IS GOSPEL ROCK CHRISTIAN?
By Chris Gardner
Many Christians today are faced with the controversy of
Gospel rock music. Are you? Are your loved ones? What does the
Bible say? Because of the growing place that Gospel rock has in
Christendom today, we are concerned that individuals come to a
Scriptural conclusion in order to satisfy the Holiness of God.
Let's "search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have
eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39).
What is acceptable music? The question is not what is
acceptable to us, but what is acceptable to God. Remember, we
must, in everything we do, present [our] bodies a living
sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is [our] reasonable
service" (Romans 12:1). Verse 2: "And be not conformed to this
world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that
ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of
Let's hear what some supporters say about Gospel rock:
"Gospel rock is a matter of individual choice." "God is using
Gospel rock to reach many lost souls." "It has a special message
for youth." "It attracts the attention of the drug users." "It
These statements sound good and logical to the carnal ear.
There is no doubt that Gospel rock is effective, but to what end?
Music today is one of the most popular and effective forms
of communication. Its language speaks in every tongue and to
every nation. Music stimulates one's emotions in different way
according to the rhythmical tempo, the lyrics, and so forth. One
can be soothed to relaxation and contentment, or one can be
stirred to dance to the pounding beat. Music with lyrics is one
of the most common channels of self-expression, and one's mood or
motive usually determines the nature of what is expressed. As a
man thinketh in his heart, so is he (see Proverbs 23:7).
Let's focus on the nature of Gospel rock music.
In order to justify Gospel rock music, one must sacrifice
purity of heart. As born again Christians, we must realize that
"the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the
flesh: and these are contrary the one to another: so that ye
cannot do the things that ye would" (Galations 5:17). Is it
right for the Born again Christian to expose himself to that
which will arouse the carnal senses and activate a struggle
against the Spirit of truth within us?
Gospel rock contains lyrics which talk about Christ,
however, they exist within the realm of compromise. Because of
the rapid growth of Christianity and the popularity of rock and
roll, men have chosen the way of compromise. They are seeking to
degrade the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ to accommodate their
carnal desires. They do this when they take something which
seems to represent God and combine it with something which
identifies with Satan.
GOD HATES COMPROMISE! Revelation 3:16 says, "So then
because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue
thee out of my mouth." Where is the line of separation
concerning Gospel music? The Bible says, "Love not the world,
neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the
world, the love of the Father is not in him. 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.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that
doeth the will of God abideth forever. Little children, it is
the last time: and ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even
now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that is is the
last time" (1 John 2:15-18).
The reason we cannot love the things of the world is because
of their influence and effect on the Christian's relationship
We must identify with God's people and, most of all, God's
Holiness. God's Holiness demands separation from the world in
every step of the Christian's walk. Because music is a big part
of the Christians worship, and worship is the channel of self-
expression to God, we must be careful not to compromise true
holiness to satisfy our own desires.
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 exposes the line of separation which
we are accountable to: "Be ye not equally yoked together with
unbelievers: for what fellowship hath light with darkness? And
what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that
believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of
God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God
hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be
their God and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from
among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the
unclean thing; and I will receive you."
Notice the contrasts in verses 14-16: Christians being
unequally yoked together with unbelievers, righteous with
unrighteousness, light with darkness, and Christ with Belial.
Separation from the world must be a distinct part of every
born again Christian's life. God first instituted separation in
the very dawn of creation when He separated the day from the
night, light from darkness, and land from sea. It is interesting
to note that in the creation, separation came before fruit-
bearing. It was only after the separation of light from darkness
and the division of land from sea that the earth brought forth
her fruit. And so it is with us. How can we expect to bear
fruit if we are still part of the devil's kingdom?
It is well-known fact that rock music has laid the
foundation for rebellion in the hearts of many young folks. But
what about all those who claim salvation through the influence of
Gospel rock music? The incongruity that salvation through Gospel
rock represents in the light of the divine grace of God working
in the heart of the believers, is challenged by the words Jesus
spoke when the scribes accused him of having an evil spirit in
him. Mark 3:22: "And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem
said, He hath Baelzebub, and by the prince of devils casteth he
out devils." Notice the answer Jesus gave them in verses 23 and
24: "And he called them unto him, and said unto them in
parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be
divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand."
It is plain to see that God does not use something satanic,
or satanic influence, to bring salvation to the lost. He gave
His Son Jesus Christ, and through His death and resurrection made
it possible for all to be saved. And it is only through the
death of our fleshly desires and the resurrection of a new
creature within that we are saved. "I am the way, the truth, and
the life: no man cometh to the father, but by me" (John 14:6).
We can also see by the lives of the rock artists that they
identify with the kingdom of this world by the suggestive
clothing they wear. The hair styles and the make-up are no
different from those who are lost in the depths of sin. The
appearance of the child of God on the outside should be a
reflection of the child of God within.
Gospel rock relies heavily upon instrumental music to
achieve its purposes. We as Christians, however, are thankful to
God for the voices we have to praise God in song. We have no
need of the aid of earthly instruments to express ourselves in
worship to God. "God that made the world and all things therein,
seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in
temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands,
as though he needeth any thing, seeing he giveth life, and
breath, and all things" (Acts 17:24, 25).
Does the music we listen to, draw our attention to the God
we worship? Does it encourage purity within? Does it speak to
our inward need?
Suppose we would subtract the driving beat of the music;
would it still satisfy? Or would is sound barren? Would it melt
our desire to serve God? If the words you sing to God cannot be
sung without the driving beat of rock music, then perhaps you are
serving the wrong God!
We who worship the living God must unite ourselves in spirit
and in truth (John 4:24) and stand against the evil influence
which Gospel rock represents. Let us worship the Lord in the
beauty of holiness! And let us thank the Lord for youthful
hearts, filled to overflowing with gratitude and praise, for
voices to praise Him in song. It is a pure and holy way to
express ourselves in true worship to our Creator and Redeemer.
If we look at the world's standard of rock music and compare
it with the "Christian" standard of rock, the only difference is
that the latter is done in the name of Christ. How degrading!
To subject oneself to the influence of Gospel rock merely
creates an emotional upheaval and leaves us "groping for the
wall" as in Isaiah 59:10.
God hates sin in every shape and form. Surely if God did
not hate sin He would not have sent Christ to die for the sins of
the world. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue to sin,
that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead
to sin, live any longer therein?" (Romans 6:1, 2).
Judge for yourself. Is Gospel rock Christian?
Computers for Christ - Chicago
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