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Independent Baptist Music Wars


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#1 RSS Robot

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:43 PM

Since last year I have been hearing from church members who are being mistreated by their pastors because they don’t agree with what Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster, California, (home of West Coast Baptist College) is doing in regard to the adaptation of contemporary worship music.

This week I have received two more examples of this.

In one case, the pastor has taken to “blasting” me from the pulpit because he has a family who is resisting the church’s contemporary direction in music. This family has refused to sing contemporary worship songs by Getty/Townend and others. They have done this quietly without talking around to try to cause trouble among the members, but they cannot in good conscience sing these songs. They told the music director personally, and that was all. The husband said, “I told my wife that, since I did not want to cause divisions, we would not talk to anyone about the reasons for my decision, and we didn't.”

Even so, the pastor has made this godly family feel very uncomfortable by saying that questioning the pastor is evidence of a critical spirit and that being concerned about things such as “beat anticipation” is to “waste time about minor things while souls are dying and going to hell.”

Last year this pastor had seemed to agree with my warnings, but after he attended a conference at Lancaster he developed a bad attitude toward me personally and toward my ministry and toward those who listen to me. He is now treating me as an enemy of good churches and an underminer of pastoral authority.

Recently the pastor preached a sermon that was obviously directed toward that family. The husband testified as follows of how he felt when his own pastor treated him like some sort of enemy of the truth:

“I don't think I have ever felt so despised and worthless as I did at the end of that sermon. Just as he never mentioned your name when blasting away at you, he never mentioned my name when blasting away at me. But it was obvious to everyone involved in the music ministry, and perhaps to some others as well, EXACTLY who he was talking about. He stood up there and mocked me for ‘taking a stand’ on such a supposedly trivial issue. He accused me of being more loyal to an ‘Internet pastor’ than to himself.  He accused me of being unsubmissive to pastoral authority and causing divisions. He accused me of thinking that I'm ‘more spiritual’ than everyone else. He even implied that my actions were somehow preventing people from being saved.”


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#2 JerryNumbers

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:23 PM

If that family has doubts about the music, them they seem to be doing the right thing, seems the pastor may want to force them to do as he says.

Ro 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

#3 Steve Schwenke

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:24 PM

I don't always agree with Br. Cloud on the issues he raises, but he is 100% correct on this issue. Music is a powerful tool....and it is obvious that CCM is creeping into many IFB schools and churchs. My Grandfather used to say, "When the music goes, the church is not much further behind."
Music is not a "trivial" issue, nor is it an issue of preference. The Bible has quite a bit to say about music, and we should be able to extract sound principles to guide our decisions regarding music.

Good Article!

#4 brosmith

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:38 PM

Warnings regarding the adaptation of CCM by independent Baptists should also include a warning about Majesty Music. Last year they put out a hymnal entitled "Rejoice Hymns" which includes music by the Getty's and Townend. This year they partnered with Answers in Genesis to help produce the IncrediWorld VBS program. Recently I emailed Majesty Music regarding their association with Answers in Genesis. This was their response:

"Thank you for contacting Majesty Music in regards to IncrediWorld. Answers in Genesis approached Majesty Music with the opportunity to provide music for their traditional track VBS program. After much prayer and counsel, we agreed to produce the traditional songs version. Some of the songs needed very little work and could be used with just a few changes. Other songs could not be used and new songs needed to be written. Answers in Genesis gave us complete liberty to use or not use whatever we chose. Majesty Music has recently offered a new Patch the Pirate Adventure called IncrediWorld which centers on a theme of “Creation” and includes some of the new songs also used in the VBS track. Please let me know if I may be of any further assistance."

I believe that Majesty Music is moving further and further in the contemporary direction and someone needs to sound out a warning.


#5 MatthewDiscipleOfGod

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 10:16 PM

I agree with brosmith. Majesty Music has gone downhill fast and when I have e-mailed them they gave me the same type of reply. We must stand firm and educate the members of our churches the reason for the stands that we take. It is when we don't educate the members of our church that this kind of stuff is allowed to creep in.

#6 PreacherE

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 10:30 PM

It is sad to see a church head down this direction of compromising with the world and allowing CCM to get a foothold in its services. I know what these families are going through as well in taking a stand and then being blasted from the pulpit for refusing to compromise. I stepped down from a position as choir director because of the direction that the choir/special music was going. We have had people attempting to bring Christian Rock into the church to sing as specials. Keep in mind that our church has always stood against CCM for as long as I have been there, but now there is a certain group within the church that is starting to slowly bring this type of compromise into the church. I have taken a stand both publicly outside of the church against such compromise, I have preached against CCM and worldly compromise from our church's pulpit, and I have spoken to the pastor in private about it beginning to rear its head in the church. Instead of preaching against this type of music the pastor has chosen to make certain comments and digs from the pulpit against those who would take a stand against it. This same group that is attempting to bring CCM into the church and are openly listening to such are also beginning to bring in the modern Bible versions (especially The Message) and liberal preachers (James MacDonald, Tony Evans, T.D. Jakes, Greg Laurie, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, et. al.).

More than anything it hurts to watch a church which you have given your life and heart to for several years follow this path of compromise. It hurts knowing that you are the only one taking a public stand against this compromise and that the stand one has taken has caused all those who were once close friends to leave you.


If there is one thing I will preach against all my life, by the grace of God, it will be worldly compromise and the damage it will do to a Christian and a Church.

In Christ,
PreacherE

#7 No Nicolaitans

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 01:27 AM

One word...PRIDE

#8 Covenanter

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 01:36 AM

A Pastor has failed when he preaches against members of his flock. I've been preached against.

#9 Steve Schwenke

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:27 PM

Ian, you are absolutely correct. The enemy is OUTSIDE the church trying to destroy it from within. We preach TO the church, and AGAINST sin in an attempt to help, guide, protect, lead, and strengthen those WITHIN the church.....Infighting means that they are not fighting the enemy on the Battlefront...the enemy has gotten them too busy fighting THEMSELVES to maintain a vigorous attack on the enemies strongholds OUTSIDE the church....strongholds like alcohol, pornography, drugs, fornication, etc.
There was a day when Bible Believing preachers had a strong voice and influence on the secular culture and politics. Now, we can't even keep the peace within our own churches!!!

In regards to the music issue, there is an excellent book entitled "Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement" by Dan Lucarini. This book demonstrates that it is ALWAYS a PLANNED takeover by the CCM sympathizers. They have an agenda, and that agenda is NOT Bible-oriented. It is oriented in showcasing THEIR OWN TALENTS (i.e. pride, flesh, etc.). This agenda ALWAYS brings compromise on our separation from the world on MANY FRONTS, and ALWAYS eventually has an impact on the church's doctrinal position.

#10 Invicta

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 04:24 PM

A Pastor has failed when he preaches against members of his flock. I've been preached against.


We once had a pastor who would not speak to those he disagreed with, but preached against deacons, Sunday School teachers etc.

#11 JerryNumbers

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 05:12 PM

What exactly do you mean by a pastor preaching against a member?

#12 NotAshamed

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:35 AM

Hi all, I am returning to the forum after a long hiatus. I was under a different screenname, but can't remember what it was...so I rejoined under a new name.

Anyway, I'd like to offer my insight into this...as pertains to the logistics/pitfalls of modern music in the church. First, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of a small Baptist church and we do play CCM. I am one of two electric guitar players in our church's band. NO...I am NOT here to defend it, defend myself, or start an argument. I simply think it may be helpful to get input from someone actually doing this. In spite of all the good things that can be said about modern praise and worship, there IS a downside. The items I list below are based off of personal experience, not theory or conjecture.

If your church wants to go the route of CCM, they'd better know what they're getting themselves into. First, it will strain your budget. To do it right, you'll likely need to upgrade your sound system, including speakers, amplifiers, and sound board. You'll need a lot of microphones, especially for the drum kit. You'll likely want a couple of wireless mics for the vocalists, You may need to rebuild the stage to accomodate the instruments and singers. This isn't so much a consideration of weight as it is spacing. You'll need to get stage monitors or in-ear monitors. If you don't have a projection system already and are using hymnals, you'll need to purchase and install one or more projectors and screens. At this point, you will have spent thousands of dollars. This is just for the basics...we haven't even gotten into upgrading your stage lighting and computer feeds to the projector.

Second, you'll need to assemble the instrumentalists, vocalists, and support team. Here's where it gets interesting. The talent pool is quite varied and there will be volunteers who don't really play well, and others who are very skilled. Selecting songs can be a trick and the church and band will get into a point where they expect different songs every week. You'll need a VERY strong and capable worship leader to deal with different vocal and instrumental roles and personalities. Now, you are dealing with egos. In spite of everyone's desire to serve the Lord, you will get push-back from various vocalists or band members because they aren't heard as well as others. The acoustic guitar player may complain that no one can hear him. The electric guitar player may complain that the sound guy didn't turn him up for a guitar solo. A vocalist may complain that no one can hear her awesome harmony part. The sound technicians also need to be quite skilled. Mixing sound for what is essentially a rock band is no small task and if done improperly will really make things sound horrible.

Third, there will be technical issues. You are dealing with alot more electronic equipment. It will have issues or someone will forget to set something up right. Batteries in microphones will die at the worst possible moment. Your computer that shows the words to the songs may crash. The projector may burn out a bulb. An amplifier may burn out. The worship leader will be preoccupied with technical matters that have little to do with worship. The 30 minutes prior to the start of the service can get very hectic as folks try to sort out technical issues.

Fourth, some people WILL love it and some people WILL be offended. The senior pastor will have a new problem on his hands...managing the complaints and suggestions people have about the volume and style.

Fifth, as much as I do enjoy it, you REALLY have to be on your guard that each Sunday morning doesn't become a mini-concert. There is a real tendency to see the congregation as an audience that you're entertaining. Staying focused on the real goal is an ongoing challenge. It is really easy to look at the music as a goal in itself.

I could mention other things, but I'll stop here. Suffice it to say, it's easy to look at a band jammin' on Sunday morning and think its great stuff, but it can cause stresses to a church. You have to do some soul searching to see if those stresses will distract you from your real mission as a church.

#13 1John2:15-17

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:49 AM

There is one way to avoid CCM coming into a church....don't let it in in the first place.

#14 John81

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:00 AM

Hi all, I am returning to the forum after a long hiatus. I was under a different screenname, but can't remember what it was...so I rejoined under a new name.

Anyway, I'd like to offer my insight into this...as pertains to the logistics/pitfalls of modern music in the church. First, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of a small Baptist church and we do play CCM. I am one of two electric guitar players in our church's band. NO...I am NOT here to defend it, defend myself, or start an argument. I simply think it may be helpful to get input from someone actually doing this. In spite of all the good things that can be said about modern praise and worship, there IS a downside. The items I list below are based off of personal experience, not theory or conjecture.

If your church wants to go the route of CCM, they'd better know what they're getting themselves into. First, it will strain your budget. To do it right, you'll likely need to upgrade your sound system, including speakers, amplifiers, and sound board. You'll need a lot of microphones, especially for the drum kit. You'll likely want a couple of wireless mics for the vocalists, You may need to rebuild the stage to accomodate the instruments and singers. This isn't so much a consideration of weight as it is spacing. You'll need to get stage monitors or in-ear monitors. If you don't have a projection system already and are using hymnals, you'll need to purchase and install one or more projectors and screens. At this point, you will have spent thousands of dollars. This is just for the basics...we haven't even gotten into upgrading your stage lighting and computer feeds to the projector.

Second, you'll need to assemble the instrumentalists, vocalists, and support team. Here's where it gets interesting. The talent pool is quite varied and there will be volunteers who don't really play well, and others who are very skilled. Selecting songs can be a trick and the church and band will get into a point where they expect different songs every week. You'll need a VERY strong and capable worship leader to deal with different vocal and instrumental roles and personalities. Now, you are dealing with egos. In spite of everyone's desire to serve the Lord, you will get push-back from various vocalists or band members because they aren't heard as well as others. The acoustic guitar player may complain that no one can hear him. The electric guitar player may complain that the sound guy didn't turn him up for a guitar solo. A vocalist may complain that no one can hear her awesome harmony part. The sound technicians also need to be quite skilled. Mixing sound for what is essentially a rock band is no small task and if done improperly will really make things sound horrible.

Third, there will be technical issues. You are dealing with alot more electronic equipment. It will have issues or someone will forget to set something up right. Batteries in microphones will die at the worst possible moment. Your computer that shows the words to the songs may crash. The projector may burn out a bulb. An amplifier may burn out. The worship leader will be preoccupied with technical matters that have little to do with worship. The 30 minutes prior to the start of the service can get very hectic as folks try to sort out technical issues.

Fourth, some people WILL love it and some people WILL be offended. The senior pastor will have a new problem on his hands...managing the complaints and suggestions people have about the volume and style.

Fifth, as much as I do enjoy it, you REALLY have to be on your guard that each Sunday morning doesn't become a mini-concert. There is a real tendency to see the congregation as an audience that you're entertaining. Staying focused on the real goal is an ongoing challenge. It is really easy to look at the music as a goal in itself.

I could mention other things, but I'll stop here. Suffice it to say, it's easy to look at a band jammin' on Sunday morning and think its great stuff, but it can cause stresses to a church. You have to do some soul searching to see if those stresses will distract you from your real mission as a church.

Those are some very good, realistic points. Some of those points apply even to traditional choirs, singing groups, specials and even the song selection from a hymnal. Unfortunately, I've seen choirs go through much of this with bickering about who gets to do a solo, when and how often, where people stand, song selection, mic placement, etc.

Any time the music becomes "too much", becomes a main drawing point, becomes the focus, pits members against one another, there is something wrong and it's time to dial it back, likely way back, sometimes to the point of eliminating everything but the simply singing of hymns by the congregation. I've seen churches torn apart over ego clashes in the choir.

Money matters and the entertainment factor are very important and often overlooked. Is the congregation edified or entertained by having an orchestra? Is the large choir a competition for attention factory, an entertainment tool to keep the congregation awake and upbeat, a distraction or actually a helpful means of corporate worship? The same needs to be considered for all other aspects of this as well, whether solo singers, duets, bands of one sort or another, etc.

Too often in our churches today music is more about entertainment than anything else and this is dangerous no matter what the type or style of music is.

#15 swathdiver

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 05:20 AM

If your church wants to go the route of CCM, they'd better know what they're getting themselves into. First, it will strain your budget. To do it right, you'll likely need to upgrade your sound system, including speakers, amplifiers, and sound board. You'll need a lot of microphones, especially for the drum kit. You'll likely want a couple of wireless mics for the vocalists, You may need to rebuild the stage to accomodate the instruments and singers. This isn't so much a consideration of weight as it is spacing. You'll need to get stage monitors or in-ear monitors. If you don't have a projection system already and are using hymnals, you'll need to purchase and install one or more projectors and screens. At this point, you will have spent thousands of dollars. This is just for the basics...we haven't even gotten into upgrading your stage lighting and computer feeds to the projector.


Make sure the stage is strong enough for props, like giant sharks, Rolls Royce cars and BMW motorcycles and get that pulpit and the cross out of the way while your at it, the goats can't see the entertainers!

See CCM is not just the music, it's an all sensor experience. Don't forget the smoke dischargers either!

Essentially, turn your church auditorium into a rock concert hall that would make KISS, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones feel right at home.

Disclaimer: not attacking you notashamed, just making light of the evil that it is.




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