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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Ask the Pastor

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clear.gif - 808 Bytes Why do you believe the way you do about music, and what books would you recommend that I read to learn more about the subject?

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You may click on verses
to reveal pop-up Scripture

clear.gif - 808 Bytes The subject of music is way too long to answer in an e-mail. Let me hit a couple of highlights.

  1. Music in the Scriptures is for the purpose of worship and glorifying God. It is not to be used for entertainment, or making money. While people can be edified and evangelized through it, those are secondary. Worship to the Lord is paramount.

  2. Obviously, the lyrics ought to be Christ-honoring and doctrinally sound.

  3. The music itself must be Christ-honoring as well. Psalm 40:2-3 states,
    "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD."
    These verses tell us a lot. First, the song is praise to the Lord. Second, the lyrics and music are such that they would bring people to trust the Lord, either for salvation or for a greater relationship with Him. Third, his new music is different then his old music. The pit mentioned there is literally a "pit of noise". The noise has been replaced by a song. People can hear the difference in his new music from his old music (it must be obvious), and this causes them to fear and trust the Lord.

  4. Rock music is always wrong. It is characterized by back beats and break beats. In fact, according to the musicians, that is what makes something a rock song. It is not the speed, or the loudness, or the screaming guitars, not the driving bass guitar or drums, it is the style of rhythm. The term "rock and roll" was coined by a Cleveland disc jockey as an appropriate term for the new music that was being played in the fifties. He did not make up the term "rock and roll", it was already in existence, and used as a ghetto term to refer to fornication. Thus, rock and roll music is, by its own definition, music to fornicate to. I find it hard to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ could be honored by having His name attached to music that was designed by its rhythms to simulate fornication. Thus, I reject all music with back beat rhythms. Since the vast majority of CCM music has these rhythms, I reject CCM. Unfortunately, a lot of Southern Gospel has gone this way as well, so much of it has to be rejected as well.

Some books that I have and can recommend would include:

  • Apostasy and Deception in Christian Music, by Gordon Sears
  • Confronting Contemporary Christian Music, by H. T. Spence - this book gives a detailed history of rock and religious music.
  • Contemporary Christian Music under the Spotlight, by David Cloud - A large amount of information, easily readable
  • Face the Music, by Leonard Seidel
  • Is Today's Christian Music "Sacred"?, by Gordon Sears
  • Music in the Balance, by Frank Garlock
  • Sound Music or Sounding Brass, by Kent Brandenburg - lots of Bible
  • The Rapid Decay in Sacred Music, by Gordon Sears
  • The Battle for Christian Music, by Tim Fisher - emphasizes Christ-likeness
  • Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement, by Dan Lucarini - a recent book written from first-hand experience.

    I hope that you will study this subject out for yourself. Our decisions about music are very important, and we can not make these decisions based upon personal likes and dislikes. We must study to find out what is acceptable to the Lord.
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    Pastor Dr. Mark Montgomery
    Email: Ask the Pastor
    Ambassador Baptist Church
    1926 Babcock Blvd
    Pittsburgh, PA 15209

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