Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians
Copyright 2011 by David W. Cloud This edition December 11, 2011 This book is published for free distribution in eBook format. It is available in PDF, Kindle, and PUB formats from the Way of Life web site. See the Free Book tab.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Powerful Publications for These Times ..............6 Introduction .......................................................24 7eventh Time Down ..........................................27 Abandon ............................................................29 Paul Baloche......................................................32 Beatles and CCM ..............................................33 Brenton Brown ..................................................42 Caedmon’s Call .................................................42 Calvary Chapel/Maranatha Music.....................47 Michael Card .....................................................63 Carman ..............................................................67 Mark Carouthers ...............................................74 Casting Crowns .................................................74 Lindell Cooley ..................................................76 Geron Davis ......................................................79 Delirious ............................................................83 Brian Doerksen .................................................89 Phil Driscoll ......................................................89 Michael English ................................................92 John Fischer ......................................................97 Rick Founds ....................................................102 Don Francisco .................................................103 Kirk Franklin ...................................................106 Bill Gaither ......................................................116 Billy and Sarah Gaines ....................................130 Robert Gay ......................................................131 Keith Getty ......................................................131 Vestal Goodman ..............................................131 3
Steve Green .....................................................132 Jack Hayford ...................................................137 Joel Hemphill ..................................................142 Tim Hughes .....................................................142 Integrity Music ................................................145 Jars of Clay .....................................................152 Phil Keaggy ....................................................154 Graham Kendrick ............................................161 Michael Ledner ...............................................167 Mark Lowry ....................................................167 Matt Maher ......................................................172 Mandisa ...........................................................179 Mercy Me ........................................................180 Don Moen .......................................................183 Rich Mullins ....................................................186 Newsboys ........................................................194 Newsong..........................................................196 Marty Nystrom ................................................201 Twila Paris .......................................................201 Sandi Patty ......................................................206 Phillips, Craig, and Dean ................................210 Kevin Prosch and Prophetic Worship .............210 Matt Redman ...................................................222 David Ruis ......................................................225 Marty Sampson ...............................................236 Sanctus Real ....................................................236 Peter Scholtes ..................................................237 Secular Rock and CCM ..................................237 The Shack and False CCM Gods ....................245 Michael W. Smith ............................................249 Marsha Stevens ...............................................254 Rita Stringer ....................................................267 4
Jonathan Stockstill ..........................................267 Randy Stonehill ...............................................268 John Michael Talbot ........................................271 Third Day ........................................................287 TobyMac..........................................................289 Chris Tomlin....................................................290 Stuart Townend ...............................................291 Kathy Troccoli.................................................296 Jaci Velasquez .................................................299 Jo Vogels .........................................................301 Tommy Walker ................................................302 John Wimber and Vineyard .............................302 Darlene Zschech and Hillsong ........................329
Powerful Publications for These Times
Following is a selection of the titles published by Way of Life Literature. The books are available in both print and eBook editions (PDF, Kindle, PUB). The materials can be ordered via the online catalog at the Way of Life web site -- wayoflife.org -- or by phone 866-295-4143. FUNDAMENTAL LESSONS IN HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE. This very practical course deals with requirements for effective Bible study, marking your Bible, and rules of Bible interpretation. The course will help the student in eight ways: First, it will help him learn how to understand the Bible. Second, it will teach him how to use the best Bible tools effectively, such as a concordance, a topical study guide, cross-references, a study Bible, a Bible dictionary, and a Bible commentary. Third it will help him learn how to study the Bible fruitfully, so that he will be excited about his Bible study and can apply the lessons to his life. Fourth, it will help him learn how to be persistent in his Bible study even when he becomes discouraged or bored or distracted. Fifth, it will give him many fresh ideas for studying the Bible. The student will find literally hundreds of ideas to make his own Bible study more exciting and beneficial. Sixth, it will help him understand the difficult things in the Bible, including parables, Old Testament types, perceived contradictions, and difficult doctrinal passages. Not only will the student be shown the solution to many of the difficulties, but he will also learn how to solve 6
difficulties for himself. Seventh, it will help him learn how to teach the Bible to others. Eighth, it will protect him from being confused by false doctrine. 8.5X11, coated cover, spiral-bound. THE BIBLE VERSION QUESTION ANSWER DATABASE (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-088-5. This book provides diligently-researched, in-depth answers to more than 80 of the most important questions on this topic. A vast number of myths are exposed, such as the myth that Erasmus promised to add 1 John 5:7 to his Greek New Testament if even one manuscript could be produced, the myth that the differences between the Greek texts and versions are slight and insignificant, the myth that there are no doctrines affected by the changes in the modern versions, and the myth that the King James translators said that all versions are equally the Word of God. The author has carried on extensive correspondence with men on all sides of this issue for 30 years. The book answers the challenges made by the opponents of socalled “King James Onlyism,” including James White, D.A. Carson, Doug Kutilek, the editors of “From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man” and “One Bible Only,” etc. It also includes reviews of several of the popular modern versions, including the Living Bible, New Living Bible, Today’s English Version, New International Version, New American Standard Version, The Message, and the Holman Christian Standard Bible. 423 pages, 7X8, soft back. CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC: SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED AND SOME WARNINGS 7
GIVEN (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-094-x. THIRD EDITION JUNE 2009. This book begins with the author’s experience of living the rock & roll lifestyle before he was saved and of how the Lord dealt with him about music in the early months of his Christian life. The next section expounds on FIVE REASONS WHY WE ARE OPPOSED TO CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC AND THE CONTEMPORARY PRAISE MUSIC: It is worldly; it is ecumenical; it is charismatic; it is experience-oriented; and it weakens the fundamentalist stance of churches. We give examples of how changes are occurring in formerly staunchly fundamentalist churches through the instrumentality of contemporary music. Another chapter contains answers to QUESTIONS THAT ARE COMMONLY ASKED ON THIS SUBJECT. These are as follows: Should Christians only use old music? Isn't music neutral? Does a b flat note have a moral quality? Isn't the sincerity of the musicians the important thing? Isn't some of the contemporary Christian music acceptable? What is the difference between using contemporary worship music and using old hymns that were interdenominational? What about young people who are hearing arguments from the other side? What about the miracles that some CCM artists witness? Why does traditional church music seem dull? Didn't Luther use tavern music? Didn’t the Wesleys use tavern music? Isn't the issue of music just a matter of taste? Doesn't the Bible encourage us to use cymbals and stringed and loud sounding instruments? Why are you opposed to drums? What is wrong with soft rock? If we assume that Christian music is demonic, why would the devil sing about Jesus Christ and the things of 8
God? Didn't God create all music? Christians are not supposed to judge, are they? Love is more important than doctrine and standards of living, isn't it? Since God looks on the heart, why are you concerned about appearance? Isn't Christianity all about grace? Shouldn't we use rock music to reach the youth? Making rules and standards about music and clothing and such is pharisaical legalism, isn't it? Don't 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23 teach that the Christian has liberty? Didn't Paul say that he was made all things to all men? David danced before the Lord, so why are you against dancing in the churches? Why do you say that the PentecostalCharismatic movement is unscriptural? By preaching against Christian rock aren't you hurting people and hindering their ministries? What about all of the young people who are being saved through CCM? The final sections contain TIPS FOR KEEPING C O N T E M P O R A RY M U S I C O U T O F T H E CHURCHES and SUGGESTED RESOURCES FOR SACRED MUSIC. Third edition June 2009. ISRAEL: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 978-1-58318-116-4. This is a package consisting of a 234-page illustrated book, a DVD series, and a series of Powerpoint/Keynote presentations for teachers. The package covers all of the major facets pertaining to Israel in a professional, technologically cutting-edge way: geography, culture, archaeology, history, current events, and prophecy. The material is based on 38 years of intensive Bible study plus firsthand research in Israel and in major museums in other parts of the world. The following questions are answered: Does archaeology 9
support the Bible? Do the Dead Sea Scrolls have any significance to the Bible believer? How does the current state of Israel fit into Bible prophecy? How should Biblebelieving Christians act toward Israel today? What preparations are being made for building the Third Jewish Temple? How will the Third Temple be built on a place currently occupied by Islamic mosques? Why does Israel bow so often to international pressure? What type of Messiah is Israel looking for? What will the Antichrist be look and what will happen during his reign? What will happen to the Muslim nations when Jesus returns? What is the Battle of Armageddon? When will the Battle of Gog and Magog occur? What will the world be like when Jesus reigns? Israel: Past, Present, and Future shows how ancient Bible prophecies are authenticated in Israel’s past and present. We examine fascinating archaeological discoveries in Israel and elsewhere that support the Bible. We look at major New Testament prophecies of apostasy and document their fulfillment in the type of Christianity that predominates in Israel and throughout the world today. This section features a description of our visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem as well as other Catholic and Orthodox churches. We describe the ecumenism that is drawing all branches of Christianity together. A large section of the book and video series deals with the Bible’s amazing prophecies of Israel’s future. The presentations also examine Bible culture and Bible lands and the fascinating history of the Temple Mount from Abraham’s offering of Isaac to the building of the Millennial Temple. The series begins with an amazing aerial flyover over the land of Israel. 10
KEEPING THE KIDS: HOW TO KEEP THE CHILDREN FROM FALLING PREY TO THE WORLD (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 978-1-58318-115-7. This book aims to help parents and churches raise children to be disciples of Jesus Christ and to avoid the pitfalls of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Statistics show that a frightening percentage of children that grow up in Biblebelieving churches drop out when they reach adolescence. They either go full-fledged into the world, or they remain on the periphery of church life, or they join a contemporary church that essentially promises they can have Christ and the world, too. We are convinced that this does not have to happen, because God has given promises in His Word about child training, but winning the battle is not easy and requires complete dedication by the parents. The book is a collaborative effort. It contains testimonies from hundreds of individuals who provided feedback to our questionnaires on this subject, as well as powerful ideas gleaned from interviews with pastors, missionaries, and church people who have raised godly children. The book is packed with practical suggestions and deals with many issues: Conversion, the husbandwife relationship, the necessity of permeating the home with Christian love, mothers as keepers at home, the father’s role as the spiritual head of the home, child discipline, separation from the pop culture, discipleship of youth, the grandparents’ role in “keeping the kids,” effectual prayer, and fasting. The book warns about the destructive power of hypocrisy, neglect, bitterness, carnal criticism, anger, and of fathers provoking their children to wrath. It describes how parents can win and keep the children’s hearts. It shows how to have family devotions 11
and how parents can train their children to have a daily Bible reading time. The book emphasizes the importance of raising children in a sound church and lists the characteristics of such a church. It is not enough to tell children what to do; they must be taught to apply God’s Word to their daily lives, and toward this end the book provides many powerful Bible lessons on practical Christian living, such as biblical principles for testing entertainment, principles for television and movie viewing, principles for judging clothing fashions, for making wise decisions, and for knowing God’s will. The book contains pointers for winning children that are already rebellious. There is also an extensive list of recommended resources. CHAPTER TITLES: Priority; Conversion; The Home: Consistent Christian Living; The Home: The Husband-Wife Relationship; Child Discipline; The Church; Separation from the Pop Culture; Discipleship; The Grandparents; What if the Kids Are Already Rebellious? Candor; God’s Grace and the Power of Prayer. 531 pages. MUSIC FOR GOOD OR EVIL (4 DVDs). This video series for July 2011 is a brand new replacement for previous presentations we have produced on this subject. The series is packed with graphics, video and audio clips. It has seven segments. I. Biblical Principles of Good Christian Music: Good Christian Music is for Christians and for the Lord. It is holy. It emphasizes melody. It is Christ-centered. It flows from a submissive attitude. It is separate from the world. It creates vigilance and sobriety. It is doctrinally pure and theologically precise. II. Why We Reject Contemporary Christian Music. In this 12
section we give eight reasons for rejecting CCM: It is worldly, addictive, ecumenical, charismatic, shallow and man-centered; it is opposed to preaching; it is experience-oriented, and it weakens the strong biblicist stance of a church. III. The Sound of Contemporary Christian Music. The goal of this important section is to give the believer some simple tools that he can use to discern the difference between sensual and sacred music. We deal with the following four musical styles that are not fitting for good Christian music: 1. Syncopated dance styles, including the back beat, the off beat, the break beat, and beat anticipation. 2. Sensual vocal styles (the whispery/breathy style and scooping/sliding). 3. Relativistic styles (deceptive chord cadence). 4. Overly soft styles that do not fit the message. IV. Transformational Power of CCM. This presentation demonstrates why CCM is able to transform a “traditional” Bible-believing church into a New Evangelical one. It’s transformational power resides in its enticing philosophy of “liberty” and in its sensual, addictive music. V. Southern Gospel. Here we deal with the history of Southern Gospel, going back to the turn of the 20th century, to show how Southern Gospel became an entertainment business. We also deal with the current status of Southern Gospel, the powerful influence of Bill Gaither, and the close association between Southern Gospel today and Contemporary Christian Music. VI. Marks of Good Song Leading. Here we cover eight principles of good song leading: Leadership, preparation, edification, spirituality, truth and spiritual discernment, enthusiasm and a positive attitude, wisdom, and liberty and diversity. VII. Questions Answered on 13
Contemporary Christian Music. Here answer 15 of the most common questions on this subject: 1. Do you mean that Christians should only use old music? 2. Is rhythm wrong? 3. Isn’t this issue just a matter of different taste? 4. Isn’t the sincerity of the musicians the important thing? 5. Isn’t some CCM acceptable? 6. Why does traditional church music seem dull? 7. Didn’t Luther use tavern music? 8. Didn’t the Wesleys use tavern music? 9. What is the difference between using CCW and using old interdenominational hymns? 10. Doesn’t the Bible encourage us to use cymbals and loud sounding instruments? 11. Why are you opposed to drums? 12. What is wrong with “soft rock”? 13. Didn’t God create all music? 14. Since God looks on the heart, why are you concerned about appearance? 15. Since kids today aren’t listening to traditional Christian music, shouldn’t we use rock to reach them? 4 DVDs. ONE YEAR DISCIPLESHIP COURSE ISBN 978-1-58318-117-1. (New title for 2011) This powerful course features 52 lessons in Christian living. It can be broken into sections and used as a new converts course, an advanced discipleship course, a Sunday School series, a Home Schooling or Bible Institute course, or preaching outlines. The lessons are thorough, meaty, and very practical. There is an extensive memory verse program built into the course, and each lesson features carefully designed review questions. Following are the lesson titles (some subjects feature multiple lessons): Repentance, Faith (for salvation), The Gospel, Baptism, Eternal Security, Position and Practice, The Law and the New Testament Christian, Christian Growth and Victory, 14
Prayer, Faith (in Christian living), The Armor of God, The Church, The Bible, The Bible’s Proof, Daily Bible Study, Key Principles of Bible Interpretation, Foundational Bible Words, Knowing God's Will, Making Wise Decisions, Christ’s Great Commission, Suffering in the Christian Life, The Judgment Seat of Christ, Separation - Moral, Tests of Entertainment, Separation Doctrinal, Fasting, Miracles, A Testing Mindset, Tongues Speaking, The Rapture, How to Be Wise with Your Money, The Believer and Drinking, Abortion, Evolution, Dressing for the Lord. 8.5X11, coated cover, spiralbound 221 pages. THE PENTECOSTAL-CHARISMATIC MOVEMENTS: THE HISTORY AND THE ERROR (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-099-0. I have been examining and re-examining the Pentecostal-Charismatic movements for more than three decades since I was led to Christ by a Pentecostal in 1973 and began to seek God’s will about tongues-speaking and the sign-gifts of the early churches. I have built a large library of materials on this subject, have interviewed influential Pentecostals and Charismatics, and have attended their churches in many parts of the world. I have also attended large Charismatic conferences with press credentials. Each fresh evaluation of the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement has brought an increased conviction that it is unscriptural and dangerous. This book begins with my own experience with the Pentecostal movement. The next section deals with the history of the Pentecostal movement, beginning with a survey of miraculous signs from the second to the 18th centuries. We then examine 15
the movements in the 19th century that led to the creation of Pentecostalism and the outbreak of “tonguesspeaking” at Charles Parham’s Bible school in Topeka, Kansas, in 1901, and at William Seymour’s Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles in 1906. We examine some of the major Pentecostal denominations, the Latter Rain Covenant, the major Pentecostal healing evangelists, the Sharon Schools and the New Order of the Latter Rain, the Manifest Sons of God, the Word-Faith movement and its key leaders, the Charismatic Movement, the Roman Catholic Charismatic Renewal, the Pentecostal Prophets, the Third Wave, and the recent Pentecostal scandals. We conclude the historical section with a look at the Laughing-Drunken Revival of Toronto, Pensacola, Lakeland, etc. In another section of the book we deal with the theological errors of the Pentecostal-Charismatic movements (exalting experience over Scripture, emphasis on the miraculous, Messianic and apostolic miracles can be reproduced, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of fire, exalting the Holy Spirit, tongues speaking is for today, sinless perfectionism, healing is guaranteed in the atonement, spirit slaying, spirit drunkenness, visions of Jesus, trips to heaven, women preachers, and ecumenism). The final section of the book answers the question: “Why are people deluded by Pentecostal-Charismatic error?” 317 pages. REPENTANCE AND SOUL WINNING (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-062-1. This is an in-depth study on biblical repentance and a timely warning about unscriptural methods of presenting the gospel. The opening chapter, entitled “Fundamental Baptists and 16
Quick Prayerism: A Faulty Method of Evangelism Has Produced a Change in the Doctrine of Repentance,” traces the change in the doctrine of repentance among fundamental Baptists during the past 50 years. Chapter Two is an extensive study on biblical repentance and includes what repentance is not, a study of every Bible passage dealing with repentance, repentance defined by preachers of old, illustrations of repentance, and God’s repentance. Chapter Three looks at four “Unscriptural Presentations of Repentance”: (1) An Easy Prayerism Presentation: Failing to deal plainly with repentance. (2) An Insufficient Presentation: Failing to define the terms of the gospel so the hearers plainly understand, and failing to contrast the true gospel with false gospels. (3) A Positive Presentation: Failing to lay a proper foundation of the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. (4) A Need-Oriented Presentation: Failing to make a distinction between genuine salvation and mere reformation and ritual. Chapter Four is titled “Does Salvation Make a Difference,” demonstrating that profession without a corresponding change of life is not biblical salvation. Chapter Five, “Pentecost vs. Hylescost,” contrasts the late Jack Hyles’ evangelistic methodology with the Bible. Chapter Six answers questions that commonly arise pertaining to this subject, including “Are you preaching lordship salvation?” and “Isn’t your definition of repentance a works salvation?” (The former title of this book was “Repentance Is More Than a Sinner’s Prayer”) 2008 edition, 201 pages.
SEEING THE NON-EXISTENT: EVOLUTION’S MYTHS AND HOAXES. (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-002-8. (New title for 2011) This book is designed both as a stand alone title as well as a companion to the apologetics course AN UNSHAKEABLE FAITH. The contents are as follows: Canals on Mars, Charles Darwin and His Granddaddy, Thomas Huxley: Darwin’s Bulldog, Ernst Haeckel: Darwin’s German Apostle, Icons of Evolution, Icons of Creation, The Ape-men, Predictions, Questions for Evolutionists, Darwinian Gods, Darwin’s Social Influence. The ICONS OF EVOLUTION that we refute are natural selection, mutations, the fossil record, homology, the peppered moth, Darwin’s finches, the four-winged fruit fly, Lucy, the Laetoli footprints, vestigial organs, the horse series, the embryo chart, the Miller experiment, whale evolution, Archaeopteryx and bird evolution, junk DNA, the Huxley-Wilberforce debate, the Scopes trial, proteinoids, archaebacteria, bacterial resistance, reproductive isolation, the “imperfect” human eye, DNA similarity between apes and men, talking apes, Dawkins’ typing monkeys, the peacock’s tail feather, Hume’s philosophy, the coelacanth, biomorphs, just-so stories, multiverse, the big bang, coevolution, and billions of years. The ICONS OF CREATION that we consider are the monarch butterfly, the trilobite, the living cell, the human eye, the human brain, the human hand, blood clotting, the Pasteur experiments, artificial breeding experiments, the giraffe’s blood pressure control system, the bombardier beetle, the amphibian egg, the bird’s flight feather, bird migration, bird song, the hummingbird, red blood cells, lima bean 18
distress signal, variety of life, harmony and symbiosis, sexual reproduction, living technology, biomimetics, the eel, the mussel’s foot, the dragonfly, the bee, the bat, corn, and water. The section on APE-MEN deals with Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal, Java Man, Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, the Taung Child (Australopithecus Africanus), Plesianthropus (Mrs. Ples), Peking Man, Gigantopithecus Blacki, Ramapithecus, Zinjanthropus (Nutcracker Man), Homo Habilis, Lothagam Man, Flipperpithecus, Donkey Man, Australopithecus Afarensis (Lucy), Ardipithecus Ramidus, Homo erectus, and Darwinius masillae (Ida). This section also deals with the “Out of Africa” hypothesis and Russia’s apemen experiments under Ilya Ivanov. The section on PREDICTIONS considers 29 predictions made by Biblical creationism, such as the universe will behave according to established laws, the universe will be logical, there will be a vast unbridgeable gulf between man and the animal kingdom, and there will be barriers between the different kinds of plants and animals. DARWINIAN GODS takes a look at inventions that evolutionists have devised to avoid divine Creation, such as panspermia and aliens, self-organization, autoevolution, the indeterminate sea of potentiality, and the multiverse. 608 pages. T H I N G S H A R D TO B E U N D E R S TO O D : A HANDBOOK OF BIBLICAL DIFFICULTIES (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-002-8. This very practical volume deals with a variety of biblical difficulties. Find the answer to the seeming contradictions in the Bible. Meet the challenge of false teachers who misuse biblical 19
passages to prove their doctrine. Find out the meaning of difficult passages that are oftentimes overlooked in the Bible commentaries. Be confirmed in your confidence in the inerrancy and perfection of the Scriptures. Learn the meaning of difficult expressions such as “the unpardonable sin.” One unique feature of this volume is that it contains no criticism of the King James Bible. We do not believe that any correction of it is necessary to solve the alleged contradictions and other difficulties. Another thing that sets this volume apart from others on this topic is its practical nature and the fact that it is written from a fundamentalist, Bible-believing Baptist viewpoint. Our objective is to help protect God’s people from the false teachers that abound in these last days. They raise nagging questions and doubts by misusing passages of Scripture to support their specious doctrines. They take Scripture out of context and otherwise abuse it, and we have dealt with many examples of this. For example, we examine verses misused by Seventh-day Adventists to support their doctrines of soul sleep and annihilation and sabbath worship, verses misused by the Roman Catholic Church to support its doctrines of Mary and the Papacy and purgatory, verses misused by ecumenists to justify their unscriptural goals (i.e., Mat. 7:1; Mk. 9:38-40; Jn. 13:35; 17:21; Acts 5:38-39; Rom. 14:4; 1 Cor. 4:5; 6:12-13; Eph. 4:3-6; and Jam. 4:11), verses misused to support infant baptism and baptismal regeneration (i.e., Mk. 16:6-17; Jn. 3:5; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; 1 Cor. 1:16; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet. 3:21), verses misused to support Calvinism (i.e., Jn. 6:37-40; 6:44; Acts 13:46-48; Rom. 8:29; 9:13-33; 11:19-32), and verses misused by those who deny the doctrine of eternal 20
security. We deal with things such as the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, cremation, hair coverings, the first shall be last, did Jesus die on Friday, God forbid, God’s repentance, healing in the atonement, judging, the letter of the law, Melchizedek, self defense, sinless perfectionism, soul sleep, and the Trinity. Jerry Huffman, editor of Calvary Contender, testified: “You don’t have to agree with everything to greatly benefit from this helpful book.” 4th edition, April 2006. 385 pages. AN UNSHAKEABLE FAITH: A CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS COURSE. ISBN 978-1-58318-119-5. (New title for 2011) The course is built upon nearly 40 years of serious Bible study and 30 years of apologetics writing. Research was done in the author’s personal 6,000-volume library plus in major museums and other locations in America, England, Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East. The package consists of an apologetics course entitled AN UNSHAKEABLE FAITH (both print and eBook editions) plus an extensive series of Powerpoint/Keynote presentations. (Keynote is the Apple version of Powerpoint.) The 1,800 PowerPoint slides deal with archaeology, evolution/creation science, and the prophecies pertaining to Israel’s history. The majority of the photos in the PowerPoint slides were taken at location with Nikon D700 pro digital SLRs. The material in the 360-page course is extensive, and the teacher can decide whether to use all of it or to select only some portion of it for his particular class and situation. After each section there are review questions to help the students focus on the most important points. Selections can be made from the review questions for 21
sectional and final tests. There is also a summary of the entire course, which emphasizes the major points that the students should master so well that they can use them effectively in apologetic and evangelistic situations. The course can be used for private study as well as for a classroom setting. Sections include The Bible’s Nature, The Bible’s Proof, The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Bible’s Difficulties, Historical Evidence for Jesus, Evidence for Christ’s Resurrection, Archaeological Treasures Confirming the Bible, A History of Evolution, Icons of Evolution, Icons of Creation, Noah’s Ark and the Global Flood. The course is printed on 8.5x11-inch stock with coated color cover and is spiral bound so the book can be laid flat. WAY OF LIFE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE BIBLE & CHRISTIANITY ISBN 1-58318-005-2. This lovely hardcover Bible Encyclopedia contains 640 pages (8.5X11) of information, over 6,000 entries, and over 7,000 cross-references. Twenty-five years of research has gone into this one-of-a-kind reference tool. It is the only Bible dictionary/encyclopedia that is written by a fundamental Baptist and based strictly upon the King James Bible. It is a complete dictionary of biblical terminology and features many other areas of research not often covered in Bible reference volumes. Subjects include Bible versions, Denominations, Cults, Christian Movements, Typology, the Church, Social Issues and Practical Christian Living, Bible Prophecy, and Old English Terminology. The Christian will be helped and fortified in his faith through this Bible Encyclopedia. It does not correct the Authorized Version of the Bible, nor 22
does it undermine the fundamental Baptist’s doctrines and practices as many study tools do. The 5th edition (October 2008) contains some new entries, extensive additions to existing entries, and a complete rewriting of the major articles. Many preachers have told us that apart from Strong’s Concordance, the Way of Life Bible Encyclopedia is their favorite study tool. A missionary told us that if he could save only one study book out of his library, it would be our Encyclopedia. An evangelist in South Dakota wrote: “If I were going to the mission field and could carry only three books, they would be the Strong’s concordance, a hymnal, and the Way of Life Bible Encyclopedia.” Missionary author Jack Moorman says: “The encyclopedia is excellent. The entries show a ‘distilled spirituality.’” 5th edition, 640 pages, 8X11, hard cover book. [A computer edition of the Encyclopedia is available as a standalone eBook for PDF, Kindle, and PUB. It is also available as a module for Swordseacher. For information see the online catalog at the Way of Life web site or call 866-295-4143.]
This book is published for free distribution in eBook format. It is available in PDF, Kindle, and PUB formats from the Way of Life web site. (The PDF edition is updated more frequently than the Kindle and PUB editions.) See the Free Book tab - www.wayoflife.org.
The following are influential contemporary worship musicians who are creating the music that is being used ever more frequently by fundamentalist churches. All of these people are radically ecumenical and the vast majority are charismatic in theology. To our knowledge, not one of them takes a clear stand against end-time apostasy. All are enemies of a fundamentalist separatist stance. This Directory examines the history of contemporary praise music from its inception in the Jesus People movement and documents the intimate association of contemporary praise with the charismatic movement in general as well as its most radical aspect, the “latter rain apostolic miracle revival.” (See “Calvary Chapel,” “Lindell Cooley,” “Tim Hughes,” “Integrity Music,” “Kevin Prosch,” “David Ruis,” “Marsha Stevens,” “Michael W. Smith,” “John Talbot,” and “John Wimber.”) The following documentation proves that Contemporary Christian Music is a jungle of end-time apostasy and that it is led by “another spirit” (2 Cor. 11:4). When you look 24
at the fact that CCM has an illicit relationship with the world, which the apostle John plainly stated is “not of God” (1 John 5:15-17), that CCM represents the charismatic movement in all of its dangerous heretical weirdness (e.g., gibberish speaking, spirit slaying, holy shaking, holy laughter, holy drunkenness, word-faith name-it-and-claim-it, latter rain miracle revival, fourth dimension prayer, end-time prophets and apostles), that CCM is ecumenical through and through and closely affiliated with Rome, that most CCMers love Dietrich Bonhoeffer and C.S. Lewis and a galaxy of other rank heretics, that CCM is permeated with Roman Catholic contemplative prayer mysticism, that CCMers love wretchedly corrupt “Bibles” such as The Message, and that large numbers of CCMers love The Shack and its idolatrous god, etc. -- it is obvious that we are dealing with “another spirit” rather than the Spirit of God who is the holy Spirit of Truth and Righteousness (John 4:23; 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; 1 John 4:6). “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:9). We have provided extensive documentation of these charges in this Directory as well as in “Biblical Separatism and Its Collapse among Fundamental Baptists,” which is also available as a free eBook at the Way of Life web site. (See the Free eBook tab.) Contemporary Christian Worship music is sweeping through all denominations from Roman Catholic to fundamental Baptist. There is something deeply and 25
inherently wrong with music that is comfortable in the midst of the most wretched heresy and apostasy. And that is exactly where Contemporary Christian Worship is most at home. That is where it was birthed and it is frolicking happy in the midst of the most radical kinds of ecumenical disobedience, such as the yoking together of Roman Catholics and Lutherans and Methodists and Baptists at conventions like New Orleans ‘87 and Indianapolis ’90, and St. Louis 2000. I attended these conferences with press credentials for O Timothy magazine, and they represent gross disobedience to the Word of God. Roman Catholic priests conducted contemporary praise masses, glorified Mary as the Queen of Heaven, exalted the pope as the “vicar of Christ,” and said that no one can go to Heaven except through purgatory. Yet CCW smiles broadly at such things in its “let’s keep it positive,” doctrinally-tolerant ecumenical stance, and is perfectly comfortable in that environment. Contemporary worship music is at home in Laughing Revival meetings where people laugh hysterically during the preaching, stagger around like drunks, are “glued” to the floor, and give false prophecies of a latter rain miracle revival. The music itself feeds the charismatic-ecumenical mystical experience. The sensual pulsing, skipping, tripping, body-jerking syncopated dance rhythms, the electronic modulation, the reverb and echo and feedback, the unresolving chord sequences, the pounding drums, the sensual vocal styles, the dramatic rise and fall of the sound level, and the repetition create an atmosphere in which charismatic seekers experience an emotional high, 26
are hypnotized to receive an unscriptural message, and are prepared for “signs and wonders” phenomena. Whatever is operating in the charismatic-ecumenical movement, it is definitely “another spirit” (2 Corinthians 11:4) when tested Scripturally, and contemporary praise music is that spirit’s vehicle. Once we establish that CCM represents “another spirit,” it is easy to see that it has no place whatsoever in a Biblebelieving church. God has commanded His people to "touch not the unclean thing” (2 Corinthians 6:17). He has commanded them to come out of end-time Babylon:
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).
Contemporary worship music is a dangerous bridge both to the world and to the “broader church” with all of its ancient and end-time heresies.
7eventh Time Down
One of the many great problems with Christian rock is that the message is typically vague, abstract, even meaningless. In researching for the book Contemporary Christian Music Under the Spotlight in the late 1990s I examined the lyrics of hundreds of CCM songs, and this was true then and it remains true today. Consider the song “Jesus Machine” by 7eventh Time Down from their 2011 album “Alive in You”: 27
“Faith is so bionic/ You know you’re gonna want it/ It’s stronger than your money/ Or your million dollar honey/ Love is like a drug/ You’re addicted once you’re bitten/ We know where to hit it/ If you want it, come and get it.”
What does this song mean? Anything you want it to mean! What “faith”? What “love”? What “it”? 7eventh Time Down could just as well be singing about Oprah Winfrey’s New Age god or The Shack god. Ric Llewellyn made the following observation back in the 1980s.
“Perhaps it is true that music is an art form. But as Christian musicians become more and more ‘artistic’ the lyrics of Contemporary Christian Music become more and more obscure until they retain virtually no substantial spiritual value. Lyrics become so allegorical that a truly spiritual lesson is imperceptible. This indefiniteness opens the door to many incorrect understandings concerning the point of a particular song, which fosters the acceptance of teachings which are unbiblical and even antibiblical” (Llewellyn, “Christian Rock?,” Foundation, Vol. VI, Issue 2, 1985, p. 17).
The vagueness of the message is an aspect of ecumenism, allowing “the broader church” to appreciate the music regardless of a particular doctrinal position. The vagueness of the message is also an aspect of the “crossover” phenomenon, whereby CCM artists want their music to be acceptable to the world. The vagueness is also an aspect of the end-time mysticism of which music plays such a major role. The modern person responds to modern music emotionally, mystically, more 28
than through the thought processes. CCM “artist” Joy Williams said:
“I believe in the power of nuance and telling a story that DRAWS OUT EMOTION WITHOUT SPELLING IT OUT. ... I find myself really drawn to nuance because I feel like that is where I have been affected by music. Take Sigur Ros: I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE SAYING, BUT THE MUSIC MOVES ME AND DRAWS EMOTION FROM ME, and I FEEL like there is glory in that” (“Finding Her Own Voice,” Christianity Today, March 3, 2009).
This is blind mysticism and it is a recipe for spiritual disaster.
Begun as a contemporary worship band in a church, Abandon pursued crossover success and achieved it in 2011. Their Christian rock song “Live It Out” has been played on the Food Network Challenge, ESPN’s SportsCenter, and the ESPY Awards Show. The reason a “Christian” song would be acceptable in such secular forums is that the message is so abstract as to be almost meaningless. Consider a sample of the lyrics to “Live It Out.”
“Is it just me or the walls closing in?/ I can’t be the only one, feeling this/ So let’s tear it down, brick by brick/ ‘Cause it’s not helping anyone/ And let’s get out from under this/ I will watch it fall on its own. ... So am I part of the cure or part of the disease?/ I think it’s time we fall down on our knees/ And ask
God for clarity to wash away/ Our memories of the old ways, yeah/ And pray that the walls break./ Can it fill the urgency now?/ It’s time for us to love out loud/ Take the world we know and live it out/ And live it out/ This could be the start of a new day/ We could be the change/ If we take this love and live it out/ And live it out.”
This is the type of message that is so typical of Christian rock, particular of those who pursue “crossover” appeal. The words to this song more readily represent a New Age spirituality than the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no sin, no separation from God, no judgment, no repentance, no cross, no blood, no atonement. It is The Shack god spirituality, a spirituality that is cool, non-dogmatic, nonjudgmental. It’s a gospel that believes in Heaven but not in Hell. When asked whether they received criticism from the Christian community for playing a contemporary style of music, lead vocalist and guitarist Josh Engler made the following telling reply:
“We do receive criticism for the style of music we play. Christians can be some of the most judgmental people in the world and they should be the exact opposite. When God saves you, he saves all of you – your spirit, your soul, and everything else. We try not to pick fights. That's not what we're about at all. If you're on stage, though, people will talk about you both good and bad. You have to follow your heart and let God's will work out on its own. Everyone's selfish and has an idea of what life should look like. It's like water off a duck's back for us. I'm open to having coffee with anyone who wants to discuss us” (“Christian Rock Band Abandon Takes over Secular Television,” Christian Post, Nov. 9, 2011).
In typical CCM fashion, Abandon’s lead singer thinks it is always wrong for a Christian to be “judgmental,” whereas the Bible commands us to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). The believer is obliged to judge teachers (Mat. 5:17; Phil. 3:17), to judge doctrine (Rom. 16:17; 1 Tim. 1:3), to judge sin in the church (1 Cor. 5), to judge the evil works of darkness (Eph. 5:11), and to judge the things of the world (Rom. 12:2; 1 John 2:15-16). While it is wrong to judge hypocritically (Mat. 7:1-5) and it is wrong to judge on the basis of personal opinion and the Bible’s silence (Rom. 14:3), it is right to take God’s Word and judge everything by it. In this manner, the spiritual man judges all things by the mind of Christ in Scripture (1 Cor. 2:15-16). Since God commands us to use “spiritual” songs and forbids us to be conformed to the world (Col. 3:16; Rom. 12:2), the believer is obligated to judge whether music is spiritual or worldly. Since the Bible warns about false christs, false spirits, and false gospels, the believer is obligated to judge the difference between the false and the true. This heretical “non-judgmental” thinking permeates the CCM world is one of the reasons why it has such transformational power when it enters the life of an individual believer, a home, or a church. CCM is not just a different “style of music; it is not a matter of personal “taste.” CCM brings an philosophy of Christianity that is diametrically opposed to that of a fundamentalist Biblebelieving position.
Paul Baloche’s (b. 1962) worship songs are often found at the top of the charts. Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) lists Baloche’s “Open the Eyes of My Heart” as the No. 2 most popular worship song in North American churches, and “Above All” is No. 22. Baloche’s influence is extended through his writings, instructional DVDs and seminars on contemporary worship. Baloche is worship leader at the charismatic Community Christian Fellowship of Lindale, Texas. Their 2002 Leadership Summit featured Ricky Paris of Vision Ministries International, who calls himself an apostle and is said to give “apostolic covering” to Vision Church of Austin, Texas. Baloche’s Offering of Worship album was recorded at Regent University in Virginia Beach, which was founded by the radical charismatic ecumenist Pat Robertson. As far back as 1985, Robertson said that he “worked for harmony and reconciliation between Protestants and Catholics” (Christian News, July 22, 1985). Robertson has often given false prophecies. Some of the Regent professors are Roman Catholic and Regent’s Center for Law and Justice has a Roman Catholic executive director. According to Frontline magazine, May-June 2000, a Catholic mass is held on Regent’s campus every week. Balouche relates his testimony of salvation as follows:
“That’s my testimony. I was playing clubs around Philly and the Jersey Shore and a friend took me to a ‘How to get rich’ - type weekend. On Sunday morning they had a band playing ‘How Great Thou Art’ with drums and electric guitars. I was blown away and I thought ‘That’s amazing, just the power of rock music with lyrics about the Lord.’ I’d never heard that. It really impacted me. My brother and I walked up and made a commitment to follow Jesus. It was a radical change for me” (“Paul Balouche Bio,” leadworship.com).
Beatles and CCM
One of the reasons why we are opposed to Contemporary Christian Music is its worldliness, its refusal to separate from the world. Contemporary Christian musicians make no attempt to hide the fact that they love secular rock & roll and they have no shame for doing so. When asked in interviews about their musical influences and their favorite music, invariably they list some raunchy secular rock musicians. And one of the rock groups that CCM musicians love is the Beatles. When MATT REDMAN, one the most influential names in the contemporary worship movement, was asked in 2011, “Who are your musical influences?” he replied: “All sorts. But all time favorite must be the Beatles. I love it now that my five kids even get into their m u s i c ” ( h t t p : / / w w w. l o u d e r t h a n t h e m u s i c . c o m / document.php?id=2526). It is obvious that Redman is rearing his children on secular rock & roll so that they have a taste for the world even at very young ages.
In a May 1987 interview with CCM Magazine, LESLIE PHILLIPS said: “[In the 1987 album The Turning] I just sort of returned to what I loved originally. You know, returning to your roots and all that. The Beatles were the first rock group I remember hearing, and I dearly love them. They were spectacular, even in their mistakes. There was a spirit in that kind of music that we don’t have today.” PHIL KEAGGY performs an unholy combination of secular rock and Christian rock/folk, and those who listen to his music are drawn toward worldly rock & roll. On his 1993 Crimson and Blue album, for example, he pays “homage to the Beatles” with several of the songs. In a June 2008 interview Keaggy said that performing at the wedding of Linda McCartney’s sister and jamming with Paul McCartney is one of his most cherished memories (“Reconnecting with Phil Keaggy,” Crosswalk.com, June 25, 2008). Keaggy’s 2011 CD “Live from Kegwood Studio” features “homage to George Harrison with a spot-on rendition of the Beatles’ hit ‘Here Comes the Sun.’” CAEDMON’S CALL often performs Beatles music. RANDY STONEHILL says that it was the Beatles who gave him the inspiration to play rock and roll: “Really it was after I saw the Beatles. I saw them on television when I was twelve and I knew that that was what I wanted to do” (Stonehill, cited by Devlin Donaldson, “Life Between the Glory and the Fame,” CCM Magazine, October 1981). 34
The GALACTIC COWBOYS lead singer says, “I’d have to say that The Beatles are still the biggest influence on us, all the way around--except for maybe the guitar tones. They were great songwriters and vocalists” (Ben Huggins, cited by Dan Macintosh, HM magazine, September-October 1998). Some of DC TALK’S musical role models are the Beatles, David Bowie, and The Police, all of which are wicked secular rock groups (Flint Michigan Journal, March 15, 1996). dc Talk opened its “Jesus Freak” concerts with the Beatles’ song “Help.” During their 1999 “Supernatural Experience” tour, dc Talk performed “Hello Good-bye” by the Beatles (CCM Magazine, April 1999, p. 55). JARS OF CLAY names Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles as their inspiration (Dann Denny, “Christian Rock,” Sunday Herald Times, Bloomington, Ind., Feb. 8, 1998). The lead guitarist for Jars of Clay is said to be a “Beatles fanatic” (Christian News, Dec. 8, 1997). MAYFAIR LAUNDRY, a group which got its name from a scene in a Beatle’s movie, cites influences from the Beatles to Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Heaven’s Metal Magazine, May-June 1998). JOHN MICHAEL TALBOT performed Beatles songs during concerts in the late 1990s.
In a May 1987 interview with CCM Magazine, LESLIE PHILLIPS spoke of her love for the Beatles: “[In the 1987 album The Turning] I just sort of returned to what I loved originally. You know, returning to your roots and all that. The Beatles were the first rock group I remember hearing, and I dearly love them. They were spectacular, even in their mistakes. There was a spirit in that kind of music that we don’t have today.” The “Heart of David Conference on Worship & Warfare,” sponsored by Rick Joyner’s Morning Star ministries, concluded with the praise team singing the Beatles song “I Want to Hold Your Hand” as if God were singing it to believers. The worship leaders were Leonard Jones, Kevin Prosch, and Suzy Wills. THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL WORSHIP CIRCUS’ musical style is “reminiscent of rock’s glory days” and “combines the best elements of classic seventies style power pop ala David Bowie, The Kinks and Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and U2” (from their web site). During the Feb. 18, 2002, premier show for MICHAEL W. SMITH’S Come Together Tour, THIRD DAY took the stage to the strains of the New Age Beatles song “Come Together” (press release, Nashville, April 24, 2002). In his musings on Contemporary Christian Music of October 2, 2002, RUSS BREIMEIER (co-director of ChristianityToday.com music channel) exalts the Beatles. He describes his attendance at a Paul McCartney concert 36
in the following terms: “Last week, I also fulfilled one of my lifelong dreams … and got to see Sir Paul McCartney in concert. What an incredible show! … It was simply awesome to hear 20,000+ people sing along to ‘Let It Be,’ surrounding a beautifully lit stage.” There was not a word of warning about the wicked influence the Beatles have had upon society for the past 45 years or about their anti-christ blasphemies. Consider the words to this “simply awesome” song “Let It Be” -- “When I find myself in times of trouble/ Mother Mary comes to me/ Speaking words of wisdom, let it be./ And in my hour of darkness/ She is standing right in front of me/ Speaking words of wisdom, let it be. … Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.” That’s awesome, indeed; it’s awesome apostasy! One of the members of VOX79, the worship band at a conference at WILLOW CREEK COMMUNITY CHURCH, February 2007, was pictured wearing a Beatles t-shirt on the Willow Creek web site (http:// www.willowcreek.com/events/student/schedule.asp). A video that contains a graphical slide show from an Argentina missionary trip by SADDLEBACK CHURCH members features John Lennon’s atheistic song “Imagine.” The trip, made August 1-12, 2006, was part of Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. program, and the video was published on YouTube. The soundtrack uses several pieces of music, including John Lennon’s original recording of Imagine. The lyrics say: “Imagine there’s no heaven/ It’s easy if you try/ No hell below us/ Above us only sky.” 37
In an interview published on CMCentral.com September 27, 2007, the interviewer of John Ellis of TREE63 commented that their new album (Sunday and Everyday) has a psychedelic feel to it and some tracks are reminiscent of John Lennon. Ellis replied: “Did you say psychedelic? It’s funny, I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently about the 40th anniversary of Monterrey, and the Summer of Love this year. So I’ve been reading a lot about Sgt. Pepper, the whole psychedelic culture of 40 years ago. My dad brought me up on the Beatles and by the time I was twelve I was a complete Beatle addict. I have a lot of deep roots in that culture, and most of the music I buy these days is 40 years old.” Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana, featured Beatles Music as their 2007 Christmas theme. Pastor Tim Stevens said: “With Across the Universe currently in the theaters and the new Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas called Love, the Beatles are as hot as ever. Using the music of the Beatles we will be telling the Christmas story all December. And we’ve been getting great feedback from music lovers of all g e n e r a t i o n s ” ( h t t p : / / w w w. l e a d i n g s m a r t . c o m / leadingsmart/2007/11/let-it-bechrist.html/). They advertised it as “Let it Be...Christmas -- A Story Told by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, George and Ringo.” Standard Publishing published a series of Bible studies in 2007 entitled “Tuning into God” that are based on songs from the Beatles and other rock groups. The studies give the background to the raunchy old songs and even 38
encourage the Bible class to play them. This is like digging in a garbage can to learn nutrition. CCM bands traveling with the Rock & Worship Roadshow 2011 performed the Beatles song “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” The “artists” are MercyMe, Jars of Clay, Matt Maher (Roman Catholic), Thousand Foot Kruntch, The Afters & Lacrae. Their enthusiastic cover of the Beatles song appeared on the MercyMe Channel on YouTube. We believe it is absolutely unconscionable for Christian musicians to encourage an appetite for Beatles’ music in young people. No rock group has had a more spirituallydestructive influence than the Beatles. They were certainly controlled by demons as they captured the affection of an entire generation with their “magical mystery” music and carried millions of young people along on their journey to free sex, unisex, eastern religion, atheism, drug abuse, and rebellion against established order. In his 1965 book, A Spaniard in the Works, John Lennon called Jesus Christ many wicked things that we cannot repeat and he blasphemed the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the song “God” (1970), Lennon sang: “I don’t believe in Bible. I don’t believe in Jesus. I just believe in me, Yoko and me, that’s reality.”
Lennon’s extremely popular song “IMAGINE” (1971) promotes atheism and a global New Age unity. The lyrics say: “Imagine there’s no heaven … No hell below us, above us only sky … no religion too/ You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one/ I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.” How many millions of people throughout the world have followed John Lennon in this delusive dream? Death will prove that this dream is actually the most horrible nightmare imaginable. George Harrison was a Hindu to the day of his death and led many into this pagan darkness. As of April 2009, the Beatles were still promoting Hinduism. The two surviving Beatles headlined a benefit concert to promote Transcendental Meditation (TM) among children. The concert benefited the David Lynch Foundation, which is dedicated “consciousness-based education and world peace.” The objective is to raise funds to teach one million children to meditate. Joining Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney were Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, and others. Though some try to deny it, TM is a Hindu practice and is based on the concept that the universe is God and man can unite with God through mysticism. The TM practitioner uses a mantra to put himself into an altered state of consciousness. One page of the David Lynch Foundation’s web site a little girl testifies, “It is quiet and comfortable and I feel connected to everything and everyone.” The practice of TM was brought to America 40
by the Hindu guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and popularized by the Beatles when they visited his lectures in Wales in 1967 and his ashram in India in 1968. George Harrison went on to join the Hare Krishnas and died in the Hindu faith. Maharishi developed TM from the Hindu Vedas. He called TM “a path to God” and “the spontaneous flow of knowledge.” The Beatles have done more to further the devil’s program in these last days than any other music group. It is unconscionable for a Christian to pay homage to these people and to their demonically-inspired music, thereby encouraging Christian young people to think that rock & roll is innocent fun. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The Beatles continue to exercise a vast influence, and young people need to be warned to stay away from them and from the world of licentious rock and roll and pagan New Age philosophy that the Beatles promoted. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their 41
God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:14-17).
Brenton Brown is the author of such popular contemporary worship songs as “Everlasting God,” “Lord, Reign in Me,” and “Your Love Is Amazing.” He “cut his worship teeth in the Vineyard Church in England.” (See “John Wimber and the Vineyard” in this Directory.)
Caedmon’s Call is led by Cliff Young (vocals, guitar). Aaron Tate writes the songs for Caedmon’s Call. At least two of the men wear earrings, and Todd Bragg sports shoulder-length hair. The name of the group comes from a folk tale about an untalented man who was called by God to sing and who received his songs directly from God. They focus their music on the college crowd, performing on large college campuses, but their philosophy is ecumenical and worldly. They perform for the Metro Bible Study, which represents 128 churches in Houston, Texas. The speaker for the Metro Bible Study is David 42
Edwards, a Pentecostal who served on the staff of the Elim Bible Institute for more than 20 years and who was on the steering committee of the North American Renewal Service Committee, which sponsored the massive ecumenical-charismatic congresses in 1986, 1987, and 1990. I attended two of these (New Orleans ‘87 and Indianapolis ‘90) with press credentials. Half of the tens of thousands in attendance were Roman Catholic and many Roman Catholic priests were featured as speakers. A Catholic mass was conducted every morning of the conferences. In an interview with TLeM (Lighthouse Electronic Magazine), the members of Caedmon’s Call said their greatest love in music is secular rock. They mentioned Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, David Wilcox, The Police, Fishbone, 10,000 Maniacs. They often perform Beatles music. Cliff Young said one of his favorites is the foulmouthed Alanis Morrisette. Young mocked a preacher who warns that Christian musicians should not listen to secular rock. Young said that he listens to secular rock & rollers because “they are being honest [about] struggles that they go through.” He said Christians should not be so concerned that “she [Morrisette] says ‘damn’ and ‘hell’ in her songs” (Rob Berman, a conversation with Cliff Young and Todd Bragg, http://tlem.netcentral.net/ indie/960701/caedmons_call.html). We would note that Morissette says much worse things than “damn” and “hell.” Rolling Stone magazine describes her music as “uncensored documentation of her psychosexual former Catholic-girl torments” (Rolling Stone, No. 720). Young said: “I’d rather listen to someone who’s being honest 43
and open, cussing in their songs, than someone who’s putting up a front and writing a song to get a hit” (Ibid.). Who said we have to make such a silly choice! Why not just listen to wholesome music? Everything is to be done to edification (Ephesians 4:29), and cursing certainly does not edify. Everything is to be done to the glory of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:31), and He certainly is not glorified by cursing and immorality. Young also defended listening to the vulgar rock singer David Wilcox: “I don’t see any immorality in songs like ‘Boob Job.’ If anything, he’s looking down on stuff like that. If you look at the Bible, it’s not a cute little book with sweet little stories. It’s one of the most graphic, dirtiest, gross, powerful, dark, yet enlightening books” (Ibid.). This is amazing. We wonder what kind of Bible Cliff Young has. I’ve been studying the Bible for 25 years and have never found it to be graphic or gross or dirty or dark. Whenever the Bible deals with anything touching on immorality, it does so in a sensitive and holy manner so that the reader’s thoughts are not perverted. This is certainly not the way that the rock world deals with immorality. The anti-fundamentalist attitude of Caedmon’s Call is evident:
“It’s amazing how we can get caught up in these things. ‘Did he say that? I can’t believe he said that!’ Especially in the Baptist church we’re in, our whole idea of Biblical holiness is, ‘Don’t drink; don’t smoke; don’t cuss.’ True Biblical holiness is a lot more than that. … the whole CHRISTIAN SUBCULTURE IN THE BIBLE BELT THAT SAYS, ‘DON’T DO THIS.
DON’T DO THAT. You can’t talk about that.’ That kind of thing is no different from Jesus’ day [the Pharisees]. I’ve been in their position. I was a Pharisee for many years” (Cliff Young, Ibid.).
This statement is a mockery of biblical absolutes. It is impossible to take the Bible seriously without striving to be holy in every area of life, without applying biblical precepts to everything the Christian does, without guarding the tongue. The New Testament is filled with commandments—with do’s and don’ts—with things the Christian can and cannot do. It has many commandments against drunkenness and cussing. The very appearance of evil is to be avoided (1 Thess. 5:21). The attitude expressed by Cliff Young of Caedmon’s Call is a smokescreen for rebellion against biblical holiness. He speaks of Baptist churches whose “whole idea of biblical holiness” is don’t drink, smoke, or cuss. I have attended, preached in, and studied Baptist churches for 25 years and I don’t know of one which limits its doctrine of holiness to a simplistic group of commandments like that. The rebel only hears that part, though. Young thinks that Phariseeism is requiring commandments. That was not the Pharisee’s problem. The Pharisee’s root problem was self-righteousness, pride, and the rejection of God’s righteousness in Jesus Christ. The Bible-believing fundamentalists that I know (and I know thousands of them) are not self-righteous. They know that they have absolutely no righteousness in themselves, that in their flesh dwelleth no good thing. They are not Christ rejecters; they are Christ lovers. They know that apart from Jesus Christ they are nothing. Zero. They know that holiness is not external; it is the indwelling Spirit of God. 45
To label the Bible-believing fundamentalist a Pharisee is a vicious slander. Cliff Young also said in the interview that being forced to listen only to Christian music as he was growing up “hurt my walk and my effectiveness as a Christian” (Ibid.). To listen only to wholesome music is injurious! To be separated from vile secular rock music is injurious! What unscriptural nonsense. In a 2001 interview with Echo magazine, Young condemned “Christian-cultural-Bible-Belt-legalism” which says, “Stay away from this and stay away from that.” Caedman’s Call does not believe there should be a separation between Christian and secular music:
“We don’t really believe in a split between Christian and mainstream music. I think there are Christians and non-Christians and the music they write reflects the kind of people they are” (Biography, Caedman’s Call web site, http://www.wbr.com/alliance/ caedmonscall/cmp/bio.html).
This amazing statement reminds me of the warning in the Word of God about the apostate priests of old. They “put no difference between the holy and profane” (Ezekiel 22:26). In an interview with CMCentral, June 19, 2002, Caedmon’s Call again mocked the idea that Christian music should be separate from that of the world. They also spoke against parents who do not want their children 46
to listen to the world’s music. Consider the following excerpt: “I think that ‘Christian’ is not a genre of music. It never was, it never will be. … But to separate music by belief, or by ideology, instead of artistry, is crazy. It all came out of fear, out of parents saying, ‘[Our kids] don't need to be listening to this; they need to be listening to this.’” This demonstrates the worldly mindset of the CCM crowd. Parents, pastors, and teachers who strive to separate their children from this world’s sensual music are wise and are to be commended. Christian music is described in Colossians 3:16 as “songs, hymns, and spiritual songs.” Today’s pop music is described not in Colossians 3:16 but in 1 John 2:15 -- “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” Those are most definitely two distinctly different “genres” of music.
Calvary Chapel and Maranatha Music
Founded in 1971, Maranatha Music was one of the first contemporary Christian music publishing companies. It was founded by Chuck Smith, Sr., of Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, California, to publish the music of the early Jesus hippies. Calvary Chapel played a major role in the birth of the Jesus People movement. Mesmerized by a charismatic Jesus hippie named Lonnie Frisbee, Chuck Smith baptized massive numbers of hippies who had professed Christ, many of them “led to the Lord” by Frisbee. By 47
accepting the young people pretty much as they were even for Christian service--long hair, immodest clothing, rock & roll, culturally liberal thinking--Calvary Chapel exploded in growth from one small church to a megachurch and beyond to a large association of churches. “With his long brown hair, long craggily beard, dusty clothing, scent of Mary Jane [marijuana] and glint of his last LSD trip in his eyes, Frisbee showed up out of nowhere ... literally on Chuck Smith’s doorstep” (Matt Coker, Orange County Weekly, March 2005). Frisbee was “commissioned” by Chuck Smith Sr., after Smith’s wife, Kay, received a “prophecy.”
“The Spirit of God came through a prophecy with Kay Smith and said, ‘Because of your praise and adoration before My throne tonight, I’m gonna bless the whole coast of California.’ And when we started to receive the word as from God, the Spirit of the Lord fell upon us and we began to weep and the Lord began to give people visions of that prophecy and then the Lord continued on to say that it was going to move across the United States and then go to different parts of the world” (David DiSabatino, Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippy Preacher).
Maranatha Music was built upon this unscriptural spiritual foundation. In those days, at least, Calvary Chapel was quick to accept the flimsiest “profession” and wasn’t careful to try to ascertain whether the hippies were truly born again. They encouraged the newest babes in Christ (assuming they were even saved) to perform music. Take the members of Love Song, one of the first 48
and most influential of the Calvary Chapel Christian rock bands. Band member Chuck Girard said in 1997:
“It was early 1970 when three of my buddies and I walked into a church called Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa to play some songs for the pastor at the suggestion of a young hippie preacher named Lonnie Frisbee. We were hippies who had turned our lives over to the Lord only days before, yet we had a few songs that we had written before we met the Lord that were about God and Jesus. The pastor thought the songs were of God, invited us to play at one of the weekly Bible studies and we accepted the invitation. ... We didn’t know much about what people called ‘gospel music,’ we were just writing the same kind of songs we would write if we weren’t Christians but now we had Jesus to sing about” (Girard, foreword to History of the Jesus Movement by David DiSabatino, One-way.org/ jesusmusic).
Note that the members of Love Song started out by playing songs they had written even before they were converted, when they were admittedly walking after the god of this world (Ephesians 2:1-2). And when they started writing “Christian” songs, all they did was add “Jesus” to their old music. And they were encouraged to do so by the leadership of Calvary Chapel even though the Love Song hippies were the merest babes in Christ (at best). That was unwise and unscriptural and was a sin both against the new professors and the churches. Even a deacon is to be proven first (1 Timothy 3:10). The hippies should have been carefully discipled and biblically trained before they were allowed to minister to the churches through music. They should have been grounded in sound doctrine and taught Bible principles 49
of Christian living, spiritual music, and separation from the world. I am thankful that this is what happened to me when I joined a church soon after I was converted as a hippie in 1973. The church members loved me and were patient with me, but they didn’t quickly foist me into the limelight and put me into the ministry. The shallow nature of many of the Jesus People conversions that formed the foundation for Maranatha Music and the Vineyard Music is witnessed by Marsha Stevens. She founded Children of the Day, the first group that was published by Maranatha. Her song “For Those Tears I Died” represents the mysticism that permeated the Jesus People movement.
You said You’d come and share all my sorrows, You said You’d be there for all my tomorrows; I came so close to sending You away, But just like You promised You came there to stay; I just had to pray! Jesus, I give You my heart and my soul, I know that without God I’d never be whole; Savior, You opened all the right doors, And I thank You and praise You from earth’s humble shores; Take me I’m Yours. And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side, I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied; I felt ev’ry teardrop when in darkness you cried, And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died."
This is pure mysticism. It creates an emotional experience associated with a vague spirituality which is 50
not solidly Bible based. There is no clear gospel message. There is nothing about sin, the cross, repentance, or biblical faith. Jesus didn’t die for our tears; He died for our sins. The song says come to the water, but what water? It says you are thirsty, but thirsty for what? It says I just have to pray, but pray how and for what? It mentions a door, but what door? A Roman Catholic Mary venerator, or a liberal Protestant who doesn’t believe Jesus is God, or a New Age goddess like former Southern Baptist SS teacher Sue Monk Kidd could sing this song with passion. Stevens’ testimony of salvation is that during a Bible study she had a vision of herself walking with Jesus near a deep blue river. The vision changed her life and soon therefore she composed “For Those Tears I Died.” (See also “Martha Stevens” in this Directory.) Lonnie Frisbee (1949-1993) further illustrates the frightfully shallow nature of many of the Jesus People “conversions” that formed the foundation of the contemporary praise music movement. Frisbee turned to “Jesus” through LSD trips and began to receive “prophecies” while high on drugs. On his own authority the teenage Frisbee baptized a group of drugged up hippies at Tahquitz Falls after reading the Gospel of John to them and painting a picture of “Jesus” on the rocks. Later, in the same place while on an acid trip, he had a “vision” that God had called him to preach the gospel to multitudes. 51
In the video documentary on Frisbee, David DiSabatino observes that many of the Jesus People conversions involved drugs. “One of the ironic twists of the 60s was that many openly stated that drugs, LSD in particular, played a large part of their experience in Christian salvation” (Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippy Preacher). Sandy Heefner, for example, describes her salvation like this:
“I took my LSD, laid down on the floor a couple of hours and when I could get together to get up, I got up as a Christian. It’s just that simple.”
This is most definitely not biblical salvation. There is no gospel, no repentance, no saving faith. This is a deluding spirit masquerading as Christian conversion. Frisbee was not only using hallucinogenic drugs but was still living a homosexual lifestyle, practicing hypnotism, and dabbling in various occultic and mystical practices (“The Son Worshipers,” video documentary edited by Bob Cording and Weldon Hardenbrook). In this condition Frisbee joined a Jesus People commune in 1967. He never had a clear new birth conversion that involved a definite understanding of the gospel and clear repentance and faith. He never gave up homosexuality and partying. Even after he joined Calvary Chapel he would “party on Saturday night” and preach on Sunday.” He would “go out and boogie down.” It was alleged that Frisbee’s ministry was accompanied by “signs and 52
wonders” but the devil can do miracles, and when measured by the standard of Scripture, Frisbee’s ministry was dangerously heretical. Even so, Smith put Frisbee in charge of a Wednesday night Bible study, which soon attracted thousands (Randall Balmer, The Encyclopedia of Evangelism). That Frisbee had no spiritual discernment is evident in that he appeared with the false prophetess Kathryn Kuhlman on her I Believe in Miracles show. Further, he lied on that program by claiming that his sin had been totally washed from his heart by the “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” when he knew full well that he was still sinning secretly in the most outrageous manner. (This appearance can be found on YouTube.) By 1971, Chuck Smith parted company with Frisbee because of their different perspectives on Pentecostal signs and Smith’s desire to focus more on the teaching of Scripture. Smith was right to reject such things as “spirit slaying,” but the wild “spirit” represented by Frisbee and his charismatic mysticism already had a massive influence in the Jesus Music, including Calvary Chapel’s Maranatha music, and that influence has continued to this day. What Smith failed to renounce was Christian rock itself with its powerful, sensual mysticism and its illegitimate merging of the unholy rock of this world with the holy Rock Christ. 53
Frisbee was divorced in 1973. His wife says,
“At the end of the marriage he told me that he had been staying late in some gay bars” (Connie Bremer-Murray, Lonnie’s ex-wife, Special Features section of Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippy Preacher).
In 1980, Frisbee became associated with John Wimber, who was seeking to establish a “signs and wonders” ministry at the Yorba Linda branch of the Calvary Chapels. Wimber called miracles “doing the stuff,” but he was unsuccessful in “doing the stuff” until Frisbee spoke at his church. After Frisbee asked all the young people under 25 to come forward and invited the Holy Spirit to manifest His power, the roughly 300 people fell on the floor “as if on a battlefield” and shook and spoke in unintelligible gibberish (David Roozen, Church, Identity, and Change). Wimber asked God if this was of Him, and that night a Calvary preacher named Tom Stipe called him on the phone and said, “I have a word for you; the Lord says, ‘This is me’” (“Lonnie Frisbee and the Jesus People Revival,” http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=0OgfmU13sPI&feature=related). Wimber should have tested the “Frisbee anointing” by Scripture, but instead he depended on signs and extrascriptural prophecies. Some of the elders of Wimber’s church called for a meeting to discuss the Frisbee phenomena, but the same confusion broke out to silence the protestors. 54
“All of a sudden, I’m seeing this guy next to me, this Ph.D. in Microbiology, begin to shake and he’s begun to shake under the presence of God. The presence of God’s coming. So I begin to stand up. The power of God knocks this guy down and he began to roll under my feet on the ground, screaming hysterically. The power of God came down on everybody in the room. And it was just absolutely mind-boggling” (John Ruttkay, quoted in Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippy Preacher).
Frisbee had a leather jacket with a picture of “Jesus” on the back that he used to “impart the spirit.” The transference of the spirit is a pagan practice but it has been a major element of Pentecostalism from its inception. Usually hands are used as the transference agent, but Benny Hinn often uses his jacket or his breathe to transfer the spirit, and Rodney Howard-Browne has used a towel and other things. Wimber interpreted all of this as the power of the Holy Spirit, but it was a deceiving spirit. The apostles and early church leaders didn’t fall down and shake and speak in meaningless gibberish, but the practitioners of pagan religions do those very things under the power of the devil. Wimber’s church experienced massive growth and kids “started baptizing friends in hot tubs and swimming pools around town.” It was at this point that Wimber left the Calvary Chapels and joined Kenn Gulliksen and the Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Wimber soon became the leader of the Fellowship. 55
Wimber had bought into the “latter rain” end-time miracle revival heresy and the new prophecy movement, and he and Frisbee traveled together to spread their “signs and wonders power evangelism” to South Africa and Europe.
“John would speak and Lonnie would minister. They were the dynamic duo. Lonnie got up there and he’d wave his leather coat and the power of God would come and people would be falling all over these old pews in these Baptist churches. And Lonnie would start climbing over the pews and start laying hands on people saying, ‘Speak in tongues! Speak in tongues!’ And he’d hit them in the forehead and they’d instantly begin to speak in tongues. So I was blown away by that...” (Steve Zarit, Vineyard church member, quoted in Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippy Preacher).
In one service in South Africa, Frisbee asked the children from 12 years old and under to come forward, and they all feel down “slain” (“Lonnie Frisbee in South Africa,” http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=KYGXSac1TwM&feature=related). Wimber played a huge role in the spread of charismatic heresy throughout evangelicalism. He yoked up with C. Peter Wagner at Fuller Theological Seminary and taught a course called “Signs and Wonders and Church Growth.” Wagner traveled deeper and deeper into charismatic deception, eventually believing that he was one of the latter day apostles. Under Wimber’s direction, the Vineyard churches took contemporary praise music to an edgier, more sensually56
intense level. Lusting for “signs and wonders” and a tangible worship experience, they created powerful rock & roll music that would feed that lust. Eventually Wimber parted ways with Frisbee over his homosexuality after learning that he had a six-month affair with a young man in his church. (For more see “John Wimber and the Vineyard” in this Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians.) When Frisbee died in 1993 (age 43) of AIDS, a memorial service was held at self-esteem heretic Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral, where the hippie preacher is buried. At the service, Chuck Smith likened Frisbee to “Samson,” but Samson operated by the Spirit of God, whereby Frisbee operated by one who transforms himself into an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13-14). It was not only the Calvary Chapel’s Jesus People that were built upon a flimsy spiritual foundation. The field of Christian rock in general has been rife with spiritual shipwreck, heresy, and such things as divorce, adultery, and homosexuality since its inception, as any honest history of the movement will acknowledge. Consider Larry Norman, who has been called the father of Christian rock. He got divorced as well as at least two other CCM musicians in his Solid Rock Records fold (Randy Stonehill and Tom Howard). Just a few of the other divorced and/or adulterous/fornicating CCM musicians are Sandi Patty, Deniece Williams, Sheila 57
Walsh, John Talbot, Kevin Prosch, Bob Larson, Ralph Carmichael, Nikki Leonti, Ryan Gingerich, Steve Archer, Michael English, Amy Grant, Gary Chapman, Stacy Jones of the rap group Grits, Ja’Marc Davis of Raze, and members of the now disbanded Barnabas. Melody Green, widowed wife of Keith Green, divorced her second husband, Andrew Sievright. Homosexuality has also been a part of the CCM movement. In The Gospel Sound, which first appeared in 1971, Anthony Heilbut said, “The gospel church has long been a refuge for gays and lesbians, some of whom grew up to be among the greatest singers and musicians.” Douglas Harrison, a homosexual who grew up Southern Baptist, said, “... you can’t swing a Dove Award without hitting upon evidence of the longstanding, deep-set presence of queer experience in, and its influence on, Christian music culture at all levels” (“Come Out from among Them,” Religion Dispatches, April 30, 2010). In 1998, CCM star Kirk Franklin said that “homosexuality ... is a problem today in gospel music--a MAJOR CONCERN--and everybody knows it” (Church Boy, pp. 49, 50). James Cleveland, who has been called the “King of Gospel,” was a homosexual who died of AIDS. Other homosexual CCM artists are Anthony Williams, Marshal Stevens, Kirk Talley, Clay Aiken, Ray Boltz, and Jennifer Knapp. 58
The reason for this is not difficult to discern. Typically, CCM musicians have been accepted as saved upon the flimsiest testimony of faith and have not been properly taught and discipled. They have fed their spiritual lives with a constant diet of sensual music and have sought after emotional highs and “signs and wonders” instead of walking by faith. They have played with the world, which is more dangerous than any poisonous snake, instead of walking separated lives. Larry Norman, the father of Christian rock, was not discipled properly and in fact cares little to nothing about church. When asked by Buzz magazine what church he attended, he refused to answer except to say, “I think it’s unimportant,” and, “I don’t like the question.” He said that he believes it is an “obsessive compulsion” to meet at regular times for church, which flies in the face of Hebrews 10:25 and the example of the early Christians (Acts 2:42; 20:7). Consider the All Saved Freak Band, one of the earliest Christian rock groups, which was influential then and continues to exist today in a reincarnated edition. Joe Markko, co-founder, had only been a professor of Christ out of the drug culture for three months when he formed the band in 1968. His mentor and fellow band member Larry Hill was an Assemblies of God pastor who left the denomination to start a work among hippies on the authority of “some visions.” Hill’s ministry fell apart when he fled Ohio to avoid prosecution for sexual abuse 59
(John Thompson, Raised by Wolves: The Story of Christian Rock & Roll, Kindle location 441). We could multiply these wretched examples almost endlessly. The spiritual foundation of Contemporary Christian Music is frightfully unscriptural. With few exceptions, it wasn’t created by mature spiritual people who had a solid testimony of salvation and who were grounded in Scripture and committed to sound doctrine. Maranatha Music acted as a change agent to broaden support for Christian rock in that the early “praise” music was softer rock & roll. It was folk rock and rock ballads. Further, Calvary Chapel held to a more conservative theology, avoiding the extreme elements of Pentecostalism which were still unacceptable to most churches at that time. In spite of Maranatha’s more “conservative” image, Christian rock was riding a wild and untamable spirit. Its radicalness is seen in its association with the Roman Catholic Church and the fact that it has become permeated with dark heresies and the most outlandish charismatic nonsense. (See “CCM Permeated with False Christs and False Gods” at the Way of Life web site.) In order to gain a broader following, early CCM needed the more conservative image that Calvary Chapel and Maranatha Music provided. The cutting-edge hard Christian rockers of the 60s and 70s--such as Larry Norman (whose debut album Upon This Rock was banned by Christian bookstores), Petra, and, Resurrection 60
Band--were too radical for most churches then. Barriers had to be broken down. It is important to understand that the Calvary Chapel Jesus hippies loved every sort of “Christian” rock even from the earliest days. Chuck Girard of Love Song says, “We were amazed to see and hear the album ‘Upon This Rock’ by Larry Norman.” They loved any type of “Christian” rock, but Maranatha published the “softer” stuff and thereby increased the contemporary music’s popularity and broke down the barrier that existed widely in those days against using rock in Christian music. Even the softer rock was commonly rejected by churches in the 1970s but the resistance was gradually broken down through the process of incrementalism. Through the influence of the softer rock CCM, the leaven of Contemporary Christian Music spread and the vast majority of churches are now addicted to rock of all types and have bought into the shallow arguments that are used to justify the merger of the holy Rock Jesus Christ with the unholy rock of this world. The leaven did its job. The CCM songs published by Maranatha in the 1970s, which were considered “edgy” at the time, are the “old conservative hymns” of the contemporary praise movement today. This is how the devil works. He uses the tools of confrontation, compromise, and incrementalism. He was the inventor of Hegelian Dialectics, which has been employed to great effect by communists, humanists, liberal educators, theological modernists, Christian rockers, and others to 61
tear down the old and replace it with the new. This is done by bringing incremental change through a process of confronting the existing paradigm (philosophy, doctrine, culture, position, etc.) with an alternative. At first the alternative seems shocking and wrong, but with persistence on the part of the change agents, over time the new alternative is syncretized with the old paradigm to produce a compromise, which becomes the new accepted paradigm and the new base line for another round of change. In this way, the targeted group (e.g., classroom, church, political party, nation) is carried along slowly but surely toward the objective. The role played by Calvary Chapel and Maranatha Music in the 1970s (whether by design or not) was similar to what Dick Clark’s American Bandstand did in the 1950s in broadening the popularity of rock & roll by cleaning up its “bad boy” rebel stigma in the minds of parents. Clark required the teenage rockers to dress conservatively in skirts and dresses, suits and ties, and toned down the dance moves. Clark didn’t change the licentious rebel character of rock; he merely cleaned up its image so it could leaven every sphere of society. Dick Clark was simply having a good time and making money, but the god of this world was pulling the strings. Through the decades, Maranatha Music has itself become ever more radical in its use of rock & roll, ever more charismatic, ever more ecumenical. Today its workshops have a large influence in cross-denominational education. Church leaders from “ALL DENOMINATIONS” are welcome (maranathamusic.com). By 2008, 120,000 62
“church gate-keepers” who attended workshops “looked to Maranatha Music as the leading source of worship products and services.” Maranatha not only spreads contemporary music, it also spreads the CCM heresies of non-judgmentalism, ecumenism, and “cultural liberalism.” (See also “Marsha Stevens” in this Directory.)
Michael Card (b. 1956) lists several theological modernists and Roman Catholic authors as major influences with no warning to the viewers about their heresies and false gospels. These include Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Malcolm Muggeridge, F.F. Bruce, and Henri Nouwen. Bonhoeffer rejected such doctrines as Christ’s virgin birth, bodily resurrection, and substitutionary atonement. According to Bonhoeffer, it is a “cardinal error” to regard Christianity as a religion of salvation. As for Muggeridge, Card specifically mentions his blasphemous book Jesus Rediscovered, in which he denied the virgin birth, deity, and bodily resurrection of Christ. F.F. Bruce denied the eternal fire of Hell and promoted the annihilation heresy. Henri Nouwen was a liberal Catholic priest who supported homosexuality and liberation theology and held the heresy of universalism. Michael Card is radically ecumenical. In 1996, he produced an album (Brother to Brother) jointly with John Michael Talbot, a Roman Catholic who prays to Mary and practices yoga. Of this venture, Card testified: 63
“Doing this project has enabled us to become real friends. And along the way, the denominational lines have become really meaningless to me, and to John, too” (CCM Magazine, July 1996). To say that denominational division is meaningless is to say that doctrine is not important, because doctrine is one of the key things that divides denominations and churches. Timothy’s job in Ephesus was to “charge some that they TEACH NO OTHER DOCTRINE” (1 Timothy 1:3). That is the very strictest view of doctrinal purity. God forbids His people to associate with those who hold false doctrine (Romans 16:17). To say that the denominational lines pertaining to Romanism are meaningless is to say that false doctrines such as the mass, the papacy, the priesthood, sacramental salvation, prayers to the dead, Mary the Queen of Heaven, Purgatory, etc., are unimportant. Card and Talbot embarked on a concert tour which included concerts in eight cities, “with the audience mix estimated at 50 percent Catholic and 50 percent Protestant” (Charisma, December 1996, p. 29). In March 1996, they performed together for the largest gathering of Catholics in America at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. Roughly 20,000 priests and “laity” attended this congress. Both men also spoke at the formation retreat for the Catholic Musicians Association of which Talbot is the president. On their album Talbot and Card sing: “There is one faith/ One hope and one baptism/ One God and Father of all/ 64
There is one church, one body, one life in the spirit/ Now given so freely for all.” What faith? What baptism? What church? The Roman Catholic faith is not the Biblical Christian faith. It’s baptismal regeneration certainly is not biblical baptism. The Roman church is not the New Testament church. Why would Michael Card pretend that he and John Talbot are singing about the same thing? If he believes Talbot’s faith is the one true faith, why does he not become a Roman Catholic? It is painfully obvious that doctrinal truth means nothing to these CCM artists. If the pope is truly the Vicar of Christ and the head of all Christians, it would be wicked to deny it; but if the Catholic papacy is nothing but a man-made tradition, it is wicked to believe it. If Mary is truly the immaculate, ever-virgin Queen of Heaven, it would be wicked to deny it; but if the Catholic Mary is a demonic idol, it is wicked to believe it. There is no middle ground here. There can be no fellowship between those who hold doctrines this diverse. The Bible says those who teach doctrine contrary to that which the apostles delivered are to be marked and avoided (Romans 16:17). The Bible wisely asks: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Card led the singing for the “Evening of Friendship” at the Salt Lake City Tabernacle on November 14, 2004. The crowd was composed of Mormons and “evangelical” Christians of various stripes. In the Deseret Morning News, Card is quoted as saying that “he doesn’t see 65
Mormonism and evangelical Christianity as opposed to each other; they are more like the two ends of a long thread -- part of the same thing.” He said, “The older I get, I guess the more I want to integrate everything. I think it’s more important to be faithful than right” (“Songwriter puts faith to music and verse,” Deseret Morning News, Nov. 16, 2004). Yet the Bible says salvation comes only by the apostolic doctrine (Rom. 6:17) and those who preach false gospels are cursed (Galatians 1). Card has the distinction of having the greatest ecumenical reach of any of the CCM artists. At the one extreme he performs for Mormons and for Roman Catholics. His close friend is John Michael Talbot, the Roman Catholic contemporary musician who prays to Mary. And at the other extreme, Card even performs for independent Baptists. He had a concert at Northridge Church of Plymouth, Michigan, in October 1996. Card is a fan of the heretic Brennan Manning and is a supporter of Manning’s extremely dangerous contemplative prayer. In The Signature of Jesus, Manning instructs his readers to “stop thinking about God at the time of prayer” and to delve into “the great silence of God” through the use of “a single, sacred word” (pages 88-89). This is exactly what Hindus and Buddhists do through their mystical practices. They chant a mantra to experience oneness with God. Manning instructs people not to use the Bible during contemplative prayer practices. He spent six months in isolation in a cave in Spain and he spends eight days a 66
year at a Jesuit retreat center in Colorado during which he speaks only 45 minutes each day. His spiritual director is a Dominican nun. Manning calls centering prayer a “GREAT DARKNESS” (The Signature of Jesus, p. 145) and an entire chapter of his book is devoted to “Celebrate the Darkness.” He does not know how correct he is in this description. Contemplative prayer, which is borrowed from the great darkness of Rome’s monastic system, is a recipe for spiritual delusion and many have followed this path to universalism, panentheism, and even goddess worship. (See “Contemplative Spirituality Dancing with Demons” and “Contemplative Practices Are a Bridge to Paganism” at the Way of Life web site.) See also “John Michael Talbot” in this directory.
Carman Dominic Licciardello (b. 1956) accepted Christ as Savior in 1976 after attending an Andrae Crouch concert at Disneyland in California and published his first album in 1980. In 1981, Bill Gaither invited him to tour with the Gaither Trio. Carman is a member of the charismatic Higher Dimensions Evangelistic Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, pastored by Carlton Pearson. He is one of the highest paid CCM musicians. On October 22, 1994, he set the record for the highest attendance at a Christian concert with more than 71,000 people filling the Dallas Texas Stadium. In 1995, he signed with secular record company Liberty Records for a roughly five million dollar bonus 67
(Shout, Dec. 1995, p. 35). His 1994 Raising The Standard tour drew a total attendance of 1.1 million people. By the late 1990s, of the top 75 all-time bestselling Christian albums, seven belong to Carman (CCM Magazine, July 1998, pp. 107-108). Much of Carman’s music is geared to evangelism and he claims that thousands have been saved through his concerts. We hope this is the case. We don’t question the man’s sincerity in seeing unsaved people come to Jesus Christ, nor do we fault his zeal in this most important endeavor. The Bible instructs us to “prove all things,” though, and what we do seriously question is his music, his method, and his message. Carman’s Addicted to Jesus album contains such blasphemous cuts as the “HOLY GHOST HOP.” He exclaims:
“Everybody used to do the twist/ The mashed potato and it goes like this/ The funky chicken, monkey too/ There wasn’t nothing’ they would not do/ But there’s a new dance no one can stop/ A leap for joy we call the Holy Ghost Hop. “Now get ready, hold steady/ Don’t deny it, just try it/ Be bold now, let it go now/ Give the Holy Ghost control now. “Hey all you brothers and you sisters too/ Don’t let tradition tell you what to do/ Release your worries and your fears/ ‘Cause we’ve been hopping in the church for years/ If King David was here I know that he/ Would do the Holy Ghost Hop with me” (“The Holy Ghost Hop” by Carman).
Carman is wrong. David did not dance to rock music. He did not put on a fleshly show. He was not moving his feet to some carnal beat. He was not entertaining anyone. He danced before the Lord but it was nothing which the world would have appreciated or paid money to see. To the contrary, even unsaved people understand and appreciate the type of music and dancing that Carman produces. On another cut entitled “Come into This House,” sung to a heavy rap style, Carman says:
“I’ve got news you can choose/ You need to be delivered/ with Christ you win/ without Christ you lose/ BUT IF YOU JAM WITH THE LAMB, YOU’RE SMOOTH/ Cut out the jive, cut into church/ You need a healing’ touch/ A big strong hand/ Come rock with the flock/ with the brothers that jam.”
The title cut on that album has this flippant message:
“Addictions you know/ Everybody’s got ‘em/ From the top to the very/ bottom of the list/ So come get with this/ An addiction you don’t wanna miss/ To Christ who paid the price.”
Carman’s unscriptural and dangerous charismatic theology comes across loud and clear in his music. In the song “Satan, Bite the Dust,” Carman claims that he has “been sent with a warrant from the body of Christ” to arrest the devil and to run every unclean spirit out of town. He claims to have the authority to cast out “depression, strife, disease and fear.” In this strange song Carman asserts, “Satan, you coward, you molester of souls, I command you to appear.” The apostle Peter, though, tells us that even the angels do not bring railing 69
accusations against the devil (2 Peter 2:11). Nowhere in the New Testament Scriptures do we see the apostles and early Christians speaking to the devil in this manner. Carman then sings: “I represent a whole new breed of Christian of today. And I’m authorized and deputized to blow you [Satan] clean away.” This is a probable reference to the New Order of the Latter Rain theology which claims that Christ’s return will be preceded by a miracle revival whereby Christians will perform miracles and exercise kingdom authority over the powers of this present world. Some of the “prophets” which were popularized by John Wimber and the Vineyard movement, men such as Bob Jones and Paul Cain, claim that God is raising up a “new breed” of end-time Christian who will take complete authority over the Devil. (See “Kevin Prosch” and “John Wimber” in this Directory.) Carman’s theology is not only wrong, it is nonsense. He has not blown away the devil. He has not bound the devil. He has not arrested the devil. He has no power to command sickness to depart. He can pray and ask God to remove sickness, and God answers according to His will, but he cannot demand that sickness be healed. No Christian can. When Timothy was sick with frequent infirmities, the apostle Paul did not command those infirmities to depart. Paul did not curse those infirmities as demonic. He did not say, “I bind you, foul infirmity.” No, he said: “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities” (1 Tim. 5:23). I will be glad to take any charismatic preacher with me into a hospital and we will demonstrate 70
right there which of us is doctrinally correct in this matter. If a Christian has the power to bind the devil and to cast out sicknesses, let’s see it. In reality, all the charismatic can do is precisely what I do. He can pray for the sickness, and sometimes God heals and sometimes He doesn’t, according to His will. Like every charismatic preacher, Carman is confusing the minds of God’s people and leading them away from the truth with his false doctrine. Carman rebukes the “demon of alcoholism” and the “spirit of infirmity,” demanding that these “demons” depart. He proclaims, “We lay hands on the sick and they recover.” Carman and his preacher friends who claim that healing is in the atonement are false teachers. They claim to have the authority to lay hands on the sick and they will recover, but in reality they do not have this authority and tens of thousands of sick and afflicted have attended Pentecostal-charismatic healing meetings to no avail. In the song, “Our Turn Now,” Carman exclaims:
“World, you had your turn at bat/ Now stand back and see/ That it’s our turn now/ Some things gonna change/ We’re gonna bind the/ Devil at every hand by/ the power of Jesus’ name.”
This is unadulterated Kingdom Now, Dominionism theology. These things will not come to pass until the Lord Jesus Christ returns and establishes His kingdom. The following description of three of Carman’s videos/ albums is by former rock guitarist Terry Watkins: 71
Blasphemy saturates Christian rock, such as the blasphemous ‘humor’ of Carman Dominic Licciardello, better known as Carman. His blasphemous, street-jive, dialogue between John the Baptist and Jesus Christ as teenagers on his video Live...Radically Saved is disgusting! Here’s a sample of Carman’s blasphemy: JOHN: ‘Hey man, Hey cuz, Whatchoo doin man? I ain’t seen you in a long time. HEY, BABY.’ (John calling Jesus baby!) Jesus turns and says, ‘Hey, what’s up, John?’ See, Jesus is always cool; he’s always together. He’s got his thing together, y’ know. Then Carman blasphemously imitates the Lord Jesus Christ walking hip-jive doing what Carman calls ‘THE MESSIAH WALK.’ UNGODLY! BLASPHEMY! JOHN: ‘This is wild, brother, now I don’t know. Man, I never had anybody in my family MAKE IT BIG... Listen to it.’ Jesus ‘MADE IT BIG’? Jesus Christ died a curse for sinful man! See Gal. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:17! Jesus Christ was ‘despised and rejected of men’ (Isa. 53:3). Is ‘MAKING IT BIG’ being beaten, smitten, spit upon, mocked and crucified? Carman’s Resurrection Rap video is some of the lowest BLASPHEMY I’ve ever seen! In the video, Carman portrays the Lord Jesus Christ as a confused street hippie, while the Pharisees and apostles are black street gang members! The crucifixion takes place, not on Calvary—but in a back alley gang fight! The Lord Jesus Christ is buried in a GARBAGE DUMPSTER. ... On Carman’s The Standard album is the sacrilegious (at least!) ‘Who’s in the House,’ in which Carman crudely refers to the Lord Jesus Christ as ‘J.C.’: ‘You take Him high/ You take Him low/ You take J.C. wherever you go/ Now tell me, who...who...who...who...who...who?/ Tell me who’s in
the house? J.C./ Tell me who’s in the house? J.C./ Tell me who’s in the house? J.C./ Tell me who’s in the house? J.C./ Jesus Christ is in the house today.’ Now, in your wildest dreams, could you possibly imagine the Apostle Paul referring to the Lord Jesus Christ as J.C.? Here’s what the Apostle Paul says about the name of Jesus Christ in Philippians 2: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a NAME [not the initials J.C.!] which is above every NAME: That at the NAME of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth’ (Philippians 2:9-10) (Christian Rock: Blessing or Blasphemy? by Terry Watkins, former rock g u i t a r i s t , D i a l t h e Tr u t h M i n i s t r i e s , h t t p : / / www.av1611.org/crock.html#Carman Res Rap).
Carman’s Live...Radically Saved video includes “a jazzed-up 50s imitation of Elvis Presley called ‘Celebrating Jesus.’ Carman shakes, stutters and shimmies just like the ‘King’ himself, as the crowd cheers and be-bops in the aisles. ... Elvis admirers would surely say, ‘What’s the big deal?’ That’s exactly the point. It should be a very big deal when Christians glamorize a sex pervert, drug addict and pathetic tool of Satan like Elvis” (Jeff Godwin, What’s Wrong with Christian Rock?, pp. 184, 185). Carman’s video Mission 3:16 was filmed partially in Ireland using some of the dancers from the sensual and indecent Riverdance program (CCM Magazine, July 1998, p. 12). In 1997, Carman joined Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, a song with an ecumenical theme: “Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for 73
Christ and each other.” The song talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division. The broad range of participants who joined Troccoli in recording “Love One Another” demonstrates the radical ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music which is helping build the one-world “church.”
Mark Carouthers, author of “Mercy Seat,” is a Oneness Pentecostal who denies the doctrine of the Trinity (“The Other Pentecostals,” Charisma, June 1997). (For more about the Oneness heresy see “Geron Davis” in this Directory.) “Mercy Seat” was sung each night during the drunken revival at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola. (See “Lindell Cooley” in this Directory.)
Casting Crowns is led by Mark Hall, a youth pastor at Eagles Landing First Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta. the band leads the contemporary worship services with their pop rock music. The award-winning group has broad influence through songs such as “Come to the Well,” “Who Am I,” “Courageous,” “Glorious Day,” “If We Are the Body,” “Praise You with the Dance.” 74
Casting Crowns’ radical ecumenism and spiritual carelessness is evident in that they are scheduled to participate in the National Worship Leader Conference in July 2012. A prominent speaker at the conference is Leonard Sweet who promotes a wide variety of New Age heresies. He calls his universalist-tinged doctrine “New Light” and “quantum spirituality” and “the Christ consciousness” and describes it in terms of “the union of the human with the divine” which is the “center feature of all the world’s religions” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 235). Sweet defines the New Light as “a structure of human becoming, a channeling of Christ energies through mindbody experience” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 70). Sweet says that “New Light pastors” hold the doctrine of “embodiment of God in the very substance of creation” (p. 124). In Carpe Mañana, Sweet says that the earth is as much a part of the body of Christ as humans and that humanity and the earth constitutes “a cosmic body of Christ” (p. 124). Sweet says that some of the “New Light leaders” that have influenced his thinking are Matthew Fox, M. Scott Peck, Willis Harman, and Ken Wilber. These are prominent New Agers who believe in the divinity of man, as we have documented in the book The New Age Tower of Babel. Sweet has endorsed The Shack with its non-judgmental fathermother god, and he promotes Roman Catholic contemplative mysticism and dangerous mystics such as the Catholic-Buddhist Thomas Merton. (For documentation see the book Contemplative Mysticism, which is available in print and eBook editions from Way of Life Literature -- www.wayoflife.org.) 75
At the 2012 National Worship Leader Conference, Casting Crowns will also join hands with Tim Hughes who heads up Worship Central and is on staff at Holy Trinity Brompton, one of the birthplaces of the Laughing Revival in England and the Alpha program which has a close association with the Roman Catholic Church. Worship Central definitely follows “another spirit” (2 Cor. 11:4). (See “Tim Hughes” in this Directory.) Casting Crowns performed with Sanctus Real in December 2011. Matt Hammitt of Sanctus Real participated in the 2003 tour of the !Hero rock opera, which depicts Jesus as a cool black man. In !Hero, the Last Supper is a barbecue party and ‘Jesus’ is crucified on a city street sign. Sanctus Real and Steven Curtis Chapman played a concert in 2003 at St. Mary Seminary sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. (See “Sanctus Real” in this Directory.)
Lindell Cooley is founder and pastor of Grace Church, Nashville, and the head of Music Missions International. From 1995 to 2003 Cooley was the worship leader at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida, during the “Brownsville Outpouring.” John Kilpatrick, who was the pastor at Brownsville during the “outpouring,” describes his initiation into this false spirit in June 1995. He said he fell to the floor and lay there for almost four hours. “When I hit that floor, it 76
felt like I weighed 10,000 pounds. I knew something supernatural was happening” (Charisma, June 1996). Steve hill, the evangelist who was the main preacher during the “outpouring,” had gotten his baptism into this “spirit” on a visit to Holy Trinity Brompton a few months earlier. On his way back to the States from a missionary trip, he stopped over in London and stayed with a charismatic Roman Catholic couple. Hearing of the happenings at Holy Trinity Brompton, Hill sought out Sandy Millar and requested that he lay hands on him. When Millar acquiesced, Hill was knocked down. Six months later, Hill was preaching in Brownsville when the drunken-shaking revival broke out. (For more about Holy Trinity Brompton and its contemporary praise music see “Tim Hughes” in this Directory.) The following is a description of the beginning of this “revival” by one of the church members at Brownsville Assembly of God:
“Pastor Kilpatrick was slain in the Spirit the first night and was out for several hours. For the first two weeks or so, he couldn’t do anything in church. God’s presence would come upon him so heavily that he couldn’t move. (His wife, Brenda, has been having this happen to her ever since she went up to Toronto. Several nights people have had to drive them home and help them inside the house!! Even the neighbors asked what was going on...and one Baptist lady came because her interest was peeked when she kept seeing them drag Pastor in the house during the middle of the night!!) Even last week this happened to him again” (Email message from Beth McDuffie to Richard Riss, July 30, 1995, History of the Worldwide Awakening).
Kilpatrick tells of trying to drive while in this drunken condition and running into garbage cans and backing into another automobile. Men in the church had to haul Kilpatrick out of the auditorium in a wheelchair because he was too drunk to walk. On one occasion Kilpatrick fell onto the platform and a woman from the “worship team” fell into his arms and they lay on the platform in a drunken stupor together. He laughingly tells this story on an audio cassette that I have. It is definitely not the Holy Spirit who causes that kind of moral temptation and confusion. “Spiritual drunkenness” was not the only characteristic of the Brownsville Outpouring. There was also “spiritual jerking” and shaking. The leaders of the Pensacola meetings claim that a turning point in the “outpouring” occurred in August 1995, two months after the manifestations began, when a 19-year-old female college student stood and prophesied: “God is in a hurry. There’s not much more time. He aches and He grieves for your spirit.” As she spoke these words she was jerking so uncontrollably that she appeared to be suffering from cerebral palsy. When she completed this prophecy, she collapsed to the floor. One woman in the Brownsville Assembly of God choir was allegedly healed of a serious neck injury, but for at least a year and a half afterwards she experienced wild and uncontrollable jerking of her head from side to side whenever she was near the church. Kilpatrick said he was not ashamed to have a woman in his choir “who 78
shakes like she has palsy,” claiming that this was a “sign from God.” This is spiritual delusion of a very high order, and Lindell Cooley’s music played a prominent part of the Brownsville Outpouring. The high-octane contemporary praise music, which was blasted out of the powerful speaker system, was characterized by sensual dance syncopations, non-resolving chord sequences, repetitious lyrics, sensual vocal techniques, and a dramatic rise and fall of tempo and sound level. The people yielded to the music and allowed it to carry them into emotional highs which they misinterpreted as “the tangible presence of God.” The music created the right atmosphere for the charismatic phenomena.
Geron Davis (b. 1964) is committed to the “Jesus Only” doctrine that denies the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity. He is the son of a United Pentecostal Church (UPC) minister and served as music minister at The Pentecostals of Alexandria (UPC) before joining Christ Church in Nashville. This church baptizes in Jesus’ name only and uses Oneness language (God is revealed in “manifestations” rather than Persons) but in true emerging, ecumenical fashion, it leaves the question of the Trinity open (“Geron Davis and Kindred Souls,” Alpha & Omega Ministries, July 1, 2005). There is a blending and merging of doctrine today, and Contemporary Christian Music is at the forefront of this 79
end-time phenomenon that is building the one-world church. The Oneness or Jesus Only Pentecostals hold the heresy of modalism. They believe that God is a single Person who has revealed himself in three modes or forms or manifestations or aspects or roles. He revealed Himself as Father or Jehovah in the Old Testament and as the Son in the incarnation and as Holy Spirit after Jesus’ ascension. It is the idea that God wears three different hats and has three different functions in His various manifestations. This is in contrast to the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity, which is that the Godhead is composed of three co-equal, co-eternal, co-existent PERSONS: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is one in unity.
“2 Peter 1:17 says there is a Person called the Father, and He’s God. Acts 5:3-4 says there’s a Person called the Holy Spirit, and He’s God. John 1:1 says there’s a Person called the Word and He’s God. You’ve got three Persons, and Deuteronomy 6:4 says there’s only one God. The logical conclusion is that these three Persons, somehow, are one God” (Walter Martin).
The term “elohim,” which is used in Deuteronomy 6:4 for God, is a plural term. The verse literally says “Jehovah (singular) our Elohim (plural) is one.” As Jehovah, God speaks of Himself as singular, but as Elohim, He speaks of Himself as plural, because there is also the Son and the Holy Spirit. Oneness doctrine is the ancient heresy of Sabellianism, which was taught by Sabellius in Rome in the third 80
century A.D. The heresy was accepted by Demetrius, Patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt, a hotbed of theological error. Oneness Pentecostals will use the term Trinity and they take offense when charged with denying the doctrine of the Trinity, but they redefine the term according to their heretical dictionary. For example, T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter’s House, was ordained at a Greater Emmanuel Apostolic Church, which is Oneness Pentecostal, and he has remained in association with the Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies, which also are Oneness in theology. Jakes claims to believe in the Trinity, but he defines it according to Oneness language. The Potter’s House statement of faith says, “We believe in one God, who is eternal in His existence, Triune in His MANIFESTATIONS, being both Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” They also use the term “three DIMENSIONS of one God.” The two largest Oneness denominations are the United Pentecostal Church and United Apostolic Churches. Oneness theology was rejected from the Assemblies of God in the 1920s as false and cultic. In addition to Geron Davis, other Oneness Pentecostal contemporary praise musicians include Mark Carouthers, Joel Hemphill (“He’s Still Working on Me”), Lanny Wolfe (“Greater Is He That Is in Me”), Dottie Rambo 81
(‘Beyond the Lamb” and “If That Isn’t Love”), and Phillips, Craig and Dean. Davis wrote “In the Presence of Jehovah” and “Holy Ground.” The latter is one of the best-selling contemporary praise songs. Barbra Streisand, who is not a Christian, included the song on her 1997 New Age inspirational album “Higher Ground.” She says that she first heard “Higher Ground” at Clinton’s mother’s funeral in 1994 and that it was “an electrifying moment.” Streisand applied the lyrics to her New Age philosophy that “God is everywhere “and “every square inch of this planet is holy ground.” When asked how he felt about Streisand being electrified by “Holy Ground,” Davis replied:
“The presence of God has the same effect on everybody. It doesn’t matter how powerful, how wealthy, how well known you are. When you come into God’s presence, friend, we're all on level ground” (Phil Christensen, “Holy Ground by Geron Davis,” http://www.ccli.com/worshipresources/ SongStories.cfm?itemID=6).
Davis’s gross lack of spiritual discernment is evident in that he didn’t mention anything about the necessity of being born again in order to have a personal relationship with God, and he did not warn that the devil is the god of this world and appears as an angel of light (2 Cor. 4:4; 11:14-15). If we consider the lyrics to “Holy Ground,” the reason for its broad appeal becomes obvious. 82
“As I walked through the door/ I sensed His presence/ And I knew this was the place/ Where love abounds/ For this is the temple, Jehovah God abides here/ And we are standing in His presence/ on Holy Ground./ We are standing on holy ground/ And I know that there are angels all around/ Let us praise Jesus now/ We are standing in His presence on holy ground/ In His presence there is joy beyond measure/ At His feet, peace of mind can still be found/ If you have a need, I know He has the answer/ Reach out and claim it/ For you are standing on holy ground.”
In light of the incredibly vague message, it is not surprising that this contemporary worship song is popular among ecumenical Protestants, theological modernists, Roman Catholics, even New Agers. And the doctrinal vagueness is not limited to a few contemporary worship songs. It is one of this genre’s hallmarks. We must recall that “Holy Ground” is the No. 2 best-selling contemporary praise song. There are exceptions, of course, but New Agey vagueness tends to be the rule.
The rock group Delirious, which began as Cutting Edge, started in 1992 as a youth worship band at Arun Community Church, a charismatic congregation in England that is associated with the “Toronto Blessing,” otherwise known as the “Laughing Revival.” [See The Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements, available from Way of Life Literature.] Their music was used widely in Laughing Revival churches such as the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship in Ontario and the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida (Clive Price, “A 83
Delirious New Sound,” Charisma, December 1999, p. 65). Their song “I’ve Found Jesus” is a theme song at the charismatic Teen Mania conferences. Delirious is at the forefront of the contemporary praise music phenomenon, having authored several popular praise songs, including “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever,” “The Happy Song,” and “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?” By 2001, the group had sold more than one million records and was “considered by many to be the forerunners of the modern worship music movement” (Christianbook.com). The worldliness of Delirious is evident in their choice of “musical heroes,” which include “U2, Radiohead, Blur and other big British modern rockers” (CCM magazine, July 1999, p. 39). When the group played at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, an observer noted that “crowds of believers and unbelievers alike dance with wild abandon” to their rock songs. “As one non-Christian told them once: ‘I’m not into your religion, but I love your music’” (Charisma, December 1999, p. 64). It is obvious that Delirious’s rock music appeals to the flesh of unbelievers and cannot therefore be “spiritual.” Delirious’ 1999 Mezzamorphis album includes the song “It’s OK,” which contains crude swearing. Though they claim that they are playing rock music to reach the world for Christ, they also admit that they can do this without a clear Bible message in their songs. 84
“What we’re about is the challenge to communicate that in a way that does truly communicate to folk outside of the church. TO GET IT ACROSS IN A WAY THAT ISN’T JUST LIMITED TO LANGUAGE. I think we’re getting there” (emphasis added) (Martin Smith, cited in “A Delirious New Sound,” Charisma, December 1999, p. 68).
This is blind mysticism. The Lord Jesus Christ has not instructed His people to reach the world without language! He commanded us to preach the gospel to every person and the gospel has a definite linguistic content (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). We have a definite message that is to be preached in a precise manner. This is how the apostles and early Christians reached the world, and it is how Christians are to reach the world today. The world is not reached for Christ with a sensual rock song that contains a vague message of “spirituality.” Delirious’s 1998 album, King of Fools, is filled with strange, vague messages and outright unscriptural doctrine. Their charismatic-ecumenical philosophy is evident in the popular song “Revival Town.”
“Well I’ve got a message to bring/ I can’t preach but I can sing/ And me and my brothers here/ Gonna play redemption hymns/ We’re not on our own you know/ It’s all around the world/ Cos this is the freedom generation/ Living for revival in this time/ Chorus: “Hallelujah, you’ve turned my mourning into dancing/ Revival town/ That’s what they’re calling this place now/ Revival town/ It’ll put a smile on your face now/ Revival town. “Well I’ve got a story to tell/ About the King above all kings/ He spoke for peace, hope and justice/ Things that we all need today/ You let a broken generation/
Become a dancing generation/ That is revival generation/ You may not hear it on the radio/ But YOU CAN FEEL IT IN THE AIR” (Delirious, “Revival Town,” King of Fools).
This song, like a large percentage of the songs played by the new CCM groups, is almost meaningless because its message is so unclear. It is blind mysticism. Delirious claims they are “gonna play redemption hymns,” but there is no clear gospel presented in these songs. The name of Jesus Christ is not even mentioned in the song. When “dancing generation” is mentioned in the context of the type of hard rock music which Delirious plays, it refers not to something spontaneous like David did before the Lord but to something carnal and worldly. It doesn’t refer to being moved by the Spirit of God but to being moved by powerful backbeat music. The world would not have appreciated what David did, but the world loves the type of dancing associated with rock & roll. The Delirious song “All the Way” is even stranger. Consider the carnal terminology these rock musicians use to describe their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Come close to me, too close for words/ And still my beating heart/ I find your thoughts without one glance/ We’re going all the way … With you I’m washed as white as snow/ And all crimson stain becomes just a shadow/ You know I would be blind without you/ So light up my way to find my way home again/ Today, today, today, we’re going all the way.”
Secular rockers sing songs like this about their sexual lovers. I believe it is blasphemous to speak like this of the Christian’s relationship with Christ. Bands like 86
Delirious know what they are doing when they use lyrics like this. They are playing both to Christians and to the world. It is the worldly “crossover” philosophy that allows them to have broader appeal and larger music sales. Consider the words to the title song, “King of Fools” —
“Walking with you/ Blindly follow out upon the/ Water runs down/ You’ve become the very best of friends/ I’ll live for you and try to be the king of fools/ I’ll long for you and walk before the king of all. Joy has found me/ Living life without you would be/ Hell or heaven/ Soon we’ll find the greatest king of fools.”
Contemporary Christian Music fans might argue that I simply don’t understand the terminology used by these groups. I would reply that if a message is not plain it can be understood in any number of ways, and there is no doubt that the message preached in these CCM songs is unclear. The Bible says we are to sing “with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:15; Psalm 47:7). The message of God is to be made plain (Proverbs 8:9; Hab. 2:2). If the trumpet makes an uncertain sound who can prepare for war? With their 1999 album, Mezzamorphis, Delirious announced that they were pursuing a more mainstream (secular) audience. They want to continue to “present a message of faith,” but one that is “less explicitly stated” than their earlier albums (CCM magazine, July 1999, p. 39). As we have seen, their faith was never explicitly stated, and if it is even less so now they will be stating absolutely nothing! 87
As to their goal in music, they say: “We are artists, first and foremost, and want to create great art first and foremost. … At the end of the day, we just want to be writing and playing great music.” At least they are honest about their musical objective. They simply love rock & roll. That is the bottom line. One of their songs, “It’s OK,” uses an obscenity. “She’s as pretty as hell and her eyes have no home.” Sparrow records wanted to leave that song off the album, but the band members insisted that it stay. Martin Smith says: “It’s back on the album now, which we feel great about.” Thus, the band members are more worldly than their secular-owned music company! Delirious claims that they worship God by performing in immoral rock music venues. They have toured with the secular rock band Bon Jovi, for instance; and in an interview with CDNow editor Brian Mansfield, Delirious’s lead man Martin Smith claimed that their secular concerts are “not much different” from their “more worship-oriented” concerts. Smith said:
“…when we’re playing in a mainstream situation [secular rock and roll concerts], I want to get everyone there worshipping God, but I can’t speak that language. I have to encourage them in a different way. You have to get in the back door and let God move on the music in a sovereign way, and stir people's hearts, open them up. Music is the language of the spirit. Music, even without words, can cut a man in two, and God can get in there.”
Where does the Bible say that music can “cut a man in two” so that God can minister to him? There can be no sound Christian faith apart from the clear teaching of God’s Word (Rom. 10:17). The Bible is SOLE basis for faith and practice, and there is no scriptural support for using Christian rock music to minister to the unsaved. There is not a hint of such a thing in the book of Acts. At the typical Christian rock concert, one cannot even understand the words of the songs unless he is already familiar with them. Young people don’t attend Bon Jovi concerts to hear the gospel, and Delirious doesn’t clearly preach the gospel at such concerts. Yet it is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that only, which is the power of God unto salvation, not vaguely-worded Christian rock songs performed by people who are committed to looking and sounding as much like the world as possible.
Brian Doerksen, author of “From Everlasting to Everlasting (You Are God),” is affiliated with the Vineyard churches of Canada. See “John Wimber and the Vineyard Churches” in this Directory for more information.
CCM trumpeter Phil Driscoll (b. 1947) has won numerous awards. He often has been voted one of the most popular CCM musicians in CCM Magazine polls. 89
As a freshman at the Southern Baptist Baylor University in Texas, Driscoll formed Baylor’s first jazz band (“Phil Driscoll’s Biography,” http://www.gospelcom.net/ phildriscoll/biography/index.html). By the time he graduated he was appearing on Ed Sullivan and other television shows. For several years he collaborated with and performed with secular rock groups, including Blood, Sweat & Tears and Joe Cocker. He wrote three of Cocker’s hits (“Southern Lady,” “Wasted Years,” and “Boogie Baby”). In 1978, Driscoll left secular music “to pursue a calling within contemporary Christian music circles.” Driscoll attends a charismatic church in Cleveland, Tennessee, and regularly appears at CharismaticPentecostal churches and forums. He performed, for example, at Word-Faith heretic Kenneth Copeland’s meetings and at the radically ecumenical Washington for Jesus rallies. Driscoll also performed at the Tom Skinner Memorial Leadership Conference (Biography). Fundamental Evangelistic Association of Los Osos, California, had the following warning about Skinner:
“Black Evangelist Tom Skinner writes, ‘make no bones about it. I’m a revolutionary.’ His latest book, Words of Revolution, is a clever mixture of new evangelical thought phrased in revolutionary language. He claims that ‘Jesus Christ came to break the system,’ and ‘to put in a new system called the Kingdom of God.’ He claims that ‘it is the responsibility of the church to go into the world to change the world.’ He plays down Heaven and Hell and emphasizes the here and now. He calls our Lord Jesus Christ ‘a gutsy radical, contemporary revolutionary with hair on His chest and dirt under
his fingernails.’ In spite of this, Skinner is much in demand as a speaker in New Evangelical circles. What a shame” (F.E.A. News & Views, March-April 1971).
Driscoll is openly critical of many aspects of Contemporary Christian Music. He has stated that the gospel music industry, for the most part, is “marketdriven, not Spirit-led” and “a lot of contemporary Christian music is so much like the world you can’t tell the difference” (Driscoll, cited by Marsha Gallardo, “Money or Ministry?” Charisma, November 1993). He is critical of watering down the message of the music to appeal to a secular audience, saying, “I believe in crossover music as long as you take the cross over.” In these matters we would certainly agree with Driscoll, but he himself is committed to the syncretism of rock & roll with Christ and the dangerous, unscriptural ecumenical philosophy.
“In the Nov. 23, 1987, Today’s Banner, Driscoll said: ‘I have felt in my heart for a long time that music was the power that God would use to transcend every denomination, every barrier that has kept God’s people apart.’ His Make Us One was the theme song for the April 1988 Washington For Jesus charismatic rally” (Calvary Contender, January 1, 1989).
Phil Driscoll’s spiritual confusion is evident in that he thinks God is the King of Soul Music:
“We’ve had the mistaken impression for too long that somehow the Creator doesn’t have rhythm. God is the King of Soul; He’s the King of all rhythm” (Driscoll, cited by Dan and Steve Peters, What about Christian Rock?, p. 187).
To say that God is the King of Soul is to say that God is the author of the morally filthy world of 60’s soul music, which is impossible. The author of backbeat driven pop music, with its licentious, self-centered philosophy, is of not of the thrice-holy Creator God but of “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). If God is the King of Soul, where is the devil’s music? Has the “god of this world” relinquished one of the most powerful influences in modern society?
Popular CCM singer Michael English (b. 1962) began his music profession singing in Southern gospel groups. According to his biography, he became a Christian at age seven “in a small but vibrant Pentecostal Church in Wa l l a c e , N o r t h C a r o l i n a ” ( “ B i o g r a p h y , ” www.michaelenglish.com/). After high school he toured with The Singing Americans and the Goodmans. He later joined the Bill Gaither band, then launched a successful solo career. His first album appeared in 1992 and he was voted Best New Artist by the Gospel Music Association. In 1994, English was named Artist of the Year and received six Dove Awards. Within 24 hours of receiving the awards, English confessed to an adulterous affair with another CCM musician, Marabeth Jordon of the group First Call. At the time Mrs. Jordon was the wife of another man. Jordan and English conceived a baby out of wedlock. In 92
English’s press release about this affair there was no mention of sin. “I feel it is necessary to announce my withdrawal from Christian music because of mistake\s that I have recently made.” What he did was not a “mistake.” Playing the wrong musical note is a mistake. Adultery is a sin. English is a member of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee (near Nashville), which is attended by other well-known CCM and country musicians, including Steven Curtis Chapman and country music star Wynonna Judd, who also conceived a child out of wedlock.
“Christ Church in Nashville has the hottest choir in town, bar none, and the Pentecostal service on any given Sunday is liable to rock the pews. But earlier this month when word came of two out-of-wedlock pregnancies in the congregation, the reverberation could be heard in all 50 states. Wynonna Judd held a press conference and said she had conceived and had no immediate plans to wed. The week before, the Gospel Music Association had announced that married Christian pop singer Michael English had impregnated Marabeth Jordan, who is a singer with the trio First Call —and somebody else’s wife. ... ‘It’s kind of a wake-up call,’ says Rev. Scotty Smith, who counseled English, Jordan and executives at Warner Alliance. “Yet the call went unheeded among Christian contemporary-music fans, who made a distinction between the ironies of English’s sin—he and Jordan had just done a benefit tour for unwed mothers—and his songs. They snatched up any of his albums still on the racks. CHRISTIAN RADIO STATIONS THAT BANNED HIS MICHAEL BOLTONISH HITS WERE BARRAGED WITH NASTY CALLS. ‘THEY WERE MORE ANGRY WITH US THAN WITH MICHAEL ENGLISH,’ says Mark De Young at WNAZ in Nashville.
‘They weren’t condemning of him at all’“ (emphasis added) (“God and the Music Biz,” Newsweek, May 30, 1994).
That’s the CCM crowd, for you. Later in 1994 English gained “crossover” success recording secular music. He recorded the song “Healing” with Wynonna. The song was featured in the R-rated movie Silent Fall, which received it’s rating for “violence, gore, profanity, and vulgarity.” A photo of English adorning the cover of his 1996 album, Freedom, shows the liberated gospel singer with long hair, scruffy beard, an earring, and a hard, rebellious stare. In the song Freedom Field from this album, English sings:
“Old man religion, I’ve got your name/ The best part of my years were wrapped up, tied up in your thang/ Should you wake one early morning, to the sound of breaking chains/ I’ll be dancin’, I’ll be dancin’.”
It sounds like English is blaming religion for his problems, that he is looking upon religion as a bondage. If this is not his meaning, it certainly is how many country-rock music fans look at religion. In this song English makes no distinction between true religion and false. The Bible uses the term “religion” five times. Three times it refers to the “Jews religion” (Acts 26:5; Galatians 1:13,14) and two times it refers to “pure religion,” one of the marks of which is to keep oneself “unspotted from the world” (James 1:26-27). Many within Contemporary Christian Music would label James 94
a Pharisaical legalist for demanding such strict separation from worldliness. The single released from English’s Freedom album quickly rose to the Top 20 on Billboard’s adult contemporary chart because it resonated with this rebellious generation, and the world loves nothing better than to see a “Christian” sing their tune. Actually there is not much difference between Michael English’s secular albums and his “Christian” albums. The music is the same and the lyrics are even similar. In Freedom, he sings about love in a worldly fashion after the manner of unsaved rockers. Consider the following:
“I see you standing there/ Those simple things you wear/ Oh it makes me crazy/ You take it so casually/ You’ve got that look in your eyes/ As you pass me by/ And I just can’t keep from wonderin’ why/ And you say. ... I wanna know what your love is like/ What you feel inside/ Every time I look into your eyes/ I gotta know if you want it too/ Girl and if you do/ Then let me ask you this question/ Baby what have we got to lose...” (“I Wanna Know,” from Michael English’s Freedom album).
This is about “love” on a purely physical level. At least that is the way most unsaved rock lovers will understand it. There is nothing about marriage in the song. It could be applicable to any pre-marital or extra-marital situation. Why would a Christian sing songs like this? He had supposedly repented of his adultery, but he was still singing the type of songs that feed and encourage adultery throughout our society. As a “crossover” artist, he has the ear of a secular audience. English’s albums are 95
sold in secular rock music stores and given air play on secular rock stations, but he is preaching nothing biblically convicting or even morally wholesome to this audience.
“I’ve seen the seven wonders of the world/ I’ve seen the beauty of diamonds and pearls/ But they ain’t nothin’ baby/ Your love amazes me. ... I’ve prayed for miracles that never came/ Got down on my knees out in the pourin’ rain/ But only you could save me/ Your love amazes me/ Don’t you ever doubt this heart of mine/ You’re the only one for me/ You give me hope you give me reason” (“Your Love Amazes Me,” from Michael English’s “Freedom” album).
This is blasphemy. He sings that he has prayed for miracles but the only thing that could save him is some romantic sweetheart! Why would a professing Christian sing something this unscriptural? English is perfectly at home in the wicked world of rock and roll. He toured as the “opener” for the secular rock group Foreigner, a group which flaunts God’s laws and glorifies immoral sexual relations. After letting his hair grow long, hanging out at bars, dating a stripper, and landing in jail (CCM Magazine, July 2000, p. 29), English began making a return to Christian music in 1997. In fact, he never really stopped producing Christian albums or performing background for them. In 1995 and 1996 he produced albums for the Gaither Vocal Band, The Stamps, and The Martins. At the fall 1996 National Quartet Convention in Kentucky, English was invited to testify and sing and was given multiple standing ovations. When English was 96
introduced, famed gospel singer J.D. Sumner (of The Stamps) publicly asked him “to forgive people’s judging hearts” (Biography of Michael English, http:// www.michaelenglish.com/). According to Sumner, the great sin is not so much English’s vile adultery against his wife or his lies or his hypocrisy in performing and recording Christian music even while living in such sin or his sensual rock music, it is the “judging” of his sin by others. This is yet another illustration of the heretical non-judgmental philosophy which permeates Contemporary Christian Music. The Bible says the spiritual man judges all things because we have the mind of Christ in Scripture (1 Cor. 2:15-16), but CCM rejects Scriptural judging, lumping all judging into the category of gossip. In February 2000, English entered a drug rehab program to kick an addiction to hydrocodone after police began an investigation into possible illegal activities in this connection. They found more than 80 prescriptions which had been filled in less than three years. In June the police charged English with 12 counts of fraudulently obtaining the drug.
John Fischer (b. c. 1947) is a CCM performer/writer and has had wide influence. He was involved in the pioneer days of Christian rock music, and he believes that God told him that it is not wrong to listen to groups like the Beatles: 97
“[In 1963] I was in high school hearing a Beatles’ song and loving the music and feeling guilty about it. I was raised as a Christian not to like that kind of music, that that music was bad, [but I was] HAVING A SENSE THAT GOD DIDN’T THINK IT WAS BAD. I [HAD A SENSE OF] GOD SAYING, ‘Do you like this music? Well, how does it make you feel? How do I make you feel? The same way? I make you feel happy? I make you feel upset? Well then, why don’t you write the music about Me?’ You know, it was just plain as day. And so I just started doing it. I had my first contract to record in late ‘69. And I would say 1970 is when everything exploded, as far as I remember ... Groups just suddenly came out of the woodwork everywhere. Many of them were musicians already who were becoming Christians, and they were just being saved—almost as if Christ had just plucked them out and saved them and sent them out singing new music” (John Fischer, cited by April Hefner, “Don’t Know Much about History,” CCM Magazine, April 1996).
Fischer bases his thinking about secular rock from an “impression” that he allegedly received from God, but we don’t have to depend on someone’s mystical experience or some teenager’s wishful thinking about what God is like. God has already told us that we are not to love the world composed of the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-16), and that is a perfect description of rock music. God has already told us to have “no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph. 5:11). The Beatles in particular have had a vast spiritually-destructive influence. They influenced multitudes to life to please themselves, to practice “free sex,” to immerse themselves in drugs, to pursue Eastern pagan religion, even to become atheists. The Beatles were ordinary young men, but they produced music with a supernatural popularity and influence. There can be no doubt that there were occultic powers 98
behind the Beatles, yet they are loved by the CCM crowd. (See the report “The Beatles and Contemporary Christian Music” at the Way of Life web site.) Many CCM groups even perform Beatles songs during their concerts. I have read hundreds of pages of interviews and testimonies of CCM musicians and not once have I read a warning about the Beatles. Observe how Fischer describes another supposed encounter with God:
“‘Wait a minute Kid’ [supposedly this is God speaking to Fischer]. Leave it [the radio] on. You know, I kind of like this stuff [rock].’ I watched in shock as He smiled at me through a casual puff of cigar smoke and swayed His head ever so slightly with the music” (Contemporary Christian Music Magazine, July 1984, p. 20).
This is a blasphemous description of God. It is not the God of the Bible; it is the sensual, non-judgmental, rockloving god of The Shack. Fischer’s unscriptural philosophy is evident from the following statement:
“I’d love to see the labels fall off. I’d love to not have to call things Christian or secular anymore. ... I’d rather we weren’t so trapped in dogma, so busy confirming what we already know, so eager to hear what we already agree with, that we miss another point of view that might just happen to come from God. I’d love to see Christians LESS CONCERNED ABOUT GETTING THE WORDS RIGHT and more concerned about the heart” (John Fischer, CCM Magazine, March 1990, p. 52).
Fischer wants to stop putting a difference between Christian and secular, but God rebuked the prophets and priests of old precisely because “they put no difference between the holy and profane” (Ezekiel 22:26). John the apostle put a huge difference between Christian and secular when he stated: “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). Fischer wants Christians to stop being trapped in “dogma,” but what is dogma? It is doctrine or teaching, which is precisely why God gave His Word. The Bible is given for doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Timothy was instructed to stand fast in the doctrine he had been taught by the apostle and to impart the exact same doctrine to others. “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, THE SAME commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Timothy was to allow NO OTHER DOCTRINE (1 Timothy 1:3), which is the strictest standard of doctrinal purity. The faith once delivered to the saints is to be defended by every generation of believers (Jude 3). This means God’s people are to know the sound doctrine of the Word of God and they are to pass it on to succeeding generations and they are fight against anything that is contrary to it. Those who teach false doctrine are to be marked and avoided (Romans 16:17). It is impossible to stand for sound doctrine without being deeply concerned about “getting the words right.” Doctrine is given to us in words, and it is taught and defended by words, and if those words are not right the 100
doctrine is not right. Fischer wants less concern for doctrinal truth and more concern for “the heart.” This is end-time mysticism which is building the end-time apostasy. The attitude and motives of the heart are very important before God, but the heart is not the standard for truth; it is too undependable. The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). We can judge a person’s doctrine, but it is not possible to judge the sincerity of his heart. And if an individual’s doctrine is unscriptural, his sincerity is meaningless. The first thing God wants is obedience to His Truth. The apostle John said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4). In an article in CCM Magazine, August 1998, Fischer made the following amazing statement which illustrates the heretical non-judgmental philosophy that permeates Contemporary Christian Music:
“Some Christian artists will play in clubs and never mention Jesus from stage. They will see this as their calling. Others will feel led to deliver an altar call at every performance. The tendency will be to judge one as being more legitimate than the other, whether by artistic or by ministry standards. Somehow I believe the world is big enough, its needs are varied enough and the Holy Spirit is creative enough to legitimize both these approaches. As more and more Christian artists seek acceptance outside the marketing definitions of Christian music, they will face many obstacles. Let’s try and make sure at least one of those obstacles doesn’t have to be their fellow Christians” (John Fischer, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” CCM Magazine, August 1998, p. 62).
Fischer is saying that it is wrong to judge the difference between a musician who preaches Jesus Christ and one 101
who does not. Such thinking certainly does not come from the Bible. The Bible has much to say about music, but nowhere does God’s Word give encouragement for Christians to entertain the world or to do “lifestyle” evangelism without using the name of Jesus. Where in the New Testament Scriptures do we see anything like crossover Christian music? The Lord Jesus Christ gave us His commission to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20; Acts 1), and that is precisely what the apostles and first Christians did, as we see in the book of Acts. Those who preach the gospel are most definitely to be commended above those who do not! John Fischer might not think it is right to judge musicians by the Word of God, but he is wrong. We are commanded to “prove all things” (1 Thess. 5:21), and that certainly includes musicians. David compared everything to God’s Word and rejected everything that was false (Psalm 119:128). Isaiah used the same standard (Isaiah 8:20). One of the Christian’s responsibilities is to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). That involves comparing everything to the New Testament faith and rejecting everything that is contrary.
Rick Founds, author of “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High,” is radically ecumenical. The ecumenical effectiveness of his’ contemporary praise music is described in the following statement about “Lord, I Lift Your Name” -- “Methodist Junior High kids 102
settle into the song as sweetly as Baptist senior citizens, and it never seems to get tiresome. Rick Founds’ little four-chord flock-rocker has become known and loved internationally. It hurdles denominational barriers effortlessly, and is sung in every conceivable musical style” (Worship Leader Magazine, March/April 1998). Founds has authored hundreds of other contemporary praise songs, including “Jesus Draw Me Close,” “I Need You,” and “I Love Your Grace.” Founds’ “Lord, I Left Your Name” got a great boost in popularity when it was featured at the ecumenical Promise Keepers rallies in the 1990s where Roman Catholics and Episcopalians joined their voices with Presbyterians, Methodists, Mennonites, Nazarenes, Church of Christ, Southern Baptists, and Independent Baptists to sing contemporary praise tunes.
Don Francisco moves in charismatic circles. In November 1986, for example, he had a concert at Vineyard Christian Fellowship Southeast, Denver, Colorado. The Vineyard movement, founded by the late John Wimber, has promoted such dangerous unscriptural notions as extra-biblical prophecy, slaying in the spirit, miracle evangelism, and the laughing revival. Francisco’s music is a mixture of “folk, rock and blues” (from the cover to his Early Works album).
Francisco holds the positive-only philosophy which is typical of the charismatic-ecumenical-New Evangelical movements that are permeating Christianity in these apostate last hours. Consider his testimony:
“I knew from my own experience that painting a picture, RATHER THAN POINTING A FINGER, was a much more effective way to get the Gospel into people’s heads and hearts.”
It is strange that the apostle Paul did not understand this. Consider Paul’s sermon to the unsaved pagans on Mars Hill. He preached pointedly against their idolatry and warned them of judgment to come (Acts 17). Sounds like “finger pointing” to me, not in the sense of a holier-thanthou attitude, but in the sense of proclaiming God’s righteous judgment and calling men to repentance. Consider Paul’s presentation of the gospel in the book of Romans. It begins with nearly three chapters of God’s holiness and His condemnation of man’s sin. Only after this bad news “finger pointing” does Paul get to the good news that Christ has made the atonement for sin. The love of God is not even mentioned until chapter 5 of Romans. The preachers in the early churches did not have the “keep it positive” philosophy of Contemporary Christian Music. In fact, just 50 years ago most preachers did not have this philosophy. When Don Francisco does give the gospel in his songs it is delivered in vague terms. Consider the words to “Step Across the Line” from his Forgiven album:
“You gotta take a step across the line/ Let Jesus fill your heart and mind/ I can show you where to look/ but you gotta seek to find.” Is that a clear presentation of the gospel? Could someone be born again through that? Contemporary Christian Music evangelism is typically this hazy. In this way it can be interdenominational and ecumenical in appeal and can even be acceptable to the world. Consider another example. This one is from Francisco’s song “I Don’t Care Where You’ve Been Sleeping.” “I don’t care where you’ve been sleepin’/ I don’t care who’s made your bed/ I’ve already gave my life to set you free/ There’s no sin you could imagine/ That’s stronger than my love/ And it’s yours if you will come back home.” It is wonderfully true that Christ died for all of our sins and that His grace is sufficient to forgive any sin, but how do we receive His forgiveness? A hazy “come back home” is not the answer. Come back home to what? Come back home how? The unsaved segment of Don Francisco’s audience is a mixed multitude of pagans and religious lost. What does “come back home” mean to them? Come back home to the Roman Catholic sacraments? Come back home to Church of Christ baptismal regeneration? Come back home to the “hold on tight because you might lose it” insecurity of a Pentecostal or Holiness gospel? CCM musicians typically do not make the message clear because they do 105
not have a strong understanding of Bible doctrine themselves and because they do not want to cause doctrinal divisions and narrow their audience. Here’s another example of Don Francisco’s gospel. This is from his song “Give Your Heart a Home.” “If you are tired and weary, weak and heavy laden/ I can understand how it feels to be alone/ I will take your burden/ If you let me love you/ Wrap my arms around you and give your heart a home.” That is not the clear, powerful message that the apostles preached.
Kirk Franklin (b. 1972) took the Contemporary Christian Music world by storm. His first two albums sold a combined 3 million copies. At age eleven, Franklin was appointed music minister at Mt. Rose Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas. It was then that he began to write and arrange Christian music, and his technique was worldly from the beginning. “My first triumph,” recalls Franklin, “was turning Elton John’s ‘Benny & The Jetts’ into a gospel tune” (“Kirk Franklin and the Family,” http://www.gofishnet.com). We would not call that a triumph; we would call it a disgrace. Why do we need to take music created by a homosexual rock star and to turn it into something associated with the holy Savior? 106
In his biography, Franklin admits that he lived in deep sin during his teenage years and into his early 20s, even while directing music in churches and performing Gospel music in a wide range of forums. He fathered a son out of wedlock in 1990, and as late as 1995 he was still living a promiscuous lifestyle. He formed a CCM group called The Family in 1992, and by 1995 they had produced two hit Gospel albums and had won Dove, Stellar, and other awards. He was living in fornication all of this time. Of those days he testifies:
“But there I was, in the odd situation of getting a little bit of exposure and popularity and a little bit of a reputation while my life was still a mess. ...my lifestyle and THE CASUAL PROMISCUITY THAT SEEMS TO COME ALONG WITH THIS CRAZY BUSINESS was just killing me. ... my flesh was killing me. ... By January 1995 I knew I couldn’t go on with the life I was leading. I didn’t want to hurt God, and I knew I’d already been doing that to some degree. ... I KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE ONSTAGE, PERFORMING GOD’S MUSIC AND THINKING ABOUT WHO I’LL BE GOING HOME WITH THAT NIGHT” (Kirk Franklin, Church Boy, pp. 136, 175, 176, 195).
Franklin alludes to widespread immorality, even homosexuality, within the Gospel music industry.
“In the church, especially the African-American church during the seventies and eighties, HOMOSEXUALITY was a big problem. It still is in some places. IT’S A PROBLEM TODAY IN GOSPEL MUSIC—A MAJOR CONCERN—AND EVERYBODY KNOWS IT. ... It seems that more than half the young people involved in dance, music, and the theater are openly gay. ... and the gospel music scene has not been exempt from that” (Ibid., pp. 39, 40).
“That stuff [promiscuity] wasn’t happening because that’s what I wanted. It was happening because I thought that’s just the way it was. A LOT OF THE PASTORS AND PREACHERS AND MUSIC LEADERS I HAD KNOWN WERE DOING IT. And I honestly thought for a time that that’s what you were supposed to do” (Ibid., p. 175).
We cannot fathom how Franklin could grow up in churches and think that immorality is justified. This sounds like a convenient excuse. Be that as it may, note that Franklin plainly testifies that fornication, adultery, and homosexuality are rampant in Gospel music circles. In 1997, Franklin and Nu Nation had a hit titled “Stomp.” It was very popular on secular charts. To a strong “hip-hop” beat they sang that Jesus’ love made them want to dance and rock and roll: “It gets me high, up to the sky/ And when I think about Your goodness/ It makes me wanna stomp.” One of the performers for “Stomp” was rapper Cheryl “Salt” James of Salt ‘N’ Pepa. She blasphemously stated in interviews that she believes in “Jesus and recreational sex.” Franklin would doubtless claim that he is walking in Jesus’ footsteps by befriending the world, but Jesus lived a holy life, called sinners to repentance, warned them to sin no more, and warned them of eternal Hell, which would put a wet blanket on any worldly rock party! We don’t see Kirk Franklin and his crowd doing this. Their “christ” is the non-judgmental false christ of The Shack.
Franklin claims that music is neutral and that any music can glorify God. “This album  represents every style of music in our culture—jazz, gospel, blues, hiphop, rock, ballads, classical, you name it. They say music is universal, but the message is specific. If this MUSIC IS UNIVERSAL, it’s all ours; it’s the message within it that makes the difference. ... The gospel is the message, and as long as the music is dedicated to Jesus, He makes it pure” (Franklin, Church Boy, pp. 225, 226). We would ask Franklin two questions. First, where does the Bible say that the Lord Jesus purifies whatever is dedicated to Him, regardless of the character of the thing being dedicated? Paul warned the Corinthians that to take things from idolatry and to intermingle them into their Christian lives is an abomination to God (1 Cor. 10:18-23). Christ does not sanctify evil things; He calls us to avoid such things (2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:11). Franklin and other CCM musicians refuse to believe that rock music is evil, but tens of thousands of men and women of God are convinced that it is and that those who are promoting it are doing great damage to the cause of Christ. If rock music is evil as many believe, it is unacceptable to God and is not sanctified simply because it is dedicated to Christ. Where does the Bible say that only the sincerity and devotion of the minister is important? Was Moses not sincere when he struck the rock instead of speaking to it? Yet God judged him and refused to allow him to go into the Promised Land (Num. 20:7-14). Was Uzzah not sincere when he steadied the cart holding the ark? Yet God struck him dead (1 Sam. 6:6-7). We would also ask Kirk Franklin and his CCM 109
buddies why the devil, the god of this world, is not in the music business if, as they allege, all music belongs to the Christian. Contrariwise, in light of the fact that the devil is the “god of this world” and the “prince that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 6:2) and in light of the fact that music is one of the greatest influences in modern society, it is certain that Satan is in the music business in a big way. Franklin is ecumenical and tolerant about Bible doctrine. He believes in Pentecostal tongues and prophecies (Franklin, Church Boy, p. 214), and at one point he was music minister at a Seventh-day Adventist church. In his biography he says nothing to warn his readers about doctrinal heresies (Church Boy, p. 122). (The Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity exposes the danger of SDA doctrine.) Franklin’s unscriptural philosophy of Christian ministry is evident from the following statement:
“We’re just trying to create an atmosphere, because we know that society has been turned off by organized religion. We know that the people aren’t trying to hear about Christianity. Nobody’s really trying to hear about that. We present it in a way that it’s not corny, it’s not boring, IT’S NOT FOR YOUR GRANDMA” (Kirk Franklin, Sept. 11, 1997, http://www.mtv.com/mtv/news/ gallery/g/gods970911.html).
Franklin, like many Contemporary Christian musicians, considers traditional Bible Christianity as it has been practiced in the past and traditional sacred music as boring and corny. He believes the gospel of Jesus Christ has to be made cool and palatable to the world. This is 110
contrary to what the Lord’s apostles practiced and taught. They didn’t present the gospel in a worldly package to make it more acceptable to the unsaved. They didn’t use worldly methods to attract men to a holy gospel. The CCM philosophy is spiritual confusion. When God grants men conviction of their sin and repentance, they are ready to turn from the world and its vain pleasures. They yearn for something different, something holy. When the Lord gave me repentance at age 23, frankly, I was ready to sing the traditional songs and hymns. I stilled loved rock music for a short time, but I knew that it was intimately associated with the evil of my old lifestyle and I yearned for something holy and set apart from this wicked world. I did not find the old hymns boring or corny. In fact, I still enjoy the very songs and hymns my godly grandmother loved. Though I was a rock-loving hippie I didn’t need any type of rock music to draw me to the gospel, and I don’t need rock music to help me worship God. Franklin defends his close relationship with the licentious world of secular rock by claiming to be a light in the darkness. His philosophy of witnessing, though, is not scriptural. He holds the non-judgmental philosophy of the ecumenical movement.
“Sometimes I’m an ear. They [secular musicians] know they’re talking to somebody who’s not going to judge them. ... You know, to reach the secular world, you don’t beat them over the head with the Bible. You do it the way Jesus did it. You feed them first, then you preach to them” (Kirk Franklin, CCM Magazine, December 1998, p. 38).
This is a biblically ignorant statement. In His earthly ministry, Christ preached to people long before He ever fed them. The first thing the Lord Jesus Christ did in His ministry was cry out “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat. 4:17). Christ’s “negative” preaching eventually caused the crowds to stop following Him (John 6:61-66). Christ preached righteousness and holiness (e.g., Matthew 5-7). The unsaved world has always found such preaching to be “judgmental.” The fact that it is God’s judgment and not man’s makes no difference to those who are rebellious. Ephesians 5:11 says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” If Franklin truly followed in Christ’s footsteps he would not be so popular in the secular music field. Franklin mocks Bible-believing Christians who do not like his rock music. His 1998 album, The Nu Nation Project, contains a skit titled “The Car,” which depicts someone searching for more traditional gospel music on the radio. When the person comes across Franklin’s rock music, instead, he snorts: “Oh, Lord Jesus! That’s that old Kirk Franklin mess ... I’d know that old filth anywhere.” Franklin and his fellow CCM artists intend to rock on regardless of who they offend and regardless of whether or not they cause young people to go astray into the filthy world of pop music because of the bridges built by CCM. Like other CCM musicians, Franklin slanders “old fashioned” Bible-believing Christians as “hard-nosed traditionalists” and “legalists.” 112
“The only thing those hard-nosed traditionalists can see is that these musicians are really wild and seem pretty far out for gospel singers. Ever since that first meeting back in 1992 when we laid out the basic outlines of the Family, we’ve been concerned about the LEGALISM in the church. We’ve been hurt by it, but I can honestly say it’s a lot better today than it was five years ago. Those who live by RIGID LEGALISM may not be able to see the obvious. And too often they can’t even see how their attitudes are driving young people out of the church and into the streets and the gangs and the clubs” (Kirk Franklin, Church Boy, p. 173).
This statement is laughable in light of Franklin’s immorality and the immorality practiced by other members of his group. (Franklin’s keyboard player, Bobby Sparks, has been with Franklin’s group since its inception, but he did not “give his life to the Lord” until August 1997. Prior to that Sparks was living in deep sin, yet he was playing Gospel music.) Franklin has admitted this is rife, and the cause is not some sort of “legalism.” The cause is not churches taking the Bible too seriously and separating from the world too strictly. The cause more typicaly is churches being too much like the world and not taking holiness and separation seriously enough and the church leaders not modeling a godly life. Those who take their stand on the Bible and preach against loving the world and who preach holy living are slanderously called legalists. We would remind Franklin that it is not legalism for a blood-washed, saved-by-grace believer to seek to obey God’s commands and to preach obedience and holiness. Note what the Lord Jesus said about the commandments:
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law,
till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:18,19).
Further, Franklin confuses correction with persecution. He says he has been hurt by those who criticize his lifestyle and music, pretending that he has been persecuted. It is never pleasant to be corrected for sin, but such correction is not persecution nor is it hurtful (except to the old sinful, proud self). A father rebukes his children because he loves them. The Lord Jesus rebukes those He loves (Revelation 3:19), and we are warned that His correction is not pleasant and we must beware of fainting under it (Heb. 12:5). One of the preacher’s duties is to reprove and rebuke (2 Timothy 4:1-2). The Scriptures are given by God “for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Those who repent when they are rebuked learn to appreciate the correction, but those who harden their hearts and refuse to repent hate those who rebuke them and turn against the “criticism.” The book of Proverbs frequently warns that a person’s attitude toward correction reveals the true condition of his heart and determines whether he is wise or foolish.
“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee” (Prov. 9:8). “He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth” (Prov. 10:17). “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent” (Prov. 15:5).
“Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die” (Prov. 15:10). “A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise” (Prov. 15:12). “A reproof entereth more into a wise man than a hundred stripes into a fool” (Prov. 17:10).
The world recognizes Franklin’s defiant attitude. A review of his 1998 album in the Dallas Morning News (Oct. 2, 1998) is titled “Rebellious Franklin Pledges Nu Nation under God.” The article observes: “The Fort Worth rapper-songwriter-producer spends two tracks on his new CD, ‘The Nu Nation Project,’ reminding listeners what a rebel and outcast he is. ... He’s a provocateur and proud of it.” On his 2007 album, Franklin included the song “Interpretations,” which is a tribute to the rock group Earth Wind & Fire. Franklin has also co-edited a video with Maurice White, founder of Earth Wind & Fire. This rock group is heavily into the occult. Terry Watkins warns: “There’s no mistaking the new age/satanic influence of the group Earth Wind and Fire. They blatantly flaunt occult symbolism, such as the all-seeing eye of Horus, zodiac signs, pyramids, hexagrams, the Egyptian ankh, and many more on their albums. To show the ultimate blasphemy, they even name one of their albums ‘I AM’-a name reserved for God! The album ‘I AM’ has a cross of Christ in the center with an embryo and an old man in the center with a temple in the foreground. Their song 115
‘Serpentine Fire’ is based on the New Age teachings found in the Shah Kriza Yogi Meditation cult” (Christian Rock: Blessing or Blasphemy). The Earth Wind & Fire album Spirit pictures Maurice White and the other members of the band in a trance-like state surrounded by pyramids. Earth Wind and Fire’s album Powerlight promotes Hindu yoga. Franklin has no business messing around with such things and promoting such people (2 Cor. 6:14-18). Kirk Franklin is the blind leading the blind, and the spirit behind his music is not the holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth and righteousness.
Bill and Gloria Gaither are graduates of Anderson College, a Church of God school, and attend a Nazarene church. They have written some very popular and wellknown gospel music, such as “He Touched Me,” “Thanks to Calvary,” and “There’s Something about That Name.” Since the early 1990s, the Gaither’s Homecoming audio and video series has dramatically increased the popularity of Southern Gospel music in this generation. Sadly, the Gaithers have used their vast influence to promote the lie that music is neutral and thus to encourage the deep inroads that the world has made into Southern Gospel. They have also promoted the “nonjudgmental” heresy and the unscriptural ecumenical 116
movement with its doctrinal tolerance and its lack of concern about doctrinal purity. Gaither Believes that Music Is Neutral In the 1980s Gaither bought into contemporary Christian music’s foundational premise that “MUSIC IS NEUTRAL” and that any type of raunchy music can be used to glorify God. During a concert tour in New England in 1986, Gaither admitted that he had changed his musical style due to the influence of the “world’s culture.” It is a clear example of the Bible’s warning that “evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33). Gaither said he believes there is a place for Christian rock, expressing his philosophy of music in these words: “God speaks through all different kinds of art forms and musical styles and musical forms” and the “format itself is not necessarily spiritual or non-spiritual” (FBF News Bulletin, March-April 1986, p. 3). The following is an eyewitness description of the Gaither’s appearance at the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis in 1980: “The Bill Gaither Trio entertained 15,000 Southern Baptists on Sunday evening with a musical program worldly enough to make any true believer weep. The music was so loud that some people left and others put their hands to their ears to block the intense amplification 117
of the music” (Robert S. Reynolds, “Southern Baptists on the Downgrade: Report on the 1980 SBC Convention in St. Louis,” Foundation, Volume VI, Issue 1, 1985, p. 9). Gaither has increasingly used every type of rock rhythm in his music. During the disco craze in the late 1980s, the Gaither Trio even recorded a disco album (Calvary Contender, August 15, 1989). Bill Gaither has mentored many of the popular Christian rockers, including Sandi Patty, Russ Taff, Michael English, Carman, and the members of Whiteheart (CCM Magazine, July 1998, p. 20). For more about the neutrality of music, see the video series MUSIC FOR GOOD OR EVIL, available from Way of Life Literature. Bill Gaither and Rome: The Ecumenical Philosophy Bill Gaither has had an ecumenical philosophy from the beginning of his musical career. In his autobiography “It’s More Than the Music,” he states that one of the fringe benefits of playing their concerts in “neutral, nonchurch environments” was that people from “all church denominations” attended. “Before long, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, charismatics, Catholics, and Pentecostals were all praising the Lord together. Subtly, the walls between denominations began to crumble...” (p. 115).
Gaither’s “Hymns for the Family of God” was purposefully “nondenominational” and included devotional readings from a wide variety of Christians, including heretics such as Deitrich Bonhoeffer (one of the fathers of Neo-orthodoxy), Malcolm Muggeridge (a liberal Roman Catholic who did not believe in Christ’s virgin birth or bodily resurrection), and Robert Schuller, who has wickedly redefined the gospel in terms of his humanistic self-esteem theology. The Gaithers provided the music one evening at Indianapolis ‘90, a large ecumenical charismatic gathering I attended with press credentials. One-half of the 25,000 participants were Roman Catholics. A Catholic mass was held each morning, and Catholic priest Tom Forrest from Rome brought the closing message. At an earlier conference in 1987, Forrest said that purgatory is necessary for salvation. Roughly 40 denominations were present. The Gaithers were perfectly at home in this unscriptural gathering and entertained the mixed multitude with their jazzy music. The Gaither Vocal Band performed at the Promise Keepers’ second major men’s conference in Boulder, Colorado, in 1994. In an interview with the Catholic publication Our Sunday Visitor, Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney said that full Catholic participation was his intention from the start. “Back in 1992, at our first stadium event, we very clearly stated from the podium that we eagerly welcomed the participation of Roman Catholics, and we’ve had scores of Roman Catholics attend and go back to their churches 119
excited” (Our Sunday Visitor, July 20, 1997, p. 10). The Tidings (March 31, 1995), a Roman Catholic paper, stated that Catholics were encouraged to participate in Promise Keepers because “there is no doctrinal issue which should cause concern to the Catholic Church” and “there is no attempt at proselytizing or drawing men away from their [Catholic] faith to another church.” Catholic priest John Salazar spoke at a Promise Keepers meeting in Plainview, Texas, in December 1995 (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, December 3, 1995). The Promise Keepers field representative for the upper Midwest at that time, Steve Jenkins, was a Roman Catholic. A Promise Keepers Wake Up Call brochure distributed in San Louis Obispo, California, urged pastors, churches and their men to attend special rallies during March 1996, one of which was held at the St. Rose Catholic Church in Paso Robles. In 1997 Promise Keepers appointed a Roman Catholic, Mike Timmis, to its board of directors. One of the speakers at several of 1997 PK rallies was Roman Catholic priest Jim Berlucchi (“Making New Catholic Men?” Our Sunday Visitor, July 20, 1997, p. 10). In June 1997, Promise Keepers hosted a Catholic Summit at its headquarters in Denver, “sounding out Catholic volunteers and leaders from around the world” (Ibid.). Promise Keepers organized a Roman Catholic mass as part of its Rich Stadium conference in Buffalo, New York (The Humanist, Sept. 19, 1997). Following a luncheon with Bill McCartney in January 1998, Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver gave a “thumbsup” to Catholic men who wanted to participate in 120
Promise Keepers (The Catholic Register, quoted in Religious News Service, Jan. 19, 1998). In 1999, Bill Gaither joined forces with hard-rocking dc Talk founder Toby McKeehan to “create a new modern worship music label, 40 Records” (CCM magazine, July 1999, p. 11). The goal is “to stretch the boundary of worship music” and to “give a youthful spirit to worship music for ANY DENOMINATION…” Speaking of the new music company, Gaither said: “I view building bridges of understanding of different cultures and PHILOSOPHICAL POINTS OF VIEW as part of my calling. UNITY DOES NOT DEPEND ON OUR CONSENSUS OF OPINION, but on our unity in Christ.” This is a heretical and dangerous statement. Biblical unity does depend on a consensus of opinion about doctrine. Ephesians 4:1-6, which speaks of Christian unity, says there is only “one faith” (verse 5). This refers to the body of truth delivered by the Holy Spirit to the apostles and recorded in the New Testament Scriptures. Philippians 1:27 also speaks of Christian unity, and it demands “one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” That is not a description of modern ecumenism. See also 1 Corinthians 1:10. Timothy was instructed to allow “no other doctrine” in the churches he was overseeing (1 Timothy 1:3). According to the apostle Paul, believers are not to unify with those who teach false doctrine; they are to separate from them (Romans 16:17). 121
Gaither’s friends Toby McKeehan and dc Talk are ecumenical and accept Roman Catholics as brothers and sisters in Christ in spite of Rome’s false sacramental gospel and its heresies pertaining to the papacy, Mary, the priesthood, etc. When Pope John Paul II visited America in January 1999, dc Talk joined hands with hundreds of thousands of Catholics to welcome him. Featured at a Catholic youth rally connected with the Pope’s visit, were dc Talk, Audio Adrenaline, Rebecca St. James, Jennifer Knapp, The W’s, and the Supertones (CCM Magazine, April 1999, p. 12). dc Talk’s Kevin Max praised the Catholic youth for coming out to hear the [ope, describing John Paul II as “someone with something of substance to say” (Ibid.). Each attendee received a rosary with instructions about how to pray to Mary. The Gaithers frequently perform and record songs which present an ecumenical philosophy. For example, “Songs that Answer Questions” from their Back Home in Indiana album has the following lyrics:
“Don’t want to spend my life a preachin’ sermons/ that give answers to the questions no one’s asking anywhere/ When there’s so much pain and hurting/ there’s no time to be searching/ for the needles in the haystacks that aren’t there/ I wanna spend my time a wearin’ myself out for Jesus/ with the news a cure’s been found to heal our land/ Stead of making lists, inventing creeds/ that aren’t concerned with people’s needs/ I’ll show ‘em how to touch the nail scarred hand/ Don’t wanna spend my time prayin’ prayers/ Bombarding heaven with requests to rain down fire on saints who care [unclear]/ In our
methods we may differ, but if Christ the Lord we live for/ May we not forget the enemy is OUT THERE.”
This song contains half-truths and subtle errors, which are more dangerous than plain and obvious errors. While it is true that God’s people are to be concerned about suffering and are to show people how to “touch the nail scarred hand,” it is not true that preaching is to be limited merely to answering questions people have. The preacher is instructed to preach the whole counsel of God and the whole Word of God (Acts 20:27; 2 Tim. 3:16 - 4:1-2). The Bible warns that it is apostate people who will desire teachers who teach what they want to hear and what they feel a need for (2 Timothy 4:3-4). This prophecy sounds very much like what the Gaithers are singing about. It is also not true that it is wrong to “make lists” or “invent creeds” that aren’t concerned with people’s needs. The lists and creeds mentioned in this song refer to doctrinal studies and statements of faith. Doctrinal studies must, first of all, faithfully represent Bible truth, regardless of whether or not it meets “people’s needs.” Sound Bible doctrine does meet man’s deepest needs, of course, but that does not mean that Bible doctrine meets the felt needs of unsaved or carnal people. The unsaved or carnal man does not feel he has a need to be told he is a sinner or that he is has no righteousness before God or that he is to repent or that he is to die to self or that he is to separate from the world or that there is an eternal hell, etc., but sound Bible doctrine tells him all of these things. This song encourages the hearers to despise doctrinal study and research and teaching and statements of faith, 123
which is the attitude typically found in the ecumenical movement. This is a recipe for building the apostate endtime one world church. It is also not true that the divisions among Christians are merely about differing methods or that differing methods are not important. Take baptism, for example. Many denominations “baptize” infants, while others baptize only those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Some sprinkle; others immerse. These are differing methods, but they are not insignificant and cannot be ignored. It is also not true that the “enemy” is limited to things outside of the churches. The Bible warns of false teachers, false christs, false spirits, false gospels, deluding spirits, doctrines of devils--all of which will be found within churches and among professing Christians (Acts 20:29-30). It is also not true that fundamentalists are praying for fire to fall on those with whom they disagree doctrinally. That is a vicious libel upon biblical fundamentalists who wish no harm upon anyone but who care deeply about the truth of God’s Word. The unscriptural and very dangerous message of this song is put across by the effective means of a countryrock rhythm and by repetition. Another ecumenical song sung by the Gaithers is “JESUS BUILT THIS CHURCH ON LOVE” from their 124
Back Home in Indiana album. The lead on the song is performed by Candy “Hemphill” Christmas, who has traveled with the Gaithers. The song is sung at many of the Gaither concerts and is done in the style of a midtempo jazzy black spiritual with heavy drum and bass guitar backbeat.
“Do you ever just get to wonderin’/ ‘bout the way things are today?/ So many on board this gospel ship/ Trying to row in a different way/ If we’d all pull together/ Like a family me and you/ We’d come a lot closer to doin’/ what the Lord called us to do. Chorus: “Jesus built this church on love/ and that’s what it’s all about/ Trying to get everybody saved/ not to keep anybody out...”
This song implies that the divisions within Christianity are largely if not entirely man-made and unnecessary, that if professing Christians would merely “pull together” and exercise love the divisions would be healed. It is a feel-good sentiment, a nice fairy tale which has wide appeal, but it is unreasonable and unscriptural. The Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles warned repeatedly that false teachers would lead many astray, that there would be false christs, false spirits, false gospels, false churches, doctrines of devils (Mat. 7:15-23; 24:3-5,11,24; Acts 20:28-30; 2 Cor. 1:1-4; Galatians 1; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:13; 4:3-4; 2 Pet. 2; 1 John 4:1; Jude; etc.). The book of Revelation predicts a one-world end-time harlot Christian religion (Rev. 17). Those who preach an ecumenical unity rarely even mention these Bible warnings and never focus on them. They do not tell us where these false christs, false gospels, false spirits, false 125
teachers, and false churches are in Christianity today. They imply, rather, that the denominational divisions are largely petty and could be overcome by a little ecumenical love. There are many problems among Christians that can be healed through love, but it simply is not true that love will heal the major divisions within Christianity. The differences between denominations involve serious doctrinal issues that cannot be ignored and that cannot be solved through sentimental songs. This Gaither song also says the churches are “not to keep anybody out.” That is blatantly contradictory to the Bible’s command to separate from error and to exercise church discipline (Rom. 16:17; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 2 Tim. 2:16-21; 3:5; 2 John 8-11; Rev. 18:4). Another ecumenical Gaither song is “Loving God, Loving Teach Other” from the album by that name.
“They pushed back from the table/ To listen to his words/ His secret plan before he had to go/ It’s not complicated/ Don’t need a lot of rules/ This is all you need to know/ We tend to make it harder/ Build steeples out of stone/ Fill books with explanations of the way/ But if we’d stop and listen/ And break a little bread/ We would hear the Master say/ It’s Loving God, loving each other/ Making music with my friends/ Loving God, loving each other/ And the story never ends.”
The song contains more half truths and subtle errors. Love is a very important part of the Christian life, but true Christian love is obeying God’s Word (John 14:23; 1 John 5:3). To say that we “don’t need a lot of rules” 126
ignores the fact that the New Testament is literally filled with rules! The book of Ephesians alone, by my count, contains 88 specific “rules” for God’s people. To say that we don’t need to “fill books with explanations of the way” ignores the fact that the Bible instructs us to “study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). It ignores the fact that the Bible is given for “doctrine” (teaching) (2 Tim. 3:16) and that preachers are instructed to teach other men (2 Tim. 2:2), that older women are instructed to teach younger women (Titus 2:3-5), etc. Bible teaching certainly involves “filling books with explanations of the way.” That is precisely what the apostles did in their Epistles. The Bible itself contains 66 books with explanations of the way! This Gaither song presents a simplistic, sentimental approach to the Christian life and ministry which appeals to a modern crowd, but which is patently contrary to the teaching of God’s Word. Gaither Warns against Judging In an interview with Kim Jones, a tattooed female rocker who writes a column for the Roman Catholic publication Holy Spirit Interactive, Bill Gaither said: “Finger pointing is never, I think, of God. Because I know that Scripture ‘judgment is mine, saith the Lord.’ When we get out of the judgment business and just get into the being business, the being what God wants us to 127
be, it will take care of itself” (Holy Spirit Interactive, Dec. 6, 2004). The level of biblical ignorance reflected by this statement is frightening, especially when we consider the vast influence that Bill Gaither wields among churches in this generation. First of all, the Bible nowhere says, “Judgment is mine, saith the Lord.” It says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). The believer is taught to give place unto wrath and to avoid avenging himself upon his enemies, because that is strictly God’s business. On the other hand, though the believer is forbidden to judge hypocritically (Mat. 7:1-5) and forbidden to judge in matters in which the Bible is silent in this dispensation (Rom. 14:1-5; Col. 2:16), as in matters such as diet and holy days, he is most definitely taught to judge things by testing them against the Word of God and condemning them if they are in error. The believer is to judge sin in the church (1 Cor. 5:12). He is to judge preaching and teaching (1 Cor. 14:29; Acts 17:11). He is to reprove the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). As a matter of fact the Bible says that “he that is spiritual judgeth ALL things” (1 Cor. 2:15). That is a very far-reaching statement. The spiritual man knows that he lives in a world of sin and spiritual darkness and error and he is warned repeatedly in the Bible about the danger of false teaching and apostasy and spiritual deception. Thus he 128
carefully tests everything by the light of God’s Word. The spiritual man does not judge by his own thinking and opinion, but by the holy Word of God, which he has in the Scriptures. The Gaithers represent the very heart and soul of Southern gospel music today. They have held “homecoming” specials which have brought together most of the well known Southern gospel groups. These include members of the Statesmen, the Blackwood Brothers, the Cathedrals, the Goodmans, the Speer Family, the Florida Boys, the Gatlin Brothers, and many others. Those who have attended these gatherings have put their stamp of approval upon the ecumenicalcharismatic-rock music side of Southern gospel by not separating from those who are guilty of these things and by not lifting their voices to reprove them. The Bible instructs us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). Revelation 18:4 warns God’s people to come out from among the apostasy of the last hours “that ye be not partakers of her sins.” COMPLICITY WITH DOCTRINAL AND SPIRITUAL ERROR MAKES ME A PARTAKER WITH THAT ERROR. 2 John warns that even to bid God speed to a false teacher makes me “partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 11). I realize this is a very hard line and one that is completely foreign to the thinking of this ecumenically-crazed age, but this is what the Word of God says.
I also realize that the Gaithers have produced some lovely sacred music in the past, but this is no excuse for disobedience to God’s Word. When the Gaithers greet 12,000 Roman Catholics, including many priests and nuns, as brethren in Christ and “minister” to them in music, as they did at Indianapolis ’90, they are partakers of the evil deeds of Rome. It is wrong to associate with those who walk in open disobedience to God’s Word and to support them with record sales and to bring their music with its ecumenical philosophy into our churches and homes. (For more about Bill Gaither see “Marsha Stevens” in this Directory.)
Gaines, Billy and Sarah
In 1997, Billy and Sarah Gaines joined Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, a song with an ecumenical theme: “Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for Christ and each other.” The song talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division. The broad range of participants who joined Troccoli in recording “Love One Another” demonstrates the ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music. The song witnessed Catholics, Pentecostals, Baptists, etc., yoked together for Christian unity.
See “Integrity Music.”
Getty, Keith and Kristyn
The Gettys list the Beatles as a major influence. Their ecumenical goal is to “bring everyone together musically” and to “write songs that contemporary, traditional and liturgical churches could use” (www.keithgetty.com). Their popular songs include “Don’t Let Me Lose My Wonder,” “In Christ Alone” (penned by Keith and Stuart Townend), “Speak, Oh Lord,” and “The Power of the Cross.” Keith arranged some of the songs on Michael W. Smith’s charismatic Healing Rain album. Getty has a close workin grelationship with Stuart Townend, who is radically charismatic and ecumenical. (See “Stuart Townend” in this Directory.)
In 1997, Southern gospel legend Vestal Goodman joined Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, a song with an ecumenical theme: “Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for Christ and each other.” The song talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division. The broad range of participants who joined Troccoli in recording “Love One Another” 131
demonstrates the ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music. The song witnessed Catholics, Pentecostals, Baptists, etc., yoked together for Christian unity.
The very popular Steve Green (b. 1957) has sold more than 3 million albums. He was born and raised in Argentina as a missionary kid. At 16 he began writing songs and playing the guitar, and when he returned to the States at age 18 he entered an eight year period of rebellion.
“I was tired of being alone, and I was tired of being different. I felt that Christianity was restrictive. I’d heard some people felt you didn’t have to live as stringent a lifestyle as I had been taught. I wanted to find out who those people were ... and join them! I didn’t want to completely abandon ship, but I did want to do some skiing in the water. I wanted to get to heaven, but I wanted to do it my way. That attitude led to eight years of spiritual decline. The upbringing I had was great. The convictions my parents had, they had for the right reasons. It’s just that sometimes kids pick up on the rules and miss the heart. That’s what I did. If my parents did something or didn’t do something because of their love for the Lord, I didn’t do it because Dad said not to do it, but I missed the ‘love the Lord’ part. So when I came back to the States, I was already kicking against what I perceived as rules. When I got out from under the rules, I soon tossed off all restraint” (James Long, interview with Steve Green, CCM Magazine, March 1996).
Steve Green was still in a condition he describes as “spiritual coldness” when he began playing music in 132
Christian bands. He released his first single in 1975. He tutored with Larry Norman, one of the fathers of Christian rock, for a year and a half, then signed to Word Records in 1977. Green’s first album with Word, Sayin’ It with Love, was released in the next year. According to his own testimony, though, it was not until 1984 that Green got right with the Lord. He admits that “I had been a hypocrite, spouting off about God, without really knowing what I was talking about” (Ibid.). Green has sung at ecumenical forums such as the Religious Broadcasters Association’s annual convention, Moody Bible Institute’s Founders Week, Billy Graham crusades, and Promise Keepers rallies. At the Promise Keepers Atlanta Clergy Conference in 1996, Green sang, “Let the Walls Come Down,” referring to PK’s goal of breaking down walls between denominations. Several Catholic priests were present at that conference, and Dr. Ralph Colas, who attended the event, described it in these words: “The big beat, contemporary music brought the ministers to their feet. ... Steve Green belted out repeatedly ‘Let the Walls Come Down.’ The 40,000 clergy shouted, whistled, clapped, and cheered as they worked to a higher and higher pitch of emotion.” Dr. Colas noted further, “While there may be some good things said at a PK conference, this meeting included compromise, ecumenism, apostasy, Jesuit casuistry (end justifies the means), and hyper-emotionalism, along with a theology based on relationships rather than Biblical truth” (Calvary Contender, April 15, 1996). Steve Green is perfectly at home in this type of unscriptural atmosphere. 133
Some have contended that Green is not ecumenical and that “Let the Walls Come Down” is not an ecumenical song, but the context of Promise Keepers was most definitely ecumenical, encouraging Roman Catholic participation and incorporating Roman Catholic speakers. Green has never repudiated his involvement in Promise Keepers, Billy Graham crusades, Focus on the Family, and other radically ecumenical forums. Green’s The Faithful album (1998) has two songs which promote charismatic-ecumenical error:
“There’s a river ever flowing/ Widening, never slowing/ And all who wade out in it are swept away/ When it ends where its going/ Like the wind, no way of knowing/ Until we answer the call to risk it all/ And enter in/ The river calls, we can’t deny/ A step of faith is our reply/ We feel the Spirit draw us in/ The water’s swift, we’re forced to swim/ We’re out of control/ And we go where he flows” (Steve Green, “The River”). “A great movement in every place/ Is going on so fast Eternal light piercing so deep/ I am so convinced/ The prophecies that Jesus spoke/ Will soon all be fulfilled/ Everything will be made clear/ And very soon Jesus will come/ Oh, glory hallelujah/ For the Lord is pouring/ A holy fire/ The great revival’s started/ Every tongue confessing/ ‘Jesus Christ is Lord of all’/ ‘Jesus Christ is Lord of all’” (Steve Green, “The Great Revival”).
Those familiar with Pentecostal latter-rain doctrine will recognize the river terminology. According to this doctrine, an end-time miracle revival must precede the return of Christ. The “Laughing Revival,” with headquarters in Toronto and Pensacola, used the “river” terminology to describe their movement. The theme song 134
at the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola was “The River Is Here.” The chorus says,
“The river of God sets our feet a-dancing/ The river of God fills our hearts with cheer/ The river of God fills our mouths with laughter/ And we rejoice for the river is here.”
Note that Steve Green sings that the “river” sweeps people away and makes them “out of control.” This is precisely what happens to people who participate in the strange Laughing Revival. People are thrown to the floor and are unable to rise; they become drunken and stagger around and are unable to speak plainly. They make animal noises and laugh hysterically. We are told that these things are the works of the Spirit of God in His “latter rain” outpouring, but the “great revival” of which Steven Green sings is not revival; it is apostasy and confusion. As we have seen, Steve Green was a staunch supporter of Promise Keepers. It, in turn, was heavily influenced by John Wimber’s Vineyard movement. PK founder Bill McCartney is a member of a Vineyard congregation, and he was taught to trust his intuitions as “revelation” from God by Vineyard pastor James Ryle. The Vineyard movement also spawned the Laughing Revival. These are different aspects of the same end-time apostasy and they share many of the same unscriptural philosophies. Steve Green also wants the world to know that he supports the non-judgmental philosophy:
“I do have personal convictions that I conduct my life by, but I’m not going to force my convictions on someone else or try to make them jump through my hoops, through the convictions I have set up for my life” (Steve Green, MusicLine Magazine, December 1985, p. 9).
If Steve Green’s “convictions” are not based on the Word of God, if they are merely his own “preferences,” of course he is right and he should not urge these upon anyone. If, on the other hand, his convictions are based solidly upon the Word of God, he has the responsibility to urge others to follow them. Timothy was instructed, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). Green’s non-judgmental philosophy sounds like a clever attempt to escape the responsibility to preach God’s standards of holiness and to reprove the works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). In January 1998, Green performed at the Carpenter’s Home Church in Lakeland, Florida, which was associated with the Assemblies of God. It was at this church that the Laughing Revival began under the ministry of Rodney Howard-Browne, who blasphemously calls himself “the Holy Spirit bartender.” In 2011 Green joined the Christian Classic Tour with Twila Paris, Michael Card, and Wayne Watson. Card is a most radical ecumenist. In 1996 he produced an album (Brother to Brother) jointly with fellow CCM performer John Michael Talbot, who is a Roman Catholic and prays to Mary and practices yoga. Of this venture, Card testified: “Doing this project has enabled us to become 136
real friends. And along the way, the denominational lines have become really meaningless to me, and to John, too” (CCM Magazine, July 1996). Card led the singing for the “Evening of Friendship” at the Salt Lake City Tabernacle on November 14, 2004. The crowd was composed of Mormons and “evangelical” Christians of various stripes. Card said that “he doesn’t see Mormonism and evangelical Christianity as opposed to each other; they are more like the two ends of a long thread -- part of the same thing.” He said, “The older I get, I guess the more I want to integrate everything. I think it’s more important to be faithful than right” (“Songwriter puts faith to music and verse,” Deseret Morning News, Nov. 16, 2004). This is Steve Green’s very dangerous crowd. Though he is more doctrinally conservative than many of the CCM artists, Green’s ecumenical philosophy and his associations are bridges to the treacherous waters of evangelicalism. (See the book Biblical Separatism and Its Collapse for extensive documentation of the treacherous waters. It is available as a free eBook download from the Way of Life web site.)
Jack Hayford (b. 1934) is the influential Pentecostal pastor of Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, and the author of many popular books and contemporary praise songs, including “Majesty.”
(The song “Majesty,” lovely though it is, promotes the unscriptural “kingdom now” philosophy, in which Christians are thought to be able to exercise kingdom authority over sickness and the devil in this present hour. This is what the words “kingdom authority” refer to in Hayford’s song.) Hayford belongs to the Four Square Pentecostal Church, a denomination founded by Aimee Semple McPherson in direct disobedience to the Word of God. “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim. 2:12). Christianity Today magazine calls Hayford “The Pentecostal Gold Standard” (Christianity Today, July 2005), but when his theology and practice are examined we find that his position is not the untarnished gold of Scripture but the rust and corrosion of extra-biblical “revelation.” Speaking at St. Louis 2000, for example, Hayford said that his daughter approached him one day with a concern about her “tongues speaking.” She was afraid that she was speaking mere gibberish, but he encouraged her that the believer must first learn to speak in baby tongues before he speaks in adult tongues. (I attended this conference with press credentials and heard Hayford say this.) There is absolutely no Bible support for such nonsense and it denies the Pentecostal’s claim that the Bible is his sole authority for faith and practice. Biblical tongues-speaking is not something that be learned; it is 138
supernatural gift and there is not one example in the New Testament of someone learning how to speak in tongues. At the Promise Keepers Clergy Conference in 1996 Hayford urged the crowd of 40,000 to “dance in the Lord,” saying that he learned the dance in Africa and that later the Lord said to him, “May I have this dance?” An eyewitness called it “an African witch-doctor dance” (Bruce Caldwell, “Following in the Footsteps of the Apostate Presbyterians,” Christian News, March 11, 1996). Nowhere in the Bible do we find God dancing with His people. Further, the Bible plainly warns, “Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jer. 10:2). Hayford claims that he got his radical position on ecumenism directly from God. He says that in 1969, as he drove near a large Catholic church in Southern California, God spoke to him and instructed him not to judge Roman Catholicism. He says he heard a message from God saying, “Why would I not be happy with a place where every morning the testimony of the blood of my Son is raised from the altar?” (“The Pentecostal Gold Standard,” Christianity Today, July 2005). Based upon this “personal revelation,” Hayford adopted a neutral approach to Catholicism, yet upon the authority of the Bible we know that the message that Hayford heard was demonic. The atonement of Jesus Christ is NOT glorified on Roman Catholic altars. The mass is an open denial of the doctrine of the once-for-all atonement that we find in the book of Hebrews. Note what the official Vatican II Council said about the mass: “For in it Christ perpetuates in an unbloody manner the sacrifice offered on the cross, 139
offering himself to the Father for the world’s salvation through the ministry of priests” (The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, “Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery,” Intro., C 1, 2, p. 108). This is only a small part of Rome’s wicked heresies, and it is impossible that God would encourage Jack Hayford to look upon the Roman Catholic Church in any sort of positive, non-judgmental manner. If Hayford based his theology about the Roman Catholic Church strictly upon the Bible, he would never fall for such delusion. Hayford has acted on this “personal revelation” by yoking up with Roman Catholic leaders in conferences throughout the world. For example, he joined hands with thousands of Roman Catholics, including hundreds of Catholic priests and nuns, at the North American Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelization in St. Louis in 2000. Hayford was a featured speaker at John Wimber’s 1991 conference in Sydney, Australia, joining hands in that forum with Catholic priests Tom Forrest and Raniero Cantalamessa and Catholic layman Kevin Ranaghan. Speaking at Indianapolis ’90, Forrest said he praises God for purgatory. Cantalamessa was the papal preacher at the Vatican. Ranaghan claims that the Roman Catholic Church alone contains the fullness of God and truth and that the pope is the infallible head of all churches. Hayford put his stamp of approval upon these men’s heresies and became partaker of their sins by appearing with them and treating them as if they were true men of God. 140
Hayford is on the Board of Regents for Melodyland Christian Center, which has a close relationship with Roman Catholicism. A fellow board member is Roman Catholic Fred Ladenius, author of Amazing John XXIII, a book fully supportive of the pope by that name, a pope who died with a Rosary in his hand and prayers to Mary and Catholic “saints” on his lips. Hayford also has a close relationship with heretic Robert Schuller. He spoke at Schuller’s Men’s Conference at the Crystal Cathedral in March 1995 and in January 2005 and endorsed Schuller’s 1996 autobiography, My Soul’s Adventure with God. In 1982, Schuller published SelfEsteem the New Reformation in which he twisted Bible theology to conform to his humanistic psychology. According to Schuller, sin is “any act or thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her selfesteem” (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p. 14). Schuller’s christ is “self-esteem incarnate” (p. 135). His new birth is to be “changed from a negative to a positive self-image” (p. 68). His hell “is the loss of pride that naturally follows separation from God” (p. 14). To Schuller, the most destructive thing is to call men lost sinners and thereby injure their self-esteem (Christianity Today, Oct. 5, 1984). Schuller is a universalist who believes that all people are the children of God. (For more about Schuller see “Evangelicals and Robert Schuller” at www.wayoflife.org) Friends, beware of Jack Hayford and beware of those undiscerning Christian bookstores that sell his books. 141
There is great spiritual danger in the average Christian bookstore today. Hayford represents the spiritual deception and the great danger that is represented by the contemporary praise movement.
Joel Hemphill is committed to “Jesus Only” doctrine, which denies the Trinity and baptizes only in Jesus’ name. He wrote “He’s Still Working on Me.” (For more about Oneness Pentecostal doctrine see “Geron Davis” in this Directory.)
See “Darlene Zschech.”
Tim Hughes (b. 1978) is the author of many popular contemporary worship anthems such as “You Alone” and “Here I Am to Worship.” He is director of worship at Holy Trinity Brompton, an Anglican church where the “laughing revival” broke out in England in 1994. At a house meeting that year, Eleanor Mumford, wife of Pastor John Mumford of the Southwest London Vineyard Church, invited the Holy 142
Spirit to come.” The moment she did that, the “revival” broke out. One person was thrown across the room and lay on the floor howling and laughing, “making the most incredible noise.” Another man lay on the floor “prophesying.” Some appeared to be drunken. Anglican priest Nicky Gumbel testified that he had an experience “like massive electricity going through my body.” Gumbel got himself together and rushed to a meeting at Holy Trinity Brompton, where he apologized for being late. When he closed that meeting with prayer and said, “Lord, thank you so much for all you are doing and we pray you’ll send your Spirit,” the same strange phenomena were again manifested. One of those present lay on the floor with his feet in the air and started laughing like a hyena. (This information is gathered from material I collected on a visit I made to Holy Trinity Brompton in 1997.) The “revival” at Holy Trinity Brompton was closely associated with the strange movements in Toronto and Pensacola. The spirit behind these moves is “another spirit.” (See “Lindell Cooley” in this Directory.) Holy Trinity Brompton also birthed the Alpha program, which is both charismatic in doctrine and radically ecumenical in philosophy. Alpha has crossed denominational lines and is popular among Roman Catholics. Nicky Gumbel, one of the founders of Alpha, says, “We need to unite ... It is wonderful that the movement of the Spirit will always bring churches together. He is doing that right across the denominations and within the traditions ... we are seeing Roman Catholics coming now ... People are no longer ‘labelling’ 143
themselves or others. I long for the day when we drop all these labels and just regard ourselves as Christians with a commission from Jesus Christ” (Renewal, May 1995, p. 16). The lead article in the February 1997 issue of Alpha News was “Archbishop Praises Alpha on Pope Visit as Catholic Church Hosts Conferences.” It noted that Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey praised the Alpha course in a speech in Rome during his official visit with Pope John Paul II in December of that year. In May 1997, more than 400 Catholic leaders attended an Alpha conference in Westminster Cathedral in London, to be trained in conducting Alpha courses in Catholic parishes. The meeting received the blessing of Cardinal Basil Hume, the highest Catholic official in England (Alpha News, February 1997, p. 1). Alpha was endorsed by the archbishop of Baltimore, Cardinal William Keeler (“Education through Alpha,” The Ledger, Lakeland, Florida, March 13, 1999, p. D3). One of the largest Alpha conferences in the United States took place March 1999, at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Winter Springs, Florida. It was attended by 600 people. This is the heretical ecumenical philosophy which ignores the importance of sound doctrine, which ignores the danger of false gospels, false christs, and false spirits, and which it is creating the apostate one-world church. And the charismatic contemporary praise music is the very heart and soul of this philosophy and program. The progress of contemporary worship music follows handin-hand with the charismatic ecumenical movement. 144
Nicky Gumbel was powerfully influenced by John Wimber, and there are many references to Wimber in Alpha material. In a video series, Gumbel traces his call to evangelism to a 1982 incident in which he received prayer from Wimber. As Wimber laid hands on him, “He experienced such supernatural power that he had to call out for it to stop.” Wimber also gave a “word of knowledge” that Gumbel had a gift of “telling others.” (See John Wimber and The Vineyard.) Hughes heads up Worship Central, which is an influential international worship training and resource center. Through Worship Central the charismatic ecumenical philosophy is spread via worship music. Hughes has worked closely with the Soul Survivor youth music festivals, which is an outgrowth of the “New Wine” conferences. The name indicates its radical charismatic nature. In 2006, the Soul Survivor events drew 25,000 people.
The very influential Integrity Music company (also owns Hosanna Music) arose out of the charismatic movement, and the music it spreads to well over 100 countries is of the most radical charismatic-ecumenical character. Integrity recorded an album at the Brownsville Assembly of God (home of the strange “Pensacola Outpouring”). Don Moen, the “creative director” for Integrity, described the power of the Laughing Revival music in these words: 145
“Because something is imparted when you listen to this tape. I don’t want it to sound spooky or mysterious, but there’s something powerful about embracing the music of the revival. The fire of the revival can stir in you even as you listen to the songs that took place at the Brownsville revival” (“Don Moen Discusses Music at Brownsville Assembly,” Pentecostal Evangel, Assemblies of God, November 10, 1996). The “revival” to which he refers was not a biblical revival; it was a “revival” in which people become drunk and staggered about and shook uncontrollably and fell down and were unable to perform the most basic functions of life. The pastor at Brownsville, John Kilpatrick, testified that it took him a half hour just to put on his socks when he was drunk with the Brownsville spirit. He laid on the church platform for as long as four hours, unable to get up. His wife has been unable to cook their food or clean the house. Some people had to be carried out of the church. One mother lay on the platform until 1am in the morning “basking in the spirit” until an usher collected her neglected kids, took them home, and put her to bed. Whatever this “revival” is, it is not something that conforms to Scripture. The Spirit of God doesn’t render pastors incapable of tending their flocks or mothers their children. Yet Moen testifies that this “spirit” can be imparted through Integrity music.
We believe this is true and it is one of the reasons why contemporary praise music is so effective at transforming the character of staunchly Bible-believing churches. Integrity’s Hosanna! Music worship albums include songs by ROBERT GAY, who records music from alleged prophecies given by charismatic latter rain “prophets.” Gay has written hundreds of choruses, and many of them have been professionally recorded. His songs include “Mighty Man of War,” “No Other Name,” “On Bended Knee,” “More Than Enough.” Gay was a worship leader at Integrity, and Integrity has produced many of his “prophetic” songs. Gay claims that the Holy Spirit gives him visions for his songs, yet we know that these visions are not of God as they are not Scriptural. Gay is connected with “apostle” Bill Hamon’s (b. 1934) Christian International network of supposed prophetic ministries, which promotes the deception that God is continuing to give revelation through prophets and apostles today. Hamon holds the latter rain miraclerevival heresy that God will raise up new apostles who will operate in miracle-working power even exceeding that of the first-century apostles who will unite the churches and establish the kingdom of God. Hamon claims that the Laughing Revival (Toronto, Pensacola, Lakeland, Holy Trinity Brompton, etc.) and Promise Keepers are part of this restoration process (Hamon, Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God: God’s End-Time Plans for His Church and Planet Earth, 1997; The Day of the Saints, p. 129). Hamon says, “I refuse to be boxed in. But I may say certain things that you may 147
try to box me in, but I am not trying to propagate any particular eschatology” (“Battle of the Brides,” New Life Church, Nov. 13, 1997). He doesn’t want to be tested by God’s Word. Integrity also publishes music by “prophet musician” KEVIN PROSCH who is closely associated with Rick Joyner of Morningstar ministries, a supposed latter rain prophet. Joyner promotes the Latter Rain Manifest Sons of God heresy, which anticipates a revival of end-time miracles whereby chosen believers will usher in the return of Christ. It is also called Joel’s Army, Dominionism, the New Breed, and Kingdom Now. In his books The Harvest and Mobilizing the Army of God, Joyner claims that a great company of prophets and apostles will be raised up with the spirit of Phineas to take rule; the appearances of angels will be common and the Lord Himself will appear to councils of apostles; miracles will exceed the most spectacular ones recorded in Scripture, with the “anointed ones” not only walking on water but also “walking on air.” All of this will supposedly occur before the return of Christ and the Millennium. Prosch is right in the middle of this dangerous heresy with his “prophetic” contemporary praise music. A Bible believer will discern immediately that the spirit that empowers this “praise” is “another spirit” (2 Cor. 11:3-4) and is not the Spirit of the Lord. (See “Kevin Prosch” in this Directory.)
Integrity’s Hosanna! Music worship albums also include songs of other key churches that have been captured by the strange and very dangerous Laughing Revival movement. Another one of these is HILLS CHRISTIAN LIFE CENTRE. Hosanna published an album entitled “Shout to the Lord” which was recorded at this church in Sydney, Australia. It has become hugely influential, being sung even in fundamental Baptist churches. The worship leader at Hills Christian Life Centre, DARLENE ZSCHECH, is a Pentecostal pastor. Many of the “praise” songs on this album are extremely man centered. The lyrics to the songs often present a theology of “holding out faithful.”
“I will never be the same again/ I’ve closed the door/ I will walk the path/ I’ll run the race” (“I Will Never Be” from Shout to the Lord). “I love you/ I need you/ Though my world may fall/ I’ll never let you go” (Jesus, Lover of My Soul” from Shout to the Lord).
Instead of the Christian rejoicing in God’s promises to keep him, these songs have the Christian promising to hold on to God. It is man-centered theology. There is also the false Pentecostal latter rain theology in some of the songs.
“I believe the promise about the visions and the dreams/ That the Holy Spirit will be poured out/ And His power will be seen/ Well the time is now/ The place is here/ And His people have come in faith/ There’s a mighty sound/ And a touch of fire/ When we’ve gathered in one place” (“I Believe the Presence” from Shout to the Lord).
Integrity is totally committed to the end-time heresy of ecumenism. Don Moen stated their objective in an interview with Christianity Today as follows: “I’ve discovered that worship [music] is transdenominational, transcultural. IT BRIDGES ANY DENOMINATION. Twenty years ago there were many huge divisions between denominations. Today I think the walls are coming down. In any concert that I do, I will have 30-50 different churches represented.” The “transdenominational” character of contemporary worship music should be a loud warning to any true Bible believer. It is this “transdenominational” character that makes it so transformational when it comes into a fundamentalist church. Integrity Worship Institute offers a master’s degree program in partnership with REGENT UNIVERSITY in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This charismatic school was founded by Pat Robertson, one of the most radical ecumenists alive. In 1985, Robertson “revealed that during 25 years of broadcasting, he has ‘worked for harmony and reconciliation between Protestants and Catholics’ and ‘refrained from airing major theological differences.’ He told Roman Catholic Bishop Sullivan, ‘I have been your friend and booster. ... It has been my pleasure to assist on repeated occasions the church you serve’” (Christian News, July 22, 1985). In 1991, Robertson invited a Roman Catholic, Keith Fournier, to be the executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice at Regent. Several of the Regent professors are Roman Catholics. A Catholic mass is held on 150
Regent’s campus every week. “A frequent leader of special masses is Bishop Walter Sullivan, head of the Richmond Diocese, whose motto is ‘To Unite All in Christ.’ . . . To this end he serves as the Bishop-President of Pax Christi USA (the national Catholic peace movement) and is outspoken regarding his support for ordination of homosexuals” (“Roman Catholicism: The Seduction Continues,” Frontline, May-June 2000). Sullivan also supports homosexuals and claims that homosexuality is a natural condition. After Robertson met with Pope John Paul II in 1995, he said, “We all want to build bridges with the Catholic Church” (Calvary Contender, Sept. 1, 1996). Speaking at the St. Louis 2000 conference, which I attended with press credentials, Robertson said, “We need to have some Catholic charismatics come into our Baptist churches to teach us how to worship.” This illustrates the great confusion that surrounds the contemporary praise movement. Experience is exalted far beyond sound doctrine. Otherwise, how can you explain such a strange statement from the lips of a former Southern Baptist? How can a Roman Catholic teach a Bible believer how to worship God? The Roman Catholic holds a false faith-works gospel, which Galatians chapter 1 says is cursed of God, and he worships the false christ of the mass. One of the other speakers at St. Louis 2000 was Catholic priest Tom Forrest. At another conference that I attended, I heard Forrest say that he praises God for purgatory, because without purgatory we can’t go to heaven. Forrest is one of the Catholic charismatics who, 151
according to Pat Robertson, is supposed to teach us how to worship. The fact that Integrity Worship Institute is comfortable with Pat Robertson’s Regent University is irrefutable evidence of its capitulation to the most radical elements of the charismatic ecumenical movement, and it is a loud warning to those who are tempted to “adapt” some of their praise music. (For more about Integrity Music see “Don Moen” in this Directory.)
Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay was formed in the 1990s and has had a big influence. Their song “Flood” achieved cross-over success and rose to #12 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart and to #37 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is no wonder that the song was popular with the world, since the lyrics are so vague as to be meaningless.
“Rain, rain on my face/ It hasn’t stopped raining for days/ My world is a flood/ Slowly I become one with the mud. “But if I can’t swim after forty days/ And my mind is crushed by the thrashing waves/ Lift me up so high that I cannot fall/ Lift me up/ Lift me up - when I’m falling/ Lift me up - I’m weak and I’m dying/ Lift me up - I need you to hold me/ Lift me up - Keep me from drowning again.”
Jars of Clay could be singing about any god or even a girlfriend or boyfriend. The band names Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles as their inspiration (Dann Denny, “Christian Rock,” Sunday Herald Times, Bloomington, Ind., Feb. 8, 1998). The lead guitarist for Jars of Clay is said to be a “Beatles fanatic” (Christian News, Dec. 8, 1997). Jars of Clay is committed to the emerging philosophy laid out in Bob Briner’s influential book Roaring Lambs: A Gentle Plan to Radically Change Your World. Jars of Clay put its imprimatur on this book, as did Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Sixpence None the Richer, Steve Taylor, Michael Tait of dc Talk, and Delirious. It is all about kingdom building. It as much about transforming culture than preaching the gospel to people, which is something we don’t see in the book of Acts. When Paul and Barnabas went out from the church of Antioch as the first foreign missionaries, they didn’t spend their time redeeming the culture of the Roman Empire. They proclaimed the gospel and planted churches. They taught the believers to avoid and reprove every every work of darkness, to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers , to not be conformed to the world (2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:11; Rom. 12:2). But Briner calls on “lambs” to “roar” in order to engage and transform culture and society. Briner suggests, for example, that Christians should have the goal of seeing their sons and 153
daughters become the principle dancers in ballet companies instead of looking upon such things as wrong and staying away from them. Briner says, “What I’m calling for is a radically different way of thinking about our world. Instead of running from it, we need to rush into it. And instead of just hanging around the fringes of our culture, we need to be right smack dab in the middle of it.” The ecumenical Jars of Clay traveled with the Rock & Worship Roadshow in early 2011. In that forum they joined hands with Roman Catholic Matt Maher, among others. The bands covered the Beatles song “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”
Phil Keaggy (b. 1951) is considered one of the foremost contemporary Christian guitarists/songwriters. After playing in several rock bands in his teen years, in 1968 he joined John Sferra to form a rock group called the Glass Harp. Bass player Dan Pecchio joined them about a year later, and they produced their first album in the fall of 1970. Earlier that same year Keaggy made a commitment to Christ in an Assemblies of God church, following the death of his mother in an automobile accident. Like most CCM musicians, Keaggy does not describe his salvation in clear biblical terms in his interviews or at his web site. In 1972, he left Glass Harp due to philosophical differences to do solo work and to begin playing in Christian circles. During the last half of 154
the 1970s he worked with Buck Herring and the 2nd Chapter of Acts, one of the pioneers of Christian rock. Later he formed the Phil Keaggy Band. Though the Catholic-raised Keaggy made a commitment to Christ in an Assemblies of God church in 1970, he has not rejected Roman Catholicism and he is extremely ecumenical. Keaggy joined Catholic John Michael Talbot on his album Cave of the Heart. Note the following statement from a 1995 interview:
“… the Gospel is preached in many Catholic churches, and the truth is known there. … Over the years, I’ve been a part of many nondenominational churches and denominational churches, but I have even a higher regard and respect for my Catholic upbringing, because I believe it planted the seeds of faith in me. And I read books that give me a greater understanding of the Catholic faith today. I’m not a practicing Catholic, but I believe that I’m a true believer who responds to the truth that is there. Because it’s ancient tradition; it goes way back. I think Martin Luther had some great ideas, and showed us that we’re saved by grace through faith, but he was a Catholic when he posted all that up! … I have great fellowship with my Catholic brethren today. I have some dear friends across the country that I’ve made. That’s a whole other subject; but I think when the Lord looks at his Bride, he doesn’t see the walls that we use to divide ourselves from each other. He sees one body, and that body is comprised of his children, those who he bought and paid for with his blood … I love the liturgy; I think liturgy with the Spirit is one of the most powerful ways of communicating the life of God to us” (Phil Keaggy, cited by Tom Loredo, “Phil Keaggy in His Own Words,” Way Back Home, December 1995).
It is true that Catholicism can plant general seeds of faith in God which can sometimes be watered by the gospel, but to imply that Catholic churches preach the gospel is a 155
serious error. While it is true that Martin Luther was a Catholic when he first made his protest against Rome, he did not learn salvation by grace alone from Roman Catholicism. He learned it from the Bible IN SPITE OF Rome, and Rome quickly condemned him and tried to kill him. Rome’s Council of Trent, which was responding to Luther, boldly cursed anyone who says that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone by the blood of Christ alone without works or sacraments, and Trent has never been rescinded. Any Catholic church which preaches the true gospel that salvation has nothing whatsoever to do with works or sacraments (and I don’t know of any) is preaching contrary to what Roman Catholicism teaches in its official documents. The Catholic Church plainly states that salvation is by grace PLUS works and sacraments. Not only does the Catholic Church deny the gospel of the grace of Christ by its formal declarations, but in many other ways, as well. The all-sufficiency of Christ’s once-for-all atonement is denied by the Catholic mass, which alleges to be a continual re-offering of Christ’s sacrifice; by the Catholic priesthood, which alleges to stand between the believer and Christ; by the Catholic sainthood, which alleges to mediate between men and God. Keaggy says he loves the Catholic liturgy, but it is contrary to the Bible. There is no mass in the Bible. There is no special priesthood in the New Testament church. There are no sacraments in the New Testament Scriptures. Sacraments are supposed to be channels of grace, but the ordinances of true New Testament churches (believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper) are 156
not channels of grace but are symbols and simple reminders only. Keaggy discounts the importance of sound doctrine when he says that God does not see differences between churches and denominations. The Lord Jesus Christ warned that there would be many false teachers who would lead many astray (Mat. 7:15). He warned that as His return draws nearer, false teachers would increase (Mat. 24:11,24). The Lord’s apostles likewise warned of a great apostasy or turning away from the true New Testament faith, of the rise of many false teachers, of the creation of false churches (e.g., 1 Timothy 4; 2 Timothy 3-4; 2 Peter 2; 1 John 2,4; Jude; Revelation 17). If God sees all denominations as a part of His one body, where are the false teachers? Where are the false churches? Where is the spirit of antichrist? The following is from another interview:
“I’m just pro-Jesus. I’ll go into any church where His name is honored. I don’t know where it will take me. I just know that Christians need to love each other” (Phil Keaggy, cited by Dave Ubanski, “Fret Not,” CCM Magazine, Nov. 1998, p. 36).
This sounds good to many, but Keaggy ignores the Bible’s warning that there are false christs (2 Cor. 11:3-4). The “Jesus” honored by many churches is an unscriptural Jesus, and the Bible warns that God’s people are not to fellowship with these (2 John 10-11). Christian love is important, but the Bible says that true love is obeying God’s commandments (1 John 5:3). 157
In an interview with Religious Broadcasting, Keaggy further emphasized his ecumenical philosophy:
“I think also the unity that is so necessary in the body of Christ is important. I admire Charles Colson. He got a lot of flack for writing the book, The Body, and being associated with Catholics. I was raised Catholic and my mother’s influence was powerful in my life. I came to the Lord when she passed away. She sowed the seeds in my life for me to become a believer. There are divisive voices out there. People who thrive on disunity are the ones [to whom] you’ve got to say, ‘I’m not going to contend with this, I’m not going to argue, I’m just going to go about my business’” (“Saran E. Smitha and Christine Pryor, “Integrity Times Two: Michael Card and Phil Keaggy,” Religious Broadcasting, National Religious Broadcasters, July-August 1995).
The Christian life would be much simpler if one could follow Keaggy’s advice and not get involved in contentions about doctrine and Christian living, but faithfulness to the Word of God does not allow it. Keaggy says he is not going to “contend,” but God requires that His people “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). We are to reprove the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). Obedience to such commands does not allow me to follow Keaggy’s ecumenical counsel. Keaggy’s unscriptural ecumenical philosophy and antifundamentalist attitude prevails in the world of Contemporary Christian Music. Keaggy is charismatic and claims to have received the “baptism of the Spirit” in 1970 at a Kathryn Kuhlman service (Phil Keaggy interview,” Harmony magazine, 158
1 9 7 6 , h t t p : / / w w w. m u s e w e b . c o m / k e a g g y / harmony76.html). There is every evidence that Kathryn Kuhlman operated in a false deceiving spirit. Keaggy was affiliated with the Pentecostal Love Inn Community in Freeville, New York, from 1974 to 1979. As with most CCM artists Keaggy builds bridges to the world. He performs an unholy combination of secular rock and Christian rock, and those who listen to his music are drawn toward worldly rock & roll. On his 1993 Crimson and Blue album, for example, he pays “homage to The Beatles” with several of the songs. The Beatles have done more to further the Devil’s program in this generation than any other music group. It is unconscionable for a Christian to pay homage to these wicked people and to their demonically-inspired music, thereby encouraging Christian young people to think that rock & roll is harmless. Keaggy had a large role in producing the 1998 album Surfonic Water Revival. It is an attempt to Christianize surf-rock music. According to the CCM rockers who designed this album, Heaven might be a “Surfer’s Paradise.” Note the words to the song “Surfer’s Paradise” from this album. It is written by Terry Scott Taylor and performed by All Star United with Phil Keaggy:
“It’s a dream of mine/ It’s always surfin’ time/ There’s a beach with perfect weather/ And no closing sign/ It’s the place to go/ ‘Cause your tan never fades there/ And the surf’s so fine/ And the junk’s all free at the 7-Eleven/ And if you catch the perfect wave/ It’ll take you to heaven/ So bring your girl and bring your guy/ And make it on down/ To surfer’s Paradise.
Chorus: “Let’s get together, yea/ Let’s get together (at)/ Surfer’s Paradise/ Don’t hesitate, don’t think twice/ Shorts and bikinis will suffice/ You can wear ‘em all day and night/ (At) Surfer’s Paradise.”
This is worldly foolishness. God’s Word forbids halfnakedness. The Lord Jesus Christ warned that sensual lust, which is a big part of the beach scene, is adultery. When I was saved at age 23 from a hippie lifestyle (I grew up in Florida only a short drive from many beaches), God dealt with me about my old ways. He convicted me that it is wrong to lust after bikini-clad girls. I understood that I had to avoid beaches to avoid temptation. He convicted me about the evils of rock music. I no longer wanted to bum around and hang out and waste my life as I did before I was saved. Why aren’t CCM rockers convicted of these things? Instead of singing about beach parties they should be preaching against them. Surfing itself is not wrong, but the surf scene is intimately connected with the worldly licentiousness which the Bible forbids (1 John 2:15-17). The same is true for snowboarding. Snowboarding is not wrong, but the snowboard culture is at enmity with God’s laws and must be shunned by those who desire to please a holy Christ. The same is true for skateboarding. Some of Keaggy’s music is simple folk style on acoustic guitar with a soft rock ballad rhythm, and some of the lyrics to his songs are scriptural. The song “Disappointment” is an example. Consider the first stanza:
“Disappointment—HIS appointment, change one letter/ Then I see, that the thwarting of my purpose is God’s
better choice for me/ His appointment must be blessing, though it may come in disguise/ For the end from the beginning, open to His wisdom lies/ Disappointment— HIS appointment, whose?/ The Lord’s who loves me best/ Understands and knows me fully, who my faith and love would test/ For like loving, earthly parent, He rejoices when He knows/ That His child accepts unquestioned all that from His wisdom flows.”
Yet any good in Keaggy’s music is far outweighed by the danger of his ecumenical-charismatic heresies and the bridges that he builds to the world.
Graham Kendrick (b. 1950), one of the most prominent names in Contemporary Praise Music, is the author of popular songs such as “From Heaven You Came,” “Meekness and Majesty,” “Shine Jesus Shine,” and “Such Love, Pure as the Whitest Snow.” One of his objectives is to break down denominational barriers and create ecumenical unity. He was the cofounder of the ecumenical March for Jesus, which has brought together every type of denomination and cult including Roman Catholic and Mormon. A biography at Kendrick’s web site boasts: “Crossing international and denominational barriers, his songs, like the popular Shine Jesus Shine, have been used from countless small church events to major festivals--including Promise Keeper rallies, Billy Graham crusades and a four million-strong open air CATHOLIC MASS in the Philippines capital Manila, where THE POPE ‘SWUNG HIS CAME IN TIME TO THE MUSIC.’” 161
Kendrick is a charismatic of the most radical sort and promotes the heretical “kingdom now” theology and Word faith doctrine. He is a member of the Ichthus Christian Fellowship which welcomed the so-called Toronto Blessing with its meaningless gibberish, spirit slaying, hysterical laughing, barking, braying, rolling. Kendrick claims that he was “baptized with the Holy Spirit” in 1971 after attending a charismatic meeting. He says, “It was later that night when I was cleaning my teeth ready to go to bed that I was filled with the Holy Spirit! ... and I remember lying at last in my bed, the fixed grin still on my face, praising and thanking God, and gingerly trying out a new spiritual language that had presented itself to my tongue with no regard at all for the objections thrown up by my incredulous brain! ... That was a real watershed in my Christian experience” (Nigel Smyth, “What Are We All Singing About?” http:// www.freedomministries.org.uk/ccm/nsmyth1.shtml). To bypass one’s thinking and to refuse to test everything by Bible doctrine is blind mysticism. The following is excerpted from an article by Alan Morrison entitled “The New Style of Worship and the Great Apostasy.” Used by permission. The entire article is available on the Diakrisis web site at http:// www.diakrisis.org/articles.htm.
As a graphic illustration of the kind of ‘Christianity’ which lies behind the new hymnody, consider the following interview with that veteran of the New Style of Worship, Graham Kendrick, conducted by the supremo of the cult-like Jesus Army Fellowship, Noel Stanton:
NS: “What are the landmarks in your life?” GK: “I remember when I was about five years old my mother reading us a bedtime story which included a simple explanation of the gospel and asking us if we wanted to invite Jesus to forgive our sins. I remember kneeling down by myself and praying. I felt an excitement deep inside me that surprised me. During teenage years I began to examine if it was first hand or second hand”. NS: “You were a rebel?” GK: “It was the 60s and I tended towards the cynicism of the time. Certainly I was determined to discover more”. NS: “Did that lead to Baptism in the Spirit?” GK: “I’ve never been a crisis person but I came out of one particularly drab Christian Union meeting at college thinking ‘There must be more than this’. So I set out to seek for more of God. I had met one or two people who seemed to have been profoundly affected by the Holy Spirit. I tracked down a housegroup and knocked on the door, not knowing anybody there, and asked people to pray for me afterwards. It was later that night when I was cleaning my teeth ready to go to bed that I was filled with the Holy Spirit! That was a real watershed in my Christian experience”. NS: “When was this?” GK: “It was about 1971, when the charismatic renewal movement was in its early days and was quite controversial. Lots of people would warn you off and say it was of the devil! Tongues were as controversial then as the current manifestations of shaking and falling are now” (Jesus Life Magazine, from the Jesus Army Fellowship website at http://www.jesus.org.uk/ kendrick.html. This interview was also reproduced on “The Graham Kendrick Website” under the link “Graham’s Christianity”).
This brief testimony displays all the inadequacies and dead-ends of the modern understanding of what it means to become a Christian. While we are aware that such interviews do not necessarily contain every facet of a person’s conversion, the fact remains that — having been asked to identify the landmarks in his Christian life, Mr. Kendrick places the emphasis not on the holiness of God, the demands of the Gospel or the atonement of Christ but on his own feelings and experiences. This is symptomatic of a grave crisis in the modern evangelical scene, and one which has worked its way into churches through the New Style of Worship songs which they sing today. We have no desire to enter into ad hominem contentions, but it is surely valid for us to highlight what we believe to be unhealthy and even dangerous ideas in the testimony of a keynote composer in the New Style of Worship scene, who plainly wields considerable influence over gullible and vulnerable young people. Firstly, while there is a verbal mention of sin and forgiveness in this interview with Kendrick, there is not the slightest indication of true repentance and an understanding of what sin is all about. Surely this is the most important aspect of a conversion experience, as shown in those examples in the Early Church, when folk were “cut to the heart” (e.g. Acts 2:37). While we do not at all deny that small children can be regenerated and converted — recognising that their understanding of the Gospel will not be identical to that of a university professor — there must surely be a real awareness first of the need for forgiveness and a subsequent desire for repentance, otherwise conversion becomes a mere mental assent. (It should be pointed out here that there are two equal and opposite errors into which we can fall on the experience of conversion. One is what is known as ‘Sandemanianism’ — named after Robert Sandeman, 1718-1771, the Scottish minister who first publicly propounded this doctrine — which involves the idea that a person merely needs to give verbal assent to the propositions contained in the
Gospel in order to be saved, without any evidence of a heart change or regeneration. The other is what we can call ‘Preparationism’ — whereby a person is persuaded of the need to enter into a massively over-prolonged (or even indefinite) period of intense preparation for conversion, during which he must go through the most oppressive heart-searching rigours, without which he cannot be saved. We must always be sure that our evangelism does not encourage either “easy-believism” or its opposite: bondage-making preparationism. They lie at contrary ends of the spectrum, but both are deadly, conversion-stifling errors.) Secondly, a child who is genuinely regenerated will surely not subsequently become an adolescent rebel, with a tendency to partake in “the cynicism of the time”, as Kendrick puts it. It seems to be taken for granted in so many evangelical churches today that even youngsters who profess Christianity will still go on to be teenage rebels who need to express themselves in rock music, foppish clothes, and the raucous multi-media experiences of the world. But such out-and-out rebellion belongs to the fallen nature and should not be a feature in a believer’s life of any age. Thirdly, in this testimony, there is that typical feature of neo-evangelicalism: the desire for increasingly exciting experiences. Regardless of what Mr. Kendrick says here, he was indeed a “crisis person” who was seeking a “crisis experience”. Is there not a link here back to that early prayer of his which engendered “an excitement deep inside me” but which apparently failed to kindle godly sorrow and contrition? The Christian Union meeting, he believed, was not good enough for him. But instead of seeking out some orthodox Christians who promote sound doctrine to point him in the right direction, like so many immature, misguided seekers he goes in search of sensational “pyrotechnics”. From the present writer’s experience of this kind of complaint, that “particularly drab Christian Union meeting at college” could easily have been made up of godly youngsters singing hymns in the old-style and bowing quietly in prayer before the Lord (without
the almost mandatory trance-induced arm-waving and gibberish kind of “tongues-speaking” one finds among most university and college Christian Unions today). This is considered dull and boring in the kind of circles where CCM is extolled, and especially among carnal youngsters who have been processed on the easy-believist conveyor belt of evangelism. The housegroup scene has always been a pastoral minefield, and if you go down that pathway you are far more likely to wind up in a cult rather than a sound assembly! Fourthly, the account of being “filled with the Holy Spirit” is decidedly suspect. Christians are certainly instructed to “go on being filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18) throughout their Christian lives; but it is so typical of the sensation-seeking, crisis-loving evangelicals of today to highlight one incident as their supposed “baptism in the Spirit”. And is it not strange that what Kendrick describes as “a real watershed” in his Christian experience should occur entirely as an incidental experience while he happened to be “brushing his teeth”? Frankly, we find it hard to credit the fact that in a serious interview, designed to display the testimony of the work of God in his life and his faith in the Son of God, we should read such a flippant narrative. This is entirely in keeping with the superficial nature of the New Style of Worship as a whole; and the question must be asked here: Is it right for churches to worship God from a hymnbook of which almost 10% of the songs were written by a man whose testimony would not even obtain membership for him in our churches? (Mission Praise contains 8.5% of Graham Kendrick songs. Songs of Fellowship contains 10%.) Surely there is a clear connection between the truncated “Christianity” of this “conversion” experience, and that which the New Style of Worship is promoting in churches today. This is a plain example of “easy believism”, with a subsequent psycho-religious catharsis masquerading as an “infilling of the Spirit”. Such phenomena form the undergirding theology which governs the style and content of the New Style of Worship songs, which
are deliberately manipulative of a bogus spiritual experience. A person who has had a superficial “conversion” experience will always spend his or her time seeking a more profound “second blessing”. Consequently, in place of the simple desire for reverential praise of the Triune God, we find that the search for an ever-greater “high” also becomes the goal of worship. Hence, these songs are often used to bring a person into what is known as an “altered state of consciousness” (Alan Morrison, “The New Style of Worship and the Great Apostasy,” Diakrisis International).
Ledner, author of “You Are My Hiding Place,” is senior pastor of the Pentecostal (Four Square) emerging church flavored Desert Streams Chapel in Scottsdale, Arizona. It describes itself as “a post modern, relevant and relational” church.
Singer/comedian Mark Lowry (b. 1958) has been performing music professionally since age 10, when he appeared at the International Song Festival in Memphis (now called the National Quartet Convention) and was given a recording contract soon thereafter. He recorded two albums, including one with the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his solo work, he sings with the Gaither Quartet. He grew up in a Baptist home and played in theaters around Houston.
“My dad would let me be in the plays, but he wouldn’t let me dance ‘cause we were Baptist. [The cast] would dance around me, but I couldn’t do
it” (Melissa Riddle, “Funny Face,” interview with Mark Lowry, CCM Magazine, May 1996).
Lowry attended Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and describes the early part of his career:
“I started honing my craft in independent, fundamental, legalistic, wonderful and-I-thank-God-for-them Baptist churches—not all legalistic, I take that back—but I wore my suits and ties and my Jerry Falwell haircut…” (Ibid.).
That was before Falwell became ecumenical and began to support Christian rock music, etc. In typical Contemporary Christian Music style, Mark Lowry labels living standards and ecclesiastical separation “legalism” —
“Legalism is as sickening today as it was 2000 years ago. It’s just wrong. On my new video [Remotely Controlled], that’s one thing I’m tryin’ to take a whack at. Legalism as I know it. And I thank God for the churches I grew up in ‘cause that’s where I found Christ, but there was a lot of baggage there. It’s true of every church. God is probably doing something in most of them. Some people need a charismatic experience. Some need a Calvinist doctrine. And just about the time I think I’ve got God put in my box, just about the time I’ve got Him figured out, He’s over there loving someone I wouldn’t be seen with, working through someone I wouldn’t associate with. I tell people at my concerts, ‘ I s n ’ t t h a t s o m e t h i n ’ ? We ’ v e g o t C a t h o l i c s , Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Baptists, and Pentecostals all under one roof! And you know what? Somebody’s wrong!’ That’s why eternity is gonna last so long. God’s gotta straighten us out” (Ibid.).
Lowry is correct in observing that there is a right and wrong when it comes to doctrine, but when he claims that God will straighten it all out in Heaven and implies 168
that doctrine should not be divisive in this present world, he is ignoring the Bible’s warning about false christs, false spirits, and false gospels (2 Cor. 11:1-4). The Word of God cautions that those who follow a false gospel are cursed (Galatians 1). It is impossible, therefore, that all of those mentioned by Lowry will be Heaven in the first place. Many follow a sacramental faith-works gospel. Many theological liberals in Protestant denominations are following a universalistic “gospel” of the Fatherhood of God or a social gospel or a golden rule gospel. Even many “evangelicals” today worship the false nonjudgmental god of The Shack rather than the holy God of Scripture. When Lowry says doctrinal confusion will be straightened out in Heaven, he is also ignoring the fact that it is the Christian’s duty to defend sound Bible doctrine (Jude 3) and to separate from false doctrine (Romans 16:17). A preacher is not to allow any false doctrine whatsoever, which is the very highest standard of striving for doctrinal purity (1 Timothy 1:3). Lowry continues his tirade against “legalism”:
“Preachers keep giving people a list of rules instead of ‘Love the Lord with all your heart, then do as you please’—because if you love the Lord your God with all your heart, what you do is gonna please God. It’s easier to say ‘don’t do this, don’t do that, do this, and do that,’ but you end up a Pharisee. They’re taking the easy way out. Man has always loved the law more than grace” (Lowry, Ibid.).
This sounds great, but if preaching the love of God is enough why are the New Testament epistles filled with specific commandments? Lowry’s tirade against “legalism” is a smokescreen for his rebellion against 169
Bible-believing Christianity. To compare truth-loving, Christ-centered fundamentalists to Pharisees, as is so popular with the CCM crowd, is a slander. The Pharisee’s problem was his self-righteous pride and rejection of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ. The Bible-believing fundamentalists that I know are not self-righteous; they know and acknowledge readily that they have zero righteousness apart from Jesus Christ. They know that they are not better than anyone else. The Pharisees rejected the grace of Christ, whereas the fundamentalist exalts the grace of Christ. True legalism is replacing the grace of Christ with works salvation, as we see in the book of Galatians. Many denominations have done this, including the Roman Catholic Church, but this is not what the Biblical fundamentalist does. He teaches that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone by Christ alone and that works follow as the evidence of and fruit of salvation. For a blood-washed, saved-by-grace believer to take all of the Lord’s New Testament commandments seriously and seek to apply them to every area of life is not legalism; it is obedience to God. Lowry’s ecumenical, positive-only philosophy is evident in his attitude toward preaching on Hell:
“I also don’t believe in telling people to come to Christ because of hell, in scaring people. When we do, we wind up with just another religious person. But if they come to Christ because no one has ever loved them like that before.... That’s the bottom line. Nobody’s ever loved you like that before” (Ibid.).
The Lord Jesus Christ preached more on Hell than He did on Heaven. Consider His sermon in Mark 9: 170
“And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-48).
The apostles also boldly and plainly preached the judgment of God to produce conviction in sinners and to lead them to Christ. Consider Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill:
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
Paul certainly didn’t draw back from “scaring people” about Hell. Jude plainly says some are to be saved by fear (Jude 23). In 1997, Lowry joined Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, a song with an ecumenical theme: “Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for Christ and each other.” The song talks about tearing 171
down the walls of denominational division. The broad range of participants who joined Troccoli in recording “Love One Another” demonstrates the ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music. The song witnessed Catholics, Pentecostals, Baptists, etc., yoked together for Christian unity. In an article in CCM Magazine, Lowry praised Mother Teresa and Princess Diana. “Diana and Mother Teresa were using their influence for good. One from a palace and the other from poverty. That’s what we all should do” (Gregory Rumburg and April Hefner, “The Princess and the Nun,” CCM Magazine, June 2001). Lowry had no word of warning about Mother Teresa’s false gospel that has caused multitudes to die with a false hope. We have described Mother Teresa’s doctrinal beliefs in the report “Was Mother Teresa a True Christian?” which is available at the Way of Life web site.
The Canadian born Matt Maher (b. 1974) lives in Tempe, Arizona. He has a degree in Jazz Piano from Arizona State University. His music, such as “Christ Is Risen,” is very popular. As of 2011, he is an eight-time GMA Dove Award Nominee. Like John Michael Talbot, Matt Maher is a Roman Catholic ecumenical bridge builder. He ministers at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Tempe, which is devoted to Mary as the Queen of 172
Heaven. The sign at the front of the church says, “Mary, Mother of Life, pray for us.” Maher is on the board of directors for the Catholic youth organization Life Teen. He calls himself a “musical missionary,” a missionary for Rome, that is. Christianity Today says “Maher is bringing his music--and a dream of unity into the Protestant church” (“Common Bonds,” CT, Oct. 27, 2009). He says, “I’ve had co-writing sessions with Protestants where we had that common denominator, and I’ve seen in a very radical way the real possibility of unity.” He says, “I look at it like the Catholic church is my immediate family, and all my friends from different denominations are extended family.” He is happy that other Catholic musicians are coming into the forefront of the contemporary praise movement, such as Audrey Assad who signed with Sparrow Records, and producer Robbie Seay. Leaving the Catholic Church is not an option for Maher, because he says, “I love my faith and the expression of it.” He intends, rather, for his music to be “a bridge.” He says that contemporary worship music is a way to “build relationships with people and link arms with them for the Kingdom.” He says that touring with people like Michael W. Smith is producing ecumenical unity, because people come to the concerts and find themselves standing beside a priest or nun and they learn that “we’re all in this family together.” 173
What kingdom, though? There is the kingdom truth and light and the kingdom of heresy and darkness. The New Testament frequently warns of a great apostasy before the return of Christ. These warnings began to be delivered through with the ministry of Christ Himself (Mat. 7:15-23; 24:4-5, 11, 24) and were completed through the ministries of the apostles and prophets (e.g., 1 Timothy 4:1-6; 2 Timothy 3:13; 4:3-4; 2 Peter 2; Jude). The apostles warned that there will be false christs, false gospels, and false spirits, and taught the churches to be perpetually on guard, testing everything by the absolute standard of God’s Word (Acts 17:11; 20:28-31; 2 Corinthians 11:4; 1 Thess. 5:21; Heb. 5:12-14). They warned that false teachers would be deceptive, appearing as wolves in sheep’s clothing and as ministers of righteousness (Mat. 7:15; 2 Cor. 11:13-15). They warned about the cunning craftiness of false teachers (Eph. 4:14) and their ability to deceive through “good words and fair speeches” (Rom. 16:17-18). These warnings are typically ignored throughout the world of Contemporary Christian Music, and those who take the warnings seriously are dismissed as unloving judgmental Pharisees or worse. Maher hosts the ecumenical WorshipTogether’s New Song Cafe. He performs with a wide variety of “evangelical” Contemporary Christian musicians. He is in the Provident Label Group with Michael W. Smith, Third 174
Day, Jars of Clay, and others. He has written hit songs for “evangelical artists” such as Chris Tomlin (“Your Grace Is Enough”), Bethany Dillon, and Phillips, Craig and Dean. Maher sings of Christ and the resurrection and grace, but these terms must be interpreted in light of Rome’s heresies. Salvation by grace, according to Rome, is salvation through the sacraments. Christ is idolatrously worshipped in the consecrated wafer of the mass. Christ’s resurrection did not complete the believer’s salvation; it provided the storehouse of grace to the Catholic Church to distribute through its sacraments, particularly baptism and the mass and confession to a priest. Maher told Christianity Today that those who criticize his relationship with the Catholic Church are misinformed and “mis-taught” and they “have a bad understanding of Catholic teaching,” but that is not true for me. I have studied the writings and history of the Catholic Church extensively. If Maher thinks that the Roman Church teaches salvation by grace alone through the blood of Christ alone without works, he is deceived by the ecumenical program which was launched at Vatican II and which has been effective in creating the end-time one-world church. At the Council of Trent (1545-1563), the declarations of which are still in force, the Roman Catholic Church formally condemned the biblical gospel of salvation through by grace alone through faith alone. Consider the following declarations of Trent: 175
“If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Sixth Session, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 12). “If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Sixth Session, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 24).
In its most formal and authoritative statements since Trent, Rome has continued to deny that salvation is by grace alone through Christ's atonement alone through faith alone without works or sacraments. Consider the following statements of the authoritative Vatican II Council of the mid-1960s, called by Pope John Paul XXIII and attended by more than 2,400 Catholic bishops-–
“For it is the liturgy through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, 'the work of our redemption is accomplished,' and it is through the liturgy, especially, that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church” (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Introduction, para. 2). “As often as the sacrifice of the cross by which 'Christ our Pasch is sacrificed' (1 Cor. 5:7) is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 1, 3, p. 324).
“... [Christ] also willed that the work of salvation which they preached should be set in train through the sacrifice and sacraments, around which the entire liturgical [ritualistic] life revolves. Thus by Baptism men are grafted into the paschal mystery of Christ. ... They receive the spirit of adoption as sons” (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Chap. 1, I, 5,6, pp. 23-24). “From the most ancient times in the Church good works were also offered to God for the salvation of sinners, particularly the works which human weakness finds hard. Because the sufferings of the martyrs for the faith and for God's law were thought to be very valuable, penitents used to turn to the martyrs to be helped by their merits to obtain a more speedy reconciliation from the bishops. Indeed, the prayers and good works of holy people were regarded as of such great value that it could be asserted that the penitent was washed, cleansed and redeemed with the help of the entire Christian people” (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, chap. 3, 6, pp. 78,79).
Rome’s gospel is a heretical combination of faith plus works, grace plus sacraments, Christ plus the church. It redefines grace to include works. It confuses justification with sanctification. It confuses imputation with impartation. It views justification not as a once-for-all legal declaration whereby the sinner is declared righteous before God and is granted eternal life as the unmerited gift of God, but rather as a PROCESS whereby the sinner is gradually saved through participation in the sacraments. There is no eternal security in the Roman gospel because salvation allegedly depends partially upon man's works. According to Roman Catholic theology, Christ purchased salvation and gave it to the 177
Catholic Church to be distributed to men through its sacraments. This is not only a false gospel, it is a blasphemous usurpation of Christ's position as only Lord and Savior and Mediator. Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia, published in 1991, defines justification as “THE PROCESS by which a sinner is made righteous, pure and holy before God.”
“Justification in the Catholic Tradition comes about by means of faith in Christ, AND in a life of good works lived in response to God's invitation to believe. ... That works are clearly required in the New Testament for union with Christ is seen in the many parables such as the Good Samaritan, Lazarus and Dives, and others” (emphasis added).
Therefore, when committed Roman Catholics like Matt Maher and John Michael Talbot sing of Christ’s grace, they don’t mean what the Bible means. They are using a Roman Catholic theological dictionary, but because of the widespread ignorance that exists in “evangelical” and even “fundamentalist” churches people are deceived by the language. If a Roman Catholic does not accept what the Catholic Church teaches, he or she should leave and stop pretending to be both a Catholic and a believer that salvation is by Chris’s grace alone without works. (See “How Rome Denies Salvation by Grace Alone” at t h e Wa y o f L i f e L i t e r a t u r e w e b s i t e - www.wayoflife.org.) 178
Maher led worship for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Rally for Youth in April 2008. In the Fall of 2009 Maher traveled with Michael W. Smith on the New Hallelujah Tour. In the Fall of 2010, he was a guest singer at the David Crowder Band’s Fantastical Church Music Conference at Baylor University. In early 2011 Maher toured on the Rock and Worship Roadshow headlined by MercyMe.
Mandisa is a contemporary Christian artist who was a ninth-place finalist in the fifth season of the very worldly American Idol. She studied vocal jazz at American River College in Sacramento, and the sensual jazz influence is reflected in her singing style and musical arrangements. She says that her musical influences “run the gamut from Whitney Houston to Def Leppard” (“Mandisa,” Wikipedia). Two of her favorite musical artists are Beyonce and Steve Wonder, and her personal goal is “to meet and be on Oprah” (“Mandisa,” AmericanIdol.com). She claims that she “loves Jesus” and she talks about Him a lot, but her love for the world and her spiritual carelessness points more to a 2 Timothy 4:3-4 and James 4:4 Christianity than biblical Christianity. Mandisa’s music was featured at Lancaster Baptist Church’s 2011 Leadership Conference, and other independent Baptist 179
churches are following this incredibly unwise and spiritually-dangerous example.
See “Calvary Chapel and Maranatha Music.”
MercyMe is a rocking contemporary band that is ecumenical and charismatic. The band was formed in 1994 and “gained mainstream recognition with the crossover single, ‘I Can Only Imagine.’” In 2009, Billboard magazine named the band the Christian songs artist of the 2000s and the song “Word of God Speak” was named Christian song of the decade. The band’s music has gotten progressively harder. The album This Life is described as “dance floor ready ... a breezy style that’s part Beatles, part Electric Light Orchestra ... slamming pop ... a unique El Paso vibe with a long and winding guitar part and standout bass.” The album All That Is Within Me is described as “an exuberant, defiant, stand-up-and-shake-your-fist-at-thedevil rock & roll worship album ... a thundering, classic rock backdrop.” In describing the album Coming Up to Breathe, thefish.com says, “MercyMe will rock you ... they have gotten more upbeat and aggressive.” The song “One Trick Pony” is described a “this bluesy-countryrock swampy thing ... a dirty sound compared to all of our clean pop stuff that we’ve done in the 180
past” (www.thefish.com/musiclivepage.apple.com/ interviews). They want to share their faith “without being forceful or pushy.” The boisterous rock & roll context of their “worship services” has caused even their own lead singer and song writer Bart Millard to question whether the “worship” at their concerts is really directed to the Lord.
“When you’re on stage and the crowd starts going crazy, it’s almost a little frightening. It’s scary just from the sense that we’ve worked up to the point that we’ve done everything we could to call upon the name of the Lord -- to have His presence there and literally to be on holy ground, in the midst of a Living God. When all of the praise starts going all over the place, you get really nervous about it being in the right direction. After a while you start to wonder: Are they worshiping the Father? What exactly is going on?”(www.ccmmagazine.com/news/stories/11535185/ mercyme).
Like the vast majority of the influential contemporary praise musicians, MercyMe is radically ecumenical. In early 2011 they included Roman Catholic Matt Maher on their Rock & Worship Roadshow. MercyMe is also in the business of breaking down the walls of separation from the world. In their “Cover Tune Grab Bag” series they sing such things as “Jump” by Van Halen, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson (complete with choreographed Jackson-style dancing), “Crazy” by Outkast, “Ice Ice Baby” by rapper Vanilla Ice, “La Bamba,” “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “It’s the 181
End of the World” by R.E.M., “Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi, “Hard to Say Goodbye” by Motown, “More Than Words” by Extreme, “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, “Footloose,” “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “Hold Me Now” by Thompson Twins, “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da” and “I Feel Fine” by the Beatles, “More Than Words” by Extreme, and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper. It is obvious that the members of MercyMe fill their minds and hearts with a lot of licentious secular rock. They don’t merely listen to some carefully-selected rock, they listen to tons of it. The remarks left on their YouTube videos demonstrate MercyMe’s worldly cool influence. “These guys rock! ... awesome ... I wish my parents were as cool as this ... Dude!! ... I get the impression that they like the Beatles. Sweet! ... This is great! And the dancing! Oh my goodness!” MercyMe is responsible before God for every professing believer that is captured by the demons that led the Beatles, Van Halen, Michael Jackson, and every other godless secular rocker that they promote in “innocent fun.” And so is every other CCM “artist” that encourages the love of secular rock instead of separating from it as God’s Word demands (e.g., Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:11; James 1:227; 1 John 2:15-17). And so is every fundamental Baptist pastor and song leader who brings these people’s music into the churches. MercyMe’s popular “Word of God Speak” worship song is pure charismatic mysticism. Consider the lyrics: 182
“Word of God speak, would you pour down like rain, washing my eyes to see our majesty. To be still and know that you’re in this place, please let me stay and rest in your holiness. ... Finding myself in the midst of you, beyond the music, beyond the noise. All that I need is to be with you and in the quiet I hear your voice.”
The “Word of God” here is not the Bible; it is a mystical feeling, a direct revelation. It is found in the “quiet,” “beyond the noise.” It is an experience of the “presence” of God. It is the same thing that is taught by the Contemplative Prayer movement that was borrowed from Rome’s dark monastic past and that is currently sweeping through evangelicalism. This “open yourself to the flow of the Spirit” has led to all sorts of unscriptural doctrines and practices. It is this type of mysticism that led CCM song writer Jack Hayford, author of “Majesty,” to say that while he was driving past a Catholic church God told him not to criticize it and he has heeded that “voice.” It is the same mysticism that convinces charismatics that they are communing with God through “tongues” even though it is nothing but ecstatic gibberish. It is the same blind mysticism that makes an individual think he is “basking in the Spirit of God” when he falls to the floor.
Don Moen (b. 1950) has penned popular contemporary worship songs such as “God Will Make A Way,” “I Just Want to Be Where You Are,” and “God Is Good All the Time.” His recording “Give Thanks” sold more than 1 183
million copies and his music has a total global sales of over 5 million units. He produced 11 volumes of the Hosanna! Music worship series. He has worked with a whose who list of contemporary worship leaders, including Martin J. Nystrom, Paul Overstreet, Randy Rothwell, Bob Fitts, Tom Brooks, and Paul Baloche. Moen is a charismatic who studied at Oral Roberts University. He worked for the radically charismatic/ecumenical Integrity Music for 20 years, eventually becoming president, until he left in 2008 to pursue a solo career with the Don Moen Company. He remains a major player in the contemporary worship industry. In 2009 he purchased WorshipMusic.com, Wo r s h i p Te a m . c o m , t h e m u s i c r e t a i l s i t e PopularChristian.com. WorshipTeam.com offers planning for worship services, tools for scheduling and communication between worship team personnel, and worship planning software that offers music files from WorshipMusic, Hillsong, Vineyard, Integrity, and KingsWay. Moen also owns MediaShout, which sells contemporary media delivery software to churches. In an interview with the Pentecostal Evangel, a magazine published by the Assemblies of God, Moen described the power of the very dangerous Laughing Revival music in these words: “Because something is imparted when you listen to this tape. I don’t want it to sound spooky or mysterious, but there’s something powerful about 184
embracing the music of the revival. The fire of the revival can stir in you even as you listen to the songs that took place at the Brownsville revival” (“Don Moen Discusses Music at Brownsville Assembly,” Pentecostal Evangel, November 10, 1996). The “revival” to which Moen refers in this quote is not a biblical revival; it is a “revival” in which people become drunken and stagger about and fall down and shake uncontrollably and are unable to perform the most basic functions of life. The pastor at Brownsville, John Kilpatrick, testified that it took him a half hour just to put on his socks when he was “drunk” with the Brownsville revival spirit. He laid on the church platform for as long as four hours, unable to get up. His wife was unable to cook their food or clean the house. Whatever this “revival” is, it is not something that is Bible based and it is very, very dangerous spiritually. Yet Moen testifies that this spirit can be imparted through the music. This is the loudest warning about contemporary praise music that could be given for those who have ears to hear. Four of the songs on Moen’s 2011 album, I Believe There Is More, were co-written with Mia Fieldes of Hillsong. Moen is committed to the heresy of end-time ecumenism. He has led worship for Luis Palau Crusades, which include Roman Catholic church participation. While with Integrity Music, he stated their objective in an interview with Christianity Today as follows: “I’ve discovered that 185
worship [music] is transdenominational, transcultural. IT BRIDGES ANY DENOMINATION. Twenty years ago there were many huge divisions between denominations. Today I think the walls are coming down. In any concert that I do, I will have 30-50 different churches represented.” The “transdenominational” character of contemporary worship music should be a loud warning to any true Bible believer. (See also “Integrity Music” in this directory.)
Rich Mullins (1956-1997), who died in an automobile accident, was a very popular CCM song writer and performer. He wrote songs recorded by such megastars as Amy Grant. He opened most of his concerts with “Hallelujah” sung in Beach Boys style. He grew up around Quakers and the Church of Christ and his brother is a Church of Christ pastor. At the time of his death it was reported that Mullins was taking the final steps to enter the Roman Catholic Church. He was attending mass at least weekly, and the night before he died he talked on the phone with priest Matt McGinness, communicating his readiness to say his first confession and to be confirmed. McGinness describes the conversation as follows:
“There was a sense of urgency. He told me, ‘This may sound strange, but I HAVE to receive the body and
blood of Christ.’ I told him, ‘That doesn’t sound strange at all. That sounds wonderful.’ Rich finally sounded like he was at peace with his decision” (Terry Mattingly, “Rich Mullins—Enigmatic, Restless, Catholic,” www.gospel.com.net/tmattingly/col.05.06.98.html).
Priest Mattingly’s testimony that Rich Mullins was taking the last step to become a Catholic when he died is disputed by some. Brian William, who ran a website featuring information about Rich Mullins, made the following comment: “I really don’t have the answer to that [as to whether or not Mullins’ became a Catholic], and I don’t think anybody really does. There was a priest in Wichita who claimed that Rich had gone through the entire training program to learn what it is the RCC believes and was only days away from taking his first Mass and entering into full communion with the Roman Catholic church. Meanwhile, his family and friends said that although he was very interested in learning more about Catholicism and always had had a strong respect and admiration for a lot of things the RCC did, he also had a number of issues with them and wasn’t able to reconcile his differences with them so he wasn’t interested in actually becoming Catholic himself” (Email from Brian William to Jose Mandez, Feb. 9, 2000). I believe priest Mattingly’s testimony because Rich Mullins’ music reflected both his ecumenism and his growing Catholicism. The last project he completed was called Canticle of the Plains and was based on the life and legend of St. Francis of Assisi. There was nothing scriptural about the ministry of this Catholic “saint.”
The following is what Mullins’ told Brendt Waters of TLeM during Gospel Music Association Week in April 1996:
“Beaker [who co-wrote music with Mullins] and I both first got really interested in religious orders. I had read a book called Exploring Spiritual Direction by Alan Jones. THAT WHOLE EVANGELICAL DISCIPLESHIP THING REALLY TURNED ME OFF, AS MOST EVANGELICAL THINGS DO. I was just so depressed from meeting all these kids that were turning into caricatures of great old men or great old women, these great saints. People were thinking [that] the way to become spiritual is to imitate the lives of really spiritual people. Well, in Catholicism, spiritual direction is something like discipleship, only their idea is that you don’t become like me, you become like you. In Catholicism—and this is one of the places in which Catholicism is much more appealing to me than Protestantism, and certainly more than Evangelicalism—our identity as being a creature, as being someone uniquely created, is much more ‘in your face’ than in Protestantism. PROTESTANTISM IS KIND OF LIKE ‘CHRISTIANITY LITE’ TO ME. It’s kind of like we want to be Christians, but we really take science more seriously than we take Christianity. We take what we think we know more seriously than what we believe. AND I THINK THERE IS NOTHING MORE USELESS TO ME THAN WHAT WE NOW KNOW, because tomorrow we’re going to ‘now’ know something completely different and contradictory” (emphasis added).
Mullins obviously loved Catholic “spirituality” even though the same is not based on the Bible. Note, too, that more than a year before his death Mullins had largely rejected “evangelicalism” and “Protestantism” and did not believe in a settled doctrinal faith. The song “Creed” on Mullins’ Songs album contains the words: “I believe in the Holy Spirit/ One Holy Church, 188
the communion of Saints.” On the booklet accompanying the CD the lyrics to this song are superimposed on a photo of a Catholic Madonna holding a rosary, which is largely a prayer to Mary as the Queen of Heaven. Some have claimed that Mullins did not believe in praying to Mary, but if he did not, it is very puzzling why he would feature a rosary on his album. Surely he understood that his listeners would identify the rosary with Catholic prayers to Mary and would assume that he believed in the same. The following Mullins’ song presents the false gospel taught by Catholicism:
“Faith without works baby/ It just ain’t happenin’/ One is your left hand/ One is your right/ It’ll take two strong arms/ To hold on tight” (Rich Mullins, “Screen Door”).
One of the marks of false Christianity is to confuse faith and works, to mix faith and works together for salvation. While it is true that faith without works is dead and that true saving faith produces works, it is not true that faith and works are the two strong arms by which we hold on tight to God and salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 11:6), yet that is exactly the heresy that Mullins’ taught through this song. The following Mullins’ song teaches heresy about the Lord Jesus Christ.
“You was a boy like I was once/ But was you a boy like me?/ I grew up around Indiana/ You grew up around Galilee/ And if I ever really do grow up/ Lord I want to grow up and be just like you/ … And I really may just
grow up/ And be like You some day” (Rich Mullins, “Boy Like Me/ Man Like You”).
Christ was a boy, but He was NOT a boy like you or me. And though the child of God will one day be like the Lord Jesus in some ways, in that we will have glorified resurrection bodies, we will never be “just like” Jesus, because He “only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting” (1 Timothy 6:16). It is a common practice within CCM to bring Christ down to a human level. In a 1987 interview with CCM Magazine, Mullins made the following statement:
“I’m really sick of all this heavy-handed Christianity. Musicians take themselves too seriously. They should have more fun, and they should stop preaching unless that’s what God has called them to. If I want to hear a sermon, I’ll go to my church, thank you” (Rich Mullins, CCM Magazine, April 1987, p. 12).
That is an unscriptural philosophy, but it is one that permeates CCM. Colossians 3:16 says Christian music is to be a channel for “teaching and admonishing.” That sounds like preaching to me! Mullins was also expressing an unscriptural attitude toward preaching. Preaching is to be done “in season and out of season.” It is not something restricted to church. Preaching is also not restricted to preachers. It is every Christian’s job to exhort others in holiness and faith. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13; see also Hebrews 10:25). 190
In a 1996 interview, Mullins said that he did not believe in doctrinal statements:
“I don’t like the terms liberal and conservative. I think I’m more conservative than most conservatives and more liberal than most liberals. ... I think that all these doctrinal statements that all the congregations come up with over the years are basically just not very worthwhile. ... But I think our real doctrine is that doctrine that is born out in our character” (Rich Mullins, cited by Christopher Coppernoll, Soul 2 Soul, pp. 48-49).
This is an unscriptural attitude toward doctrine. Doctrine and character are two different things and it is a very serious error to confuse them. The Bible never puts doctrine and Christian living in contrast to one another as Mullins did. Sound doctrine is important, and sound Christian living is important. They are not at odds. The two Greek words translated “doctrine,” didaskalia and didache, are also translated “teacheth” (Rom. 12:7) and “learning” (Rom. 15:4). These words are used more than 140 times in the N.T., which shows how important doctrine is before God. Other terms which refer to doctrine are “truth” (1 Tim. 2:4), “the faith” (1 Tim. 3:9; 2 Tim. 3:8; Tit. 1:13; Jude 3), “wholesome words” (1 Tim. 6:3), and “sound words” (2 Tim. 1:13). Doctrine (and its companion terms) are referred to 59 times in the Pastoral Epistles alone. “The truth” is referred to 10 times in 2 and 3 John alone. Defining sound doctrine Scripturally and avoiding false doctrine is one of the chief responsibilities of the churches.
Mullins’ anti-fundamentalism attitude was evident in an interview with TLeM, April 1997:
“Everything is spiritual. Which is another hang-up I have with Protestantism, and even more specifically with Evangelicalism. It’s more like Manicheism than anything else. This dualistic system that says that everything physical is evil, and the only good things are spiritual things. And I go, ‘Wow! John wrote a good bit of what he wrote to counter that kind of thinking.’ And yet, ALL THESE BIBLE-BELIEVING, BIBLE-THUMPING BORN-AGAIN-ERS are going around professing the very thing that John tried to put out” (Brendt Waters, interview with Rich Mullins, conducted in April 1996, www.tlem.netcentral.net/ features/9709/mullins.html).
This is an unscriptural and slanderous statement. Notice how Mullins spoke mockingly of “Bible-thumping bornagain-ers.” I would be afraid to mock that crowd, seeing that the apostles and early Christians were definitely “Bible thumpers” (quoting the Scriptures continually) and were definitely “born againers”! The Lord Jesus Christ founded the “born againer” movement when He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Mullins built a strawman by describing the “Biblethumper’s” message as saying “that everything physical is evil and the only good things are spiritual things.” I don’t know any believer who says that everything physical is evil. The things of the world which God made are not evil, but when man takes those things and uses them for evil purposes, they become evil. A guitar or a drum or a piano are not evil in themselves, but when they are used licentiously to stir up sensual passions, they are being used in an evil manner. The Bible plainly says that 192
this world is fallen and under the domination of sinful men and demons, and God’s people are to separate from the evil things of this world. The Bible makes a sharp distinction between the holy and the profane (Ezek. 22:26), between the world and God (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17). John said, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). Like all Contemporary Christian Music “artists,” Mullins believed in the mythical “neutrality of music.” In a 1997 interview with Artie Terry, Professor of Communications, Wheaton College, Mullins made the following statement: “… you know, everyone's worried about what kids listen to. Tipper Gore is all on a roar about it, and I wish she’d go someplace else and roar. ... I think the reason why people like bad music is because they're not exposed, in a positive way, to good music. And I don't think that Bach is necessarily good and ‘Ice T’ [an immoral rapper] is necessarily bad. I'm not sure that those labels apply in music” (Rich Mullins, interview on radio station WETN, Wheaton College, April 17, 1997). In the video series Music for Good or Evil we have exposed the error of this myth. At the time of his death, Mullins was deeply influenced by the pagan Native American culture. He claimed to have watched the New Age Hollywood movie Dances with Wolves 70 times, and CCM Magazine notes that “his fascination with Native American culture was legendary” (CCM Magazine, July 1998, p. 85). He had moved to a Navajo reservation in 1996. 193
Though we must reject Rich Mullins’ doctrinal stance, we credit him for attempting to live up to his convictions. He disliked the gross commercialism that characterizes Contemporary Christian Music, and he reportedly gave much of the proceeds from his music to charities. A tribute album, Awesome God: A Tribute to Rich Mullins, was released in November 1998. On this album Mullins’ songs are covered by Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay, dc Talk’s Kevin Max, Caedmon’s Call, Gary Chapman, Third Day, Chris Rice, Billy Crockett, Billy Sprague, Ashley Cleveland, and Carolyn Arends.
The Newsboys’ music “has run the gamut from punkish rock to a turn at rap and Euro-flavored techno pop.” Their fourth album, Not Ashamed (1992), sold 400,000 and received a Grammy nomination. In 1990 they signed with the Christian label Star Song, and in 1996 they signed with the secular label Virgin Records, which also produces for the Rolling Stones. From 1991 to 1996 their albums were produced by Steve Taylor. In a 1996 interview Peter Furler said: “Our first three or four records weren’t very deep, but neither was our experience in the faith” (CCM Magazine, February 1996).
The 1998 album, Step Up to the Microphone, was promoted both in Christian (via Star Song) and in secular markets. The latter was done through Virgin Records. Danny Goodwin, Vice President of A&R for Virgin, describes their philosophy of music: “Our position is, whether these artists are Christians, Jews, Moslems, black, white, Albanian or whatever, they’re making great music. And that’s what Virgin does—we’re in the market to sell what we call quality music to the largest number of people we can” (CCM Magazine, August 1998, p. 25). Many CCM musicians are comfortable working hand in hand with people who produce and distribute the vilest rock and roll, whereas the Bible says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17). Newsboys concerts feature many of the same things found at secular rock concerts: sensual dancing, moshing, stage diving, crowd surfing. There have been numerous accidents relating directly or indirectly to moshing at their concerts (“To Mosh or Not to Mosh,” CCM Magazine, February 1996). In 1997 Newsboys’ Phil Joel joined Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, a song with an ecumenical theme: “Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for Christ and each other.” The song talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division. The broad range of participants who joined Troccoli in 195
recording “Love One Another” demonstrates the ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music. Peter Furler attends the charismatic Bethel World Outreach Center in Brentwood, Tennessee. It is affiliated with the Pentecostal Every Nation Ministries. Peter Wagner lists Every Nation as part of the New Apostolic Reformation that seeks to restore the offices of prophet and apostle to the churches.
Extremely popular, NewSong was the only Christian rock group to fill the 15,000-seat Bi-Lo center in Greenville, South Carolina. More than 350,000 attended their 2009 Spectacular tour. The group is evangelistic, but they believe the heresy that rock music can be an effective tool for evangelism. In fact, they believe that rock music is more powerful than preaching. Russ Lee says, “A three-minute song can move us in ways a 45 minute sermon never would. Music penetrates the outer layers of our reality and gets to the c o r e - - t o t h e s o u l ” ( “ O n e Tr u e G o d B i o , ” Newsongonline.com). While the book of Acts is filled with gospel preaching, there is not one example of the apostles and prophets and early church leaders using music as an evangelistic tool. NewSong claims that tens of thousands have made “decisions” at their concerts, but studies have shown that 196
“decisions for Christ” and “spiritual commitments” made at Christian rock concerts are typically transitory. We have documented this in the book Contemporary Christian Music: Some Questions Answered and Some Warnings Given. NewSong is committed to the emerging philosophy laid out in Bob Briner’s influential book Roaring Lambs. This book inspired NewSong’s 1999 #1 hit, “Jesus to the World (Roaring Lambs).” NewSong founding member Eddie Carswell said that he was very close to Briner (“Give Yourself Away Bio,” NewSongOnline.com). Roaring Lambs: A Gentle Plan to Radically Change Your World has been promoted widely by CCW musicians, including Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay, Steven Curtis Chapman, Sixpence None the Richer, Steve Taylor, Michael Tait of dc Talk, and Delirious. It is all about kingdom building. It as much about transforming culture than preaching the gospel to people, which is something we don’t see in the book of Acts. When Paul and Barnabas went out from the church of Antioch as the first foreign missionaries, they didn’t spend their time redeeming the culture of the Roman Empire. They proclaimed the gospel and planted churches. They taught the believers to avoid and reprove every every work of darkness, to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers , to not be conformed to the world (2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:11; Rom. 12:2). But Briner calls on “lambs” to “roar” in order to engage and transform culture and society. Briner suggests, for example, that Christians should have the goal of seeing their sons and daughters become the 197
principle dancers in ballet companies instead of looking upon such things as wrong and staying away from them. Briner says, “What I’m calling for is a radically different way of thinking about our world. Instead of running from it, we need to rush into it. And instead of just hanging around the fringes of our culture, we need to be right smack dab in the middle of it.” It is obvious that contemporary Christian musicians, including NewSong, are “right smack dab in the middle” of modern culture in direct disobedience to the command in Romans 12:2, “be not conformed to this world,” and of 1 John 2:15-16, “love not the world...” It was through Briner that Charlie Peacock became associated with NewSong. Peacock is a secular rocker/ producer whose “spiritual” music is so vague as to be almost meaningless. Of Peacock’s songs, the author of one of his fan websites states: “I’m not even sure I know really what some of the songs really mean, and I’ve listened quite a bit. If that tells you anything.” It tells me that the lyrics are vague and a vague message is not a clear Biblical message. The message to Peacock’s Everything That’s on My Mind album “doesn’t come out and grab you—it’s something you have to glean for yourself.” By keeping the message vague, rockers such as Peacock can keep one foot planted firmly in the world while still claiming to be Christian. The world isn’t offended at a vague spiritual message; it is offended at the cross of Jesus Christ whereby it is told that there is only one narrow way of salvation and only one acceptable path of sanctification. While NewSong is 198
much bolder in preaching the gospel, they don’t hesitate to associate with and work with the Charlie Peacocks of pop music. NewSong is radically ecumenical after the typical CCM fashion. For many years the band partnered with World Vision, which doesn’t even preach the gospel if public evangelism happens to be forbidden in a location. World Vision’s web site states: “In many countries where we work, formal public evangelism is forbidden by government policy and we respect this.” Since Jesus has commanded us to go to every nation and preach the gospel to every creature (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15), how can World Vision “respect” a law forbidding this? World Vision leader Bob Seiple was a signer of Evangelicals and Catholics Together, which praised “the coalescence of believing Roman Catholics and faithful evangelicals.” In August 1991, World Vision cosponsored an Interfaith Rally in St. Louis, Missouri, which was addressed by the self-esteem heretic Robert Schuller. Since 2006, NewSong has partnered with the adoption agency Holt International, which has the vision “to find loving homes for children regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or gender.” In other words, Holt places children in homes regardless of the religious beliefs of the parents. This is destructive to the eternal souls of the children and is direct disobedience to commands such as 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Jesus warned against causing a child to stumble spiritually. “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea” (Mark 9:42). Surely to put a child into the hands of unbelievers or pagans to raise, as Holt International does, would be to offend the little ones. NewSong can partner with such organizations because they are committed to the emerging kingdom building error whereby they think they are building the kingdom of God on earth by partnering with anyone of “sincerity.” It is the philosophy that is promoted by Rick Warren in his P.E.A.C.E. program. Warren wants to enlist “one billion foot soldiers” to overcome the five “global giants” of “Spiritual Emptiness, Self-serving Leadership, Poverty, Disease and ignorance (or illiteracy).” The 200
acronym PEACE gives the means of overcoming these giants: Promote reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, Educate the next generation. Warren calls for partnering with any “man of peace.” He says: “The man of peace does not have to be a Christian believer. Could be a Muslim. Could be Jewish” (Warren interview with Charlie Rose, Aug. 17, 2006). This is NewSong’s spiritually dangerous crowd.
Nystrom is a graduate of Oral Roberts University, which is a radical Word-Faith Pentecostal institution. He is a member of Overlake Christian Church in Kirkland, Washington. He has a long-standing affiliation with Integrity Music. His popular songs include “As David Did,” “As the Deer,” Forever Grateful,” “Enter His Gates,” “Come to the Table,” “I Will Come and Bow Down,” “In Christ Alone,” and “More of You,” and “Times of Refreshing,” “We Draw Near.”
Twila Paris grew up in a Christian home and, according to her testimony, placed her faith in Christ at age four. Fourteen of her singles have been No. 1 on Christian radio charts.
Some of her songs contain a scriptural message. Consider, for example, “The Lamb of God” —
“Your only son, no sin to hide/ But You have sent Him from Your side/ To walk upon this guilty sod/ And to become the Lamb of God/ Your gift of Love they crucified/ They laughed and scorned Him as He died/ The humble King they named a fraud/ And sacrificed the Lamb of God. Chorus: Oh Lamb of God, Sweet Lamb of God/ I love the Holy Lamb of God/ Oh wash me in His precious blood/ My Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. “I was so lost, I should have died/ But You have brought me to Your side/ To be led by Your staff and rod/ And to be called the Lamb of God.”
The lyrics to many of her songs, though, are vague. Her music is eclectic and syncretistic. Some of her songs are lovely, with full orchestration, acoustic strings, no rock syncopation. But there are rock songs on the same albums. For example, her rendition of “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder” is sung to a funky beat with heavy bass and constant snare drum. The song “We Seek His Face” is sung to strong disco style rock. Also many of her songs which begin with strings or organ music end rocky. Of her 1993 album Beyond a Dream, Twila Paris said: “This album is very current. It talks about how to face what’s going on in the world, NOT FROM THE POINT OF ME BEING SOME SORT OF AN AUTHORITY, BUT FROM THE STRUGGLES THAT I’M GOING THROUGH and writing as I go through them. It was also 202
the biggest stretch for me so far, artistically. Brown and Paul had me singing like I’ve never sung before” (http:// placetobe.org/cmp/artists/index.html). This is the standard CCM approach: non-judgmental, non-authoritative, non-dogmatic. No wonder the world finds such music popular. Can you imagine the Apostle Paul recording an album which would be applauded by the world? Twila Paris’s, uncle, Loren Cunningham, founded the charismatic-oriented, radically ecumenical Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Her father, Oren Paris, runs the Youth With A Mission near his Arkansas home. Twila has been associated with YWAM since 1976. In an interview with a YWAM leader in New Orleans in 1987, I was told that a large number of the short-term workers are Roman Catholics. Youth With A Mission was perfectly at home at New Orleans ’87, with its Catholic masses and Catholic priests as speakers, with its slaying in the spirit and phony gibberish “tongues.” In 1984, YWAM adopted a policy allowing staff to work with Catholics when it was possible and desirable. Since then, YWAM installed a Catholic, Rob Clarke, as director of its discipleship training school in Dublin. Clarke says, “We are trying to get away from the idea of simply ‘converting’ Catholics —that is turning them into Protestants—and towards a framework of ministry within the Catholic Church” (Fundamentalist Digest, May-June 1993). Al Akimoff, YWAM’s director for Slavic Ministries, says YWAM’s missionaries are not aiming to lure Catholics out of their churches. In January 1997, Youth With a 203
Mission leader Bruce Clewett (national director of YWAM in Austria) participated in a historic ecumenical worship service at the Catholic City Cathedral of St. Stephen’s in Vienna (Charisma, May 1997). Twila Paris collaborated with Wheaton College professor Robert Webber to write In This Sanctuary, a book on public worship. Webber was trained at fundamentalist Bob Jones University, but he rejected fundamentalism and moved through Presbyterianism to Episcopalianism. He promoted formal Catholic-style church liturgy among evangelicals. He was associated with the radical Sojourners magazine and with liberal political causes. In his book Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals Are Attracted to the Liturgical Church, Webber predicted “a new openness in which both evangelicals and Catholics will find increased value in each other’s heritage in a work of the Holy Spirit toward greater Christian wholeness—in which the liturgical church will play an important part.” In this he was speaking prophetically. On page 30 he spoke of the “mystery of God’s saving presence in Christ communicated through worship and the sacraments.” This is the chief error of Rome’s heretical sacramental gospel. God’s salvation is not dispensed through sacraments; it is given directly to the believer through repentance and faith in Christ. On pages 62 and 63 of his book, Webber said that Pope John XXIII and the Roman Catholic Vatican II Council assisted in his “pilgrimage into an identity with the universal church.” Webber said that his model is Billy Graham who “has worked with every Protestant denomination; he has made friends in 204
the Orthodox church as well as in the Catholic church” (p. 73). In 1980, Webber stated: “The authoritative basis for Christian truth does not rest on a doctrine of verbal inerrancy, but Apostolic tradition” (Blu-Print, Sept. 30, 1980). This is the Catholic heresy that exalts tradition to a place of authority alongside of the Bible. In 1990, Webber admitted that he is a “new-model evangelical” who does not believe that God sends people to eternal hell. Webber said that “God accepts those who trust him, regardless of the interpretation they give to that trust” (Calvary Contender, Oct. 1, 1990). In 1997, Webber was one of 16 writers who responded to Pope John Paul II’s book Crossing the Threshold of Hope. The responses were published in A Reader’s Companion to Crossing the Threshold of Hope. In his comments Webber said that salvation is a process which begins at baptism. “Today, when people say to me, ‘When were you saved?’ I always answer, ‘At my baptism.’ I see the whole of my Christian life as a calling to live out my baptism. ... Salvation as a process moving from evil to ultimate good is a constant calling.” The man is becoming more spiritually blind with each passing year. We have taken the time to look at Robert Webber, because in so doing we learn much about the Contemporary Christian Music scene. Twila Paris moves freely and comfortably in this scene. She has worked 205
closely with many of the well-known CCM musicians, including Sandi Patty, Kathy Troccoli, Amy Grant, Steve Curtis Chapman, Brown Bannister, and Cindy Morgan. Sadly, her close association with Robert Webber speaks volumes about the theological confusion that permeates CCM.
Sandi Patty is one of the most popular CCM singers. Since her first album was released in 1979 she has sold more than 11 million records and has received 35 Dove Awards and five Grammys. She has often been named one of the favorite vocalists in readers polls. Patty is a member of the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana. Though not Pentecostal herself, Patty moves freely in charismatic circles and is ecumenical. She has entertained audiences as diverse as Billy Graham crusades, Jerry Falwell meetings, Southern Baptist Convention annual conferences, and Pope John Paul II masses (she performed at a papal mass in Los Angeles in September 1987). Not only has Sandi Patty put her stamp of approval upon Roman Catholicism by her performance for the pope, she has consistently promoted the unscriptural ecumenicalcharismatic program. In 1985 she was one of the 60 “well known Christian artists” who gathered in Nashville under the name “CAUSE—Christians Artists United to Save the Earth.” The group included Amy Grant, Bill Gaither, and Doug Oldham. The session opened with a 206
communion service followed by prayers, a prophecy, and hymns. Oldham, who used to be conversative in his affiliations, has bought into the ecumenical philosophy. “A few years ago he said music will bring all churches together into the ecumenical movement” (Calvary Contender, January 1, 1986). In 1995 she admitted to an adulterous affair with Don Peslis, a divorcee who was working as one of her backup singers. Patty divorced her husband, John Helvering, and in August 1995, she married her adulterous “lover.” Christianity Today reported that Patty was committing adultery with Peslis as far back as 1991 (Christianity Today, September 11, 1995, pp. 72-74). “According to several independent sources who at different times were aware of Patty’s activities, she took part in two extramarital relationships, in both cases with married men” (Ibid.). This means that she was living in adultery during most of the years of her Christian music career. A 1995 World magazine article stated that Sandi Patty has been in psychological counseling since 1989 and she “attributes her pattern of ‘keeping secrets’ to her childhood molestation, the memory of which she recovered in therapy” (World, September 16, 1995). This is psychobabble nonsense. The Bible nowhere says that our sin can be blamed on things which happen to us in our childhood. Nowhere in the Word of God are Christians taught to dig through their childhood memories to find the key to their adult actions.
Rick Miesel wisely observes: “Patty’s rising popularity [after her acknowledged adultery and the divorce of her husband] is indicative of the trashed condition of Christians who claim the name of Christ but will not follow the doctrines of the Bible. Marrying a partner in adultery does not make the relationship right. It constitutes a continual condition of disobedience to God. How does one repent of adultery while one continues in an ongoing relationship with a former accomplice in adultery? Sin is further compounded while it festers under the unholy sanctions of a compromised institution. ... by God’s standards Sandi Patty simply moved from adultery into a sinful divorce and then into marriage with her adultery partner, who divorced his wife” (PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, March-April 1998, pp. 1,8). In 1997, Sandi joined Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, a song with an ecumenical theme: “Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for Christ and each other.” The song talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division. The broad range of participants who joined Troccoli in recording “Love One Another” demonstrates the ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music. Sandi Patty has moved deeper and deeper into hard rock music and has influenced her listeners to do the same. Her 1993 album, LeVoyage, does not mention the name of Jesus but it rocks so heavily that CCM Magazine made this statement: “…old-line Patty fans are either going to 208
be seeking refunds in droves, or be so flabbergasted at seeing an entirely new side of her...” (CCM Magazine, May 1993, p. 40). One of the songs sung by Sandi Patty is “Love in Any Language,” which promotes world unity and nonjudgmental love.
“From Leningrad to Lexington, the farmer loves his land/ And daddies all get misty-eyed to give their daughter’s hand/ Oh maybe when we realize how much there is to share/ We’ll find too much in common to pretend it isn’t there/ Love in any language/ Straight from the heart/ Pulls us all together/ Never apart/ And once we learn to speak it/ All the world will hear/ Love in any language/ Fluently spoken here...” (“Love in Any Language,” by Jon Mohr and John Mays, sung by Sandi Patty).
This is not about biblical love. The only love which can bring men together in true biblical unity is the love of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The love of God in Jesus Christ divides believers from unbelievers. The Lord Jesus Christ stated: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Matt. 10:34,35). The Apostle John testified of this division: “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). In contrast, the love Sandi Patty sings about in this song is a love that never pulls men apart, never divides. It is the ecumenical, New Age, non-judgmental love that proposes unity apart from doctrinal truth. It is the same “love” that the Beatles sang 209
about. The true love of God in Jesus Christ is to obey God’s Word: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).
Phillips, Craig and Dean
Phillips, Craig and Dean is composed of three Oneness Pentecostal ministers who deny the Trinity. (For more on Oneness or Jesus Only doctrine see “Geron Davis” in this Directory.) In 1997, Phillips, Craig and Dean joined Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, a song with an ecumenical theme: “Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for Christ and each other.” The song talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division. The broad range of participants who joined Troccoli in recording “Love One Another” demonstrates the ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music.
The fact that “another spirit” controls the contemporary praise music movement is nowhere more evident than in the ministry of Kevin Prosch, whose praise songs include “Harp in My Heart,” “Show Your Power,” and “Love Is All You Need.” Some of Prosch’s music is published by Integrity.
Prosch is said to have “influenced more worship artists than any other leader in this decade,” including Martin Smith of Delirious, Matt Redman, and Darrell Evans.” He lives in Amarillo, Texas, owns a recording studio, is associate senior pastor at More Church, and pursues hobbies that include “fishing, lots of camping, and a good glass of Lagavulin” (Scotch whiskey). Prosch breaks down the walls between the holy and unholy in a shocking way. His former band the Black Peppercorns is described as “a group that played in pubs and bars and sang songs that blurred the lines between sacred and secular and saw folks in those bars have genuine encounters with the Spirit” (“Kevin Prosch, the Black Peppercorns, and Emergent Charismatics,” jonathanstegall.com). To blur the line between the sacred and secular is to follow “another spirit” (2 Cor. 11:4). Israel’s priests were reproved when they “put no difference between the holy and profane” and showed no “difference between the unclean and the clean” (Ezek. 22:26). There are many clear lines that are to be drawn in the Christian life, but the CCM crowd wants to erase lines. We are to choose the spirit over the ﬂesh (Gal. 5:16-17). We are to “abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Rom. 12:9). We are to love God and not love the world (1 John 2:15-17). Prosch deﬁnitely blurs the line between the sacred and secular. He and fellow “worship leader” Leonard Jones love to take immoral and New Age rock songs and 211
perform them in the context of a “worship” service. Prosch sings the Wailers’ very sensual “Stir It Up” as if the Lord is singing it to His people. They sing the Beatles’ songs “I want to Hold Your Hand” and “Come Together” in the same foolish way. Prosch’s band plays Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” in the context of “worship.” The words are about a man and a “brown eyed girl” who seek out places to be alone to play “a new game” with their hearts “a-thumping.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. True, it’s pretty “innocent” for rock and roll, but it is blasphemy to mix sensual songs like this with the worship of a holy God. Christian rockers are so crazy drunken on backbeat music and their intimate association with the world that they have everything mixed up. To play such a song to believers even apart from the context of worship is foolish. Are those the thoughts that we want young people to meditate upon? To follow Van Morrison’s suggestion is a sure fire way of shipwrecking a young person’s moral life. In 2002, Prosch was “restored to public ministry three years after admitting to a string of affairs” (Charisma News Service, April 18, 2002). Prosch lived an adulterous lie for years. He sinned grievously against his wife and destroyed his marriage and has multiplied his adultery even farther by remarrying (Matthew 19:9). Apparently, the songs “Stir It Up” and “Brown Eyed Girl” are the man’s personal biography. Prosch’s spiritual roots go back to the Vineyard movement where he was nurtured for his career as a 212
contemporary musician. (See “John Wimber and the Vineyard” in this directory.) Prosch’s charismatic error goes far beyond nonsense gibberish, spirit slaying, “holy laughter,” and “spiritual drunkenness.” He is the worship leader for Rick Joyner of Morningstar ministries, who claims to be an end-time prophet. Joyner promotes the Latter Rain Manifest Sons of God heresy, which anticipates a revival of miracles whereby “anointed” believers will usher in the return of Christ. It is also called Joel’s Army, Dominionism, the New Breed, and Kingdom Now. In his books The Harvest and Mobilizing the Army of God, Joyner claims that a great company of prophets and apostles will be raised up with the spirit of Phineas to take rule; the appearances of angels will be common and the Lord Himself will appear to councils of apostles; miracles will exceed the most spectacular ones recorded in Scripture, with the “anointed ones” not only walking on water but also “walking on air.” All of this will supposedly occur before the return of Christ and the Millennium. (See the report “Rick Joyner” at the Way of Life web site.) Joyner believes that contemporary charismatic praise music is at the heart and soul of the end-time miracle revival. He says, “... a mighty army of Christian musicians will capture the attention of a generation” to usher in the end-time revival” (“The Prophetic Power of Music,” Charisma, August 1992). Prosch is right in the middle of this dangerous heresy with his sensual contemporary praise music. His song 213
“Signs and Wonders” says, “Signs and wonders, healings, deliverance is coming. ... The kingdom of God is here.” Since the music is the product of such a heretical environment, a Bible believer will discern immediately that the spirit that empowers this “praise” is “another spirit” (2 Cor. 11:3-4) and is not the Spirit of the Lord, who is always the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; 1 John 4:6). Another supposed prophet musician pursuing the endtime miracle revival is ROBERT GAY, worship leader for “prophet” Bill Hamon’s Christian International in Santa Rosa Beach, California. Gay’s Prophetic Praises Series was published by Integrity Music and Gay was a worship leader for Integrity. He says,
“God is raising up anointed prophetic songwriters to bring forth THE WAR SONGS OF ZION IN ORDER T H AT T H E C H U R C H M AY B E C O M E T H E FIGHTING ARMY THAT HE HAS CALLED IT TO BE” (“Silencing The Enemy,” Charisma, October 1992).
Gay’s album Roar, Oh Lion of Judah features a “prophecy” by Bill Hamon. Hamon, one of the alleged latter rain “apostles,” often mentions contemporary praise in his books. He believes that God speaks new revelations and empowers the endtime miracle “revival” through the sensual atmosphere of the music. He says that contemporary praise music “can bring in the prophetic mantle” (Hamon, Prophets, Pitfalls 214
and Principles, p. 19). He considers contemporary worship as an element of “spiritual warfare” used by “God’s prophetic marines” in bringing the kingdom of God to earth (Apostles, Prophets, and the Coming Move of God, p. 114). He says that through the “manifest presence of God” created by contemporary praise music God speaks revelation (The Day of the Saints: Equipping Believers for Their Revolutionary Role, p. 343). Hamon, who was 77 years old in 2011, experienced the beginning of the latter rain Manifest Sons of God movement in the 1950s. He says the wild, backbeat Pentecostal music played an intimate part in that movement from its inception.
“I was personally present at the Crescent Beach Bible Conference in 1954 in British Columbia, when this type of worship was birthed in the Latter Rain Movement. … The congregation of about eight hundred people had been worshipping God for quite some time. As the worship lowered to a melodious m u r m u r, s u d d e n l y A S I S T E R B E G A N TO PROPHESY, ‘The King is coming, the King is coming--go ye out to meet Him with dances and rejoicing.’ She started taking ferns out of the flower basket and waving them in the air and laying some of them as if before the Lord as she praised the Lord in the dance across the auditorium in front of the platform. THE HEAD OF THE CONFERENCE STARTED TO STOP HER BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT TOLD HIM NOT TO, FOR IT WAS OF GOD. Within a few minutes most of THE AUDIENCE WAS PRAISING GOD WITH LEGS SWINGING AND BODIES MOVING IN RHYTHMIC PRAISE TO GOD” (Hamon, Prophets and the Prophetic Movement, Vol. 2, 1990, pp. 117, 118).
Word-Faith heretic Kenneth Copeland also says that contemporary praise is part of the “great restoration,” referring to the alleged latter rain miracle revival.
“And in these last days, that praise and worship will come as a great restoration to the church. IT WILL, IN FACT, GO OUT EVEN FURTHER THAN A RESTORED TRUTH INTO THE REALM OF TRUTH THAT HAS NOT YET BEEN REVEALED. For there is a depth of praise and worship that the Church doesn't even know and has not walked in yet” (Copeland, “The Power of Praise,” Voice of Victory, Summer 1989).
The fact that contemporary praise music is at the heart and soul of the charismatic movement and all of its heresies should be a loud warning to Bible-believers who are tempted to mess around with it and “adapt” it for their churches. This Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians documents the fact that nearly ALL of the influential CCM musicians are committed to the charismatic ecumenical heresies that are building the one-world church. Rick Joyner’s worship services are sometimes reminiscent of an African tribal dance or a voodoo ceremony, with multiple drums pounding, people wailing and stuttering and moaning, jumping and shaking. It is said of voodoo that “the drummer is the life and soul of every ceremony” and the drummers play their music “with a ﬁerce passion which is occasionally frenzied.” That is exactly what we see in Prosch-led “worship” services.
The false spirit of the latter rain praise music was evident in the 1996 Heart of David Conference on Worship & Warfare, sponsored by Rick Joyner’s Morning Star ministries. It concluded with the praise team singing the sensual Beatles song “I Want to Hold Your Hand” as if God were singing to believers. Joining Kevin Prosch as worship leaders were Leonard Jones and Suzy Wills. They claim that when they sang the Beatles song, God signified His pleasure with miraculous signs. Here is Prosch’s description: “Then, on a ‘Holy Ghost whim,’ I asked Leonard
Jones to lead an old Beatles’ song, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand,’ in which he had changed some of the words to make it like a message from the Lord. As soon as he started, it seemed like the roof would come off of the building. When he finished, ‘the sound of many waters’ again filled the hall, but it was even louder than before. A holy fear began to fill the place. There was a presence of the Lord like I had never felt in a meeting before. I looked at Christine Potter and Susy Wills, who were dancing near the center of the stage, and I have never seen such a look of terror on the faces of anyone. An intense burning, like a nuclear fire that burns from the inside out, seemed to be on the stage. Christine started pulling at her clothes as if she were on fire, and Susy dove behind the drums. Then a cloud appeared in the center of the stage, visible to everyone, and a sweet smell like flowers filled the arena. When the cloud had moved away (it seemed to move to the rear of the stage as it disappeared), some of the children who had been dancing at the front began to pull up tiles from the floor to see if there was a fire under it. Some asked if we had a smoke machine. We did not, and we did not do anything to cause that cloud of smoke. As Ray Hughes explained later, when the Lord received an offering He would often consume it with fire, and then it would go up in smoke. We believe that this
was just a token of encouragement from the Lord that the offering of worship had been received. ... I confess that I love the kind of supernatural manifestations that we have been having. I often pray that we will see His glory visibly manifested in our meetings. ... We must go higher. Until we look like Jesus and do the works He did, we still have not arrived. ... At all of our conferences now MANY ARE STARTING TO SEE ANGELS, AND DREAMS AND VISIONS AND PROPHECY ARE BEING RELEASED to people. This is all wonderful, and we are asking for more of it. We expect to see more and greater miracles” (Kevin Prosch, “The Heart of David: Worship & Warfare,” April 1996, Conference Report).
I can say on the authority of God’s Word that the “holy fear” they experienced was of the devil and not of God. This type of thing is the spirit of this world, and the fact that contemporary praise music is right in the middle of it is a loud warning to those who have ears to hear. Jesus rebuked those who lusted after “signs,” saying, “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign” (Matthew 12:39). This is a giant divine rebuke to the entire charismatic movement, and those who tremble at God’s Words will take heed! The repetition of the praise music is a major part of the charismatic mysticism and the emotionalism that is mistaken for a “tangible experience” with God. In Prosch’s song “Signs and Wonders,” the words “signs and wonders, healings, deliverance” are repeated at least 20 times and the words “the kingdom of God is here” are repeated at least 25 times. At the Heart of David conference, they sang Prosch’s “Praise the Lord, Oh My 218
Soul” for 20 minutes and they sang one song for over three hours! That must be the epitome of contemporary praise repetition! Web reports of Prosch’s concerts in promotion of the Reckless Mercy album are enlightening. One lady who attended a concert with her husband said that the percussion section summoned the crowd with the call, “Let’s rock!” At least she is honest. Rocking is what this stuff is all about. Take away the rock music, and the crowds would thin down quickly. This lady observed that Prosch’s band emulated sounds “suggestive of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and others” and “have the power to move ya!” The announcer who came on before the band said that they were “just trying to express their religious beliefs through the style of music that they enjoy.” This sounds like 2 Timothy 4:3-4, which warns of those who worship God “after their own lusts.” Prosch’s music is powerfully mystical and can have a deep emotional effect on listeners. In response to the YouTube video of “Praise the Lord, Oh My Soul” from 1996, one listener said: “When I first heard his music, IT SWITCHED
SOMETHING ON. It affirmed that GOD ISN’T CONFINED TO ... THEOLOGIES or traditions ... nor is God dull, or sterile, or conservative. But WILD, abundant, creative, loving, merciful and BEYOND W O R D S ” ( h t t p : / / w w w. y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v=NWIaFpJSnpo&feature=related).
Observe that the effect of Prosch’s praise music is “beyond words” and not confined to “theologies.” This 219
means that it isn’t doctrinal. What this contemporary worshiper is describing is the mysticism of contemporary worship that seeks an experience with “the wild” God beyond the Bible. It is the charismatic heretical theme song of “Let’s not put God in a box,” meaning that God isn’t restrained by Scripture. Prosch’s music, like much of the contemporary praise music, goes beyond theologies by means of its mystical vagueness. Consider Prosch’s “Love Is All You Need” -“I went to the place where dead men pray/ Love forsaken, I was so afraid/ When suddenly the leaves were around/ She said where is hope? What is truth? And do you know peace? As we walked through the graveyard of needles on the street/ Lord they wouldn’t need this if only they could see/ Tell them love, love, love is, love is the key, baby/ Love is all you need/ All you need is love/ Love is all you need/ All you need is love. ... I met a man who walked alone/ He wept upon those public roads/ He placed his eyes upon my heart/ Saw that I had missed the stirring of the water/ He looked into my childhood scars/ Like a candle on a written page/ And from your guilt he said I could be free/ Maybe my love is all you need...”
What does that mean? Anything and nothing. It is a vague “spirituality.” It is meaningless emotional mysticism. The important questions aren’t answered. What love? Whose love? What hope? What peace? What man? What type of guilt? Free in what way?
If you believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, you can insert the gospel into these words, but if you are a westernized Hindu or Buddhist, you can insert your fanciful New Age beliefs into the same words. Further, the song contains the pop psychology mumbo jumbo of healing of “childhood scars.” It appears that Prosch is singing about the same love that the Beatles sang about in their 1967 hit “All You Need is Love.” He uses the same phrases (“love is all you need” and “all you need is love”), but he even out does the Beatles in vain, hypnotic repetition. The Beatles repeated this phrase 15 times whereas Prosch repeats it 32 times. This is the type of music that is building the one-world church with all of its ancient and end-times heresies. The powerful and very sensual music--with its endless variety of addictive dance syncopations, its unresolving chords, its repetition, its electronic modulation, and its sensual vocal stylings--creates a mystical atmosphere in which people are carried along by their emotions, ungrounded and untested by Scripture. It is a recipe for spiritual delusion (2 Cor. 11:4, 14-15; 1 Pet. 5:8), and we believe it is one of the devil’s most effect tools in building the end-time one world church. (See “Transformative Power of Contemporary Praise Music” under the Articles Database at the Way of Life web site -wayoflife.org.)
Matt Redman is one the most influential names in the contemporary worship movement. He supports the Worship Central training school sponsored by Alpha International, the radically ecumenical charismatic organization that was birthed from the “laughing revival” at Holy Trinity Brompton, London, England. The vision of Worship Central is “to encounter God,” which is the unscriptural and very dangerous experiential-mystical approach of modern worship. There is a Roman Catholic arm of Alpha. Redman says, “Worship Central is a fantastic resource designed to uplift and inform worship teams everywhere” (www.worshipcentral.org). When asked, “Who are your musical influences?” Redman replied: “All sorts. But all time favorite must be the Beatles. I love it now that my five kids even get into their music” (http://www.louderthanthemusic.com/ document.php?id=2526). This reminds us that one of the reasons why we are opposed to Contemporary Christian Music is its blatant refusal to separate from the world. God’s Word says the believer is not to be conformed to the world, is not to be spotted by the world, and is not to love the world (Romans 12:2; James 1:27; 4:4; 1 John 2: 15-16). Contemporary Christian musicians make no attempt to hide the fact that they love raunchy secular rock & roll and they have no shame for doing so because it is 222
perfectly acceptable in the crowd in which they run. When asked in interviews about their musical influences and their favorite music, invariably they list secular rock musicians who flaunt God’s holy laws. It is obvious that Redman is rearing his children on secular rock & roll, and that they have a taste for the world even at very young ages. The Bible says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). Are there any “unfruitful works of darkness” in rock & roll or rap or reggae or countrywestern and other forms of pop music today? Indeed, that is an apt description of the vast majority of it. “Unfruitful works of darkness” is a perfect description of the Beatles and their music. Thus, the believer is commanded to have NO fellowship with it, but rather to reprove it. That is what I determined to do 38 years ago when the Lord opened my eyes to this matter, and my conviction about the moral danger of rock and the necessity of separating from it has grown stronger with the passing years. Separation from the world is not popular today but God’s Word commands it, and the truth has never been found among the majority in this sin-cursed world. In fact, in light of Bible prophecy (e.g., 2 Tim. 3:1-5, 13; 4:3-4) we cannot expect the truth to be found among the majority of professing Christians in these last days. For more on this see “The Beatles and Contemporary Christian M u s i c , ” h t t p : / / w w w. w a y o f l i f e . o r g / d a t a b a s e / beatlesandccm.html Matt Redman’s radical ecumenism and spiritual carelessness is evident in that he is scheduled to participate in the National Worship Leader Conference in 223
July 2012. A prominent speaker at the conference is Leonard Sweet who promotes a wide variety of New Age heresies. He calls his universalist-tinged doctrine New Light and “quantum spirituality” and “the Christ consciousness” and describes it in terms of “the union of the human with the divine” which is the “center feature of all the world’s religions” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 235). He defines the New Light as “a structure of human becoming, a channeling of Christ energies through mindbody experience” (Quantum Spirituality, p. 70). Sweet says that “New Light pastors” hold the doctrine of “embodiment of God in the very substance of creation” (p. 124). In Carpe Mañana, Sweet says that the earth is as much a part of the body of Christ as humans and that humanity and the earth constitutes “a cosmic body of Christ” (p. 124). Sweet says that some of the “New Light leaders” that have influenced his thinking are Matthew Fox, M. Scott Peck, Willis Harman, and Ken Wilber. These are prominent New Agers who believe in the divinity of man, as we have documented in the book The New Age Tower of Babel. Sweet has endorsed The Shack with its non-judgmental fathermother god, and he promotes Roman Catholic contemplative mysticism and dangerous mystics such as the Catholic-Buddhist Thomas Merton. (For documentation see the book Contemplative Mysticism, which is available in print and eBook editions from Way of Life Literature -- www.wayoflife.org.)
David Ruis has long been associated with the Vineyard Fellowship of Churches. His praise songs include “Every Move I Make,” “Love Come Down,” and “You’re Worthy of My Praise.” Ruis was involved as a worship leader with the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church during the “Toronto Blessing” charismatic “revival” which broke out in 1994, with people speaking in meaningless gibberish, rolling on the floor, barking like dogs, roaring like lions, howling like wolves, laughing hysterically, and getting “drunk in the spirit.” Vineyard Music published some of Ruis’s Toronto music in “Winds of Worship Live from Toronto” and “Wash Over Me,” which was recorded live at the Industrial Revolution Youth Conference in Toronto. The “Toronto Blessing” began in January 1994 with the visit to the Toronto Airport Church of Vineyard Pastor Randy Clark. The meeting was originally scheduled for four nights and at the first service large percentage of the 120 in attendance fell to the floor. The church’s pastor, John Arnott, said: “It was like an explosion. We saw people literally being knocked off their feet by the Spirit of God.” People shook, jerked, laughed, danced, cried, shouted. Some lay on the floor for hours. The man operating the sound system got “drunk in the spirit,” and the church receptionist could not speak for three days 225
after that, except in “tongues” (Hank Hanegraaff, Counterfeit Revival, p. 49). By the end of the originally-scheduled four days the decision was made to continue holding services six nights a week as long as the crowds continued. Visitors began to flock to Toronto from around the world. By the end of the first year an estimated 200,000 people had drank of the “Toronto Blessing.” Within the first nine months an estimated 1,500 church leaders had attended from Britain alone (Oropeza, A Time to Laugh, p. 26). Following is a description of the Toronto meetings by a reporter who attended in 1995:
“The man sitting beside me, Dwayne from California, roared like a wounded lion. The woman beside Dwayne started jerking so badly her hand struck her face. People fell like dominoes, collapsing chairs as they plunged to the carpeting. They howled like wolves, brayed like donkeys and--in the case of a young man standing near the soundboard--started clucking like a feral chicken. And the tears! Never have I seen people weep so hysterically, as though every hurt they’d encountered had risen to the surface and popped like an overheated tar bubble. This was eerie … people were screaming, their bodies jerking unnaturally, their faces contorted with tics. Yet the most unsettling were the laughers, those helpless devils who were now rolling around on the floor, holding their stomachs, their minds obviously gripped by some transformative, incomprehensible power. As I looked around, petrified that this weird phenomenon might take command of my sense, it occurred to me that the people in that room hardly appeared to be basking in the glory of God’s great beneficence. Instead, they looked like they were in agony” (Robert Hough, “God Is Alive and Well and
Saving Souls on Dixon Road,” Toronto Life, Feb. 1995, p. 2).
The following is another eyewitness report of the “Toronto Blessing.” This is by Don Morley, a Presbyterian who lives in the Toronto area -On October 20, 1994, we went to the Vineyard Fellowship to witness the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing,’ held in a warehouse type building near the airport. There were about 400 people in the main hall, plus an overflow room. ... What we observed was sickening and diabolical. Many times we felt like walking out and had to force ourselves to stay. REPETITIOUS ROCK MUSIC. For the first forty-five minutes a band with two soloists led the singing. The people were standing and singing with them to deafening rock type music. The songs were about worshipping the Lord, but the music and behaviour seemed to be opposed to the Lord’s honour. During the singing, the crowd was progressively aroused. In all, only about four different songs were used but each was repeated over and over--the chorus of the first song being sung thirty times. There was much arm waving, shouting with horrifying screams and, when the music volume was lowered, the drone of what must have been ‘tongues’ could be heard. By the end of the singing many of the crowd were exhibiting spasmodic, UNCONTROLLABLE BODILY ‘JERKS,’ which continued for the rest of the evening. When the leaders were speaking and one of those spasms occurred, they either made a loud shout, or their words came out as a shout. BIRTH GROANS. Apparently this evening marked nine months since these happenings began and they felt they had now ‘come to birth.’ Between two of the songs, one of their own women went off in a screaming account of the movement coming to birth. Her screams and actions were so realistic that for a
time we thought she was actually experiencing labour pains. STRANGE PHENOMENA. One woman was so overcome by the spasms she appeared to be very drunk and could hardly walk. Her testimony time was taken up by her and the leader making jokes about her appearance of drunkenness. The crowd laughed hilariously so that it resembled a comedy show at a theatre. Following each ‘testimony’ the leader prayed for them and they fell into a trance, one man later roaring like a lion. ECUMENICAL UNITY. The speaker’s text was John 17:20-23. The only message he could get from it was that the Father wanted to be intimate with us so that we could display love to others. Walls had to come down, he said, for we are all one in Jesus. DURING HIS MESSAGE HE WENT INTO FITS OF UNNATURAL, UNCONTROLLABLE LAUGHTER, which lasted about five minutes. All evening various people were taken with fits of MANIACAL LAUGHTER. SLAIN. Two and a half hours after the meeting started, the chairs were cleared and those who wished to receive “the blessing” were lined up along pre-marked lines. Members of the mission team, each accompanied by a ‘catcher,’ went to people and prayed over them, with their hand on the person’s head or chest. The people would fall to the floor, eased down by the ‘catcher.’ It appeared that in the quiet way they were praying they were putting the people into an hypnotic trance. Some lay totally still as if asleep, and others experienced bodily convulsions. BY THE END, THE WHOLE FLOOR WAS COVERED WITH PEOPLE LYING ABOUT. Some were women in dresses or skirts and men would arrange their clothes as they lay there. BIG DADDY GOD. Another striking point was that very little was said of Christ. Nearly every reference was to the Father, many times referred to as ‘Big Daddy.’ Even the hymn, ‘Jesus Loves Me’ was
changed to, ‘The Father loves me, this I know.’ Virtually the only time the Lord and His death were mentioned was in the context of the Father’s love. There was no mention of the blood of Christ, and the fact of being saved was noticeably absent. The word ‘repent’ was used several times but only in the context that they should repent for not taking down the barriers to allow God to come into them and give them ‘the blessing’ (Canadian Revivalist, September-October 1994).
In December 1995, the Association of Vineyard Churches broke its ties with the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church, and the church was renamed the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. But the Association did not say the “revival” was not of God and did not separate from it in a biblical fashion. Vineyard leader John Wimber said, “I BELIEVE THAT THERE HAS BEEN AN AUTHENTIC VISITATION OF THE SPIRIT THERE. However I am unable because of my own scriptural and theological convictions to any longer give an answer for, or defend the way, this particular move is being pastored and/or explained” (Christianity Today, Jan. 8, 1996). Note that he said he believed the Toronto Laughing Revival was a visitation of the Holy Spirit. His concern was with some of the more radical phenomena, such as roaring like lions and barking like dogs. Wimber said nothing against the meaningless gibberish, spirit slaying, spirit drunkenness, jerking, and many other such things, because these were commonly experienced in his own meetings. It is important to emphasize that there was not a complete break between the Vineyard churches and the Laughing Revival. In a letter dated December 15, 1995, 229
Gary Best, the national director of the Vineyard churches in Canada, sent a letter to Arnott to encourage him after the separation occurred. He said: “I made it absolutely clear that this action was ‘release and recognition of a different calling’ rather than ‘expulsion.’ There is a difference between ‘withdrawing endorsement and support’ and opposition. John Wimber is simply saying that to operate under his authority they need to follow his direction otherwise they need to establish their own. We were and are not ‘drawing a line in the sand’ and forbidding any Vineyard pastors or people from participating in TAV events or activities.” In May 1997, John Wimber told audiences in England that his relationship with John Arnott was better than ever (Charisma, May 1997). For more about Wimber and the Vineyard see “John Wimber” in this Directory. The author of the Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians witnessed John and Carol Arnott’s ministry at St. Louis 2000, which we attended with press credentials. Arnott spoke for a few minutes, then invited pastors to come forward if they “felt they would die if they did not soon receive a touch from God.” He told them to say to God, “Why not me and why not now; I take it in the name of Jesus.” About 40 or 50 went forward, and John Arnott and his wife laid hands on them. Most of them fell on the floor. One continued standing but he started shaking almost violently and remained like that for a long time until Carol Arnott laid hands on him and he, 230
too, fell to the floor. After laying hands on the pastors and while most of them were still on the floor, Arnott continued delivering his message to the crowd in his quiet manner; but as he was speaking his wife roamed around laying hands on people and “ministering” to those who were on the floor. It was very confusing, to say the least. Some people were laughing hysterically. Some were rolling around. Others were weeping or moaning very loudly. Carol Arnott was talking and yelling. All the while, John was rambling on about how the Holy Spirit was preparing to send the greatest revival in history. From time to time, he would pause in the midst of speaking and would shout, “FIRE! FIRE ON HER! FIRE ON HIM! FIRE LORD!” then he would continue speaking to the crowd calmly as if nothing had happened. In December 1997, the Toronto Airport Church sponsored a “Have Another Drink” Conference, and their web page announced:
“If anyone had any concern that the Have Another Drink conference this week would get off to a slow start, those fears were quickly squelched. Not five minutes into the week-long festivities, you could see the main speakers stumbling toward the front of the auditorium in a drunken stupor! Darrel Stott, John Scotland, Peter Jackson and Georgian Banov spent most of the morning session in a pile at the foot of the front row. … Ian Ross led the meeting in his typical fashion as he plodded along in a daze, trying to put together his thoughts enough to get his welcoming message across. ‘John asked that we give thought to uh.....something.....’ was about all the thought he could muster. ‘I’m so drunk, Janice (his wife) and I got the wrong teeth in this morning!’… Before Darrel Stott came up to speak, John Scotland, from Liverpool, England, was introduced.
When asked what his thoughts were on what he expected of the week, he immediately grabbed the microphone and yelled ‘OOOOOOHHHH’ a few times before wobbling off to the side for prayer. We’re still checking, but we think he may have actually said something in the five minutes he spent on the stage, but we’re not too sure yet!”
It is important to understand the spiritual deception on the part of the pastors who lead these things. John Arnott had been influenced by Kathryn Kuhlman’s unscriptural ministry and also by Benny Hinn. In 1987, Arnott joined John Wimber and the Vineyard Fellowship. Among other things, he was drawn by Wimber’s false claim that believers today can perform first century apostolic miracles. We don’t fault pastors for wanting to see “something real” in the ministry of God’s Word and for desiring the power of God, but unscriptural wildfire is not the answer to the problem of spiritual powerlessness. Arnott and his wife, Carol, were earnestly seeking a special touch from God, but, sadly, they were following the unscriptural charismatic prophecies and methodologies instead of relying strictly on Holy Scripture. They were looking in the wrong place. They believed that God had told them to “hang around people that have an anointing,” but instead of defining the Holy Spirit’s anointing biblically, they defined it according to Pentecostal Word-Faith theology. In September 1992, they attended several of Benny Hinn’s meetings at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. After Hinn prayed for them, Carol Arnott would be so drunk that she had to be carried home and put to bed, but John 232
was largely unaffected. In June 1993, Arnott had Rodney Howard-Browne lay hands on him during a meeting in Texas, but he was still unaffected. In November 1993, the Arnotts flew to Argentina to have Claudio Friedzon lay hands on them. This occurred during an Argentinean pastors’ conference organized by Luis Palau’s brother-in-law, Ed Silvoso. This event is described as follows by Guy Chevreau, who worked with Arnott in Toronto.
“John was standing with his hands up, posturing his openness to the Lord, and Claudio looked at him and said, ‘Do you want it?’ He said, ‘Yes. I really want it.’ Then Claudio said, ‘Then take it!’ and he slapped John on both of his hands. John fell again. BUT THIS TIME HE DIALED DOWN A LOT OF THE ANALYSIS and said, ‘I don’t care, I’m just going to take what God has to give.’ Something clicked in his heart at that moment” (emphasis added) (Chevreau, Catch the Fire, p. 24).
This is a very significant testimony. Arnott had been unable to receive the “anointing” BECAUSE HE WAS ANALYZING IT BY THE BIBLE. When he finally stopped analyzing it, he began receiving the strange unscriptural experiences. In a message preached by Arnott entitled “Hard to Receive” (Shippensburg, PA: Holy Smoke Productions, 1997) he says that one of the chief reasons why many cannot “receive” the Holy Spirit’s (alleged) ministrations (such as slaying or drunkenness or rolling on the floor or maniacal laughter) is the “fear of deception.” Arnott claims that this fear is used by the devil to keep people 233
from receiving all that the Holy Spirit has for them, but in light of the New Testament’s continual warnings, this is absolute nonsense. The Bible commands us to “prove all things…” (1 Thess. 5:21). Proverbs 14:15 tells us it is the foolish person who believes every word, whereas the prudent man is very cautious. Eight times in the New Testament the Christian is warned to “be sober.” This means to be in control of one’s self, to be spiritually alert, to be on guard against deception, and this is because there are great spiritual dangers. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). This verse alone would keep me away from the charismatic movement, which demands that I do the opposite of what the Word of God instructs me to do. The charismatic movement tells people to stop analyzing, to let go of their minds and mouths, to be open to strange experiences even if they cannot be supported by the Bible, to throw caution to the wind and just “receive, receive, receive.” Contemporary Praise Music by David Ruis and others was an integral and essential part of the weird “Toronto Blessing.” The sensual pulsing, skipping, tripping, bodyjerking syncopated dance rhythms, the electronic modulating, the reverb and echo and feedback, the unresolving chord sequences, the pounding drums, the sensual vocal styles, and the dramatic rise and fall of the sound level, and the repetition create the atmosphere in which charismatic seekers experience an emotional high and are hypnotized for the unscriptural message and in preparation for “signs and wonders” phenomena. 234
Whatever was operating in Toronto, it was definitely “another spirit” (2 Corinthians 11:4) when tested Scripturally, and contemporary praise music was that spirit’s vehicle. David Ruis wrote “Mercy Is Falling,” which has been widely used in the latter rain “signs and wonders” movement. Ruis’s song “Break Dividing Walls,” calling for ecumenical unity, is widely used.
“There is a place of commanded blessing/ Where brethren in unity dwell/ A place where anointing oil is flowing/ And we live as one/ You have called us to be a body/ You have called us friends/ Joined together in the bond of the Spirit/ Unto the end/ Father we join with the prayer of Jesus/ As you are so let us be one/ Joined together in unity and purpose/ All for the love of Your Son/ We will break dividing walls/ We will break dividing walls/ We will break dividing walls/ In the name of your Son/ We will break dividing walls/ We will break dividing walls/ And we will be one.”
Ecumenism had been one of the theme songs of the charismatic movement since its inception, and it is building the apostate one-world, end-time church and not the holy, truth-loving church of Jesus Christ. Ruis is still associated with the Vineyard Fellowship of churches. His 2004 album Every Move I Make was published by Vineyard Voices.
Sampson, author of “God Is Great/All Creation Cries to You,” is a worship leader in the radically charismatic/ ecumenical Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. See Darlene Zschech for more information.
Sanctus Real lead guitarist Christ Rohman says: “On the tours we’ve been lucky to be part of, the kids are really into the rockin’ songs ... every night on that tour kids were just screaming along to every word of every song.” Can you imagine the apostle Paul promoting this type of worldly thing? Matt Hammitt of Sanctus Real participated in the 2003 tour of the !Hero rock opera, which depicts Jesus as a cool black man. In !Hero, the Last Supper is a barbecue party and ‘Jesus’ is crucified on a city street sign. Sanctus Real and Steven Curtis Chapman played a concert in 2003 at St. Mary Seminary sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. Retired Catholic bishop Anthony Pilla celebrated the Mass at the event. Chapman told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that it’s “a good thing” that “the Catholic Church is showing a greater openness to contemporary Christian music” (Plain Dealer, Aug. 7, 2006).
Peter Scholtes (1938-2009) was a Roman Catholic priest who wrote the contemporary praise anthem “We Are One in the Spirit” which became the “banner song of the Jesus Movement.” He wrote the song in the 1960s while he was a parish priest at St. Brendan’s on the South Side of Chicago. In that capacity he worked with the modernistic Baptist preacher Martin Luther King. Scholtes motivation in writing the song was to find something that would fit a series of ecumenical events. The song was published in 1968 on an LP record album by that title that featured songs from Scholtes’ contemporary folk masses called Missa Bossa Nova and Mass on 67th Street. The cover artwork featured two men beating large conga drums. The song has been sung by churches of every denomination and well represents the ecumenical spirit that is creating the one-world church.
Secular Rock and CCM
The worldliness of Contemporary Christian Music is seen in that CCM musicians listen to every kind of secular rock music. They make no attempt to hide this fact and they have no shame for it. When asked in interviews about their musical influences and their favorite music, invariably they list a number of raunchy secular rock musicians. The following examples could be multiplied endlessly: 237
FOURTH WATCH cites groups like U2, the Police, Genesis, Pete Townshend, and the Alarm as major influences. “MEMBERS LISTEN TO A GREAT DEAL OF MAINSTREAM MUSIC, MAKING NO APOLOGIES FOR IT, and they express a desire to play clubs and other non-church settings” (CCM Magazine, April 1987, p. 19). RANDY STONEHILL “listens to all kinds of music,” including hard secular rock (Devlin Donaldson, “Rockin’ Randy,” CCM Magazine, August 1983). PHIL KEAGGY performs an unholy combination of secular rock and Christian rock/folk, and those who listen to his music are drawn toward worldly rock & roll. On his 1993 Crimson and Blue album, for example, he pays “homage to the Beatles” with several of the songs. When ASHLEY CLEVELAND was asked what music was on her stereo, she replied, “Living With Ghosts, Patty Griffin; What’s The Story Morning Glory, Oasis; Exile On Main Street, the Rolling Stones” (http:// www.ashleycleveland.com/acfacts.htm). In her concerts, Ashley performs a very gritty rendition of the Rolling Stones hit “Gimme Shelter.” CAEDMON’S CALL said their greatest love in music is secular rock. They mentioned Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, David Wilcox, The Police, Fishbone, 10,000 Maniacs (Lighthouse Electronic Magazine). The group often performs Beatles music. Cliff Young said one of his 238
favorites is the foul-mouthed Alanis Morrisette. He mocked a preacher who warns that Christian musicians should not listen to secular rock and said that he listens to secular rock & rollers because “they are being honest [about] struggles that they go through.” AUDIO ADRENALINE’S Bloom album includes the song “Free Ride” from the Edgar Winter Group’s They Only Come out at Night album. Rock star Edgar Winter was featured on the cover of this wicked album dressed as a homosexual “drag queen.” The lyrics to “Free Ride” claim that “all of the answers come from within.” This is rank heresy, because we know that the answers do not come from within man’s fallen heart, but from God’s revelation in the Bible. STEVE CAMP says, “I’ll have a Foreigner 4 album going in my car.” He also says: “I am dedicated to good music whether it’s pop, Christian, gospel, R&B, blues, jazz, classical, rock or whatever. I just love good music” (Steve Camp, MusicLine magazine, Feb. 1986, p. 22). Some of DC TALK’S musical role models are the Beatles, David Bowie, and The Police, all of which are wicked secular rock groups. dc Talk’s album “Free at Last” contains a song titled “Jesus Is Just Alright,” which was first sung by the Byrds (the song was later covered by the Doobie Brothers). dc Talk’s Kevin Smith admits that he listens to mostly secular rock music (Flint Michigan Journal, March 15, 1996, B19). dc Talk opened its “Jesus Freak” concerts with the Beatles’ song 239
“Help.” They also perform Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze. Hendrix was a drug-crazed New Age occultist. Toward the end of their concerts dc Talk played the rock song “All Apologies” by the wicked secular rock group Nirvana, formerly led by Kurt Cobain. Terry Watkins notes: “Kurt Cobain is one of the worst Antichrist blasphemers since John Lennon. Kurt Cobain decorated his home with blood-splattered baby dolls hanging by their necks! The inside of Nirvana’s album In Utero, which is the album dc Talk got ‘All Apologies’ from, has pictures of chopped up babies! Cobain ran around his neighborhood spray-painting, ‘ABORT CHRIST’ and ‘GOD IS GAY.’ Cobain’s first band was called ‘Fecal Matter’ (Watkins, Christian Rock: Blessing or Blasphemy?). Cobain killed himself. JARS OF CLAY names Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles as their inspiration (Dann Denny, “Christian Rock,” Sunday Herald Times, Bloomington, Ind., Feb. 8, 1998). The lead guitarist for Jars of Clay is said to be a “Beatles fanatic” (Christian News, Dec. 8, 1997). When asked by Christianity Today to list their musical influences, Jars of Clay members “listed no Christian artists” (Christianity Today, Nov. 15, 1999). Jars of Clay performs Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” during their concerts. Osbourne is the filthy-mouthed former lead singer for the occultic rock group Black Sabbath. Dana Key (of DEGARMO & KEY) says that he has been influenced most by B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, and Billy Gibbons (of ZZ Top) (CCM Magazine, January 1989, p. 30). 240
POINT OF GRACE’s Life, Love and Other Mysteries album featured “Sing a Song” by the occultic, antichrist rock group Earth, Wind and Fire. Their 2011 Turn up the Music hits album featured a cover of “Hole in the World” by the Eagles. Perhaps in the future they will cover other Eagles’ songs, such as “Good Day in Hell,” “Take the Devil,” “Chug All Night,” and “Witchy Women.” The worldliness of DELIRIOUS is evident in their choice of “musical heroes,” which include “Radiohead, Blur and other big British modern rockers” (CCM magazine, July 1999, p. 39). The group DELIVERANCE performs songs by secular rock groups. Their What a Joke album has the song “After Forever” by the vile, blasphemous, pagan rock group Black Sabbath. When asked what is currently in her CD player, CRYSTAL LEWIS replied: “Michael Jackson, Thriller; Billy Holliday; Led Zeppelin; Radiohead, Ok Computer; Radiohead, Kid A; and Sting, Nothing Like the Sun (“Ten Questions with Chrystal Lewis,” CCM Magazine, March 2002). The popular group THIRD DAY also loves secular rock. Michael Herman of Christianity Today asked the members of Third Day to “name a musician you’d pay to see in concert.” All five members of the band named secular rockers. Tai named U2; Brad, the Cars; David, Phil Collins; Mac, Tom Petty; and Mark, George 241
Harrison (“Guy Talk” interview posted at Christianity Today web site, Feb. 26, 2002). Anyone familiar with the music and atmosphere at secular rock concerts should know that a Bible believer has no business there. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). MERCYME’s “Cover Tune Grab Bag” series includes “Jump” by Van Halen, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson (complete with choreographed Jackson-style dancing), “Crazy” by Outkast, “Ice Ice Baby” by rapper Vanilla Ice, “La Bamba,” “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “It’s the End of the World” by R.E.M., “Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi, “Hard to Say Goodbye” by Motown, “More Than Words” by Extreme, “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, “Footloose,” “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “Hold Me Now” by Thompson Twins, “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da” and “I Feel Fine” by the Beatles, “More Than Words” by Extreme, and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper. MANDISA, whose music is sung by some Independent Baptist churches, says that her musical influences “run the gamut from Whitney Houston to Def Leppard” (“Mandisa,” Wikipedia). Two of her favorite musical artists are Beyonce and Steve Wonder, and her personal goals are “to meet and be on Oprah” (“Mandisa,” AmericanIdol.com). PHIL KEAGGY’s 2011 CD “Live from Kegwood Studio” features “homage to George Harrison with a spot-on rendition of the Beatles’ hit ‘Here Comes the Sun.’” 242
If parents allow their young people to be influenced by the Contemporary Christian Music world or if they stay in a church that promotes Contemporary Christian Music, this is the type of worldly example they will have. The world of secular rock & roll is spiritually dangerous in the extreme. Further, the CCM crowd not only listens to and performs secular rock, they even use secular rock in worship. We have seen that contemporary Christian musicians love secular rock; they listen to it in their private lives and they perform it in their concerts and record it for their albums. They even use secular rock in the worship of God. At the National Promise Keepers Conference in Boulder, Colorado, in 1994, Charles Swindoll entered the stadium on a motorcycle while the worship band played the 60s rebel rock anthem “Born to Be Wild.” The “Heart of David Conference on Worship & Warfare,” sponsored by Rick Joyner’s Morning Star ministries, concluded with the praise team singing the Beatles song “I Want to Hold Your Hand” as if God were singing it to believers. The worship leaders were Leonard Jones, Kevin Prosch, and Suzy Wills. Jones also leads “worship” crowds in a hard-rocking rendition of the Beatles’ “Come Together” as if Jesus were singing it to His people. 243
In 2002, I received the following note from a professor at Southern Baptist Seminary: “A couple of my students recently attended Rod Parsley’s World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio. They said that the call to worship was a tape playing Van Halen’s ‘Jump!’ Every time David Lee Roth sang, ‘Jump’ the people all jumped.” Van Halen was one of the most popular heavy metal groups of the 1980s and early 1990s. In a concert in Detroit, Michigan, lead singer David Lee Roth yelled out, “We are gathered in celebration of drugs, sex and rock and roll!!!” (Shofar magazine, Fall 1983, p. 10). Many of Van Halen’s songs are vile and immoral. A rock critic said a Van Halen concert is “a musical circus of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll cliches” and noted that “sex is celebrated in a way that makes bike gangs look like morality squads” (Calgary Herald, April 28, 1984). During the February 18, 2002, premier show for the Michael W. Smith/Third Day Come Together Tour, the CCM group Third Day took the stage to the strains of the New Age Beatles song “Come Together” (press release, Nashville, April 24, 2002). The Beatles have been one of the most godless, wicked influences in modern society. In his 1965 book, A Spaniard in the Works, John Lennon called Jesus Christ many wicked things that we cannot repeat and blasphemed the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Lennon’s song “God” (1970), he sang: “I don’t believe in Bible. I don’t believe in Jesus. I just believe in me, Yoko and me, that’s reality.” Lennon’s extremely popular song 244
“Imagine” (1971) promotes atheism. The lyrics say: “Imagine there’s no heaven … No hell below us, above us only sky … no religion too/ You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one/ I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.” NewSpring Church in Florence, South Carolina, performed “Highway to Hell” by the wicked rock band AC/DC for Easter service 2009. NewSpring performed Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” in November 2011. Northpoint Church of Springfield, Missouri, performed “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones for Easter service 2011, and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in November 2011. The Church by the Glades in Miramar, Florida, performed “Calling All the Monsters” in 2011. The theme of the song is “magic and fantasy,” and the immoral dance moves were inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
The Shack and Other CCM Gods
A great many of the CCM artists worship A NONJUDGMENTAL GOD. Consider the popularity of The Shack. It has been endorsed by Michael W. Smith and others and has been well received in prominent CCM circles such as Calvary Chapels, Vineyard churches, and Hillsong. It was promoted at the 2009 National Pastor’s Convention in San Diego, which was sponsored by Zondervan and InterVarsity Fellowship. The Shack 245
author William Young was one of the speakers and a survey found that 57% had read the novel. Young was enthusiastically received, and in an interview with Andy Crouch, a senior editor of Christianity Today, there was not a hint of condemnation for his false god. Crouch is a CCM musician in his own right and led one of the praise and worship sessions in San Diego. The Shack is all about redefining God. It is about a man who becomes bitter at God after his daughter is murdered and has a life-changing experience in the very shack where the murder occurred; but the god he encounters is most definitely not the God of the Bible. Young says the book is for those with “a longing that God is as kind and loving as we wish he was” (interview with Sherman Hu, Dec. 4, 2007). What he is referring to is the desire on the part of the natural man for a God who loves “unconditionally” and does not require obedience, does not require repentance, does not judge sin, and does not make men feel guilty for what they do. In that same interview, Young said that a woman wrote to him and said that her 22-year-old daughter came to her after reading the book and asked, “IS IT ALRIGHT IF I DIVORCE THE OLD GOD AND MARRY THE NEW ONE?” This is precisely what a very large portion of the Contemporary Christian Music crowd is doing.
Young admits that the God of “The Shack” is different from the traditional God of Bible-believing Christianity and blasphemously says that the God who “watches from a distance and judges sin” is “a Christianized version of Zeus.” This reminds me of the modernist G. Bromley Oxnam, who called the God of the Old Testament “a dirty bully” in his 1944 book Preaching in a Revolutionary Age. Young depicts the triune God as a young Asian woman named “Sarayu” * (supposedly the Holy Spirit), an oriental carpenter who loves to have a good time (supposedly Jesus), and an older black woman named “Elousia” (supposedly God the Father). God the Father is also depicted as a guy with a ponytail and a goatee. (* The name “Sarayu” is from the Hindu scriptures and represents a mythical river in India on the shores of which the Hindu god Rama was born.) Young’s god is the god of the emerging church. He is cool, loves rock & roll, is non-judgmental, does not exercise wrath toward sin, does not send unbelievers to an eternal fiery hell, does not require repentance and the new birth, puts no obligations on people. (See “The Shack’s Cool God” at the Way of Life web site, www.wayoflife.org.) The false CCM non-judgmental, universalistic god is represented by emerging church leaders such as Brian McLaren and Rob Bell, both of whom are very popular 247
with CCM artists. One Christian rocker told us that these writings “resonate” with him. McLaren calls the God who punished Jesus on the cross for man’s sin “a God who is incapable of forgiving, unless he kicks somebody else” (McLaren, http:// www.understandthetimes.org/mclarentrans.shtml and h t t p : / / s t r. t y p e p a d . c o m / w e b l o g / 2 0 0 6 / 0 1 / brian_mclaren_p.html). He presents the traditional God of the Bible as a tyrant who “gets his way through coercion and violence and intimidation and domination. McLaren says that the “power of the blood” gospel “raises some questions about the goodness of God.” Rob Bell, author of the influential book Velvet Elvis, claims that the God who would allow multitudes to go to eternal hell is not great or mighty (Love Wins, location 1189-1229). He says that such God is not loving and calls the preaching of eternal hell “misguided and toxic.” He says there is something wrong with this God and calls Him “terrifying and traumatizing and unbearable” (Love Wins, location 47-60, 1273-1287, 2098-2113). He even says that if an earthly father acted like the God who sends people to hell “we could contact child protection services immediately” (Love Wins, location 2085-2098). One of Bell’s supporters, Chad Hotlz, a Methodist pastor, calls the God who sends unbelievers to hell “the monster God” (“Who’s in Hell?” FoxNews, March 24, 2011).
It is obvious that Bell and company worship a different God than the One we worship in “traditional” Baptist churches. Bell’s God is more akin to New Age panentheism than the God of the Bible. He describes God as “a force, an energy, a being calling out to us in many languages, using a variety of methods and events” (Love Wins, location 1710-1724). “There is an energy in the world, a spark, an electricity that everything is plugged into. The Greeks called it zoe, the mystics call it ‘Spirit,’ and Obi-Wan called it ‘the Force’” (Love Wins, location 1749-1762). Bell worships a false christ. His Jesus is “supracultural ... present within all cultures ... refuses to be co-opted or owned by any one culture ... He doesn’t even state that those coming to the Father through him will even now that they are coming exclusively through him ... there is only mountain, but many paths. ... People come to Jesus in all sorts of ways ... Sometimes people use his name; other times they don’t” (Love Wins, location 1827-1840, 1865-1878, 1918-1933).
Smith, Michael W.
Michael W. Smith (b. 1957) is one of the most prominent names in contemporary praise music. In 1982 Smith became Amy Grant’s keyboardist, but he was quickly vaulted to musical fame in his own right. Of the top 100 all-time best-selling Christian albums, eight belong to 249
Smith (CCM Magazine, July 1998, pp. 107-108) His praise albums sell millions of copies. He is the author of songs such as “Breathe,” “Draw Me Close,” “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” “Forever,” “Purified,” “The Heart of Worship,” and “Awesome God.” He says: “I became a Christian when I was 10, and I was extremely fired up. I wore a big wooden cross around my neck and carried a Scofield Bible” (April Hefner, “Mike and the Mechanics,” CCM Magazine, September 1995). As he grew older he turned rebellious and went out into the world, playing in a secular rock band and using drugs. In 1979 he had a crisis experience which caused him to change directions and he joined a Christian band called Higher Ground. Smith became a cool, long-haired Christian rock star and a pop idol for young girls. The following is a description of a Michael W. Smith concert when he was younger:
“Smith, with synthesizers blaring, drums blazing, and guitars screeching, sent a young crowd into a frenzy from beginning to end” (Richard Linihan, Tulsa Tribune, cited by Jeff Godwin, What’s Wrong with Christian Rock?, p. 61).
In 2006, Smith founded New River Fellowship in Franklin, Tennessee, where he was the senior pastor until 2008. He remains a member of the church. Before that he was a member of Belmont Church near Nashville, a Church of Christ congregation that had moved into the charismatic movement. His pastor was Don Finto, who I heard speak in 1987 at the North 250
American Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelization in New Orleans. Of the roughly 40,000 in attendance, 50% were Roman Catholic. A Catholic mass was conducted each morning of the convention, and priest Tom Forrest from Rome brought the final message. In a message I heard Forrest preach in 1990 in Indianapolis, he said that he was thankful for purgatory, because we can only go to Heaven through purgatory. Michael W. Smith supports this ecumenical confusion. In 1993, Smith performed for the Roman Catholic World Youth Day in Denver, attended by Pope John Paul II. In 1997, Smith joined the Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, an ecumenical song that talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division. Smith and guitarist-songwriter Billy Sprague had also performed with Troccoli at a concert in November 1985 in Tampa, Florida. The concert was sponsored by Youth for Christ and the First Assembly of God of Clearwater, Florida (St. Petersburg Times, Florida, Nov. 9, 1985, Religious Section, p. 3). Smith’s 1998 single “Live the Life” was “inspired by the life of the Catholic St. Francis of Assisi” (“New Releases October 28, 1997,” Christian Music Online, http:// christianmusic.miningco.com/library/blcmweekly.htm).
In the Fall of 2009 Michael W. Smith toured with the Roman Catholic Matt Maher on the New Hallelujah Tour. (See “Matt Maher” in this Directory.) Smith says that he has had many charismatic experiences, though he doesn’t like the label “charismatic” because of “negative baggage associated with the term.” At a Full Gospel Business Men’s meeting he was “slain in the spirit” for 15 minutes and “laughed all the way home” (Charisma, April 2000, p. 55). Another time he felt “a bolt of electricity go through my body from the top of my head to my toes—wham!” He also started laughing uncontrollably—“rolling on the floor,” “hyperventilating”—on that occasion. This fit of “holy laughter” happened during a prayer meeting for his son who had been diagnosed with “a rare behavior disorder for which there was no reliable cure.” Smith recorded his first worship album in 2001 at Carpenter’s Home Church in Lakeland, Florida. This was where the laughing-drunken “revival” began via Rodney Howard-Browne’s ministry in 1993. The following is a description of what happened:
“Most people who attended the unusual series of meetings in Lakeland, Fla., LAUGHED UNCONTROLLABLY while the South African preacher told stories about modern-day miracles. ... The infectious laughter, he said, was a sign of the Holy Spirit’s presence. ... It wasn’t long before a few folks were ROLLING IN THE AISLES--LITERALLY, COULDN’T SAY A WORD. ... A Hispanic pastor from Tampa, after he approached the microphone, began laughing so hard he fell on the floor. He was still lying
there when the morning session ended at 2:30 p.m. Falling on the floor was a common occurrence that afternoon. More than a thousand people formed a line in the church’s expansive circular lobby so that HowardBrowne could touch them and impart a dose of Pentecostal joy. Few were left standing after the evangelist passed by. Thousands more people arrived for an evening service, nearly filling the main floor of the 10,000-seat facility. ... As in the morning session, THE AUDIENCE LAUGHED TO LOUD DURING HOWARDBROWNE’S SERMON THAT HE FINALLY PUT DOWN HIS BIBLE AND JOINED IN THE FUN. Dale Brooks, an Assemblies of God minister from Tampa who canceled his own worship services so his parishioners could attend the meetings, told the Tampa Tribune that he hoped folks wouldn’t find fault with the Lakeland experience. He said he tells people, ‘DON’T FIGHT IT. ENJOY IT. WALK IN IT. DON’T TRY TO FIGURE IT OUT’” (Charisma magazine, August 1993).
Howard-Browne calls himself the “Holy Ghost Bartender” because of the drunken phenomenon that has accompanied his ministry. An estimated 100,000 people attended the Howard-Browne meetings (not to mention those who viewed the services on the church’s television broadcasts). People began to flock there to receive the “anointing.” Many Pentecostal and charismatic leaders made the journey, including Oral Roberts’ son Richard, Marilyn Hickey, and Charles and Frances Hunter. Richard Roberts said he and his family ended up on the floor laughing at every Howard-Browne meeting. On the flight back to Tulsa from his trip to Lakeland, Richard laughed so uncontrollably that the flight attendant thought something was wrong with him.
This is the church that Michael W. Smith choose for his first worship album. It is obvious that he doesn’t know the Spirit of God from “another spirit” (2 Cor. 11:4). Inside Magazine interviewed Smith in 1991 and noted that his music is influenced by Alan Parsons. The interviewer said: “There’s also the influence of such groups as Alan Parsons in your music” (Inside Music, January/February 1991, p. 23). Smith’s quick reply was “DEFINITELY!” Parsons is one of the most occultic rock musicians. One of his songs is titled “Lucifer.” Smith mocks fundamentalists as bizarre. He says, “... you’re always going to have those very, very conservative people. They say you can’t do this; you can’t do that … you can’t drink; you can’t smoke. ... It’s a pretty bizarre way of thinking” (The Birmingham News, Feb. 1993, p. 1B). Smith demonstrated his complete apostasy by endorsing The Shack and its male/female non-judgmental god. (See “The Shack” in this Directory.)
Marsha Stevens (b. 1954) is the author of the popular song “For Those Tears I Died (Come to the Water).” She was one of the multitudes of Jesus hippies that were brought into Calvary Chapel in the early 1970s. With her sister Wendy Carter and friends Peter Jacobs and Russ Stevens, Marsha formed Children of the Day, one of the first contemporary Christian groups. Children of the 254
Day’s first album was Come to the Water, released on Calvary Chapel’s Maranatha label. (Altogether Maranatha published four of Children of the Day’s albums.) The album was funded with a $900 loan from Calvary Chapel’s leader Chuck Smith, Sr. Children of the Day had two cuts on Maranatha Music’s first big hit album The Everlastin’ Living Jesus Music Concert. In 1979, Marsha Stevens broke her sacred marriage vows and divorced her husband of seven years, by whom she had two children, because she had “fallen in love with a woman.” For years her lesbian partner was Suzanne McKeag. In her December 1998 newsletter, she complained that she had to leave Suzanne for three days in an RV park “with a ‘Christian’ group parked next door who made it a point to tell her that gay people are going to hell.” After the death of McKeag, Marsha “married” Cindi Stevens-Pino, who calls “my wife.” She joined the Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1984, which is a homosexual denomination. In fact, she is a certified “lay evangelist.” There she learned that it is fine to refer to God in terms of inclusive female language, such as goddess. She says that “God will answer to whatever” (Marsha Stevens-Pino interview, In Our Own Words, Metropolitan Community Churches, Oct. 2, 2008).
It is enlightening that the homosexuals in the Metropolitan Community Churches love the nonjudgmental male/female god described in The Shack, and at the same time this “god” is resonating with evangelicalism at large, even within the Southern Baptist Convention. (See “The Shack’s Cool God” at the Way of Life web site -- www.wayoflife.org) After “coming out,” Marsha quit her music career for about five years, but after joining the Metropolitan Community Churches she was encouraged by Troy Perry that she was “brought into the kingdom for such a time as this” and should start writing songs again. She says, “I found that the Word still burned in my heart and I could not contain it; I began to sing again.” Her first song was “Free to Be,” which she wrote for the 1985 Metropolitan Community Churches general conference. The song proclaimed the heresy that God doesn’t condemn homosexuality as sin and that you are free to be whatever you want in Christ. Two other of her songs are “The Body of Christ Has AIDS” and “Love Is the Only Law.” She performs music and preaches in a variety of liberal denominational churches as well as Metropolitan Community Churches. She started her own label called BALM (Born Again Lesbian Music) and performs between 150 and 200 concerts a year. She has a program called “upBeat” through which she produces a praise and worship album annually with a variety of singers and songwriters. 256
Her lesbian praise music ministry is recommended by Mark Allen Powell, Professor of New Testament, Trinity Lutheran Seminary and the author of An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. He states:
“The Mother of Contemporary Christian Music continues to capture hearts for Jesus. Argue interpretations of Scripture and debate the ethics and origins of homosexuality all you want -- no one with sensitivity to things of the Spirit can deny God is using Marsha Stevens to bring the love and mercy of Christ to people whom God apparently has not forgotten.”
To ignore the teaching of Scripture for a feeling or intuition that God is using a homosexual for His glory is blind mysticism. And there is no question that the Bible condemns homosexuality as a sin in no uncertain terms and demands repentance from it of those those who come to Christ. Romans 1 condemns man on man and woman on woman sexual relationships as “vile affections,” “against nature,” unseemly,” and “a reprobate mind” (Romans 1:26-28). According to Scripture, God made human sex for marriage and for marriage only, and anything outside of that is fornication and adultery and is subject to God’s judgment (Hebrews 13:4). From the beginning to the end of the Bible, God-ordained marriage is defined as a holy contract between one man and one woman. Polygamy was practiced even by some of the Old Testament saints, but Jesus taught that this was never God’s will and He referred men to God’s law at the beginning (Matthew 19:4-6). Therefore, since all sexual activity outside of marriage is sin and since legitimate 257
marriage is only between a man and a woman, there is absolutely no possibility that God would bless homosexual relationships. Stevens claims to have been saved in 1969 when she was a teenager. This is how her salvation is described at her web site:
“In 1969, Marsha Stevens was a troubled adolescent when she had her first conscious encounter with Christ while participating in a Bible study group. In the vision this encounter evoked, she saw herself walking with Jesus near a deep blue river and this experience both changed and saved her life. Following it, she composed the folk hymn, ‘For Those Tears I Died (or Come To the Water).’ The song has now become a standard of Christian hymnals and it launched her career as a Christian singer/songwriter.”
This is not a biblical salvation testimony, and it is no wonder that she has become apostate. To see oneself walking with Jesus near a deep blue river is not the same as confessing and repenting of one’s sin and trusting the cross-work of Christ for forgiveness. The same weak “gospel” is contained in Steven’s hit ecumenical song “For Those Tears I Died.”
You said You’d come and share all my sorrows, You said You’d be there for all my tomorrows; I came so close to sending You away, But just like You promised You came there to stay; I just had to pray! Jesus, I give You my heart and my soul, I know that without God I’d never be whole;
Savior, You opened all the right doors, And I thank You and praise You from earth’s humble shores; Take me I’m Yours. And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side, I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied; I felt ev’ry teardrop when in darkness you cried, And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.
This is is mysticism. There is no solid Bible truth, just emotionalism. The song creates an emotional experience associated with a vague spirituality which is not solidly Bible based. There is no clear gospel message here. There is nothing about sin, the cross, repentance, or biblical faith. Jesus didn’t die for our tears; He died for our sins! The song says come to the water, but what water? It says you are thirsty, but thirsty for what? It mentions a door, but what door? It says I just have to pray, but pray how and for what? This song can be sung with passion by a Roman Catholic who loves Mary, by a liberal Protestant who doesn’t believe that Jesus is God, by a New Ager, even by a Muslim! This is one reason contemporary music has been so successful in creating unity and building the one-world church. It appears that Marsha has always been living by her emotions rather than the Word of God (though she gives lip service to the Bible as sole authority). She was living by her emotions when she was converted through a 259
ephemeral vision of Jesus and a blue river. She was living by her emotions when she was writing Christian folk rock. She was living by her emotions when she “followed her heart” in leaving her husband for a woman. She was living by her emotions when she thought that God had called her to “minister” as a “married” lesbian. This is the frightful mystical power of contemporary praise music. Contemporary praise musicians who do not accept the lesbian praise singer Marsha Stevens are not being consistent with their own theology. The principle that permeates the movement is that we are to strive for unity without judging fellow Christians, that this nonjudgmental approach alone is true love, and that those who are “judgmental” about doctrine and lifestyles are incompassionate legalistic Pharisees. By this principle, we should accept a “spirit-drunken” Word-Faith Pentecostal, a Roman Catholic, a Mormon, a Unitarian, or a “married” lesbian as long as they “love Jesus.” Either we can judge sin and doctrine by God’s Word, or we can’t. If we can judge, then we can judge everything by the standard of the whole Word of God and not just a few things by a couple of “cardinal” teachings. Bill Gaither revealed the hypocrisy and doublemindedness of the contemporary praise movement in 260
regard to Stevens. When she attended one of his concerts in December 2002, he invited her backstage and he and Mark Lowry posed for a photograph with her and her lesbian partner. During the concert he sang her song “Come to the Water,” said it was one of his favorites, and pointed out to the crowd that Marsha was present. He looked right at her and said: “I love that song because someone may have seen a grownup with a Jesus that maybe is pushing you away, that wouldn’t let you in. And you were never good enough. The only Christ I know is the Christ in that song, with His arms out very wide, saying, ‘come to the water.’ That’s the only Christ I know--come as you are.” Gaither didn’t say anything about repentance from sin (the sinner can come as he is but he is to repent or change directions in life and after being saved is to walk with Jesus in the path of righteousness, Titus 2:11-15). He did tell the Southern Gospel crowd that Stevens’ homosexuality is wrong. By neglecting to say this and by preaching the message of unconditional love and by singing her song, Gaither confirmed the lesbian and her lifestyle. Christ suffered to save men FROM their sins not in their sins. He taught us that there is no salvation without repentance. “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3, 5). To the woman caught in adultery He said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (Jn. 8:11). To the cripple man who was healed, Christ said, “Behold, thou art made whole: 261
sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (Jn. 5:14). The Bible plainly teaches that homosexuality is a grave sin. It is described in Romans 1:26-28 as “vile affections” (v. 26), “against nature” (v. 26), “unseemly” (v. 27), “a reprobate mind” (v. 28). Any sin can be forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ, but sin must be repented of and the sinner must be converted and regenerated so that he has a new impulse toward holiness and righteousness and a revulsion toward sin. The believers in the wicked city of Corinth had committed every sort of sin before they were saved, but they had been changed. Paul warned them as follows:
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Paul warned the church at Corinth that God does not tolerate their fornication. “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). If a professing Christian commits fornication and refuses to repent he must be disciplined out of the church (1 Cor. 262
5:11). Paul told the church at Ephesus that fornication should not be “once named among you, as becometh saints” (Eph. 5:3). The Bible teaches that any sexual relationship outside of marriage is a sin. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4). Bill Gaither and Mark Lowry and the entire contemporary Southern Gospel crowd need to heed the solemn warning from God’s Word. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived! Paul was saying the same thing in 1 Corinthians 6 that the Lord Jesus said to Nicodemas: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3). The grace of God does not teach men that they can live as they please and still have God’s blessing. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). Christ did not die so that the sinner can live as he pleases and still feel that God is pleased with him. Rather he “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14). 263
By God’s grace, any homosexual can repent of his sin and cast himself upon Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Saviour, but he cannot continue to live in his fornication and moral perversion and pretend that all is well between him and a holy God. Hebrews 12 says that God chastens His children when they sin, and if someone can sin with immunity he is not a child of God.
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Heb. 12:6-8). “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (1 John 1:5-6). “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).
Is it wrong for believers to condemn sinful practices in this world? Is that Phariseeism? Is it legalism? Certainly not! God’s Word says:
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather REPROVE THEM. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light” (Eph. 5:11-13).
To reprove the sinful things of this world is the Christian’s solemn spiritual obligation. Reproof shines the light of God’s Word upon wickedness so that the sinner can be convicted of his sin and brought to repentance and faith. Godly reproof of sin is a very loving, compassionate deed! After Marsha Stevens posted the photograph of her and her lesbian lover with Gaither and Mark Lowry on the Internet, Gaither backed down from his own principle when he began to get a backlash from some of his more conservative followers. On May 4, 2006, he issued a public statement “regarding misrepresentation” of his 2002 meeting with Marsha Stevens. He called her life story “a sad one” and said it is “unfortunate” that she has publicly declared herself to be a lesbian” (“Gaither Issues Statement Regarding Misrepresentation,” SingingNews.com, May 4). He claimed that he does not support her and that the photo was just a “snapshot,” suggesting that someone took the photo practically without his knowledge. In fact, it is obvious that the photo was posed with Gaither’s and unhesitating permission. The picture shows the four of them standing in front of a blue backdrop that features the words “Gaither Homecoming Concert.” From left to right the picture shows Cindy (Stevens’ lesbian partner), Marsha, Bill Gaither, and Mark Lowry. All four are bunched together shoulder to shoulder and Gaither is standing as close to Stevens as one can get. It appears 265
that he has his arm around her. Both Gaither and Lowry are smiling broadly. It is Bill Gaither’s buddy Mark Lowry who has stood by his principles. He is wrong, but at least he has the courage to stand by what he professes to believe. At her web site, Marsha Stevens said that Lowry told her that he was proud of what she is doing and that he wished “the fundamentalist would find Jesus; they’re going to have a lot to answer for, leaving out people that Jesus died for” (Stevens, “New Years Eve 2002 with Bill Gaither,” www.christiangays.com). That statement rings true to everything we know about Lowry and his antifundamentalist stance and non-judgmental principle. To our knowledge Lowry has never tried to distance himself from what Stevens reported. Lowry’s statement about the fundamentalist “leaving out people that Jesus died for” is slanderous. The Bible believer does not leave anyone out of God’s grace. We believe that Jesus died for all sinners and there are no sinners too wicked for Him to save. But we also believe that salvation requires repentance, as Jesus Himself emphasized (Lk. 13:1-5). The way the apostasy is rushing ahead, it might not be long before the majority of “evangelicals” will join hands with the homosexuals in condemning “fundamentalists” and possibly even calling for their imprisonment or worse.
(See also “Calvary Chapel” and “Bill Gaither” in this Directory.)
Rita Stringer (b. 1966) says that it was when she began attending a Vineyard Church in the late 1980s that she was “forever changed by the sound of personal worship.” She was “grabbed” by the sound of the new choruses and soon was writing for Vineyard Music Group. She now records with Integrity Music. (See Integrity Music and John Wimber/Vineyard.) She moves in charismatic and ecumenical circles. She is a worship leader, and she also founded a worship leader training school called DIVE (Deep-InnovativeVertical-Expression). Though Rita is single, in 2004, when she was 38, she adopted a baby boy.
Stockstill, author of “Let the Church Rise,” is the worship leader at the charismatic Bethany World Prayer Center in Louisiana and the frontman for the rock fused Deluge Band.
Randy Stonehill (b. 1952) is one of the pioneers of Contemporary Christian Music, dating back to the “Jesus Movement” of the 1970s. He says that it was the Beatles who gave him the inspiration to play rock and roll: “Really it was after I saw the Beatles. I saw them on television when I was twelve and I knew that that was what I wanted to do” (Stonehill, cited by Devlin Donaldson, “Life Between the Glory and the Fame,” CCM Magazine, October 1981). In 1970 Stonehill left home to seek fame and fortune in Los Angeles. There he met some Christian musicians, including Larry Norman, and had some sort of conversion experience in August 1970. He immediately became involved with the Christian rock scene. For many years he worked with Larry Norman, one of the fathers of Christian rock. Stonehill’s first marriage lasted five years and ended in divorce. His first album, Born Twice, was released in 1971. Stonehill says that he has had a lot of resistance from conservative Christians who think his music is worldly:
“The years 1974-78 were a real low point in my career. I was getting a lot of flack from the church, and Christian rock was generally looked on with disdain and distrust” (Stonehill, cited by Davin Seay, “Randy Stonehill: Waking up from the Longest Dream,” CCM Magazine, November 1985).
“And the other side of the coin was that the more traditional elements of the church ... were raising an eyebrow and saying, ‘How dare you? How dare you cheapen the Gospel by trying to share it this way?” (Stonehill, cited by Chris Willman, “Randy Stonehill: Turning Twenty,” CCM Magazine, August 1990). “A lot of the old-school thinkers of the Church were just up in arms, saying ‘you can’t do this. Rock and roll is of the Devil. How dare you cheapen the gospel in this way.’ ... We said ‘music belongs to God, and it can be used or misused” (Randy Stonehill, cited in “Kicking Around with Uncle Rand,” Christian Music Review, April 1991). “Frankly, I would suspect that it would be easier to be truer to your spirituality and artistry in mainstream music than within the confines of the church. I think the church, as I said, has a hidden agenda. There are guidelines and if you rock the boat, you don’t smell right to them anymore and, all of a sudden, you’re on the periphery, you’re ostracized” (Randy Stonehill, Christian Music Review, April 1991).
Stonehill doesn’t seem to like biblical guidelines, but God certainly requires that His people work within a Bible framework. Christian liberty is restricted by the Word of God. This is not a “hidden agenda” in a Biblebelieving church; it is an open agenda and it is a right agenda. Stonehill admits that he is rarely in church: “When other people are going to Bible studies and Sunday services, I try to have the Church of the Airplane, the Church of the Taxi, or the Church of the Hotel Room” (CCM Magazine, November 1985).
Stonehill does not believe he has to be concerned “with the finer points of theological debate.” Instead, his music deals mostly with human experience. “Just look at my song material. It doesn’t deal with faith and theology on that level. It is much more of a gut level basic message. ... I try to pick songs that deal with God’s grace, God’s reality, God’s love, our pain, and what kind of confusion we are experiencing in our culture and all of those things” (Devlin Donaldson, “Life Between the Glory and the Fame,” CCM Magazine, October 1981). This is the experienced-oriented approach so common in the lyrics of CCM. Stonehill also does not want to preach via his music: “I don’t want to preach at people. What I want to do is communicate the truth in the most compelling, fresh, and challenging way I can. I just want to be the best songwriter and performer, unto God, that I can be. That’s the main thing” (“Kicking Around with Uncle Rand,” Christian Music Review, April 1991). Of his 1975 album, Welcome to Paradise, Stonehill says, “It helped them [the hearers] understand that God really is involved in their humanity and that this relationship can be celebrated through rock ‘n’ roll” (CCM Magazine, November 1985). Like most Contemporary Christian Music performers, Stonehill “listens to all kinds of music,” including secular rock (Devlin Donaldson, “Rockin’ Randy,” CCM Magazine, August 1983). 270
Stonehill’s philosophy is expressed in the following statement:
“Rock music is the only type of music some kids will listen to. If we don’t put Jesus into modern music, some of them might never really hear the message!” (Stonehill, cited by Paul Davis, “Wanting to Do Something Monumental in Music,’ New Music, No. 16, 1979).
There are many problems with this philosophy, not the least of which is that the “Jesus message” commonly inserted into Christian rock is abstract and insufficient and often patently unscriptural. It is exceedingly rare that Christian rock contains a clear gospel message. In reality, what Christian rockers are doing is entertaining young people with rock music and pampering them with a vague “spirituality” that is more akin to New Age than Bible Christianity.
Talbot, John Michael
John Michael Talbot (b. 1954) is a very popular Contemporary Christian recording artist, with sales of millions of CDs. He is very influential in the contemplative prayer movement. He represents two of the most powerful elements binding together the ecumenical movement: contemporary music and contemplative mysticism. Talbot was raised Methodist, but in his book Come to the Quiet he thanks his parents for “installing a great love for world religions with me in my formative years.” At age 15 he dropped out of school and formed the folk rock 271
band Mason Proffit with his older brother Terry. They opened for Janis Joplin, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and other well-known groups and sold hundreds of thousands of records. At age 17 he married, and soon thereafter he began an earnest investigation into religion. In 1971, Talbot was in a motel room praying, “God, are you a he, a she, or an it?” when he allegedly “saw a Christ figure standing over” him (Come to the Quiet, p. 5).
“I saw an image that looked like Jesus--it was a typical Christ figure--an incredible sight. He didn’t say anything--he was just there. ... I had been reading about Jesus and feeling him in my heart, but at that moment I actually experienced his touch. I knew it was Jesus” (Troubadour for the Lord, p. 46).
He says, “From then on, I began calling myself a Christian again, though I didn’t understand Christian theology.” At this point he claims to have turned in a fundamentalist direction, becoming a “Bible thumper.” He doesn’t say what kind of “fundamentalism” it was, though. He says that he kept his shoulder-length hair and was not committed to any one congregation, so it is hard to say what he was involved with. It sounds like it was his own sort of “fundamentalism” that he devised from various sources. He describes the experience only in negative terms, saying that he became skeptical of any other religion, was ready with a Scripture for any question or problem, and considered the Catholic Church “the great whore of Babylon.”
He looks back on all of that as a negative thing, but in reality it is the way of truth, which is very strict and narrow. The Psalmist said, “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psa. 119:128). He says that when he visited friends he would “come on like a Bible thumper, condemning their life-styles and spitting out Scripture verses to make my point. I scared them to death! I know they were thinking, ‘Hey, John boy, you’ve changed. You’re not the loving, patient friend you were before.’ And they were absolutely right” (Troubadour for the Lord, p. 63). This is a strange way to describe what was happening, unless there is something he is not telling us. Perhaps he wasn’t kind and humble with his friends. If so, the problem was with him and not with “fundamentalism” and not with a “Bible-thumping” approach. It is definitely not wrong to quote Scripture and to warn people that they need to be saved before it is too late. The Lord Jesus Christ preached frequently on hell in the most forceful of terms (e.g., Mark 9:43-48). As for a believer’s old friends thinking he has gone crazy and not being particularly thrilled with his new life, that has been happening for 2,000 years. The apostle Peter described it in his day. “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:1).
As for rebuking sin, that is the legitimate and Goddesigned purpose of the Law. It exposes sin to make men see their lost condition so that they will flee to Christ (Romans 3:19). The Bible commands the believer not only not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, “but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). As for the idea that this is not an act of love, it is actually the most loving and compassionate thing one can do! Unbelievers don’t consider it loving, of course; they want the Bible believer to keep his religion to himself; but the day will come when they will understand that preaching the Scripture and warning of spiritual danger is a most compassionate gesture. Talbot says that during those days he talked Catholics out of their church and “convinced them they couldn’t really be saved in the Catholic church with all that idol worship and repeated ritual” (Troubadour for the Lord, p. 63). He claims that he “was becoming more centered on that book [the Bible] than on Jesus” and “was unwittingly committing the sin of bibliolatry” (Troubadour for the Lord, p. 65). We don’t know what was going on in his heart, but it is impossible to walk with Christ properly without making the Bible central to one’s Christian life. This is not bibliolatry; it is obedience. Fundamentalists don’t worship the Bible; they worship God; but they honor the Bible for what it claims to be, which is the very Word of God. The Lord Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, 274
then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32), and, “He that is of God heareth God’s words” (John 8:47), and, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27), and, “I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them” (John 17:8). Along that time Talbot’s wife divorced him and later remarried. In Come to the Quiet, Talbot seems to blame fundamentalism and a dogmatic Christian faith even for this (p. 6). In fact, he blames fundamentalism for just about everything, for his friends leaving him and his family becoming “worried about” him and the fact that he “had hit bottom.” He claims that he “became a pretty terrible person to be around,” but he can’t blame that on a strict Bible faith. If it is true that he was a terrible person to be around, then it was a personal issue. Through counseling with a preacher in the liberal American Baptist Convention, Talbot began to soften his zeal. He also entered the contemporary Christian music world, which further tempered his fundamentalist enthusiasm. Contemporary Christian Music has always had a tolerant, non-doctrinal, ecumenical outlook. Talbot signed with Billy Ray Hearn’s new label, Sparrow Records. CCM’s radical ecumenical philosophy is evident by the fact that when Talbot converted to Catholicism and wanted to continue recording albums under Sparrow, Hearn was supportive. Talbot’s first album as a Catholic was wrongly titled “The Lord’s 275
Supper”; it was actually about the Catholic mass. Talbot says: “When Billy Ray sensed the spirit of renewal that came through loud and clear on this album, he became excited about the potential for ministry to the broader Catholic market” (Troubadour for the Lord, p. 114). Talbot was receptive when the road manager of his band gave him a book about Francis of Assisi. This set him on the path to Roman Catholicism, mysticism, and interfaith dialogue. He read Thomas Merton, Thomas à Kempis, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Bernard of Clairvaux, the Cloud of Unknowing, and other Catholic mystical writings. He began meeting with a Catholic priest named Martin Wolter at Alverna, a Franciscan retreat center in Indianapolis (now defunct). In 1978, he joined the Roman Catholic Church and within a year his parents followed his unwise example. He claims that God spoke to him and said: “She is my first Church, and I love her most dearly. But she has been sick and nearly died, but I am going to heal her and raise her to new life, and I want you to be a part of her” (Come to the Quiet, p. 7). Obviously this was a deluding spirit, because the first churches described in the Bible were nothing like the Roman Catholic Church. Peter was married. He did not operate as a pope. He didn’t sit on a throne and live in a palace or wear special clothes and lord it over his brethren. In the early churches described in the New 276
Testament there was no special ordained priesthood, ceremony like the Mass, no host, no monstrance, bells, no incense, no tabernacle, no prayers to Mary, special sainthood, no purgatory, no cardinals, archbishops, no infant baptism, no holy relics.
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The same year he joined the Catholic Church, Talbot became a lay “brother” in the Secular Franciscan Order and began to live at Alverna as a hermit. He claims that he had a powerful mystical experience on the feast day of Mary’s (mythical) assumption into heaven. He was walking by the Shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes with its statue of Mary and felt called to build a little shack nearby so that he could enter contemplative solitude. In 1982, he founded the Little Portion Hermitage in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and in 1990 the Brothers and Sisters of Charity was approved by the Catholic Church. This is “an integrated monastic community of families, celibates and singles,” and Talbot is “General Minister and Spiritual Father.” The community, which is formally recognized by the Catholic Church, has about 40 members who live on the 250-acre property in Arkansas and another 500 nationwide. In 1989, Talbot broke his Franciscan vow of celibacy and married Viola Pratka, who also broke her vow of celibacy as a nun to enter the marriage. In April 2008, the chapel, library, offices, and many common areas of the hermitage were destroyed in a fire. 277
When he was beginning to study Catholicism at Alverna, Talbot thought of giving up his music. He had entered the CCM movement after leaving Mason Profit, and his “early albums presented a conservative, Protestant theology.” The Catholic priest counseled him to re-think this decision, saying, “I think God has chosen you as A BRIDGE BUILDER...” (Troubadour for the Lord, p. 90). As the priest suggested, Talbot has indeed become a major bridge builder. He has used his music as a bridge between Catholicism and Protestantism. His albums were the first by a Catholic artist to be accepted by both Protestant and Catholic listeners.
“In 1988, Billboard Magazine reported that Talbot outranked all other male Christian artists in total career albums sold. After more than three million sales with Sparrow Records, making him Sparrow’s all-time bestselling recording artist, John Michael Talbot started a new record label in 1992 called Troubadour for the Lord” (“John Michael Talbot,” Talbot’s web site).
Surveys have shown that 60 percent of Talbot’s listeners are non-Catholic. In 1996 Talbot produced an ecumenical album (Brother to Brother) jointly with fellow CCM performer Michael Card, an “evangelical.” Of this venture, Card testified: “Doing this project has enabled us to become real friends. And along the way, the denominational lines have become really meaningless to me, and to John, too” (CCM Magazine, July 1996). To say that denominational lines are meaningless is to say that doctrine is not important, because doctrine is one of the key things that divide denominations and churches. 278
Some churches teach sound doctrine about Jesus Christ and some teach false. Some teach sound doctrine about salvation; some, false. Some teach sound doctrine about the Holy Spirit, baptism, election, the New Testament church, etc; some teach false doctrine. Timothy’s job in Ephesus was “that thou mightest charge some that they TEACH NO OTHER DOCTRINE” (1 Timothy 1:3). That is a very strict position on doctrine. When a church stands upon the whole counsel of the New Testament faith, it automatically becomes divided from churches that stand for different doctrine. This cannot be avoided, and it is not wrong. In fact, God forbids churches to associate with those who hold different doctrine (Romans 16:17). In an article entitled “Our Fathers, and Our Divided Family,” in the Catholic charismatic magazine New Covenant, Talbot called for Christian unity on the basis of the Roman Catholic papacy:
“A Roman Catholic, I respect other Christians. We are especially close to those who value apostolic tradition as well as Scripture. But even in this we face further debates that are obstacles to complete Christian unity. THIS IS WHY THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH INSISTS THAT SCRIPTURE, TRADITION AND MAGISTERIUM ARE NECESSARY FOR A FULLY UNIFIED PEOPLE. WE ROMAN CATHOLICS FIND THIS IN THE POPE AS BISHOP OF ROME, TOGETHER WITH THE BISHOPS OF THE CHURCHES IN FULL COMMUNION WITH ROME. This has theologically freed us to develop the greatest mystical and functional unity in Christendom. It has also given us an authority that enables us to enter into interfaith and ecumenical dialogue without defensiveness. ... May we all hear these ancient truths
and experience real conversion of heart” (John Talbot, "Our Fathers, and Our Divided Family,” New Covenant, September 1997, p. 21).
Talbot says Catholic tradition and the papacy are equal in authority with the Scripture. He says true Christian unity can be found only in fellowship with the pope of Rome. He prays that his readers will hear this message and experience conversion to Rome. Yet the apostle Paul said anyone, even an angel from heaven, that preaches a false gospel is cursed of God (Galatians 1). The Roman Catholic popes, with their sacramental gospel and blasphemous claims and titles, have been under this curse from their origin. Nowhere does the New Testament establish a pope over all of the churches, and nowhere do we see Peter acting as a pope. We don’t need the socalled “church fathers” to explain the rule of faith and practice; God has given the infallible and sufficient rule in the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17) which were completed during the days of the apostles (Jude 3) and sealed with a solemn seal in Revelation 22:18-19, which forbids anyone to add to or take away from what God has revealed. Talbot says that we need to obey the pope:
“I believe that today we need a true sense of obedience to the pope once again” (Hermitage: Its Heritage and Challenge for the Future, p. 167). “I believe we must stay in radical union with the primary structure of the pope and the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church...” (p. 173).
As wrong-headed as Talbot’s theology is, there is room for it in the doctrinally-confused world of Contemporary 280
Christian Music and in the contemplative prayer movement. Talbot is considered a brother in Christ and is welcomed with open arms, even in the face of God’s commands that we mark and avoid those who preach false gospels and promote doctrine contrary to that taught by the apostles (Romans 16:17-18). The devil is using the ecumenical thrust of CCM to break down the walls between truth and error toward the building of the one-world apostate “church.” Referring to the mixed crowds who attended the Talbot/ Card concerts in Catholic churches, Talbot said that he delights to see Protestants who never would have darkened the doorstep of a Catholic church come to one of his concerts.
“All of a sudden they say, ‘Hey, I feel very much at home here. That doesn't mean necessarily I want to be a Roman Catholic, but I feel very much at home worshipping God with other people who are not that different from me’” (John Talbot, quoted in “Interfaith Album Strikes Sour Note,” Peter Smith, Religious News Service, Dec. 8, 1996).
In 1996, Talbot was instrumental in forming the Catholic Musicians Association to encourage Catholic musicians and to help them find a place in the more mainstream world of CCM. Joining Talbot at the founding meeting in April 1996 were Tony Melendez, Dana, Susan Stein (executive of Heartbeat Records), Paulette McCoy (Oregon Catholic Press), and Catholic officials and professionals involved in marketing and publicity (Steve Rabey, “Association Formed to Support Catholic Music,” 281
CCM Update, May 27, 1996). At the meeting Stein said she “would like Protestants and Catholics to set aside what are basically petty differences” and urged evangelicals “to be a bit less judgmental and a bit more open to understanding.” There is nothing “petty” about the differences between Roman Catholicism and Bible-believing Christianity! The charismatic emphasis is also seen in Talbot's experience. “Dreams and other direct ‘revelations’ from God account for his increasing conviction that the Roman Church holds the key to the future” (Peck, RockMaking Musical Choices). Talbot’s music is mostly acoustic folk and soft rock ballad style, but he also incorporates chanting and a wide variety of other music forms, including harder rock. Talbot promotes the false philosophy of the neutrality of music:
“We need to know rock ‘n’ roll. We need to know the gentleness of a folk tune. We need to know the majesty of Handel’s Messiah. We need to know the awesome reverence of the Gregorian chant” (John Talbot, CCM Magazine, July 1998, p. 28).
Talbot has also used “contemplative spirituality” as a bridge between Catholics and non-Catholics. In fact, Talbot’s contemplative practices are a frightful demonic bridge between idolatrous eastern religions on one hand and the evangelicals who are influenced by him on the other. He says: 282
“I began practicing meditation, specifically breath prayer, once again. I integrated the use of Tai Chi and yoga into my morning workout. ... I found the enlightenment of the Buddha and the Bodhisattva, the way of the Taoist and Confucian sage, and the freedom of the Hindu sannyasin, or holy man, through this full integration in Christ” (Talbot, Come to the Quiet, p. 8). “For myself, after the moving meditations of Hinduism and Taoism, and the breath, bone-marrow, and organcleansing of Taoism, I move into a Buddhist seated meditation, including the Four Establishments of Mindfulness. I do all of this from my own Christian perspective...” (Come to the Quiet, p. 237).
On his web site Talbot says:
“Personally, I have found the Christian use of such techniques as centering prayer most helpful in entering more fully into the peace of the contemplative experience as described by the Christian mystics. While our own tradition does well in describing the theology and steps of such contemplation, THE NONCHRISTIAN TRADITIONS OFTEN DO BETTER IN T R E AT I N G T H E A C T U A L M E C H A N I C S O F MEDITATION, SUCH AS BREATH, POSTURE AND SPECIFIC MENTAL FOCUS, ETC. ... I have discovered a deeper experience of contemplation that helps me remain calmer and Christ-like in the midst of the ups and downs of fulfilling my leadership responsibilities. ... THE USE OF THE ‘MECHANICS OF MEDITATION’ AS TAUGHT BY OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE OTHER FAITHS can sometimes be helpful if used correctly to augment the classical Catholic teachings on the spiritual life” (Talbot, “Many Religions, One God,” Oct. 22, 1999, http://www.johnmichaeltalbot.com/ Reflections/index.asp?id=135).
Talbot goes on to warn that there is spiritual danger in using pagan meditation techniques! 283
“On the Pastoral level I would point out that I do this after 20 plus years of Christian and Catholic experience of being fully immersed and guided by a wise and orthodox Friar in the Patristic and monastic/ contemplative tradition of orthodox Catholic Christianity. Without this grounding I would easily find myself confused by so many different voices and spirits about meditation and prayer, not to mention the basic understanding of God and Jesus Christ. IT CAN BE MOST DESTRUCTIVE IF USED UNWISELY. I CAN ALMOST PROMISE THAT THOSE WHO UNDERTAKE THIS STUDY ALONE WITHOUT PROPER GUIDANCE, AND GROUNDING IN CATHOLIC CHRISTIANITY, WILL FIND THEMSELVES QUESTIONING THEIR OWN FAITH TO THE POINT OF LOSING IT. SOME MAY FIND THEMSELVES SPIRITUALLY LOST. IT HAS HAPPENED TO MANY. For this reason, we do not take the newer members of The Brothers and Sisters of Charity through this material in any depth as part of their formation, but stick squarely to overt Catholic spirituality and prayer teachings. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND TOO MUCH INTEGRATION OF THESE THINGS WITHOUT PROPER GUIDANCE for those newer to the Catholic or Christian faith” (Talbot, “Many Religions, One God,” Oct. 22, 1999).
Talbot thus recognizes the extreme danger of pagan contemplative practices, yet he thinks he is capable of using them without being harmed by them. He should listen to the words of Scripture: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33). In fact, Talbot has been deeply influenced and corrupted by his association with paganism. First, it confirmed him in the heresies of Rome. Next, it confirmed him that paganism is not so pagan and that salvation might be found in them. 284
He speaks of his “brothers and sisters” in other religions, saying:
“Christianity emphasizes the role of Jesus as the ultimate Incarnation of God to complete all that is good in other faiths” (“The Many Paths of Religion, and the One God of Faith,” part 2, October 1999, http:// www.johnmichaeltalbot.com/Reflections/index.asp? id=137).
This is not what biblical Christianity emphasizes! Biblical Christianity emphasizes that Jesus is the ONLY incarnation of God and the other religions are darkness and error. The prophet Isaiah said, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is NO light in them” (Isa. 8:20), and the Lord Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them” (John 10:7-8). Talbot has come to believe that Christianity and other religions find common ground through mystically “experiencing the Ultimate Reality.” He says:
“It is on the level of spirit that we find mystical common ground. THE REALM OF SPIRIT, OR PURE SPIRITUAL INTUITION BEYOND ALL IMAGES, FORMS, OR CONCEPTS, IS WHERE WE ALL BEGIN TO EXPERIENCE THE ULTIMATE REALITY BEYOND A L L T H O U G H T, E M O T I O N , O R S E N S U A L PERCEPTION. Yet, this ultimate experience completes all else in a way that enlivens them all. We may call this Reality by different objective names, but the Reality does not change. This realm of spirit is found in breakthrough through the use of paradoxes beyond all logic, image, or form” (“The Many Paths of Religion, and the One God of Faith” Part 2).
This is a pagan concept of God. The born again believer in Jesus Christ does not experience the same spiritual “Reality” as those who are not born again. And the born again Bible believer does not try to encounter God apart from thinking and concepts. Our knowledge of God is taught in the Scripture, and apart from this divine revelation we know nothing certain about God. What Talbot is describing is the pagan mysticism that foolishly and blindly tries to “experience” and “know” God directly apart from doctrine. Talbot says:
“So it is true that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life. But the mystics of other faiths also share the Ultimate paradox that constitutes this way. In this we find great compliment and common ground, while also believing in the uniqueness, and completion of all else in Jesus” (“The Many Paths of Religion, and the One God of Faith,” part 2).
This is interfaith mystical gobblygook. In fact, the mystics of other faiths share nothing with us and know nothing about God, and I say that on the authority of the divine revelation given to John the “apostle of love.”
“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 John 5:19-21).
Talbot recommends Pierre Teilhard, who taught evolution and the deification of man and denied that the Jesus of the Bible is the only Christ. Talbot says, “Teilhard de Chardin broke yet new ground with his Cosmic Christ, and a revolutionary marriage between science and mysticism” (Come to the Quiet, p. 95). Talbot’s “contemplative” practices include prayers to Rome’s mythical Mary. In his book Simplicity he says:
“Personally, I have found praying the Rosary to be one of the most powerful tools I possess in obtaining simple, childlike meditation on the life of Jesus Christ.”
The Rosary is largely a prayer to Mary as the Queen of Heaven. In 1984 Talbot said:
“I am also feeling the presence of Mary becoming important in my life. ... I feel that she really does love me and intercedes to God on my behalf” (Contemporary Christian Music Magazine, November 1984, p. 47).
John Michael Talbot has become a very effective bridge between darkness and light. (For more about Contemplative Prayer see “Contemplative Mysticism,” which is available in print and eBook formats from Way of Life Literature.)
This Christian “southern rock” group has had 17 No. 1 songs on the “Christian charts” and has received five Dove Awards. The single from their 2002 album, “Come 287
Together,” achieved crossover success by charting on the secular Billboard Top 200. Michael Herman of Christianity Today asked the members of Third Day to “name a musician you’d pay to see in concert.” All five members of the band named secular rockers. Tai named U2; Brad, the Cars; David, Phil Collins; Mac, Tom Petty; and Mark, George Harrison (“Guy Talk” interview posted at Christianity Today web site, Feb. 26, 2002). One of the themes of CCM is ecumenical unity, and that is evident in Third Day’s “Come Together” album. The words to the title song say, “I know that there will come a day, when the Lord will call His own away; to a place that He has made for all of us, but until the day of His return; there’s a lesson that we’ve got to learn; we are brothers and we’re sisters; we are one.” In an interview with Crosswalk.com in February 2002, Third Day vocalist Mac Powell focused on the unity theme of the Come Together album. Typically, Powell gave no warning of false doctrine or end-time apostasy, no reminder that there are false christs and false gospels and false spirits, and no admonition to obey the Bible’s command to separate from error. Instead, he gave an unscriptural call for unconditional unity among professing Christians. In 1997, Third Day’s Tai Anderson joined Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, a song with an ecumenical 288
theme: “Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for Christ and each other.” The song talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division. The broad range of participants who joined Troccoli in recording “Love One Another” demonstrates the ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music. During the February 18, 2002, premier show for their Come Together Tour, Third Day took the stage to the strains of the New Age Beatles song “Come Together” (press release, Nashville, April 24). This was to announce the Michael W. Smith/Third Day “Come Together and Worship” tour, which was certain to rake in millions of dollars, while at the same time breaking down even more extensively the walls of separation between sound and unsound churches. We believe it is blasphemy to associate the worship of a thrice holy God with the wicked, anti-christ Beatles in any manner whatsoever. Third Day performed for the Roman Catholic Youth Rally in 2011, which featured Pope Benedict XVI and a Catholic mass during which a piece of bread allegedly became Jesus.
TobyMac performed for the Roman Catholic Youth Rally in 2011, which featured Pope Benedict XVI and a Catholic mass during which a piece of bread allegedly became Jesus. 289
Chris Tomlin author of “We Fall Down,” “Holy Is the Lord,” and “How Great Is Our God,” holds the standard non-judgmental, ecumenical CCM philosophy. He says, “Conservatives and charismatics can stand in one room, listening to the same music, worshiping the one true God. Music unites” (“The United State of Worship,” Christianity Today, Aug. 2003). Tomlin is a former staff member of Austin Stone Community Church in Texas, which holds the emerging church philosophy. It has an extremely weak doctrinal statement that allows the widest possible ecumenical relationships, and its objective is not just to preach the gospel to lost souls but to “redeem” the city of Austin, which is definitely not what the apostles sought to do in the Roman Empire. Tomlin supports the Worship Central training school sponsored by Alpha International, the radically ecumenical charismatic organization that was birthed from the “laughing revival” at Holy Trinity Brompton in London. There is a Roman Catholic arm of Alpha. Tomlin says, “Worship Central is an important and much needed training ground for today’s leaders. When it comes to leading the church, we need each other, and Wo r s h i p C e n t r a l i s a w o n d e r f u l p l a c e t o connect” (www.worshipcentral.org)
Stuart Townend is charismatic in theology and radically ecumenical in philosophy, supporting the Alpha program which bridges charismatic, Protestant, and Roman Catholic churches. He is a member of the charismatic Church of Christ the King in Brighton, U.K. and supports the “extraordinary manifestations of the Spirit,” which refers to the demonic/fleshly charismatic mysticism such as meaningless gibberish, spirit slaying, holy laughter, and shaking. Townend is at the forefront of producing TRANSITION SONGS and BRIDGE SONGS designed to move traditional churches along the contemporary path toward Christian rock. From the perspective of the CCM artists involved in this, they aren’t doing anything sinister. They are simply and sincerely trying to “feed” the “broader church.” But from a fundamentalist Bible-believing position, the effect is to draw “old-fashioned” Bible churches into the contemporary orb, and that is most sinister. Bridge songs include Townend’s “How Deep the Father's Love for Us” and “In Christ Alone” by Townend and Keith Getty. These songs are doctrinally sound and more soft rock ballad in style as opposed to out-and-out rock & roll, so they are considered “safe” by traditional churches. But by using this music a staunch Bible church is brought into association with the contemporary world that 291
Townsend represents and the contemporary hymns become a bridge to influences that are contrary to and very dangerous to the church’s original stance. Townend has a false concept of Christ. When asked, “What would Jesus sing?” he replied:
“I think he would be doing thrash metal or hip hop or something where we’d go, ‘He can’t do that!’ Because I think he would be challenging our comfortable perceptions. I don’t know what he would sing or whose songs he would sing, but I believe he would do it in a way that would surprise and probably shock us” (“What Would Jesus Sing?” from an interview with Stuart Townend, TV series Principles of Praise, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=OCW0oAAna7c).
So, according to Townend, instead of singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, Jesus would be singing thrash metal and hip hop and trying to shock us with His musical choices. That is not the thrice holy Jesus described in Scripture. It is true that Jesus shocked the religious crowd of His day, but that was not because He was performing worldly musical numbers, gyrating to rap, and screaming out thrash! It was because the religious crowd had rejected God’s Word and He was God’s Word incarnate, so they did not recognize, understand, or appreciate Him. He came to fulfill every jot and tittle of the holy Law of God (Matthew 5:17-19). Jesus was a friend of sinners, but He did not sin with sinners and He was no sort of a party dude. He frequently preached on hell and demanded repentance, and that would put the brakes on any party! 292
Since the Christian rock crowd loves to shock people, they think Jesus is like them. Christian rockers lose no sleep at the fact that many of the saints are upset and discouraged with their music because they consider it worldly and inappropriate for the service of Christ. Christian rockers have taken over countless oncetraditional churches even to the extreme of pushing aside and running over anyone who got in the way of their musical “choices.” Instead of sympathizing with the saints who oppose their music, they slander them as Pharisees and legalists and mindless traditionalists. This is not the spirit of Jesus. He solemnly warned about offending those who believe on Him (Matthew 18:2-10). Paul, too, issued this warning. “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. ... Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Romans 14:13, 19). Townend is holding hands with the “broader church” in all of its facets and heresies and end-time apostasies, and Townend’s objective in writing the “hymn-like” contemporary songs is ecumenism. (For extensive documentation of the treacherous waters of evangelicalism see the report “Biblical Separatism and Its Collapse among Fundamental Baptists,” which is available as a free eBook from Way of Life Literature.) Consider the following statement: 293
“‘How Deep the Father’s Love’ was the first hymnlike song I had written; before that point I had only written modern worship songs in a more contemporary style. ... This melody just kinda popped out of my head one day. ... It had a kind of classic hymn-like element to it. I thought I should just tell the story of Christ on the cross, but tell it perhaps from the point of view of what it cost the Father to give the Son. ... There is lot of talk about the wrath of God and is that right to think that the Father’s wrath was poured out on Christ, and I think that is right to say that. But that is not to say that God is a vengeful God; actually it cost him to give up His son. ... It’s been interesting to see the response. It’s quite useful not only in the more modern contemporary churches, but in traditional churches as well because of the style. And I’m kind of exited about that; I am excited about the fact that you can write something that actually feeds the broader church rather than just particular musical pockets of the church. That’s something that motivates me and probably why I’ve thought more and more about writing hymns, is I would like to try and feed the whole church and not just part of it” (Stuart Townend, “Mission: Worship, The Story Behind the Song”).
The first comment we would make is that Townend openly states that his objective is to bridge “traditional” churches with contemporary ones. After “How Deep the Father’s Love” popped into his mind and he turned the “hymn-like” tune into a soft rock “modern hymn,” he realized that this type of music could be a powerful bridge. In his own blog he says “I don’t go home at the end of a busy day and put on a hymns album! So I don’t think of hymns as where I’m at musically at all!” (http:// blog.stuarttownend.co.uk/2010/05/how-deep-fatherslove.html). He is a rock & roller, pure and simple. He wants to use the soft CCM to bring together the “broader church.” 294
What he does not say is that the contemporary churches aren’t very interested in soft CCM hymns. It is only the “traditional” churches that are interested in “soft” CCM, and by using it they are the ones that are in danger of being influenced and changed. When “traditional” churches borrow Townend’s “soft” CCM, the contemporary churches are in no danger of being “traditionalized,” but the traditional churches are most definitely in danger of being contemporarized. The second observation is that Townend is committed to serious heresy. He states that God is not vengeful, whereas the Bible plainly, repeatedly, and forcefully states that God is vengeful. The Psalmist says that God will “execute vengeance upon the heathen” (Psa. 149:7). The prophets warn of the coming of the “day of the Lord’s vengeance” (Isa. 34:8; Jer. 46:10; Mic. 5:15; Nahum 1:2). It was God’s holy vengeance that fell upon Christ, and it is His vengeance that will fall upon every sinner outside of Christ. The apostle Paul said that Christ will exercise God’s vengeance on all who obey not the gospel (2 Thess. 1:8). One concerned pastor wrote:
“Keith and Kristyn Getty advertise themselves as ‘Modern Hymn Writers’ and are deceiving many into the Rock Genre by this very innocent title and the more conservative Praise Soft Rock music. But the fact is, that they are not modern hymn writers because they are putting out Rock Music which is not spiritual at all but carnal and thereby fulfilling the
desires of the flesh and not the spirit (spiritual part of us yielding to the Holy Spirit).”
The frightful thing is that the average Independent Baptist pastor and the people in charge of music in the typical church don’t have the foggiest idea that they are being manipulated and that they are walking on a BRIDGE that leads to a place they say they are against, which is full blown CCM and its enticing philosophy of “don’t be so strict and uptight; relax; enjoy life; live the grace.” Townend says that God loves electric guitars and drums (“Stuart Townend: The Journey Gets Stronger,” ChristianityToday.com, April 7, 2011). He is referring to electric guitars and drums used to create rock music. This is a presumptuous statement that is not supported by the Bible.
CCM singer Kathy Troccoli (b. 1958) is very popular. She has been nominated five times as the Gospel Music Association female vocalist of the year. Troccoli is a Roman Catholic and an ecumencial bridge builder. She was mentioned in an article in the National Catholic Register in March 8-14, 1998, which stated that she and other Catholic musicians are using their music to “evangelize” evangelical young people into the Catholic faith. In an interview with CCM Magazine in 1997 she said: “But I’d been very judgmental toward the Catholic 296
church for years, and I’ve recently been able to go back to it without having a chip on my shoulder. I now have a much greater capacity for—as the album says—Love and Mercy.” Troccoli preaches an ecumenical, non-judgmental, antifundamentalist philosophy:
“To me it’s very simple: if the world doesn’t see God’s love in us and our love for each other, they’re never going to want what we have. Our dogma and legalism strangle the love of Christ right out of us” (CCM Magazine, June 1997).
This sounds good to many ears, and there is no doubt about the importance of Christian love; but it is impossible to obey the Bible without being deeply concerned about doctrine (“dogma”) and obedience to the details of God’s Word (wrongly characterized as “legalism”). Jude 3 explains that God has given one faith to His people; and that faith, as recorded in the New Testament Scriptures, is to be preserved and fought for until Jesus returns. It is absolutely impossible to obey Jude 3 and be ecumenical and non-judgmental at the same time. The main thing which divides denominations is doctrine. Troccoli’s 1997 album, Love One Another, has an ecumenical theme: “Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for Christ and each other” (Dave Urbanski, “Chatty Kathy,” CCM Magazine, June 1997). The recording of the title song involved 40 CCM artists: Amy Grant, Gary Chapman, Clay Crosse, Sandi Patty, Michael W. Smith, Carman, Tony Vincent, 297
Jonathan Pierce, Mark Lowry, Phillips, Craig and Dean, Aaron and Jeoffrey, Jaci Velasquez, Lisa Bevill, Scott Krippayne, Sarah Masen, Babbie Mason, Sara Jahn, Carolyn Arends, Vestal Goodman, Paul Vann, Billy and Sarah Gaines, Tim Taber, Sarah Hart, Peter Penrose, Janet Paschal, Beverly Crawford, Phil Joel of the Newsboys, Kevin Smith of dc Talk, Tai Anderson of Third Day, plus the members of Out of the Grey, Beyond the Blue, 4 HIM, Christafari, and Audio Adrenaline. Like most CCM songs, this one is owned by a secular corporation. It is copyrighted 1996 by Sony/ATV Songs, Tree Publishing, Pants Down Music, and Radioquest Music Publishing. The song talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division.
“Look around the world today/ There is anger there is hate/ And I know that it grieves His heart/ When His people stand apart/ Cause we’re the only Jesus they will see/ Love one another, and live as one in His name/ Love one another we can tear down walls by His grace” (“Love One Another”).
The broad range of participants who joined Kathy Troccoli in recording “Love One Another” demonstrates the ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music. The song witnessed Catholics, Pentecostals, Baptists, etc., yoked together for Christian unity. The New Testament repeatedly warns of widespread apostasy among those who claim to be Christians, yet the ecumenical movement ignores apostasy and calls for almost unqualified unity among professing Christians. While there is little doubt that God is grieved by some of the divisions among Bible-believing Christians, it is not true that the heart of God is grieved by all divisions 298
within Christianity, because there are divisions He Himself has commanded. He has commanded that His people separate from those who follow doctrinal error. Kathy Troccoli is a national spokesperson for Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship ministry. The worldly, sensual nature of her music is described in a review of one of her albums: “On a first listen, ‘Images’ hits like a great party record. Sequencers stutter and shake; explosive, violent drums syncopate dangerously off the beat; and untamed guitar solos writhe and snake through dense jungles of reverberation” (CCM Magazine, December 1986, p. 32).
Jaci (pronounced Jackie) Velasquez (b. 1979) released her first album, Heavenly Place, in 1996 when she was only 16 years old. It quickly became the fastest-selling debut for a solo musician, produced five No. 1 hits, and won her the Dove Award for New Artist of the Year. The album has sold more than half a million copies. Her singing style is very sensual after the fashion of popular female rock singers such as the Spice Girls. Her songs are filled with breathiness, moaning, sighing, slipping and sliding, and high pitched vocal gymnastics. She also achieved huge crossover success since 1999 as a Latin pop star. Her debut single was the first by a “gospel artist” to make the top of Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks 299
chart. Her video for “Sin Ti No Puedo Vivir” (Without You I Can’t Live) features sexy dancers. Her sensual music and sexy voice and demeanor have garnered wealth and fame. Her picture has graced more than 50 magazine covers and she has reaped advertising dollars from Pepsi, Doritos, Target, and more. She signed a $2 million contract for a line of cosmetics. In a 1999 interview at the Christian Artists Seminary in Estes Park, Colorado, CCM Velasquez said, “I listen to a more of a very, very straight-forward pop-type music … I love the music from pop artists” (“Transcript from the 25th Annual Christian Artists’ Seminar in the Rockies, August 3-4, 1999,” as telecast live from crosswalk.com, http://www.angelfire.com/ms/jacivelasquez/ int080499.html). Her music is typically vague in its message, which facilitates her objective as a crossover artist with one foot in the world. For example, her song “We Can Make a Difference” says: “We can make the world a better place/ We can make the sun shine through the rain.” Jaci cites Amy Grant among her greatest influences (“Personal Information on Jaci Velasquez,” http:// www.ajy.net/jaciv/jacibio.html). “She counts her greatest moment as an artist as her performances at a Billy Graham Crusade” (Ibid.). At such a forum she was yoked together with the most radical type of ecumenism, which includes practically every Protestant denomination, 300
regardless of how liberal and unscriptural, plus Seventhday Adventism and Roman Catholicism. In 1997, Jaci joined Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, a song with an ecumenical theme: “Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for Christ and each other.” The song talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division. The broad range of participants who joined Troccoli in recording “Love One Another” demonstrates the ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music.
See “John Wimber.”
Jo (Joseph) Vogels, author of “The Victory Chant” (otherwise known as “Hail Jesus, You’re My King”), one of the most recorded contemporary worship songs and still on Integrity’s Music’s Top 40, has toured with Kevin Prosch and recorded some of his works. Prosch works closely with the “prophet” Rick Joyner who is promoting the gross heresy of an end-time miracle revival led by apostles which will usher in the return of Christ. (See Kevin Prosch) Vogels’ “influences included Bob Dylan, Sting, Peter Gabriel, and the Beatles” (“Jo Vogels Compendium CD,” CDUniverse.com). 301
Tommy Walker is the worship leader at Christian Assembly in Los Angeles. His popular contemporary worship songs include “He Knows My Name,” “Only A God Like You,” “That’s Why We Praise Him,” “Mourning into Dancing,” “Break Through,” “I Have a Hope,” and “Nearer.” His radical ecumenism is evident in that he has ministered with Promise Keepers, Greg Laurie, Franklin Graham, Jack Hayford, Bill Hybels, and Rick Warren. His worship music is recorded by Maranatha Music, Integrity Music, and Get Down Ministries.
Wimber, John, and the Vineyard Churches
To understand the Contemporary Christian Worship movement, one must know something about the late John Wimber (1934-1997) and the Association of Vineyard Churches. The Vineyard Fellowship of churches, which was led for decades by John Wimber, has had a vast influence on contemporary praise music. Wimber himself, who was the manager of the secular rock group The Righteous Brothers before his conversion, wrote many popular CCM songs, and many of the Vineyard churches are noted for their influential music groups. 302
Wimber conducted “signs and wonders” conferences in various parts of the world, teaching the error that effective evangelism requires the working of miracles. Wimber spread great confusion by allowing for extrabiblical revelation, even while claiming to be committed to Scripture alone. The Promise Keepers movement was founded by men involved in the Vineyard, including founder Bill McCartney. Though Wimber was not Pentecostal, he accepted and popularized many unscriptural Pentecostal-type practices, including “slaying in the Spirit,” “prophecy,” “words of knowledge,” and Pentecostal-style faith healing. Wimber was a radical ecumenist who frequently spoke on the same platform with Roman Catholic priests. In 1986, Wimber joined Catholic priest Tom Forrest and Anglican Michael Harper at the European Festival of Faith, an ecumenical meeting in Birmingham, England. The Festival leaders sent the pope this message: “We are ready to join you in the united evangelism of Europe” (Australian Beacon, March 1988). Wimber actively encouraged the reunification of Protestants with the church of Rome. “During the Vineyard pastors’ conference, he went so far as to ‘apologize’ to the Catholic church on behalf of all Protestants ... He stated that ‘the pope, who by the way is very responsive to the charismatic movement, and is himself a born-again evangelical, is preaching the Gospel as clear as anyone in the world today’” (John Wimber, 303
Church Planting Seminar, audio tapes, 5 volumes, unedited, 1981, cited by Pastor John Goodwin). This radical ecumenism is spread through Vineyard music. The Vintage Vineyard Music series is advertised as “Vineyard’s all-time worship classics THAT CONTINUE TO BE SUNG CROSS-DENOMINATIONALLY IN CHURCHES AROUND THE WORLD.” In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Wimber managed the misnamed rock group “The Righteous Brothers.” He claimed that his Christian conversion occurred in 1962 under the guidance of a Quaker, and by 1970 Wimber was pastoring a mystical-oriented Quaker church. In the mid-1970s, Wimber became affiliated with Fuller Theological Seminary and Fuller professor C. Peter Wagner, a pragmatic church growth guru. In analyzing church planting models, Wagner was more impressed by “success” than with doctrinal purity. If a methodology “works” it allegedly has value, regardless of whether or not it is scriptural. Wagner was also influenced by Wimber’s charismatic mysticism and his “power evangelism” philosophy (that miracles are necessary for the fulfillment of the Great Commission). Wimber applied this same type of pragmatism to the practical side of Christian life and ministry. Though he claimed to care deeply about theology, in practice he focused more on experience and feeling than on doctrine.
The Vineyard Churches originally came out of the Calvary Chapel movement led by Chuck Smith. Kenn Gullikesen, pastor of the Los Angeles Calvary Chapel, emphasized the exercise of “tongues,” prophecy, and healing more than Smith so he changed the name of his church to Vineyard in 1982. John Wimber, pastor of a nearby Calvary Chapel, merged with Gullikesen and after the latter’s departure Wimber became the leader of the new Vineyard association. Wimber founded the Anaheim Vineyard, which became the headquarters of the movement and eventually grew to 6,000 members. Much of the association’s rapid growth came from the transfer of membership from other churches. Of the 850 Vineyard churches, some 35% came over in their totality from another denomination or group (e.g., at least 30 Calvary Chapels became Vineyard churches) and a large percentage of the membership of new Vineyard churches comes from existing churches. Wimber’s Mystical Philosophy True to his Quaker roots, Wimber was not satisfied with a life of faith; he wanted to “feel God.” He wanted to see and feel his Christianity. He said, “God uses our experiences to show us more fully what He teaches us in scripture, many times toppling or altering elements of our theology and world view. If my experience topples my theology, then I am giving more credence to my experience than to theology” (Wimber, Power Evangelism, p. 89).
Wimber always affirmed strongly that he believed the Bible is the final authority for faith and practice, but he undermined that affirmation by constantly exalting experience and by putting down the doctrine-alone a p p r o a c h t o t r u t h . H E WA S A S T U D Y I N CONTRADICTIONS. Wimber warned against “worshipping the book” and mocked those who judge everything strictly by the Bible, saying they have “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Book” (Wimber, as cited by Hank Hanegraaff, Counterfeit Revival, p. 109). On another occasion Wimber warned against being “too rigid” and “too heavily oriented to the written Word” (Ibid.). One would say something like that only if he were attempting to promote things that were not in accordance with the Word of God. The Psalmist said the written Word “is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105). It is impossible to be too strongly oriented toward the Bible! In his healing seminar, Wimber made the following amazing statement, “It’s evil when you hide behind doctrinal beliefs that curtail and control the work of the Spirit. ... The Church today is committing evil in the name of sound doctrine. And they are quenching the work of the Holy Spirit” (Wimber, Healing Seminar Series, cited from Testing the Fruit of the Vineyard by John Goodwin). In 1994, Phillip Johnson visited the Anaheim Vineyard, the church pastored by Wimber, and the congregation 306
was told by one of the Vineyard pastors: “In a moment I’m going to call down the Holy Spirit. Things like you’ve never seen will begin to happen. ... Don’t be alarmed by anything you see ... And above all, don’t try to rationally evaluate the things you will see. ... Subjecting the revival to doctrinal tests is the surest way to put out the fire” (Phillip R. Johnson, “My Visit to the Anaheim Vineyard,” 1995, www.gty.org:80/~phil/ articles/laught.htm). At the same meeting a woman church staff member led in public prayer with these frightful words: “We refuse to critique with our minds the work that You want to do in our hearts. We refuse to subject Your work to our little doctrinal tests.” This is the same philosophy that has produced the popular charismatic saying, “Don’t put God in a box.” If the “box” referred to is human tradition, that saying is true; but more often than not, the “box” refers even to the Bible. Such a mindset leaves one open to spiritual delusion. If the Holy Spirit operates contrary to the Scripture in any sense whatsoever, there is no way to discern between the true Spirit and the false. This subtle undermining of biblical authority is one reason why strange and unscriptural things such as spirit slaying, spiritual drunkenness, “holy laughter,” and imperfect prophesying have been accepted in the Vineyard movement.
It is the natural desire of every child of God, of course, to “experience” the Lord and His Word as possible within the bounds of Scripture, but if our experiences are not subjected to the Bible they can lead to all sorts of error and spiritual delusion. We desire to see and feel God’s presence, but God has ordained that this present life is a life of faith, and faith that is sight (or feeling or experience) is not faith (Rom. 8:24). Genuine Bible faith is the evidence of “things NOT seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The Lord Jesus Christ pronounced a blessing upon those who simply believe God’s Word without the advantage of sight (John 20:29). By encouraging his followers to seek and expect signs and wonders, by downplaying doctrinal restraints, by promoting the idea of extra-biblical revelation through dreams and prophesies, through his promotion of sensual concepts of worship, and by his mystical approach to the Christian life, John Wimber prepared fertile soil for aberrant movements such as Rodney Howard-Browne’s “spirit of drunkenness” and Paul Cain’s soothsaying. An Unscriptural Emphasis on Miracles Shortly after Wimber became a Christian, he became a voracious Bible reader. The Scriptures excited him. Finally, after weeks of reading about life-transforming miracles in the Bible and attending boring church services, John asked one of the lay leaders, “When do we get to do the stuff?”
“What stuff?” asked the leader. “You know, the stuff here in the Bible,” said John. “You know, like stuff Jesus did-raising people from the dead, healing the blind and the paralyzed. You know, that stuff.” “Well, we don’t do that anymore,” the man said. “You don’t? Well what do you do?” asked John. “What we did this morning,” replied the man. In frustration, John responded: “For that I gave up drugs?” Wimber should have heeded Jesus’ warning in Matthew 16:4, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign,” but his itch for “doing the stuff” only intensified as he grew older, even though he was never successful at it. Wimber taught an influential course on “Signs, Wonders, and Church Growth” at Fuller Seminary in the early 1980s. Later he traveled to many parts of the world with his “signs and wonders” crusades, promoting his doctrine that the Christian life and ministry should be accompanied by experiential miracles to be authentic and that miracles produce faith and make evangelism effective. In his popular books Power Evangelism and Power Healing, Wimber promoted this thinking: “Clearly the early Christians had an openness to the power of the Spirit, which resulted in signs and wonders and church growth. If we want to be like the early church, we too 309
need to open to the Holy Spirit’s power” (Wimber, Power Evangelism, p. 31). In reality, kingdom power and the manifestation of the sons of God in glory will be enjoyed when Christ returns, and we who live in this present world must patiently wait for those events . Romans 8:23-25 is very clear about this. Timothy was told that the kingdom will come when the King returns (2 Timothy 4:1-2). Paul taught the new believers that they will enter into the kingdom after the tribulation of this present time (Acts 14:22). Miracles do not produce faith; genuine faith only comes through the Scripture. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Multitudes who observed Christ’s truly mighty miracles-miracles that John Wimber was never able to do--did not believe in Him as the Messiah. This carnal enthusiasm for the miraculous is the atmosphere that has produced every variety of strange and unscriptural thing. It was the soil from which the strange “revival” sprang up in the 1990s. It appeared in May 1993 at Carpenter’s Home Church in Lakeland, Florida, where Pentecostal evangelist Rodney HowardBrowne called himself “the Holy Ghost Bartender” and people laughed hysterically and uncontrollably and staggered around like drunks. It appeared in June 1993 at the Brownsville Assembly in Pensacola, Florida, where the pastor lay in a drunken stupor on the church platform for four hours and was so “drunk in the spirit” at times that he had to be carried out of the church in a 310
wheelbarrow and when he tried to drive his car he ran into things. It appeared again in 1994 at the Airport Church in Toronto, Ontario, where people not only laughed and got drunk but also barked like dogs and roared like lions. I heard Wimber speak at the North American Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelization, in August 1990, in Indianapolis. He said: “After God has given you his Son, why would he withhold healing from you? … Up in heaven the angels rejoice when they see the servants of God on earth doing the deeds of the Son and ministering in the power of the kingdom. … I believe right now that the Lord is releasing healing angels among us and that they are here to minister on his behalf…” In spite of such claims, Wimber’s healing success was no better than that of any Bible-believing pastor who prays for his people. Five Christian medical doctors attended a Wimber healing crusade in Leeds, England, and concluded: “We saw no change that suggested any healing of organic, physical disease” (Dr. Verna Wright, “A Medical View of Miraculous Healing,” chapter 11 of Peter Masters, The Healing Epidemic, 1988, p. 213; Wright is Chief of Rheumatology at Leeds University). During the Leeds crusade, a girl with deep psychiatric problems who fell down screaming and was pronounced healed had to be committed to a psychiatric hospital three months later.
When questioned about his healing ministry in Australia in March 1990, Wimber admitted that not all diseases are equally responsive to his “healing ministry.” He said that he had a high success rate for headaches and back aches but that of the 200 Down Syndrome children he had prayed over none had been healed (Phillip D. Jensen, “John Wimber Changes His Mind!” The Protestant Review, July 1990). In other words, John Wimber could “heal” sicknesses that cannot be seen and that can be “healed” just as successfully by hypnotists and shamans and Christian Science practitioners, but he could not heal organic diseases. Therefore, he definitely did not operate in “the stuff”--the manifest healing power--exercised by Jesus Christ in the Gospels and by the apostles in the book of Acts. What Wimber tragically failed to understand is that Christ and the apostles did not perform miracles as examples for us to imitate. Christ performed miracles to authenticate His Messiahship (John 5:26; 10:25, 37-38; 14:11; 15:24; 20:30-31) and the apostles performed miracles to authenticate their apostleship (Mark 3:14-15; 2 Corinthians 12:12). If all believers could perform such miracles, they would be rendered ineffective as authenticating signs. (For more on this see The Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements, which is available in print and eBook formats from Way of Life Literature.) Extra-Biblical Revelation In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, Wimber accepted the Kansas City Fellowship of prophets and promoted the 312
ministry of “prophets” throughout the Vineyard movement. Mike Bickle, Paul Cain, and Bob Jones (not the Bob Jones who founded Bob Jones University in Greenville, North Carolina, or any of his sons) were three of the “prophets.” The tapes of “prophecies” were sold through the Vineyard International publications catalog in spite of the fact that these “prophets” admit that they make mistakes! They claim that one has to learn how to prophesy just as one has to learn how to study the Bible or to witness, which is patently ridiculous in that prophecy is a supernatural ministry. Paul Cain and Bob Jones have since had serious “moral failures.” It was discovered that Cain is a homosexual and alcoholic. Cain’s 2008 prophecy that Todd Bentley was a purehearted man and the head of the New Breed Manifest Sons of God who would lead the worldwide end-time miracle revival turned out to be bogus when Bentley was exposed as an adulterer who was even then carrying on an affair with a ministry worker. Many Vineyard churches have been caught up in this. James Ryle, pastor of the Vineyard church in Boulder, Colorado, has written books explaining how Christians can learn to interpret the alleged revelations they receive through dreams and visions and the experiences of life. Ryle was influential in the founding of Promise Keepers and was on PK’s board of directors. Promise Keepers’ leader Bill McCartney was a member of Ryle’s church. In his books, Ryle describes alleged prophecies he received pertaining to McCartney and his college football team, and it was these “prophecies” which impressed McCartney that Ryle was a man of God. Ryle taught 313
McCartney to believe in his inner urgings and visionary goals, and this was instrumental in his boldness to start an international men’s movement even though he is in no sense qualified to lead a Christian movement which has a goal of building strong families and strengthening pastors. His testimony of salvation is unclear; spiritually he is extremely weak; he had a miserable family life (even after founding PK); and his understanding of Bible doctrine is grossly lacking. Based upon the Bible alone, it would be plain that McCartney is not the man for such a job (even if Promise Keepers was a scriptural organization, which it is not), but Vineyard churches simply do not follow the Bible alone (though they profess to). Sensual Worship Styles Instead of rejecting the music through which he served the flesh and the devil prior to his conversion, Wimber merely changed the words and incorporated the same carnal rock music for the worship of the holy Lord Jesus Christ. Worship services, in Vineyard practice, are occasions during which a congregation comes under the power of rock music and gives itself over to this power. A typical Vineyard music group is built around the same components one finds in a secular rock group: drums, bass guitar, lead guitar, electronic keyboard. The makeup of such a music group is overwhelmingly tilted to the backbeat. It is all about sensual off rhythm. Not only are the same music components used, but the same styles are 314
also used. Repetition, a big part of secular rock, is also used in the Vineyard worship experience. It is not uncommon for one song or even one simple stanza to be sung over and over, creating a hypnotic environment. This worship-equals-rock-music phenomenon has swept through much of the Pentecostal-Charismatic world. Pentecostalism has always been in love with jazzy music, but it has become even worldlier in recent decades. I have attended many large conferences and smaller meetings in various parts of the world, and the rock and roll worship has always been present. The music is sensual, fleshly. It appeals to the body. It does not create a holy atmosphere, an atmosphere separate from this present wicked world, wherein the holy God of the Bible can be worshipped in spirit and truth. It encourages dancing but not spiritual conviction. It creates a carnal, mystical atmosphere whereby the flesh exhibits itself and demonic delusions are easily promoted. The music used to create the sensual, immoral atmosphere of a bar or nightclub cannot be sanctified unto the Lord. The attempt to do so is a great spiritual blindness and delusion. After nearly 40 years of prayer and Bible study and meditation on this topic, I am more than ever convinced that Contemporary Christian Music is one of the devil’s chief tools for building the end-time apostate Christianity. Wimber’s Vineyard churches have been in the forefront of spreading rock music throughout the world and into every denomination. This music and the sensual “worship” experience associated with it create an atmosphere in which error such as “the drunken spirit” or 315
“spirit slaying” and “unintelligible mutterings” and “holy laughter” and “holy shaking” can easily arise. It also creates an environment in which heresy is not critically evaluated and thus is allowed to spread. Vineyard music has gone around the world. I have encountered it on my travels to England, Ireland, Singapore, Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and other places. I obtained a Vineyard tape that was produced in India and was sold in a bookstore in Kathmandu, Nepal. One of the themes of the Vineyard music is ecumenical unity. Vineyard worship leader David Ruis’ song “Break Dividing Walls” is an example. It says, “We will break dividing walls; we will be one. We will break dividing walls between the Baptist and the Methodist, between the Episcopalian and the Presbyterian, between the Pentecostal and the Charismatic; the walls are coming down between all denominations.” Wimber’s Radical Ecumenism John Wimber led the way in bringing the ecumenical philosophy into the Vineyard churches. In his zeal for finding “signs and wonders” in church history after the days of the apostles, Wimber praised the Roman Catholic Church for believing in miracles and did not warn that these “miracles” are scripturally bogus and are performed in the context of a false gospel. In his book Power Evangelism: Signs and Wonders Today (1995), Wimber mentioned the following Catholic 316
“saints” in a positive light: Pope Gregory the Great, St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. Benedict, and Ignatius of Loyola. He did not give any warning about the false faith-works gospel preached by these “saints” that has sent multitudes to hell, and he did not cast any doubt upon the wild-eyed mythical aspects of the Catholic stories that surround these individuals. ST. BENEDICT OF NURSIA (c. 480-547), called the “father of the Western monks,” was one of the founders of Catholic monasticism with its unscriptural and unholy doctrine that “celibacy” is holier than marriage. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia Benedict performed miracles, delivered prophecies, and even astral projected his spirit so that he accompanied the monks on their journeys. His first miracle was alleged to have been the “healing” of an earthenware sieve that his nurse had broken. It is said that on one occasion when some monks tried to poison Benedict the cup “miraculously shattered as he made the sign of the cross over the vessel prior to raising it to his lips.” Pope Urban VIII said that Benedict “merited while still in this mortal life, to see God Himself and in God all that is below him.” All of this is unscriptural nonsense, and anyone that exalts “St. Benedict” as an example of continuing “signs and wonders” in the churches after the days of the apostles needs his head examined. GREGORY THE GREAT (A.D. 590-604) was “the first of the proper popes” and with him begins “the development of the absolute papacy” (Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, I, p. 15). He solidified 317
this unscriptural and blasphemous office, which claims to be the head of all churches of the world. It was Gregory who established the Papal States upon the dying carcass of the old Roman Empire, replacing secular Rome with ecclesiastical Rome and hastening the “christianization of paganism.” ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI (1181-1226) was the founder of the Franciscan Order. Born to the family of a wealthy nobleman, Francis allegedly heard a voice when in his 20s telling him to repair a ruined church. Absconding with a load of colored drapery from his father’s shop, he sold it for gold and tried to give it to the church. After that he told his father that he was no longer under his jurisdiction since he had devoted himself to God. He dedicated himself to “celibacy” and married “Lady Poverty.” His “friars” took vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity, and traveled two-by-two preaching and begging. The Catholic Encyclopedia says Francis saw a vision of the seraph angels and received “the stigmata” or visible wounds of Jesus in his own body. Many stories are told in Catholic literature of Francis’ strange relationship with animals. On one occasion he pleaded with the people of a village to feed a wolf that had ravished their sheep, calling him “Brother Wolf.” On another he preached to his “little brethren the birds.” Francis received the blessing of Pope Innocent III, the founder of the brutal Inquisition. The Franciscans and the Dominicans were appointed by one of Innocent’s successors, Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241), at the head of the Inquisition, with papal authority to destroy Biblebelieving Christians wherever they were found. They did 318
a good job of it for half a millennium, developing a massive spy network (all citizens from ages 12 to 14 and older throughout Catholic territories were sworn as spies of the Inquisition and were required to reveal all offenders), capturing and imprisoning and impoverishing and torturing and burning men and women whose only crime was refusing to bow to the Pope’s false doctrine. ST. DOMINIC (1170-1221) was the founder of the Dominican Order of Preachers and they were at the very cutting edge of the terrible Inquisition. One of the missions Dominic set for his order was “the extinction of heresy.” The unscriptural and blasphemous “devotion of the Rosary” is usually attributed to Dominic. The practice of the Rosary involves saying prayers to Mary that can legitimately be addressed to Almighty God alone. The Dominicans wrecked havoc on the Albigensians and the Waldensians and the Anabaptists and the Lollards and anyone else that refused to bow to the pope. The blood-thirst of the Dominicans earned for them the stigma of ‘Domini Canes,’ or the ‘Lord’s Dogs’” (Thomas Armitage, A History of the Baptists, I, pp. 311-112). It was the Dominicans who were at the forefront of the attempt to stop the translation of the Bible into common languages. The Dominicans headquartered at the Blackfriars’ monastery in London (so named because of the black robes worn by the Dominican friars) called a Synod against Bible translator John Wycliffe in England and made every effort to stop Wycliffe’s preaching and translation work. Failing in this, countless copies of the Wycliffe Scriptures were 319
confiscated and burned and hundreds of those who read them were likewise burned. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA was the co-founder of the Jesuits or The Society of Jesus, which was established on September 27, 1540, by Pope Paul III and was a major part of the brutal Counter Reformation. Loyola’s Jesuits took a vow of complete, unquestioning submission to the pope and to the superiors of their order. “…let every one persuade himself that he who lives under obedience should be moved and directed, under Divine Providence, by his superior, JUST AS IF HE WERE A CORPSE, which allows itself to be moved and led in any direction.” The Jesuits plotted, and often succeeded in, the violent overthrow of governments and the assassination of kings that did not please the popes. They preached a sacramental gospel that adds the necessity of works and sacraments to the grace of Christ. Loyola is buried in Gesu Church, the headquarters of the Jesuits in Rome, and there is a massive monument to him on the left side of the church. On the right lower side of the monument is the marble statue “THE TRIUMPH OF THE FAITH OVER HERESY” by Pietro Le Gros. It depicts Mary holding a large crucifix and violently casting Luther and John Huss out of Heaven. A little winged angel off to the side is gleefully tearing pages from a book with another book waiting its turn for destruction. The books are the writings of the Reformers and their vernacular Bible translations, which were also condemned and burned by Rome.
For John Wimber to promote men such as these as alleged godly workers of signs and wonders is inexcusable folly. In his book Power Evangelism Wimber also said that many healings have taken place at the Roman Catholic pilgrimage site of Lourdes. “Lourdes, in France, had religious events which gave birth to the phenomena which have occurred there. ... Between 1918 and 1956, 216 cases of miracles were recorded” (Wimber, Power Evangelism, p. 165). Wimber fails to warn his readers that these alleged miracles were done in the name of Rome’s demonic “ever virgin, immaculate, Queen of Heaven” Mary. “Wimber’s wife Carol was raised in the Roman Catholic Church. Wimber states that after having separated for awhile over marriage difficulties, he and Carol were remarried in the Catholic Church (Power Evangelism, Signs and Wonders Today, p. 15). Wimber doesn’t say they renewed their marriage vows; he says they were remarried, as if they had never been married before stating their vows before a Catholic priest. Neither John nor Carol have renounced their Roman Catholic experiences” (Al Dager, John Wimber and the Vineyard, Media Spotlight, Redmond, Washington). Wimber often recommended the ministries of Roman Catholic priests Michael Scanlan and Francis McNutt. He frequently spoke on the same platform with Catholic priests and apparently had no serious problem with their doctrine. As we have seen, in 1986 Wimber joined 321
Catholic priest Tom Forrest and Anglican Michael Harper at the European Festival of Faith, an ecumenical meeting in Birmingham, England. The Festival leaders and the 8,000 participants sent the Pope of Rome a message: “We are ready to join you in the united evangelism of Europe” (Australian Beacon, March 1988). Wimber was a featured speaker at the North American Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelization in Indianapolis, August 1990. In that forum, he joined hands with roughly 12,000 Roman Catholics, including countless priests and nuns. A Catholic mass was held every morning. Priest Tom Forrest brought the closing message. In an afternoon message Forrest told of how he “evangelized” by walking through Rome and praying a decade of the Rosary for those he passed. In that same meeting I heard Forrest say that he thanks God for purgatory, because he knows that purgatory is the only way he can go to Heaven. It is obvious that this “charismatic Catholic” doesn’t believe in the sufficiency of the blood of Jesus Christ, yet Wimber was at home in the midst of such apostasy. In October 1991, the John Wimber conference in Sydney, Australia, featured Catholic priests Tom Forrest and Raniero Cantalamessa, as well as Catholic layman Kevin Ranaghan. Cantalamessa was the papal preacher at the Vatican. Ranaghan claims that the Roman Catholic Church alone contains the fullness of God and truth and that the pope is the infallible head of all churches. In 322
spite of their wretched heresies, these men were promoted by Wimber as Spirit-filled men of God.
“In a news clipping recently received from New Zealand, John Wimber described the Pope’s intention to call a decade of world evangelization as ‘one of the greatest things that has ever happened in the history of the Church. ... I am thrilled with the Pope and glad that he is calling the Church to this goal, to this work.’ The report said that Wimber had been told informally that the Vatican had shown ‘a real interest’ in using Vineyard Ministries International’s concepts for the decade of evangelization ‘and possibly even myself to help train priests who will be used as trainers in the program worldwide’” (“Off to Rome with Wimber,” New Age Bulletin, June 1988).
The following witness to Wimber’s extreme ecumenism is given by Pastor John Goodwin, who formerly was with the Vineyard movement. This is from “Testing the Fruit of the Vineyard” -“Wimber’s extra-biblical forays also lead him to accept practices which the Church has rejected as unbiblical for centuries, such as the use of relics (human remains and objects they’ve touched): ‘In the Catholic church for over a 1,200 year period people were healed as a result of touching the relics of the saints. We Protestants have difficulty with that ... but we healers shouldn’t, because there’s nothing theologically out of line with that’ (John Wimber, Church Planting Seminar). ... Wimber is not only open to Roman Catholic doctrine but actively encourages the reunification of Protestants with the church of Rome. During the Vineyard pastors’ conference, he went so far as to ‘apologize’ to the Catholic church on behalf of all Protestants ... He stated that ‘the pope, who by the way is very responsive to the Charismatic movement, and is himself a born-again Evangelical, is preaching the
gospel as clear as anyone in the world today’” (John Wimber, Church Planting Seminar, audio tapes, 5 volumes, unedited, 1981).
Wimber wholeheartedly recommended the writings of Jesuit priests Dennis and Matthew Linn. He wrote: “Father Dennis and Matthew Linn are Jesuit priests who have written books which deal with physical, psychological and spiritual wholeness. They are highly trained in psychology and combine the best insights in this field with theological understanding, shaped by charismatic experience” (Abraham Friesen, quoted by Albert James Dager, Latter-Day Prophets: The Kansas City Connection, Part V). In reality, the Linns are guilty of piling heresies upon heresies. Wimber and the New Prophets In the early 1990s, John Wimber swallowed the charismatic new prophecy movement “hook, line, and sinker.” He was given personal prophecies by Paul Cain and others and was impressed that they knew some of the secrets of his life. (This is actually soothsaying.) These men were associated with Mike Bickel’s Kansas City Fellowship (KFC), and as a result Wimber actually brought the KCF into his own Vineyard Ministries. This is in spite of the fact that these “prophets” admit that they are fallible and that much of the time their prophecies are wrong. One of them, Bob Jones, said they are only right 65% of the time! This flies in the fact of the Bible’s plain warning in Deuteronomy 18:20-22. Since then Paul Cain was exposed for alcoholism and homosexuality and Bob Jones was removed from ministry for “sexual misconduct 324
(“Minister removed after confession of sexual misconduct,” Olathe Daily News, November 30, 1991). These “new prophets” all revere William Branham and claim that they are building on the foundation that he and other Pentecostal healing prophets built in the 1950s, but Branham was both a heretic who denounced the Trinity and a false prophet who said that 1977 would “terminate the world systems and usher in the millennium” (An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages). Vineyard Worship Music I consider the Vineyard Worship Music the most sensually enticing of all of the contemporary worship music. It is very powerful, addicting rock & roll. A Visit to the Vineyard Church, Anaheim, California On August 31, 2003, I attended the Sunday morning service of the Anaheim Vineyard for research. The dress was casual in the extreme, the people dressing as they would for a sporting event. Shorts were the rule. The service was divided into four segments: praise and worship, prophecy, sermon, and “personal ministry.” The praise and worship segment was led by a large rock style band consisting of a drummer, three or four guitars, a piano, a keyboardist (who also played saxophone and a wind midi), and several singers. A large percentage of the people participated enthusiastically in the worship service, letting themselves be carried along by the 325
sensual music, many lifting up their hands, some kneeling, most swaying to the music, some dancing. During the prophecy segment, a few people, both men and women, gave personal prophecies or led out in a song. One prophecy boldly proclaimed, “The time will come when the taverns and the malls will be places of worship.” This is a prophecy that has often been made by those who believe that the coming of Christ will be preceded by a great spiritual revival characterized by the redeeming of large segments of society accompanied by signs and wonders. Many of the prophets who have been associated with the Vineyard, such as Paul Cain and Mike Bickle, have made such prophecies, but the decades have rolled by and they remain unfulfilled, with apostasy rather than revival the predominant theme in society throughout the globe. The message was on contemplative prayer and it was deeply influenced by Roman Catholic spirituality. The speaker, who was a pastor emeritus in a Vineyard church, described four types of prayer: crisis prayer, evangelical prayer, “Come, Holy Spirit” prayer (calling upon the Holy Spirit to demonstrate “kingdom power”), and contemplative prayer. It was all about feeling and experience. He described the latter as “gazing at length on something” and as “coming into the presence of God and resting in the presence of God.” He described contemplative prayer as lying back and floating “in the river of God’s peace.” The speaker described sitting on a couch “in the manifest presence of Jesus.” He quoted St. John of the Cross, “It is in SILENCE that we hear him.” 326
The Vineyard speaker recommended the writings of the late Thomas Merton (a Catholic priest who converted from the Anglican Church), who wrote a book on contemplative prayer and whose voice is extremely influential in the “centering prayer” movement. Merton spent the last 27 years of his life in a Trappist monastery devoted to Mary where silence is the rule (Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky), and he promoted the integration of pagan practices such as Zen Buddhism and Christianity. The titles of some of his books were “Zen and the Birds of the Appetite,” “The Way of Chuang Tzu,” and “Mystics and the Zen Masters.” For three years, Merton lived as a complete hermit. The Vineyard speaker described personal revelations that he has allegedly received from God. He claimed that on one occasion Jesus said to him, “Come away, my beloved,” which he obeyed by staying in a Catholic monastery. He mentioned at least two occasions in which he has spent time in monasteries. The speaker claimed that there are five benefits from contemplative prayer: (1) An abiding sense of peace, (2) prophetic revelation, (3) love that is felt, (4) personal transformation, and (5) power ministry. He used several Catholic “saints” as examples of the benefit of contemplative prayer, and there was no warning whatsoever about their false gospel, their blasphemous prayers to Mary, or any other error. In fact, he recommended that his listeners “read the lives of the saints.” He mentioned St. Catherine of Siena and said 327
that Christ appeared to her and placed a ring on her finger signifying her marriage to Him. He claimed that Catherine experienced the benefit of contemplative prayer by being able to exercise supernatural healing. He mentioned “St. Anthony,” one of the fathers of the deeply unscriptural Catholic monasticism. Anthony spent 20 years in isolation, and after that, according to the Vineyard pastor, the “saint’s” ministry was characterized by “signs and wonders.” The growing emphasis on Catholic spirituality in evangelical and charismatic circles is dangerous in the extreme, but it is the outgrowth of the ecumenical philosophy which has torn down the walls of separation between many Protestants and Baptists and the Roman Catholic Church. After the sermon, the Vineyard speaker gave an invitation for the people to come forward to receive personal ministry by the workers. He first led the congregation in repeating silently to themselves, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” He said, “Receive his presence that is coming upon you.” He said, “Holy Spirit, I pray for your merciful presence to rest on each of us.” The people were urged to pray, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner,” but the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ was never given. There was no explanation of why sinners can receive mercy or what sin is or what it means to receive mercy. Nothing was clarified; all was vague spirituality. A visiting Roman Catholic would have interpreted the invitation within the context of his sacramental gospel and would doubtless 328
have “received Jesus” again just as he has been taught to do repeatedly, but without coming to the once-for-all confidence and surety of biblical salvation. Many people went forward, but I did not observe the traditional charismatic phenomena such as spirit slaying and shaking. Those were typical at the Anaheim Vineyard in the 1990s, but it appears that such things are no longer the norm for regular Sunday services. There weren’t any signs and certainly no wonders that day. For more about Wimber and the Vineyard see “David Ruis” in this Directory.
Zschech, Darlene, and Hillsong
Darlene Zschech (pronounced check) is a prominent voice in the Contemporary Worship movement. For 25 years she was “worship pastor” at Hills Christian Life Centre, Sydney, Australia, and has published many popular worship albums under the Hillsong Music label. She is also associated with Integrity Music and the Hosanna label. In 2010, Darlene and her husband became the senior pastors of Church Unlimited, another Pentecostal church in Australia, but she continues to be involved in music projects with Hillsong. The co-pastors of Hills Christian Life Centre, under whom Zschech ministered, are Brian Houston and his wife, Bobbie. The church features a large rock band with five back-up singers and a Word-Faith prosperity message. In 2002, the church took in $10 million in tithes 329
alone, not to speak of the sale of music and materials. Brian Houston’s book “You Need More Money” teaches the way to prosperity through giving and “kingdom living.” Houston says, “If you believe in Jesus, He will reward you here as well [as in Heaven]” (“The Lord's Profits,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 30, 2003). His wife and co-pastor Bobbie published a tape set entitled “Kingdom Women Love Sex,” which doubtless was a top seller. (When I inquired about it at the Hills Christian Life Centre bookstore in October 2004, I learned that the name had been changed to “Kingdom Women Love & Value Their Sexuality.”) When asked by a Sydney Morning Herald reporter why the church is so successful, Brian Houston replied, “We are scratching people where they are itching” (“The Lord's Profits,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 30, 2003). That is right out of 2 Timothy 4:3, which is a warning of apostasy. It describes people who itch for a new kind of Christianity and heaps of preachers who will scratch this illicit itch. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” Zschech’s song “Shout to the Lord” is used widely in contemporary worship circles. The album by that title remained No. 1 on “praise and worship charts” for over 30 weeks. It won Song of the Year at the Dove Awards in 1998. It has been estimated that it is sung by 30 million Christians around the world, and it has been sung even at fundamental Baptist churches. 330
One of Zschech’s themes is the importance of ecumenical unity. For example, she makes the following comment about the album “You Shine”: “There is a new sound and a new song being proclaimed across the earth. It’s the sound of a unified church, coming together, in one voice to magnify our magnificent Lord” (from the album cover). She gives no warning about the fact that vast numbers of churches are apostate and that the Bible says that unity apart from doctrinal purity is wrong. The New Testament warns repeatedly that the end of the church age will be characterized by apostasy and spiritual confusion rather than faithfulness to the truth (i.e. Mat. 24:3-4, 11, 24; 1 Tim. 4:1-5; 2 Tim. 3:13; 4:3-4; 2 Pet. 2:1; Jude 3-4). That is precisely what we see when we look at Christianity today. Yet, the authors of contemporary praise music typically give no warning about apostasy. In an interview with Christian Leader magazine, MarchApril 2002, Zschech said she had a vision about the importance of unity:
Q. What do you envision for the future of the contemporary worship movement? Zschech: You know, I had this vision a few years ago of how God saw the worshippers and worship leaders, linked arm and arm – the “musos,” the production personnel and everybody that is involved in the worship of God. There were no celebrities out in front. We were all together in the line just walking together. It was how I imagined God’s heart for what we are doing. We were all in line, and we were slow,
but we were all walking around and we weren’t leaving anyone behind. We were taking everyone with us. But then I saw a picture of what it is like now, and although we were arm in arm, there was a struggle going on. People were running forward in pride while others were shrinking back out of insecurity. There was very little movement because of disunity. I think that means we’ve got to become strong people so that we can stand strong together. God says he will bless us, and when God says “blessing” it’s an out-of-control blessing, but that only comes when we are bound together.
This is a vision of her own heart, because it is contrary to the Scriptures. The New Testament nowhere says that God’s blessing is out of control or that it only comes when professing Christians are “bound together.” To the contrary, the Bible says God’s blessing is always under control, always orderly, never confused. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Cor. 14:33). “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:39). Paul instructed Timothy to allow “no other doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:3). That is an extremely “narrow” and very strict approach to doctrinal purity, but it is the Word of God and we are to follow it until Christ returns. This strict biblical attitude about doctrine is 180 degrees contrary to the philosophy of the movers and shakers of the contemporary praise movement. They teach that the Holy Spirit cannot be “put in a box,” meaning we cannot be sure how He will act and that He might create disorder and confusion. They teach, in practice, that doctrine is less important than unity. They teach that women can be 332
leaders. These things are in open and direct rebellion to God’s Word. Zschech participated in Harvest ’03 in Newcastle, NSW. The ecumenical rock concert, which featured U.S.-based evangelist Greg Laurie of Harvest Ministries, brought together a hodgepodge of churches, including Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, Anglican, Seventh-day Adventist, Church of Christ, and Roman Catholic (“Hunter Harvest -- Rock Evangelism,” http:// members.ozemail.com.au/~rseaborn/ rock_evangelism.html). A participating Assemblies of God pastor stated, “THE BRIDGE BUILDING GOING ON BETWEEN CHURCHES HAS BEEN AWESOME.” In reality, it was spiritual confusion and gross disobedience to the Holy Scriptures (i.e., Mat. 7:15; Rom. 16:17; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Tim. 2:16-17; 3:5; 4:3-4; etc.). The Word of God commands us to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3), yet the aforementioned denominations hold dozens of heretical doctrines that are contrary to that faith, including the false gospels of baptismal regeneration and sacramentalism, both of which are under God’s curse in Galatians 1. In a 2004 interview with Christianity Today, Zschech expressed her radical ecumenical philosophy: “I’ve been in the Catholic Church, in the United Church, the Anglican Church, and in many other churches, and when worship is offered in truth, this sound emerges-regardless of the style. It’s the sound of the human heart connecting 333
with its Maker” (quoted by Michael Herman, “Zschech, Please,” christianitytoday.com, June 4, 2004). She doesn’t explain how worship can be “in truth” in the context of an ecumenical unity among denominations that teach doctrinal error. Zschech and Hillsong performed for the Roman Catholic World Youth Day in Sydney on July 18, 2008. Pope Benedict XVI was present and conducted a papal mass on the last day of the extravaganza. The mass is a supposed continuation of Christ’s sacrifice. The consecrated host is said by Rome to become Christ Himself and is worshiped as such when placed in the monstrance and eventually in its own little tabernacle. Hillsong, led by Darlene Zschech, performed after the Stations of the Cross. The 14 Stations allegedly depict Christ’s trial and crucifixion; but--beyond the fact that this is not faith but sight and the pictures of Jesus are fictional and are forbidden by Scripture--several of the Stations are purely legendary. Jesus supposedly falls down three times, meets Mary on the way to the cross, has His face wiped by a woman named Veronica, and is taken down from the cross and laid in Mary’s arms. None of this is supported by Scripture. The pope promised a plenary indulgence to anyone who participated in World Youth Day. This is the forgiveness of the temporal penalty (referring to a penalty owed either on earth or in purgatory) due for certain sins. It is the same vile heresy that Martin Luther protested 500 years ago.
Phil Dooley, youth leader at Hillsong, had only positive comments when interviewed in regard to the Catholic World Youth Day. Dooley was interviewed by The World Today, a news program aired daily on the Australian Broadcasting Network, when it was announced that the pope was scheduled to attend the event. Dooley said: “I think anything that is encouraging young people in their spirituality, and I suppose putting Jesus up there in our state and in our city is a positive thing. Look, I think just generally in church life you’ve got to be relevant to each generation, and I think any church is understanding that if we want to … if our message is going to be accepted by the new generation then we’ve got to relate to them in a way that they understand” (“Catholic Youth to Congregate in Sydney for 2008 Festival,” The World Today, Aug. 22, 2005). It is unconscionable to have such an opportunity and not use it to warn that the Roman Catholic Church preaches a false gospel. John warned: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 10-11). To pretend that the Roman Catholic Church’s “spirituality” is acceptable before God and that its Jesus is the Jesus of the Bible is to be partaker of its evil deeds. There is also the false Pentecostal latter rain theology in some of the Hillsong music.
“I believe the promise about the visions and the dreams/ That the Holy Spirit will be poured out/ And His power will be seen/ Well the time is now/ The place is here/ And His people have come in faith/ There’s a mighty sound/ And a touch of fire/ When
we’ve gathered in one place” (“I Believe the Presence” from Shout to the Lord).
The lyrics to Zschech’s “Holy Spirit Rain Down” begin: “Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down/ Oh, Comforter and Friend/ How we need Your touch again/ Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down.” Where in Scripture are we instructed to pray to the Holy Spirit? To the contrary, the Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray to the Father (Mat. 6:9). The charismatic movement is not in submission to the Word of God and does not care one way or the other that there is no Scriptural support for this type of prayer. In an interview with CCM.com in October 2003 (“20 Things You Probably Don’t Know about Darlene Zschech” by Christa Farris), Zschech said that she is “a bit of a hippie at heart” and described herself as “hopelessly devoted” to rock star Olivia Newton-John. She said that her favorite movie is “anything with Julia Roberts in it.” (Roberts became a super star by playing the role of a prostitute in “Pretty Woman.”) Zschech said the three people she would most like to meet are Billy Graham, Bono of the rock band U2, and Mother Teresa. She said that her teenage daughter’s favorite music includes the secular rock band Coldplay. The band’s song “We Never Change” has the lyrics “Oh I don't have a soul to save, Yes, and I sin every single day...” In one of her books Zschech said: “I once watched Sting in concert (he was absolutely incredible!). So much gift for one human being! Thoughts raced through my head, ‘My goodness, Sting, you are like king David, full of psalms, melodies and music, and you sing as if you don’t 336
even know that His hand is upon you. You are so close to the heart of God. You are a master poet, full of love, and your capabilities are not because of your own natural abilities, you have tapped into the source of your Creator’” (Zschech, The Kiss of Heaven, 2003). To liken a filthy rock singer to the “sweet Psalmist of Israel” or to say that a rock singer has tapped into the source of his Creator is pure nonsense. The Bible says the devil is the god of this world and the unsaved walk not according to the God of the Bible but “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). Instead of telling her readers that she went to a String concert and loved it and leaving them with the idea that it is fine for a born again child of God to attend filthy rock concerts, she should have repented and apologized for disobeying God’s Word, which says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). This is yet another example of what we have often warned about, that Contemporary Christian Music is a bridge to the world. My friends, contemporary praise music does not exist in a spiritual vacuum. These are days of great spiritual deception and apostasy, and central to that apostasy is the charismatic movement. Its visions are false; its prophecies fail; its healings can only on the rarest of occasions be authenticated; its doctrine is corrupt; its practice is confusion and disorder. It is one of the major elements of the ecumenical 337
movement of these apostate end times. Through mysticism and sensual music it aligns Roman Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, and Pentecostals in an unholy union of truth and error. Fundamental Baptists and Bible-believing churches that use charismatic contemporary praise music will find that this music brings with it a philosophy that will soon change the character of any fundamentalist church. We need to worship the Lord God in spirit and in truth continually, but we do not need the unscriptural contemporary worship movement as our guide. We do not doubt that Darlene Zschech is sincere in her work or that she truly desires to worship God, but she and her fellow charismatic praise leaders simply do not know what they are doing. They are the blind leading the blind.
This book is published for free distribution in eBook format. It is available in PDF, Kindle, and PUB formats from the Way of Life web site. (The PDF edition is updated more frequently than the Kindle and PUB editions.) See the Free Book tab at wayoflife.org.
Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians
Copyright 2011 by David Cloud
Powerful Publications for These Times
Following is a selection of the titles published by Way of Life Literature. The books are available in both print and eBook editions (PDF, Kindle, PUB). The materials can be ordered via the online catalog at the Way of Life web site -- www.wayoflife.org -- or by phone 866-295-4143. FUNDAMENTAL LESSONS IN HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE. This very practical course deals with requirements for effective Bible study, marking your Bible, and rules of Bible interpretation. The course will help the student in eight ways: First, it will help him learn how to understand the Bible. Second, it will teach him how to use the best Bible tools effectively, such as a concordance, a topical study guide, cross-references, a study Bible, a Bible dictionary, and a Bible commentary. Third it will help him learn how to study the Bible fruitfully, so that he will be excited about his Bible study and can apply the lessons to his life. Fourth, it will help him learn how to be persistent in his Bible study even when he becomes discouraged or bored or distracted. Fifth, it will give him many fresh ideas for studying the Bible. The student will find literally hundreds of ideas to make his own Bible study more exciting and beneficial. Sixth, it will help him understand the difficult things in the Bible, including parables, Old Testament types, perceived contradictions, and difficult doctrinal passages. Not only will the student be shown the solution to many of the difficulties, but he will also learn how to solve 339
difficulties for himself. Seventh, it will help him learn how to teach the Bible to others. Eighth, it will protect him from being confused by false doctrine. 8.5X11, coated cover, spiral-bound. THE BIBLE VERSION QUESTION ANSWER DATABASE (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-088-5. This book provides diligently-researched, in-depth answers to more than 80 of the most important questions on this topic. A vast number of myths are exposed, such as the myth that Erasmus promised to add 1 John 5:7 to his Greek New Testament if even one manuscript could be produced, the myth that the differences between the Greek texts and versions are slight and insignificant, the myth that there are no doctrines affected by the changes in the modern versions, and the myth that the King James translators said that all versions are equally the Word of God. The author has carried on extensive correspondence with men on all sides of this issue for 30 years. The book answers the challenges made by the opponents of socalled “King James Onlyism,” including James White, D.A. Carson, Doug Kutilek, the editors of “From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man” and “One Bible Only,” etc. It also includes reviews of several of the popular modern versions, including the Living Bible, New Living Bible, Today’s English Version, New International Version, New American Standard Version, The Message, and the Holman Christian Standard Bible. 423 pages, 7X8, soft back. CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC: SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED AND SOME WARNINGS 340
GIVEN (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-094-x. THIRD EDITION JUNE 2009. This book begins with the author’s experience of living the rock & roll lifestyle before he was saved and of how the Lord dealt with him about music in the early months of his Christian life. The next section expounds on FIVE REASONS WHY WE ARE OPPOSED TO CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC AND THE CONTEMPORARY PRAISE MUSIC: It is worldly; it is ecumenical; it is charismatic; it is experience-oriented; and it weakens the fundamentalist stance of churches. We give examples of how changes are occurring in formerly staunchly fundamentalist churches through the instrumentality of contemporary music. Another chapter contains answers to QUESTIONS THAT ARE COMMONLY ASKED ON THIS SUBJECT. These are as follows: Should Christians only use old music? Isn't music neutral? Does a b flat note have a moral quality? Isn't the sincerity of the musicians the important thing? Isn't some of the contemporary Christian music acceptable? What is the difference between using contemporary worship music and using old hymns that were interdenominational? What about young people who are hearing arguments from the other side? What about the miracles that some CCM artists witness? Why does traditional church music seem dull? Didn't Luther use tavern music? Didn’t the Wesleys use tavern music? Isn't the issue of music just a matter of taste? Doesn't the Bible encourage us to use cymbals and stringed and loud sounding instruments? Why are you opposed to drums? What is wrong with soft rock? If we assume that Christian music is demonic, why would the devil sing about Jesus Christ and the things of 341
God? Didn't God create all music? Christians are not supposed to judge, are they? Love is more important than doctrine and standards of living, isn't it? Since God looks on the heart, why are you concerned about appearance? Isn't Christianity all about grace? Shouldn't we use rock music to reach the youth? Making rules and standards about music and clothing and such is pharisaical legalism, isn't it? Don't 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23 teach that the Christian has liberty? Didn't Paul say that he was made all things to all men? David danced before the Lord, so why are you against dancing in the churches? Why do you say that the PentecostalCharismatic movement is unscriptural? By preaching against Christian rock aren't you hurting people and hindering their ministries? What about all of the young people who are being saved through CCM? The final sections contain TIPS FOR KEEPING C O N T E M P O R A RY M U S I C O U T O F T H E CHURCHES and SUGGESTED RESOURCES FOR SACRED MUSIC. Third edition June 2009. ISRAEL: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 978-1-58318-116-4. This is a package consisting of a 234-page illustrated book, a DVD series, and a series of Powerpoint/Keynote presentations for teachers. The package covers all of the major facets pertaining to Israel in a professional, technologically cutting-edge way: geography, culture, archaeology, history, current events, and prophecy. The material is based on 38 years of intensive Bible study plus firsthand research in Israel and in major museums in other parts of the world. The following questions are answered: Does archaeology 342
support the Bible? Do the Dead Sea Scrolls have any significance to the Bible believer? How does the current state of Israel fit into Bible prophecy? How should Biblebelieving Christians act toward Israel today? What preparations are being made for building the Third Jewish Temple? How will the Third Temple be built on a place currently occupied by Islamic mosques? Why does Israel bow so often to international pressure? What type of Messiah is Israel looking for? What will the Antichrist be look and what will happen during his reign? What will happen to the Muslim nations when Jesus returns? What is the Battle of Armageddon? When will the Battle of Gog and Magog occur? What will the world be like when Jesus reigns? Israel: Past, Present, and Future shows how ancient Bible prophecies are authenticated in Israel’s past and present. We examine fascinating archaeological discoveries in Israel and elsewhere that support the Bible. We look at major New Testament prophecies of apostasy and document their fulfillment in the type of Christianity that predominates in Israel and throughout the world today. This section features a description of our visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem as well as other Catholic and Orthodox churches. We describe the ecumenism that is drawing all branches of Christianity together. A large section of the book and video series deals with the Bible’s amazing prophecies of Israel’s future. The presentations also examine Bible culture and Bible lands and the fascinating history of the Temple Mount from Abraham’s offering of Isaac to the building of the Millennial Temple. The series begins with an amazing aerial flyover over the land of Israel. 343
KEEPING THE KIDS: HOW TO KEEP THE CHILDREN FROM FALLING PREY TO THE WORLD (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 978-1-58318-115-7. This book aims to help parents and churches raise children to be disciples of Jesus Christ and to avoid the pitfalls of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Statistics show that a frightening percentage of children that grow up in Biblebelieving churches drop out when they reach adolescence. They either go full-fledged into the world, or they remain on the periphery of church life, or they join a contemporary church that essentially promises they can have Christ and the world, too. We are convinced that this does not have to happen, because God has given promises in His Word about child training, but winning the battle is not easy and requires complete dedication by the parents. The book is a collaborative effort. It contains testimonies from hundreds of individuals who provided feedback to our questionnaires on this subject, as well as powerful ideas gleaned from interviews with pastors, missionaries, and church people who have raised godly children. The book is packed with practical suggestions and deals with many issues: Conversion, the husbandwife relationship, the necessity of permeating the home with Christian love, mothers as keepers at home, the father’s role as the spiritual head of the home, child discipline, separation from the pop culture, discipleship of youth, the grandparents’ role in “keeping the kids,” effectual prayer, and fasting. The book warns about the destructive power of hypocrisy, neglect, bitterness, carnal criticism, anger, and of fathers provoking their children to wrath. It describes how parents can win and keep the children’s hearts. It shows how to have family devotions 344
and how parents can train their children to have a daily Bible reading time. The book emphasizes the importance of raising children in a sound church and lists the characteristics of such a church. It is not enough to tell children what to do; they must be taught to apply God’s Word to their daily lives, and toward this end the book provides many powerful Bible lessons on practical Christian living, such as biblical principles for testing entertainment, principles for television and movie viewing, principles for judging clothing fashions, for making wise decisions, and for knowing God’s will. The book contains pointers for winning children that are already rebellious. There is also an extensive list of recommended resources. CHAPTER TITLES: Priority; Conversion; The Home: Consistent Christian Living; The Home: The Husband-Wife Relationship; Child Discipline; The Church; Separation from the Pop Culture; Discipleship; The Grandparents; What if the Kids Are Already Rebellious? Candor; God’s Grace and the Power of Prayer. 531 pages. MUSIC FOR GOOD OR EVIL (4 DVDs). This video series for July 2011 is a brand new replacement for previous presentations we have produced on this subject. The series is packed with graphics, video and audio clips. It has seven segments. I. Biblical Principles of Good Christian Music: Good Christian Music is for Christians and for the Lord. It is holy. It emphasizes melody. It is Christ-centered. It flows from a submissive attitude. It is separate from the world. It creates vigilance and sobriety. It is doctrinally pure and theologically precise. II. Why We Reject Contemporary Christian Music. In this 345
section we give eight reasons for rejecting CCM: It is worldly, addictive, ecumenical, charismatic, shallow and man-centered; it is opposed to preaching; it is experience-oriented, and it weakens the strong biblicist stance of a church. III. The Sound of Contemporary Christian Music. The goal of this important section is to give the believer some simple tools that he can use to discern the difference between sensual and sacred music. We deal with the following four musical styles that are not fitting for good Christian music: 1. Syncopated dance styles, including the back beat, the off beat, the break beat, and beat anticipation. 2. Sensual vocal styles (the whispery/breathy style and scooping/sliding). 3. Relativistic styles (deceptive chord cadence). 4. Overly soft styles that do not fit the message. IV. Transformational Power of CCM. This presentation demonstrates why CCM is able to transform a “traditional” Bible-believing church into a New Evangelical one. It’s transformational power resides in its enticing philosophy of “liberty” and in its sensual, addictive music. V. Southern Gospel. Here we deal with the history of Southern Gospel, going back to the turn of the 20th century, to show how Southern Gospel became an entertainment business. We also deal with the current status of Southern Gospel, the powerful influence of Bill Gaither, and the close association between Southern Gospel today and Contemporary Christian Music. VI. Marks of Good Song Leading. Here we cover eight principles of good song leading: Leadership, preparation, edification, spirituality, truth and spiritual discernment, enthusiasm and a positive attitude, wisdom, and liberty and diversity. VII. Questions Answered on 346
Contemporary Christian Music. Here answer 15 of the most common questions on this subject: 1. Do you mean that Christians should only use old music? 2. Is rhythm wrong? 3. Isn’t this issue just a matter of different taste? 4. Isn’t the sincerity of the musicians the important thing? 5. Isn’t some CCM acceptable? 6. Why does traditional church music seem dull? 7. Didn’t Luther use tavern music? 8. Didn’t the Wesleys use tavern music? 9. What is the difference between using CCW and using old interdenominational hymns? 10. Doesn’t the Bible encourage us to use cymbals and loud sounding instruments? 11. Why are you opposed to drums? 12. What is wrong with “soft rock”? 13. Didn’t God create all music? 14. Since God looks on the heart, why are you concerned about appearance? 15. Since kids today aren’t listening to traditional Christian music, shouldn’t we use rock to reach them? 4 DVDs. ONE YEAR DISCIPLESHIP COURSE ISBN 978-1-58318-117-1. (New title for 2011) This powerful course features 52 lessons in Christian living. It can be broken into sections and used as a new converts course, an advanced discipleship course, a Sunday School series, a Home Schooling or Bible Institute course, or preaching outlines. The lessons are thorough, meaty, and very practical. There is an extensive memory verse program built into the course, and each lesson features carefully designed review questions. Following are the lesson titles (some subjects feature multiple lessons): Repentance, Faith (for salvation), The Gospel, Baptism, Eternal Security, Position and Practice, The Law and the New Testament Christian, Christian Growth and Victory, 347
Prayer, Faith (in Christian living), The Armor of God, The Church, The Bible, The Bible’s Proof, Daily Bible Study, Key Principles of Bible Interpretation, Foundational Bible Words, Knowing God's Will, Making Wise Decisions, Christ’s Great Commission, Suffering in the Christian Life, The Judgment Seat of Christ, Separation - Moral, Tests of Entertainment, Separation Doctrinal, Fasting, Miracles, A Testing Mindset, Tongues Speaking, The Rapture, How to Be Wise with Your Money, The Believer and Drinking, Abortion, Evolution, Dressing for the Lord. 8.5X11, coated cover, spiralbound 221 pages. THE PENTECOSTAL-CHARISMATIC MOVEMENTS: THE HISTORY AND THE ERROR (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-099-0. I have been examining and re-examining the Pentecostal-Charismatic movements for more than three decades since I was led to Christ by a Pentecostal in 1973 and began to seek God’s will about tongues-speaking and the sign-gifts of the early churches. I have built a large library of materials on this subject, have interviewed influential Pentecostals and Charismatics, and have attended their churches in many parts of the world. I have also attended large Charismatic conferences with press credentials. Each fresh evaluation of the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement has brought an increased conviction that it is unscriptural and dangerous. This book begins with my own experience with the Pentecostal movement. The next section deals with the history of the Pentecostal movement, beginning with a survey of miraculous signs from the second to the 18th centuries. We then examine 348
the movements in the 19th century that led to the creation of Pentecostalism and the outbreak of “tonguesspeaking” at Charles Parham’s Bible school in Topeka, Kansas, in 1901, and at William Seymour’s Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles in 1906. We examine some of the major Pentecostal denominations, the Latter Rain Covenant, the major Pentecostal healing evangelists, the Sharon Schools and the New Order of the Latter Rain, the Manifest Sons of God, the Word-Faith movement and its key leaders, the Charismatic Movement, the Roman Catholic Charismatic Renewal, the Pentecostal Prophets, the Third Wave, and the recent Pentecostal scandals. We conclude the historical section with a look at the Laughing-Drunken Revival of Toronto, Pensacola, Lakeland, etc. In another section of the book we deal with the theological errors of the Pentecostal-Charismatic movements (exalting experience over Scripture, emphasis on the miraculous, Messianic and apostolic miracles can be reproduced, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of fire, exalting the Holy Spirit, tongues speaking is for today, sinless perfectionism, healing is guaranteed in the atonement, spirit slaying, spirit drunkenness, visions of Jesus, trips to heaven, women preachers, and ecumenism). The final section of the book answers the question: “Why are people deluded by Pentecostal-Charismatic error?” 317 pages. REPENTANCE AND SOUL WINNING (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-062-1. This is an in-depth study on biblical repentance and a timely warning about unscriptural methods of presenting the gospel. The opening chapter, entitled “Fundamental Baptists and 349
Quick Prayerism: A Faulty Method of Evangelism Has Produced a Change in the Doctrine of Repentance,” traces the change in the doctrine of repentance among fundamental Baptists during the past 50 years. Chapter Two is an extensive study on biblical repentance and includes what repentance is not, a study of every Bible passage dealing with repentance, repentance defined by preachers of old, illustrations of repentance, and God’s repentance. Chapter Three looks at four “Unscriptural Presentations of Repentance”: (1) An Easy Prayerism Presentation: Failing to deal plainly with repentance. (2) An Insufficient Presentation: Failing to define the terms of the gospel so the hearers plainly understand, and failing to contrast the true gospel with false gospels. (3) A Positive Presentation: Failing to lay a proper foundation of the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. (4) A Need-Oriented Presentation: Failing to make a distinction between genuine salvation and mere reformation and ritual. Chapter Four is titled “Does Salvation Make a Difference,” demonstrating that profession without a corresponding change of life is not biblical salvation. Chapter Five, “Pentecost vs. Hylescost,” contrasts the late Jack Hyles’ evangelistic methodology with the Bible. Chapter Six answers questions that commonly arise pertaining to this subject, including “Are you preaching lordship salvation?” and “Isn’t your definition of repentance a works salvation?” (The former title of this book was “Repentance Is More Than a Sinner’s Prayer”) 2008 edition, 201 pages.
SEEING THE NON-EXISTENT: EVOLUTION’S MYTHS AND HOAXES. (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-002-8. (New title for 2011) This book is designed both as a stand alone title as well as a companion to the apologetics course AN UNSHAKEABLE FAITH. The contents are as follows: Canals on Mars, Charles Darwin and His Granddaddy, Thomas Huxley: Darwin’s Bulldog, Ernst Haeckel: Darwin’s German Apostle, Icons of Evolution, Icons of Creation, The Ape-men, Predictions, Questions for Evolutionists, Darwinian Gods, Darwin’s Social Influence. The ICONS OF EVOLUTION that we refute are natural selection, mutations, the fossil record, homology, the peppered moth, Darwin’s finches, the four-winged fruit fly, Lucy, the Laetoli footprints, vestigial organs, the horse series, the embryo chart, the Miller experiment, whale evolution, Archaeopteryx and bird evolution, junk DNA, the Huxley-Wilberforce debate, the Scopes trial, proteinoids, archaebacteria, bacterial resistance, reproductive isolation, the “imperfect” human eye, DNA similarity between apes and men, talking apes, Dawkins’ typing monkeys, the peacock’s tail feather, Hume’s philosophy, the coelacanth, biomorphs, just-so stories, multiverse, the big bang, coevolution, and billions of years. The ICONS OF CREATION that we consider are the monarch butterfly, the trilobite, the living cell, the human eye, the human brain, the human hand, blood clotting, the Pasteur experiments, artificial breeding experiments, the giraffe’s blood pressure control system, the bombardier beetle, the amphibian egg, the bird’s flight feather, bird migration, bird song, the hummingbird, red blood cells, lima bean 351
distress signal, variety of life, harmony and symbiosis, sexual reproduction, living technology, biomimetics, the eel, the mussel’s foot, the dragonfly, the bee, the bat, corn, and water. The section on APE-MEN deals with Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal, Java Man, Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, the Taung Child (Australopithecus Africanus), Plesianthropus (Mrs. Ples), Peking Man, Gigantopithecus Blacki, Ramapithecus, Zinjanthropus (Nutcracker Man), Homo Habilis, Lothagam Man, Flipperpithecus, Donkey Man, Australopithecus Afarensis (Lucy), Ardipithecus Ramidus, Homo erectus, and Darwinius masillae (Ida). This section also deals with the “Out of Africa” hypothesis and Russia’s apemen experiments under Ilya Ivanov. The section on PREDICTIONS considers 29 predictions made by Biblical creationism, such as the universe will behave according to established laws, the universe will be logical, there will be a vast unbridgeable gulf between man and the animal kingdom, and there will be barriers between the different kinds of plants and animals. DARWINIAN GODS takes a look at inventions that evolutionists have devised to avoid divine Creation, such as panspermia and aliens, self-organization, autoevolution, the indeterminate sea of potentiality, and the multiverse. 608 pages. T H I N G S H A R D TO B E U N D E R S TO O D : A HANDBOOK OF BIBLICAL DIFFICULTIES (D.W. Cloud) ISBN 1-58318-002-8. This very practical volume deals with a variety of biblical difficulties. Find the answer to the seeming contradictions in the Bible. Meet the challenge of false teachers who misuse biblical 352
passages to prove their doctrine. Find out the meaning of difficult passages that are oftentimes overlooked in the Bible commentaries. Be confirmed in your confidence in the inerrancy and perfection of the Scriptures. Learn the meaning of difficult expressions such as “the unpardonable sin.” One unique feature of this volume is that it contains no criticism of the King James Bible. We do not believe that any correction of it is necessary to solve the alleged contradictions and other difficulties. Another thing that sets this volume apart from others on this topic is its practical nature and the fact that it is written from a fundamentalist, Bible-believing Baptist viewpoint. Our objective is to help protect God’s people from the false teachers that abound in these last days. They raise nagging questions and doubts by misusing passages of Scripture to support their specious doctrines. They take Scripture out of context and otherwise abuse it, and we have dealt with many examples of this. For example, we examine verses misused by Seventh-day Adventists to support their doctrines of soul sleep and annihilation and sabbath worship, verses misused by the Roman Catholic Church to support its doctrines of Mary and the Papacy and purgatory, verses misused by ecumenists to justify their unscriptural goals (i.e., Mat. 7:1; Mk. 9:38-40; Jn. 13:35; 17:21; Acts 5:38-39; Rom. 14:4; 1 Cor. 4:5; 6:12-13; Eph. 4:3-6; and Jam. 4:11), verses misused to support infant baptism and baptismal regeneration (i.e., Mk. 16:6-17; Jn. 3:5; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; 1 Cor. 1:16; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet. 3:21), verses misused to support Calvinism (i.e., Jn. 6:37-40; 6:44; Acts 13:46-48; Rom. 8:29; 9:13-33; 11:19-32), and verses misused by those who deny the doctrine of eternal 353
security. We deal with things such as the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, cremation, hair coverings, the first shall be last, did Jesus die on Friday, God forbid, God’s repentance, healing in the atonement, judging, the letter of the law, Melchizedek, self defense, sinless perfectionism, soul sleep, and the Trinity. Jerry Huffman, editor of Calvary Contender, testified: “You don’t have to agree with everything to greatly benefit from this helpful book.” 4th edition, April 2006. 385 pages. AN UNSHAKEABLE FAITH: A CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS COURSE. ISBN 978-1-58318-119-5. (New title for 2011) The course is built upon nearly 40 years of serious Bible study and 30 years of apologetics writing. Research was done in the author’s personal 6,000-volume library plus in major museums and other locations in America, England, Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East. The package consists of an apologetics course entitled AN UNSHAKEABLE FAITH (both print and eBook editions) plus an extensive series of Powerpoint/Keynote presentations. (Keynote is the Apple version of Powerpoint.) The 1,800 PowerPoint slides deal with archaeology, evolution/creation science, and the prophecies pertaining to Israel’s history. The majority of the photos in the PowerPoint slides were taken at location with Nikon D700 pro digital SLRs. The material in the 360-page course is extensive, and the teacher can decide whether to use all of it or to select only some portion of it for his particular class and situation. After each section there are review questions to help the students focus on the most important points. Selections can be made from the review questions for 354
sectional and final tests. There is also a summary of the entire course, which emphasizes the major points that the students should master so well that they can use them effectively in apologetic and evangelistic situations. The course can be used for private study as well as for a classroom setting. Sections include The Bible’s Nature, The Bible’s Proof, The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Bible’s Difficulties, Historical Evidence for Jesus, Evidence for Christ’s Resurrection, Archaeological Treasures Confirming the Bible, A History of Evolution, Icons of Evolution, Icons of Creation, Noah’s Ark and the Global Flood. The course is printed on 8.5x11-inch stock with coated color cover and is spiral bound so the book can be laid flat. WAY OF LIFE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE BIBLE & CHRISTIANITY ISBN 1-58318-005-2. This lovely hardcover Bible Encyclopedia contains 640 pages (8.5X11) of information, over 6,000 entries, and over 7,000 cross-references. Twenty-five years of research has gone into this one-of-a-kind reference tool. It is the only Bible dictionary/encyclopedia that is written by a fundamental Baptist and based strictly upon the King James Bible. It is a complete dictionary of biblical terminology and features many other areas of research not often covered in Bible reference volumes. Subjects include Bible versions, Denominations, Cults, Christian Movements, Typology, the Church, Social Issues and Practical Christian Living, Bible Prophecy, and Old English Terminology. The Christian will be helped and fortified in his faith through this Bible Encyclopedia. It does not correct the Authorized Version of the Bible, nor 355
does it undermine the fundamental Baptist’s doctrines and practices as many study tools do. The 5th edition (October 2008) contains some new entries, extensive additions to existing entries, and a complete rewriting of the major articles. Many preachers have told us that apart from Strong’s Concordance, the Way of Life Bible Encyclopedia is their favorite study tool. A missionary told us that if he could save only one study book out of his library, it would be our Encyclopedia. An evangelist in South Dakota wrote: “If I were going to the mission field and could carry only three books, they would be the Strong’s concordance, a hymnal, and the Way of Life Bible Encyclopedia.” Missionary author Jack Moorman says: “The encyclopedia is excellent. The entries show a ‘distilled spirituality.’” 5th edition, 640 pages, 8X11, hard cover book. [A computer edition of the Encyclopedia is available as a standalone eBook for PDF, Kindle, and PUB. It is also available as a module for Swordseacher. For information see the online catalog at the Way of Life web site or call 866-295-4143.]
Way of Life Literature
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