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