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by Dirk Anderson
I found this article on a website some years ago, but it is no longer available. So I am publishing it here. It is a brief but helpful warning against mixing the music of the world with Christianity.

It is happening throughout Christendom, even in mainline and conservative denominations. As you walk into the church sanctuary you are greeted by the steady beat of drums and the rhythms of electric guitars and keyboards. A small group of singers stands at the front leading the worshipers in “praise music.” The “praise music” that originated in Charismatic circles has jumped denominational barriers and nearly all of Christianity is moving to the beat. Charisma magazine states:

Today, praise music has entered the mainstream. Songs that were only sung in charismatic churches a few years ago are now heard throughout mainline and non-charismatic churches. (Charisma, Feb. 1994)

Is this a healthy trend for the church? Are “Christian Rock,” “Christian Jazz,” and “Christian Rap” music powerful tools to reach this generation with the gospel? Or are they fatal weapons used by the Adversary to hypnotize us and alter our moods and perceptions?

Is it true that the rhythm and style of music are inconsequential, and that the lyrics should be the sole determining factor in whether or not music is holy? Or do the beat and rhythm of music actually send messages to our bodies that override the messages of the lyrics?

Unholy Origins

The history of rock music can be traced back to the mysteries of the temple rituals of ancient Babylon. Its origins are purely religious, being an integral part of orgies and devil worship. From Babylon, rock music spread to West Africa, and from there it later moved with the slave ships across the Atlantic ocean to the new world.

Enroute to the United States many slaves were taken first to the West Indies, especially Hispaniola; then after a time many were sold in New Orleans. They brought with them their religious and musical heritage. Those from Santo Domingo had retained their ancient Voodoo worship practices and continued them in New Orleans. (Marshall Stearns, Jean Stearns, The Jazz Dance, Longmans, Grand Co., 1965, p. 37)

African music had a strong influence on the development of jazz music in America.

The syncopation as a primary ingredient of jazz developed as a rhythmic accommodation of the Africans. Syncopation was the nearest and best substitute for the complicated polyrhythms that were an integral part of their musical heritage. (H. Lloyd Leno, “Music and the Great Controversy.” Our Firm Foundation, May 1987)

It is this syncopation that causes jazz music to “swing.” Jazz, the precursor of modern rock and roll, has a very interesting place in history. The name Jazz comes from the now defunct word jass which means the sexual act. Jazz music was originally developed for use in brothels, where each brothel would try to outclass the others by having the best jazz band.

Eventually jazz evolved into what we know today as “rock and roll.” However, it lost none of its heritage in its long journey from Babylon to Egypt to America and then to the world. It has simply been repackaged in a different form the same rhythms and qualities which originated with devil worship, rebellion, and immorality. In fact, with modern instruments, the effects of rock music have been heightened and intensified.

The Effect on our Bodies

The ancient philosopher Aristotle understood the powerful effects of music:

Emotions of any kind are produced by melody and rhythm…music has the power to form character. (Aristotle, Politics, 1339a, b.)

Scientists tell us that music not only affects our emotions, but it actually causes a multitude of physical reactions in our bodies, such as changes in hormonal levels. Mike Quattro, a well known producer of rock shows tells us:

Rock motivates you internally, gives you a sensual feeling. A girl can be turned on by the music. It releases her inhibitions. The beat of the drum has always been a factor. A girl realizes her own sexuality through the music. (E. Thayer Gaston, “Music in Therapy.” Macmillan Co. 1968 p. 19)

Dr. William J. Schafer tells us that

Rock music is communication without words, regardless of what ideology is inserted into the music. (William J. Schafer, Rock Music)

Professor Frank Garlock says,

The words only let you know what the music already says…The music is its own message and it can completely change the message of the words. (Frank Garlock, The Big Beat)

To those who would propose the argument that music in itself is neutral and its the words that make it either moral or immoral, Dr. Max Schoen writes,

Music is the most powerful stimulus known among the perceptive senses. The medical, psychiatric and other evidences for the non-neutrality of music are so overwhelming that it frankly amazes me that anyone should seriously say otherwise. (Max Schoen, The Psychology of Music)

Scientific evidence about the damaging effects of rock music are just as disturbing. In one two-year experiment involving playing different types of music to plants, all plants exposed to rock music died within one month. (The Columbus Dispatch Magazine, July 26, 1970, pp 24-27)

In another interesting study, the motor pulses produced by the brain to different musical stimuli were measured. The range of music included rock, blues, classical and ethnic samples. It was found that especially when rock music and jazz were played the motor pulses produced were the same as those produced normally by the brain during sexual arousal. The qualities of experience and mental energies displayed overt sexual qualities. (M. Clynes, J. Walker, “Neurobiologic Functions of Rhythm, Time, and Pulse in Music.” Published in Music, Mind and Brain: The Neuropsychology of Music, Plenum Press, pp. 171-215)

Spiritualism Makes Inroads

In April 1990, a Christian named Stephen Maphosah left Zimbabwe, Africa, and traveled for his first visit to the United States. When he turned on a Christian radio station and listened to the music he was shocked:

I am very sensitive to the beat in music, because when I was a boy, I played the drums in our village worship rituals. The beat that I played on the drum was to get the demon spirits into the people. When I turned on a Christian radio station in the U.S., I was shocked. The same beat that I used to play to call up evil spirits is in the music I heard on the Christian station. (“What the Bible says about Contemporary Christian Rock Music”, 1990, Institute in Basic Life Principles, p. 8)

In 1981 Pastor Joe Meyers was driving down a jungle road in the Ivory Coast with several African pastors in the car. He reports:

I had recently received a couple of cassette tapes from our denominational headquarters that were intended for our teenage daughter. These were recordings of various “Christian Rock” artists. In listening to the tapes, I was very disturbed in my own spirit…but not trusting my own reactions alone and realizing that these pastors whom I was traveling were very sensitive to the spirit world (both good and evil), I decided to play the tapes for them. The reaction I got was immediate and verbally violent! One of the pastors asked me this question:

“Do you mean to tell us that this kind of music is played in your churches in America?”

I answered in the affirmative. His response was filled with disgust and anger as he replied,

“What are you doing allowing your church people in America to call up the evil spirits with their music?” (Ibid.)

It is well known within the New Age movement that music is the key that opens the door to spiritual encounters. A New Age author writes:

When you first start your spiritual journey, you are told that you need to get in touch with your spirit guides and you probably wonder how to achieve this. Well, those in the spirit realms who watch over and guide you will always try to find the easiest and most energy efficient way to communicate with you…So just as your body can resonate and respond to music, you can also find that spirit guides use the chakras in the same way to make contact with you. (New Age On-Line Australia, “Chakras: The Music of Life” (Courtesy of Inner Star magazine), http://www.newage.com.au/library/chakras2.html)

Why the Church Rocks

Although Rock and Jazz music are now permeating most churches, such was not the case a few decades ago. Prior to the charismatic movement of the 1960’s, Rock and Jazz music were found primarily in Pentecostal churches. Howard Goss, former General Secretary of the United Pentecostal Church until 1951 informs us of the powerful effect that such music had upon the movement:

We were the first, so far as I know, to introduce this accelerated tempo into Gospel singing. Without it the Pentecostal movement could never have made the rapid inroads into the hearts of men and women as it did. (“Winds of Change”, p. 212, quoted in Wilson Ewin, The Pied Piper of the Pentecostal Movement, 1986, pp. 49-51)

In 1991 Pentecostal preacher David Wilkerson warned Christianity of the impending dangers of rock music invading the churches:

About five years ago I became disheartened when many pastors opened up their churches to rock concerts. Teenagers went wild, dancing in the aisles, going straight out of church and into back seats of cars for sex. Parents wrote to me brokenhearted saying,
“My teenager was on fire for God. Then our pastor and youth pastor brought in these wild groups, and I lost my son. He is backslidden. He got an appetite for occult music, right in our own church.” (David W. Cloud, “Charismatic Music Permeating the Churches,” O Timothy, Vol. 14, Issue 7, 1997)

The Pied Piper of Spiritualism

The Bible records how music was used by the king of Babylon to influence the people to bow down to his golden image. When the music played, the people were to

Daniel 3
5 …fall down and worship the golden image.

Why was this event recorded in the Bible?

1 Corinthians 10
11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

The three Hebrews who refused to bow to Babylon’s image are an example to us “upon whom the ends of the world are come,” as to how to react to Babylon’s music.

We can either follow Paul’s advice,

1 Thessalonians 5
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil,

…and reject “Christian pop,” “Christian rock,” and “Christian jazz” music. Or we can follow the Pied Piper of Spiritualism and rock to the beat of Babylon.

History is repeating. At the end of time, Spiritual Babylon is setting up an image just as Nebuchadnezzar did thousands of years ago. Modern Babylon is setting up an image to the Beast of Revelation 13.

Like in ancient Babylon, music is an integral part of the worship of modern Spiritual Babylon. Drums, guitars, and keyboards are the instruments being used to break down denominational barriers in a worldwide movement to unite Catholics, apostate Protestants, and New Age Spiritualists in a final all-out assault against God’s people, His Word, and His Law.

Force is the last resort of every false religion. At first it tries attraction, as the king of Babylon tried the power of music and outward show. If these attractions, invented by men inspired by Satan, failed to make men worship the image, the hungry flames of the furnace were ready to consume them. So it will be now. The Papacy has exercised her power to compel men to obey her, and she will continue to do so. We need the same spirit that was manifested by God’s servants in the conflict with paganism. (Ellen G. White, Signs of the Times, May 6, 1897)

Why not take your stand with the three Hebrews? They would not bow to the beat. They would not bend to Babylon. And they could not burn in the blaze!

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