Sunday, October 8, 2017

"Seeker-Sensitive" Christian Worship and Pragmatism


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excerpts from Ligonier Ministries (here)

Which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” (v. 28). 
 Luke 14:25–33

While most of the philosophies that have shaped American culture are European in origin, pragmatism is at least one worldview that was born in the United States. Its assumptions lie at the heart of postmodernism, that catch-all term used to describe the views that dominate Western thinking in the first part of the twenty-first century.

Pragmatic philosophers are generally agnostic as to whether ultimate, transcendent truth even exists. Even if objective truth exists, they say, it cannot be known, nor is it even worth pursuing. Truth is therefore radically redefined. Traditionally, truth is regarded as that which corresponds to reality. However, truth in pragmatism is what “works.”

This leads to relativism. What “works” for you is not necessarily what “works” for me. Christianity may make me a happier person; thus, it is true for me. Muslims find that Islam makes them happy, and so Islam is true for them since it “works” for them. Rational discussion, or an appeal to a final norm, cannot solve disagreements over what “works”; therefore, the group with the most power wins when pragmatism is wholly embraced. 

If homosexuality works for me, then I must gain power to silence those who, by convincing others that my behavior is unacceptable, can create cultural impediments that hinder my enjoyment. I will not try to debate those who disagree since there is no universal standard to which we can appeal.

Pragmatism usually looks for immediate solutions without considering whether the answers will work in the long haul. Perhaps the best example of this is the Social Security system in the United States. The problem of people not saving enough for retirement was “solved” by mandating contributions to a government-sponsored savings plan. 

No one seriously considered whether there would always be enough workers to support these benefits, and now the time is coming when Social Security will be unable to pay out what the government has promised. Jesus opposes this type of short-term thinking, calling us to count the long-term costs of following Him (Luke 14:25–33). 

Coram Deo


The corrupting influences of pragmatism are seen even in the church. “Seeker-sensitive” worship can increase attendance without ever seeing the congregation grow to maturity. Churches targeting specific ages or lifestyles might attract a lot of people from these groups and not minister to those who do not fit certain classifications. Beware of any ministry that emphasizes “what works” and do what you can to help your church avoid slipping into pragmatism.

-end-

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(above) a short video clip by Steven Furtick, a pastor of Elevation Church, another prominent Seeker sensitive church in NC, USA. In this video clip, he proclaims sneeringly that those who are critical of Seeker sensitive, Market-driven church model are "Haters" and that "Hey, Haters, Your day is done." He continues that "It's a new day." A new day....yes...that so called Bible-believing Christians have come to be labeled as "Haters." O Lord, grant us the spiritual eyes to discern the spirit of this age and help us to be faithful to You and Your word until the end. Amen. (*useful source regarding this issue: Chris Rosebrough, Doing Church for the Unchurched? For Whom Do Pastors Exist )


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Excerpts from
Pragmatism Goes to Church
"God Tells The Man Who Cares"
By A. W. Tozer

It is not by accident that the philosophy of pragmatism around the turn of the century achieved such wide popularity in the United States. The American temperament was perfect for it, and still is.

Pragmatism has a number of facets and can mean various things to various people, but basically it is the doctrine of the utility of truth. For the pragmatist there are no absolutes; nothing is absolutely good or absolutely true. Truth and morality float on a sea of human experience. If an exhausted swimmer can lay hold of a belief or an ethic, well and good; it may keep him afloat till he can get to shore; then it only encumbers him, so he tosses it away. He feels no responsibility to cherish truth for its own sake. It is there to serve him; he has no obligation to serve it.

Truth is to use. Whatever is useful is true for the user, though for someone else it may not be useful, so not true. The truth of any idea is its ability to produce desirable results. If it can show no such results it is false. That is pragmatism stripped of its jargon.

Now, since practicality is a marked characteristic of the American people they naturally lean strongly toward the philosophy of utility. Whatever will get things done immediately with a maximum of efficiency and a minimum of undesirable side effects must be good. The proof is that it succeeds; no one wants to argue with success.

It is useless to plead for the human soul, to insist that what a man can do is less important than what he is. When there are wars to be won, forests to be cleared, rivers to be harnessed, factories to be built, planets to be visited, the quieter claims of the human spirit are likely to go unregarded. 

The spectacular drama of successful deeds leaves the beholder breathless. Deeds you can see. Factories, cities, highways, rockets are there in plain sight, and they got there by the practical application of means to ends. So who cares about ideals and character and morals? These things are for poets, nice old ladies and philosophers. Let's get on with the job.

Now all this has been said, and said better, a few dozen times before, and I would not waste space on it here except that this philosophy of pragmatism has had and is having a powerful influence upon Christianity in the middle years of this century. And whatever touches the faith of Christ immediately becomes a matter of interest to me and, I hope, to my readers also.

The nervous compulsion to get things done is found everywhere among us. We are affected by a kind of religious tic, a deep inner necessity to accomplish something that can be seen and photographed and evaluated in terms of size, numbers, speed and distance

We travel a prodigious number of miles, talk to unbelievably large crowds, publish an astonishing amount of religious literature, collect huge sums of money, build vast numbers of churches and amass staggering debts for our children to pay. Christian leaders compete with each other in the field of impressive statistics, and in so doing often acquire peptic ulcers, have nervous breaks or die of heart attacks while still relatively young.

Right here is where the pragmatic philosophy comes into its own. It asks no embarrassing questions about the wisdom of what we are doing or even about the morality of it. it accepts our chosen ends as right and good and casts about for efficient means and ways to get them accomplished. 

When it discovers something that works it soon finds a text to justify it, "consecrates" it to the Lord and plunges ahead. Next a magazine article is written about it, then a book, and finally the inventor is granted an honorary degree. After that any question about the scripturalness of things or even the moral validity of them is completely swept away. You cannot argue with success. The method works; ergo, it must be good.

The weakness of all this is its tragic shortsightedness. It never takes the long view of religious activity, indeed it dare not do so, but goes cheerfully on believing that because it works it is both good and true. It is satisfied with present success and shakes off any suggestion that its works may go up in smoke in the day of Christ.

As one fairly familiar with the contemporary religious scene, I say without hesitation that a part, a very large part, of the activities carried on today in evangelical circles are not only influenced by pragmatism but almost completely controlled by it. Religious methodology is geared to it; it appears large in our youth meetings; magazines and books constantly glorify it; conventions are dominated by it; and the whole religious atmosphere is alive with it.

What shall we do to break its power over us? The answer is simple. We must acknowledge the right of Jesus Christ to control the activities of His church. The New Testament contains full instructions, not only about what we are to believe but what we are to do and how we are to go about doing it. Any deviation from those instructions is a denial of the Lordship of Christ.


I say the answer is simple, but it is not easy for it requires that we obey God rather than man, and that always brings down the wrath of the religious majority. It is not a question of knowing what to do; we can easily learn that from the Scriptures. It is a question of whether or not we have the courage to do it.

-end-








ISSUE 18 Self-esteem, the New Christian "Virtue" Part 2: Robert Schullers New Reformation
ISSUE 37 Why Ecumenism Cannot Produce the Unity of the Faith: The Biblical Definition of the Church Shows Ecumenism to be Futile
ISSUE 56 Robert Schuller and The Seeker Sensitive Church: The Roots and Fruits of Robert Schuller's Verstion of Theological Liberalism
ISSUE 80 The Gospel: A Method or a Message?: How the Purpose Driven LifeObscures the Gospel
ISSUE 85 Redefining the Church: The Church Growth Movement's Unbiblical Definition of the Church
ISSUE 86 “Church Health Award” From Rick Warren or Jesus Christ?: A Study of the Seven Churches in Revelation
ISSUE 89 Faulty Premises of the Church Growth Movement: Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, Donald McGavran, and C. Peter Wagner Mislead the Church
ISSUE 119 Monvee—The New Evangelicalism about Me: A Review of John Ortberg's The Me I Want to Be

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hijacked by Rock 'n' Rollers : Modern Christian Churches and Music Deception


Rock'n' Roll Sunday Worship Service @ Elevation Church, NC

Prologue 


  "Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) has some identifiable features even though it does not easily lend itself a definition. Preuss observes that “not all CCM is rock music, although the two are often confounded. 
  It is estimated that about ninety percent of CCM comes in a wide variety of rock styles”. 
  
"This is so because some church leaders place importance on the lyrics of the song and not the style. For instance, Rick Warren opines that “churches… need to admit that no particular style of music is “sacred”. What makes a song sacred is its messages…. There is no such things as “Christian music”, only Christian lyrics”. (Opeyemi T. Oladosu, "Contemporary Christian Music and the Church", The American Journal of Biblical Theology, Volume 18(30). July 23, 2017)


Saddleback Church and Rock 'n' Roll 


  "I believe in the transformative power of Rock'n Roll, this transformative power adheres not so much in the words of the song...but in the music itself, in the sound and above all in the beat."(Robert, Rock & Roll Unruly History)

  “In his effort to create a non-judgmental atmosphere, the pastor promoted a ‘God accepts us as we are’ philosophy, with which CCM seems to go hand in hand... This teaching produced a church that attracted people who wanted God in their lives but did not want to change their lifestyles.” 
(Dan Lucarini, Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement: Confessions of a Former Worship Leader, Evangelical Press, 2002, pp. 28, 29)

  “Now I want to summarize the reasons I had to leave the CCM scene. Firstly, I could no longer accept the premises undergirding the CCM philosophy. … Our key premises were that music is amoral; God accepts all music styles; and no one should judge another’s preference or tastes. As I dug into the Bible to prove them right, instead I saw that they were man-centered, illogical, and misrepresentations of basic biblical principles. …

  "Secondly, when I saw what the Bible teaches about true worship and what it really means to be in the presence of God, I became sickened at the way my generation so glibly used profane and vulgar music accompanied by vulgar dress to offer up worship and praise to a holy God! 
And no one involved seemed to notice what we were doing. Thirdly, to preserve my marriage and to be faithful to God in all things, I needed to separate from the temptations that were ever-present in the CCM setting: the ego gratification and attraction to the female members of the worship team.” (Ibid. p. 34)


"The human mind shuts down after three or four repetitions of a rhythm, or a melody, or a harmonic progression. Furthermore, excessive repetition causes people to release control of their thoughts. Rhythmic repetition is used by people who are trying to push certain ethics in their music." (Dr. M.Ballam)


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A. Is There any Connection between "Christian Rock" and "Permeation of False Teachings"? Does the former reinforce the latter and vice versa? 


Example A.
New Apostolic Reformation and Rock Worship


Example B
The Restoration of David's Tabernacle and Rock Worship







Example C
Hillsong and Rock Worship






*related articles;



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Hillsong and Prosperity Gospel



Example D

Empowered 21 and Rock Worship




New Apostolic Reformation using Empowered21, Assemblies of God, to further agenda?




B. Christian Rock and Bodily Movement: the drastic effect of the Beat Anticipation







The late Graham West, who was a pastor and a church music researcher/educator at Tamworth Bible Baptist Church in Australia defines the Beat Anticipation as follows;

Beat Anticipation:
: Syncopation that moves the natural position of the accent by causing the last note of the musical phrase to fall off the beat immediately before a naturally accented beat.

"When the accent is taken away from the naturally strong beats (either by a backbeat or by syncopation) there is a strong psychological and physiological impulse for the mind and body to move into the gap."
(Graham West, The Rhythm of Rock)

John Makujima in his book Measuring the Music also points out that;

"Rock's danceability is due predominately to its emphasized syncopated rhythms, which invite the listener to supply the missing first and third beats either mentally or through a series of physical gestures."

(*Pastor David Cloud categorizes the major elements of sensual CCM worship experience as follows;
1. Syncopated dance rhythm
2. Unresolving chords
3. Sensual vocal techniques
4. Electronic modulation
5. Rise and fall in intensity
6. Repetition



C. Christian Rock Music and Mind: from Brain Neurological Perspective



Image result for youths crowd CCM concerts


Image result for youths crowd CCM concerts

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Mr. C.Berdahl in one of his lecture series (Distraction Dilemma 2  Opus: Identifyingthe Mind's Mark) explains how Rock music affects our minds neurologically.

He explains that by exposing ourselves to Rock music as well as Eastern meditation, Contemplative/Centering prayer, Yoga, New Age meditation etc, our Beta Waves which originate from frontal lobes (the brain area where character/Discernment/Morality/Will function) are taken off and instead Alpha Waves (Visualization and Mediation mood) which originate from occipital and parietal lobes start to reign. 




Brain state chart




Image result for alpha wave and occipital lobe

(source: Stuart Ira Fox, Human Physiology, Chapter 8 The Central Nervous System)




It is indeed a dangerous state because now that the Beta Waves are absent, we are unable to discern the incoming information! Please look at this short video and grasp this spiritually dangerous state.





(related article: The Power of Music: Mind Control by Rhythmic Sound By R. Douglas Fields on October 19, 2012)



D. The Fundamental Rock Philosophy: Do What Thou Wilt





Rock music has been popular since the 1950s and had had an appeal to people of all cultures and ethnic groups around the world. Since the time Blues morphed into rock with the help of musicians such as Little Richard and Elvis Presley, Rock ‘n’ Roll has drawn in many millions of fans worldwide.

Rock performers have revealed some interesting information about Rock ‘n’ Roll that may shock you. The first fact they have revealed to us is that Rock music is about doing what you want to do. Listen to these quotes from Rock musicians and Rock lovers. (Note: emphasis is added to the quotes.)


“I’m free to do what I want any old time” (“I’m Free,” Rolling Stones, 1965). 

“It’s my life and I’ll do what I want/ It’s my mind, and I’ll think what I want” (The Animals, 1965). 

“You got to go where you want to go/ do what you want to do” (Mamas and Papas, 1965). 

“It’s your thing/ do what you want to do” (Isley Brothers, 1969). 


Image result for Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates

“The main purpose of rock and roll is celebration of the self” (Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates, interview with Timothy White, 1987, Rock Lives, p. 594).  

“Rock music has got the same message as before. It is anti-religious, anti-nationalistic and anti-morality. But now I understand what you have to do. You have to put the message across with a little honey on it” (John Lennon, spoken not long before his death in 1980, Pop Goes the Gospel, p. 84). 




Rock Music is related to Voodoo


When African slaves were brutally captured and taken aboard slave ships for America, living in horrible conditions aboard the ships, they brought with them their music, part of their pagan religion. In Africa, drums are known to call up the spirits, known as the “gods” (Ventura).

Michael Ventura, a secular journalist, wrote of the Voodoo roots of Rock music in an article titled “Hear that Long Snake Moan”: (Emphasis is added to the quotes.)

"In Abomey, Africa, these deities that speak through humans are called vodun. The word means “mysteries.” From their vodun comes our “Voodoo.” And it is to Voodoo that we must look for the roots of our music [Rock and Roll]." 

"The object of Voodoo ceremony is possession by the god." 

"The Voodoo rite of possession by the god became the standard of American performance in rock’n’roll. Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Jim Morrison, Johnny Rotten, Prince – they let themselves be possessed not by any god they could name but by the spirit they felt in the music. 
Their behavior in this possession was something Western society had never before tolerated. And the way a possessed devotee in a Voodoo ceremony often will transmit his state of possession to someone else merely by touching the hand, they transmitted their possession through their voice and their dance to their audience, even through their records."

The drums pounding away in Voodoo rituals are nearly identical to the drums of Rock music and both call up evil spirits that the pagans call “gods”.

Missionary Ivor Greenslade recounts his experience on the mission field in this transcript:


“When we first came up here (from the mission field) and heard the Rock Music, when it first came out, my wife and I looked at each other and said this is something we have been hearing all along. This is nothing new to us. It sounds just like the jungle music.  

"I remember one furlough going back and we took some tapes out. Our children had slipped one of these contemporary Christian music tapes, Christian Rock. Shall we put it in quotation marks? Really there is no such thing as "Christian" Rock. Rock is rock and it is connected to Spiritism.  

"When our children played that tape, suddenly the brethren wanted to know why we were playing the music of the demons. They recognized it right away.  
"All of this contemporary Christian music as they call it, the people who are in Animism recognize it right away as their demonism music. You will find that this [rock] music and Animism is the same in the Amazon Jungle as it is in North America. It is all related to Spiritism” (Brown).


*Related articles concerning the connection between Rock music and Voodoo Spiritualism:


E. Addictive progressiveness of Rock Music


Excerpts from David Cloud, Replacing Hymns with Contemporary Praise Music


The sensual dance rhythm of rock music has addictive, transformative power. Dan Lucarini, a former contemporary worship leader, led churches from using traditional hymns to a contemporary worship program, and in the book Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement he describes how he did it.

The key was starting out with “soft” rock, which acts as an addictive, transformative influence on the congregation. He writes:


The rock was softer, but it still contained the rock rhythm that undeniably appeals to our flesh. The listener soon develops a craving for it. JUST LIKE AN ADDICT, THERE IS NO TURNING BACK. What happens over time is a steady slide down the slippery slope away from all traditional music into the latest, edgiest contemporary styles.”

Graham West issues the same warning:

Once you begin listening to soft rock, you begin sliding down that slippery slope to the more aggressive forms of rock. SOFT ROCK BEGINS TO ORIENT THE WHOLE WAY OF PERCEIVING MUSIC AROUND RHYTHM and away from melody. 
Your musical interest will change. Hymns will seem dull in comparison to your newly acquired tastes. It's a progression I've seen over and over again in the lives of Christians. IT'S A DOWNWARD SPIRAL. It happens in the lives of individuals; it happens in the lives of families; it happens in the lives of churches.

"There is a GRAY AREA OF IGNORANCE ABOUT THE POWER OF POP SYNCOPATION. And the devil, taking advantage of this, being not only the master musician but also the master of subtlety, comes along to a strong fundamental church or a Bible college and he offers his wares of CCM rock ballads. 
It sounds great. There's no drums, no wild electric guitars, no obvious back beat, just the piano or guitar and the singer. And it's almost the same as the songs that they used to sing, except the rhythm kind of trips a little bit. But that's O.K. because it's exciting, and the young people love it. 
The problem is that when the rhythm does that little trip it means that the music contains a basic, distinctive rhythmic feature of all rock & roll since its inception in the 1950s. In this way, before you've even known it, you've been deceived by the subtle strategy of Satan. This is the blind spot that Satan is using to his advantage. He knows that once a church accepts rock ballads, complete capitulation is almost inevitable.

 Image result for you are what you listen to CCM
In the case of vigilant, serious-minded Christians, he has to start them up at the very top of the slope with very gentle rock so that the conscience doesn't scream out, 'This music is wrong!' Just as long as he can get you started, he has won, because just like a drug pusher he knows that his users will want more and more of that sensual rhythm” (Graham West, The Rhythm of Rock).

Many churches that are adapting CCM think they are removing the “rock” from Christian rock, but they are actually just toning it down to “soft rock.”


F. "Bridge" to Where?


Some say that they endorse CCM in order to win the young souls for Christ. They argue that by using secular music style, we can "attract" non-believing youths and draw them into the church. "So CCM plays a role of 'bridge', " they say. But...does it? 

First of all, what kind of "bridge" is it? Is it a "bridge"for unsaved youths to come into our churches or is it rather a 'bridge' for saved Christian youths to be drawn to the secular world and its spirits? The reality shows that the latter case is rather true.



Emerge Conference @ City Harvest Church, Singapore, source


Nowadays. even those who have promoted this kind of Seeker Sensitive approach have come to realize that something is tremendously wrong in their methodology and its philosophy.

Willow Creek has released the results of a multi-year study on the effectiveness of their programs and philosophy of ministry. The study's findings are in a new book titled "Reveal: Where Are You?," co-authored by Cally Parkinson and Greg Hawkins, executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. 
Hybels himself called the findings "ground breaking," "earth shaking" and "mind blowing." And no wonder: It seems that the "experts" were wrong.  
The report reveals that most of what they have been doing for these many years and what they have taught millions of others to do is not producing solid disciples of Jesus Christ. Numbers yes, but not disciples. It gets worse. 
Hybels laments: "Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn't helping people that much. Other things that we didn't put that much money into and didn't put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for."(Christian Examiner, Willow Creek model,its leaders say, fails at discipleship)

Still, some of our readers might wonder; "But...if we oppose CCM, we might end up becoming hard-line, inflexible traditionalists who insist that only old (English) Hymnals are to be sung and valued as true Christian worship."

Regarding this, let me assure you that to deny the CCM philosophy does not mean we are "anti-contemporary." Nor do we insist that only the old Western hymnals can be true sacred music. No. In fact, as a missionary to Middle Eastern people, I have encouraged converts to compose new hymns and sacred melodies in their context.

We are opposed to a postmodern Emerging idea that pagan cultures can be "redeemed," (rather they are to be "confronted") but we are also opposed to the other extreme idea that sacred hymns and melodies are to be confined to a certain historical and geographical arena only (in this case, "Old English Hymnals-Only" idea).


As I shared with you in my previous posts, Mission Timothée in France is one of the churches who have been pursuing the true nature and substance of biblical worship in the 21st century context. 

They deny the CCM philosophy and Rock music firmly and at the same time, they are actively producing doctrinally-sound, sacred songs and melodies in French language. And indeed, their sacred songs have been touching the hearts of secular French youths!! 


G. CCM Rock unavoidably leads us to Organizational Ecumenism


CCM's ambiguous, unclear lyrics reflect today's emerging cultural climate. In fact, this kind of ambiguity is much needed for anti-doctrinal, relativistic churches for its "unity" and ecumenism.


Image result for rick warren and pope francis
Rick Warren and Pope (source)
Elliot Nesch, Church of Tares: Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive



A new Decalogue has been adopted by the neo-Christians of our day, the first word of which reads "Thou shalt not disagree"; and a new set of Beatitudes too, which begins "Blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they shall not be made accountable for anything." 

It is now the accepted thing to talk over religious differences in public with the understanding that no one will try to convert another or point out errors in his belief. The purpose of these talks is not to confront truth, but to discover how the followers of other religions think and thus benefit from their views as we hope they will from ours.

It is a truism that people agree to disagree only about matters they consider unimportant. No man is tolerant when it concerns his life or the life of his child, and no one will agree to negotiate over any religious matter he considers vital to his eternal welfare. 

Imagine Moses agreeing to take part in a panel discussion with Israel over the golden calf; or Elijah engaging in a gentlemanly dialogue with the prophets of Baal. Or try to picture our Lord Jesus Christ seeking a meeting of minds with the Pharisees to iron out differences; or Athanasius trying to rise above his differences with Arius in order to achieve union on a higher level; or Luther crawling into the presence of the pope in the name of a broader Christian fellowship.

The desire to be liked even if not respected is a great weakness in any man's character, and in that of a minister of Jesus Christ it is a weakness wholly inexcusable. The popular image of the man of God as a smiling, congenial, asexual religious mascot whose handshake is always soft and whose head is always bobbing in the perpetual Yes of universal acquiescence is not the image found in the Scriptures of truth.

The blessing of God is promised to the peacemaker, but the religious negotiator had better watch his step. The ability to settle quarrels between members of God's household is a heavenly gift and one that should be assiduously cultivated. The discerning soul who can reconcile separated friends by prayer and appeal to the Scriptures is worth his weight in diamonds.


That is one thing, but the effort to achieve unity at the expense of truth and righteousness is another. To seek to be friends with those who will not be the friends of Christ is to be a traitor to our Lord. Darkness and light can never be brought together by talk. Some things are not negotiable. (A.W. Tozer)






Above: Ecumenical Worship Service at Lifest 2015, Skillet
(Participants: Toby Mac, Casting Crowns, Skillet, Newsboys, Steven Curtis Chapman, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Needtobreathe, Third Day, dc Talk, Rebecca St. James, Michael W. Smith, Switchfoot and Superchic,  Jars of Clay, MercyMe, TobyMac etc..) c.f.  WebTruth.org, Should Christians Listen toContemporary Christian Music?





Ecumenical Worship Service at Lifest (Chris Tomlin)



*related articles (CCM and Ecumenism):


Epilogue


Today's churches are hijacked by Rock 'n' Rollers.

Behind this scene, there exists compound elements such as the Seeker-Sensitive Approach, permeation of the American Pragmatism spirit* inside mainstream evangelical churches, a giant money-oriented CCM music industry, market driven church, Dominion theology* etc.

 (*"Seeker-Sensitive" Christian Worship and Pragmatism)

*Berean Research, Dominionism and The NAR

"Many will endure outright heresies to enjoy a pleasant experience, or to "feel the presence of God" even if that presence is generated by mood-altering methods more akin to manipulation than worship. Indeed, it is all together likely that some are willingly being manipulated because they enjoy "Christian Lite."
Gary Gilley, This Little Church Went to Market: Is the Modern Church Reaching out or Selling out?)

When the standard of MUSIC in a church 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 … the sense of value in God’s TRUTH is lowered. When the standard of God’s truth is lowered … then we have SPIRITUAL ANARCHY.” —Gordon Sears

In the midst of our holy sanctuary, there stands the audacious Gold Calf called "Christian Rock" worship. Prompted by its unruly, sensual and worldly spirit, "feel good" emotionalism has conquered countless Christians who think that they are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Oh Lord, give mercy upon us! And save us from all forms of evil and deception! 



Reference:


Graham West, Music and Your Church
Graham West, The Rhythm of Rock
John Makujina, Measuring the Music: Another Look at the Contemporary Christian Music Debate, Paperback – 2002
Dan Lucarini, Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement: Confessions of a Former Worship Leader, Paperback – July 1, 2002
Gary Gilley, This Little Church Went to Market: Is the Modern Church Reaching out or Selling out?
Paul Washer, Unbiblical church music (YouTube)
Paul Flynn, Of Chaos and Confusion: The Modern Church (Full Film-YouTube)
David W. Cloud, Sounds of Contemporary Christian Music (YouTube)

Tamworth Bible Baptist Church, Sounds of Apostasy
WebTruth.org, Should Christians Listen to Contemporary Christian Music?
Bob DeWaay, Redefining the Church-The Church Growth Movement's Unbiblical Definition of the Church
Grace to You Ministries, Straight Talk About the Seeker Church Movement
Orrel Steinkamp, Schuller Planted, Hybels Watered, Warren (Peter Drucker) Gives The Increase
Deception in the Church, Many Articles about the Unbiblical Nature of the Church Growth Movement
The Problems With The Purpose-Driven Definition of a Christ Follower
Why I Left Your Seeker-Friendly Church
Dennis Castella, The Church Growth Movement: An Analysis of Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven" Church Growth Strategy
Seeker Movement on Critical Issues Commentary Radio (5 different shows)
The Faulty Premises of the Church Growth Movement on Critical Issues Commentary Radio (4 different shows)
Elliot Nesch, Celebrity Pastor is Not a Biblical Church Office
Steven Kozar, The Seeker-Friendly, Purpose-Driven Cornucopia of alse Doctrine
Steven Kozar, "Church... Business... What's the Difference?" Confused Willow Creek Leadership Conference
Bill Hybels Talks About Popeye (Much) More Than Jesus in the Museum of Idolatry
Bill Hybels: "God Uses a Re-Crafted Schedule to Transform Lives" in the Museum of Idolatry
Resistance is Futile: You Will Be Assimilated Into the Community (Fighting for the Faith with more links)
The Andy Stanley Cornucopia of False Teaching, Fast Talking and Postmodern Ambiguity
Seeker-Sensual Church Growth (Fighting for the Faith Episode with Rosebrough, Kozar and Spreeman)

Marcha West, Purpose Driven Dismantling of Christianity
Pragmatism | Reformed Bible Studies & Devotionals at Ligonier.org

Monday, September 18, 2017

Though mountains crumble into dust, Thy covenant standeth fast


Image result for sunset

And he said unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? 
Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, 
and there was a great calm.  Matt. 8:26


My god, lo, here before Thy face
I cast me in the dust;
Where is the hope of happier days,
Where is my wonted trust?

Where are the sunny hours I had
Ere of Thy light bereft?
Vanished is all that made me glad,
My pain alone is left.

I shrink with fear and sore alarm
When threatening ills I see,
As though in time of need Thine arm
No more could shelter me;

As though Thou couldst not see the grief
That makes my courage quail,
As thou Thou wouldst not send relief,
When human helpers fail.

Cannot Thy might avert e'en now
What seems my certain doom,
And still with light and succour bow
To him who weeps in gloom?

Art Thou not evermore the same?
And hast not Thou revealed
That Thou wilt be our strength, Thy Name
Our tower of hope, our shield?

O Father, compass me about
With love, for I am weak;
Forgive, forgive my sinful doubt,
Thy pitying glance I seek;

For torn and anguished is my heart,
Thou seest it, my God,
Oh soothe my conscience' bitter smart,
Lift off my sorrows' load.

I know that I am in Thy hands,
Whose thoughts are peace toward me,
That ever sure thy counsel stands,--
Could I but build on Thee!

I know that Thou wilt give me all
That Thou has promised, Lord,
Here will I cling, nor yield, nor fall,
I live but by Thy Word.

Though mountains crumble into dust,
Thy covenant standeth fast;
Who follows Thee in pious trust
Shall reach the goal at last.

Though strange and winding seem the way
While yet on earth I dwell,
In heaven my heart shall gladly say,
Thou, God, dost all things well!

Take courage then, my soul, nor steep
Thy days and nights in tears,
That soon shalt cease to mourn and weep,
Thou dark are now thy fears.

He comes, He comes, the Strong to save,
He comes nor tarries more,
His light is breaking o'er the wave,

The clouds and storms are o'er!


Hier lieg' ich, Herr, im Staube
Drewes. 1797.
trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1855