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January 9, 1998

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Q/A Topics:
Oaths: (James 5:12)

Comment:
I think there is an occasion that making an oath would be right, namely when the government asks this. We have the example of our Lord before the highpriest. Otherwise you are right, we should never swear to confirm our words, but as far as I know, the only exception is when one is asked to do this by a power higher than ourselves (God, or God-controlled government, like Rom. 13 shows).

A.
Well, of course.

"Do you swear to tell the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help you God?"

In this case, one is making a solemn "promise" and "committment" to be honest on the witness stand in a court of law. ...etc.etc. But that's a different deal than what James is saying. Yes? (smile)

Comment:
Again, I agree with you... My comments were just to make sure that you saw the other point as well, because some Christians would use what you were saying...that no oath before the government can be made.

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Christ in you: (1John 2:15-17)

Comment:
Thanks for your study on I John 2:15-17. Our home Bible group has been studying Hebrews. We have come to the conclusion that if we have a new covenant experience God will put His laws in our heart and we will love to do His will. In stead of obedience being a tough burden, it will be the outgrowth of Jesus living in us. Kind of like the branches abiding in the vine that bring forth fruit (John 15:1-12). If I try to obey God and reject the world on my steam, it doesn't seem to work, but as I allow God to do the remodeling in my life I can see real progress. What do you think?

A.
Exactly... "Christ in you..."(Col1:27)

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"christian" Rock? (1John 2:15-17)

Comment:


"Just as there is no such thing as "Christian" rock."
              (Quote from the study being referenced...)
In this way of thinking, one should also feel that there is no such thing as Christian parties, Christian Country Music, Christian Polka, Christian Jazz, Christian Comedians....and the list could be endless. Saying we are not to be "lovers" of this world, does that mean we can't enjoy visiting Mt. Rushmore, or Yellowstone Park, or the streets of Paris, because they are a part of this world as well?

Does the Word of God say that the only music he accepts is contemporary, or soft, or quiet, or hymnal? It does not. Actually, I believe He has told us to sing and praise Him with loud and crashing cymbals. The beat of the song is not what matters to God. What the songs say and who the songs glorify is what matters. In the same way different churches don't agree with other churches because of what they use for communion. Some use bread and wine (of course, wine is a mocker), some use wafers and grape juice, some have used whole grapes and biscuits. I do not believe God cares WHAT we use to take communion with, what matters is the REASON why we are taking communion and that God is the One being remembered and glorified. We are to praise and glorify God in EVERYTHING we do. Let's not JUDGE others by the way they worship God (when it is TRULY God they are worshiping). Just because others do not worship in the same was as ourselves, that does not mean God does not accept their worship. And praise the Lord for not making us all the same...for He created us in His image, but not one is alike!

A.
When that little phrase was written I kinda wondered if someone would get riled at it. It was intended to be, merely, a passing comment. The ASSUMED understanding that, "Of course, there is no such thing as christian rock." The article's theme is "who is our master?" Who do we serve? Do we love the Lord our God with our whole heart? Or are we "in love with" the world, and "nurture" the things of the world?

But, these comments bring up a related subject which hasn't been covered for a while. Perhaps some day the Lord will lead to talk about Rock Music, specifically. But, the question seems apparent... What things are of the world? What are the criteria for determining that which is "OF" the world, and that which is merely part of the world's makeup.

As Paul writes, "For the earth is the Lord's and all it's fullness." (1Cor10:26) Even when God had finished creating, it says, "And God saw that it was good."(Gen1:25) The psalmist praises, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained...(Ps8:3) Of course we can enjoy Yellowstone Park, Beartooth Pass, North Cascades Highway. Of course we can enjoy a tasty meal. Jesus speaks of the flavoring of food.(Mt5:13) Even sex is to be enjoyed, within marriage.(Heb13:4,1Cor7:3) A whole book of the Bible being devoted to the subject, Song of Solomon. And as human beings that God has created, we enjoy what God has given us. After all, He said to "have dominion" over the earth.(Gen1:26) Being a Christian or not does not change that.

Now then, we get to another aspect of "the world." Have you ever considered "who" presently has rulership over the world? And, let us also realize another semantical matter. You notice Paul says that the "earth" is the Lord's and it's fullness. God created the heavens and the "earth." But John writes, do not love the "world." That the "world" is passing away. Often (not always) the "earth" denotes God's creative work, and the "world" refers to that which we are about to address.

In Mt3:8 Satan tempts Jesus with all the "kingdoms of the world and their glory." And says, "for all this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish."(Lk4:6) In Rev 11:15 the proclamation says, "the kingdoms of this world have become of our Lord and of His Christ." As Christians, our warfare is not against "flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."(Eph6:12)

So, when John writes "do not love the world" he is speaking of these things which originate from the hosts of wickedness. These things which "characterize" the world "system."

So, let's get specific here: What about rock music? What is its source and characteristic? When rock music originated in the 50's, the fact that it was music of "rebellion" was kept more hush-hush. They didn't want to upset the "establishment" too much. Now-a-days, since the whole of society is in a state of general rebellion, they speak of it openly. "Rock music is a music of rebellion." What are most of the lyrics of rock music? Most have to do with lust and illicit sex, and how to go about getting it. In more modern years, it gets into drugs, rebellion, occult, satan worship.

Now-a-days, they openly speak of how the rock "beat" came from the "jungles." The very "nature" of the rhythms are satanic in origin. To illustrate: years ago a missionary family came "home" on furlough. While in the US, their children picked up some rock albums, and they went back to the jungle mission field. When the children played these albums, the natives asked the missionaries, "why are you calling up the spirits?" "Oh, how is that?" "That beat/rythm...that is what calls up the spirits and demons." This was even before the more "modern" heavy metal sounds, etc. In Japan, where I grew up, drumming is part of their heritage at festival time as it relates to the spirit world. Native Americans, who believe in mother earth, spirit-animal guides, use drumming as the primary vehicle with their singing and worship.

Not to mention how the most well-known rock groups are satan worshippers and partake in blood communions. And in recent years, openly defiantly, publicly express that their whole purpose is to subvert the youth. Why do you struggle with your children who find it nearly impossible to remove their "walkman" ear pieces? The music is hypnotic, and addictive like drugs. Drugs being one of satan's tools for demonic possession. If you allow your children to listen to, and constantly have their walkmans/boomboxes turned up, you are, literally, "feeding" them with demons.

And "churches" use it, and call it "christian" rock?! Not hardly!! "Touch not the unclean thing!"(2Cor6:17) God was quite clear about not profaning the temple. As the Church, the Christian is the "temple of the Holy Spirit."(1Cor6:19) While we cannot help being around it as the mobile sub-woofers roll by, etc. as we are "in the world", we can help what we do in our homes and churches. And most churches have embraced rock music as an integral part of worship, as they also adopt the sensual lustful enticing promiscuous bodily movements. What does that say about "whom" they worship? It is certainly not Jehovah, Most High!

(For related topic please read "Living Among the Heathen")

As for "jass, country, polka, etc." Let me address this indirectly through the "back door" since I spent a good portion of my life as a classical musician. (Including choral: Vancouver Chamber Choir, Tudor Singers of Montreal for a few years) "Classical" music is usually considered to be rather innocuous. In saying what I am about to, nobody can claim that I will be "attacking" THEIR preferred music. I will speak from my own experiences. And, in that sense, will be condemning myself. But you can apply the concepts to your preferred musical type/s.

While I, personally, did not get into opera, consider that in past centuries, there was no "Hollywood." But there was opera. Opera consists of the same "story lines" as modern movies and soap operas. Love triangles, murder, incest, intrigue, etc. By many, opera is considered to be the epitomy of classical music.

In choral literature, the "Mass" is considered to be one of the preeminent types of work. I used to perform them, in ignorance, thinking them to be merely "historical" in nature. But, to do so was, in actuality, performing worship to the god of the Catholics and ancient pagan Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian entities for which Israel was condemned and ultimately sent into exile for centuries. With the Tudor Singers there was a work we performed on tour, "Hymns from the Rig-Veda." (I forget the composer now) Some of the MOST GLORIOUSLY BEAUTIFUL music one could ever sing, as a "musician." But the work was in praise of ancient eastern Hindu deities. Invoking praise to them, speaking of the human sacrifice about to be made, the sexual relationship, asking their help in battle, etc.

Perhaps it is clear, one of the reasons why I am no longer a "professional" musician, and why I could never again participate in that which I did in the past, in ignorance. I rest in the atoning blood of Christ over my past sins in worshipping satan in that manner, as a Christian.

At work "today" I listen to classical music on the public radio station. But the On/Off switch is used a lot. There are days, around some "full moon, new moon" and other occult times, that they lean heavily on the modern avant garde, multi-a-tonal works, which I have now come to realize originate from the "ruler of this world."(Jn14:30) And it has become obvious that the New-Age "worships" with this music.

As for the other topics, what we use for the Lord's Supper DOES matter to God, but we won't get into that here. Are there such things as christian parties, comedians, etc.etc.? Well, a Christian should guide his conduct by...

"...whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things. (Phil 4:8)

Amen!

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"christian" Rock to win them?

Comment:
Now let's see. I'm no musicologist, but I'm pretty sure that what we used to call negro spirituals were based on the rhythms and tonalities that the African-born slaves brought with them. This in turn evolved into modern black gospel music, as well as a large portion of modern American secular music. So if your argument, as I understand it, is that we are not to use "heathen" music to worship the Lord, I think you'd have to say that most black people have been worshipping with ungodly music for hundreds of years.

A.
That's right...

Q.
Personally I wouldn't want to stand on that one. Was Mahalia Jackson's life of music ministry wasted? Or James Cleveland, or Blind Willie Johnson, or WashingtonPhillips and on and on. I sincerely doubt it.

A.
I had a black Christian friend years ago who would back this up. Who, although a "Negro" himself, and an accomplished classical musician in his own right, would confirm the notion that the "typical" Black music is actually demonic. (I specifically asked him about this one day when we were visiting...I wanted the "Black perspective" on the matter.) That the original "slaves" combined what they brought with them, with the terminology their white "masters" were using...but it had nothing to do with true Faith in Christ. This Brother was originally out of the deep south of New Orleans. The Black "pastors" out of ignorance, preached to their "flocks" who were even more ignorant. They only had "words" but no Biblical doctrine. What do "Deep River", "Ezek'l Saw de Wheel", "Amen", "Gospel Train-Git on Board", etc. have to do with Saving Grace based on Christ's shed blood on the cross? Certainly, they are "fun" songs. The other stuff that originates from them, of the more "lively" nature certainly pumps up the adrenaline, and gets them going into exstatic states...I've seen some of them "overcome" and "slain" in these states. But within my spirit I knew it was an "evil spirit" thus engaged. (Rom8:16) The very same thing the current "revivalists" engage in, thinking it is something "new." But, the Black churches have been doing it for a lot longer. And just as we have concluded the demonic origins of the "revival" services, the same is true of the "typical" Black "church" services.

Q.
Further, what about teenagers and others who come to the Lord after going to aChristian concert of heathen music.

A.
Oh..? Do they? ..."come to the Lord" that is...?? Are the concerts "Christian?" (capital "C")?

Comment:
Some of them might not have been reached in any other way,

A.
What other way is there besides God's Word, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, as the "Father draws him" ..? (Jn6:44) If they are "coming" through satan's music, they are [NOT] coming to Christ. "..nor does A bad tree bear good fruit.." (Lk6:43) We do not use the world's means to draw people to Christ. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,(2Cor10:4)

Comment:
(well the Lord gets who he wants but we are his agents, including I believe, Christian rock musicians.) Seems to me, what the devil intends for evil, the Lord can use for good, yes?

A.
Yes...this is the lie that satan has been foisting upon the "church" for decades. But it is that...a "lie." But the "church" has taken it up and embraced it into its bosom. "Thistles" only produce "weeds." "...and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them...(Mt13:30)

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"Suitable" Drum Beats?

Excerpt from "Living Among the Heathen"

Jungle drums are in evidence on the rock 'n' rail scene in concerts, dances, night club orgies and performances that reach even into many modern day "churches." The perverted noise of jungle music is heard in White House extravaganzas and shopping center loudspeakers.

The same monotonous beat permeates much of the "contemporary music" scene in "mega-churches" that would never want to be classified as heathen sanctuaries. But what else could you honestly call them?

Q.
So, are ALL drums/drum styles, etc. "jungle" drums? Or are there drums/drum beats that God approves of?

A.
speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, (Eph 5:19)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Col 3:16)

First of all we see that we are to "communicate" to each other while "making music" to the Lord. It's not "just" to minister to others. Nor is it "just" in praise to God. It is both. After all, Jesus said, "where two or three are gathered together...I am there in the midst."(Mt18:20) In other words, it's a "fellowship AMONGST" Christ and His Church. Thus, the music should be something conducive to this.

What heathen "drum beats" does is to rouse the flesh and emotions. The "beat" so pervades the occasion that sensuality takes over the message of God's Truth and "communication" to man is well nigh impossible. And if what those with spiritism backgrounds say about the "demonic connection" is true, then, that which rouses up the spirits is CERTAINLY NOT in praise and glory to God.

Now, if one considers the O.T. timbrels (tambourine), cymbals and the "dancing" they did, one must understand the STARK CONTRAST between those dances and the provocative sensual fleshly suggestive movements that are an integral part of the heathen Rock beat today. There is no relationship between the two, and no connection whatsoever can be made to suggest that what goes on in the "churches" today is anything AT ALL like what Miriam and David did in the O.T.

Are there "drum beats that God approves of?" Let's face it. Part of music...that which propels and "moves" it is "rhythm." Thus, if the "percussion" is in an overall "complementary" manner, "blending in with" music that is not sensual and rebellious, then it likely has merit. But that is not the case with rock-jazz "drum sets." Typically the "drums" are elevated on their own special altar-platform, and are the key-element (along with the bass) in modern Rock music. The "beat" (not "melody") is the primary focus. That is not honoring to God.

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Drum beats calling up the spirits?

READER QUESTION:
You mention in this discussion on rock beat the story of the missionary who came home, their kids purchase rock albums, and when they returned to the tribes were asked why they were calling up the spirits (of other Gods).

I am curious, do you have a reference for this?

VW ANSWER:
Sorry, I don't -now-. I'm sure there -was- a reference when I read it, years ago. I think there might have even been the missionaries' names, too, and the part of the world their 'jungle' was located. But over the years I've read from many different sources, and at the time of reading wasn't concerned that the reference might be beneficial at some later time (I wasn't writing back in those days)....if you know what I'm saying....so never made a note of the reference...just the substance. If I remember correctly, that incident happened in the 50s or 60s. But since I don't remember the source where I read it, I have no way of knowing where to look it up.

READER:
I'm a classical pianist and vocalist, and I am have come full circle on Contempary Christian Music (Christian "rock") and its use in the church, and I'm and doing further study. This discussion has been an EXCELLENT reference for me, but I am looking for some real, primary sources to back up my points (like the origins of the rock beat)

VW:
You might check the wayoflife.org website. I used to also be a classical pianist, organist, vocalist, conductor, etc.etc. but I grew up a sheltered (christian) life and did not spend time in the rock-n-roll scene. But David Cloud lived his early adult life in drugs and the rock culture, until he was saved (according to his testimony) in '73. He has 'oodles' of documentation of things said by all the major rock legends.

However, the "origins" of the rock beat are pretty much standard knowledge. They came from the jungles of the witch doctors. In the most simplistic explanation: They came over from Africa along with voo doo in the Caribbean regions, and with the African slaves. The slave culture came into America where it morphed into blues and jazz, and ultimately rock. 'Just checked my music collection in the stereo computer, and I see it is not in 'my' collection...but some years ago I had access to...perhaps checked out of the library? I don't recall. A jazz collection where one of the cuts was a selection with the word "Jungle" in the title, where, in the middle of the piece the drummer does this solo (it's been awhile since I've heard it)...perhaps there's a -couple- drummers? I don't know how a -single- drummer could do 'all' -that- by himself. After all, in the jungles there would be several people beating out the rhythms. Even in Japan where I grew up the 'taiko' (drums) were played by -several- men. However, in my collection there is a Harry James recording (King James Version), the 3rd cut is called "Cherokee" which heavily features the drummer, and the melody content takes after the more primative worldly native pentatonic scale. "Cherokee" (for you from other parts of the world) is one of the N.American native tribes. Paganism.

Even now the native peoples get together for their annual Pow Wows which feature native drumming, singing and dancing. I know it's not politically correct to say this, but this paganism is why God allowed the 'white man' to 'conquer' them. But now, as the white man is rejecting the Creator and reverting to the creation (Rom1:25) and worshiping 'mother earth', he is also embracing aspects of the once-dominant paganism that permeated this continent. There is a "sacred pillar" (totem pole) I drive by daily on my way to work, facing out over the cliffs on the west side of Spokane, facing the setting sun.

Back in those days (30s, 40s, 50s), when they weren't trying to 'hide' it, but rather were flaunting it, the world's (jazz) performers would -boast- how they were playing 'jungle' music. For somebody of my generation this is not something a person really needed 'documentation' for...when I was a kid, it was readily openly spoken of by the adults. It was common knowledge/understanding. And people of the world, not making excuses for why it should be used in church nor hiding the truth, because they made no pretenses of being "christian", boasted of it. It's only the pretenders, who know it doesn't belong in church, who deny its pagan roots, hoping christians are gullible enough to accept it. And for the most part, they have been....gullible.

READER:
but where I come from, it is going to be a hard sell without supporting facts.

VW:
But...like Abraham said to the rich man that even if Lazarus was raised and sent back to his family, they would not believe....and when Lazarus -was- raised, they not only wanted to kill Jesus, but also Lazarus, because on account of his raising, more people were believing in Jesus....the same is true of this 'rock' topic. For them it's like the expression: My mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts. It is what is in their -hearts-. Like the would-be customer who called a couple years ago, wanting a banner for this 'rock band', and when I said I don't do work for rock bands, she quickly modified her comment.... Oh, this is a -church- (christian) rock band. And so I -began- to reply, "There is no such thing as c-----" (intending to say "christian rock") she interrupted and blasphemed back, "There @#$%$#@ is so!!" and hung up. As Jesus said, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Mt12:34)

So....not to discourage you, but you can do all the research....but they will still not hear. It is not an intellectual battle (back beat, off beat, syncopation, blue chords, harmonic distortion, beat-vs-melody, etc), but a spiritual one. Rock and sensuality is what they -want-. Most of them are not Biblical [C]hristians.

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God can Redeem anything for His use:

ITEM:
I found that I was having this discussion with someone, and they said that regardless of the origins of rock music (and jazz, blues, CCM, Southern gospel, country, etc.), they believed God could redeem anything for His use. That said, what do you think, and what does the Bible have to say about God redeeming things that are inherently evil?

VW:
Why would God 'redeem' that which blasphemes His holy name? Why would God accept that which calls up demons? Why would God be pleased with immoral and sensuous dancing in a place allegedly designated as His 'presence'?

    "Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know; and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, We are delivered [it's OK] to do all those abominations?" (Jer7:9-10)
If they use such an argument, they are -admitting- to the fact that it is utterly corrupt. If it was not corrupt, why does it -need- 'redeeming'? If they suggest God will redeem it, they know it is filthy. Thus... -WHY- would they even bring it to Him in the first place....!
    "What good to Me are your many sacrifices? ...I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams... nor do I delight in the blood of bulls [and] goats" (Is1:11)

    "Take away from Me the noise of your songs; for I will not hear the melody of your lutes [guitars]." (Am5:23)

There is also
    "And if you offer the blind in sacrifice, is it not evil? And if you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Bring it now to your governor. Will he be pleased with you or receive you favorably? says Jehovah of Hosts." (Mal1:8)

    "And he stationed the gatekeepers at the gates of the house of Jehovah, so that no one who was in any way unclean could enter." (2Ch23:19)

    "Depart! Depart! Go out from there! Touch not the unclean. Go out of her midst; purify yourselves, you who bear the vessels of Jehovah." (Is52:11)

If the music is -DEFILED- God will "redeem" it?! He says to keep the defilements -OUT-. And to stay away from them. And if someplace is using it, well....
    "Therefore, Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." (2Co6:17)
ITEM:
I am in the midst of an "experiment" with my family. My children and I are currently listening only to Classical music.... What I have noticed is, in general, a calmer household. Less disobedience, less anger, more laughter. Anyone who says that music cannot be inherently evil or good, or that music does not have a spiritual undercurrent that speaks to us on a spiritual level is totally and completely WRONG. I've seen it. I've experienced it. I've discerned it.

VW:
Yup! They say that Mozart is the best all-around composer. His music is the most 'pure' structurally, logically, etc. It also promotes mental calmness to do math and such things (school work)....they say.

If you look up in Grout "History of Western Music" (the music history book we used when I was in college), one of the early chapters quoted either Plato or Aristotle, speaking about how "good music" evokes "good behavior" and "bad music...evil behavior" said something to this effect,

"Let me write the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws."

ITEM:
Now...to reconcile being a gifted musician with this knowledge. What does a gifted musician do when the majority of the music in church is totally and completely WRONG?

VW:
If they will not hear?

    "Therefore, Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." (2Co6:17)

    "And I heard another voice from Heaven saying, Come out of her, my people, so that you not share in her sins, and so that you not receive of her plagues." (Rev18:4)

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