We Will Stand…for What?

January 21, 2015 at 12:51 PM

CCMunited

You can buy a book, CD, or DVD – or ALL three items – of tonight’s event!

Later today, an eclectic group of people and musicians will stand together with Stan Moser to shine the light on contemporary Christian music, apparently. There will be more than 25 artists/groups performing at the event, including Dallas Holm, Sandy Patty, Russ Taft, Amy Grant, Steve Green, Michael W. Smith, and a host of other people whose names are not familiar to me for the most part.

I agree that Christian music certainly has its place in worship. In fact, I’ve been playing drums since the age of 10 and grew up listening to what is now considered classic rock. Because of that, a number of these Christian artists/group were well-known to me because in many ways, their music was reminiscent of the type of music from the rock world that I already listened to anyway. This was especially true with a number of artists in Christian music who “crossed” over into more mainstream music, like Amy Grant who sang with Peter Cetera (Chicago). As a drummer, I have played my fair share in music groups both inside and outside the church over the years.

When I went to Bible college, there was a music department filled with musicians and singers. I recall hearing from more than one musician who complained about the fact that it seemed to them that more people put stock in vocals because of the words, as opposed to the music behind the vocals. Everyone has an ax to grind, don’t they? Everyone has their special pet peeve.

Sometimes, I will play my drums in my basement while listening to (and playing along with) music that is played in many churches today. As I practice, I try to see myself playing to God and Him alone. It may sound really picky, but I get so tired of watching “performers” on Sundays in our churches. Are we playing/singing to God or to impress one another? Sometimes, it is honestly very difficult to know, isn’t it, even about yourself?

Secular music has definitely changed over the years and so has what is known as Christian music. Within the past few decades, I’ve noticed more music that is labeled Christian sounding much more like secular music than ever before. I was listening to one band that plays Christian style music and I could not – for the life of me – understand one word that singer was saying. He was literally growling into the microphone. The music itself reminded me of “death” or “speed” metal. Frankly, I just don’t get it and as I say, I have a musical (and singing) background that goes back for years. I understand music. I get the point of it. But when you cannot make out the lyrics and when the music sounds like demons in hell are thrashing guitars, there’s something wrong. I cannot – for the life of me – see Jesus involved in any of that, but I’m certain the artists involved would vehemently disagree with me.

“We Will Stand” is an event that celebrates music that is labeled Christian. From the website that is putting on the event, we read:

Contemporary Christian Music has impacted millions of listeners around the world for the last forty years. In the process, artists like Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Sandi Patty, The Imperials, Newsboys, Petra, 4Him, Point of Grace, Carman and countless others have become household names.

Their albums and songs define a new era of music we now call CCM. But that era actually began with another group of artists including Love Song, Larry Norman, Andrae Crouch, Keith Green, and Evie Tornquist who found their beginnings on the beaches of California and in churches across America.

CCM United was created to deliver the music, the ministry, and the life-changing message of many of the greatest CCM artists of today and yesterday to fans of CCM through live events, television programming, and audiovisual recordings (CDs and DVDs).

Consider the names/artists mentioned above. Out of all of them, only ONE (that I am aware of) not only produced music that made us question our devotion to the Lord, but also provided his albums/CDs for whatever you could afford. He even went so far as to say that it was OK to make a copy of his CD to give to a friend. That man was Keith Green. While we might debate his theology, no one can question his love and devotion to the Lord. He was not in it for the money. He was in it to bring glory to God.

Yet, too many artists appear to be in it for the money. They have large homes and many of the other perks that come with “celebrity” status. Numerous artists appearing on the stage later today are on their second marriages, having been divorced from their first spouse. Yet, they continue on as if that was nothing and their ministry is everything.

Christian music went through a time where it was simply Scripture put to music. Many of the old choruses were important because of that. Then, the choruses themselves became overly simplified and music directors encouraged congregations to sing the seven words in the chorus ten or fifteen times to “get in the spirit/Spirit.” That merely espouses a thoroughly emotional connection to God, nothing more, and that type of connection can be exceedingly fleeting. Where was the anchor?

I cannot help but wonder if Stan Moser is putting this altogether for this evening in order to sell more CDs? On their website, you can pre-order a book, DVD, or CD all related to tonight’s event. I’m sure Moser is also hoping to increase sales of the individual artists as well. It’s a win-win for artist and Moser.

But, as Lighthouse Trails has pointed out, the real problem with tonight’s event may well have to do with New Ager Roma Downey. Most will remember Downey as being connected to the docudrama for The History Channel, The Bible. Most may not be aware that Roma (along with husband, Mark Burnett) are heavily involved in New Age mysticism, in spite of calling themselves Christians. They seem to equate to people like Eckhardt Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, Tony Robbins, and too many others to name here. Downey has endorsed books that fall squarely into the New Age category. Her theology is suspect only because of the company she keeps and her willingness to endorse books/authors who are not within Christian circles, but who are involved in mystical ones.

Why is Roma Downey part of tonight’s celebration of Christian music? My guess is that, like anything else that happens in Hollywood (and the music business is a huge part of that whether it happens in Hollywood or Nashville), it all boils down to name recognition.

Years ago, there was a group of select actors who did voice work in cartoons and other animation. That’s what they did. Daws Butler, Fred Reed, Mel Blanc, June Foray, and others. These people did what they did because they were very creative. Over time, Hollywood thought it best to use people with names. Slowly but surely, known actors pushed those very creative voices aside because no one knew who Daws Butler or Henry Cordova was, but everyone knows Brad Pitt, right?

It’s the same thing in the music end of Hollywood’s business. Get some of the “names” in there to attract a crowd and then sell things. This is the sad state of affairs within Christendom today. The goal is selling. I haven’t been in a so-called Christian bookstore for months and I don’t like going to them. Everything is geared to sell and while I can understand that fact since the bookstore is a business, do we really need peppermint candies with a Scripture reference on them? It’s a bit absurd, isn’t it?

I’m saddened by how off-base the world of Christendom has become, yet we have been thoroughly warned via God’s Word. It’s all about money, glitz, and a bit of glamour, even for Christian musicians and singers.

When my life comes to an end and I find myself – by God’s grace – looking up into the loving eyes of Jesus in the afterlife, I’m hoping that aside from a musical choir, there will be an orchestra. I’m hopeful that I will be able to play what might amount to drums. If I do, I’m confident that not one eye in the entire place will be focused on me. Every eye, every voice, every thought will be focused on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. There will be nothing to buy and certainly nothing to sell.

It will be always and forever about Jesus. Today’s so-called Christian music certainly has something to offer, but the emphasis is still on the artist. It seems like “We Will Stand” misses the boat entirely by placing the focus on music. They would likely argue that the music/singing points to God. Does it? I hope so but with Roma Downey and her New Age ideology as part of the event, I find that assertion highly doubtful. We’ll see.

Entry filed under: Eastern Mysticism, emergent church, new age movement, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology. Tags: , , .

The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven Why All the Feeling-Centered Feelings in Christendom? Part 1


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