(For parts 1 & 2 – see CETF # 56 pp. 13-16 and # 57 pp. 30-33 or see online for completed article).
The Worship of Entertainment – Your own personal Jesus
We have talked about revival to the point where we should have turned the world upside down by now, but let me say it—God cannot and will not send clouds of revival to a stubborn, hard hearted, stiff necked people. We have made church a party playground for prodigals instead of a place of prayer. There has been no repentance and no sackcloth and ashes. Instead we have had our revivals that have brought nothing but Bentley bedlam, Houston heterodoxy, and Hinn hysteria. These impostors, clouds without rain, and others like them, have brought God’s judgement of deception and drought of the Word of God to God’s people. In fact the extent of this rift is such that it has been a systematic tearing down of the foundations of our faith. We have desecrated the temple with our own bare hands! We have committed two sins before God—forsaking Him the fountain of living waters, and digging cisterns for ourselves, broken cisterns that hold no water. We have chosen to dig for our own water, when Christ the living water should have been our source, all the time.
We have made music and entertainment our new refreshment. In heightened treachery we have carried on our programmes regardless. Regardless of what style of worship, the music and lyrics have left God out of the picture.
Dr A.W. Tozer said,
We took a downward trend when we left the great objective hymns that talked about God, and began to sing the Gospel songs that talk about us. There was the day when men sang “Holy Holy, Holy”, and “O worship the King”... then we backslide into the gutter where we still are, where everything is about I. “I’m so happy”, “ I’m so blest”,” I’m so good”, …always I. The difference between Heaven and Hell is the difference between God and I. Jesus Christ by cancelling his “I”, was the Christ of God, not as I will, but as thou wilt. .. (Sermon: Ezekiel).
It was this reality of singing the mantra of “man centred” worship, that woke me up to the need to reassess my being involved long term with Hillsong Church. I was standing on stage one Sunday morning, up in the choir, singing about freedom, and my heart changed the words so that I could lift praise to God instead. I left 6 months later.
Christian Metal in diverse places – on shaky ground
Within the world of Rock-n-Roll, and specifically in heavy metal bands, musicians are idolized. These bands promote immorality, Satanism, suicide, sadomasochism and masochistic behaviour, drug abuse, obscene language, and even direct blasphemy of God and His Holy name.
In the 1980s, Christian metal-glam rockers Stryper, pranced around wearing mascara, lip gloss, eye shadow, earrings, spandex and women’s hair styles, deliberately mocking 1 Cor. 6:9-10 (“No effeminate. . . shall inherit the kingdom of God”). Stryper’s popularity and perversion of Christian music broke, two platinum and four gold records in the Contemporary Christian Music(CCM) scene. Robert Sweet of Stryper made a startling admission about Christian rock in RIP magazine: (http://cetf.co/vziGxp)
As a matter of fact, the band was one thing that was making us turn and walk the opposite direction from Christianity. . . If you’re doing something you like doing, and God says not to do it, then you’re not going to pay attention (RIP, April, 1987 p. 49)
From the end of 1988 ‘til February of this year , I was drunk every day5
We're not religious fanatics who are trying to convert everybody we meet.. .We honestly believe that Jesus Christ is the Saviour, but we're about the most unreligious Christian band you could imagine. . . Robert Sweet, of Stryper (Hit Parader Nov, 1986, p. 21).
This begs the questions: What is a Christian band? What are they supposed to be? Are Stryper just a band whose members are supposedly “Christian”, or is it a “Christian” Band? Is there a difference?
Here’s another quote from a member of the Stryper band:
We're not religious fanatics who are trying to convert everybody we meet.. .We honestly believe that Jesus Christ is the Saviour, but we're about the most unreligious Christian band you could imagine.
Stryper’s latest 2011 CD has covers that run the gamut from 1970’s era classic rock (Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song, Deep Purple’s Highway Star, Kiss’ Shout It Out Loud, etc.) to 1980’s era of heavy metal (Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell, the Scorpions’ Blackout,” Iron Maiden’s The Trooper, etc.).
That’s right you read it correctly. They are doing covers of Christ-hating heavy metal bands. These men are deceivers! They have never turned away, but instead have returned to their vomit (cf. 2 Peter 2:22).
We must agree with the Word of God that by their fruit you will know them. What fruit is the tree of Heavy Metal producing? From the frank admissions above, these men were not able to make any solid commitment to Christ. We now begin to see that music is more than a few tunes, and some lyrics. Music moves men’s souls for good, or for evil.
So we have this other branch of the contemporary wild stock - Planetshakers. They are a Christian youth movement that began as an annual conference in 1997, and grew into an international ministry and large church in Melbourne, Australia.
The conference was born out of Paradise Community Church, Australia run by “Pastor” Russell Evans. Planetshakers expanded, and in 2004 moved to Melbourne to begin a church ministry. The 2003 Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian was part of The Planetshakers band for several years, taking both lead and backup vocal parts on the 2002 and 2003 albums and conferences
Their stated mission is to "empower a generation to win a generation".
They may have produced some songs of intensity, and dedication over their short history to bring to a new group of young people a glimpse of God. They may have begun in sincerity and with zeal for God, but in the last few years they have quickly pushed through all plausible barriers of legitimate Christian worship, and now have much of the "church" careering down a cliff of musical genres - hard rock, heavy rock, metal, thrashing Guitars, and club mix. They have become a mild softer version of Stryper.
This group of young people, under the Evans brothers tutelage, have produced their own personal Jesus (cf, 2 Corinthians 11:4).
The methodology of the modern Church has raised up a new breed of demigods. Young people still caught up in the idolatries of the media and music worlds, who have come from obscurity into stardom, on the back of today’s Christian music industry. Gone are the days of not putting novices in places of leadership and responsibility; a young convert no longer wants to follow Christ with “The cross before me, the world behind me”, but covets the place of the "Christian" Rock Star.
Planetshakers’ recent songs, Jump around, Get Up, Dance now, and Boom have all the hallmarks of Bon Jovi, Metallica, Guns ‘n Roses, AC/DC, and Nirvana. These songs are the modern equivalent of rock groups - We are Kings, Friday Night Boys, The Downtown Fiction, All Pop Punk, Alternative Rock, and Power Pop bands. Planetshakers’ performances are now fully- fledged concerts with a complet array of sound and lighting equipment - LED panels, Light show, smoke, and guitars, amps, keyboard, and drums. These stage sets cost thousands of dollars.
I challenge anyone to search the above songs on Youtube, and then tell me I’m not talking about a major shift away from biblically based and Holy Spirit inspired music!
Planetshakers' Pastor Rob Bradbury says, "It's important that we connect with youth culture."
But a recent comment on the bottom Planetshakers' of the Youtube clip of the song ‘Boom’;
ROCK ON!!! I love this song!! I am a guitarist!! – That’s the reason I love Planetshakers!! Because most of your songs are rock type - and I love rock music!11
So much for reaching this generation!
Now metal is mainstream Christian Music!
We should have no appearance of evil. We should reprove, not approve, acts of darkness!
These albums (CDs, DVDs and online) of Hillsong, and Planetshakers are now all over world! It seems this musical mayhem has spread like a cancer. And sadly, supposedly all this “great music” comes from the shores of Australia! The promoters, producers, performers and followers have become rebellious people, reprobate silver, undisciplined children.
For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. - Hebrews 12: 6-8: (NKJV)
To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hear: behold, the word of the LORD is to them a reproach; they have no delight in it. ... 17Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Listen to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not. ....28They are all hardened rebels, walking about to slander: they are bronze and iron; they all act corruptly. The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is consumed by the fire; the refiner melts in vain: for the wicked are not purged out. Rejected silver shall men call them, because the LORD has rejected them...– Jeremiah 6:10,17,28–30
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD has spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me - Isaiah 1:2 (KJV).
Satan’s Saints Rock Rocketown –Each man a god to himself
Michael W. Smith’sRocketown was founded in 1994 in Franklin, TN, and in 2002 found a new home in downtown Nashville. They have opened an additional centre in Ft Lauderdale FL., with each facility being part nightclub, part coffeehouse, and part activities centre, for young people, held a night of heavy metal bands in 2009. The club’s mission is to share,
"...Christ’s love with youth through creative programs and mentoring relationships that are culturally relevant and eternally significant."
And indeed Rocketown’s website is full of references to ministry and Christ.
Yet Rocketown hosted a night of Hardcore Satanic Metal bands on Oct 27th, 2009, with a lineup that included - The Black Dahlia Murder, Toxic Holocaust, Skeltonwitch, and Trap Them.
One of the bands, Toxic Holocaust, says in their biography that they have a “deadly fixation on the evil in man and a post-apocalyptic world” and their songs are “unforgettable anthems that could be the soundtrack to civil unrest in a post-apocalyptic world gone mad.” That might explain their song -Nuke the Cross.
Did you pick up on what they said “a post–apocalyptic world” or a world in the aftermath of destruction, and devastation (see CETF #57 page 32)!
The progressive metal group, Between the Buried and Me, filmed their live CD/DVD Colors at Rocketown, on August 2, 2008. The Christian metal band Demon Hunter also filmed a live show at Rocketown for their live DVD/CD. Wikipedia describes the music genre at Rocketown as Rock, Punk, Alternative, Hardcore, Metalcore, Indie Rock, Hip Hop and Rap17
This is the extreme audio diet of these youth centres. To purport to minister Christ to these young people by giving them a line up of bands who hate Christ is beyond comprehension and is reprehensible! Michael W. Smith says on his website, he wants “to be remembered as a God fearing man...” But how can he be, having set up these centres of subversion?
I don’t want to say it ---- “but"... "I told you so!!” We have come full circle…
This is where we will all end up, at the bottom of the spiritual cliff. If we do not repent and follow the old paths, and walk in them, we will have lost the fight. All this is serving God with strange fire that He never condoned or permitted! We have been going in the way of Cain bringing unacceptable worship. We bring to God worship from lives that have never been placed under the blood.
God has given us over to believing a lie - We are under God’s judgement!
Hear, O my people, and I will admonish you: O Israel, if you will listen to me; There shall no strange god be in you; nor shall you worship any strange god. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt: open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not listen to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave the up to the stubbornness of their heart and to walk in their own devices. - Psalm 81: 8-12
And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God? Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law; And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me: – Jeremiah 16:10-16 KJV
Did you hear what God said? If they had sought Him, he would have given them the lyrics, the sound, and the songs to sing. If God’s people would truly seek Him, He would fill them with True Bread and open their mouths to worship in Spirit and Truth, songs that are pleasing to the Lord.
But they chose to reject Him, and delighted in false worship, so God’s judgment allowed them to go the way their hearts desired.
“Israel would none of me.” That is, would not be content alone with me, would not take quiet contentment in me (as the Hebrew word signifies); the Lord was not good enough for them, but their hearts went out from him to other things. - Thomas Sheppard, (1605-1649.) http://cetf.co/uDuIsd
This new “tribe of Israel” now entertain themselves, they are happy worshipping worship, having nothing to do with God, desiring to “worship” in manners, styles of music, and lyrics whose source is anything but God.
A different Jesus, a different spirit, a different ”Godspell”
Remember Rick Warren’s rhetoric – There is no such thing as ‘Christian’ music; there are only Christian lyrics.
Now we have neither!
In his article, Match the music to the people, Rick Warren goes on to say,
It's the words that make a song spiritual. If I were to play a tune for you without any words, you wouldn't know if it was a Christian song or not.
Really! What about Amazing Grace? Rick Warren needs a lesson in context and reality.
Let us consider, for a minute, Henry Van Dyke’s 1907 poem, Joyful, Joyful, which was published in the 1911 edition of The Presbyterian Hymnal.
Van Dyke’s intent was to express “Christian feelings” of confidence in God and His Kingdom; so by singing it as a nice sounding song, or as a performance in a competition, does NOT make it spiritual, let alone an act of praise and worship.
Furthermore, has Rick Warren never gone to a music concert? Or never seen a music-video clip on TV – even in passing? Music matches purposes and intent. Even hard rock band Guns N’ Roses produced an operatic song (November Rain) which is regarded by many as being a ballad. But that is what you expect from a song whose major theme is love? Even with its rock guitar solo the song’s style certainly doesn’t promote the frenzied bobblehead antics of heavy metal proponents.
Clearly a marching tune fits a military scene, jazz fits a night club, and rock fits a concert, so there is a certain kind of music that suits a prayer meeting - and it’s not the rock, rap and jazz that the purpose driven churches has borrowed from the world. Music that has a corrupt origin, employs sensual rhythms, with singers who pose, gyrate, and dance provocatively. This is unsuitable for the spiritual praise of God (cf. Eph 5:19) because it is of the flesh.
Listen again to the telling words of Jimi Hendrix,
Atmospheres are going to come through music, because the music is a spiritual thing of its own ....you hypnotize people.... That’s why the name ‘electric church’ flashes in and out
There is a solemn warning here that the church has not heeded. Atmosphere is going to come, (and indeed has already arrived) and one of the major vehicles through which it will come to this new generation of young rockers, is through the ‘Electric Church’. This quasi-spiritual belief, that this type of music brings out emotions, feelings, and creative ideas in people, and encourages spiritual maturity. Hendrix designed his music so that it would be able to go "inside the soul of the person, and awaken some kind of thing inside ...”23
Is it possible for the Church of God to play the music of the world, in the name of God? Deceived by seducing spirits and false shepherds, true ministers of Christ are no longer in control of the way the music is going for they have been usurped or replaced in these so called Churches.
This style of music does nothing but lead people away from everything sacred, and everything that had a scriptural basis. Done deliberately it was never just to have a new style of music; it was to lead us away from God and all that is to do with Him in His holiness.
I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. - 2 Corinthians 11: 1 – 4:
Marketing music and true worship are complete opposites. The two cannot legitimately co-exist. Whatever the inspiration may be, we know that something has changed in the attitude, style, lyrics and overall message of the music. The industry has produced album after album, year after year and with what results other than the fame and fortune of the producers and the performers?
Receiving "another" Jesus also entails the receiving of a "different spirit" (v. 4b). If the "Jesus" they believe and the "Spirit" they receive, are not the ones Paul and the other New Testament apostles preached then clearly the "gospel" they have embraced is false and damning!
There isn't "another" true Jesus. There's only one TRUE Jesus.
These heavy metal bands have become the new benchmark of inspiration for the modern seeker senitive church. This rampant deterioration brings a deep sense of foreboding, when reflecting on the sound and the lyrics now coming out of the Hillsong, and Planetshakers music machine.
A different spirit is now taking over!
And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. - 2 Corinthians 11: 12 – 15:
Why are we pushing the envelope? Or perhaps a better question is who is pushing the envelope?
Guy and that Girl - Tattoos and Parables
Australia’s current favourite “Christian” music sensations, Brook Fraser and Guy Sebastian, have gained success in the secular music chart and with fans, as well as respect from the world. They would call this INFLUENCE, but is it the right kind of influence? After all, who is really influencing whom, when Fraser and Sebastian (based on their songs) are giving the world what it wants. INFLUENCE? God calls it apostasy and backsliding.
Guy on his rise to success got himself a tattoo. The Bible condemns the branding, or marking of our body:
You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD - Leviticus 19:28.
Guy got the tattoo in 2009 – So what was his tattoo? You guessed it, the Phoenix
You can spot the INFLUENCE our society and the “church” have embraced—Satanic values in so many ways, but the visible evidence of multiple body piercings and tattoos are the strongest of all.
A tattoo is the latest fashion statement within the teen and youth culture driven by sports stars, celebrities, and pop stars. Not a day goes by without seeing someone on the sports field, or on the street who has significant tattooing beyond a name of a spouse or child.
Few people understand the use Satan makes of piercing and tattoos to control the person!
Chris Brown (American Rhythm & Blues (R&B) singer) and Todd Bentley (evangelist/preacher Lakeland Revival, FL) are two obvious examples why you don’t get a tattoo! Joel Houston worship leader with Hillsong United has a tattoo on his upper right arm. Christian leaders should know better than to follow the world’s fashion—leaders whose mark is being stamped on the susceptible minds of those who often lack healthy and mature Christian role models.
Famous witch and author Laurie Cabot notes that the origins of tattoos and tattooing “came from ancient magical practices”. Even today, in many countries (including the United States), the tattoo is believed to be a bridge into the supernatural world.
Brook Fraser discussed her position on being a Christian music artist. She said she doesn’t want to merchandise the gospel, but is happy being a Christian artist in the secular world. She said some in the industry were upset about the merchandising of the gospel. Who was she meaning? I hope she wasn’t meaning - Hillsong? (sarcasm)
Although she writes worship songs that are for the building up of God's people in the Church,... she at the same time recognises the importance of other songs as being like parables... taking the "Church" to people who would never walk into a church...27(Maybe she needs to introduce them to Jesus rather than to the “church”.) But that would mean telling people the gospel.
Sincere I’m sure, but deceived. Here we go again... saving the world through music. They are just going to hear our great tunes and lyrics, and come flocking to Jesus. Oh yes that’s right....Jesus told parables too. But it was so the people of the world wouldn’t understand – see Matt 13:10,11; Mark 4:10 – 12.
So there you have it, Christians giving the world our version of their music. We have conned ourselves into believing a lie, that we can serve and save the world through a relevant message and a guitar solo. But this is something even the world doesn’t believe. All that has happened is the “Church” has been polluted to its very core. This belief has lead to numerous Christians entering or trying out for talent quests like Idol, and all in the name of Jesus. “Christians” running around in the name of Kingdom Now, when it is simply going after earthly rewards, with little concern or impact for the Kingdom of God.
It is the promotion of a degraded and decadent “church”, and not Christ as the hope of the world. It is the corrupt amalgam of Christianity, with Commercialism. The “church” has gone from a Bible-believing Christianity to a Cool “Christianity”; from SOMETHING real and vital to a Commercialised and a Compromised Christianity. Entrenched among us is a Christ-less Christianity, one that enslaves, one that seems free because it doesn’t Cost; the end result is a Counterfeit Christianity. Without doubt the great falling away is well underway!
About The Author
Lance Goodall and his wife Norilyn left the Australian church growth movement in 2009. They both have a concern for the knowledge of God and His glory. They carry in their heart, a love for God’s honour, for His Word, and for the salvation of the lost. Lance can be contacted via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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