enhance man’s inherent egotistic or self-centered mind-set in order to gain or accomplish anything that he desires or wants, it becomes an enemy of the cross of Jesus. In this world that is bent on destruction, mankind daily experiences profound heartaches, pain and suffering. The young people are particularly prone to the relentless ill-treatments of our so-called adult world. This filth-infested earth has become a world “only for adults”.

No wonder so many young people try to shut out the mess with music, drugs and ulterior lifestyles. Can one blame them for becoming a chip off the old block. Instead of leading them to the cross of Jesus where they can experience the life-changing power of God, they are presented with the same worldly things cloaked in religious raiment. The Spirit of God cannot and will not associate with a cross-less or bloodless gospel. (The words “crucify” or “crucified” or “cross” do not appear in the lyrics of any of the 15 songs on Chris Tomlin’s album called “Passion: God’s Great Dance Floor.” They are presenting a crossless and bloodless Gospel which is no gospel at all).

The spirit that binds the young people into a congenial group of “Christians” through means other than the cross of Jesus Christ is not the Spirit of God. It is another spirit that presents another gospel and another Jesus.


A very dangerous duality or multiplicity has crept into the ranks of the church. For the elderly the gospel is presented in a more subdued way in contrast to its presentation to the youth who prefer to be more demonstrative in their worship. Henceforth, the older people and the youngsters are separated so that the youth may enjoy their more demonstrative worship with raucous music, and very often the youngsters begin to look down with disdain on the elderly by labeling them “spiritually dead” and “old-fashioned”.

Do they gather to listen to sound doctrine or do they come together merely to entertain their own fleshly appetites? Paul admonished his youthful brother, Timothy, to devote him to public reading of Scripture, to preaching and teaching and to set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity (moral cleanliness) (1 Timothy 4:11-13).

There are many youngsters whose lives have been devastated by all kinds of ill-fated experiences – divorced parents, premarital pregnancies, drug abuse, child abuse, are commonplace. How do we reach them for Christ? Do we cater for their fleshly whims by drawing them into the church with means and ways that are more common to the world, or do we lead them to the cross of Jesus where the “Man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3) who was wounded for our transgressions and smitten of God is waiting to heal them for all eternity?

The Church should return to the old hymns which are sermons in themselves instead of the new songs with their strong rhythms and repetitive words such as “Jesus we worship you . . . we worship you . . . we worship you.”

Author: Isaac Watts; Chorus:Ralph E. Hudson

Composer: Ralph E. Hudson

Tune: Hudson (Hudson)

Scripture: Romans 5:8; John 19:34

1 Alas, and did my Savior bleed,
And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

2 Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown,
And love beyond degree!

3 Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in,
When Christ the mighty Maker died
For man, the creature’s sin.

4 Thus might I hide my blushing face
While Calvary’s cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt mine eyes to tears.

5 But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
‘Tis all that I can do.

Chorus:At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Tom (Discerning the World)

Discerning the World is an internet Discernment ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa that was founded in 2008. Tom Lessing originally founded the website “Waak en Bid/Watch and Pray”. Tom Lessing joined Discerning the World in May 2013 and all his articles were moved across to DTW.

38 Responses

  1. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Awesome article Thomas, I am so glad you did this article.

    My husband said after reading your article that they are in fact worshiping the music and the music artist.

    I would like to comment as well that if Contemporary Christian music is ungodly then so is heavy metal music. I’ve had numerous discussions over the years about Christian metal and that it’s supposed to be Godly – it allows the metal head to remain a metal head but his focus is supposedly on Christ. What a load of nonsense. Christian metal is nothing but darkness undercover. There is nothing Christian about Christian heavy metal, it’s evil and those who listen to it are fooling themselves.

    When you become born again, you become a NEW person in Jesus Christ you will want to do away with this music and rock music because it’s worldly. To try an appease God by trying to stay back in your ‘old ways’ by adding Christian elements to it is again not fooling God one bit. It’s all or nothing. You are either changed or not, you can’t be both.

  2. John Andrews UK/Ireland says:


    A gospel that focuses on appealing to the flesh through sensual enticement/s is a false start and is ill conceived. This is the first step of presenting something other than Christ, and Him crucified that you so correctly identify early in your article. The creation of a wrong motive is dishonest, but it is done in a subtle deceptive manner. The architect of this method must be the spirit of deception, even Satan. I believe that any structured level of authority in the church that determines the “order of a service or church meeting” has a responsibility to see that disciplined and orderly reverence is upheld.

    Colossians 2:5

    For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

    If the pastor, minister or evangelist would use methods that pander to the senses in any manner to “draw in the numbers” it is dangerous. Handing out emotions or other enticements is deception and is not the higher road that is expected of a leader. Leaders will be held to account:

    James 3:1 (NASB)

    3 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

    Once this pattern is allowed to blossom then we have a diluted gospel that detracts from Christ the reason for our hope. This opens the door for all kinds of new carrots to be presented as “part of the gospel” and the gathering or service is turned into a social event or gig. This is what we see today – an easier, less spiritual place to “feel good” and the result is that deception is put on track.

    I hear what you have said that “the social climate” of today’s broken family structures is a problem. This broken family of divorced parents, partners(instead of husband and wife), etc is a result of a godless society. The cause is a dilution of Christian values which is the backbone of a moral society.

    In this vein it is no wonder that even the true doctrine of faith has been usurped by the alternate church, such as Pentecostalism/Charismatic-mania, etc. Such empty promises of wealth, health and prosperity has deceived (I am told) upwards of 500 million people. They boast with these statistics. This is where most of the “music idolatry” is found.

    Are we to wake up? Yes. Despite the present situation as we perceive it we are to realize that it is Christ who builds His church as He promised. Are we to contend for the faith? Yes.

    Matthew 16:15-18 (ESV)

    15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

  3. Elaine says:

    Hi Deborah,
    You are so right. I was into heavy metal for years. When I finally surrendered to Jesus Christ, I started changing and now I cannot stand to hear it. It’s all about everything satanic and destructive. There is no such thing as Christian metal. Yes, it is darkness undercover. Sometimes not even undercover – it is open in your face evil, but many cannot see it because they love the world. When Christian metal came out several years ago I thought how cool! But then I started hearing the lyrics. The message was a worldly message. It’s about self, not Jesus Christ.
    Great article. Thank you. I totally see it – when you bring the world into the church it only corrupts the church and the worldly stay worldly. The church compromises in more ways than one.
    The christian heavy metal guys say they have to look evil and edgy to win kids. But Jesus isn’t evil and edgy! I John 4:5 – they are from the world and the world listens to them.

  4. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    Hi Elaine you are so right, it’s not even undercover. They use evil images on their album covers and their song lyrics are not Christian even through they sound ‘Christian’ like. I know too, I listened to heavy metal for many years and I too tried to appease God by trying to listen to Christian metal at one stage thinking I could get away with it. But I learnt soon enough that it was just a ploy from Satan to keep metal heads under the spell of metal music. I believe there is a strong demonic force associated with heavy metal music, a spirit that makes you want to listen to this rubbish. Now when I hear it, or even rock/punk music it’s like my insides are being ripped apart, the Holy Spirit in me can’t stand it and it grates me down to my very core.

    I get so upset when I speak to metal heads and they try tell me that it’s Christian and there is no other way for ministers to get the message across to metal heads. Like you say they have to look the part to win the kids. I tell them that that is absolute nonsense and a lie from Satan to keep them under his control. You can’t associate light with darkness, you can’t be luke warm. You either break free from the spell or you stay entangled, you can’t have it both ways.

    No where in the bible did the disciples dress up like pagans to win the pagans over to Jesus Christ. It’s laughable.

  5. Jaco says:

    I like what you are trying to do but some of this articles you guys are seeing stuff that is not there. Yes some people worship the artists and the music but other people worship God with the music what i don’t think is wrong if it helps you get closer to God why not. And i do not believe there has to be something in a song about the cross or the blood. Paul says sing christian songs and then David’s psalms is also wrong. And to sing about God’s love and grace is good. It does not have to have something about the cross or the blood

  6. Jaco,

    Music, let alone music with a rock beat, cannot bring you closer to God. How much closer to God do you want to get when Christ’s blood alone can bring you into the very presence of God?

    Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22).

    Any other means that supposedly bring you closer to God, is of the flesh and means absolutely nothing.

    It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

  7. ChristianRocker says:

    You said that music with a rock beat can not bring you closer to God. That is in no way Biblically based. There is no verse that says that. You are being a legalist. You may have seen some bad ungodly people play rock music and rather than condemn those people you condemn a genre. The words may be Ungodly or the person, but how is a sound ungodly? Why do you condemn rock music? Why not rap? Why not Jazz? Why not Pop, R&B, and techno? People sing about drugs and violence in all of those forms of music, but again the sound is not the problem it is the lyrics, performer. Also as a christian who has been ministered by music that would be considered rock (by christian, or uplifting bands) you are completely wrong! My soul has been drawn closer to God and my relationship has been blessed through the music I listen too. My love for guitars or drums is from God. Lastly the verse you quoted says nothing about Rock music or music in general. Why are you so concerned with condemning stuff that is not clearly in God’s word? I only call things sin or wrong that God’s word says is wrong. There is nothing in the Bible about “rock beats” Therefore I can not say there is anything wrong with them. Plus as a musician who plays all kinds of music please tell me what a rock beat is.

  8. ChristianRocker wrote:

    You said that music with a rock beat can not bring you closer to God. That is in no way Biblically based.

    If so-called Christian rock was able to bring you close or closer to God you would have no need of Jesus Christ and Him shedding his blood on the cross of Calvary. There is no verse that says Christian rock cannot bring you closer to God but there are several verses that tell you how to.

    That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:12-13)

    Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22)

    By the way, just as much as there is no Christian psychology or psychiatry, there is also no such thing as Christian rock. It is merely secular rock in the guise of Christianity. And what does that tell you?

    For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15

    I have been to Africa several times and heard from several black pastors that drum beats in particular are used to summon demons. The beat puts them in an altered state of consciousness which allows them to commune with demons much easier.

    There is nothing about smoking or the taking of hallucinating drugs in the Bible. Does that mean it is OK to smoke and take drugs? The absence of things in the Bible does not give you permission to do those things.

  9. ChristianRocker says:

    Ok you are right I agree with some of these things you have said. There is not such thing as christian rock christian psychology etc. I was trying to communicate that Rock (a style of music) is not wrong to listen to or play. Also the blood of Jesus has brought me close to God. Music I listen to that many consider to be rock has blessed me. I have worshiped God and been blessed by the music and it has encouraged my soul by and with the power of God. So is it a sin to play drums? Is it a sin when I lead music using a drum? Just because some pastors in Africa said that happened (which i believe is possible), it does not mean when I play drums that I am calling up demons.

  10. ChristianRocker wrote:

    Music I listen to that many consider to be rock has blessed me. I have worshiped God and been blessed by the music and it has encouraged my soul by and with the power of God.

    How can so-called Christian rock bless you when Jesus has already blessed you with all the blessings in heaven? Rock music, let alone Christian rock cannot add a iota or tittle to the blessings Jesus has already blessed you with. It’s impossible.

    “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph 1:1-3)

    Christian rock cannot bring you closer to God or bless you. Period.

  11. ChristianRocker says:

    Even though Jesus has blessed me with everything I need he continues to bless me every day. It was not only a one time event. Sanctification is a process that happens every day and every second. I still sin (even though before God I am sinless on Christs behalf). I still doubt. I still struggle, and deal with depression. Just like David in the Psalms. Music reminds me and points me sinless heart to my Lord because so often I forget. My salvation (Thank GOD!) is not based on me but on the grace of Jesus. Music is a means through which Jesus blesses me and gives me grace and encouragement. I was saved. I am saved. I am being saved. I will be saved. (ie. Justification, Sanctification, Glorification.

    [Edited by DTW – Oh my goodness, NoRapture is actually ChristianRocker! (2014/11/20 at 5:30 pm) who is ACTUALLY coolCalvinist. (2014/11/07 at 1:20 am) Dude next time you want to be deceitful, try doing it somewhere else where they won’t catch you out. What kinda Christian are you that you need to be deceptful? eh? I think you should go elsewhere. And isn’t it amazing, I thought you were a Calvinist and wadda ya know, you are. bye bye]

  12. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    >> Music reminds me and points me sinless heart to my Lord because so often I forget.

    So music is your medium that points you to Jesus. That is what the bible is for. David sang his own songs, you are not signing your own songs from your own heart, you are listening too and singing other peoples songs (and you don’t even know what they REALLY believe).

    Your first problem is you are a Calvinist, get saved by grace ChristianWhoEverYouAre instead of Elected by pride.

  13. Mark says:

    Music that doesn’t give God the glory will eventually seek the attention elsewhere. HipHop, R&B, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Rock&Roll, Pop and other genres all worldly by association and origin. Therefore anyone who says or justifies that you can secular music and still give praise unto God is only created a counterfeit form of false worship.
    Music doesn’t save the soul for it only gives a euphoric high with an emotional experience but it doesn’t give genuine repentance.

  14. Mark wrote,

    Music that doesn’t give God the glory will eventually seek the attention elsewhere.

    How does an inanimate and abstract entity like music give God the glory? Aaron made a golden calf an said to Israel,

    And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. (Yehôvâh) (Exodus 32:1-5).

    It is very easy to dance and make music around a golden calf and say “This is to the glory of God.” It means nothing. In fact, it is idolatry.

  15. YvZ says:

    I totally agree with this article, and have done some research on so-called Christian music bands, scary stuff! My question is – what music do we use in these days to worship the Lord? Even churches have a rock band these days. Guitars, drums, the works… (must add, they are mostly the charismatic, pentecostal group). Should we really just do as David, and make up our own songs? I am talentless in the music and lyrics department lol…

  16. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    >> I am talentless in the music and lyrics department lol…

    I am talentless in the singing department haha

  17. Saretta Herholdt says:

    Hi, i checked the bands out that both my girls and i are listing to. shocking, again i did not check what they stand for. thank you for pointing this out to me.

    ignorance is not an excuse , however in my stupidy i thought i was worshipping God. this world is sick. how do i explain this to my girls? i thought this was good for them, however this is nothing better then katy perry, gaga or any of the other worldly music laden with satanic undertones…

  18. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Dear Sarette

    Music is Satan’s biggest way to snatch kids and turn them to the dark side. I know I was one of those kids. But back then when I was listening to heavy metal music the music on the radio was ‘normal’. Now a lot of the music on the radio sounds like heavy metal music.

    1) You are going to do a lot of praying for your children. 2) You have to tell your children about these 2 bands they are listening too. Show them the evil in these 2 bands and tell them that they move far away from Jesus Christ when they listen to this music in other words, this music drives a wedge between then and Jesus. 3) Get them to recognise and acknowledge the hidden evil in the music and bands they are listening too. 4) Tell them they must ask Jesus for forgiveness of their sin and not listen to this music again, tell them that you too have asked Jesus for forgiveness.

    If you are lucky you might not have a battle on your hands, but I am pretty sure Satan is not going to let go without a fight. The winning formula to this is prayer for your kids.

  19. Robbie says:

    Kyk bietjie “they sold their souls for rock and roll” op youtube.
    Dit is nou in terme van sekulere musiek

  20. Robbie says:

    Hi Deborah/Tom
    still reading a lot!!

  21. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    I knew you had not disappeared.
    love and hugs to you :)

  22. Robbie says:

    Oh and thank you for still dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s sis :-)

    I agree. Excellent Article.

  23. Saretta Herholdt says:

    Dankie ek het gekyk Robbie.

  24. Carl Staton says:

    I love “At the Cross!” I just couldn’t stop singing it after my salvation when I was 13. And of course I sung it in the traditional arrangement.

    But what if I sung it in another arrangement such as according to the tune Lilies (Shoshannim: Psalm 45, 69, & 80), or the tune Wine-Press (Gittith: Psalm 8, 81, & 84), or the tune A Silent Dove Far Away (Psalm 56), or even The Death of the Son (Psalm 9). And supposed I used the modern day instrument equivalents in Psalm 149 such as trumpets (shofar); keyboards & pianos (harp); lyre (acoustic & banjos); tambourines (& rattles, maracas, shakers, guiros, etc.); and danced in praise using electric bass & lead guitars (stringed instruments); & flutes, saxophones, etc. (harp). Would using those arrangements and instruments in any way diminish the awesomeness and spiritual meaning of At the Cross or bring dishonor to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross?

    Your point is well taken that many of the modern day attempts to attract youths to Christ bring compromise, dishonor to God, and even sin in the midst of those who sing and play instruments in many congregations. But I think it should stop short of discerning someone’s intentions and motives especially when it comes to music which is widely broad and varied in its many forms. Paul’s instruction in Romans 14 tells us of the dangers of improper judgement of one another (specifically vs 1, 10, 13-14, 16-19, 22). 1Corinthians 10 tells us more concerning judgement & how to properly act toward’s one another in service (specifically vs 7, 21-24, 26, 29-33). 1Corinthians 12:1-7 tells us how to be Spirit led in worship. 1Corinthians 12:31-13:13 tells us the “more excellent way” to serve Christ & each other in agape love.

    To sum up: it is best not to use one’s own personal & cultural biases as a measuring rod for what is spiritual and acceptable for other people and cultures. To be fair, many things in music are not holy and obvious and self-evidently blasphemous but we must be very careful in our discernment both for ourselves and for one another. Personally, I give almost all of my attention to the lyrics and much less on the musical arrangements and instruments. My guideline is Ephesians 5:19 where I can sing aloud psalms, hymns and songs that must be spiritual in content and arrangement. But if I know a song that I am convinced that glorifies the Lord but another person may not like then I will be careful to “make the melody in my heart to the Lord” and not allow the tune to escape my lips in their presence.

  25. Carl Staton,

    To sum up: it is best not to use one’s own personal & cultural biases as a measuring rod for what is spiritual and acceptable for other people and cultures. To be fair, many things in music are not holy and obvious and self-evidently blasphemous but we must be very careful in our discernment both for ourselves and for one another. Personally, I give almost all of my attention to the lyrics and much less on the musical arrangements and instruments. My guideline is Ephesians 5:19 where I can sing aloud psalms, hymns and songs that must be spiritual in content and arrangement. But if I know a song that I am convinced that glorifies the Lord but another person may not like then I will be careful to “make the melody in my heart to the Lord” and not allow the tune to escape my lips in their presence.

    Inculturation started with the Roman Catholic Church. For instance, here in South Africa some of our black priests have urged the church to incorporate some of the traditional healers’ occult practices into holy communion. Another example is the Rastafarians’ plea to incorporate their pot smoking habit in the church just because it allegedly is their culture. In Africa the beating of drums is used to summon their ancestors (demons) and many Christian churches use them in their services, just because it is their culture. Just about everything can be sanctified with “holy water” when it is a cultural thing. I really don’t think God is satisfied with that. Please read this article.

    Kids (and many adults) love to tap their feet, jump up and down and make a noise when they sing to music with a strong beat (drums again). This is all done to satisfy the flesh. It’s got nothing to do with spiritual worship (John 4:24). Ephesians 5:19 says to make MELODY in your HEART and not strong rhythmical beats with your feet. Most of the churches who use the latter in their churches usually also use young girls prancing about on stage in their tight ski-pants or whatever “to the glory of God.” Really??? It’s the golden calf all over again.

    You wrote,

    But I think it should stop short of discerning someone’s intentions and motives especially when it comes to music which is widely broad and varied in its many forms.

    Individualized intentions and emotions are very dangerous because it once again satisfies the flesh. It means that I can do as I please just as long as my intentions and motives are correct. Who decides whose intentions and motives are the right ones? (Jeremiah 17:9).

  26. Linda says:

    Need help in discerning music from two musicians – Jeremy Camp, Colton Dixon. Thank you!

  27. Linda says:

    Linda wrote:

    Need help in discerning music from two musicians – Jeremy Camp, Colton Dixon. Thank you!

    I also wanted to ask for help concerning if Tobey Mac’s music is okay. Thanks!

  28. Hi Linda Hi/

    I went to search Jeremy Camp and the first video I came across was this video:

    Minutes 3:36 onward he says

    So come and empty me
    So that it’s you I breath in
    I want my life to be
    Only Christ in me

    Sounds great doesn’t it. He mentions Christ so why worry. Firstly when we are born again Jesus Christ does not empty us. He makes us a new creation as described in 2 Corinthians 5:117: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”

    In Contemplative Spirituality or Eastern Religions you need to empty your mind and then through breath exercises you are to BREATH GOD IN. This breath is called Pranayama and is the formal practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force.

    Now when he says “I want my life to be, Only Christ in me” we can now understand because of the lyrics above that he means ‘the Christ Within’ – ‘the Divine Self’, not Jesus Christ.

    Please read Tom’s article Soaking is just one form of meditation.

    Here’s a question; do you listen to this type of music because you are emotionally entertained by the music? Do you feel more alive, more spiritual? Does listening to this music get you through the day? Do you feel better when listening to this music?

  29. Hi Linda

    I looked at Toby Mac, once again first thing I find is this:

    Speak Life
    So speak Life, speak Life.
    To the deadest darkest night.
    Speak life, speak Life.
    When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why.
    Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
    Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
    You speak love, you speak…
    You speak Life, (oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak Life. (oh oh oh oh oh oh)

    What does ‘Speak life’ means really? He says “speak hope, You speak love, you speak…You speak Life” Does it mean you must speak the gospel? Nope. In the Word of Faith and Apostolic and Prophetic movement faith is not just faith, it’s a life force, it is a metaphysical power all on it’s own. When you speak words of love, hope and positivity they have power, so much so that you can actually change reality.

    Notice why on Facebook for instance people are continuously posting QUOTES of utter garbage; hope, love and positivity? It’s New Age teaching it’s the POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING, speak good thing over yourself and others and good thing will come to you and return to others. This is NOT the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yes the gospel is the Good News, but it’s not a metaphysical force and you can’t change reality by speaking life over everything, like some magical wand. Jesus Christ is the ONE who changes people, not you speaking utter nonsense and therefore make someone come ‘alive’ as Toby Mac says.

  30. Linda says:

    Thank you Deborah! I was somehow sensing just what you said about the music being along New Age teaching … but was especially surprised to realize even Jeremy Camp. I am not sure if some of these musicians even realize fully.

    I was hoping to find some gospel teaching music and music praising God and encouraging and pointing to our Lord Jesus for a younger family member that they would be drawn to hearing, but I guess these will not do if not pointing to God and leading away from God instead. I definitely do not want to give something pointing more to self as God (which is part of the problem). Also, I myself was listening to Jeremy Camp and did not even realize it was so off in that direction until you very clearly pointed it out. Casting Crowns and Jeremy Camp I did think were okay.

    I obviously need to be more in God’s Word to more readily be prepared and recognize such.

    Thank you!
    Please pray for me and my family, and may God bless you and your ministry!

  31. Linda says:

    Hi again :-)

    I listened to another song by Jeremy Camp to see if other of his songs are okay or not according to God’s Word. It is this one. I can’t find anything scripturally wrong with it. Please correct me if I am wrong in Jesus Christ.

    In answer to your previous questions for me to search my heart about:

    Do you listen to this type of music because you are emotionally entertained by the music?
    I usually listen to this music when I either am hurting, need encouragement in Christ, or to praise and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Having said that however, I am usually affected emotionally by the music.

    Do you feel more alive, more spiritual?
    I feel sometimes convicted and renewed in Christ, but not because of anything of me, but because of the Lord Jesus. I feel in awe of Him (Jesus Christ) and more thankful (often with thankful tears) for His Great Love, for I am helpless without Him.

    Does listening to this music get you through the day?
    No. The Holy Spirit and recognizing and glorying our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ are what gets me through the day, and sometimes He helps through others whether directly or indirectly with a word of scripture, or certain songs, etc. I need His strength daily. It’s such a tough world “out there” and it hurts to live in it. Without Jesus, I would be crushed. I’m afraid for my grandchildren, and I have such a great responsibilty to point them to Jesus and pray for their protection from evil … there is so much evil.

    Do you feel better when listening to this music?
    Sometimes I do. Mostly I cry though because I feel either in awe of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and I see how weak I am and how mighty He is.

    I feel prayer, bible scripture from the Word of God, Christian music, and Christian fellowship are all helpful to my walk in Christ … to stay focused on Jesus Christ and in obedience to God.

  32. Great stuff Linda Hi5/

    I’m so glad you spotted it yourself Clap/

    You can go to for Dave Hunt’s teachings and books. However ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS be on the lookout for strange teachings. Test all things.

  33. Linda

    That song might be ok, I haven’t listened to it, however 1% poison in water will kill you. Whether he is deceived and does not know what he is saying, or if he fully understands what he is saying is of no consequence, he is still saying it. If your kids listen to his music and like him because I gotta say he is very good looking (he has huge sex appeal) and they hear that ‘you need to breath God in’, and then they hear from someone else similar teaching and they get taught in school the same thing and they think wow my Christian pop idol (Jeremy Camp) said the same thing…it all adds up and just now you have kids who are spiritually in trouble.

    Repetition in songs, because you listen to the song over and over drives in the message to your subconscious that they are subtly pushing.

  34. Dear Linda

    Every thought of writing your own love songs to Jesus Christ and sing them to your own tune? It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing, neither can I Wink/ . That way it’s YOUR WORDS, not someone else’s words and possible false teaching. When King David sang to God it was his words, his praises, his song.

  35. Dear Linda

    Now hear is a question I wanted to ask but have put off till now. What is it about Rock music that you like?

  36. Linda says:

    Dear Deborah, Hi :-)

    Thank you for your postings! I briefly looked into and bookmarked the link you gave. All very helpful, Thank you!

    I agree with all you say here about this, and I like your suggestion about writing my own love songs to Jesus Christ (I kind of do that a little bit throughout the day – I sometimes hum a little made up tune every now and then as I am going about the day). However, it is for my adult son and a couple of grandson’s that I am looking for some good Christian music for them (I don’t think they would listen to grammy’s tunes and singing, hehe).

    My son and grandsons are into this kind of music BUT worse I am sorry to say – it’s not Christian … and they like rap mostly more-so than rock, (ugghhh … it concerns me terribly which is why I am looking for something they might listen to instead) and I was trying to think of some possible Christian musicians to possibly get them interested in that would point to Jesus instead.

    For myself, I tend to like soft ballad sounds and/or cheerful sounds for melody, but what is most important to me are the words … and I did think the two I mentioned that I sometimes listen to myself were okay in that area until you pointed out some very important concerns; and as I mentioned, I did have some apprehension about and is why I also decided to ask a few other Christian’s about it. So thanks again! :-)

    So I’ve decided not to buy my son and grandsons those CD’s because I agree with what you say about 1% poison can kill, and the rest of what you mention here (and it is repetitive sometimes, so yes, I agree with you); AND I will be more careful also of what I listen to!

    I’ve been trying to find something for my son and grandsons that they would listen to, but I guess all I can do is continue to pray for them and remember that the Holy Spirit changes hearts and minds … not grammy :-)

    I’m just very concerned for them of course. I see them getting bombarded from every direction (me too) with the things of this world (school, movies, and video games even that they are in to as well), and how it is taking hold in their lives bit by bit; and I have trouble not being discouraged about it. We would have “little” talks about it (my grandsons are more receptive than my son, and they ask a lot of questions still … and they are getting all kinds of different “advice”/guidance from adults – parents, teachers, etc.).

    My grandsons have professed to have received Jesus as their Savior at Vacation Bible School last year, but other than VBS which is only one week in a year, the only time I know of that they are around other Christians and hear the Word of God is when they come over. They are coming up with all kinds of beliefs (mostly of the humanistic and New Age variety). I am the grandmother so I have to be careful to not overstep my boundries as I am not their parent. The boy’s mother and father (my son) are not together. My son professed Christ as his Savior some years back and was attending a gospel preaching church for awhile, but is no longer. The boys say their mom doesn’t want or like to talk about “religion” because it causes controversy, and it sounds like their mom is going along with the whole “tolerance” theme that is going on these days; although they boys have mentioned a lot of other beliefs (all humanistic and New Age types) they are hearing from somewhere.

    I have been asking the Lord to show me ways I might be able to help combat against the huge tide in their lives that seems so consuming. Prayer, the Love of Christ, and just being as good an example as am able to in my walk with Christ (also not easy as I am daily being tested and sanctified yet still), are what I doing. I guess I was trying to find something to make it a little easier … and it doesn’t always, not even usually I suppose, work that way.

  37. Amy Chandler says:

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    Hi Linda

    I went to search Jeremy Camp and the first video I came across was this video:

    Minutes 3:36 onward he says

    So come and empty me
    So that it’s you I breath in
    I want my life to be
    Only Christ in me

    Sounds great doesn’t it. He mentions Christ so why worry. Firstly when we are born again Jesus Christ does not empty us. He makes us a new creation as described in 2 Corinthians 5:117: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”

    In Contemplative Spirituality or Eastern Religions you need to empty your mind and then through breath exercises you are to BREATH GOD IN. This breath is called Pranayama and is the formal practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force.

    Now when he says “I want my life to be, Only Christ in me” we can now understand because of the lyrics above that he means ‘the Christ Within’ – ‘the Divine Self’, not Jesus Christ.

    Please read Tom’s article Soaking is just one form of meditation.

    Here’s a question; do you listen to this type of music because you are emotionally entertained by the music? Do you feel more alive, more spiritual? Does listening to this music get you through the day? Do you feel better when listening to this music?

    What about “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30)? I think this conversation is nuts! So many young people have come to Christ and now listen to K-Love (right from the Bible) and Christians are still complaining. Makes me very sad!!!

  38. Dear Amy

    You said: What about “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30)

    This is NOT “So come and empty me So that it’s you I breath in

    When we are born again the Holy Spirit comes to LIVE IN US PERMANENTLY and there after we are continuously FILLED with the Holy Spirit on a daily basis, Jesus Christ does not EMPTY US so we can then BREATH in the Holy Spirit, this is New Age occult teaching.

    Young people are coming to a false Christ through all this rebellious rock music with band members wearing black covered with tattoos.

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16. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between Discerning the World and you with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersede any previous oral or written agreement between us with respect to such subject matter.

Thank you!

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