January 11 2015

What’s Wrong With Christian Rock’s Fruit? by Jeff Godwin

Taken from chapter 1 of Jeff Godwins book What’s Wrong with Christian Rock? Used with Permission

In 1985, the Lord Jesus Christ put my wife and me into this ministry to expose Satan’s dirty work in popular music. Nearly six years, dozens of meetings and several thousand letters have gone by since then. The Lord Jesus has taught us many things, but one of His greatest lessons is found in the following scripture:

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits… A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:15,16,18-20

Those verses have a very simple meaning – FALSE PROPHETS ARE KNOWN BY THEIR ROTTEN FRUITS. Most “Christian” Rock defenders believe the “clean” lifestyles and glowing speeches of their C-Rock and CCM idols are C-Rock’s fruit.Not true! The C-Rock and CCM “fruit” is rebellion, and the fans are full of it! The rebellious lives of “Christian” Rock’s fans are the real fruit of these modern musical prophets.Is this fruit godly and good – or wicked and corrupt? The Word of God has much to say about this issue, and anyone who claims Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour should have no problem accepting the Bible as the final authority. With that in mind, let’s take a walk through the “Christian” Rock orchard.In the years we’ve been involved in this ministry, my wife and I have had the privilege of meeting many hundreds of Christian teens and young adults at our Rock music seminars and other speaking engagements across the country. When the total hypocrisy behind “Christian” Rock is revealed to them, four reactions usually follow:





Here’s an in-depth examination of each one:

When confronted with the truth about C-Rock’s ungodliness, the average fan fires back with all guns blazing:,

“What gives YOU the right to judge? What about all the good work these people do, feeding the hungry and helping the poor? They talk about teen suicide and staying pure until marriage. They’re anti-dope and pro-God. How DARE you put them down?”

These are all valid points. Let’s see how the Bible addresses them.1.) “What gives YOU the right to judge another person’s ministry?”According to Leviticus 19:15, Matthew 7:1-5, & John 7:24, ANY Christian has the right to match anything against the Bible. If a ministry is truly of God, it will match up perfectly with the Bible. The problem comes when the things in question violate the Word of God. THAT’S when people get mad – when hypocrisy is unmasked and laid bare for all to see.James 1:20 says, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” If you get MAD when I question your favorite music or star, this is powerful proof of Satan’s influence in your life (2 Peter 2:19). Idol worshipers get angry when their idols are pulled down (judges 6:25-30).2.) “But what about all those “good” works done by “Christian” Rockers?”2 Corinthians 3:1,2 proves the Apostle Paul could care less about letters of recommendation from anyone concerning his good works. The fact that CCM stars throw their weight behind good causes shouldn’t overly impress you. There are several reasons why:The Satan-worshipping secular music stars do the same thing! They’re up to their evil necks in Live Aids, Hear N’ Aids, Aid For Africa, Farm Aids, Earth Aid and Aid for AIDS. As long as they keep getting free publicity, those chumps will play Aid concerts till the cows come home. Does that make them Christians?Such activity is any Christian’s REASONABLE SERVICE (Romans 12:1-3). Pumped-up brownie points may look good on a Christian resume’ and boost record sales, but that doesn’t mean God is glorified. Even the BEST of these musicians’ good works doesn’t impress God (Isaiah 64:6).


As his anger fades, the average CCM fan falls into confusion: “But my favorite CCM star wouldn’t do that, would they? How can they talk about Jesus, and still be doing the Devil’s work? Why would Satan tell people about JESUS? That would be a pretty stupid thing for him to do, wouldn’t it?”Consider the following quote to get your answer:

“If we continue on this path, respectable, industrious and honest, if we fulfill our duty faithfully, it is my conviction, the Lord God will continually help us in the future. He will not leave respectable people in the lurch indefinitely. He may test them, but in the end He lets His sun shine upon them and gives them His blessing.” 1

Guess who spoke this profound spiritual truth? Billy Graham? Martin Luther, perhaps? Could it have been John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, or some other great Christian leader from the past? No! The author of those words was:Adolf Hitler!Talk is always cheap. It’s the FRUIT behind the words that really counts.Anyone who takes “Christian” Rock at its media-hyped face value has fallen into deep deception. if you believe everything you read and hear about “Christian” Rock, the simple truth is this:YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR ENEMY! (1 Peter 5:8, 2 Corinthians 2:11). Jesus Christ doesn’t need a commercial from the Devil, as Acts 16:16-18 shows so well:

“And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed of a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.”

That demon-possessed girl was well able to proclaim God’s truth. What does Satan gain from “Christian” Rock? The answer lies in one word – CONFUSION.For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16God is not in the business of confusing His people (1 Corinthians 14:33). But Satan is (John. 8:44).Are you confused about “Christian” Rock? The only thing that will bring you out of it is the WHOLE Word of God (John 17:17), combined with the leading of the Holy Ghost (John 16:13). The Bible lays this out perfectly:

“Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:104,105

Confusion always breeds more confusion, and it isn’t long until C-Rock followers start making excuses like these:1.) “Why don’t you just let God be God? He’ll work it all out in the end. When judgment day comes, we’ll know who was right and who was wrong.”People who use this half-baked reasoning are really admitting they simply don’t KNOW right from wrong! Here’s the good news – you don’t have to wait until Judgment Day to find out. The Bible will tell you right now.This is when C-Rock fans hit the roof and blow their tops. When God’s Word exposes this spiritual con game for what it is, those enslaved by it have only two choices. They can get right with God and come out of it – or get really mad and try to justify their sin. When anyone tries to justify evil, confusion is guaranteed to reign supreme.2.) “I Know my own heart is right, and that’s all God cares about. As long as the heart’s right, everything else is O.K., right?”Really? Compare 1 Kings 11:38 and Exodus 15:26 to Deuteronomy 12:8 and Judges 17:6. You’ll find that we are to do what God’s Word says is right, not what we THINK is right in our own heart. The heart is desperately wicked and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9,10). “Let your conscience be your guide?” That creed is a lying New Age smoke-screen for the universal rule of all satanism: “Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole of the Law”.


The next step down the deception ladder for an angry, confused CCM addict is denial. Here are some of the most common excuses:1.) “I pray for protection before I listen to the music or go to the concerts, so everything’s O.K.”Would it be OK to smoke some crack cocaine or visit a prostitute, as long as you prayed and asked God’s protection first? Of course not. The same goes for participating in Satan’s music. If something is of God, you don’t have to ask Him to protect you from it. If it’s not of God, why mess with it in the first place? Jesus set the record straight when he told Satan:

“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Luke 4:12

2.) “I can listen to anything I want,, and it doesn’t affect me.”That’s the problem: It HAS affected you – you just don’t know it! It’s the spirit of REBELLION making you say those very words.3.) “I was once a sinner, and God is using me. Why can’t He do the same with the music?”Converted sinners get new hearts. They are “born-again” (John 3:3). They become “new creatures” (2 Cor. 5:17). They become children of God (1 John 5:13). Rock music always has and always will belong to Satan. God wants nothing to do with the devil’s filth.4.) “I’m well-grounded in the Word, so Satan can’t deceive me.”1 Corinthians 10:12 proves otherwise:

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”


One short step away from smug denial lies deep delusion. This next feeble excuse proves the C- Rock stars have trained their flock well to explain away sin:“I prayed about my music, and the Holy Spirit didn’t convict me that it was wrong so it must be OK”.If that’s your excuse, please read Ezekiel 14:1-5. Those verses speak loud and clear. Until we clean the idols out of our life, God will tell us JUST WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR! Is that fair? Of course it is. If you have the audacity to come to God demanding that He approve your sin, why shouldn’t He give you what you want?God doesn’t HAVE to convict us to forsake something that clearly violates His Holy Word. True Christians are supposed to know better. Why? Because they read their Bible! If God says it’s wrong, it’s wrong. (For scriptural proof that C-Rock is not of God, see chapter 17.)Here’s another possibility: Many a C-Rock fan has become so violent in their deluded defense of an ungodly, wicked mockery of Christian music they can’t HEAR the Holy Spirit’s voice anymore!A young Christian couple in Australia sent me a letter recently. They are former C-Rockers who have been led out of that delusion by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Boldly witnessing the truth about CCM bondage, they are heartbroken at the wall of smug arrogance surrounding them. Their pastor told them to repent on their knees for being “unbalanced.” They even witnessed to one of Australia’s major Christian outreach centers. Here’s how the organization replied:

“Firstly, to answer your letter, the Bible does not say anything directly about rock music – in fact anything it does say about music is positive – so to form a hard and fast doctrine on the subject is not Scripturally sound… Finally any doctrine or belief concerning rock music is entirely opinion, including mine. If you consider Christian rock sinful, it would be wrong for you to listen to it. I play and listen unto God, and draw closer to Him through it. I am not to judge you, nor you me. I will continue with it…”2

The Christian who wrote those words should be ashamed. HE’S the one who ought to repent on his knees! He’s using the same lame excuse to justify his sin as the SECULAR Rock stars. Read these comments by KISS singer Paul Stanley:

“It’s always interesting that people tend to interpret the Bible any way that they see fit in terms of how it applies to rock n’ roll… Everybody has to decide for themself what works and what doesn’t work and what works for me. I’m certainly not in a position where I should be telling people to live their lives the way I live MY life, but likewise neither should you be doing it… I respect you for what you’re doing, and it’s unfortunate you don’t do the same for us. That’s too bad…”3

Something’s dead wrong when Christians use the same ungodly excuses as the perverts in KISS to justify their wickedness!This quote by a Christian bookstore owner in Texas shows why so many Christian youth are completely deluded about the music they listen to. He’s describing a new type of “Christian” Punk called “Thrash”:

“I regard this music, the lyrics, the dress, the performance, and lifestyle of the artists to be in a grey area which we will currently accept, but hopefully be constantly sensitive to the Spirit, whom we trust will keep us from even the slightest compromise, from that which is His highest will, desire, and pleasure.”4

What absolute hogwash! This kind of nonsense is typical of self-serving C-Rock deception. First: There AREN’T any grey areas in the Bible! From Genesis to Revelation, God lays everything out in blacks and whites: Blessings/Cursings, Life/ Death, Heaven/Hell, God/Satan, Christ/the world. Now make your choice. Why don’t these supporters of “Christian” trash come clean and admit the obvious. If it sells, they’ll sell it!Anti-Rock minister Dr. Hal Webb put it better than I ever could:

“When Christian music carries the beat, instrumentation, and exact sounds of the lost crowd, it results in confusion and shame… It is shameful to use musicians who in shallow songs daze instead of praise, who entertain instead of train… They transfer the worship owed to Christ to ‘concert hopping’, money-hungry entertainers who have never left, the world far enough behind to stop sounding like it…”5

The final stop for stiff-necked C-Rock defenders is found here:


The angry, confused, denying and deluded C- Rock fan will always hit one final button as a last resort in his effort to justify his sin: It’s called self-righteous pride:

“I’m a Christian. I get good grades. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. My parents are proud of me – and not one Bible verse says ‘Christian’ Rock is wrong. I know what I’m doing and I don’t see anything wrong with it.”

Isaiah 64:6 says all our self-righteousness is a pile of dirty, stinking rags at God’s feet. Yet C- Rock defenders continually justify their sin by patting their own backs. Noses in the air, they demand a scripture that says: “THUS SAITH THE LORD; THOU SHALT NOT LISTEN TO ‘CHRISTIAN’ ROCK”. They overlook the fact the Bible also fails to specifically mention marijuana, cocaine, X-rated porno movies, and abortion as sins. Does that make them any less sinful?Biblical holiness from Genesis to Revelation is swept under the rug by this kind of rock-hard, rebellious heart. C-Rock brainwashing has completed its task. The victim’s rebellion is now set in concrete. Though living totally contrary to God’s Word, the deluded, confused and hard- hearted C-Rock victim prides himself in his “‘powerful” testimony for Jesus Christ.But facts don’t lie. The lives of hundreds of thousands of C-Rock fans are an ugly reflection of the face behind all “Christian” Rock.

It’s called REBELLION!

1. Midnight Call, March, 1990, p.6
2. Letter on file
3. KISS EXPOSED – Live interview with the Peters Brothers, cassette tape, 1985, Truth About Rock, St. Paul, Minnesota.
4. CCM magazine, February, 1989, p. 21
5. Shame, a tract by Dr. Hal Webb, Conklin, New York, pp. 2,4,6

Jeff Godwin has several excellant books, videos and tapes on Rock Music. He has written The Devil’s Disciples, Dancing With Demons, What’s Wrong With Christian Rock? and Rock & Roll Religion. All are highly recommended.

They are available from:
P.O. Box 2181
Bloomington, Indiana, 47402

January 11 2015

The nature of rock music and the future of CCM

Brian Snider

Christians can be so naive, especially when it comes to their involvement with rock and roll and their desire to bring it into the church house.Today’s carnal Christians refuse to purge rock and roll from their lives and recognize it as a part of their past.  Yet rock and roll can have no more fellowship with Christianity than light can have fellowship with darkness.

Rock and roll is music of and about rebellion — rebellion against sexual inhibition; rebellion against authority; rebellion against truth; rebellion against restrictions of any kind. Rock and roll is profane and unholy and always has been.  Even the seeming innocence of 50s pop tunes have their roots deep within the fertile soil of rebellion.

There is a mythical story that someone once asked movie idol James Dean what he was rebelling against, to which he replied:  “Whaddya got?!”  Whether he said it or not, this is the spirit of rock and roll.

To understand the true nature of the music, you must realize that rock and roll, in its purest form, is underground music.  True rock and roll is not what makes the Top 40 pop charts.  Rock and roll is a spirit of rebellion that is always far ahead of what’s popular…it is always ahead of its audience.  It cannot be brought out into plain view until its time has come.

To see the truth of this, and to understand the underground nature of rock and roll music, we must go back to the beginning of the rock and roll phenomena in the early 50s.  We must try to remember where this music came from and catch a glimpse of where it is going.

As has been noted by many other authors, apparently with little effect, the very name rock and roll is a slang term for fornication.  One of the first acknowledged rock songs was performed by Jerry Tyner and was called 60 Minute Man.  It was an ode to fornication.

There’ll be 15 minutes of kissin’
Then you’ll holler “please don’t stop!”
there’ll be 15 minutes of teasin’
15 minutes of squeezin’
and 15 minutes of blowing my top

If your old man don’t treat you right
come up and see Old Dan
I rock ’em, roll ’em all night long
I’m the 60 minute man

This song, as overt and unholy as it is, is tame by today’s standards, yet at the time it was released it was strictly underground stuff, unfit to be played in decent households.

It should be noted that this nation once had high standards of decency, even among those who would not consider themselves Christian.  Those standards, however, have declined in direct proportion to the rising influence of rock and roll.

No, we cant’t say that rock and roll is exclusively responsible for this decline, but we can easily show that rock and roll is always ahead of the decline.  In other words, rock artists and their music are always a decadent step ahead of the public.  That’s why, for the most part, real rock and roll is an underground form of music, unacceptable to the mainstream until they’ve been prepared to receive it.

The public was prepared for rock and roll in the 50s through some very interesting developments in marketing.

Enterprising record execs, always looking for the next big thing in music (some thought it would be Calypso) began to notice that white kids liked to buy records by black R&B artists. At the time, these records were unacceptable in white, middle class homes.  This was due to the racial division that existed during the era.  It was only a generation ago that America existed as two countries — one white and one black.  At the time, many white kids were simply forbidden from purchasing “negro music.”

Record companies began to realize that if they could find white artists to record these black tunes there was a fortune to be made.  And make it they did.  One of the first rock stars (though his contributions are largely forgotten or belittled) was Pat Boone.  By the time he was 23 years old, Boone had sold 13 million records, remaking R&B for consumption by audiences who were not ready to allow this overtly sexual music into their homes.

Compare his sanitized, whitebread version of Ain’t That a Shame with Fats Domino’s earthy original.   The difference in the recordings is like night and day.  (Boone even wanted to change the name of the song to “Isn’t That a Shame”, but the record company realized that the original title would sell better.)

Pat Boone was allowed to sing rock and roll and R&B to America’s youth because he sounded more like the crooners their parents were used to. And his records sold.  And sold.  And sold.  And after being anesthetized by Pat Boone, the unsuspecting public was ready to accept the real thing.

Today, everyone knows the Fats Domino version of Ain’t That a Shame...the underground version.  But it was the mainstream Pat Boone who paved the way for the rollicking honky-tonk original.

(As an aside: Many Christians were shocked a couple of years ago when Pat Boone released an album of heavy metal music entitled In a Metal Mood.  What irony!  Pat Boone helped pave the way for heavy metal by making early rock records palatable to the public.  His contributions to the acceptance of rock and roll were infinitely more damaging to the youth of this country than a campy heavy metal record which would only sell as a novelty item.)

The next big break for the rock and roll came in the form of a truck driver from Memphis, Tennessee.  Not only was Elvis a white kid who could sing black tunes, he could sing them ‘black’.  What’s more, he had learned to mimic the gyrations of black R&B singers.

Onstage, Elvis’s movements were vulgar and sexual.  He knew it and the girls who came to see him knew it.  Within months of his arrival on the scene, his record sales had outstripped the far mellower Pat Boone.  Soon, most of the major record companies had their own version of Elvis.  Elvis and all the Elvis wannabe’s had become mainstream enough to be accepted.

A quick listen to Big Mama Thornton’s original version of Hound Dog reveals just how mainstream Elvis was.  Thornton’s version of Hound Dog is raw and grinding and makes Elvis sound like a Sunday School teacher by comparison.  Again, the truth of the music had to reside underground, and could not come out in the light of day until the public had been prepared to receive it.

Alexander Hislop, in his book the Two Babylons, presents this satanic ploy very clearly as he describes the way that the idolatrous practices of Roman Catholicism were introduced into the early church.  He notes that they were “brought in secretly, and little by little, one corruption being introduced after another….it was not safe, it was not prudent to do otherwise.”

That’s the way Satan operates.  Deceiving slowly, but very deliberately.  He didn’t attack Eve but rather seduced her, and rock and roll is very seductive music.  It appeals to the flesh and to the emotions and once introduced, it is as addictive as heroin.

Where ever this music has gone, it has destroyed that which is wholesome and right.  As a musical form grounded in rebellion, it can do nothing else.

Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.  James 3:11-12

Even the artists that we know as the mainstream pioneers of early rock and roll had to have their underground music ‘cleaned up’ before it could be sold to the public.Before flambouyant homosexual Little Richard Penniman could record Tutti Frutti,  the main lyric had to be changed from: “A wop bop a lu bop, a good (expletive deleted)”, the line he normally sang in the juke joints and dives, to the more familiar, “A wop bop a lu bop, a lop bam boom.”   The masses were not ready for the real thing, so they were sold a ‘cleaner’ version.  A few years later, they’d get the real thing by the boatload as the language in rock music degenerated.

Careful not to tip their hand too early, a record producer even had Bill Haley and the Comets change the original lyrics of “Shake Rattle and Roll” from “get out of that bed and rattle those pots and pans,” to“get out in that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans.”  It wouldn’t be right to have them in bed together.  Not in the 50s.  That would come later.

Little Richard later admitted that he was grateful for the boost his music had received from Pat Boone.  In a 1990 interview, he acknowledged that his version of Tutti Frutti would have struggled if Pat Boone hadn’t recorded it first.  It was, he says, “a blessing…I believe it opened up the highway that would’ve taken a little longer for acceptance. So I love Pat for that.”

The point is this: the rock and roll most people see is not the real thing.   What the mainstream gets is simply a marketable version of the real thing. It’s usually a sanitized version of what’s coming around the next corner.  By the time the real thing arrives for consumption by the mainstream, it is not real enough anymore for the purists.  They’ve descended to new depths.

Rock and roll never sits idle.  It is always knocking down walls of resistance.  It is always mutating to a more perverse form of its previous self. The newest incarnation will always reside underground until the way has been paved for it to come out into the open.

Watch the progression from the innocent-sounding pop tunes of the Fab Four and the British Invasion to the drug and sex laden songs of late 60s.  The Beatles went from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “Revolution #9″ in about 5 years.

Watch the progression from the hard rock or acid rock bands of the late 60s to the overtly blasphemous heavy metal bands of the 70s and 80s.  Popular hard rock themes in the 60s were drugs and sex.  Popular themes in the 80s and 90s are occultism, Satan worship and derision of Jesus Christ.  (Why are Christians not able to make this connection?  What good thing has rock and roll ever produced?)

Watch the progression from the war protest songs of the 60s to the violent and anarchistic punk rock songs of the Sex Pistols and the Dead Kennedys of the 1970s.

Watch the progression from pop sound of the first rap tunes, recorded in the early 80s, to the sinister gansta’ rap of the 90s, much of which is performed by murderous thugs and drug dealers and which glorifies the same.  Who could’ve forseen a song like Cop Killer at the beginning of rap music’s popularity?

I got my black shirt on
I got my black gloves on
I got my ski mask on
This (expletive deleted) been too long
I got my twelve gauge sawed off
I got my headlights turned off
I’m ’bout to bust some shots off
I’m ’bout to dust some cops off
I’m a…
COP KILLER, better you than me
COP KILLER, (expletive deleted) police brutality!
COP KILLER, I know your family’s grievin’ … (expletive deleted) ’em!
COP KILLER, but tonight we get even

This kind of song could not have been sold in the 90s had the ground not been plowed in the 80s.  Minds and hearts had to be made ready.So what does all this have to do with CCM?  Very little, if it were not possible to chart the same downward progression within Christian rock.  The fact, is, it is easy to chart this downward slide.  Christian rock, like its secular counterpart, is always mutating to a more perverse form of its previous self.

The Christian rock of the late 60s and early 70s was largely centered around folk-type music or performed with slick-sounding larger ensembles, a’ la, Andre’ Crouch — musical styles widely accepted by the mainstream.   And the lyrics usually centered on redemption and the salvation offered through Jesus Christ.

No one would have even considered adopting heavy metal to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ.  No one in the mainstream, that is.  Yet the seeds for that very thing were already taking root in the Christian underground.  Heavy metal C-rock began to come out of hiding within a few short years of the first Christian folk and pop bands.

The rapid degeneration of Christian rock since its early days has been astounding.

In the last decade, we’ve seen an explosion in the forms and popularity of CCM.  Christian rap, heavy metal, thrash, punk and grunge bands dot the landscape, which essentially means that the Contemporary Christian Music industry now offers everything the most depraved secular rockers can dish up.  Mosh pits of writhing and flailing bodies are now a common site at CCM concerts.

Rock has a useful tendency to reveal more and more of its hellish origins through the names bands take for themselves.  In secular rock, names like the Drifters, the Byrds and the Rolling Stones haven given way to names like Marilyn Manson and Megadeth.

CCM artists have followed the same downward path, moving away from names that describe their relationship with a savior to names that are more descriptive of their desire for self-glorification. With bands called Bumblepuppy, Blame Lucy, Eat the Menu, Eden Burning, Jaberwocky, Mental Destruction, Plankeye, Saviour Machine, Six Feet Deep, Velvet Hammer and Spooky Tuesday, one wonders what serious relationship these singers could possibly see between their ‘music ministry’ and the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lyrics are another way to chart the downward spiral of rock music.  Keith Green, an artist considered to be a groundbreaker for CCM, sang songs in the 70s and early 80s about his Savior and his salvation.(Green was killed in a plane crash in 1983.)  Just a few years later, it’s getting harder and harder to find a CCM artist who’ll even mention the name of Jesus on an album.

Keep in mind, it would have been unthinkable in the early 70s for a Christian artist to release a record that didn’t mention Christ, but rock music, ‘sacred’ or secular, is always changing for the worse.  What was unthinkable soon becomes standard, and then that standard must make room for a new, lower standard.

Scandals involving sexual immorality, greed and worldliness are rampant within the Christian music industry.  But remember, rock and roll is music of and about rebellion.  They go hand in hand.  Where ever you find rock and roll, you will find the destruction it leaves in its wake.  We don’t believe that “songs and hymns and spiritual songs” are a contributor to licentiousness, but it can easily be shown that rock and roll is.

Tragically, though, scandals and the decline in the spiritual quality of the music have not dampened the enthusiasm of those lining up to get in on this gospel gravy train.

And that is a third way that you can check the downward spiral of Christian rock, by it’s ever-growing popularity and the millions of dollars it generates.  The ‘Jesus’ of CCM is making a lot of record executives very rich.

As we mentioned earlier, record labels are always looking for the next big thing.  The next ‘big thing’ of the 80s was CCM, and during the last 10-15 years, major record companies have snapped up almost all of the small, independent Christian labels.  The millions who buy and support the industry of Contemporary Christian Music obviously believe that a ‘ministry’ can be owned and operated by multi-national conglomerates, yet this is simply not the case.

A young lady struggling to make it in this business recently acknowledged that corporate ownership of Christian recording has brought many changes.   She had attended a party given by Sparrow Records in Nashville, the label of Keith Green and an organization that was once widely known for its desire to set Jesus music to a rock beat and evangelize the world, and was surprised to find liquor being served to the guests.  Whether it was willful ingnorance or naivete’, she never made the connection between rock music and the lifestyle that inevitably comes with it.

The Lord Jesus Christ is not popular with the world, (Jn. 15:18) and is getting less popular every day, yet the popularity of Christian rock music seems to know no bounds.

Where is CCM headed?  In the same direction all rock music is heading — toward greater freedom from the ties that bind.

Anyone foolish enough to board the Christian rock bus ought to at least know where the bus is going.  CCM, like all rock, is going downward, and away from purity and righteousness.  Those who ride along are slowly being seduced into accepting things they would not have accepted only a short time ago.

They are being prepared to receive the next wave, and the next.  Rock and roll is never static and is never moving in the right direction.  It is always moving to accommodate evil, and refuses to reveal itself openly.

Take a quick look at the future of secular rock, if you want to get a sense for the general direction the music is going.  We can now purchase records by groups named Anti-Jesus and the Carnivores, Jesus in a Sidecar, Jesus Jones, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Jesus Chrysler Supercar, Jesus Gang, Jesus Presley, Jesus Wore Dickies, Kung Fu Jesus, MC 900 Ft. Jesus, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Our Smiling Jesus Band, Jesus Lizard, The Jesus Twins, Waco Jesus, dropkickme Jesus, lovebugjesus, jesusfish, Christ Denied, Auntie Christ, Christ on a Crutch, Christian Death and Jesus Christ Smokes Holy Gasoline.

The fact that so many rock groups openly mock the name of Jesus ought to be ample testimony as to the driving force behind rock and roll.  This is the music of hell.

Secular rock will reach full satanic bloom when blasphemy like this is accepted by the mainstream, which by anyone’s calculation can’t be that far away.  And already, the underground of CCM is following suit by providing a seedbed for the same type of antichrist spirit.  Just ask the members of Seven Day Jesus, one of the latest bands to make a splash in the world of CCM.

Christian rock, like all rock, is mutating.  What was once underground is now popular, and what is now popular is no longer enough.  The future of CCM is still underground, waiting for an audience prepared to accept it.

Brian Snider
The Narrow Way




January 11 2015


CCM artist, Steve Camp, “nailed” the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) with his “A Call for “Reformation in the Contemporary Christian Music Industry” and his “107 Theses”. Following the pattern of Martin Luther as Luther nailed his 95 these onto the door at Wittenberg in 1517, Camp “nailed” his “107 Theses” to CCM. Steve Camp mailed out 1,500 copies of his “Call for Reformation – 107 Theses” on October 31, 1997 – Reformation Day to 1,500 people involved in CCM.

Camp readily admits in his early CCM career of compromise and fleshly lusts:

“Early in my own musical journey I wrote songs that neither represented good music or precise theology. My motives were vitiated; my actions were not godly; and my lips were unclean. The thirst for prominence and position made my heart prideful, judgmental and callused.”

Steve Camp says of Satan’s infiltration of CCM:

“But beloved, THE SERPENTINE FOE of compromise has invaded the camp through years of specious living, skewed doctrine and most recently secular ownership of Christian music ministries. . . The Apostle Paul warns “it takes only a little leaven to leaven the whole lump.” (1 Corinthians 5:6) When sin is tolerated ultimately permeates and corrupts the entire church. What is pure today will inevitably be polluted tomorrow if we do not “purge out the old leaven. . . ” (Ibid. 5:7) In the past several years, there has been a not-so-subtle drifting away from Christocentric music to an anthropocentric music. Sadly, this has resulted in various visible manifestations of spiritual sedition-where currently, the CCMI finds itself on a slippery slope sliding away at accelerated speeds from the Savior, the Scriptures and the church.”“Contemporary Christian Music originally began unashamedly declaring Jesus Christ as Lord. Within a few years His name was replaced by several generic titles filtering out the name of God ultimately to the non-specific cognomen, “Love.” This led to a multitude of pseudonyms: “The Man Upstairs”; “My Higher Power”; “Our Family Values Expert” ad nauseam…ad infinitum. This Biblical illiteracy I’ve coined as theological ebonics-Biblical language diminished to cultural unintelligible chatter affirmed as profound, acceptable spiritual truth. Os Guinness is “spot on” when saying, “[we have seen a change] from an emphasis on ‘serving God’, to an emphasis on ‘serving the self’ in serving God.” The object of faith is no longer Christ, but our self-esteem; the goal of faith is no longer holiness, but our happiness; and the source of faith is no longer the Scriptures, but our experience. Christian music currently reflects this. We are producing a generation of people that “feel” their God, but do not know their God.”

While we do not agree with Brother Camp’s “hanging on” to the rock music roots of CCM, we certainly agree with many of his “107 Theses”. Here’s a few of Camp’s “107 Theses”:

6.We fail to glorify Him when we praise the servant through awards and accolades rather than exalt the master. “I was but a pen in god’s hand and what praise is due a pen?” (Baxter) God will not share His glory with another. (Psalm 115:1; Isaiah 42:8)7.We fail to glorify Him when we speak of God out of our own vain imaginings or recreate Him in our own image; instead of honoring Him by how He has revealed Himself through His holy Word. (Psalm 50:21; 1 Corinthians 2:13-16)

31.For if in our worship we pervert the truth about God. If in our music we distort His doctrine, we distort a right view of Him. If in our song we misrepresent the Scriptures, we misrepresent the Savior. And if in our ministries we twist His truth, we dishonor His character. (2 Timothy 2:15) (DTTM: ditto, Carman-Resurrection Rap, dcTalk – Jesus Freak, Bride-Scarecrow Messiah, et. Al.)

32.Failure here is costly-for it is tantamount to breaking the third commandment: “do not take the name of the Lord God in vain.” (Exodus 20:7)

41.Christian music, originally called Jesus Music, once fearlessly sang clearly about the gospel. Now it yodels of a Christ-less, watered-down, pabulum-based, positive alternative, aura-fluff, cream of wheat, mush-kind-of-syrupy, God-as-my-girlfriend kind of thing.

45.Christian music stands separate from the world’s music for by definition it is Christ-centered music. Even the style is not neutral and music in and of itself is not amoral, but it is “the incarnation of the message.” (Horton) Both must honor and bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Chronicles 15:16)

46.Therefore, when Christian artists today take the old song of the world, dress it up, modify it and say that it now represents the person of Jesus Christ, a Christian message or describes the character of God, they fortuitously assault the gospel and diminish the gift that has been entrusted to them. This is inappropriate at best and sacrilegious at worst. We cannot pour new wine into old wineskins. (Psalm 137; Mark 2:22) (DTTM: ditto: dcTalk, Amy Grant, Point of Grace, Rez Band, Johnny Cash, Pat Boone, Holy Soldier, Jars of Clay, Mark Farner, MxPx, Petra, etc.)

74.The CCMI has committed spiritual adultery in joining itself with the wayward world in trying to forward the message of the gospel. This has and will prove to be fatal for Gospel music as we know it today. (Deuteronomy 32:22-24; Psalm 1; Jeremiah 17:5-8)

81.Satan’s number one assault on the church is to infiltrate with error. He doesn’t want to fight the church-he wants to join it. (John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 11:12-15; 1 Timothy 4:1)

82.Undicerning believers think it a profound ministry strategy to join forces with unregenerate people in forwarding the gospel. Unwittingly, they harness Jesus Christ, the Worthy One, with Belial or Satan, the worthless one, in an unholy alliance-the very essence of being unequally yoked. (2 Corinthians 6:15)

83.”Ephraim is joined to idols. Let him alone.” (Hosea 4:17)

It’s a BIG blessing to see somebody in CCM with any spiritual discernment and any spiritual “convictions”! The vast majority of CCM supporters have no spiritual discernment, and even less convictions.We heartily “commend” Brother Camp and say, “Amen, amen and amen, Brother Camp — Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet… Isaiah 58:1”!

For the complete text of Steve Camp’s “A Call for “Reformation in the Contemporary Christian Music Industry” and his “107 Theses”


January 10 2015


by Terence D. McLean The Voice in the Wilderness – Oct. 1998

What is wrong with “Amazing Grace,” I ask you?Is there a problem with “How Great Thou Art?”

Are the words and melody of “How Firm a Foundation” no longer beautiful or true?

Must we set aside the great hymns of the faith and replace them with “Who put the bop in the Bible shee-bop shee-bop?” and “Ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong for Jesus.”

Now that we have “Christian” rock , rap, regGAE, and jazz, can “Christian” Budweiser be far behind?

Must “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” be replaced with “The Dude upstairs is so cool, doo whoppa, doo whoppa doo?”

And now that we have “Christian” heavy metal, acid and (get this) Christian New Age, can “Christian” Marlboros wrapped in New Testament parchment be far behind?

And what of the people who write these new songs?

Once upon a time, hymns were written only by the greatest of composers and the most devout of Christians.

Compare that with Michael W. Smith, who, “at the same time he was penning gospel songs, he was also using marijuana, LSD and cocaine.” (Wall Street Journal, 9/11/91, p.A-11)

“I’m a singer, not a preacher, I’m not looking to convert anybody” says Christian rock diva Amy Grant. (Los Angeles Times, 5/4/84, pg. 2-c) Grant goes on to demonstrate her spirituality by saying, “I’m not going to say too often that I like a cold beer while watching a football game. That might bother some of my fans.” (Greensville News, 5/4/94)

One Christian rock star [Michael English] gets caught fornicating and he converts to singing secular songs, including one in which he ridicules Christians. Then he packs an auditorium in Dayton as he does his “comeback tour.” Another Christian rock star [Sandi Patti] gets caught fornicating and all her albums are recalled by the publisher, only to have them re-released after her divorce and subsequent remarriage to the object of her three-year affair.

And of Amy Grant’s lyrics, Billboard magazine and Face the Music both report that, “The only difference between Amy Grant’s love songs and those of Olivia Newton-John is that often Grant’s pronouns come with capital letters.”

To which Amy has been quoted saying, “I want to be at the same level as Billy Joel, the Doobie brothers” (Time magazine, New Lyrics for the Devil’s Music, 3/11/85, p. 60)

Well, glory to God in the highest.

And what of the presentation of this new “Christian” music.

Michael W. Smith was seen as a hot number by the Wall Street Journal when it learned his sexy, steamy, sensuous video was produced by the same company that produces the rocker formerly known as Prince. “I know if I am too blatant about my Christianity and talk about Jesus I won’t succeed. But, hey, I’m not an evangelist. I’m a singer.” (ibid)

On “Christian” metal group Bloodgood’s video, one of the rockers enters with purple hair and sunglasses, carrying a giant Bible. Then he says “I’m not her to tell you about how Jesus loves you I’m here to talk about ME! (“Metal Mardi Gras”)

And now we have “Christian” Rave and “Christian” Thrash music.

Amen, brother. Split somebody’s head for Jesus.

You say, “Splitting heads for Jesus would never be included on a ‘Christian’ album, not even Thrash trash.”

Wrong-o my naïve friend.

“Persecution” is a “Christian” thrash group: and the chorus of one of that group’s songs repeats over and over: “Praise the Lord-Beat My Head In.”

And try these for lyrics giving honor to God on recent “Christian” albums:

“Drown the devil in the urinal.” Or better still: “I love my dog, and he loves me. He uses my leg when he has to pee.” (New York Times, 7/26/96)

Was there such a problem with “What a Friend We Have In Jesus” or “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” that we must replace them with a dog doing his duty on some dimwit’s leg?“But you have to go with that stuff to keep the kids,” you say.

To keep them what exactly? To keep them laughing at you because they see through your compromise?

To keep them coming to church because they know they won’t hear any more about Jesus and right living there than they will at the amusement park?

To keep them convinced that you have absolutely no clue?

The Bible in my hand says that real Christian music has three purposes.

Colossians 3:16 says: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Clearly, then, Christian music is to teach Bible doctrine, to encourage godly behavior and to give testimony to the grace of God that resides in us by faith in Christ Jesus.Why did “Moshing for the Master” replace “Wonderful Grace of Jesus?”

Was there something wrong with “The Haven of Rest” or “Trust and Obey?”

No doubt when all you have ever listened to is sex-driven junk, really spiritual music feels like a bucket of cold water to a copulating canine.

Meanwhile, “How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.”

AMEN. . . AMEN. . . and AMEN!