Monday, December 14, 2015

Music 5 - The Door of the Occult

- This post and the next two will be substantially longer than my normal posts; I am sensitive to this but it must be done if I am to adequately walk you through my thought processes
- This post and the next two will include some disturbing statements and links; again, I am sensitive to this but I feel it necessary to be specific and even graphic in this section. Forewarned is forearmed.

          With the advent of rock and roll in American popular music everything changed. It is inarguable that the key element in rock is the beat. It is also inarguable that rock and its subgenres are the dominant form of music in Western civilization today. What is arguable is my proposition that there is a biblical, historical, and even contemporary link between evil spirits and rock music. In today's post I will attempt to trace for you the biblical principles that underlie my contention, and to give you an explanation or two of how this works in contemporary American music. In the following two posts I am going to substantiate my proposition with selections from a number of secular sources. The first will trace some more of the history of rock, and the second will uncover the educated opinion of a living rock and roll legend. Now that you have been properly warned let us proceed apace.

          Our God is the Most High God, but there are many other spiritual beings who are also worshipped. This is illustrated scripturally from one end of the Bible to the other. In the front we see the gods of Egypt and their battles with Jehovah – which they all soundly lost, of course. We see it as well in the various gods of the Canaanite nations Israel drove out, and in the constant temptation they thus endured as a result of their partial obedience. Indeed Scripture uses the word "gods" 215 times. We see it in the New Testament in the pagan religions of the Roman Empire as represented in Acts. We also see it in the calls to spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6, and in the prophecy of the anti-christ's insistence on being worshipped as a god during the Tribulation Period. Do not misread me. Christianity is a monotheistic religion but our monotheism does not deny the existence of other spiritual beings that desire worship. Quite the contrary, Christianity accounts for them specifically.

The Hindu goddess of death, Kali, on the side
 of the Empire State building, New York City, 2015
          In our generation these are primarily found in foreign cultures and strange cults. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (II Corinthians 11.14-15) The best modern day example of this is Hinduism with its approximately 330 million gods and goddesses. 

The only real difference between Hinduism and the smaller modern day cults of East and West is in size and history. In the past year I've read a dozen books on various cults and false religions. They all begin exactly the same. A spirit being appears to someone. The spirit being informs the person they are being favored with truth no one else on earth has ever had. That person believes them and founds a religion established on the specifics of that extra-biblical revelation.

When someone – be they Muhammad, Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, or anyone else – says a spirit being appeared to them and told them something there are only three possibilities. First, that person is flat out crazy. Nothing appeared to them beyond their own hallucinations. Second, that person is simply lying. Out of a desire for power, money, or sex that person invented the scenario out of whole cloth. Third, that person is telling the truth. (In none of the three cases do you want that person founding your religion but that is a different subject).

In my research I have found that most often the person is largely telling the truth. A spirit being did appear to them, and did convey to them a message or messages. The great problem however is that this spirit being is not of God but of Satan. What they saw was some devil, some demon, appearing to them in the guise of an angel of light.

I am not a charismatic by any means but the charismatics do not have a corner on the veracity of spiritual warfare. Mark Twain said the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he did not exist. This lets him move the levers of power without being recognized by the mass of the world's population. On the other hand, a mature Christian has learned to see his nefarious hand. He and his minions are constantly at work, and often times in direct ways that are not that difficult for the discerning Christian to understand.

In the Scriptures we see a connection between such false gods, devils, demons, or evil spirits – whatever you choose to call them – and music. There are two classic examples of this, one negative and the other positive. The negative is David's use of instrumental harp music to drive away Saul's evil spirit in I Samuel 16. In this case the evil spirit could not abide David's music and fled. It is worth noting that harp music is almost exclusively a smooth, flowing kind of music. You can find harpists covering rock songs on Youtube but even these flow rather rock. Recently, while strolling through a local hospital I came across a harpist playing in a corridor. Such music is calm. It flows. On the other hand I have never come across a death metal band playing in a hospital corridor. There is no peace, no rest in such music.

On the opposite side we find the story of Aaron and the worship of the false god symbolized in the golden calf in Exodus 32. And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.

Say what you will, but long before Joshua and Moses were close enough to distinguish individual lyrics this loud music had struck them as angry, aggressive, and violent. In other words, their initial reaction to the music that accompanied the worship of a demon was to pigeonhole it as the noise of war. Neither you nor I have ever yet nor ever will hear a harp played and come to the same conclusion. Contextually, the music that accompanied demonic worship in the Bible was loud and violent.     

Not only do we see this connection between music and evil spirits in the Scripture we see it the modern day as well. Two Finnish men, Riku and Tunna, decided several years ago to backpack around the world and film the different cultural experiences they found. The resulting travel show is known as Madventures. Unlike most documentaries these delve into the practices of the darkest corners of the Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America. These are not in any way staged. They are completely authentic.

Amongst other things, Riku and Tunna sample the local voodoo ceremonies, filming their encounters with shamans and witchdoctors of all types. Watching these videos is extremely uncomfortable, and I do not recommend it at all for young people. Yet as in this one, for example, we see some stubborn and highly unpleasant facts displayed. The music that accompanies voodoo ceremonies is essentially a beat focused rhythmic percussion. What does this rhythmic percussion invite or produce? Possession by or at least contact with evil spirits.

As I will discuss more next week the purpose of voodoo is to serve as a meeting place between the spirit world and this world, yet voodoo is not alone in this. We find roughly similar aspects in indigenous cultures (those largely unmarked by Christianity) all around the world. West Africa has voodoo but North America has native American spirit worship such as is personified by this Lakota spirit dancer. A blind man could spot the similarities – a beat focused rhythmic percussion and contact with gods that we as Christians understand to be evil spirits. You can find the same thing in the holdovers of the Aztec religion dances still observable today in its spiritually bastardized union with the Roman Catholic Virgin of Guadalupe. Ethnomusicologists and sociologists have traced similar patterns in widely divergent cultures, not just in the receding mists of ancient history, but down to our own day.

          All that I have given you today is scriptural and factual. So is this statement and one that applies directly to the subject at hand – rock music has been highly influenced by this type of beat heavy evil spirit connected music. David Byrne, member of the group Talking Heads and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and winner of both a Grammy and an Oscar, said in Rolling Stone magazine in 1989 that voodoo sounds "are a big part of where our popular music comes from… rock 'n roll comes from those traditions." Little Richard, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame whose career spans all the way back to the birth of the genre said "My true belief about Rock 'n' Roll – and there have been a lot of phrases attributed to me over the years – is this: I believe this kind of music is demonic. I have seen the rock groups and the punk-rock people in this country. And some of their lyrics is demonic. They talk against God. A lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums. If you study music in rhythms, like I have, you'll see that is true." 

          The connection between intense rhythm and an opening of your mind to the spirit world is not accidental. It is in a very real sense predictable. If it was not the ceremonies involving its use would not have persisted for millennia. Science even has a name for it – entrainment. The human body has some natural rhythm to it i.e. the heartbeat, pulse, brainwaves, etc. Scientists have discovered that with the right combination of external rhythms they can actually change the internal rhythms of the human body. The result of this in the mind is a trance like state called entrainment. (Not coincidentally, the Madventures clip linked above includes explicit use of the word "trance." Indeed, this word is found all over native and eastern religions.)

          Rock musicians have known this for years. They call it "the groove." King Britt of the Grammy winning group Digable Planets in reviewing a rock album said, " 'Power' is intense… it was total voodoo, a groove that continually builds and turns into a total trance." Mickey Hart, for decades lead drummer with the Grateful Dead, has progressed beyond being a simple musician to being a musicologist in his own right. In his 1998 book Drumming on the Edge of Magic he discusses his passionate pursuit of percussion, rhythm, and drumming all around the world. He traveled to South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe in search of drums and drumming techniques. He probably owns more drums than any other single human being. In between his travels, studies, and decades of experience with the Grateful Dead he knows more about drumming than any other living human being. In his book, which I will quote from extensively in another post he said, "Drumming is made for trance and for ecstatic states. The basis of percussion is redundancy and redundancy is the basis of trance."

          Drum circles are yet another Westernized example of a native American tradition. Several people sit in a circle or semi-circle and play percussion instruments in order to reach what they term a mind-spirit unity through rhythm. Barb Wilson in an article for Complete Health magazine in 2004 entitled "Can't Beat Drumming" said, "Over the years, drumming in various drum circles... I have become more and more entranced with the experience. A composer living outside Toronto, Ontario, started teaching Afro-Latin drumming to small women's groups. Most expressed the feeling that drumming took them somewhere that other musical activities did not. One class member summed up why the drumming is so appealing to her. 'It's mesmerizing.' "

          Mickey Hart went on to explain, "The backbeat is one kind of drum groove; it's the essential one for rock and roll. I had heard of the phenomenon of rhythmic entrainment that rock and jazz musicians call the groove. I had even fleetingly experienced it, but Billy [former Grateful Dead drummer] taught me to trust in it, to let it draw me in like a tractor beam." Joshua Leeds, a pioneer in the new field of psychoacoustics says in his 2001 book The Power of Sound that the even cadence of rap lyrics and the steady percussion of drums "facilitates trance." Which is probably why Mickey Hart said, "Everywhere you look on the planet people are using drums to alter consciousness."

          A youtube video entitled "Drumming Meditation (Message From Mother Earth)" seeks to illustrate this concept explicitly. Apparently, according to the comments below it works. One viewer said, "Nice drum! I play my djembe to attain theta levels. When I am focused enough, I can feel what I can only describe as an Om bubble form around me and reach out to the Earth. It is very healing, and is often my form of meditation. ? It is also one way I connect with my animal spirit guides. Thanks for posting this video. I would love to come out there and connect with the land and ancestors...they call to me, but until then, thanks for providing me with the visual place to go! Blessings."

          Nor is this connection limited to obscure youtube videos and fringe religions. Some of the largest current rock stars on the planet give clear evidence of this in widely watched performances. Beyonce, watched in just one performance by over 100 million people during the 2013 Super Bowl, openly admits she is possessed of a spirit during her performances. This short summation of the last few national Grammy broadcasts with Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, and Madonna is downright chilling in this respect. I do not necessarily agree with everything proposed in these videos but the facts contained in them are stubborn indeed.

         There is a longstanding, deep, present, and growing connection between worship of what the Scripture defines as false gods, devils, demons, or evil spirits and a drum heavy rhythm soaked dance inducing type of music all around the world. Does this make the use of drums wrong? No, for their use is found in the Bible in a limited way. But it does make me leery of a style of music that is primarily composed of a heavy beat, has its roots in the worship of evil spirits, and has its musicians still studying and evidencing this.

          I am not interested in my music opening up the door of the occult in my mind. Are you?    


  1. Your post today was very good. One of your better ones concerning music, I think. But I appreciated that you didn't throw the baby out with the bath water. ("Does this make the use of drums wrong? No, for their use is found in the Bible in a limited way.") I'm sure we don't completely agree on "in a limited way" but I appreciate that you have made allowance in your argument for the use of a beat. The bpm of a song tells tempo and allows everyone to be in unison as they play, otherwise there would be chaos and discord. Every song has a beat and a rhythm, but some go to far and make the beat the centerpiece. Anyway, I appreciated today's post and wanted you to know it.

  2. I missed the loud driving rock drum beat in Exodus 32. Could you point that out?

    I did see a people from out of their mouth (hence from their heart) ask to have a god made. I did see these people singing and shouting to this golden calf, but I missed the loud driving rock drum beat. I think you are reading into the Scriptures.

    I ask again Tom, out of the over 500 references in the Scriptures how many deal just with instrumental music?

    If you like you can email me the references and I will go through them.

    1. I have already answered your question. Additionally, I already told you that I answered your question. I will now tell you a third time I've already answered your question. Simply repeating a question and ignoring the answer when it is given is a lousy basis for discussion. As well in this post, I furnished you two more I had not yet discussed.

      On the other hand, I asked you a question last week that you so far have managed to ignore totally. What is your definition for music? I've given you mine and the reasons for it. It is the standard definition used by almost every musicologists that I've read. So go ahead, take a stab at it...

      While you're at perhaps you might want to answer this one too. Which one of those videos I included above would you say is not a demonic driven illustration of the power of percussion?

    2. Yes your answer was "There are clearly examples in the Bible - some I mentioned above and some I did not - that reference instrumental music and some that connect it in an emotional context." Quite the politicans answer to say I answered it and I ignored it.

      So your answer is 2? Two out of over 500. Because the first ones you referenced were not dealing with just instrumental music (I dealt with all the singing hence words). And Exodus 32 is not dealing with instrumental music, so I guess that makes it 1?

      1 out of 500?

      I wonder where the weight lies?

      Is it in the Scriptures dealing with instrumental music only or in singing?

      I'm sure I missed that question you asked. I also went and reread the comnents and missed you asking me the question. But anyway my definiation of music is the science and art of organizing sounds.

      I didn't watch the videos, I figured we would deal with the Scriptures. Because I can post vidoes showing folks praising the Lord while having a drum beat and ask you which ones are not prasing God.

      Oh and where is that driving drum beat in Exodus 32? You read right past that question.

    3. So if the ONLY thing we can deal with is Scripture... When you preach do you ever mention any words, concepts, technologies, practices that aren't explicitly named in Scripture? Do you use dictionaries? Do you use encyclopedias? Do you use reference works? Do you read books that help you understand the time and place and culture and manner of life when the Scripture was written?

      Further, do you ever make modern day applications? Do you ever illustrate scriptural truth with contemporary examples?

      Never mind. I'm sure you don't. You just quote the Bible and then sit down...

      I've heard you preach. You are a good preacher. But you are not being consistent with the measure you are trying to apply to my writing. You don't apply that measure to your own preaching. Scripture is the authority - but it is interpreted, grasped, and applied within a real world framework. And I am not somehow a nefarious legalizer because of doing so. In fact, I am directed to do so. One of a preacher's jobs is to show clearly the difference between the holy and the profane, to help the saints discern between good and evil. That must be done using the Scriptures as a guide in the illumination of the Holy Spirit but it must be done. I'm not wrong to give a definition of music - reasonably related to Scripture and illustrated and proved in real life - any more than you are. You are welcome to scripturally support, explain, expound, defend your position and then illustrate it historically, philologically, naturally, societally, or geographically. That isn't deceitfully underhanded. It is giving the sense and causing them to understand.

    4. ...and blogspot just lost the rest of my answer...

      Back to the instrumental. I told you originally that the Matthew reference at the funeral was instrumental. You disagree but that doesn't make you right. Exodus 32 is lyrical but the mistaken judgment call they made had nothing to do with lyrics. They couldn't hear those lyrics at that point. I Samuel is instrumental. Indeed, by the measurement you are trying to put upon me I should assert that unless a passage explicitly says they were singing words then it is instrumental. After all, if you can play that card so can I. Beyond that, not every reference has to be explicit in order to support my proposition that music is an emotional language. My Dad used to ask, "How many nails do you need to hang a hat on?" There is not some mysteriously confusing century long church wide disagreement over the simple definition of music. What I've given you is the standard definition. In my view it is reasonably supported and documented.

      But in the main, Mathew, I'm not interested in playing cards or in one upping you. I don't think you are with me either. I think you genuinely think I'm wrong with what I'm saying about music and what I am about to say over the next few months. That is fair. What isn't fair is to argue from false premises using standards you do not apply anywhere else or that you apply inconsistently. That's the beef I have with you on your approach to this disagreement.

    5. The measure of your writing that I am applying is from your writing.

      I have made a rather poignant point in regards to the weight of an issue in the Scriptures because it is a hermeneutic YOU hold to. To do so for wine and not music comes across wrong Tom. Maybe you don't see it, I Don't know, only you can answer that. I can only tell you how it comes across as I read your blog.

    6. Since you asked...if there are typos I apologize. This is from my phone.

      In trying to determine “God Approved Music” we tend to concentrate on the what, as in, what genre of music does God approve of. Instead, we should concentrate on the how. As in how do I play or sing this music for God’s glory. 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

      With that in mind let’s see if the Scriptures can shed some light on the how.

      Whatever instrument we choose, like a harp, piano or drums, we know that there is nothing inherently sinful or wrong with those instruments or any other instruments for that matter.

      Titus 1:13-15 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

      Remember that purification is largely a matter of the internal rather than the external.

      Nothing outside can corrupt one who is internally pure; but someone who is internally impure corrupts all he touches. This also applies to the instruments we play and the songs that we sing.

      Mark 7:15, 21 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

      We see that defilement comes from within, not from without or in other words it is a heart issue.

      Luke 11:39-41 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.).

      The Pharisees concentrated on the outside and not on their own hearts. They would rather look good with all their separation while missing the mark entirely.

      Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

      I think that these verses adequately teach us that we can play any instrument and that instrument is not sinful.

      So how should I sing a song and by principle play an instrument?

      Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

      Colossians 3:16 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.

      I should sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs from my heart, in grace and truth, to the Lord. Songs that effect my intellect and emotions. A song of the soul, if you please.

      I am glad God lays it out simply and succinctly in the word.
      Once I have the right 'how to' then whatever I sing or play will bring God honor and glory.

    7. "Once I have the right 'how to' then whatever I sing or play will bring God honor and glory."

      Perhaps. But what about music you hear from others? Isn't that what we're talking about?

      "Nothing can corrupt one who is internally pure." (your 6th paragraph). Really? I suppose Eve didn't have a choice of thousands of delicious fruits the day she consulted with the serpent.

    8. I guess the music that others play you will have to make a judgement as to if they are playing it according to the Scripture.

      If you take Lecrae for example. I do not care for his genre of music. But I can examine the lyrics for biblical truth. I can ask or read interviews about him and what his goal or desire is with his music is. Even though it is a style I don't like I have found his songs (I have not examined every song) to be rich with truth and he has a desire to reach people with the gospel and to bring honor and glory to God. I will give him the freedom and liberty he has in Christ and support him in his desire. I won't be playing any of his music but I don't condemn it either.

      Eve had an internal desire to be wise and to decide good from evil. If there isn't an internal issue with her, we don't have this conversation.

    9. I guess I could also ask where did she get the idea that they were not allowed to look or touch the friut? Maybe their added separation standards to keep them safe? I don't know.

    10. I don't see an edit button to add to my previous post.

      Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
      James 1:13-15

  3. I agree with you 100 percent on this Pastor, however, you're going to have a very tough time trying to identify "good" and "evil" music by its form or sound.

    Buddhist and Islamic is very creepy and strange but it uses no rhythms and seldom uses words. So does a lot of other occult-driven music. Secular Christmas songs like "Frosty the Snowman" can be pleasant, uplifting songs for the soul but it hardly qualifies as a sacred spiritual.

    A better way to identify the bad stuff, I think, is to identify the mood or emotions created from a song. I realize this is subjective and you can't exactly drag a Bible with you identifying chapter and verse to discern if a song is officially "evil"

    Another way to identify bad from good music is observe the effects of prolonged usage on behavior. You can listen to an evil song a few times and it is not likely effect you. But listen to similar songs frequently over time and observe how it changes thinking, behavior or mood.

    Science can objectively test for poison in food or drink to determine beforehand whether or not we should ingest it. But with music, sometimes, you don't really know for sure until a person starts exhibiting "symptoms".

    1. I would disagree with you about Eastern religions. They do incorporate an explicit use of rhythm such I have described above - entrainment/trance/hypnosis - in their process of bringing people into contact with the gods. I could show you a dozen or two quotes to that effect from the books I've read this year about Hinduism, Buddhism, et al.

      No, they don't use drums. They use mantras. I wasn't going to bring that into this series b/c it isn't music but the underlying principle is the same.

      The Muslims, being monotheistic, are not big on contacting the spirit world. There are exceptions to this, however, in what many Muslims would consider aberrant branches similar to how we would view cults. The whirling dervishes of the Sufis, for instance, exhibit clear signs of demonic possession. Their whole goal is to enter into a trance. I have not studied them in much depth so I cannot speak to how they obtain it. But Hinduism, Buddhism? Absolutely. The mantras, the "sacred om" does the exact same thing.

      I might also add, and probably should have put it in the post above, that rhythmically induced trance is not the only way to open yourself up to the spirit world. But it is certainly A way, and a longstanding and widespread one at that.

    2. You are completely correct about "the effects of prolonged usage on behavior." I will speak to that in several posts later in this series.

    3. Bill, found this about the dervishes after a quick search. The title - Whirling Dervishes: Music, Rhythm, and Belief United - is a direct quote from a dervish so rhythm must play an important part somehow... Anyway, I've got to quit for the night.

    4. Pastor, You are completely right about the rhythmically induced trances that pass for music in the Eastern world -- but your premise is that when "everything changed", western classical music began to morph with Eastern spiritist sound (Beatles music being the most blatant example of this) creating this deceptive hybrid that is desensitizing the musical tastes of our not only our youth but even the church.

      In order to warn the church about this you are trying to reach into scripture for answers that will somehow help us discern good and bad music; to embrace the good and avoid the bad.

      My argument is that when you do this you are trying to fight emotion (love of bad or non-music) with reason (the Bible) and that that is generally ineffective. I know because I struggled deeply with this as a teenager. I read the Bible and I prayed and had a relationship with God. But I still lusted after rock music because it fed the fleshly nature of my soul.

      It took me a while but when I finally decided to replace rock music with Godly music, my hunger for rock died down.

      During this time, I experimented with Contemporary Christian music as a way to "compromise" my desire for God and rock music. What I found in CCM was (though there were a few exceptions of excellence) basically a bland, luke-warm spirituality interspersed with worldly instrumentation that wasn't so much rhythm driven wickedness as much as it was empty style-over-substance background noise. I wanted to spit the lukewarm tripe out of my mouth.

      The way to shine the light on bad music is to contrast it as much as possible with hard-core otherworldly Heavenly music. The Lutherans have very good music. If you take a newly converted teenager who lives his life with iPod earbuds streaming CCM junkfood into his head and preach to him on the evils of modern music from the Bible, he might walk away feeling guilty but he won't change his ways.

      On the other hand, introduce him to a haunting hymn such as "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" and it will jar him like a cold splash of water on a hot day. He will be shocked at the ethereal otherworldiness at first before his spirit begins to appreciate it.

  4. We see the same situation in Suriname. One lady had become free from demonic oppression, and a strong believer. One day she encountered a "Christian" music group with heavy rhythm in front of the large big market. She challenged them as follows: "Do you know that the music you are playing is the same as I used to use to call the spirits?" We saw this on many occasions, and decided that we would permit the use of tambourines in church but not drums. They were too much temptation to slip into the old ways. By the way, that was the decision of the national believers, not primarily me. Thanks for the post.

  5. I think that one of the main issues in the questions of separation is whether or not we are willing to yield our own wishes, often fleshly, to the Lord and take the high road. The bad is pretty obvious to many, but we need to remember that the good may be the enemy of God's best. Am I constantly yielded to Him in my life, including my attitudes, my mind, my thoughts? Do I do all things for His glory?

  6. I might suggest a point counter point approach to issues such as this, especially for the more "millenial" minded young Christians who desire to see both sides of the issue and make an educated, biblical decision, as the Holy Spirit works in them.
    As you present your argument everything appears as one-sided towards your presupposition on the subject thus far. Sometimes it make more sense for the reader to see the arguments analyzed "side by side".
    I have enjoyed what I have read this far, I pray God Grant you wisdom and grace on what tends to be a hyper-sensitive subject.

    1. That's a good point. I do have some of that contrast later in this series when I come to discussing CCM. But I confess I am often guilty of approaching things like a prosecutor - here's my proposition, now let me put a great big pile of evidence on top of your head proving it.