Sanctifying Contemporary Music

Good fundamentalists would not be caught dead listening to Steven Curtis Chapman or Amy Grant (the most recent artists most of them have heard of) because of their evil beats and wicked contemporary associations. No matter how much Satan tempts them to enjoy the fleshly pleasures of CCM, the fundy will resist.

However, since good music is in short supply, fundies are willing to concede that the songs themselves might just be redeemable if one can sanctify the music by removing the drums, rewriting lyrics to remove heresy, and letting a male quartet sing it very, very slowly. God is most please with worship that nobody is enjoying.

This is hardly a new phenomenon. Dottie Rambo and Bill Gaither are now in the hymnbook. No doubt, Steve Green’s music will show up in Soul Stirring Songs and Hymns one day as if the songs had been there all along.

The three steps to redeeming worldly music are these:

1. Remove the beat. Not only must the actual percussion be removed but also the syncopation must be smoothed out. The canny fundamentalist can spot where the drums are “supposed to be” and still worry that the listener will be tempted into worldliness.

2. Flatten out the voice. No slipping, sliding, or scooping must be allowed to ruin the texture of the music. Scooping and sliding voices are the doorway to the relativistic clutches of jazz music and sin lies at that door.

3. Re-write the lyrics. Study the words with caution to identify any possible doctrinal misstep. Also replace “you” with “thee” and “thou” for that special fundy flavor.

Following these simple steps will open the doors to thousands of songs that were once the music of the very devil but now can enter into the worship service having been washed, cleaned and sanctified.

17 thoughts on “Sanctifying Contemporary Music”

  1. And fundamentalists are not beyond correcting the theology of the older hymns either. The Editors of Soul Stirring Hymns, particularly, have a hey day.

  2. The hymn book you were talking about is right here:

    and here:

    Many of the songs are old southern gospel songs that I would have been kicked out of school for listening to by their original artists, but now that they’re in this songbook produced by the church where I went to college, now I can finally listen to them as long as I sing them the way the college approved! YAAAY

  3. This adds a whole new layer to that eternal question, asked, I’m told, by not only Larry Norman, but also Larry Norman: “Why should the Devil have all the good music?”

    1. Ah, Larry Norman. He was the CCM performer who turned me to regular, godless rock. I was at a concert he gave in RI, and didn’t stay for the whole thing. Why? Because HE left after the first set. His reason: he didn’t like the audience. ❗ 😯

      My thought after that was, “If Christian performers act as bad or worse than the world, why not listen to the real stuff?” And so I did, carnal Christian wench that I am. 😈

  4. Hey, knock it off, guys… they’re WORSHIPPING. πŸ˜‰

    Kind of like a large Evangelical Free church in Wisconsin has been showing Hollywood movies every week for the past two months; cuss words, violence, sex, and all.

    They’re WORSHIPPING.

    You can’t criticize them without touching the Lord’s anointed or… something.

    In fairness to common sense, I wonder if it would do any good to point out that “worship” is one of those funny verbs that takes a direct object.

  5. I don’t know about the relevistic part of point two, but i hate slipping, sliding and scooping. Alot of songs can get butured like that -even secular songs( The Star Spangled Banner at sporting event on TV{OK to most fundamentalist circles patriotic songs would be at least semi sacred}).

  6. The church where I have attended use Majesty Music’s (Frank Garlock & Ron “Patch the Piate” Hamilton) hymnal that has “As the Deer” (CCM chorus)and “There Is a Redeemer” (written by Keith & Melody Green) along with some Southern Gospel songs in it.

  7. “Scooping and sliding voices are the doorway to the relativistic clutches of jazz music and sin lies at that door.”
    Fantastic bit of composition right there. It is also hilarious, in that sad sort of way, since fundies really believe this…

  8. I have no idea how I missed this one the first time around. I have 2 comments:

    1. Pastor Clark and I should given credit for the “where the drums are supposed to be” line, Darrell. πŸ˜›

    2. I was allowed to sing Untitled Hymn by Chris Rice at my former fundy church, but had to change “Dance for Jesus” to “give praise to Jesus.”

    1. I was visiting a fundy church and the choir began singing this. I sat on the edge of my seat waiting to hear whether we could dance for Jesus or not. Turns out we could not, but I couldn’t quite understand what the word replacement was.

  9. You apparently haven’t seen David Clouds website lately blasting West Coast BC because they dared to sing CCM songs (sanitized of course) which he contends of course that within ten years they will be a pot smoking liberal apostate emergent church that holds hands with Catholics and Unitarians.

      1. Carchemish August 17, 2013 at 4:43 am You forgot the obligatory reference to β€œThe Shack god.”


    1. What’s wrong with holding hands with Catholics and Unitarians?
      Some of them are really good hand-holders. :mrgreen:

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