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Contemporary Music Brings Great Changes to Churches


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Enlarged September 28, 2010 (first published August 11, 2003) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

Contemporary Christian Worship music is spreading across all denominational lines, and when it enters a church it brings more than a change in music. It brings a worldly philosophy of Christianity and a gradual lowering of all standards of morality and doctrine.

sears-gordon with david 08-2001
The late Gordon Sears, (shown right with Bro. Cloud) who had an evangelistic music ministry for many years and ministered with Rudy Atwood, was saddened before his death by the dramatic change that was occurring in many fundamental Baptist churches. He warned: “When the standard of music is lowered, then the standard of dress is also lowered. When the standard of dress is lowered, then the standard of conduct is also lowered. When the standard of conduct is lowered, then the sense of value in God’s truth is lowered.”

Frank Garlock of Majesty Music warns, “If a church starts using CCM it will eventually lose all other standards” (Garlock, BOB Jones University Chapel, March 12, 2001).

The late Ernest Pickering gave a similar warning: “Perhaps nothing precipitates a slide toward New Evangelicalism more than the introduction of Contemporary Christian Music. This inevitably leads toward a gradual slide in other areas as well until the entire church is infiltrated by ideas and programs alien to the original position of the church.”

We can see the fulfillment of these warnings on every hand. Consider some examples:

AKRON BAPTIST TEMPLE, AKRON, OHIO

Akron Baptist Temple was founded in 1935 by Dallas Billington. From the 1940s to the 1960s it had one of the largest Sunday morning crowds in the nation.In September 1960, during a Sunday School campaign, it averaged 6,000 in attendance, and was dubbed “the World’s Largest Sunday School” by Elmer Towns. In those days it was a typical Independent Baptist church, very conservative in music and dress, committed to the King James Bible, and aggressive in evangelism, particularly through the use of promotionalism to draw big crowds. Upon the death of Dallas Billington in 1972, his son Charles assumed the pastorate. In 1996, Dallas’ grandson Dallas R. Billington became pastor, and took the church in a contemporary direction.


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I'm not sure I agree with the premise of the article that bringing in CCM is what causes the lowering of standards. I'm leaning toward the argument that the lowering of standards is what allows CCM to come into the church, along with the other stuff.

But I could be wrong, and your mileage may vary.

Mitch

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I'm not sure I agree with the premise of the article that bringing in CCM is what causes the lowering of standards. I'm leaning toward the argument that the lowering of standards is what allows CCM to come into the church, along with the other stuff.

But I could be wrong, and your mileage may vary.

Mitch


I think both can happen.
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I guess I don't see this issue entirely in a "standards" framework...I think there's a lot more to it than just that, since "standards" are more surface issues. Standards change because of changing worldviews, changing goals, and changing philosophies about what "church" is...and who "church" is for. For example, the kind of music that Bill Hybels' mega-church Willow Creek uses (and, yes, I've attended a service there) reflects what they think they should be accomplishing as a ministry. They are entirely market-driven and are therefore seeker-sensitive. So, the kind of music they use will be what they think is attractive to the people who attend.

Every Tuesday on the way to my kids' music lessons, we pass a Baptist church that advertises three services on Sunday morning: "traditional," "contemporary," and "modern." Posted on the front lawn is a huge banner displaying a chocolate bar which has the words "sweet spot" on it. This church is OBviously marketing Christianity; it has a consumer/product mindset. No doubt this philosophy is reflected in every area of the church, including its music program. This church's post-modern, consumerist philosophy drives its activities and worship. The appeal is not spiritual, but carnal in nature. Like chocolate? Try Jesus; He's like chocolate. Like contemporary music? Come on in...We have just the service for you! It's all about YOU, the consumer. We have just the products YOU need.

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Standards are indeed funny things. There are some standards that might be viewed as being on a scale and it would be appropriate to discuss "higher" or "lower" standards. They are usually things that can be OBjectively measured. In other instances standards may be more appropriately viewed as not being on a scale, but rather a difference matrix. They are usually things that are more subjective in nature and there may not be a measurement needed.

Standards are not necessarily always the same thing as a command of God. A command of God is definitely a standard, but there are other things that people set up as "standards" that are definitely not specifically addressed in God's Word.

Great conversation, can't wait to hear others discuss this with the irishman.

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Provident Label Group is a standalone operating divisions of Sony Music Entertainment. http://providentpress.com/ shows some of their popular artist as Casting Crowns, Leeland, Third Day, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith .... and more. At the bottom of the website it states clearly "© 2010 Provident Label Group LLC, a unit of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. All Rights Reserved."

I don't understand how any Church could use music published by Sony Music. You see, Sony also owns Columbia/Epic Label Group and some of their artist are listed as AC/DC, Aerosmith, Beastie Boys, Neil Diamond, The Rolling Stones .... and more.

Sparrow Records is a division of EMI. Sparrow Records currently has signed on Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, Bethany Dillon, Amy Grant, Matthew West ... and more.

I don't understand how any Church could use music published by EMI. You see, EMI also owns Capitol Music Group. Capital has on their roll Garth Brooks, The Beach Boys, Tina Turner and they distribute Apple Records (The Beatles) .... and more.

Fact is. Most Christian Pop musicians are making money for the WORLD.

Churches sing "Praise" music right? Ok. Who writes a bunch of it? One such guy would be Chris Tomlin. He is currently signed to EMI's sixstepsrecords ....

So, when Churches hold hands and sing "How Great Is Our God" or "Indescribable" they sing music connected to John Lennon. Together they make people rich.

How can such Godly music live together with ungodly?

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Provident Label Group (so-called Christian music label) is a standalone operating divisions of Sony Music Entertainment. http://providentpress.com/ shows some of their popular artist as Casting Crowns, Leeland, Third Day, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith .... and more. At the bottom of the website it states clearly "© 2010 Provident Label Group LLC, a unit of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. All Rights Reserved."

I don't understand how any Church could use music published by Sony Music. You see, Sony also owns Columbia/Epic Label Group and some of their artist are listed as AC/DC, Aerosmith, Beastie Boys, Neil Diamond, The Rolling Stones .... and more. Not to mention, Sony Pictures Entertainment is on their roll also .... some really ungodly movies come out of that mess. Some rated NC-17.

Sparrow Records (so-called Christian) is a division of EMI. Sparrow Records currently has signed on Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, Bethany Dillon, Amy Grant, Matthew West ... and more.

I don't understand how any Church could use music published by EMI. You see, EMI also owns Capitol Music Group. Capital has on their roll Garth Brooks, The Beach Boys, Tina Turner and they distribute Apple Records (The Beatles) .... and more.

Fact is. Most Christian Pop musicians are making money for the WORLD. They use the WORLDS system to distribute and market music. I see no reason why they couldn't at least start a Christian label that doesn't connect with the world. No wonder their music is just like the worlds, they are yoked with the world.

Churches sing "Praise" music right? Ok. Who writes a bunch of it? One such guy would be Chris Tomlin. He is currently signed to EMI's sixstepsrecords .... So, when Churches hold hands and sing "How Great Is Our God" or "Indescribable" they sing music connected to John Lennon. Together they make/made people rich.

How can such Godly music live together with ungodly? It CAN'T!!!!!!!!!! How can such ungodly record labels be credited for spreading the gospel? They DON'T!!!!!!!!!

It's MONEY MAKING BUSINESS and so-called Churches are buying into it.

Makes me sick.

Edited by God's Child
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Most people do not know about those types of associations, nor would I expect them too.....




Back to the article, I agree that once CCM is in, all standards seem to suffer.


They should know the associations. And it's with the associations that it becomes clear why churches suffer with so-called CCM. You can't mix the world with Church. If the sales suffer on a CD the artist is cut, song won't be featured at worship service. If the song is popular it's sung in Church. It's all music business and sheet music is sold still fueling ungodly artist on the same label. Churches sing many of the "top 10" Praise and Worship songs. Just like the radio plays them also. It's all about popularity, business, numbers and money. If it's ministry they are fooled.

CCM kills silently. Edited by God's Child
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So, you are telling me that Mrs. Jones, the 80 year old widow of the church should know about the legal associations between various record labels?


I believe leadership should know and consider this when making music purchases.

How would you like it if you found out Sony was behind your worship music unto God? They made money off it? Edited by God's Child
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I believe leadership should know and consider this when making music purchases.

How would you like it if you found out Sony was behind your worship music unto God? They made money off it?


I would have the same feelings as I would if I found out the power company supplying my church with electricity was actually owned by Sony. I'd have no issue with it as long as the product coming into my Church was acceptable.
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I would have the same feelings as I would if I found out the power company supplying my church with electricity was actually owned by Sony. I'd have no issue with it as long as the product coming into my Church was acceptable.


Agreed. Most businesses today have one connection or another to others. Very few are totally Christian owned, operated and run by Christians every other Christian would agree with.

Whether buying gas, a can of soup or clothes to wear, some of that money will eventually end up in an ungodly persons pocket.

Back to the music issue; our church chooses the songs we sing based upon the message of the lyrics. Most often, what we sing in some way connects with the sermon. We don't do any of the 7/11 stuff mentioned in the article. In fact, our associate pastor and myself were discussing this recently. Someone had asked him why we don't do that so people could memorize some choruses. Other than those who get emotionally going with the repetion, most lose sight of the actual words after the third repetition. We would rather sing some of the same hymns for edification several times a year than to sing a chorus over and over every Sunday so people have a couple catchy lines in their memory.
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I believe leadership should know and consider this when making music purchases.

How would you like it if you found out Sony was behind your worship music unto God? They made money off it?




God's Child. Its like this in modern times.

You've got two stores in town to chose from, one sells liquor and lottery tickets, the other one doesn't. The one that sells liquor sells and lottery tickets sells its groceries a bit cheaper than the other store.

There would be few Christens that would avoid buying from the store that sells liquor and and lottery tickets, they would support it and not think twice about it.

The same goes for restaurants. You've got two restaurants in town, one sells mixed drinks and is just a bit cheaper on its menu items.

Most Christians would flood the restaurants that sells mixed drinks, and would encourager others to.
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God's Child. Its like this in modern times.

You've got two stores in town to chose from, one sells liquor and lottery tickets, the other one doesn't. The one that sells liquor sells and lottery tickets sells its groceries a bit cheaper than the other store.

There would be few Christens that would avoid buying from the store that sells liquor and and lottery tickets, they would support it and not think twice about it.

The same goes for restaurants. You've got two restaurants in town, one sells mixed drinks and is just a bit cheaper on its menu items.

Most Christians would flood the restaurants that sells mixed drinks, and would encourager others to.


With regards to groceries, some Christians don't have the money to buy at the more expensive store. With regards to restaurants there is always the option to either eat at home or wait until you can save enough to go to the liquor free restaurant.

Myself, if I could afford to do so, I'd buy as much as I could right here in my little town rather than going to the small city to shop at Wal-Mart. However, that's impossible because of the high prices here in town. If we shopped in town at our local stores our shopping budget would have to more than double just to buy the same things we do now at Wal-Mart.

Most places today, whether restaurant or store, seems to be selling tOBacco and booze these days. Most all gas stations sell both along with lottery tickets.
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In regards to the topic about Contemporary Music bringing great change to a Church, it's my assumption that the negative influence is because of the direct link it has to the world. Bricks, mortar, pews, lights and other needed things to make a congregating place possible are not the same as the actual materials used to worship God. Materials should be created by a Godly person. If you found out your Sunday School material was created by Playboy you wouldn't use it. All I am saying is that Godly music can be purchased from companies with God in their mission statement. Sony, WB, Columbia and the others don't have Godly people on their board of directors and when they look at the bottom line it's all about money. not creating materials for people to worship with. The songs are created to sell. The artist are mini-gods to many. This is a far cry from shopping at WalMart, or using electricity. It's about the minds and hearts behind what Churches sing. I fail to see where I am wrong here.

I don't like to visit restaurants that serve beer and wine, but I note that they are not conducting business for "Christians" .... they are worldly and serve the world. We are in the world, but not of it. Clearly, we will not be around Christians and Christian companies all the time. I work at a non-Christian company.

The Bible we read and preach from is the Word of God. It wasn't written to become a best seller and then used in our Churches. It was written to guide the hearts of mankind.

I assume most on this forum are against CCM and prOBably use hymn books and music in your church created from Sacred Music Services or Majesty Musicc .... both Godly companies not compromising.

One final note. Some might know Ricky Skaggs. He started Skaggs Family Records (to sell Bluegrass music) and isn't hooked up with any major label. Now I totally reject his music and stands, but he does show that one can be separate from the big record companies and not conform to their standards. He has a catalog, made deals to sell online, and yes he uses the world to shelve his product. But, at least the heart of the operation is from a man who wants to sell Bluegrass. What a blessing it would be if the saved of the Lord would start a record company and sell music for Church and Home that is nothing but music for God. God would bless such an effort.

Once again, God walks away from Churches that bring in the world. Bible clearly teaches not to get wisdom from this world. CCM in many shapes and forms is the world candy coated as "Christian"

Edited by God's Child
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In regards to the topic about Contemporary Music bringing great change to a Church, it's my assumption that the negative influence is because of the direct link it has to the world. Bricks, mortar, pews, lights and other needed things to make a congregating place possible are not the same as the actual materials used to worship God. Materials should be created by a Godly person. If you found out your Sunday School material was created by Playboy you wouldn't use it. All I am saying is that Godly music can be purchased from companies with God in their mission statement. Sony, WB, Columbia and the others don't have Godly people on their board of directors and when they look at the bottom line it's all about money. not creating materials for people to worship with. The songs are created to sell. The artist are mini-gods to many. This is a far cry from shopping at WalMart, or using electricity. It's about the minds and hearts behind what Churches sing. I fail to see where I am wrong here.

I don't like to visit restaurants that serve beer and wine, but I note that they are not conducting business for "Christians" .... they are worldly and serve the world. We are in the world, but not of it. Clearly, we will not be around Christians and Christian companies all the time. I work at a non-Christian company.

The Bible we read and preach from is the Word of God. It wasn't written to become a best seller and then used in our Churches. It was written to guide the hearts of mankind.

I assume most on this forum are against CCM and prOBably use hymn books and music in your church created from Sacred Music Services or Majesty Musicc .... both Godly companies not compromising.

One final note. Some might know Ricky Skaggs. He started Skaggs Family Records (to sell Bluegrass music) and isn't hooked up with any major label. Now I totally reject his music and stands, but he does show that one can be separate from the big record companies and not conform to their standards. He has a catalog, made deals to sell online, and yes he uses the world to shelve his product. But, at least the heart of the operation is from a man who wants to sell Bluegrass. What a blessing it would be if the saved of the Lord would start a record company and sell music for Church and Home that is nothing but music for God. God would bless such an effort.

Once again, God walks away from Churches that bring in the world. Bible clearly teaches not to get wisdom from this world. CCM in many shapes and forms is the world candy coated as "Christian"

Good posting, God's Child. I agree with you that associations do matter...but I'd prOBably go even further than you are suggesting. Association is just one of many principles that should inform our thinking in this area. IMO, "having God in the mission statement" doesn't go far enough. Edited by Annie
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