Music That’s Anything but Christian
J. R. Ensey
No, we wouldn’t dream of sticking a needle in our veins. We wouldn’t consider snorting cocaine or smoking crack or weed. But, as one man observed, we are in danger of being drugged by the music of the world in which we live. Some people are virtually brain-dead because they have long followed the spirits of disunity and rebellion underlying much of the music in America today.
Is ‘Christian’ music far behind? In so many places praise and worship music has entered the realm of entertainment. But it is the sacred cow of the Pentecostal movement. Any mention or suggestion about it draws scowls and under-the-breath comments. I recently read a statement by Dennis Applebee that caught my attention:
‘My age warns me to be careful how I judge the music, worship, and special songs of today’s church. But, age aside, one must surely question the focus of much that is called worship. Some cannot be rated more than repetitive phrases set to monotonous tunes. Even scriptural statements are sometimes sung with little or no meaning, considering the context of the reason why they are included in the service with little more than emotion guiding one to wherever the leader is supposed to be going. Maybe we should ask ourselves if our motive for having this type of singing is really to communicate the serious truths of our faith. Or have we lost the seriousness and reality of such truths to box office numbers and entertainment gain?’
An ex-member of a once-powerful church that had gone ‘south’ was recently asked how the church had taken that path. His first answer: music! Anyone shocked? Not the pastor’s heresies, or a building program gone wrong. Not pressure from big contributors. Music was the first cause. By ‘music’ he meant not only the choices of music but also the prominence of the music and the musicians themselves. They set the tone of the services and established, by default, the lifestyle standards of the church.
How many times must this scene be repeated before we get the message? How many times must our movement be ‘burned’ by carnal music people before we wake up? We evidently feel that musical talent is so essential that those involved should not have to meet the standards of ministers or even ordinary saints. We still honor and put up those who sell themselves and their talent to the world, perform for Trinitarian churches, and live virtually without accountability. They get ‘passes’ on lifestyle where others have to pay. I know of one pastor who hired a music director even after another pastor had caught him in gross immorality and dismissed him. ‘I know he has problems, but we have to have a music director,’ was the attitude of the pastor who hired him.
The Apostolic movement has the best musical talent in Christendom. That can be a blessing if it is kept ‘sanctified by the word of God and prayer.’ While it plays a vital role in worship, it will not be our sole ticket to evangelistic success’and it can be a door to failure. As long as we continue to elevate persons to positions of prominence that do not hold the doctrinal or holiness standards we expect of ordinary ministers and saints, we will continue to get burned.
Elevating those who are unworthy’either because of doctrine or lifestyle, but deemed essential to our image’could contribute to the downfall of many, and do great damage to the movement itself.
This article ‘Music That’s Anything but Christian’ by J. R. Ensey was excerpted from: http://jrenseyblog.wordpress.com/2011/04 web site. Blog of Bro. J. R. Ensey. April 2011. It may be used for study & research purposes only.