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Monday, October 28, 2019

Contemporary Christian Music: A Call to Social Justice?

by A.M. Kisly

Social Justice warriors are now calling on the Contemporary Christian Musicians to stop singing songs focusing on love, instead focus on division, hot button political issues and criticizing President Trump.  Protecting sovereign borders, and upholding the law of the land (legal immigration), is being touted by SJW’s as immoral, and racist…something Christian musicians should sing about? Right?

An article written by John Blake, and published by CNN, came out recently, attacking the Christian Music Industry. Mr. Blake titled his article, Why Christian Music's Biggest Stars Refuse to Change Their Tune for the Trump Era.


THE ARTICLE:

The article goes on to explain how it is the MORAL OBLIGATION of Christian song writers to confront social issues, racism, and President Trump. Their Christianity is questioned in the article, and of course they are smeared as being cop-outs in the moral responsibility of their faith. Pretty damning, but is it true?

It is not the moral obligation of Christian musicians to write about social injustices, nor is it their job to represent worldly causes.  More on that later.

While it does not surprise me, that SJW’s seek to shame and bully Christian believers to promote whatever false narrative they want, what bothers me more is their utter hypocrisy. They want social justice, but promote abortion.  They want social justice, but promote everything opposed to God's moral law.

Here is one example of this:

Regarding racism, we can all agree that it is just wrong, but watch how even this issue and the definition of racism is carefully twisted by it’s use. Mr. Blake offers an explanation on why “some” Christian song writers are “afraid” to make political statements. Here is the hypocrisy, the politically correct definition of SJW’s racism is that it only applies to some, not to all. As Mr. Blake so glaringly puts it, “White evangelicals are Trump's most steadfast supporters. They are also some of the biggest fans of CCM, and they wield economic clout.”  Are we to conclude that white evangelical’s are to blame for racism? for Christian musicians not to speak out politically? for social injustice?  Huh???

Of course this is the personal opinion of Mr. Blake, as he cites no source for his claim, and his opinion is not fact. Yet this clearly shows how readers are easily manipulated, how words are redefined, and that when we think we are all agreed on an issue, we clearly are not. Mr. Blake’s racist statement, is hypocrisy, and completely devoid of truth.

THEY REFUSE GOD'S WORD

Continuing on, Mr. Blake attacks Christian song writers who “toe the theological line” because fans, (those white evangelical Trump supporters) “call out artists who stray from traditional beliefs.”

He goes on to site a couple of artists as examples: "Dan Haseltine, lead singer for the group Jars of Clay, was mauled on Twitter after he questioned why gays shouldn't marry in a series of posts. He later apologized for his comments, calling them a poor choice of words."

Also, "Social Club Misfits, a Christian hip-hop duo that pushes the boundaries of CCM, also was attacked on social media after they released songs that called for compassion for gays and lesbians, says member Fernando Miranda, who performs under the name Fern."

Seriously, I laughed when I read this. What is truly horrifying is straying from biblical truth - it is spiritual suicide. Read the Old Testament and God’s dealings with his chosen people. They did not toe the line with God. They strayed from God’s law. They disobeyed the Lord, and refused His Word. They compromised with the world. They adapted to pagan society, and embraced idolatry. What was the result of this? It wasn’t social justice, but God’s Judgment!

Political correctness may be the religion-of-the-day, but Christian’s are not called to be PC SJW’s, we are called to be followers of Christ, living in obedience to God and His Word.

FALSE TEACHERS

So the article goes on to quote SJW, the Rev. Jim Wallis, a progressive liberal, who champions the cause of communism. He claims to be an evangelical Christian, despite the fact of abandoning the biblical gospel to promote the social gospel. He also receives George Soros donations, and deliberately undermines our constitutional liberty, and deceives believers by quoting scripture out of context.

Dr. David Noebel states, “Wallis and his Sojourners’ community of fellow travelers believe Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and the other revolutionary forces, are the Communist paradises the U.S. needs to emulate in order to establish ‘social justice.’ Wallis, together with Jeremiah Wright, rallied support for the Communist Nicaraguan regime and protested actions by the U.S. which supported the anti-Communist contra rebels.”

Jim Wallis is also a champion of unbiblical movements such as the Emergent Church, Spiritual Formation (contemplative prayer/mysticism) and what he refers to as "spirituality." Here is his view of prayer:  "I pray, but there are many understandings about prayer. . ."

The disciplines of prayer, silence, and contemplation as practiced by the monastics and mystics are precisely that — stopping the noise, slowing down, and becoming still so that God can break through all our activity and noise to speak to us. Prayer serves to put all parts of our lives in God's presence, reminding us how holy our humanity really is. (The Great Awakening: Seven Ways To Change The World, 290) (Source)

He is a Wolf in sheep's clothing. One who infiltrates the church, in order to change the gospel message. Mr. Wallis even promotes Same-Sex Marriage.

CHRISTIAN MUSICIAN?

The article also quotes famous "Christian" musician, Bono from U2.  Where to begin?

Excerpts taken from, The Rock Group U2, by David Cloud -
U2 is deceptive, they do not represent biblical Christianity, and should not by any account be considered a Christian band. U2 has a great influence in the emerging church and the contemporary worship movement. U2’s lead singer Bono is praised almost universally among contemporary and emerging Christians.

Phil Johnson observes that “Bono seems to be the chief theologian of the Emerging Church Movement” (Absolutely Not! Exposing the Post-modern Errors of the Emerging Church, p. 9).

Brian Walsh believes that U2’s lyrics should be used for seminary training and as commentaries alongside the Bible, and that U2’s concerts should be studied to see “how worship really happens in a postmodern world” (Get Up Off Your Knees)."

This is U2’s type of Christianity.

The book Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas (Hodder & Stoughton, 2005) contains a wide-ranging interview with a music reporter that extended over a long period of time. Nowhere in this 337-page book does Bono give a scriptural testimony of having been born again, without which Jesus said no man can see the kingdom of heaven.

Bono says that he believes Jesus is the Messiah and that He died on the cross for his sins and that “he is holding out for grace,” but Bono’s “grace” is a grace that does not result in radical conversion and a new way of life; it is a grace without repentance; it is a grace that does not produce holiness. Nowhere does he warn his myriads of listeners to turn to Christ before it is too late and before they pass out of this life into eternal hell.

In fact, the only thing he says about heaven or hell is that both are on earth. “I think, rather like Hell, Heaven is on Earth. That’s my prayer ... that’s where Heaven for me is...” (Bono on Bono, p. 254).

The members of U2 do not believe Christianity should have rules and regulations. “I’m really interested in and influenced by the spiritual side of Christianity, rather than the legislative side, the rules and regulations” (Edge, U2: The Rolling Stone Files, p. 21).

Bono’s Universalism

When asked by Mother Jones magazine if he believed that Jesus is the only way and if that excludes other people from heaven, Bono replied: “I don’t accept that. I don’t accept that fundamentalist concept. I believe--what is it? ‘The way is as narrow as the eye of the needle,’ and all that--But I think that’s just to keep the fundamentalists out. I never really accepted the whole ‘born again’ tag” (“Bono Bites Back,” Mother Jones magazine, May 1989).

For their Vertigo Tour in 2005, U2 promoted “Coexist” as an icon for world peace. Bono wore a “coexist” headband that featured the cross of Christianity, the crescent moon of Islam, and the star of David of Judaism: and he led the crowds in shouting, “Jesus, Jew, Muhammad, it's true; all sons of Abraham.” 

Bono and the Occult
Bono has repeatedly worn upside down crosses in his concerts, which are satanic anti-christ emblems. He has displayed the inverted cross while singing the Beatles’ song “Helter Skelter.” He has worn it while singing the Rolling Stones’ vile song “Sympathy for the Devil” (Joseph Schimmel, The Submerging Church, DVD, 2012).
Bono has aggressively promoted the movies of the occultist Kenneth Anger. When Bono was considering establishing ZooTV to rival MTV, he envisioned it “as a window for the world to see the films of Kenneth Anger” (Bill Flanagan, U2: At the End of the World, 1996, p. 477).

No Christ-loving, Bible-believing man would promote the work of Kenneth Anger.

See: The Rock Group U2, by David Cloud

THE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF COMPROMISE

In the past several years we have seen a steady incline in liberal media abuse towards Christianity. Their disdain for Christians and the Bible is becoming more and more apparent. It is only when they want something from Christians…mainly our vote…that they too will use scripture by means of twisting it out of context, or cherry picking it to defend sin. They don’t believe the scriptures, take it literally, or believe that God inspired it. Is it any wonder why they cannot discern the things of God? Without the Spirit of God indwelling their hearts they cannot discern the things of God.

A few decades ago the church decided in order to win the world they had to become like the world. That is completely on the Church, and quite frankly we are reaping the whirlwind of that. Perhaps the world expects us to continue down the path of compromise, and why wouldn’t they? We’re giving them what they like. We’re giving them what they’re used to, we’re giving them what they want; we’re giving them the style they want…and they will not be satisfied until the Church turns from biblical Christianity into apostasy.

As far as the Contemporary Christian Music goes, there has been much compromise there as well. How many “cross-over” bands does one have to be entertained by before realizing that this is nothing more than compromise. How many songs are devoid of a clear biblical message, or even mention name of Jesus?  Entertainment, Yes!  Christian Music, No!  Just as going to church doesn't make you a Christian, claiming you're a Christian musician, and writing for the world....well, I call that compromise, and being ashamed of the gospel.

CCM does produce Christian music, and should. Thus the name CHRISTIAN MUSIC. It’s not rocket science. While music styles change, the message should not, and as for the musicians and singers of these bands, Beware When the World Loves You!

“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19).

“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14).

“They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them” (1 John 4:5).

“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).


CCM songwriters should be writing music that is honoring to God, and that glorifies Him, not the things of this world. The lyrics should be biblically sound…or SHOULD NOT BE CALLED CHRISTIAN AT ALL!

While I could not even begin to know where every contemporary Christian musician stands in their relationship with the Lord, whether or not their music is biblically sound, I can say to anyone who calls him/herself a believer that they represent Christ and His kingdom, not themselves, or the kingdoms of this world.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

AMBASSADOR'S FOR CHRIST

In 2 Corinthians 5:20, scripture says, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

Who is an ambassador? Webster says, “he a minister of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the official representative of his own government or sovereign.” We are ambassadors for Christ. We are in a foreign land, Peter says that we are pilgrims and strangers here (1 Peter 2:11). Paul says, “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 3:20). Since our citizenship is in heaven, we are official representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has given His disciples a commission, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.   Go Make disciples of Christ!

THE PURPOSE OF CHRISTIAN MUSIC

In Job 38 the bible says that when God laid the foundations of the earth the angels sang & and shouted for joy, this was before God created people. Even though we all enjoy all aspects of music, and are moved emotionally by it, Colossians 1:16 says “For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.” So music was created by God, for God!

WHY GOD CREATED MUSIC
    • To help us enter His presence (Psalm 22:3)
    • To Glorify Him – proclaiming who he is and our awe of Him. (Psalm 69:30)
    • To Praise Him – thank Him for what he has done. (Psalm 150)
    • To Worship Him – bow down & surrender our lives to Him. (2 Chronicles 29:28)
    • A Sacrifice of Praise – as a gift to God. (Hebrews 13:15).
    • Heal emotions (1 Samuel 16:23)
    • Teach His Word (Colossians 3:16)
    • A Love Song to us, and to H(Song of Solomon)
    • Talk about great songs, look at the Psalms!
Music in the bible is always positive, expressing love, joy, celebration, victory, thanksgiving, awe, praise, worship and honor. It is not used as a political platform in culture wars, to bring about change that promotes victimization mentality, stealing from their neighbors and redistribute their wealth, promoting lifestyles that are aberrant and abominable to God. It wasn’t then, and it isn’t now.  "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8).

As believers in Christ, we are to love people and live justly, and care for them, and minister to the people who have been treated unfairly and unkindly and mercilessly. Of course, we are! We are to be known by our love, love to one another and love to the whole world. And we are to be as Christ was to them, caring for them, meeting their needs, ministering to them, loving them. That is a result of salvation.

THE SOCIAL GOSPEL IS NOT THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST

We cannot save ourselves, we need the risen Lord. In fact this victimization mentality is the total opposite of the mind of Christ. It teaches I am a victim and therefore you owe me. It’s all about me.

The social gospel replaces the biblical gospel message. No longer do they preach salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is works based religion, saved by our own power and might. Scripture teaches, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” and flesh based politics is mans false religion, that places emphasis on us rather than on the Lord. We cannot save ourselves, nor can we save society and the problem of sin. This is precisely why Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Without His blood atonement, we are lost, we are under God’s Judgment.

THE BIGGER PICTURE - SALVATION

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

We deceive ourselves if we think that becoming SJW’s can replace sharing the gospel. Even if we could carry the social gospel argument to its desired conclusion and succeed in eliminating poverty, racism, aggression and discrimination through our political activity, it wouldn’t redeem a single eternal soul from eternal damnation. Matthew 16:26 reminds us: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Truthfully, we are clay pots filled with treasure, as 2 Corinthians 4:7 reminds us: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” Let’s make sure our clay pots serve their purpose. Salvation is solely God’s work, from justification to glorification. We can’t save anyone, but we can be faithful witnesses and point the way to the narrow gate. The gospel is exclusive, yet it welcomes all sinners; it does condemn, yet it has the power to forgive. Only the gospel has the power to defeat death.

Despite the many problems we encounter during this life, we can be confident in Jesus’ promise: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Our hope in His finished work on the cross is to be shared clearly and confidently. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit does the transforming work in both the church and the individual believer’s life. In many ways, our lives are the final argument for the truth of the gospel. A changed life proves our God is a saving God! May we, as the Church, stay pure and faithful to the end, resolute in sharing our message of hope and salvation with the lost.

Christian music writers have a high standard to attain to, that standard is God’s standard.

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Micah 6:8







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