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Reply to a Pastor About My Warning of Lancaster's Music


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February 21, 2011 (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)

The following is slightly edited edition of a couple of e-mails I sent to a pastor who wrote to express his deep concern at how I handled the matter of warning about Lancaster Baptist Church’s music. He believes I am sowing discord. This pastor called Brother Paul Chappell and they talked for an hour about the matter.

_______________________________

Thank you for the e-mail and for your concern in this matter.

I'm glad that you called Pastor Chappell. Others have also probably contacted him. It sounds like you and he had a nice anti-Cloud fest, but I am not the issue here.

I do not regret that I sent out that mailing, though I did regret it at one point and at one level. (If you think I enjoy the trouble that this type of thing engenders, you are profoundly wrong. Humanly speaking, I get nothing in return but personal attacks and closed doors.) But perhaps it will stir things up enough for a real direction change. It has certainly brought the issue under a lot of attention. I am convinced that a private conversation from me or from any other one person would have done very little. Real public pressure has to be brought to bear in these cases.

I would have guessed that Bro. Chappell would renounce his use of "Shout to the Lord," but that is only the tip of the iceberg. 



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This is just another reason I can't stand David Cloud's ministry. West Coast is doing a tremendous job of preparing young men for the ministry. If you don't agree with their music standard, don't go there. It is a pastor's responsibility to educate his people, not a para church organization like David Clouds. He was arrogant in his letter when he stated that if they would read my stuff, they would understand the dangers.

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Yes, Cloud does go overboard sometimes and he does sometimes seem to take to high a view of himself. I tried to corresponed with him regarding a matter several years ago and he was very terse and arrogant. His second reply to me was that he had set forth his position and everyone should stop discussing it because he was right and wasn't going to talk about it anymore.

There is far too much shooting our own in the foot, too much turning what should be a private conversation into a public debate, too much division and strife brought about rather than constructive discussion.

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This is just another reason I can't stand David Cloud's ministry. West Coast is doing a tremendous job of preparing young men for the ministry. If you don't agree with their music standard, don't go there. It is a pastor's responsibility to educate his people, not a para church organization like David Clouds. He was arrogant in his letter when he stated that if they would read my stuff, they would understand the dangers.



Yes, Cloud does go overboard sometimes and he does sometimes seem to take to high a view of himself. I tried to corresponed with him regarding a matter several years ago and he was very terse and arrogant. His second reply to me was that he had set forth his position and everyone should stop discussing it because he was right and wasn't going to talk about it anymore.

There is far too much shooting our own in the foot, too much turning what should be a private conversation into a public debate, too much division and strife brought about rather than constructive discussion.


Wow, I agree with both of you!
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I'm neither pro Cloud or against him as I don't know enough about him.
However, my question is in reference to "West Coast does a great job preparing men for the ministry " and "if you don't like their music don't go..."

I've only been IFB for about 4 years. I used to listen and watch CCM/Darlene Z (and others), until I learned that CCM, etc. is inappropriate as it is, as mentioned in a related thread, charismatic, rockish, etc. I remember the videos which resemble rock concerts.

So my question, with all due respect-if West Coast is doing such a good job at preparing men for the ministry, aren't they doing their preacher boys to be a great disservice by utilizing CCM? By allowing this type of music are they not compromising with the world and telling the preacher boys to be that compromise with the world in music is OK? Aren't went be separated from the world and not give any appearance of being worldly? A little leaven will ruin the whole loaf. Isn't acceptance of CCM in the church (much less in a preacher school) leaving the door cracked open for Satan?
Where does the compromise stop? If CCM is ok for a church or preacher school, then whats wrong with having Rick Warren or Joel Osteen teach courses on church growth or salvation?
To me, allowing things such as CCM just continues to blur the lines between the saved and unsaved, which is just what the devil wants.

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I've noted a hint of arrogance in Cloud's comments (past and present) but, then I note some here from us (I'm in that us) occassionally. It's easy for me to recognize it in him because people aren't mirrors. However, if we take his comments and compare by the "perfect law of liberty" there is a reflection back to us. I don't support CCM/CCW music myself. Although his style "scrapes on my blackboard" I agree with his content.

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Cubfan.

There are different schools with different standards. I have met many preachers who have graduated from schools that I myself would never go to that are doing a great job. I graduated from PCC. PCC holds to an unscriptural position on the local church and separation. Yet there are a number of excellent preachers who have graduated from there that do not hold to their position. If one has a music standard that is contrary to West Coast, don't go there. Just because they hold to a certain music standard, doesn't mean that every graduate from there will hold to it.

BJU has a extremely conservative position on music. I don't like BJU, but if that is what you want, go there.

What makes me sick is the constant trashing of good schools because they don't fit your exact mold.

Now I will make one exception to this and that is doctrinal error. There are many instances in Scripture where the Apostles called out by name heretics. That is why I have no problem calling Mr. Ruckman for what he is, a heretic.

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Now I will make one exception to this and that is doctrinal error. There are many instances in Scripture where the Apostles called out by name heretics. That is why I have no problem calling Mr. Ruckman for what he is, a heretic.



At least you're consistent.............
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Cubfan.

There are different schools with different standards. I have met many preachers who have graduated from schools that I myself would never go to that are doing a great job. I graduated from PCC. PCC holds to an unscriptural position on the local church and separation. Yet there are a number of excellent preachers who have graduated from there that do not hold to their position. If one has a music standard that is contrary to West Coast, don't go there. Just because they hold to a certain music standard, doesn't mean that every graduate from there will hold to it.

BJU has a extremely conservative position on music. I don't like BJU, but if that is what you want, go there.

What makes me sick is the constant trashing of good schools because they don't fit your exact mold.

Now I will make one exception to this and that is doctrinal error. There are many instances in Scripture where the Apostles called out by name heretics. That is why I have no problem calling Mr. Ruckman for what he is, a heretic.


Well put.
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There are different schools with different standards. ... What makes me sick is the constant trashing of good schools because they don't fit your exact mold.


We are not talking about "trashing" good schools. We are talking about exposing error and warning people about what is coming down the pike. If a church or a school publically proclaims that they are against contemporary Christian music then it is hypocritical for them to utilize contemporary Christian music in any fashion or form. Lancaster Baptist Church is not the only big name church that is following the contemporary path. North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California is doing the same thing. On their website, Pastor Jack Trieber has a video warning churches and musicians about contemporary Christian music. However, their own hymn book (which they publish) has many contemporary and charismatic songs in it (included a lot of Bill Gaither's music). This is not only hypocritical but it is downright deceitful.
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What is contemporary. I have heard people say that Ron Hamilton is contemporary. Everyone has a different definition of what is contemporary. There are a lot of wonderful songs that people discard because they were written in the last 20 years.

There are a lot of verses dealing with Music in Scripture. Unfortunately a lot of people have a lot of different interpretations of those scriptures.

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Cubfan.

There are different schools with different standards. I have met many preachers who have graduated from schools that I myself would never go to that are doing a great job. I graduated from PCC. PCC holds to an unscriptural position on the local church and separation. Yet there are a number of excellent preachers who have graduated from there that do not hold to their position. If one has a music standard that is contrary to West Coast, don't go there. Just because they hold to a certain music standard, doesn't mean that every graduate from there will hold to it.

BJU has a extremely conservative position on music. I don't like BJU, but if that is what you want, go there.

What makes me sick is the constant trashing of good schools because they don't fit your exact mold.

Now I will make one exception to this and that is doctrinal error. There are many instances in Scripture where the Apostles called out by name heretics. That is why I have no problem calling Mr. Ruckman for what he is, a heretic.


So, in other words, finding a good preacher-training school is about as varied as an IFB church (if I understand correctly), as there will probably be differences in some fashion from one IFB church to another....
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Is any hymnal perfect? Can we all say that we agree with the standard, or even certain doctrinal positions, of those who wrote many of the hymns in most of our hymnbooks? Is it okay that some hymns were set to the contempory tunes of folk, tavern and other songs of their day?

Is it the lyrics of the song that matter or does the one writing the song have to have perfect doctrine and standards and avoid any music forms or styles that might be contemporary or that somebody in the world has used?

Is it okay to have hymns played on piano when many of our ancestors would have denounced such because piano's were common in taverns and saloons and piano music was used by the wicked?

David was far from perfect yet God used him to put forth many of the psalms in Scripture. David used various loud instruments and even danced as he praised God with music. Does this make his psalms unacceptable?

We might even want to consider that at one point only those songs taken from the Psalms were accepted as proper music within churches.

Even one of many's favorites, Amazing Grace, was not overly well accepted when it first came forth. The song never did really catch on in England but eventually did so in America some years later.

What is the standard for a song being okay for a Christian to sing?

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Is any hymnal perfect? Can we all say that we agree with the standard, or even certain doctrinal positions, of those who wrote many of the hymns in most of our hymnbooks? Is it okay that some hymns were set to the contempory tunes of folk, tavern and other songs of their day?

Is it the lyrics of the song that matter or does the one writing the song have to have perfect doctrine and standards and avoid any music forms or styles that might be contemporary or that somebody in the world has used?

Is it okay to have hymns played on piano when many of our ancestors would have denounced such because piano's were common in taverns and saloons and piano music was used by the wicked?

David was far from perfect yet God used him to put forth many of the psalms in Scripture. David used various loud instruments and even danced as he praised God with music. Does this make his psalms unacceptable?

We might even want to consider that at one point only those songs taken from the Psalms were accepted as proper music within churches.

Even one of many's favorites, Amazing Grace, was not overly well accepted when it first came forth. The song never did really catch on in England but eventually did so in America some years later.

What is the standard for a song being okay for a Christian to sing?


Good question....as I've been in my IFB church, I've learned alot, but also occasionally question why we do or don't do certain things. I'm still learning, and have been convicted of many things that I used to do prior to finding my current church.
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Cubfan,

Absolutely. Unfortunately there are many flavors of the IFB movement. It is why you see hundeds of baptist churches in 1 small city. Each camp won't get a long with the other.

Don't get me wrong, I am not an ecumenicalist. I believe very strongly in separation for doctrinal issues. By doctrinal, I mean one of the major doctrines of our faith.

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I like David Cloud. His job is to keep people informed. I assume he is close enough to God that God is leading him in what he is doing. I'd say if you don't agree with him, then that's fine...but I would not say that just because a person disagrees with him makes him actually wrong.

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I like David Cloud. His job is to keep people informed.


I personally find that I agree with him about 95% of the time, and of the remaining 5% or so about half the time I disagree and the other half of the time I neither agree or disagree. That is about as much as I agree with anybody and a lot more often than I agree with most. As far as "trashing "good" schools" or Cloud having an "itchy trigger finger" that is always going to be a matter of opinion. Myself I would much rather see people overwarned than underwarned. It might also have to do with a difference in perspective about how "drastic" an action putting a warning out is. Some take it as if giving a warning is a drastic last ditch measure akin to calling someone a heretic, but to me warnings like this are merely an alert to make sure people are not letting the ship drift off course without realizing it. The earlier a change in course is detected the easier it is to right it. If I hear a warning or a caution from anyone whose opinions I consider to frequently be worthwhile(be that Cloud or someone else) about a given school, ministry or what have you I don't automatically reject that ministry or school based on that, but I do tend to be very cautious about it. If they are squarely in the right and desiring to stay on course then the extra scrutiny doesn't hurt them a bit. What does hurt is when some ministry has a good name but has been drifting off course and people get drawn into that current without even realizing what is happening.
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It is a pastor's responsibility to educate his people, not a para church organization like David Clouds.


Education is where you can find it, it should not just come from the pastor, I am very glad that there are many sources of information out there for people to accept or reject as they choose. If the pastor is the only one "educating" his people and they never look at anything else that is a situation just waiting for abuse. I like and trust my pastor, but I never had a pastor that I would trust anywhere near as completely as your post implies and I am glad of it.
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Seth,

It is why Christianity is so devisive now. The BBF, FBF, Sword, Hyles, and all these other groups within Fundamental Independent Baptists want to criticize each other over a topic like Music, which is very subjectional. There are far more important things to be concerned with than what music West Coast uses unless you or someone you know are planning on going there. David Cloud's letter was not necessary. He can put any of his beliefs on his website. However, when you start sending out open letters, you as an individual have gone too far. Maybe we should find some fault in his beliefs and send out a letter against him. Here's one better, let's find something with Bro. Matt. I am sure we all disagree with him on something. His father and I disagree on a couple things, so it wouldn't shock me if we disagree. Maybe I should send a letter out to all the churches of America warning them that Dan and Matt Souza are dangerous because they don't agree with me.

It is ludicrous and these kind of things should not be supported. David cloud ought to be ashamed, but he isn't because he is too arrogant to realize his errors

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I would love to see Cloud balance out his negativity with some positive things. This article is a good example, he tells you who you should not listen too, but does not tell you who you should listen too.
He is like the guy at work that always complains about everything and you never hear him say anything positive about anyone. Eventually you get tired of hearing him talk.

I would say I agree with cloud about 85% of the time. This is not one of the 85%. :)

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I would love to see Cloud balance out his negativity with some positive things. This article is a good example, he tells you who you should not listen too, but does not tell you who you should listen too.
He is like the guy at work that always complains about everything and you never hear him say anything positive about anyone. Eventually you get tired of hearing him talk.

I would say I agree with cloud about 85% of the time. This is not one of the 85%. :)


:amen: Scripture examples this very well. For example, we are told in Scripture what the works of the flesh are, then we are told what the works of the Spirit are which should replace them.
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      I am... Brother Ramsey
       
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