Religious Rock n Roll: Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Tom Brokaw, NBC News anchorman closed his November 10, 1986, Evening News program with an item about rock and roll singer Bruce Springsteens unprecedented five-record album release, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND LIVE 1975-1985.

According to Brokaw, more than 5 million copies of the album had been pressed with 1.5 million shipped to record stores "and most of those sold to frantic customers standing in long lines the first day at $30 each"

"Parents, teach your children to sing rock and roll", Brokaw said with a wry smile.

The fact that the release of a rock and roll album could command national news attention and bring in more revenues -perhaps $450 million- than any other album ever recorded tells you something of what has happened in this country since the rock music craze was introduced more than thirty years ago.

To some, it seems hat disc jockey Alan Freed's words have become prophetic: "Any who says rock n roll is a passing fad or a flash-in-the-pan trend along the music roads has rock in the head," said the man who coined the rock music term.

"Lets face it - rock n roll is bigger than all of us" he predicted.

Over the years, it has not been difficult for discerning Christians to follow the alarming trends as rock music increasingly spewed death, drugs, and destruction across the land.

No reasonable, informed person - born again or otherwise - could seemingly ever question if this musical medium was not satanically inspired.

Who would have ever thought the influence of rock music would intrude into the Church of Jesus Christ and help spawn another musical forum - religious rock and roll.

Yet it has happened.

James Chute of the Milwaukee Journal has correctly observed

"Not accidentally, when contemporary music first moved into the Christian worship service almost two decades ago - marking the beginning of the CCM movement- it came in the form of folk music whhere the words so essentiol to worship could be understiood over the music.
The CCM movement, however, has gone far beyond a few musicians strumming guitars and singing harmony..."

For a number of years - actually dating back to July 1980 - I have been attempting to call the body of Christs attention to an alarming trend which developed first as so-called contemporary Christian music.

Yet as I watched secular rock music grow in satanic intensity, subverting the minds and morals of young people in this nation, I have also witnessed a dramatic change in the early 1980's in the religious music realm.

Again, I wrote another article - "Christian Rock & Roll" - For our ministry publication, THE EVANGELIST, in February 1985 about these distrubing trends in the body of Christ. I did so again in January 1987 with a story, "Rock n Roll Music in the Church.

But as religious rock has grown into a multi-million dollar business - embraced by churches, Christian TV networks, radio station, record companies, and magazines - subsequently affecting the lives of millions of believers, the time has come for something to be said beyond a periodic article.

That alone is the reason for this book.

Up front, I would like to say that I have nothing but Christian love and goodwill for every single individual involved in religious rock.

Althoug it has been necessar to name specific music artists in order to cite activities I find objectionable, worldly, and not promoting the cause of Christ, nothing in this book should be construed as labeling or accusing any musical group, son, or record album as being satanic.

My disagreement is not fundamentally with these people, but with their music and methods which I believe are not in harmony with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am most disturbed at pastoral leadership which permiths the foregoing under the guise ofa tool of evangelism.

Ezekiel 44:23 gives this charge to Gods priests:

"And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean"

As an evangelist, thast one of my God-given responsibilities - to help people recoginze what is clean and what is unclean, what is holy and unholy. And even though my voice is almost alone in addressing this subject, these things must be said.

This book comes after much prayer and months of research and review by myself and co-author, Robert Paul Lamb. Chapter One "NEW YEARS EVE MADNESS". represents Robert Paul's firsthand view of a Stryper concert in San Jose, California.

Some may not even want to look at this issure of religious rock because it has simply become an idol to them. Yet I encourage you to read this book very carefully. Hear what the religious rockers are saying...look a the spirit they are conveying..then hear what the Word of God says.

At that point, there can be little doubt your conclusion will be the same as ours, RELIGIOUS ROCK AND ROLL, A WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING.

Chapter 1

"stryper has had several concert cancellations...but we'll be in San Jose on New Years Eve to set the record straight....and dont forget, 'to Hell with the Devil'...
-Phone message from Stryper's concert hotline

December 31, 1986. New Years Eve.

San Jose California about fifty miles south of San Francisco is gray and overcast. The weather is cold, damp, 41 Degrees. A wisp of misty rain is falling.

The lighted marquee above the beige-shaded, tile roofed Spanish-stucco Civic Auditorium on busy Market Street announces: "Stryper, Alcatrazz, 9 PM"

Strypers west coast tour has already been cut short with cancellations in two California cities, Redding and Sacramento. I was told poor ticket sales in Sacramento had caused that concert to be scrubbed, and Ive driven over two hours from California's capital city to see religious rocks most controversial band in concert.

Two hours before the show, a small cluster of youngsters has gathered outside the auditoriums entrance. An hour later, a line is stretching from the main doors down the sidewalk, and around the Market Street side of the building.

Beer cans and cigarretts are passed among some standing in line. The scent of marijuana wafts through the air. An empty six pacl pf California Cooler (a white whine/citrus drink) litters the sidewalk. Several liquor bottles have been dumped among the evergreens and shrubbery around the structure.

Only some ten people or so are admitted into the auditorium where they are physically searched. "No cameras, no tape recorders, no drugs, no weapons" shouts a burly man at the door wearing a red Stryper T-shirt proclaiming "To Hell With the Devil" in black and yellow letters on the front. A card pinned to his shirt says "Stryper

Several long haired young men behind me are cursing over the line's slowness in the misty rain. Ticket scalpers call out "Get your tickets"

A long white lomousine pulls up and disgorges people after an extended wait - two men and a woman, all dressed in black. A few cars drop off teens not yet of driving age.

Instead of New Years Eve, it somehow seems like a belated Halloween with the dizzying array of offbeat clothes worn by most of the concert-goers. Many are dressed in punk or new-wave attire -spiked or colored hair, oversized shirts, black leather knuckle gloves, spiked armbands, boots. A number of girls wear short bright colored skirts, and heavy black eye makeup.

One thin young man dressed in black jeans, a black T-shirt and vest, black eye shadow, and sporting a cross earring, is forced to remove a set of metal chains and handcuffs wrapped around his waist. Several others are confronted at the door over their arm or wristbands of leather and metal.

Another boy, apparently in his late teens, is wearing thigh-high white leather boots witrh platform soles to match his spiked silver-blond hair. He is refused temporary admission until he romves spiked wristbands.

Inside the auditoriums front corridor against a wall called the "Freedom Shrine", a brisk business in Stryper souvenirs - photos, buttons, posters, bumper stickers, and T-shirts - is under way on either side of the twin doors leading to the main floor.

One of the oddest sights of the evening comes when a Catholic priest dons a red Stryper T-shirt announcing "to Hell With the Devil" and pulls the garment over his clerical collar and shirt then rolls up the sleeves revealing a tattooed cross on his left upper arm.

When asked about his actions, the priest identifies himself as a pastor of a Bay area Catholic church who has brought two teenage boys from his youth group to the concert. "I dont own a TV set" he says " but I have a radio and I prefer rock and roll"

The two teens dont buy a shirt but many of the T-shirt purchasers are like the Catholic priest. They put on the shirt immediately Its like a badge of identity.

Most of the crowd clearly are still in their teen years, although there seems to be a good number over twenty and beyond. Many are outfitted in skimpy black form fitting spandex or leather clothes, spiked or shoulder-length hair and garish colors.

Yet, they stand alongside a sprinkling of curiosity-seeking kids you'd expect to sit beside in church - short hair, modest dress and smiles.

By 8:30 p.m. the balcony has begun to fill with the noisy crowd. The area around the stage grows with several hundred of the early arrivals - many are smoking, talking and milling around.

Recorded heavy metal rock music starts about 8:45 pm over the auditoriums sound system the sound bounceingg off the stucco walls and echoing throughout the building.

"Do you know the names of any of those groups playing?" I asked a pudgy girl who looked about sixteen standing alone.

"Yeah" she answered, almost disinterested. "They've played Aerosmith and Van Halen so far"

"How do you like it?"

"Okay I guess"

"How about Stryper? Do you know anything about their message?"

"Not really" she said with a shrug of her shoulders.

"Do you like their music"



"I dont like the devil so I guess I like Stryper" she answered

'"Well you must be a Christian then? I smiled


Six San Jose policemen, clad in crisp blue uniforms trimmed in white and gold and long black nightsticks, patrol the auditorium's circular corridors. One of the cops - a tall muscular man with a thick mustache - talkes freely with me, identifying himself as a Christian.

"Is this the only place in San Jose for rock concerts?" I asked.

"Theyve had them elsewhere but there were problems with larger crowds at the Civic Center" he explained "so theyll only permit this place to be used. It greatly restricts the turnout but it also limits the problems."

"What do you think about a rock group like Stryper that sings religious lyrics?"

His brow furrowed. "The sound and the message seem totally incompatible" he replied thoughtfully.

"Do you have any teenagers" I questioned.

"Yes - four girls"

"Would you let them come to a concert like this?"

"No" he said firmly, " and if they tried, Id go as far as to lock them in their bedrooms."

at 9 o'clock, Alcatrazz, a five-man rock group from the San Fransico Bay area hits the stage and rocks through 45 minutes of loud, ear-assaulting songs. The groups lead singer , a man with short hair wearing a sport jacket and slacks, stands out in sharp contrast to his band - most of which are wearing shoulder-length hair and surly looks.

None of the group's songs ever touch on a gospel theme or message. Their second number is fairly typical - a 1986 version of Eric Burdon and the Animals' hit from 1964 - Its My Life.. and Ill do what I want.

The songs lyrics seem to characterize what most everybody associated with this concer has in mind.

Two men in their mid-twenties who identify themselves as being involved in a street ministry just getting started in San Jose tell me they see Stryper speaking to a part of the culture the church is not reaching.

"The concert has been promoted entirely over rock stations in the area and has been handled by Bill Graham, the secular rock producer" reported the younger of the two men, dressed in black leather and wearing two earrings in his left ear.

"Id say the kids are about 80 percent from the world and about 20 percent Christian" he continued. What'll happen to these kids tonight" I probed?

"Oh theyll hear the Gospel - no question about that. Thats the whole object...and we have tracts to give out. We'll be witnessing."

"Well thats what Ive come to hear" I said. "But Im also interested in why they have a group like Alcatrazz on the show"

"Thats just to bring in more kids not connected to the church in any way... and I think it worked" the short, hyperactive man offered"

Walking downstairs waiting for Alcatrazz to finish its performance, I encounter four clean-cut teenage boys and a girl sitting on some steps to the balcony. They indentify themselves as members of a church whose pastor is a prominent evangelical leader.

My question was obvious: "Why are you hear?"

"I heard Stryper a couple years ago in L.A." one boy answered. "They really impressed me then with their show and then going out into the audience to talk with people. I wanted to see what they are doing now."

"Ive never seen them before" another teen told me. "Thats why I came."

"Do you think they are really reaching anybody for the Lord" I asked.

"We're not to judge" said a teenage boy with strong brown eyes. "That wouldnt be our place"

"Im not talking about judging them" I explain. "Im talking about discerning the difference between the holy and the unholy. What about Jesus' words about false individuals coming in His name? What about the Bible's warning on conforming to the worlds standards?"

"Some of that is so confusing" one of the boys says, a little bewildered. "Everybody has his point of view and sounds so right"

The crowd which appears to have reached between 1,500 anbd 2000 (nobocy can give me a closer estimate), seems bored with the Alcatrazz group in spite of their loud, frantic sound and dancing antics on stage. Everybody has clearly come to see Stryper.

Finally, Alcatrazz has finished its depressing efforts and stagehands move at breakneck speed to clear away the equipment. A large sign proclaiming "To Hell with the Devil" in bright yellow and black letters dominates the backdrop.

The stage is now clothed in jet blackness. The house lights have also dimmed.

At 10:18 pm the eerie strands of Strypers instrumental song "Abyss" begins rising through the sound system imitation a trip into Dantes Inferno evoking visions of the netherworld.

Immediately the crowd of several hundred standing in front of the stage erupts, chanting in unison: "Stryper, Stryper Stryper."

In the balcony and throughout the main floor, cigarette lighters are lit and held high as some symbol of welcome while others are waving their right arms back and forth.

The ethereal sounds of Abyss - punctuated by the sound effects of moans, groans and yelps - dominates the auditorium for what seems like an endless amount of time. Excitement builds...interest peaks...the air seems charged.

Then gradually at first, then gaining speed, lights begin flashing on stage - first red, then blue, then yellow. Now - faster and faster and faster they flash.


The stage ignites in a crescendo of lights, sights, and sounds. All four members of Stryper - Robert and Michael Sweet, Oz Fox, and Tim Gaines - are in place and roaring into the deafening sounds of their first song, "To Hell With the Devil"

The crowd pressing against the stage, is screaming its approval; many are dancing. Hands clap' bodies boogie to the beat. Lights Spotlights blaze.

The thre up-front musicians - Gaines, Fox, and Michael Sweet - are gesturing at the audience shaking their heads of shoulder-length hair, dancing and strutting across the stage.

Drummer Robert Sweet, long blonde hair flying, flails away on drums inside a setting which looks something like a childs swing set which has been painted yellow and black.

The stage is dominated by the drum set and two runways leading to platforms on either side fo the drummers setting. Of course everything is painted yellow and black as are the guitars, the drums, and the bands spandex-and-leather outfits.

The sound level is deafening almost beyond belief. The bone-crunching ear shattering, guitar dominated music is exploding throughout the auditorium by the way of twenty speakers - ten each located on either side of the stage.

In the balcony, the words of the songs are indestinguishable. One of the street preachers has taken a seat nearby and I ask, "Can you understand any of these lyrics.

"Not really" he smiles "but you get used to it".

My policeman friend walks past on patrol. "Can you hear what the group is singing?" I asked.


From upstairs I have noticed four of Strypers road crew standing between the stage and the first row of people pressing forward trying to reach the band. Occasionally an overzealous fan is pushed back from the stage.

After some twenty minutes i the balcony, I decide to get a closer view by going to the first floor. I want to see everything up closer - particularly one long-haired young man who has stripped off his leather vest and is dancing alone to the bands beat in the center of the floor.

Standing on the first floor gives an entirely differenc picture of the concert than in the balcony - yet most of the crowd is upstairs - maybe for safetys sake.

Fifty feet away from the stage itself, the floor is vibration to the bands throbbing rhythm as Michael Sweet sings "rocking because you died for me". In fact the beat seems to pulsate almost unbelievably at this range - my chest seems to literally be heaving from the sound . The sound is numbing.

After playing and dancing through three or four songs, lead singer Michael Sweet says to the crowd: "I see this is a rock and roll crowd tonight"

The crowd, especially those pressed against the front of the stage, shouts approval and soon the group is blasting its way through another series of songs.

Steve Rabey's book, "The Heart OF Rock and Roll" did not sell Stryper short in describing the groups musical abilities -

"...These guys cook. We're not talking just simmer or medium warm here, but boiling smoldering power-driven rock"

Energetic and any related adjective in the book would describe Strypers on-stage performance: vigorous, active, forceful, strenuous, dynamic, animated, tireless.

Many in the crowd seem to know the Stryper songs - singing the chorus of a number with the group or shouting back a slogan. Arms continue to be raised in unison and the index finger held up. A few dance, but most stay glued to the stage.

Between one song, Michael tells the crowd, "We've found you dont need drugs or booze. We've got something better - Jesus" The moment is brief and the band is quickly back into another song.

At 10:47 p.m., the lead singer announces: "We've got a gift for you". All four musicians throw out yellow and black striped New Testements which land among the several hundred standing around the stage area.

Perhaps some 50 New Testements in all are tossed out, and people dive for the tiny books wherever they are thrown. The effort of throwing New Testements is standard for all Stryper concerts.

Yet, the 50 New Testements given away seem a far cry from the 500 TIME magazine suggested or ever Robert Sweet's comments to HIT PARADER magazine January 1987 issue, "We spend about $1000 a night on Bibles..."

At 11 p.m., Michael Sweet sings a ballad, but the songs tempo quickens considerable before it ins in a clashing finish. He tells the crowd: "If it wasnt for you (pointing to the people), we wouldnt be here, and if it wasnt for Jesus Christ, none of this would be possible...and Ive mad a New Years resolution to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ all over the world.

A few applaud. Several cheer. But most of those around the stage mumble in seeming disagreement at his words.

"Lets rock and roll" he shouts, and quickly the band is back into another body-pounding, ear-jamming song.

Michaels brief statement is as close as the group ever gets in presenting anything resembling the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Throughout the concert guitarist Oz Fox has danced up and down the yellow and black runway to the platform beside the drum set. Bassist Tim Gaines, a thin young man with a lone mane of blonde hair, has shaken his head continously during the concert. My neck aches from just watching.

At one point, Michael Sweet dances over to the left side of the stage and plays an imaginary guitar across the genital area of his body while strutting and swinging his hips to the music beat.

THe group briefly leaves the stage after one of its crowd-rousing numbers only to be called back for an expected encore.

Robert Sweet is pouring a bottle of liquid over his head as he walks back to his drum set. In one fluid movement he pulls off his yellow and black shirt with the numbers 777 on the back and hurls it toward the crowd.

The groups last song is also the title of an earlier album, SOLDIERS UNDER COMMAND. As they finish, Michal Sweet shouts, "Jesus Christ rocks," and the group leaves the stage.

At 11:30 p.m., eight enormous bags of ballons hanging from the auditorium ceiling begin falling and popping before hitting the floor. The cross behind the Stryper stage setting blazes.

A young woman representing a TV station in San Francisco introduces herself to me. She's spent the afternoon interviewing the group and plans a profile soon for a program. When she hears this book is being written with Jimmy Swaggart, her lips seem to curl.

"These guys seem to really have a message," she says in Strypers defense, "and they're sure not making any money at it"

"Well, somebody is at $18.50 a ticket," I answered.

A spotlight technician is removing earplugs from his ears. "Im a professional... I do this for a living," he explains. "If I dont wear earplugs, Ill have a terrible headache tomorrow. Its happened before..thats wwhy I wear them."

My eardrums seem to vibrate. It willbe a full twenty-four hours before I feel as if Im not talking inside a barrel.

People leave the auditorium like hundres of ants fleeing a disrupted antbed. I never see the two street ministers again - nor did I ever see them passing out tracts in the concert. Outside, the misty rain falls. The limo waits for its passengers. Perents pick up their offspring.

A homeless man and woman who had been sitting ona park bench behind the auditorium are now gone. The strains of the song, "He Is Worthy to be Praised" come from a meeting room at the Holiday Inn where I've parked. Its a New Years Eve metting of the Christian Businessmen of Silicon Valley.

"Such a contrast," I think to myself as my wife and I stop to hear the worshipful, harmonious praise offered to God.

As we drive past the auditorium, a handful of teens - mostly girls - are standing in the alleyway around the bus and transport truck which apparently hauls Stryper, its equipment, and its crew. The faithful are waiting for a glimpse.

"What have I witnessed", I pondered.

No question about it, I have just seen a sight-and-sound "show" by four talented young men. But far worse, I have also watched as hundreds of young people - maybe even a thousand or more - in desperate need of a Saviour walked out without any opportunity to receive Him, the Source of all life.

Instead of hearing a clear-cut, straightforward presentation of teh Gospel, these young people have been treated to a shallow substitute - a musical Jesus who rocks and rolls. What a shame. It is an unbiblical, pitiful portrait of the humble Galilean, the sovereign Son of the Living God.

My heart aches over such misguided, unfit efforts in the name of the Lord.

Chapter 2


"Our hearts desire should be to worship God: we have been designed by God for this purpose. If we dont worship God, we'll worship something or someone else - John Wimber from EQUIPPING THE SAINTS.

It is very obvious even from the briefest look at the Bible that music was created by God for preaise and worship. That is evident from teh words of Revelation 4:11:

"...for thou hast creating all things, and for thy pleasure they are creatd and were created."

The Psalms, of course, was the first songbook. The great choirs of Jerusalem, under Davids direction, would assemble together and sing these great songs. One section would sing a certain part and another would raise their voices in a responsive chord.

It is recorded in history that the children of Israel were the first people to sing, to clap, to play musical instruments, and to worship God in song. There are over 800 indivicual references to music in the Bible, either to singing or to the use of musical instruments. David is commonly referred to as "the sweet singer of Israel"

The Jewish people were an emotional people. Their worship was often characterized by great exclamations of joy, shouting, clapping hands, or waving of arms, and at times, with tears. One can easily see these characteristics in the Psalms of David or by simply reading selected passages from the Old Testement.

Music was even used by the prophets when prophesying by the Holy Spirit. Thats confirmed from the wordsof Samuel, the great judge and prophet of Isreal.

"...thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy" (1 Sam. 10:5)

The Bible uses frequent references to musical instruments such as the harp, the lyre, the tabret, and the tambourine. The word "psalms" in the Greek is psalmos, which means a set piece of music, a sacred song, to be accompanied with the harp or other instruments.

The word also means to celebrate divine worship with music and singing. This is the meaning of the Hebrew word translated as "psalms" in the following verses:

"Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works" (1 Chron. 16:9).

"Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms" (Psa: 95:2)

"Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works" (Psa. 105:2)


The Bible is literally filled with music. Again and again the word of God records amazing incidents where Gods people burst forth with music and singing to honor the exploits of the Lord on their behalf.

We read in Exodus 15 of Moses and the children of Israel singing a song unto the Lord after their miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. The song reflects the great joy of Gods people who have seen the hand of the Almighty in sparing them from the host of Pharaoh's army:

"...I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him..."(Exo. 15:1,2)

The song is actually nineteen verses in length, which gives you some idea of the children of Israles fervor to praise God. Then in verses twenty and twenty-one, the Bible records how Miriam took a timbrel in hand to lead the women in a time of great rejoicing.

"And Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. "And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea" (Exo. 15:20,21)

1 Chronicles 15 records the extensive preparations arranged by David for teh thousands of musicians to accompany the Ark of the Covenant on its return to Jerusalem. Verse 25 notes the dominate attitude over-shadowing this effort:

."So David and the elders if Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of teh covenant of the Lord out of the house of Obed-edom with joy (1 Chron. 15:25)

Scripture further records much of the preparations and the peoples response to the activities:

"And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the are, and the singers, and the Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.
Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the corent, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps" (1 Chron. 15:27,28)

1 Chronicles 16:7-36 recounts the magnificent psalm which David composed to honor the Lord for His goodness in returning the Ark of the Covenant to His people. Verse 23 in that chapter observes:

"Sing unto the Lord, all teh earth; shew forth from the day to day his salvation.

When Jesus Christ came into this world, His appearance was made known by a chorus of angels who serenaded some obscure shepherds watching their flock. God had chosen the medium of music to herald this signal event in human history - the coming Emmanuel - God with us.

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on eart peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:13,14)

In one of the most exceptional battle stories in the whole Bible, Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, took an unprecedented course of action to victory. The Scripture records:

"And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord: for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten (2 Chron. 20:21,22)

In another instance in the New Testament, the mighty power of God was unleashed when Paul and Silas were arrested in Philippi, beaten, thrust into the inner part of the jail, and confined in wooden stocks. Then, a miracle happened.

"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened and every one's bands were loosed" (Acts 16:25, 26)


In looking at both the Old and New Testaments, it is also obvious that God has given scriptural approval to the use of musical instruments in worship. To sing with accompaniment is a command of the Word of God. The following Scriptures verify the use of musical instruments in worship:

>The righteous are commanded to use them in their worship of God (Psa. 33: 1-5; Psa. 81: 1-5; Psa. 98: 4-9; Psa. 147:7; Psa. 149:1-4; Psa 150:1-6)

>In the Old Testament, it wa actually a law of God to use musical instruments (Psa. 81:1-4; 2 Chron. 29:25)

>When dedicated to God, musical instruments were called holy (Num. 31:6)

>Gods glory (as recorded in 2 Chron 5:11-14) came down when instruments were used with singing - and this still happens today.

>It was prophesied that musical instruments will be used in the reign of the Messiah (Psa. 87:7)

>Fifty-five Psalms were dedicated to the chief musician to be used in worship. And it was only when Israle misused them -to commit sin - that any rebuke came as described in Psalm 32 and Amos 6.

>In heaven, we are told that the twenty-four elders and four angelic beings play harps (Rev. 5:8)

>The 144,000 Jews will also play harps in heaven (Rev 14: 1-5)

>All tribulation saints in heaven will play harps (Rev. 15:2)

>The New Testament commands their use in the church. In Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, the saints are commanded to use psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and to make melody in their heart to the Lord.

Without question, the Word of God from beginning to end has given its approval to the use of musical instruments in worship. To believe and practice otherwise would be contrary to Scripture.


According to John Wimber, there are various ways described in the Old and New Testaments for worshiping God. Among them he lists the following

"Confession: the acknowledgement of sin and guilt to a holy and righteous God"

"Thanksgiving: giving thanks to God for what He has done, especially for His works of creation and Salvation"

"Adoration: praising God simply for who He is - Lord of the Universe."

Throughout the Bible, worship can be seen in such forms as singing, playing musical instrumetns, dancing before the Lord, lifting hands, bowing down, and kneeling.

A.W. Tozer, in his book, WORSHIP: THE MISSING JEWEL IN THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH, adds a vital element to worship which the Jews of the Old Testament and the first century understood - "feeling". Dr Tozer wrote


"Now I happen to belong to that segment of the church of Christ on earth that is not afraid of the word "feeling." We went through a long deep-freeze period at the turn of the centure, when people talked about "naked faith" They wanted to hang us out there like a coonskin drying on the door. And so they said, "Now, dont believe in feeling brother; we dont believe in feeling. The only man who went by feeling was led astray: and that was Isaac when he felt Jacobs arm and thought it was Esau."

But they forgot the woman who felt in her body that she was healed! Remember that? A person that merely goes through the form and doesnt feel anything is not worshiping.

Worship also means to "express in some appropriate manner" what you feel. Now, expressing in some appropriate manner doesn mean that we always all express it in the same way all the ime. And it doesnt mean that you will always express your worship in the same manner. But it does mean that it wil be expressed in some manner.

And what will be expressed? "a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder." It is delightful to worship God, but it is also a humbling thing. And the man who has not been humbled in the presence of God will never be a worshipper of God at all. He may be a church member who keeps the rules and obeys the discipline, and who tithes and goes to conference, but he'll never be a worshipper unless he is deeply humbled.

There's an awesomeness about God which is missing in our day altogether; theres litle sense of admiring awe in the church of Christ these days. "Awesome wonder and overpowering love" in th presence of that ancient mystery, that unspeakable Majesty, which the philosophers call the MYSTERIUM TREMENDUM, but which we call our Father which art in heaven. Now thats my definition of worship - that we are to feel something in our heart that we didnt have before we were converted: that we're going to express it in some way and ist going to be a humbling but a most enjoyable sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder and overpowering love in the Presense of that most ancient Mystery"


Dr. Tozer has focused upon one of the magnificent aspects of worship - that feeling deep in your soul. Surely that was the emotion that must have gripped Jesus' folowers on His triumphal entry into Jerusalam in Luke 19:37, 38.

"And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen" Saying Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest."


While it is obvious that God is the source of music, it must also be recognized from Ezekiel 28 that Lucifer, before his fall, was heavily involved in music.

In the latter portion of Ezekiel 28:13, the Bible says:

"...the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared for thee in the day that thou wast created,"

Many Bible scholars believe this pertains to the tremendous musical talents that God gave to Lucifer - referring specifically to music and song.

In Isaiah 14:12, he is called Lucifer, "son of the morning" In ezekiel 28:14, he is described as "the anointed cherub" who "wast upon the holy mountain of God: thaouh has walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire."

In Job 38, the creation of the world is described in great detail. When one considers verse seven - "the mourning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" - it is quite possible that Lucifer was the director of the great choirs of heaven, who literally led the angelic host in songs of praise and worship when God made the world.

But Lucifers music changed.

"Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, though hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee" (Ezek. 28:17)

Since that day, the devil has played a different tune and much of the world has danced to its sound. Like every good gift from God, Satan has often counterfeited and perverted Gods gift of music to serve a demonic purpose. The "anointed cherub" created sounds that induced the worship of those angelic beings who fell from their heavenly estate with him.

Even Gods own people gave heed to the satainc sound until the Lord declared

"Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs: for I will not hear the melody of thy viols"


Daniel 3 contains the classic example of music that was used as worship to Satan. The story focuses upon Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king who set upa a large monument to himself "in the plain of Dura" Then the command goes forth:

"...To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: And whoso falleth not down and worshipeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace" (Dan. 3:4-6)

That is music used in a demonic setting. It is offered only as worship in a godless, carnal sense. Yet, who can deny it is still music?

Though an entire Babylonian nation could be coerced into bowing before this satanic music, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to heed this muisc. They knew it paid homage to a false god. They would not bow. Their ears were tuned to the Lords melody.


The English word "music" comes from the Greek word mousike, which means any art presided over by the Muses. The Muses were Greek mythical characters considered to be a source of inspiration that would cause a portion to be absorbed in a thought and thereby would create a state of being or mood.

Though we dont believe in Muses, we do know that music deals with the emotions and that music can create a state of being or mood in a person. This is obvious in our use of such terms as happy songs, sad songs, and other such references.

1 Samuel 16:16-23 recounts how music was used to soothe the demonic oppression of King Saul. The kings servants evidentally knew something about the soothing nature of music in certain instances, for the Scripture says:

"And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand" so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him" (verse 23)


Before Jesus Christ was born into this world to live among men - and later to die and rise again - most music was in the minor chords. All the great psalms orignated by David for worship were basically in minor chords.

It should be noted that the majority of music fromm other parts of th world of that day was demonic in origin and had little or no melodic flow.

However, after the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, music gradually changed from the minor chords to the majors, and only then was its full potential realized. IT was as if Jesus' life, death and resurrection opened up the hearts of men to a higher level of worship - thus the progression from the minor to the major chords.

The first popular music in the American colonies came from the church. The Pilgrim settlers particularly enjoyed singing psalms. The first book published in the colonies was the BAY PSALM BOOK in 1640. It contained translations of biblical psalms with directions on how to sing them.

If you look at the nations of this world which dont worship the Lord today, or which worship in a distorted or erroneous manner, you will find that their music has a strange and eerie sound disturbing to the western ear.

Not long ago while visiting Cairo, Egypt, I went out to walk and pray just before dark. During the walk I could hear the eerie wail of the Moslems as they worshipped and prayed. The music had no melody. It was simply recurring pattern like a chant suggesting despair and darkness. OF course, there is no joy or victory in a false way of worship.

From this level of misguided worship, we can follow the further degeneration of musical form until it reaches its ultimate base level in lands where idol worship, animal sacrifice, and even human bondage exists. Without question, demonic influence provides the key for such worship.

Music, as we know it in western culture, stems from our Judeo-Christian heritage and was originally intended for the worship of God.

Yet Satan - with tremendous abilities in musical knowledge given to him by God at his creation - has subverted all of this. He has enslaved hundreds of millions with drugs, alcohol, and illicet sex through demon-inspired music.

Music is an incredibly powerful tool - either in the realm of the Gospel or as a tool of darkness. It can usher one right into the presence of Almighty God or call forth the most vile, demonic activity imaginable on the face of planet earth.

The medium of music is just that powerful.

Chapter 3


"I was using dope, marijuana, angel dust, cocaine, and heroin with pills and drinking and all I wanted to do was have orgies...rock n roll doesnt glorify God... I was one of the pioneers of that music, one of the builders. I know what the blocks are made of because I built them" - LITTLE RICHARD


In the late 1960's and early 1970's, the "Jesus Movement" swept major areas of the country - Southern California in particular - and helped spawn a new musical style: so-called contemporary Christian music.

Most of the new converts in the movement were young people burned out by drugs, shifting sexual morality, and hedonistic life-styles. Soon hundreds were flocking to Costa Mesa's Calvary Chapel, pastored by Chuck Smith, and other similar churches where the long-haired, blue-jean-dressed youths were welcomed.

Part of Calvary Chapels attraction was a Saturday night concert by different artists and musical groups in the congregation. In time, a new musical style was birthed - wedding, folk, country, and rock music with religious lyrics.

Even though the word "contemporary" is difficult to define within the Christian concept, it does imply conformity with todays worldly standards. Websters Dictionary defines contemporary simply as "existing or occuring at the same time."

From its very beginnings, I sensed the musical form was an attempt to come as close as possible to secular rock and roll without actually using that name. Such a suggestion in the musical trends infancy would have been unthinkable and certainly would have been widely opposed within the church.

In fact, the plug was pulled at a 1974 music festival in Pennsylvania on a singer dressed as a "cosmic cowboy" - waist long hair, a thick, untrimmed beard, and earring - and his band of rockers. That singer's music would be considered tame by todays standards.

Yet as time passed, just as pop music shifted and changed, so did contemporary Christian music. By 1985, those artists embracing this sound had begun calling their music by what it really is - rock and roll.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

In considering rock and roll music, a person would have to ask himself, "Is secular rock music a good and perfect gift?" The answer to that is pretty obvious. Absolutely not!

Further he would have to ask, "Is religious rock a good and perfect gift considering, especially, that it has its roots in secular rock?" That answer is obvious as well.

A further study gives us a picture of rocks birth.


When rock music started back in the early 1950's, it was bad, but it was a far cry from what it has become today - vulgar, obscene, and so utterly degraded there is nothing good that can be said about it. Frank Zappa symbolized the rock message in LIFE magazine saying, "Rock music is sex."

In detailing the origins of rock music, Ira Peck, in the book, THE NEW SOUND YES, wrote:

"There in the late 1930's in the fields and shanties of the delta country, evolved an earthy, hard-driving style of music called "rhythm and blues" - played by blacks for blacks. Cured in misery, it was a lonesome, soul-sad music full of cries and wails punctuated by a heavy, regular beat."

Songs like "Good Rockin' Tonight" and "Rock Around the Clock" no doubt effected the terminology of the music, but a Cleveland disc jockey, Alan Freed, was the man who actually coined the term.

Freed, who was one of the first whites to play rhythm and blues over the radio, didnt know what to call this wild music that caused girls - sitting in the front row of concerts - to become frantic...screaming, crying, and trying to rip the clothes off some of the performers.

The disc jockey, who was later indicted in the payola scandals, finally borrowed the term "rock and roll" which was a ghetto expression sometimes used to mean sexual intercourse. The term, of course, characterized the wickedness inherent in this new music craze.

I doubt I'll ever forget that period because my cousin Jerry Lee Lewis was one of the prime movers in the birth of rock and roll as a music form. Jerry Lee, Elvis Presley, Church Berry, and Little Richard were the first superstars of the movement.

It was Presley who gave the music national exposure when he stepped before one of the largest TV audiences of the day on the Ed Sullivan Show and belted out one of his songs such as "Dont Be Cruel" or "Hound Dog"

With his hair flipping in his face, his hips gyrating, and his voiced charged with emotion, he was considered so sensual at one time that one or two of Sullivans programs televised his performance from a camera angle at the waist up.

THE NEW SOUND YES said about Presley:

"He outraged adult sensibilities. But the more parents, moralists, clergymen, and critics railed against him, the more teenagers flipped for him. Elvis was, for them, the supreme symbol of juvinile rebellion"

Sam Phillips, owner of SUN Records in Memphis, who first recorded Elvis, was quoted as saying "Ive found a white man who sings like a black." Musical history had been made.

Presley not only created a stir on television when he appeared, but riots broke out in a number of towns where he performed. Rock concerts were banned in some cities. Finally, a Senate subcommittee began invistigating the link between rock music and juvenile delinquency.


About the same time rock and roll music was launched, a peculiar event occured during a Pentecostal church service in Canada. People were coming to the altar for prayer, when a young woman suddenly fell to the floor and began writhing like a snake and making hissing sounds.

The church's pastor immediately moved to where the girl lay and attempted to rebuke the demonic oppression. Yet there was no visible effect to his efforts.

He stepped back momentarily and prayed, "Lord, whats wrong? I dont understand why the oppresion isnt lifted from this girl."

The Lord spoke to the pastor: "Rebuke the spirit for what it is.. call it a counterfeit fo the Holy Ghost."

When the pastor took that bold step, a profane spirit suddenly spoke from the girl before she was set free. "I am a prince and I have come down... I have come down to possess a race...the youth of the world."

Without question, what has happened in the last thirty years has been nothing more than the youth of this world being possessed by demons - through rock music.


Elvis - the so-called "king of rock" - became a victim of the culture when he died of a drug overdose in August 1977. His personal physician admitted that Presley gobbled up vast amounts of drugs "...from the time he woke up in the morning until the time he went to sleep at night."

Jerry Lee, as well as Chuck Berry, continues to perform even though my cousin has been near death a number of times because of his life-style. Little Richard has made several public professions of faith in Christ over the years - even holding revival meetings for a time. But the last report, he was singing what he called "message" music and recently appeared in a cameo role in the movie, "Down and Out in Beverly Hills."

Still, the music they helped create has persisted over the years and today destroys more lives than ever.

It all started out with what might today be referred to as "plain rock" or basic rock and roll. This was the carefree "lets party" music of the 1950s

This soon deteriorated into "hard rock" - the music of the mid to late 1960s characterized by groups from England such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Animals, and others.

Eight years after Elvis had appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show - Feburary 1964 - the Beatles appeared before an estimated 60 million people, one of the largest TV audiences in history. The group, with its heavy, amplified music, long hair, undersized suits, high-healed boots, and tight harmonies, was an instant hit.

The Rolling Stones tenth album, BEGGAR'S BANQUET, released in December 1968 after wrangling with their record company over the public toilet cover art, charted new ground for rock and roll. The albums opening song was entitled "Sympathy for the Devil" and would influence rock groups, album concepts, and musical influence for years to come.

In the late 1960's, during the time of the Vietnam war, the rock message centered around anti-establishment themes of protest, violence, drugs, and sex. Rock artists such as Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash became immensely popular.

In observing the changes in our society then, TIME magazine stated in its February 22, 1971 edition:

"The counterculture sprang more than anything else from rock-n-roll music. The shattering, obliterating volume...amounted to a new form of violence...coupled with the anarchic, brute-sexual rhythm and lyrics of rock-n-roll music. The counterculture is the worlds first socio-political movement to grow out of the force of electronically amplified music"

An "acid rock" phase of the music came along in the late 1960's and early 1970s influenced by the continual portrayal of drugs in rock lyrics. Groups such as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead popularized this sound.

Three of rock's best-known performers - Jimi Hendriz, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison - all died within a matter of months of each other. Hendrix, who played the guitar in what he called "a big flash of weaving and bobbing, and groping and maiming, and attack" died of a drug overdose in September 1970.

A short two weeks later, Joplin, who had climbed to fame as a young blues singer with Big Brother and the Holding Company, was found with her head split open from a fall, after overdosing on heroin. At her death, her body was riddled with syphilis.

In the book FREAKSHOW, writer Albert Goldman described Morrison:

"Abundantly gifted as a singer and songwriter, Morrison is , above all, at his most entrancing, onstage...Morrison - in any of his aspects - is energized by a ferocious eroticism. Totally uninhibited he appears to be always in a state of smoldering and eruptive sexual excitement."

After a brief, but highly successful, career as lead singer of the Doors, Morrison quit the group and moved to Paris. His body, already wrecked by alcohol, caused his heart to quit. In July 1971 he died in his bath. He was 28.

The early to late 1970's became the era of the super groups such as Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, and the Who. These bands drew thousands of young people to their concerts in the worlds largest stadiums and coliseums.

In the late 1970's came the ear-shattering heavy metal groups such as Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, KISS, AC/DC, and Van Halen. Many of these bands are still around today, along with groups such as Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourn, and Bon Jovi. The direction behind such heavy metal bands music is sex, drugs and satanism.

Rocks trend today is toward punk or the new wave sound. It is characterized by groups like Plasmatics, New York Dolls, and Talking Heads, who project rebellion agaisnt parental authority, anarchy, and bodily perversion - much of it more extreme than simple pornography.

Nihilism is the binding force behind punk rockers. Its the belief that there is no meaning or purpose in existence. These people who embrace such music generally reject all customary beliefs in morality, religion, and social standards. Punk rockers stand for nothing more than total rebellion against society.

Punk rock has a constant reference to violence, and violence is nothing more than worship to Satan.

Alfred Aronowitz, former music critic for teh NEW YORK POST, has written:

"If the establishment knew what todays popular music is really saying, not only what the words are saying but what the music itself is saying, they wouldnt just turn thumbs down on it. They'd ban it, they'd smash all the records, and they'd arrest anyone who tried to play it.


As far as music was concerned, 1950's-style rock music was little different from some of the music that had been played in various church services over the years. That may sound strange to some people but it is, nonetheless, true.

In fact, virtually all of the early stars of rock music were all products of either the church itself or had gospel music backgrounds. Among them were Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Roy Hamilton, Pat Boone, and Marvid Gaye. The list could cover several pages if I listed all the individuals.

This 1950s-style rock was basically done in four-four time with double measure used on some songs. If a person went back to the old Billy Sunday cursades 75 or 80 years ago with the great choirs led by Homer Rodeheaver, he would have heard basically the same rhythm patterns.

It wouldnt have the same impact of course, simply because they didnt have the electric instrumentation we do now, but the rhythm patterns were the same.

People by the thousands would clap their hands and sing, "Brighten the Corner Where You Are" or "When We All Get To Heaven" and enjoy themselves immensely in the Lord.

However, it was the same rhythm pattern that Elvis Presley and my cousin Jerry Lee were singing. So the music wasnt new. In fact, I believe it drew much of its influence from the church. In many full-gospel churches, the same type of musical worship was carried on and has been at least a part of the success of the great Pentecostal form of worship.

Rhythm within itself is not wrong. Its only when its used incorrectly that the problem arises.

Man is a tripartite being - spirit, soul, and body. In this triune being there is another complez creation of God. It is harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic.

The harmonic area of man deals with music but also relates to speech and thought patterns. The harmonic part of man functions within the spirit realm.

The melodic, or melody, relates to the soul and affects the lyrical and cadence of speech within man.

The rhythmic, or rhythm, relates to the flesh of man - his physical body.

All of this represents Gods creation and stands together as a part of mans spiritual, physical, and psychological makeup. As such, within themselves, they are not evil.

However, these portions of mans being can be perverted to the point where the natural senses become degraded and cease to worship God and, instead, worship or cater to the devil or to the wicked impulses of the flesh.

For instance, when the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, they played tambourines and had a camp meeting on the shores of that great waterway. They danced befor the Lord in great joy.

Its virtually impossible to play a tambourine without doing so in a rhythmic fashion. Consequently, these Israelites who had just witnessed a mighty miracle from God were playing in rhythm. Of course, it was sanctioned by the Holy Spirit.

There are seven basic words that describe ancient Jewish worship as found in the Old Testament and which have been carried over into the New Testament. One of these words is "zamar", which means "to touch the strings"

This word is used in connection with instrumental worship. It has to do with percussion, wind, or rhythm instruments. Examples are found in Psalm 57:9 and Psalm 150.

The Greek word for "psalms" in James 5:13 is "psallo", which means "to twitch or twang, or to play on a stringed instrument."

So rhythm within itself is not wrong. Even though this element of rhythm may be in rock, pop, folk, or even gospel music, it constitutes nothing wrong as such. Unless the music overpowers the message, then the rhythm becomes all-important. Then the music takes on an entirely different complexion.


In noting mans rhythmic physical nature, Dr. John Diamond observed that man is rhythmic in respiration, heartbeat, pulse, speech, and gait. When the rhythm of music corresponds to the natural body rhythms, the suggested, it produces ecstasy, alertness, and peace, energizes the mind and body, and facilitates balance and self-control.

Dr. David Nobel, a music authority reporting on the value of music rhythms corresponding to body rhythms, has written:

"None of these qualities accrue to the rock sound. Instead rock contains harmonic dissonance and melodic discord while it accents rhythm with a big beat. In fact, the anapestic beat used by many rock musicians actually is the exact opposite of our heart and arterial rhythms.""

Dr. Diamond reported that the stopped anapestic rhythm "heightens stress and anger, reduces output, increases hyperactivity, and weakens muscle strenth."

Music composer and couductor Dimitri Tiomkin said of the rock sound: "...Youngsters who listen constantly to this sort of sound are thrust into turmoil. They are no longer relaxed, normal kids."

What these professionals are saying is that todays rock sound fights against the rhythmic nature of mans creation.


Rock and roll, both the music and the life-style, has literally trapped and destroyed the lives of millions of people. The death count of the rock musicians themselves, who have succumbed over the years to their own life-styles, would cover page after page if I began listing the names and describing their destructive fates.

Just a brief look at the individuals who died from drug overdoses or from alcohol-related deaths resulting in suffocation from vomit would include the following:

Tommy Bolin (1950-1975), from Deep Purple and James Gang

Tim Buckley (1947-1975)

Nick Drake (1948-1974)

Tim Hardin (1940-1980)

Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)

Gregory Herbert (1950-1978), from Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Janis Joplin (1943-1970)

Frankie Lymon (1942-1968)

Robbie McIntosh (1944-1974), from Average White Band

Keith Moon (1946-1978)

Gram Parsons (1946-1973)

Elvis Presley (1935-1977)

Sid Vicious (1958-1979), from the Sex Pistols

Bon Scott (1947-1980) from AC/DC

Danny Whitten (1945-1972), from Crazy Horse

Alan Wilson (1943-1970), from Canned Heat

John Bonham (1948-1980), from Led Zeppelin

The list of rock and rollers who committed suicide would include the following persons:

Johnny Ace (1929-1954)

Ian Curtis (1959-1980), from Joy Division

Peter Ham (1947-1975), from Bad Finger

Donny Hathaway (1945-1979)

Phil Ochs (1940-1976)

Rory Storme (1940-1974)

Paul Williams (1939-1973), from the Temptations.

Of course, names missing from this listing would include the elevn young people who were trampled to death at a 1979 Who concert in Cincinnati. They were trapped inside a crowd surging to get inside the coliseum and were crushed under the feet of the uncontrolled mob.

Also not included would be the five people knifed or beaten to death by the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, hired as security guards for a free Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Motor Speeday outside San Fransisco in 1969.

The list does not include the 1,600 teenagers who attempt suicide every day - some of which succeed. Nor does it contain the millions of young people whose lives have been wrecked - and some destroyed - because of drugs, illicet sex, or satanism championed by rock and roll music.

The music and its accompanying life-style is the predominate influence in the life of a typical teenager. Its influence overshadows family, school, and church. Rock stars are the heroes to this generation.

Yet rock music is one of the most destructive forces in this nation. As Dr. David Nobel correctly stated, it is nothing more than "pornography set ot music"

It seems absolutely inconceivable to me that any group which considers itself Christian would accept the rock and roll designation - especially when one considers the horror that has been imposed on generation after generation by this form of music.

Yet there are many performers who boldly proclaim their Christianity while still openly professing they are also rock and rollers. Mylon LeFevre is one such person.


Contemporary Christian Magazines profile on Mylon Lefevre, in its March 1986 edition, quotes Mylon as saying:

"Our music is rock and roll. We dont even tell anybody its contemporary Christian music...We are a rock n roll band. We sound like one, we look like one, and at the end of the night we smell like one..."

As a youngster Mylon performed with his parents southern gospel group and he wrote popular gospel songs. Fired from the group in a dispute over the length of his sideburns, Mylon took the opportunity to record some rock songs he had written but the family wouldnt record.

What followed were years of heroin addiction and recording and performing with some of the worlds most famous rock musicians. He made a full surrender of his life to Christ in April 1980 and returned to Christian music in 1982. But evidently a change has come about.

In describing what he does now, Mylon stated:

"Its a rock n roll show that is a ministry. You cant separate the two. Rock n roll is what I do. I put on a good show. I entertain those people. I have a good time with them..."

Rock and roll is a ministry? I would have to ask the question, "What type of ministry?" For someone to suggest that rock and roll is the same as a biblical ministry has to be the most far-out statement that could ever be uttered.

Earlier we have described the origins of rock and roll. It should be obvious as to what rock and roll is and what it has done in millions of lives. By simply adding the word "Christian" does not change anything, nor does attempting to justify it as "ministry." That is little more than blasphemy or total ignorance.

To prove my point, look at these sentences: "I put on a good show. I entertain those people. I have a good time with them.

Can you imagine the Apostle Paul "putting on a good show"?

What type of "entertainment" do you think Simon Peter engaged in?

Is there anything in the Bible, and more specifically, is there anything in the New Testament that has to do with "putting ona good show," "entertaining people", and "having a good time with them"?

"And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the vail of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost" (Luke 23:44-46)

" labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep" (2 Cor. 11:23-25)

Upon a simple investigation, I believe it would be very difficult to coincide a "good show" or "entertainment" or a "good time" with the passages I have quoted.

DESTINY magazine interviewed Mylon for an article on contemporary "Christian" music in its May/June 1986 issue. In answer to a question, "why do you keep playing this loud music to teenagers? Youre forty-one years old."

Mylon said in part:

"...I was a rock n roller for twenty-five years and what God showed me is I am now a "born-again, Spirit filled, rock n roller who has been called to preach teach and make disciples."


I have no problem with Mylons Christian convictions or his heart motives. All of those can be correct - as with any individual - and yet their methods can be totally wrong, even foreign to the Gospel.

It is my conviction that rock music cannot be used to communicate spiritual truth. I cannot possibly see how rock music, with its origins in demonic activities, can apply to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Convictions must be based on the Word of GOd and not personal tastes, likes, and dislikes. Most of religious rock or so-called contemporary Christian music draws its inspiriation from secular rock and roll. The result is worldliness in the music - and even worse, worldliness through music invading the church. Further, it authenticates the rock sound by having people who are supposed to be Christians playing the music.

Thus, when I apply the standards of the Bible to this form of worldliness, I recognize the wrongness of such music. The Scripture states in the following places:

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing..." (2 Cor. 6:17)

"Abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thess. 5:22)

"And be not conformed to this world..." (Rom. 12:2).

When I consider these Scriptures in the light of where rock and roll came from and the evil influence it has had in destroying millions of lives, there is no question in my mind: religious rock has no place in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chapter 4



I am a Christian, so nothing I ever do is secular.
Even when I sing a pop song that doesn't mention
Jesus, it's still a Christian song because I'm
representing it. If it's played on a secular radio
station, then they are playing a Christian song if
they know it or not. My art form to communicate to
people is rock and roll.

-British singer Cliff Richard


The heart of the matter as it relates to religious
rock is that people have brought a musical form,
birthed in the seething cauldron of rebellion, into
the church and attempted to identify it as a tool of

Music is not for evangelism.

There is no biblical case for music to be used for
evangelism as some proponents of religious rock would
suggest. In fact, there is not one scriptural
reference in the Bible tying music and evangelism

Music in the Bible in every instance is either used in
praise and worship to God or to Satan. There appears
to be no biblical ground for the use of music as a
viable soul-winning technique.

Gospel music has always been meant to prepare people's
hearts for the preaching of God's word. Throughout
history, individuals with gospel music ministries have
always been connected to preaching ministries.

The Bible states clearly in I Corinthians 1:21:

" pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to
save them that believe."

Evangelism, or soul winning, is always tied into the
preaching of the word. Although mentioned over 800
times in Scripture, music is never used as
entertainment or an end within itself. The music
medium can speak to us, soothe and challenge us, but
it takes the preaching of the gospel to transform a

Yet the religious rockers are steadfastly maintaining
that the reason for their approach - manner of dress,
sound systems, strobe lights - is solely for the
purpose of soul-winning.

Mylon LeFevre is quoted as saying:

A light show, flashy dress, and large sound systems
are not used to urge Christians to come to the
concerts. Those things are used to attract the unsaved
to come so we can give them Jesus, the Word of God.
Before you can teach people the gospel, you have to
get them to come to the auditorium where you are
holding a concert.

For that reason, the sound of the band members and the
looks are very important. That's the only reason
Broken Heart looks and sound the way it does. If I
could be a regular preacher and still reach kids, I

Ironically, most of these singers and musicians now
playing religious rock were not won to Jesus Christ by
the same tactics they now claim must be employed to
reach young people. They weren't saved on a rock and
roll gospel.

Yet vitually all these artists - some of which sport
mohawk haircuts and wear chains and leather - insist
that young people can be reached only through the
medium of their culture, rock music.

The basic truth is that these individuals like the
trendy clothing of the youth culture and they enjoy
rock music. That's why they've adopted such tactics.
It has very little to do with soul-winning since most
of their efforts are directed at church kids who are
already born again.

Thousands for Christ

Mylon LeFevre indicated in a published interview that
some 30,000 young people had signed a card during a
year's time indicating they had given their lives to
Christ following a religious rock concert by his
group, Broken Heart.

My question is this: Where are these young people
today? What has happened since they supposedly signed
a card? Have they been discipled? Did someone help
them find a Bible-believing local church? Did anybody
do any follow-up on all these so-called conversions?

Any valid evangelism program to reach people for the
Lord Jesus will have a sensible follow-up program to
enable the new converts to grow and mature in the
faith. Without it, an indiviual has been done great
disservice. He has not been blessed.

A Baton Rouge Experience

I would ask these religious rockers who feel their
music is enabling them to win the lost - how do you
reach the unsaved when a Christian promoter books the
groups, Christian radio stations advertise the
concerts , and Christian bookstores sell the tickets
to other Christians?


In essence, religious rock artists are banking on
young people, some of whom have never shared their
faith with anybody, to give them a perfect musical
setting to bring their unsaved freinds. It just
doesn't happen.

Glen Berteau, youth pastor at Family Worship Center in
Baton Rouge, took a poll this past summer of the young
people attending the weekly Crossfire meeting. He
asked how many had been saved through a church service
or attendance at a Christian camp?

About 70 percent raised their hands.

He then asked how many had been saved through
one-on-one witnessing from another Christian. Almost
all of the remaining young people in the auditorium
raised their hands.

He asked finally how many had been saved at a
religious rock concert. Only one person out of
approximately 800 young people (in attendance that
night) raised his hand.

After the service, the young man told Glen he had
given his life to Christ five years earlier at a
concert. The teenager's cousin had witnessed to him
prior to the concert; thus his heart had already been

Yet the trend persists. Religious rockers claim the
only reason for their approach - the loud music, the
rock outfits styled after the world, the theatrics on
stage - is to win converts to Jesus.

From all information I've received, the religious
rockers aren't reaching new converts for Christ.
They're making disciples to their rock music style out
of church kids because that's 95 percent of their

Alter Calls

It is obvious that if the religious rockers are
presenting the gospel of the Lord Jesus, then there
must be an opportunity for the hearers to respond.
That's the basic with any evangelistic service.

Yet Amy Grant, who has sold more than four million
records and been arguably called "the most popular
Christian singer on the face of the earth," does not
give alter calls in her concerts.

In discussing her album, Unguarded, she gives a hint
at her emphasis:

I wanted to make a record that would basically fit
between Madonna and Huey Lewis.

Perhaps this emphasis is why the Chicago Sun Times, in
its March 23, 1986, edition, dubbed her "the Madonna
of Christian rock." one publication noted:

The lyrics on much of this new album deliver their
message in a much subtle way. The words "Jesus,"
"Lord," and "God" come up less often, and Grant has
even included a straightfoward love song.

She is quoted in another article from U.S. News &
World Report as saying:

If you are really searching for something, my music
will speak to you.

How does she think her music will speak to you? She's
using the tactics and the music of the world. If a
person is really searching for Jesus Christ, there's
virtually no way he could find him in anything this
young lady does.

Jesus declared the following about his presentation of
"Good News":

"...I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the
synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always
resort; and in secret have I said nothing" (John

Why wouldn't a Christian want to proclaim Jesus
openly? I cant understand the reason for not telling
the world about him. That's the approach He took in
preaching His message.

Of course, I know some people will say Jimmy Swaggart
isn't in the modern era. He's somewhere back in the
1950s. If that's your thinking, then read the
following letter written to Contemporary Christian
Magazine from a 17-year-old girl in Charleston S.C.

I'm writing regarding Bob Darden's review of Amy
Grant's latest album, unguarded (June). As a
17-year-old Christian surrounded by "the world," I
feel what I have to say is relevant.

What message is Amy taking to this "dying world"? I've
heard her album and have also heard "Love Will Find a
Way" on both Christian and secular radio stations. I
don't see any message except, as your review put it,
"a positive ethical life-style...without preaching." A
positive ethical life-style is nothing more than
humanism. Yes, her message has gotten through to this
lost and dying world. Perhaops that is the problem -
it's Amy's message and not God's.

Amen, young lady, you've put your finger exactly on
the root of the problem.


Rez Band, a Chicago-based religious rock band, affiliated with a Christian community in the inner city, is a case in point of a musical group who shapes its appearance and sound based on punk or new wave rock.

A recent profile in the book, THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL, noted the following about the group:

"Guitarist Glenn Kaiser and drummer John Herrin, both pastors in a local Christian community, are leading a rhythmic assault on the ears and bodies of the people in the audience. Glenn slashes at his guitar like he's fighting off a six stringed attacker, while John throws his sticks at his drums. Stu Heill on guitar and John Denotn on bass add their instruments to the musical mix. Then Wendi Kaiser belts out her harsh vocals to the first verse of a song that painst a bleak picture of emptiness of modern life -'Hiding out in my bedroom -I wish that I coud die: - No one seems to love me - But Im not going to cry"

In describing the group, Glen Kaiser is quoted as saying:

"We look at ourselves as a band that just happens to be Christian. We are Christians first, and we make no bones about the fact that we follow Jesus and that we are speaking from a Biblical perspective. But at the same time we are no longer afraid to be known as rock and roll musicians."

For this group to talk about following Jesus in the same breath with boasting about being a rock and roll musician is an oxymoron. Its like trying to combine oil and water, light and darkness, sin and salvation. It CANNOT be done.

What they are advocating is something in biblical terminology that does not exist.

The Word of God looks at these issues with the following instructions:

"Wherefore come out from among them, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" (2 Cor. 6:17)

"...choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Josh. 24:15)

A sympathetic article (April 1986) in Contemporary Christian Magazine about this religious rock group states"

"While undeniably popular among Christian rock fans, Rez has, since its inception in 1972, been periodically targeted by the church's right-wing factions as immoral, as evil influences, as messengers of Satan, and other such tripe. With their latest career move, the band now runs the risk of alienating even their staunchest allies in the world of Christian rock - but its a risk worth taking."

Just what kind of question would the average Christian raise about a religious rock band interested in a good "career move"? It simply sounds like somebody attempting to carve a bigger piece of the pie for themselves.

The article explains just what kind of "career move" this religious rock band is taking:

"A new album, BETWEEN HEAVEN N HELL [their eighth], recently hit the streets, and with it, Rez begins its campaign aimed at winning over the secular mainstream rock audience. Last fall, their label, Sparrow Records, signed a distribution agreement with Capitol Records - a much-vaunted improvement over Sparrow's previous alliance with MCA. Capitol will not only manufacture Sparrow discs, but it will lend its radio promotion staff to help get them played on secular radio stations. So far, BETWEEN HEAVEN N HELL has seen airplay on a number of AOR (album-oriented rock) stations in Texas, including Dallas' formidible KZEW-FM.

Rez has made a number of moves designed to facilitate their transition to the secular market. They've pacted with a New York based management/marketing firm on a four-month trial basis. They have signed with the venerable Divisified Management Agency (DMA) out of Detroit who wil be handling concert bookings. (Other heavy DMA clients include the Scorpions, Quiet Riot, and Autograph) And they've been concentrating more on videos, resulting in MTV's picking up LOVE COMES DOWN, the bands latest video effort as well as their latest single release""

No doubt this religious rock group will have to adopt some changes in this big switch. I wonder if any of the changes will be significant? The article continues:

""The members of Rez band realize their secular move is double jeopardy: they might be rejected by the non-Christian rock establishment for their religious roots and their old fans might take exception to their taking on the world....In order to do that, Rez is all too aware, they're going to "play by certain rules," as Herrin puts it. They've already stopped the practice of altar calls in the concert, and their toning down overt references to the Lord. In general, they want to present themselves, first and foremost, as a rock band""

Do you recognize a trend developing with the religious rockers? Some are quitting the practice of altar calls. Most are dropping clear-cut references to the Lord. The emphasis is on raw rock and roll.

Jesus declared about Himself:

"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32).

The WOrd of God does not say adopt the tactics, methods, and styles of a rock band.

Can Jesus be really lifted up at a rock concert? Can anyone be genuinely converted while these rock musicians scream their message and play their blaring instruments? The audience wont even know the purpose for any of this so-called "sanctified entertainment."

Contemporary Christian Magazine's article noted that: "...Rez had gotten the distince impression that they were preaching primarily to the converted."

If thats the case, why has this group been attempting to convince Christians for the last twelve years they were playing their brand of music and dressing as the did to reach lost souls? Did it honestly take them that long to reach such a conclusion?

In truth, an altar call does not fit the setting for what most of these groups create. It would be like casting pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). An altar call should be given when the Spirit of God is present, moving with conviction to touch the hearts and lives of people.

The Spirit of God is not in such concerts, so why give an altar call?


Michael W. Smith, a talented keyboard musician who has played on a number of Amy Grants records and also written several popular praise songs, was aided on his new album by producer John Potoker, who produced records for Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, The Thompson Twins, and Mick Jagger.

On Smiths newest album, THE BIG PICTURE, he has sprinkled fewer overt religious references and has omitted from the LP any praise songs. He figures the best way to take the message to young people is "wrap it up in a package they would want to open"

Regarding his concerts, (Contemporary Christian Magazine/ June 1986) Smith is quoted as saying:

The people coming to the concerts are ready to rock. They come out and want to have a good time. Some people need to get out there and preach to them. Ask them for a decision at the end, but thats not my calling. The kids I see are just ready to kick it out and have fun."

Im frankly amazed that anyone feels his calling in life is "to rock". If the music is supposed to be about Christ, why wouldnt there be an opportunity to receive Him? Would somebody's conversion mess up the program?

Somehow the music has become more important than either the Messiah or the message. To be frank with you, Jesus Christ was never the purpose. He was only the pawn in this money game.


All of these religious rockers will tell you their number one goal is to reach the kids with their music and/or their message. Perhaps we need to re-define the word "reach."

My concept of "reach" is to extend an opportunity for non-believers to know the Lord Jesus Christ. Webster's Dictionary says reach means "to stretch out" or "to extend"

I am totally mystified how anyone can be reached with the Gospel when the music dominates the message...when the name of Jesus is no longer mentioned...when no altar call is given...and when the style of the musicians and singers becomes the focal point of the entire concert.

Such presentations, programs, and albums have nothing to do with the Gospel. No tangible, worthwile result can be achieved because the Lord Jesus Christ has not been lifted up. That scriptural method - by lifting up the Son of God - is the only proven way to ever get any results.

Religious rocker Steve Taylor went so far as to criticize another contemporary singer, Carman, for establishing some criteria for a concert. Taylor is quoted in the February 1986 issue of Contemporary Christian Magazine as saying:

"...I heard the other day that Carman had come up with four criteria for Christian concerts that he shares. One was that you had to talk about a literal devil, one was that you had to give an altar call, and I cant remember the other two. Now Carmans and intelligent guy. Where does he get off laying down these rules?"

Id suggest a good place - the Bible. Its a place many of the religious rockers have drifted far from.

Chapter 5

Chapter 5


"You dont need the devil to teach you music. People said when I came to the Lord, "Now you can use all this talent and what you've learned over the years for the Lord". Listen, it took me six years to unlearn what I learned from the world!" - Carman in concert, January 25, 1987, Decatur, GA


One of the greatest elements lacking with the so-called contemporary Christian music is an incredible void of understanding of the Holiness of God and the responsibility of singers and musicians to communicate that.

The words of Ezekiel 44:23 cry out for recognition.

"And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean."

Instead of God being exalted or some facet of Christs glorious character and redemption being praised, we are often treated to a sensual, secular glorification of the flesh which looks, sounds, and appears as nothing more than an instrument of Hollywood.

Since 1975, a Christian Artists Music Seminar has been held during the summer at Estes Park, Colorado. NEWSWEEK magazine (August 19, 1985) took note of the 1985 gathering.

""...At the Estes park concert, Britians Sheila Walsh - who has her own BBC television show - artfully mixed the sacred and sexy. Emerging from clouds of machine made smoke on a darkened stage - at these concerts, there are no drafts of marijuana fumes - Walsh held her arms out to form a shadowy crucifix. But when the beat quickened, bright lights suddenly revealed a strutting Walsh in shiny white spandex pants, an oversize white shirt, white lace gloves, and glittered hair. Her message was arresting too: songs of troubled marriages and fear of nuclear war.""

Can you tell my why so-called Christian entertainers are even mixing what a secular magazine like NEWSWEEK calls the "sacred and sexy"? What does this kind of sensuality have to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

What about the Christian virtues of righteousness, purity, and holiness? Are those biblical traits out of style in the 1980's?

I once heard A.N. TROTTER say, "The reason people do such things is that they do not understand the holiness of God."

yet this brand of sensuality runs the length and breadth of religious rock. It is a disgrace in the eyes of God.


Amy Grants controversial June 1985 interview in Rolling Stone magazine produced a flood of criticism from fans, ministers, and Christian bookstore owners to her management company and her record company.

Rolling Stone reporter Michael Goldberg wrote:

""Grants also pragmatic about her career. Regarding her album covers and publicity photos, which portray her as a sexy, attractive young woman, the Christian pop star says, "Im trying to look sexy to sell a record. But what is sexy? To me its never been taking my shirt off or sticking my tongue out. I feel that a Christian young woman in the eighties is very sexual.""

Word Records spokesman Scott Pelking said the record company had received numerous complaints about Ms Grants "harsh" language quoted in the interview, especially her comments about sex.

The Rolling Stone article also raised eyebrows over a reference to Amy Grant sunbathing in the nude, as well as comments, some sexually explicit, about a Prince concert she attended.

The Rolling Stone story gave the following quote:

"...When he [Prince] started humping the state, I got a little embarrassed," says the twenty-four-year-old Grant, sitting in the bright sunlight near the swimming pool at her Universal City hotel. "I quit looking." "When he thrust his crotch up into the florescent shower" she continues in her souther drawl, " I thought if someone wanst to do this at home, fine. If I want to do this at home, fine. I dont want to watch Prince doing it. I didnt get off watching him create the illusion of masturbating.""

The Word Records spokesman said the complaints about her language were being answered with, "Thats the way she is. Shes very frank."

Her manager, brother-in-law Dan Harrell was quoted as saying, "Amy is as committed as ever to minster to kids who dont know Jesus". Adding "If Gods judgement is going to fall on us for that, let it fall"

The article, Harrel clainmed is "inflammatory," but the most distressing part for Amy is to see a lack of love and understanding from Christians.

Isnt it ironic, if you ever question someone's published remarks or somehow challenge their point of view, you're always accused of "lacking love"

On the contrary, I think it IS an act of love to tell people there will be no mixing the sacred and sexy in heaven. It is wrong! It has no basis in Christianity. God is not its author.

The Apostle Paul declared in Galations 4:16:

"Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"


Several days after the Rolling Stone article was printed, Amy Grants 1985 tour was underway and came to Baton Rouge. My son, Donnie, who had been acquainted previously with Amy's husband, Gary Chapman, went to the concert with Glen Berteau, youth pastor of Family Worship Center.

Knowing how the secular news media can twist and distort stories on Christians, Donnie was sympathetic about Amy Grants treatment at the hands of a magazine know for its articles on counterculture personalities and rock music stars.

Donnei knew his own father had been the victim of bad press. Thus, he decided to ask Gary Chapman about the story.

"What about the Rolling Stone article?" Donnie questioned, after he and Glen went backstage to meet Chapman. "I know how the news media can lie about you. Im sure it must have misquoted and misrepresented AMy."

"It was a big laugh," Chapman said smiling, "but Amy needed a little controversy to help her career"

Needless to say, Donnie was shocked by Chapmans comments. Yet in some ten minutes of conversation, he never once denied any remark made in the Rolling Stone interview, nor did he ever suggest she was misquoted. It seemed like a big joke more than anything else, according to Donnie.

Of course, Chapman has a habit of shocking people. When he and Amy Grant appeared on the ABC-TV program, "Good Morning America" he was asked by hostess Joan Lunden, "What is married life with Amy really like?"

According to CHRISTIAN CONTEMPORARY MAGAZINE, "the comical Chapman confessed, 'its a living hell.'"

Donnie characterized the concert as a two-hour, high energy, loud rock and roll show with kids dancing in the aisles. Never once was any affirmation about the Lord Jesus ever made. No testimony was ever given; no admonishment to praise the Lord offered.

"The closest the condert got anything to spiritual," Donnie said later, "was Amy took about ten minutes and talked about how she's doing new things and needs our prayers."

But he also recalled during one of her heavy-rocking, strutting songs, her guitar player "stalked" her across the stage as she sang. The song closed with them back-to-back, bodies touching in movement. A lot of church kids were in attendance at the concert - some of which walked out confused at the sensual presentation they had just witnessed.

The shows opening act was singer Philip Bailey, formerly with the pop/jazz group "Earth, Wind, and Fire." Bailey who professes to be born again, has recorded both Christian and secular albums recently.

About a month before the Baton Rouge concert, Bailey had the nations number one song, "Easy Lover," written for him and co-sung with rock star Phil Collins. The song has been accused of promoting promiscuity. It was sung at the Baton Rouge concert promoted as a Christian event and supported by a number of churches.


Amy Grant is no stranger to making frank comments or receiving criticism for her sensual, sometimges confusling appearance. For instance, at the Grammy Awards in 1985, she wore a hand-painted, leopard spot dinner jacket and was barefooted.

However, the book, THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL, included a story about her frank comments at a Christian music festival:

""It was summer of 1980 and thousands of people, mostly teenagers, were sitting in the Florida sun listening to Amy Grant. The crowd at the Christian music festival was dressed for a day of music and sun -with most people wearing some version of shorts and summer tops. Somehow the combination of heat, halter tops, and spiritual intimacy aroused the young people, setting a mood that could best be described as "sexually charged." Then the 19 year old Miss Grant could feel the mood on stage and instead of ignoring it, dismissing it, or sticking to her "act", she confronted the problem head on: "Im not married and Im dying to have sex too", she said. "Sometimes I think if the line starts here let me be the first. But were making a commitment here.""

Christians arent the only ones who seem concerned about images - and words - that the young singer has expressed.

Richard Harrington of the Washington Post said that Grant "is projecting a confusing sexy image for an avowedly spiritual singer," while the NEW YORK TIMES' John Rockwell wrote about Grants "deliberately alluring, even sexy publicity photos, hand on thigh and jeans rolled up to mid-calf."

"...when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Rom. 1:21).

Its a shame when the secular world recognizes what we, as Christians, are doing is wrong. Its obvious to them. Why isnt it obvious to us?

Why does the world somehow recognize that a church standard has been broken?

For centuries the church has set the standard for decency and morality. The world recognizes that standard because the church established it. Now the secular reporters watch that standard being broken by those who claim to be Christian - and even the world knows its against the accepted norm.

James Chute in the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL made similar observations in his August 17, 1986 Critics Comment:

""Lyrics aside, Grant uses all the commercial weapons available, including sex, to promote her music.Maybe her come-hither look on the album cover really suggests that she wants to have you over to talk about Jesus, but who is to know until you put the record on the turntable and actually listen to the lyrics?

Even Grants pastor, Don Finto of the Belmont Church in Nashville admits, "Sometimes Amy is not always wise in the way she says things..."


But Amy Grant isnt the only contemporary Christian singer who draws attention from teh sexual image she projects; she's just the most visible.

USA TODAY, in a story headlined "Spreading a Rock and Roll Gospel," noted the following comments aobut a young singer from California:

""An energetic Leslie Phillip wildly on stage, shaking her long blond hair, silver chains, and occasionally revealing her tummy.""

Ironcially, Ms. Phillips said in a Contemporary Christian Magazine interview, January 1986, "...sexuality's a part of us all, but Im not trying in any way to flaunt that in concert."

Thats odd because reviewers keep writing about her in this manner "...a good performer and she was a sexy girl on stage"

A St, Petersburg newspaper critic described her concer performance saying: "She sings like Pat Benetar, dances like Sheila E., and gives the gospel like Amy Grant." Pat Benetar and Sheila E. are both well-known women singers whos brand of music is rock and roll. Sheila E has been an opening act for Prince.



The whole issue of Christian singers and musicians - either male or female - exuding sexuality in either their public remarks, recordings, or performances is antithetical to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. To be frank, it is blasphemous.

It further raises the question: Is the world leading us or are we leading the world? In fact, why are Christians even borrowing the ways of the world?

I ponder that question exctensively when I consider the appearance of a heavy metal, religious rock group like Stryper. Heres how TIME magazine described them:

""If you had to guess their name, you might think of the Devil's Disciples or the Beelzebubs. Or perhaps the Killer Bees, which is what the four young men on stage look like in their tight leather-and-spandex costumes crisscrossed with garish black and yellow stripes. Piles of makeup, spikey hair, and enough dangling chains to tie up half the elephants in Africa complete the picture of teh up-to-date heavy metal rock group. Even the music, the sound of a swarm of angry insects electronically amplified several thousand times, fits the image""

Time observed that these performers are "indistinguishable - except for their lyrics - from their secular counterparts."

Yet in looking at these performers songs, NEWSWEEK magazine, in an article titled, "The New Christian Minstrels," said:

""When these performers sing about love, the lyrics are usually romanitc and sometimes ambiguous. In Gratns pop song called "Open Arms", for example, she croons "Your love has taken hold and I cant fight it" keeping it unclear whether or not the lover is Jesus.""

Frankly, I dont know what subject some of these performers are singing about. Its cerrtainly not the Gospel. Most of the lyrics are nonsensical.


NEWSWEEKS story on "The New Christian Minstrels" also contained a description of singer Tim Miners stage performance:

""His hair is gelled up in a new-wave pompadour. A tiny silver cross dangles from one earlobe. In his gray leather jeans, tight white "muscle shirt", and oversize cotton jacket, singer Tim Miner looks every inch the rebellious rocker""

Thats precisely one of the issues in this controversy - born-again, oftimes Spirit-baptized young people who want to look like the rebels of this world.


The Newsweek article further observes:

""He grabs the microphone with one hand and lifts a clenched fist. "Fight on!" he shouts to an audience of 3,000 evangelical Christians beyond the colored floodlights. "Shake it in the devils face and say 'fight on!'"""

I am absolutely convinced that many of religious rockers really dont know what they are saying. Any time the so-called sacred and sexy have been mixed, that performer has been deceived by Satan. Its that simple.

But even worse. You shake your fist in the devils face all you want, but unless you've go Jesus reigning in your life, you'll likely come back with no hand if you're dealing with the real enemy.

Spiritual warfare isnt waged against the devil by shouting cutesy little slogans and shaking your fist. Its done through prayer, fasting, and acting upon Gods Word alone. But thats the biblical approach and few of the religious rockers seem interested in that means.


In a Catholic magazine, LIGUORIAN, I found the following sympathetic aricle, "Tuning in to Christian Rock." The article stated in part:

""The truth is, the rock sound itself makes many people feel alive and in tune with the exciting drama God is designing here on planet earth. Whatever produces that feeling is a gift, whether its a delicious pizza, a thrilling water slide, a growling and screaming amplifier... If the rock sound makes you feel alive, and if you're tuned in to faith, you'll connect that feeling with God - though probably not right away. Thats okay. God doesnt expect us to think of Him directly every moment we are enjoying one of his gifts. Christian rock - there is such a thing. I dont mean standard "church music" played just a little faster with more of a beat. I mean ROCK - all types, from soft to heavy, metal, new wave, and punk... Christian rock finds a home in many places. You can listen to it just as you listen to other rock - with a nice difference...Christian rock also makes good background sound for open time at the parish youth room...God gave the rock sound to you - along with every other good thing...""

Believe me, God did not give the rock sound to anybody. As David Wilkerson has so aptly stated: "Rock music was born in the womb of darkness and rebellion".

"Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen" (Rom. 1:25).

The introduction to the book, THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL, notes that "...They feel God has told them that rock must roll - back into the womb of hell where it was allegedly born."


Theres not one question in my mind where rock was born, nor what it has done to the lives of young people who have embraced its beat and its life-style. It has ultimately destroyed them.


It is clear - beyond belief - that the worlds corrupting influence has taken over the field of contemporary Christian music. The devils music - with the accompanying beat and punk rock styles - is now being performed throughout the country. At times, the performances are even in main street churches with the nodding approval of gullible pastors.

Many of the performers are carbon copies of the world - dressed in black leather and nail-studded belts and bracelets, chains, metal collars, punk hair-dos, and painted faces.

"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Cor 7:1).

Yet all of these performers claim to be ambassadors for Jesus. Tragically, few are.