Date: 98-02-12 12:36:42 EST
From: email@example.com (Ronald G Spencer)
As stated before, I have been a pianist/organist for 40 years and have some classical training, "Country Gospel" experience, as well as a sprinkling of the gamut. I learned as a child on the piano stool the power of music to control the soul. In 1968, at a Van Cliburn recital, I experienced that same mesmerizing power under the sounds of Beethoven. (It doesn't have to be "rock & roll" to have negative influence!) Countless times through the years, I've known the utter power of music.
Music has a power of its own. It is earthly. It surfaces a host of emotions just as a made-up play on television. However, its strongest powers are manifested like drugs -- either uppers or downers. There is little difference, except that one goes in the mouth, nose or veins and the other the ears. One is illegal and the other has the pocketbook of the world.
Many people are addicted to music. Some can't sleep without it. Others have to have it playing in their work place. Millions can't start the car without, in the same move, turn on its strains. In 1975, I did an experiment on myself. I shut off the lights and sat in the "sweet spot" of my powerful stereo system and blasted rock and roll music at myself.
After one hour, I pressed the power button and killed it. The silence was as loud as the thunderings from my system. Never have I been one to appreblipte more than an occasional Rock tune, I cannot say I enjoyed a minute of the experiment. Yet, everything in me demanded I turn it back on.
Where the church has failed is in understanding the difference between the power of music and the power of the Holy Spirit. Most, not being initiated to the "powers that be," do not understand my claims. All they remember is how a verse or two of "In The Garden" or some other sentimental journey seems to put them on "spiritual plateaus." Not discerning the difference between what is flesh and what is spirit, what is sentiment and what is holy, anything goes.
This is how CCM marches, as well as Country Gospel and several other varieties. The powers of music over the soul is mingled with a few Christian lyrics and voila! the leopard has changed its spots! "Why teens, by the thoBlipnd, are getting saved!!!" It may be that the Holy Spirit can get through the carnality and soulish tripe and save one or two along, but the statistics are not a good testimony to the eternal results of modern "Christian" music.
Many are the Christians today who have never been exposed to spiritual music. All they've ever heard sounds like a honky-tonk trip through the pearly gates with a ragtime piano player, or the mechanical rhythms of bass guitars and drums. Many think that because it is not classified "Rock & Roll," and the bass and drums are subdued, they are in the bounds of safety. It amazes me how men can preach against "Rock & Roll" and "Country" music, then turn right around and "let-her-rip" with a few verses of "I'll Fly Away" and "Mansion Over the Hilltop." There is a great need for honest evaluation of what is holy and acceptable to the Lord and that will not cringe holy angels.
I doubt there is more than a dozen Christian bookstores (music stores now days) in the country that offer the caliber of music heard on the radio broablipast, "Songs in the Night." Since the entire music history of most Christians has been designed for and by the appetites of the flesh, and since all their spiritual experiences are assoblipted with "sanctified" carnal music, and since they do remember the power involved, never in a million years can they be convinced that it was not God's best for them.
There is no contest that carnal Christian music has motivated millions to"holy" responses (goose bumps, hand raising, and maybe even some honest praise, gratitude and tears), but the bottom line is that the nation is in its worst condition since its inception. Crime is astronomical.
Queers and abortionists are unaffected by the songs of the church today. The power is there, but it is the wrong power with the wrong results. If the church could ever get the songs, "Near to the Heart of God," "I Need Thee Every Hour," "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" and "Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus," to rise up from the bottom of contrite and determined hearts, with the understanding that Jesus is the spotless Lamb slain for the sins of the world and is about to return in fury, they'd forget about spending God's money on the fruit of carnality and making rich the "Christian" entertainers.
One must "worship in spirit and in truth." Truth states: "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1). "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1 John 2:16).
The sad/glorious truth is found in 1 Corinthians 2:11-16: "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
"For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage" (2 Pet. 2:18, 19).