77 thoughts on “Untangling The Church Music Debate”

    1. And on a serious, content-pertaining post… I’m so tired of all the crap that people use to condemn music they don’t like. The same people who condemn rock, will listen to big band or oldies, and frequently jazz from the 30’s and 40’s. If people just did some homework and researched music theory, history and common sense, they would realize how dumb they sound.

      But anyways… was this video created in seriousness? I didn’t make it all the way through (computer issues) to see if there was some kind of “just kidding!” at the end.

  1. It’s all fun and games until you burn for eternity in a literal hell where the worm dieth not and the flames are not quenched, for making fun of a young person standing up for what he learned at camp. I didn’t laugh, so I’m good.

      1. … Isn’t that why he’s holding it at his mouth, and not … somewhere else?

        It was my understanding that microphones became considered obscene because of the totally obvious connection to oral sex.

        Would microphones magically become OK if they started using vintage or higher quality mics in different shapes?

        1. Based upon that logic, you should only use Blue microphonez in good, God-honoring music, because they are not shaped like sexual things. Haymen!

  2. The most convincing argument i ever heard against CCM at BJU was from Psalm 40:2, where the word “miry” has the obscure alternate Hebrew definition “noisy,” and hence David was lifted up out of a noisy pit (not unlike the noisy mosh pits at rock concerts – i kid you not, he actually said this) in contrast to the new, God-honoring song he was given upon being saved. LOL.

    1. I heard the one from Exodus where Moses and Joshua were returning to camp with the 10 Commandments and at first they thought it was the noise of war in the camp but then they realized the sound was people noisily indulging in idol worship. Thus any loud music is sinful.

      Of course, they blithely ignore the verses in Psalms that talk about making a loud noise, even shouting to the Lord.

  3. Very amusing stuff! I’ve never in my life tried to have a conversation about music with these people. Any hint of “music standards” I get, and I just assume you have no capacity to reason, and should be kept at a distance.

  4. I always thought it was funny when they used an obscure quote from someone like David Bowie about rock and roll being like sex. My counselor at the Wilds asked me once “is there such a thing as Christian SEX!? I replied “its called being married” I was surprised I didn’t get shipped out to a more experienced counselor but I wasn’t surprised I didn’t win the “Timothy award”. I NEVER won that freaking thing

  5. Wow, at first, I thought this was a real video about why CCM is bad, using crappy graphics and robotic voices. Then I realized it was satire (at least, I hope). xD

  6. I have heard every argument cited in this video, given absolutely seriously. So while it’s hilarious, it’s also chilling.

    My favorite argument, though, against “secular” rock moreso, was that we were supposed to reject that music because of the immoral lifestyles of the artists. Then I took Music History/Appreciation (at the same fundy school where I heard all those arguments). It was only classical composers, natch. Every other guy we studied died of syphilis.

    1. Exactly! The classic composers lived lives that were no more decent or moral than the contemporary music stars! There are probably even some fundamentalist Christian musicians who have skeletons in their closets too.

    1. aha!!!… i know you…

      you went to stone mountain christian school, i was a few years behind you.. and i wasnt allowed to set up my drumset at school.. because.. the backbeat crap.. this vid was a hoot..

  7. I like Matt Chandler’s thoughts on this kind of subject. “Does what I am listening/watching/reading get me more of Jesus? If it does I am chasing it.” This thought alone has changed much of my habits in these areas. Thank the Lord for Sovereign Grace music, Lecrae, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Chris Tomlin and a host of others for their God-honoring music!

    1. I listen to some rock, prog, jazz, and other modern music, but the majority of my listening time is spent on “classical” (from old stuff to 21st century compositions). Most of this music has no words, and I listen to it purely for enjoyment. I haven’t found anything in Scripture that tells me that what I do is wrong (w.r.t. instrumental / classical at least!). Thus, I tend to ignore people who claim that one is more spiritual if one listens only to music that has Christian messages in the lyrics. Am I misunderstanding Matt Chandler’s thoughts on this matter?

      1. I think you misunderstood what Matt was trying to say. You may still be stuck in your old Fundamentalist ways of thinking, my man. You are asking the wrong question. The question is not, “Is this music right or wrong, is this movie right or wrong, is this (fill in the blank) right or wrong.” The question is,”Does this music, movie, (fill in the blank) get me more of Jesus?” This will direct thinking in the proper direction. If we feel constantly the need to figure out what is right or wrong in things we consider morally-neutral, it will be become very “whatever I like”-centered. This kind of thinking is not Christian. So instead of really dealing with the question honestly, we use words like “legalism, legalsitic, rule-keepers”…..you get the point. There is subjectivity in the Christian life, but there is a great deal of deliberateness. Asking ourselves this kind of hard questions is not natural to us self-loving humans.

        1. I am still recovering from fundamentalism, but I’ll need more proof that I’m still under its spell in this area. My view is that so long as the music does not glorify evil through its lyrics, I may freely enjoy it. Thus, I can enjoy some music by Igor Stravinsky (who in fact happened to be a Christian, but that’s beside the point) without having to worry either that it has too much dissonance, or that lacks lyrics that “get me more of Jesus,” whatever that means.

          This brings me to the more important question, which is, what exactly is “get me more of Jesus” supposed to mean? I’ve been in church all my life, so I’m no stranger to Biblish. I could avoid embarrassment, nod my head, and say “ah, yes, of course.” But, that would avoid confronting the issue of new made-up phrases that provide a convenient way to identify the people who are “in” and obscure the fact that they actually seem to create another standard for judging levels of personal holiness. After all, how could someone argue that the music of Beethoven or Barber or Bartok “gets them more of Jesus” as effectively as the theologically deep rap that is oh-so-popular in the so-called “Young, Restless, and Reformed” circles these days? And voila, a new standard for saying that you’re holier than I am!

        2. Does this “get me more of Jesus?” is simply asking the question,”Does what I am listening/reading/watching stir my affections for Jesus or does it rob me or distract me from my affections being stirred?” I wasn’t trying to coin a new phrase and I am glad to share with you what this means. I have found by asking myself this question I have been brought closer to Jesus and with a glad submission. It has affected my life in places I hadn’t thought of. This is a much better question than simply asking, “Is this (fill in the blank) right or wrong, especially in areas that are morally neutral. This has nothing to do with inventing a new standard of holiness. If what you listen to stirs your affections for Jesus, then chase it, bro. If it doesn’t….then what is the motivation to go after it??

    2. I used to follow this line of thinking. Then my entire world was irreparably shattered and I didn’t want much at all to do with Jesus. Weird thing is, He keeps showing up in the oddest of places. For instance, some of the most amazing spiritual insights I’ve ever heard were found in the albums of non-Christian music artists. So–that’s some of the stuff I’m chasing now.

      Interesting how one principle will mean different things to different people.

      1. It is very hard to find God in the church with so many people claiming that they speak for him.

        I understand your experience of unexpected epiphany.

  8. I found this video hilarious, but maybe that’s because I was under Kurt Woetzel’s music ministry for 25 years. It was also funny because the special music in my church last week was a saxophone trio. It sounded like band music to me, but maybe I missed something. LOL

  9. Remember this simple rule, and you’ll never get in trouble.

    Music from idol worshiping Europeans (white)–good.
    Music from idol worshiping Africans (black)–bad.

    See how easy that is?

  10. Anyone else roll your eyes and giggle at “Hell’s Bells” the your youth group “movie” night? It was good reprieve from “Sheffy” lol.I will never forget one of the guys wore a Metallica t shirt to watch it! Yeah he was one of those kids who needed to be reache hahaha.

    1. Hell’s Bells is largely responsible for my falling in love with rock & roll. That, and the fact that rock & roll is the best thing ever.

      You can still see Hell’s Bells on YouTube. Ever bit of it. AND! there’s a Hell’s Bells 2 now! The mullet is trimmed, but it’s the same guy we know & love from the original Hell’s Bells, back with more examples from songs/artist that never cracked the top 100.

    2. Back in 79′ I was 10, mom was full on fundy and we had a WatchTower mag in the house that she got from church (I think it was watchtower). On the cover in a kind cooler than they meant to be design was a grid on 4 close ups of English punks, one was Johnny Rotten, maybe one was Sid Vicious, the other not sure. Anyway this was meant to shock and repeal but I was like, “cool…..” That’s what got me into punk rock. 😈

  11. What? No mention of backmasking in which Satan has an obscure message for anyone who listens to a record in reverse? Maybe I’m dating myself because nobody ever listens to record albums anymore.

    1. Aaaahhh, backmasking. I remember feeling guilty about asking the question (to myself only, of course), “Hey, well…how’d those guys figure out that the backmasking was there in the first place? I mean…wouldn’t they have had to study (sin) buy (sin) and listen to (sin) that music in the first place?” Then, of course, I shut myself up. After all, they were my authority, to which I must submit. sigh

  12. Yeah, this reminds me so much of what I use to hear during the sermons on Sundays.

    You cannot listen to rock music, even Christian rock. You cannot listen to country or rap either. Christian rock and rap is just using Satan’s tools to glorify God. 😈

    The only permisable music was the hymns (the old time gospel hour).

  13. I remember “back when” that one week they (my IFB church) had A Very Special Guest was advertised as being part of Grand Funk Railroad, and was speaking on the Evils of Rock music – – he had a lot of attention until he let it slip that he really *wasn’t* part of GFR, but “A Group Just Like It”…

    I would have walked out and gone home, but as my dad was a bus route driver, he would have probably had a fit…

  14. I need to pull out the old “Symphony of Life Seminar” tapes! I would, but I threw them away. I might be able to find the Language of Music VHS tape, but I think that has been discarded. Still have “Music in the Balance”, “Pop Goes the Gospel” and books by Lenny Seidel and Tim Fischer and “Why I Left Contemporary Christian Music” and “Oh, Be Careful Little Ears.” I guess I was in this line of thinking for a long time.

    Now we have drums and guitars in church and I clap on 2 and 4 and we’ve had to buy fake plants for our sanctuary even since.

    BTW, you can still find Frank Garlock’s lectures on youtube. That might be to fun to critique, if you have the time for that.

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