What's Wrong With Christian Rock's Fruit? Answered!
by Jeff Godwin , Rebutted byTom Lorimer!
Taken from chapter 1 of Jeff Godwins book What's Wrong with Christian Rock?
In 1985, the Lord Jesus Christ put my wife and me into this ministry to expose Satan's dirty work in popular music.
Yeah, Jeff, I have been aware of you for a long time. I have read all your books and many of the criticisms contained herein are common to all of your material, but specifically the C-Rock genre.
Nearly six years, dozens of meetings and several thousand letters have gone by since then. The Lord Jesus has taught us many things, but one of His greatest lessons is found in the following scripture:
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits... A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:15,16,18-20
That passage of scripture is absolutely true. False prophets ARE known by their fruit. The problem lies in what Jeff does to this truth in order to preach his convictions about rock music. In this essay Jeff assumes the role of the 'old hand' and proceeds to set up straw men. Straw men arguments are the easiest to win because you're militating against the worst in the movement you don't like. Indubitably some people DO mount up excuses like the ones presented by Jeff, but by and large the reasoning process he presents is atypical to informed Christian rock apologists.
Those verses have a very simple meaning - FALSE PROPHETS ARE KNOWN BY THEIR ROTTEN FRUITS. Most "Christian" Rock defenders believe the "clean" lifestyles and glowing speeches of their C-Rock and CCM idols are C-Rock's fruit.
Not true! The C-Rock and CCM "fruit" is rebellion, and the fans are full of it! The rebellious lives of "Christian" Rock's fans are the real fruit of these modern musical prophets.
OK - no prizes for guessing what Jeff left out in this part of the essay . . . Yes, that's right, there is ABSOLUTELY NO documentation for that claim whatsoever. Interestingly enough, if any documentation were needed it would be at this stage because this is the premise upon which Jeff bases his arguments. Also, notice he's arguing from a conclusion again . . . hmmmm 'circular reasoning'! Enough with the "fans are full of it" stuff! Is Jeff so unfamiliar with modern culture that he doesn't know what the phrase "full of it" actually means (or is he trying to insult us)?
Is this fruit godly and good - or wicked and corrupt?
It's (by and large) GODLY AND GOOD, Jeff!!!
The Word of God has much to say about this issue, and anyone who claims Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour should have no problem accepting the Bible as the final authority. With that in mind, let's take a walk through the "Christian" Rock orchard.
Point is correct, Jeff, but "Christian rock orchard"? Gimme a break.
Also notice something else?
Given Jeff's propensity for delving into the subliminal, he does seem to know how to use it to his advantage, case in point, notice the quotation marks around "Christian". Oh Jeff, are you telling us these people aren't saved? Once and for all let us establish that even though you don't like the music, (or the people as we see elsewhere) that that doesn't make those people unsaved! I get very annoyed when people presume to glare into the Lamb's book of life! 1 John 5:13 tells us that we can know that we have eternal life, ie Jeff can know he has it, I can know I have it!
In the years we've been involved in this ministry, my wife and I have had the privilege of meeting many hundreds of Christian teens and young adults at our Rock music seminars and other speaking engagements across the country. When the total hypocrisy behind "Christian" Rock is revealed to them, four reactions usually follow:
This alleged 'hypocrisy' is still only alleged! You haven't provided ONE SHRED of evidence. If this 'hypocrisy' is so widespread, why aren't you including a synopsis of it as well???
Here's an in-depth examination of each one:
Excellent, what I've been waiting for, something 'in depth'! I wonder if Jeff is going to come through this time or if he will let me down again! I'm gonna hold you to this Jeff!
When confronted with the truth about C-Rock's ungodliness, the average fan fires back with all guns blazing:,
Who is this 'average fan' anyway? Did he/she give you permission to quote him/her! OK, I joke but the point is serious! Are you saying that C-Rockers think like this?
"What gives YOU the right to judge? What about all the good work these people do, feeding the hungry and helping the poor? They talk about teen suicide and staying pure until marriage. They're anti-dope and pro-God. How DARE you put them down?"
These are all valid points. Let's see how the Bible addresses them.
1.) "What gives YOU the right to judge another person's ministry?"
According to Leviticus 19:15, Matthew 7:1-5, & John 7:24, ANY Christian has the right to match anything against the Bible. If a ministry is truly of God, it will match up perfectly with the Bible. The problem comes when the things in question violate the Word of God. THAT'S when people get mad - when hypocrisy is unmasked and laid bare for all to see.
Here is the precise crux of the argument. Is Jeff evaluating the music or the people who perform it? I suppose a refinement of this question would be, is Jeff JUDGING the music or JUDGING the people! From some of his earlier comments we already know the answer to this! This is further evidenced later when Jeff tries to play 'father figure' to us who are painted as whiney little complaining babies. He judges the salvation of the performers and listeners by insisting that "Christian" must have quotation marks around it!
James 1:20 says, "For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." If you get MAD when I question your favorite music or star, this is powerful proof of Satan's influence in your life (2 Peter 2:19). Idol worshipers get angry when their idols are pulled down (judges 6:25-30).
This is true and could serve as a worthwhile caution to C-Rock fans and performers.
2.) "But what about all those "good" works done by "Christian" Rockers?"
2 Corinthians 3:1,2 proves the Apostle Paul could care less about letters of recommendation from anyone concerning his good works. The fact that CCM stars throw their weight behind good causes shouldn't overly impress you. There are several reasons why:
The Satan-worshipping secular music stars do the same thing! They're up to their evil necks in Live Aids, Hear N' Aids, Aid For Africa, Farm Aids, Earth Aid and Aid for AIDS. As long as they keep getting free publicity, those chumps will play Aid concerts till the cows come home. Does that make them Christians?
Such activity is any Christian's REASONABLE SERVICE (Romans 12:1-3). Pumped-up brownie points may look good on a Christian resume' and boost record sales, but that doesn't mean God is glorified. Even the BEST of these musicians' good works doesn't impress God (Isaiah 64:6).
Yet, some peoples' entire ministry consists of pulling other people down, throwing unsubstantiated arguments at anyone and everyone who disagrees, throwing around half truths, blatant falsehoods, and judging the salvation of others. Remember your point #1, the scriptures tell us we can judge others' ministries by the Word of God! In regard to the above indictment of your ministry, where does that leave it?
As his anger fades, the average CCM fan falls into confusion: "But my favorite CCM star wouldn't do that, would they? How can they talk about Jesus, and still be doing the Devil's work? Why would Satan tell people about JESUS? That would be a pretty stupid thing for him to do, wouldn't it?"
Do you honestly think that we are so scatterbrained and emotionally driven that we will all have this response? Come on Jeff, we're not all this shallow, some of us care about TRUTH! Interestingly enough, truth can be present in the artist's music that's not lived out in their lives. Consider Paul's statements in Phillipians 1: 15-18:
Consider the following quote to get your answer:
"If we continue on this path, respectable, industrious and honest, if we fulfill our duty faithfully, it is my conviction, the Lord God will continually help us in the future. He will not leave respectable people in the lurch indefinitely. He may test them, but in the end He lets His sun shine upon them and gives them His blessing." 1
Guess who spoke this profound spiritual truth? Billy Graham? Martin Luther, perhaps? Could it have been John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, or some other great Christian leader from the past? No! The author of those words was:
No, Jeff, I won't! I will not be compared to Adolf Hitler thank you very much! What exactly do you expect to achieve by engaging in such a deplorable practice? This is reminiscent of the debating technique used by "Dial the truth" - guilt by association. However, when Dial the truth do it they normally fins some way to connect some C-rocker with someone ungodly like Marylin Manson. Here, Jeff is in effect saying that DC Talk, or Petra's words carry only the same weight before God as Adolf Hitler! O Jeff!
Talk is always cheap. It's the FRUIT behind the words that really counts.
Anyone who takes "Christian" Rock at its media-hyped face value has fallen into deep deception. if you believe everything you read and hear
What if you read and hear the Godly lyrics? What if you read and hear the scriptures they pack into their songs?
about "Christian" Rock, the simple truth is this:
Again with the "Christian" quotation marks!! These people ARE
Christians whether you like them or not!!
YOU DON'T KNOW YOUR ENEMY! (1 Peter 5:8, 2 Corinthians 2:11). Jesus Christ doesn't need a commercial from the Devil, as Acts 16:16-18 shows so well:
"And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed of a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour."
That demon-possessed girl was well able to proclaim God's truth.
As do the Christian Rockers! Who are Christians, not "Christians", Jeff!
What does Satan gain from "Christian" Rock? The answer lies in one word - CONFUSION.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." James 3:16
God is not in the business of confusing His people (1 Corinthians 14:33). But Satan is (John. 8:44).
Are you confused about "Christian" Rock? The only thing that will bring you out of it is the WHOLE Word of God (John 17:17), combined with the leading of the Holy Ghost (John 16:13). The Bible lays this out perfectly:
"Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:104,105
Huh, how? I think you are trying to confuse me Jeff! Where is your logic? Where does this 'confusion' idea come from?
Confusion always breeds more confusion, and it isn't long until C-Rock followers start making excuses like these:
1.) "Why don't you just let God be God? He'll work it all out in the end. When judgment day comes, we'll know who was right and who was wrong."
People who use this half-baked reasoning are really admitting they simply don't KNOW right from wrong!
I see pots calling kettles black here! How ironic that Jeff condemns 'half baked reasoning' when his arguments are 99% bluster, and 1% substance!
Here's the good news - you don't have to wait until Judgment Day to find out. The Bible will tell you right now.
This is when C-Rock fans hit the roof and blow their tops. When God's Word exposes this spiritual con game for what it is, those enslaved by it have only two choices. They can get right with God and come out of it - or get really mad and try to justify their sin. When anyone tries to justify evil, confusion is guaranteed to reign supreme.
OOPS! Maybe my 'amen' was a bit premature! There has been no proof for our 'con-game' assertion; and who exactly is trying to justify evil? To say this you must first prove that Christian rock IS evil (which thus far you have failed to do)!
2.) "I Know my own heart is right, and that's all God cares about. As long as the heart's right, everything else is O.K., right?"
Really? Compare 1 Kings 11:38 and Exodus 15:26 to Deuteronomy 12:8 and Judges 17:6. You'll find that we are to do what God's Word says is right, not what we THINK is right in our own heart.
I'll let you off easy here as there is a bit of truth to this . . .but only a bit! Proverbs 23:7 says that "as a man thinks in his heart so is he". This is very important. Yes, the heart IS deceitful, but that is a heart that is not filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit CHANGES your heart by renewing your mind, for the express purpose that we CAN do God's will!!
The heart is desperately wicked and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9,10). "Let your conscience be your guide?" That creed is a lying New Age smoke-screen for the universal rule of all satanism: "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole of the Law".
OK, so not being satisfied with comparing me to Adolf Hitler, Jeff is now implying that I'm caught up in some elaborate New-Age hoax, and even worse - he implies I'm in league with satan himself! I've gotten sick of this constant branding us as 'evil', 'satanic', new-age' etc. ! Just because I'm not an ultra-conservative reformed baptist who has exactly the same convictions and opinions as you does not make me those things! I'm your brother in Christ whether you like it or not!
The next step down the deception ladder for an angry, confused CCM addict is denial.
Let the timbre of the language used here speak for itself!
Here are some of the most common excuses:
1.) "I pray for protection before I listen to the music or go to the concerts, so everything's O.K."
Would it be OK to smoke some crack cocaine or visit a prostitute, as long as you prayed and asked God's protection first? Of course not. The same goes for participating in Satan's music. If something is of God, you don't have to ask Him to protect you from it. If it's not of God, why mess with it in the first place? Jesus set the record straight when he told Satan:
"Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Luke 4:12
I've never heard that one used!
2.) "I can listen to anything I want,, and it doesn't affect me."
That's the problem: It HAS affected you - you just don't know it! It's the spirit of REBELLION making you say those very words.
Or this one!
3.) "I was once a sinner, and God is using me. Why can't He do the same with the music?"
Converted sinners get new hearts. They are "born-again" (John 3:3). They become "new creatures" (2 Cor. 5:17). They become children of God (1 John 5:13). Rock music always has and always will belong to Satan. God wants nothing to do with the devil's filth.
NO!!!!! Music comes from God! WHO IS THE CREATOR - GOD OR SATAN? This is what gets you into trouble, you are attributing creative power to the Devil! Oh, Jeff why do you have such a high opinion of the evil one?
4.) "I'm well-grounded in the Word, so Satan can't deceive me."
1 Corinthians 10:12 proves otherwise:
"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."
EPH 11:13-15 :
One short step away from smug denial lies deep delusion. This next feeble excuse proves the C- Rock stars have trained their flock well to explain away sin:
"I prayed about my music, and the Holy Spirit didn't convict me that it was wrong so it must be OK".
If that's your excuse, please read Ezekiel 14:1-5. Those verses speak loud and clear. Until we clean the idols out of our life, God will tell us JUST WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR! Is that fair? Of course it is. If you have the audacity to come to God demanding that He approve your sin, why shouldn't He give you what you want?
Fine, but on the subject of convictions and idols, you may want to read Romans 14 followed by 1 Corinthians 8 then think again about judging Christian Rock based on your personal convictions. Read these whole in their contexts but . . .
Romans 14: 22 (Amplified) says;
God doesn't HAVE to convict us to forsake something that clearly violates His Holy Word. True Christians are supposed to know better. Why? Because they read their Bible! If God says it's wrong, it's wrong. (For scriptural proof that C-Rock is not of God, see chapter 17.)
I've read it and there is NONE! The basic gist of your arguments is; 1) I don't like it, 2) Therefore it must be wrong 3) Therefore the Bible supports me! When looked at like this, and when Jeff's prooftexts are viewed for what they are, we see the circularity of Jeff's system!
Here's another possibility: Many a C-Rock fan has become so violent in their deluded defense of an ungodly, wicked mockery of Christian music they can't HEAR the Holy Spirit's voice anymore!
O gosh, now you are etting down and dirty by hurling insults all over the place!
A young Christian couple in Australia sent me a letter recently. They are former C-Rockers who have been led out of that delusion by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Boldly witnessing the truth about CCM bondage, they are heartbroken at the wall of smug arrogance surrounding them.
Jeff, I have seen nothing but smugness and arrogance emanate from your argumentation . . . . . . .
Their pastor told them to repent on their knees for being "unbalanced." They even witnessed to one of Australia's major Christian outreach centers. Here's how the organization replied:
"Firstly, to answer your letter, the Bible does not say anything directly about rock music - in fact anything it does say about music is positive - so to form a hard and fast doctrine on the subject is not Scripturally sound... Finally any doctrine or belief concerning rock music is entirely opinion, including mine. If you consider Christian rock sinful, it would be wrong for you to listen to it. I play and listen unto God, and draw closer to Him through it. I am not to judge you, nor you me. I will continue with it..."2
That is absolutely right based upon Romans 14, and 1 Cor 8!
The Christian who wrote those words should be ashamed. HE'S the one who ought to repent on his knees! He's using the same lame excuse to justify his sin as the SECULAR Rock stars. Read these comments by KISS singer Paul Stanley:
"It's always interesting that people tend to interpret the Bible any way that they see fit in terms of how it applies to rock n' roll... Everybody has to decide for themself what works and what doesn't work and what works for me. I'm certainly not in a position where I should be telling people to live their lives the way I live MY life, but likewise neither should you be doing it... I respect you for what you're doing, and it's unfortunate you don't do the same for us. That's too bad..."3
Something's dead wrong when Christians use the same ungodly excuses as the perverts in KISS to justify their wickedness!
No, Jeff, you got it wrong yet again! Something is most definitely wrong when you use secular rockers' opinions as your spiritual truth barometer! Oh, yes and did you never stop to consider that Mr Stanley may just be right here? No, and why? Because it would collapse yet another of your arguments!
This quote by a Christian bookstore owner in Texas shows why so many Christian youth are completely deluded about the music they listen to. He's describing a new type of "Christian" Punk called "Thrash":
"I regard this music, the lyrics, the dress, the performance, and lifestyle of the artists to be in a grey area which we will currently accept, but hopefully be constantly sensitive to the Spirit, whom we trust will keep us from even the slightest compromise, from that which is His highest will, desire, and pleasure."4
What absolute hogwash! This kind of nonsense is typical of self-serving C-Rock deception.
Again - heavy on the insults, but the facts take a back seat!
First: There AREN'T any grey areas in the Bible! From Genesis to Revelation, God lays everything out in blacks and whites: Blessings/Cursings, Life/ Death, Heaven/Hell, God/Satan, Christ/the world.
Personal convictions/general truth
Now make your choice. Why don't these supporters of "Christian" trash
I think you dropped an 'h' somewhere there! Allow me to pick it up for you - the style is called THRASH!
come clean and admit the obvious. If it sells, they'll sell it!
Anti-Rock minister Dr. Hal Webb put it better than I ever could:
"When Christian music carries the beat, instrumentation, and exact sounds of the lost crowd, it results in confusion and shame... It is shameful to use musicians who in shallow songs daze instead of praise, who entertain instead of train... They transfer the worship owed to Christ to 'concert hopping', money-hungry entertainers who have never left, the world far enough behind to stop sounding like it..."5
Better get rid of most of the hymns you promote in the rest of the book sinct their tunes are derived from old bar tunes and the like!
The final stop for stiff-necked C-Rock defenders is found here:
Another lovely INSULT!
A HARDENED HEART AND SPIRIT
The angry, confused, denying and deluded C- Rock fan will always hit one final button as a last resort in his effort to justify his sin: It's called self-righteous pride:
Notice a few things here:
We are all " angry, confused, denying and deluded' because we disagree with Jeff! Horrible insults! Horrible"
"C- Rock fan will always . . . justify his sin" We are told that Christian Rock is a sin with no proof of that statement.
Notice, also he presents us as whiney little cry-babies! A lot of the Christian rockers and apologists I know could 'run rings' around Jeff in a serious debate on these issues!
"I'm a Christian. I get good grades. I don't smoke. I don't drink. My parents are proud of me - and not one Bible verse says 'Christian' Rock is wrong. I know what I'm doing and I don't see anything wrong with it."
Who is this ubiquitious C-rocker you are quoting Jeff?
Isaiah 64:6 says all our self-righteousness is a pile of dirty, stinking rags at God's feet. Yet C- Rock defenders continually justify their sin by patting their own backs. Noses in the air, they demand a scripture that says: "THUS SAITH THE LORD; THOU SHALT NOT LISTEN TO 'CHRISTIAN' ROCK". They overlook the fact the Bible also fails to specifically mention marijuana, cocaine, X-rated porno movies, and abortion as sins. Does that make them any less sinful?
Wrong! Marajuana and cocaine are condemned with sorcery as 'pharmakeia' which also translates as drugs.
Porno falls under the blanket of lust - mentioned n the Bible, and abortion = murder, specifically mentioned in the Bible!
Biblical holiness from Genesis to Revelation is swept under the rug by this kind of rock-hard, rebellious heart. C-Rock brainwashing has completed its task. The victim's rebellion is now set in concrete. Though living totally contrary to God's Word, the deluded, confused and hard- hearted C-Rock victim prides himself in his "'powerful" testimony for Jesus Christ.
But facts don't lie. The lives of hundreds of thousands of C-Rock fans are an ugly reflection of the face behind all "Christian" Rock.
It's called REBELLION!
NO IT'S NOT -IT'S CALLED A CULTURALLY RELEVANT AND STYLISTICALLY NEUTRAL MEDIUM FOR GETTING ACROSS A MESSAGE! In the case of the CCMers it is used as a tool to deliver God's word effectively into the hearts of young people!