TEN SCRIPTURAL REASONS
WHY “THE ROCK BEAT" IS EVIL IN ANY FORM
OF "ROCK BEAT"
The "rock beat" is
a dominant and repetitious offbeat which
competes with the melody and distracts from the words of
a song. The contradictory messages in the beat, the words,
the melody, the style of the presentation, and the appearance
of the musicians all create a subtle confusion in the minds,
wills, and emotions of the listeners, which leads them to
question the absolute moral standards of God.
THE "ROCK BEAT" DECEIVES YOUTH INTO VIOLATING
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT.
The fifth Commandment is "Honour thy father and
thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which
the Lord thy God giveth thee" (Exodus 20:12).
The New Testament reaffirms this commandment: "Honour
thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with
promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest
live long on the earth" (Ephesians 6:2-3).
There is no question that many parents are strongly opposed
to the "rock beat." Therefore, those who promote
the "rock beat" are causing young people to dishonor
their fathers and mothers.
HOW THE "ROCK BEAT" CAUSED A SON TO DISHONOR
"About four years ago, our
church got a new youth pastor. He began playing ‘Christian
rock’ before meetings and during activities. He encouraged
me to get a copy of a certain tape, which I did, even though
my parents forbade me from doing so.
"Because I was being home
educated, the church youth group was the only significant
outside influence in my life, but that influence was enough
to cause me to rebel and wreck my life for the next four
"I then started listening
to secular soft rock music, thinking, ‘What’s wrong with
this? It has less beat than Christian music.’ If only I had
known what a deceiver Satan is, I would have saved myself
a lot of heartache.
"About seven months ago at
a Christian radio station’s New Year’s Eve party, I was introduced
to ‘Christian rap’ music. Before that time, I did not listen
to rap, but after hearing it there, I began justifying to
myself that the beat couldn’t be all bad because Christians
listened to it and it didn’t seem to harm them.
"What it did to me was cause
a complete breakdown in morals, which led directly to my
becoming involved in immoral habits and illegal activities.
I was also constantly plagued with violent and unclean thoughts.
"Since then, I have taken
steps to regain the ‘ground’ given to Satan, and for the
time in years, I have a feeling
of complete freedom from the influence of this music."
--Tim Love, age 18, Washington
A SECOND WITNESS ON HOW THE "ROCK
BEAT" LEADS YOUTH TO BREAK THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
"I’ve never been into rock
music or even light rock, but lately I believe my standards
in music have been going down. Our family was given two music
tapes a while back.
"They aren’t extremely ‘rocky,’ but
the beat in the music is a little off. I have enjoyed those
tapes, and when my mother said she really didn’t like them,
I immediately became defensive.
"I realize now that even if
those tapes were perfectly fine as far as the beat, if my
mother didn’t like them it would be wrong for me to listen
— Lael Auble, age 24, Florida
A THIRD WITNESS ON HOW THE "ROCK BEAT" CAUSES
YOUTH TO REBEL AGAINST THEIR PARENTS
Fourteen-year-old Sari Ann Mitchell
of California received a booklet entitled, Notice of Complaint
Against the Unrecognized Enemy in the Church. This booklet
contains testimonies from young people about how "Christian
rock" has damaged their walk with the Lord and their
relationships with others. After reading the booklet, she
sent it along with the following letter of appeal to her
January 19, 1990
"I have been praying for a
way to express how I feel about ‘Christian contemporary’ music
to my friends and others. I was so happy to receive this
booklet in the mail that I wanted to share it with you. I
want to add my own personal testimony to the many in this
"I started listening to ‘Christian
contemporary’ (rock) music when I was twelve. At this time
I was attending a private Christian school, and there my
friends all listened to it. The pressure was great, so I
started to listen to some of their tapes once in a while.
"I became hooked. It may be
hard to believe, but that music made me think sensuous thoughts,
and the beat made me want to sway and dance like the world.
After this I started to listen to ‘Christian contemporary’ music
all the time, and even though my parents didn’t like it,
I got some tapes of my own to listen to.
"One day, I went to my friend’s
house, and she had her radio on. It was on a secular soft
rock station. When I got home I turned my radio to that same
station. I listened to it just once in a while, and it sounded
just like the ‘Christian contemporary’ music, except the
words were a little different. (Actually, I didn’t even listen
to the words!)
"When I started to make these
compromises, I started to make other compromises too, like
stopping my daily devotions and listening to music instead
of studying. When I did do my homework, I listened to music,
and I cheated on some of my homework so I could have time
after school to listen to music. I shut myself up in my room
and became secluded so I could listen to it.
"At this time, I also began
to rebel against my parents, spreading from rebellion in
music to rebellion in clothes. Then my Dad and Mom took me
to a Basic Youth Seminar. There I heard stuff I had never
heard before about music, dating, marriage, disloyalty, bitterness,
genuine love, and much more.
"After that Seminar, I started
to think about where my life was going. It wasn’t going how
I wanted it to go, no matter how hard I tried! I knew something
was very wrong. Then I went to the Advanced Seminar. This
cleared it up. I was going downhill, and only God could pull
me up, so I gave it all up to Him, and every day He pulls
me up a little higher.
"I have to tell you this because
I want you to know I’m not just saying that I think ‘Christian
contemporary’ music is bad and is compromising—I know it
is. There’s only one way to get out of its addictive clutch,
and that’s to give it up to God. So please don’t let
this wolf sneak into the church and kill people unaware."
— Sari Ann Mitchell, age 14,
Even if parents are "too strict" in rejecting
the "rock beat," God expects their children to
"... We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected
us, and we gave them reverence. . . . For they verily
for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure…" (Hebrews
A TRUSTED MAGAZINE IS URGING TEENS TO DISHONOR THEIR
On the cover of the January 1990 edition of a respected
and trusted Christian youth magazine, there appeared the
title: "Sing Your Freedom." On page 32 is the following
article, entitled, "Shake Down at Home."
"It’s easy to avoid talking
to your parents about music, because it tends to be a touchy
subject. But before conflicts arise, communicate with your
parents about the music you like. This will help them understand
why your music is important to you.
"Here are some suggestions
for developing communication with your parents about music.
These ideas come from discussions with three teenagers. [vs.
• "Don’t play your music so
loud that ‘the whole house is shaking.. . .‘ If you’re considerate
about the volume, you will show your parents that you’re
mature enough to be thoughtful of others. [vs. obedient to
• "Share your enthusiasm with
your parents. . . . This is a way to show your parents how
important your music is to you.
• "Choose carefully the songs
to play for them. Chances are that your parents like a different
style of music. For your parents, listening to your music
may be a bit like trying to understand a foreign language.
So choose a song that has clear words and an understandable
message. [What an indictment to much of the music!]
• "After you listen to a song
together, talk about it.... [One of the three teenagers]
explains to his parents what the writer is trying to say.
. . . Talking to your parents about the words shows your
parents that you’ve listened to the lyrics and have thought
about what they mean.
• "Be willing to listen to
your parents’ music. If they are willing to listen to your
music, it’s nice to meet them halfway.
• "Don’t expect too much;
you may not convert them to your style of music. Different
generations tend to like different types of music. Your goal
is to communicate to your parents why your music is important
to you." [Emphasis added]
What a shocking article!!
Observations about this article:
• The reference to "the whole
house shaking" leaves no doubt that we are talking about "rock
• The writer is very aware that
many parents of teenagers are not in favor of the music which
their sons and daughters are playing.
• Rather than encouraging the young
people to honor and obey their parents’ wishes, the writer
instructs them to stand up for the rights to "their
• What appalling counsel to say, "Be
willing to listen to your parents’ music. If your parents
are willing to listen to your music, it’s nice to meet them
• Deception is encouraged by urging
the young people to "choose carefully the songs to play
for them.. . . Choose a song that has clear words and an
• To say that "different generations
tend to like different types of music" is to totally
disregard the destructive nature of the "rock beat." This
statement also disregards the true meaning of deference.
• Deference is limiting
my freedom in order not to offend the tastes of those God
has called me to serve.
• The conclusion of the article
is a blatant defiance of parental authority: "Don’t
expect too much; you may not convert them to your style of
music. . . . Your goal is to communicate to your parents
why your music is important to you."
The goal of God’s instruction in Ephesians 6 is not for
the parents to capitulate to the will of their children,
but for sons and daughters to obey and honor their parents.
Any teenager who disregards the instruction to honor his
father and mother will experience the consequences of which
God warns in Proverbs 30:17:
"The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth
to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick
it out, and the young eagles shall eat it."
THE "ROCK BEAT" VIOLATES GOD’S COMMAND TO "GIVE
NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL."
When sons and daughters disregard the instruction of their
parents by listening to the "rock beat," they are
guilty of the kind of rebellion which is described in 1 Samuel
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and
stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…"
Rebellion is simply reserving for myself the right to make
final decisions. It is deciding to have an equal voice with
those whom God has placed in authority over me. This was
the type of rebellion which Satan demonstrated when he said, ".
. . I will be like the most High [God]" (Isaiah
Witchcraft involves exposing oneself to the realm and the
power of Satan’s control. Whoever gives Satan such "ground" violates
the command of Ephesians 4:27. "Neither give place
[ground] to the devil." The Greek word for "place" in
this verse refers to a sphere of jurisdiction. When Satan
is given authority, he uses it to control and destroy the
one who gave it to him.
HOW SATAN GAINED "GROUND" WHEN A TEENAGER
LISTENED TO THE "ROCK BEAT"
"I started listening to ‘contemporary
Christian’ music about four years ago. I thought that the
music was OK, and
I enjoyed it, but one day I was
listening to a Christian radio station and a song came on
that I have never heard. I liked the song even though it
"When the group who played
that song came to town, I went to their concert with some
friends. I knew, however, that my parents would not have
approved had they known what type of music was played.
"After the concert, I borrowed
money from a friend to buy their tape. I brought it home,
but my parents did not want me to keep it. I did anyway.
"I listened to it all the
time and finally bought some other ‘Christian rock’ tapes
even though my parents did not want me to. I listened to
them for a while but soon got bored with them.
"I then started listening
to secular rock on a light rock station without my parents’ knowledge.
"I began to want to listen
to rock music more and more, and I began to enjoy the harder
stuff. I soon changed stations to a hard rock station so
I could listen to the harder stuff.
"After listening to that station
for about a year (all without my parents’ knowledge), I found
that the stuff I liked the station could play only at night.
So I got the tapes of some of the groups I liked, and I found
that I loved heavy metal. I just couldn’t get enough.
"When I finally faced the
reality of how wrong I was, I made commitments to give it
up. However, I still struggle with it daily, and every time
I hear it I am tempted to get back into it."
-- David Brown, age 16, Arizona
THE TESTIMONY OF A FORMER SATANIST HIGH PRIEST THAT
THE "ROCK BEAT" GIVES "GROUND"
"My background is not a good
one, but I give thanks and praise to God for saving me from
it. I was a Satanist high priest for nine years.
"I am writing in regard to ‘Christian
music’ or what is called ‘power tracts,’ ‘Christian rock
and roll,’ and ‘contemporary Christian’ music, and their
counterparts, rock and roll, heavy metal, black metal, country
music, rap, and punk.
"I understand that I cannot
judge groups as to whether or not they are genuine believers.
But the Bible does say that we are to judge their fruit.
"The Bible says that we are
to be Christlike. Some groups who play this kind of ‘Christian’ music
say that they do so because it’s the only way they can reach
the young people of today. They claim that we must look like
the world and use the world’s music in order to reach young
people with the Word of God.
"How long will Christians
allow themselves to be deceived and lied to by Satan [the
father of lies]?
"The Bible says we are to
be world--not a part of it. It also says be a friend with
the world is to be an of God.
"As ambassadors for Christ,
we should represent Him the best we can. Christ never changed
His appearance, whether He talked with kings or the poor.
"When I first became involved
in the occult, music had a big influence on my life. It was
not just the words but the music itself. Its affect on me
spiritually was to bring me into another state of consciousness.
"The beat and style of the
music used in the occult rituals is the same that I now hear
in ‘Christian power tracts,’ ‘Christian rock and roll,’ ‘Christian
rap,’ and in much of what is called ‘Christian contemporary’ music
"People who were saved from
the youth culture of today say, ‘I cannot listen to this
new Christian music, because when I hear it, it takes me
back to my past when I was lost it brings all that back to
me--lustful desires, love of money, sex, suicide, and rebellion
"Think of the struggle that
these young Christians have when they try to separate the
things of the world from the things of God. When they hear
what is called ‘Christian’ music that sounds just like the
world, these vulnerable young Christians become confused
and the music becomes a stumbling block in their lives.
"Normally a Christian will
take only what is good and leave the bad. This discernment
does not always work with music, however, because if the
music is bad and the words are good, many Christians are
not able to separate them and both are swallowed together.
"Satan tried a mixed-message
tactic on Jesus in the desert when he misquoted Scripture
by mixing it with half-truths. Jesus rebuked Satan for this
tactic and quoted the whole truth back to him."
— David Pratt, Chattanooga,
THE SECOND WITNESS THAT THE "ROCK BEAT" ITSELF
In April 1990, a Christian from Zimbabwe, Africa, arrived
for his first visit to the United States. He is a native
missionary under the Awana Youth Association. When he turned
on a Christian radio station and listened to the music, he
was shocked. Here is his report:
"I am very sensitive to the
beat in music, because when I was a boy, I played the drums
in our village worship rituals. The beat that I played on
the drum was to get the demon spirits into the people.
"When I became a Christian,
I rejected this kind of beat because I realized how damaging
"When I turned on a Christian
radio station in the United States, I was shocked. The same
beat that I used to play to call up the evil spirits is in
the music I heard on the Christian station."
-- Stephen Maphosah, Zimbabwe,
A THIRD WITNESS THAT THE "ROCK BEAT" DOES
GIVE "GROUND" TO THE DEVIL
"In 1981, I was driving down
a jungle road in the Ivory Coast with several African pastors
in the car with me. I had recently received a couple of cassette
tapes from our denominational headquarters that were intended
for our teenaged daughter.
"These were recordings of
various ‘Christian rock’ artists. In listening to the tapes,
I was very disturbed in my own spirit that such material
was being sent to our missionary kids.
"But not trusting my own reaction
alone and realizing that these pastors with whom I was traveling
were very sensitive to the spirit world (both good and evil),
I decided to play the tapes for them. The reaction I got
was immediate and verbally violent!
"One of the pastors asked
me this question, ‘Do you mean to tell us that this kind
of music is played in your churches in America?’
"I answered in the affirmative.
His response was filled with disgust and anger as he replied
with another question. ‘What are you doing allowing your
church people in America to call up the evil spirits with
— Rev. Joe Meyers, Tacoma, Washington
THE "ROCK BEAT" MOCKS GOD’S COMMAND TO "LOVE
NOT THE WORLD."
There is absolutely no way that Christians who love the "rock
beat" can deny that they love the world. The "rock
beat" not only originated with the ungodly elements
of this world, but it expresses the evil intentions of the
world’s system which is opposed to Christ and His Truth.
The very phrase "rock ‘n’ roll" describes a form
of immorality. To say that we can have "Christian rock" is
like saying we can have "Christian immorality."
Furthermore the "rock beat" does not come alone.
It was originally designed to stir up and express rebellion
to authority, as well as immorality. Those who try to put
Christian words to a "rock beat" are simply imitating
the world, and because one of the strongest evidences of
admiration is imitation, they are guilty of violating God’s
command in 1 John 2:15-16:
"Love not the world, neither the things that are
in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the
Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the
lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride
of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
God condemns any Christian who loves the world.
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that
the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever
therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of
God" (James 4.4).
Christians are to be in the world but not of the
world. We are not to be influenced by their evil ways; instead,
we are to be a light in their darkness.
God brought judgment to His own people when they ".
. . mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people,
insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. And he gave
them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them
ruled over them" (Psalm 106:35-42).
HOW THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LINKS THE "ROCK
BEAT" WITH THE WORLD
"Doctors should be alert to
the listening habits of young patients as a clue to their
emotional health, because fascination with rock ‘n’ roll,
especially heavy metal music, may be associated with drug
use, premarital sex and satanic rites,’ a committee of the
American Medical Association said.
"At the very least, commitment
to a rock subculture is symptomatic of adolescent alienation,’ the
AMA’s Group on Science and Technology said in its report, ‘Adolescents
and Their Music,’ published by the Journal of the American
"The AMA committee reported
that ‘the average teenager listens to 10,400 hours of rock
music during the years between the 7th and 12th grades, and
music surpasses television as an influence in teenagers’ lives.
While TV viewing often is supervised by parents, music largely
is uncensored,’ the committee said.
"As an important agent of
adolescent socialization, however, the negative messages
of rock music should not be dismissed,’ the committee said.
"The committee cited ‘. .
. evidence linking involvement in rock culture with low school
achievement, drugs, sexual activity and even satanic activities.’
"The committee expressed special
concern about two relatively recent developments in rock
music--heavy metal rock and music videos.
"The violent and sexual content
of the video images are disturbing to many,’ the committee
said. … A study found that 7th and 10th graders, after watching
one hour of music videos, were more likely to approve of
premarital sex than were a control group of adolescents" (reported
in the Chicago Sun Times, September 15,1989).
THE "ROCK BEAT" DISREGARDS GOD’S COMMAND NOT
TO OFFEND OTHER CHRISTIANS
On Friday afternoon, May 18, 1990, a twenty-year-old man
attending the Detroit Basic Seminar asked the following question.
"Several years ago I was saved
out of a life of immorality and drugs. The church I began
attending told me to get rid of my rock music. I did and
have been growing in the Lord. But now my church is playing
the same kind of music they told me to give up. What am I
This grievous question exposes the violation of the law
of love in the matter of "Christian rock" music.
It brings us directly to the appeal of the Apostle Paul regarding
questionable things: It is good not to do "…any thing
whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made
weak" (Romans 14:21).
This vital command is repeated in 1 Corinthians 8:9-13.
It puts to silence any Christian who says he has a right
to play the music that he enjoys.
"But take heed lest by any means this liberty of
yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. .
. . And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish,
for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren,
and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
The "rock beat" offends Christians who, when they
first hear it, immediately discern in their spirits that
it is not of God but is of the world.
HOW A YOUNG MISSIONARY WAS OFFENDED BY THE "ROCK
"In the summer of 1988, I
attended a missionary training conference with many other
Christian young people. Some of the music contained a subtle "rock
beat." The beat offended me, and I decided to appeal
to the leader of the group.
"However, before I could make
my appeal, he preached a message to the whole group justifying
the ‘rock beat’ by condemning anyone who judged another person
for his music style.
"Last year, a much larger
conference was held by the same organization. This time I was
absolutely shocked when I heard the music. The "rock
beat" was so strong that many young people began to
dance in a worldly manner.
"I was so grieved, I had to
walk out of the meetings whenever the music was played. It
was a strange mixture of pure worship and sensual beat.
"The conflicting messages
created confusion in me and grieved my spirit.
"After the training we went
into an area for outreach. Our goal was to bring young people
into an evening meeting, but at the meeting, they again played
the rock music. I could not even attend these meetings, and
there were several others who felt the same way.
"We prayed and fasted and
then made our appeal to the national Christian leaders. They
received our appeal; however, they had been looking to the
American Christians for an example and assumed that because
the Americans did it, it must be right."
—Janet Yast, age 27, Pennsylvania
"P.S. What disappoints me
so much is that this leader has had such a great influence
on my life. He is such a Godly man; I just cannot understand
why he is not discerning in this area of compromise."
HOW THE LAW OF SYMPATHETIC VIBRATION EXPLAINS WHY
THE "ROCK BEAT" OFFENDS MANY
In music, there is a law of sympathetic vibration. This
law is demonstrated by a tuning fork. When a note is played
on the piano, the tuning fork vibrates at that pitch. Similarly,
when we hear sounds, our whole body will either vibrate with
the sound, or react to it. When a little child hears a syncopated "rock
beat," he will tend to sway and dance. If, however,
the child is spiritually discerning, he will say to his parents, "That
is bad music."
The "rock beat" not only offends Christians who
have not been exposed to it, but it also offends Christians
who have come out of the rock culture and are trying to rid
their lives of the rebellion and immorality that the "rock
beat" stirs up in them.
HOW THE "ROCK BEAT" OFFENDS THOSE WHO ARE
TRYING TO ESCAPE THE WORLD’S CORRUPTION
"I used to reject my family
and spend all my free time in my room listening to music
that did not glorify God.
"I slid deeper and deeper
into the satanic realm. I knew it was satanic, but I couldn’t
get out. It also gave Satan a handle to get into other areas
of my life.
"I loved the world and the
world’s music. I listened to it, sang it, and talked about
it, and when anyone said they didn’t listen to it, I would
"Rock music had dulled my
senses. Even when I knew something was wrong, I would do
"Rock is powerful, and if
anyone tells you that it isn’t, they are lying.
"I needed it all the time,
just like a smoker needs a smoke. I couldn’t go on a vacation
without secretly taking a radio.
"I am now trying to get away
from this kind of music. If anyone plays the ‘rock
beat,’ it reminds me of songs that I can remember word for
word, note for note."
—Dan Steele, age 18, Minnesota
The "rock beat" is not only offending Christians
in America, but it is especially grievous to Christians in
other countries who are being influenced by American missionaries
and visiting youth groups.
Stephen Maphosah, who was trained to use the beat for demonic
worship (see testimony earlier), visited a Christian bookstore
on June 25, 1990. He purchased samples of ten individual "contemporary
Christian" musicians and groups that are among the most
listened to by Christians in America.
He evaluated each tape on the basis of its beat. Some tapes
contained the demonic beat that he was accustomed to in his
ancestral worship of evil spirits. Other tapes contained
a slower variation of the demonic beat. However, he classified all the
tapes as "unacceptable and offensive to the Christians
of this country."
Why two sincere Christians can have opposing views
on FREEDOM the same music
Two Christians may listen to a contemporary rock song and
give totally opposite evaluations of it. One will say, "I
know that song is wrong because it causes me to be rebellious
The other Christian may say, "I don’t see anything
wrong with that music. It doesn’t stir up any rebellion or
sensuality in me."
Their viewpoints are illustrated in the chart "The
Development of Concupiscence" given in the Basic Youth
Conflicts Seminar. Music that becomes sensual will follow
the stages leading to reprobation.
Therefore, if two Christians are on different levels in
the development of reprobation, they will see the same music
from two different viewpoints.
The Christian who has not given way to various sensual sins
will recognize this music as a temptation to compromise in
sensuality. Those who have engaged in sensual activities
will probably not be stirred up by this music. Their previous
sensuality has dulled their senses, and they are tempted
only by a more radical expression of the "rock beat."
Christian #1 will tend to view "Christian rock" as
a temptation, whereas Christian #2 will see it as a mild
expression of his musical taste.
In the early Church, Christians vehemently debated the matter
of eating meat that had been offered to idols. Some Christians
felt that it was wrong to eat this meat because it had been
offered to an idol. Other Christians saw no problem with
the meat since it was sold in the open market.
Paul pointed out that there was nothing intrinsically wrong
with the meat, yet because it was offending other Christians
it should not be eaten.
Therefore, the Holy Spirit and the early Church leaders
unanimously condemned the eating of this meat because it
caused weaker brothers to stumble. They commanded both Jewish
and Gentile believers not to eat it. (See Acts 15:28-29.)
In the book of Revelation, two churches were rebuked because
they had believers in them who were encouraging Christians
to eat meat offered to idols. (See Revelation 2:14,20.)
If the meat offered to idols was condemned when it had nothing
wrong with it, how much more should the "rock beat" be
condemned in our churches, based on the following Scripture:
"But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now
walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat,
for whom Christ died" (Romans 14:15).
The same principle applies to music.
THE "ROCK BEAT" DEFIES GOD’S COMMAND TO JUDGE
ALL THINGS AS GOOD OR EVIL.
In the early years of the "Christian rock beat," the
beat and the sound were justified on the basis that "music
is amoral." If such a conclusion is accepted, then music
is not a matter of good and evil, but simply a matter of
personal taste. Yet such false reasoning is in total opposition
to the words of Scripture. Music is the product of words
and actions, and nowhere in Scripture is there an "amoral" classification
for words and actions.
We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ;
that every one may receive the things done in his body,
according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2
All Christians are commanded by God to exercise their spiritual
senses in order to discern between good and evil.
"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full
age, even those who by reason of use have their senses
exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews
HOW A FAMILY DISCERNED THAT A "CHRISTIAN" CHILDREN’S
TAPE WAS EVIL
"The day before our three-year-old
daughter’s surgery, I went shopping for a small gift to give
her when she came home from the hospital. At our local Christian
bookstore I bought a tape of children’s songs.
"When she arrived home we
presented her with the tape. She immediately wanted to hear
it. We don’t own a television set, so listening to her tapes
is one of her favorite pastimes.
"We played it for her and
were disappointed to find that some of the songs had definite
rock overtones to them. She picked up on this, too, because
we have trained her to recognize the evil in ‘rock and roll’ music.
"Once we knew which songs
we didn’t care for, we would just skip over them. Whenever
she would ask to hear the tape and it came to a song we didn’t
care for, she would ask us to fix the tape for her. That
was all fine and well, but I noticed as time went on that
she was wanting to listen to that particular tape more than
her favorite tapes.
"At the same time, we started
to notice some behavior changes in her that we didn’t really
care for. She is a normal three-year-old who would challenge
our authority, but she usually knew her boundaries. Usually
she would pray and participate enthusiastically in our family
devotions, pray before meals, be active and responsive in
Sunday school, memorize Scripture, and love to sing songs
"However, the more she
listened to this ‘Christian’ children’s tape, the more
I noticed her behavior change. She started pushing,
shoving, kicking, and biting her friends and her sister.
She back-talked more than she ever dared before, and she
made faces at us when we asked her to do something.
"She stopped participating
in our devotions, stopped praying, didn’t want to go to church
anymore, and started doing things I had never seen her or
her friends do before. She became openly defiant and rebellious
to her father and me, even hitting or kicking us if we asked
her to accompany us on an errand or something along those
"I honestly couldn’t figure
out what was happening, but because I had been a very rebellious
child when I was growing up, I thought I was beginning to
reap what I had sown.
"Things continued to get worse.
It seemed as though I was forever spanking her, standing
her in the corner, or sending her to bed. I started doubting
my ability as a parent, and this caused insecurity and other
problems to come into my life. It literally affected our
whole family, and we were constantly in a turmoil.
"We tried discipline, we tried
reasoning, we prayed a hedge of thorns, and we tried easing
up on the discipline. Nothing worked.
"Our personal devotions and
prayer lives were affected. Instead of drawing closer to
the Lord, I started drifting. This all happened in a three-week
period of time. Finally, one evening after the children were
in bed, my husband and I discussed our dilemma. He suggested
that maybe we ought to do some ‘housecleaning.’
"The more I thought about
it, the more I realized that our daughter’s behavior had
started changing the day we gave her that tape. My husband was thinking
the very same thing. We also noticed that some magazines
we had been subscribing to had pictures of alcohol and cigarettes,
and different cult articles were scattered throughout their
pages. We decided to burn the tape and the magazines as soon
"The next morning after breakfast,
we explained to our daughter what we intended to do. When
she asked why, we told her that having these things in our
house did not please Jesus. We showed her some of the pictures
in the magazines, and she agreed with us. She wasn’t agreeable
about including her tape in the things to be burned, but
she didn’t put up as much of a fight as I had expected.
"We took everything outside,
piled it up, and set fire to it as we all stood by and watched.
When we came back in the house, we asked her to forgive us
for allowing those things to come into our house. She did
and then went on her way.
"This all happened on a Friday,
and our daughter’s behavior was still pretty bad. However,
by Monday the change in her behavior was incredible! I thought
we had brought the wrong child home from church on Sunday!
"Our home is just about back
to normal now, since our ‘umbrella’ has been patched. The
change in our daughter has been obvious, not only to us but
also to our friends who went through this with us. We have
learned much from this experience, mainly to be careful about
what things enter our home.
"Not everything labeled ‘Christian’ contains
the Lord’s blessing."
--The Patrick Halt family,
Evaluating the evil of the "rock beat" is not
a matter of musical ability, but rather of spiritual discernment.
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the
spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets
are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
VI. THE "ROCK
BEAT" DISOBEYS GOD’S COMMAND TO AVOID "ALL
APPEARANCE OF EVIL."
A Christian magazine that claims to be "the most widely
read resource serving youth ministry" contains a chart
in its September 1990 issue which matches every worldly rock
sound with a comparable "Christian rock" group
Notice the categories:
• Heavy metal
• Dance pop
• Rock ‘n’ roll
Not only are "Christian rock" groups imitating
the sound of evil rock groups, but they are also copying
the evil dress styles and appearance of the world’s musicians.
An impartial observer would find it difficult, if not impossible,
to distinguish between many "Christian rock" groups
and worldly rock groups by simply looking at their album
So-called "Christian groups" are now even using
satanic symbols on their album covers.
How can Christians justify such a blatant disobedience to
the clear command of Scripture?
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Abstain from ALL appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians
Not only is it difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish
worldly rock groups from most "Christian rock" groups,
but it is also very hard to determine which members are men
and which ones are women, because of the long hair, skirts,
and other attire worn by many of the men. This is in clear
violation of the following instruction of Scripture:
"Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if
a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?" (1
"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth
unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment:
for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God" (Deuteronomy
THE "ROCK BEAT" CONTRADICTS GOD’S COMMAND NOT
TO BE BROUGHT UNDER ITS POWER.
The "rock beat" is, in and of itself, an addiction.
Those who vibrate with it begin to desire more and more of
Like a drug addiction, one’s appetite for it increases so
that the "rock beat" in "contemporary Christian" music
soon becomes dissatisfying, and a stronger beat is required.
The "rock beat" therefore violates the following
"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are
not expedient. . . . I will not be brought under the power
of any" (1 Corinthians 6:12).
Seventeen-year-old Susanna adds her testimony to several
others in this booklet to confirm the addictive nature of
the "rock beat":
A TEENAGER’S APPEAL TO REJECT THE "ROCK BEAT" BECAUSE
IT IS SUCH A POWERFUL ADDICTION
"I started to listen to ‘Christian
rock’ when I was eleven. Each time I heard it, I felt rebellious
and had sensual thoughts.
"The feelings grew stronger
as my music got harder.
"I finally realized this music
was wrong, and I tried to get rid of all my music tapes,
but I would always slip back into it.
"I am seventeen years old
now, and I still struggle with this music. It is very addictive
and so easy to slip back into.
"I pray that as you read of
my struggles and of the struggles of other young people,
you will want to keep this damaging tool of Satan out of
our lives, our homes, and our churches."
-- Susanna Dressier, age 17,
ANOTHER TESTIMONY OF HOW ADDICTIVE THE "ROCK
"In the summer of 1989, 1
purposed that I would listen only to music which is glorifying
"However, Satan had a stronghold
in my life because I listened to rock music for many years.
As a result the sounds and words were embedded in my memory.
"As the teachers at
school lectured, or as I ate lunch or walked through the
hail and heard any word that was in a song, I would begin
singing a song that the word reminded me of.
"Every conversation brought
a song to my mind. Thus every day, evil lyrics were embedded
deeper into my spirit.
"Only as I recognized the
demonic nature of this addiction was I able to deal with
it in a Scriptural way."
—Brandi Brace, age 29, Kansas
"Reaching teenagers" with "Christian rock" music
is like giving out liquor with Bible verses on the bottles.
THE "ROCK BEAT" OPPOSES GOD’S COMMAND NOT TO
MIX LIGHT WITH DARKNESS.
Most of those who promote "Christian rock" music
would agree that the rock music of the world is evil. However,
they reason that by putting Christian words to the same beat,
the world’s music is somehow made right.
This human reasoning is directly opposed to the instruction
"... What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord
hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth
with an infidel?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).
In the days of the prophet Haggai, the priests were called
together and asked some very pertinent questions. The answers
which these priests gave have direct application in the matter
of mixing Christian words with an ungodly beat.
"If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment,
and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine,
or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests
answered and said, No. If one that is unclean by a dead
body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests
answered and said, It shall be unclean" (Haggai
If a priest who had been cleansed would touch something
unclean, he would not purify the unclean; however, the unclean
thing he touched would make him unclean.
Similarly, the thought of making unclean music acceptable
by putting Christian words to it is in direct violation of
the following command:
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I
will receive you" (2 Corinthians 6:17).
The chief justification for combining the pure words of
Scripture with the unclean music of the world is that this
is the method by which we will reach non-Christians. There
are several fallacies to this reasoning.
God ordained preaching, not music, to reach the lost.
There are two primary purposes for music in the life of
a Christian. The first is to praise and worship Cod. The
second is to edify other Christians. This is the clear
teaching of Ephesians 5:19: "Speaking to yourselves
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord."
When it comes to reaching the lost, God ordained preaching,
rather than music, to accomplish this goal. ". . . It
pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them
that believe" (1 Corinthians 1:21). (See also 1
Based on these points, the commands of Ephesians 5:6-12
"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because
of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children
of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in
the Lord: walk as children of light. . . . Proving what
is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with
the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
THE "ROCK BEAT" IGNORES GOD’S COMMAND FOR ALL
MINISTERS TO BE QUALIFIED.
Scripture establishes strict standards for those who would
teach others in the Church. A teacher must fulfill the qualifications
listed in 1 Timothy 3 and also Titus 1. Churches go through
careful ordination services to make sure that those who instruct
Christians are qualified. Ironically, teachers who would
never pass an ordination council are being welcomed into
churches to teach the young people through music.
Worldly rock musicians who claim to be converted are immediately
accepted as being qualified to teach Gospel truths to youth.
This is in direct contradiction to the following requirement:
"Not a novice, lest being lifted up
with pride he fall into the condemnation of the
devil" (1 Timothy 3:6).
Even non-Christian musicians who talk about God are being
listened to as teachers of truth. At the beginning of Christ’s
ministry, the demons gave a very clear witness about Him.
One of them said, ". . . I know thee who thou art,
the Holy One of God" (Mark 1:24).
Rather than allowing the demon to testify, Jesus commanded
him to be silent. "And Jesus rebuked him, saying,
Hold thy peace. . ." (Mark 1:25).
Even Christians who give a witness for the Lord are instructed
first to sanctify the Lord God in their hearts, according
to 1 Peter 3:15.
Based on these factors, how can we justify presenting the
truth of Scripture in the vulgar and demonic medium of the
To justify vulgar music on the basis that it is being
used to communicate the Gospel is the same as justifying
profanity in the pulpit or pornography in Gospel literature.
THE "ROCK BEAT" VIOLATES GOD’S COMMAND TO PROTECT
OUR BODIES AS GOD’S TEMPLE.
When we become Christians, our bodies become the dwelling
places of the Holy Spirit. Those who defile or damage God’s
temple will be judged.
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and
that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile
the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the
temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" (1
There are many ways in which the "rock beat" damages
How the "rock beat" damages our hearing
As noted in many of the testimonies, one of the characteristics
of the addictive nature of the "rock beat" is that
the music must be played louder and louder. Safe decibel
levels range from 20 to 65 decibels. As the decibel level
of the music increases, irreversible hearing loss occurs.
Some permanent damage is possible after eight continuous
hours of 90-decibel sound. Rock concerts are consistently
between 110 and 140 decibels. Exposure to noise at this level
for more than one minute may cause permanent hearing damage.
How the "rock beat" damages our brain cells
When we listen to music, our minds try to bring the beat
and the melody together. When there is an offbeat, the mind
struggles to coordinate the two. A study conducted by a neurobiologist
of Georgian Court College (Lakewood, New Jersey) and a physicist
of Fairleigh Dickinson University (Rutherford, New Jersey)
indicated the devastating effects that occur in animals when
there is prolonged listening to a rock rhythm. The brain
cells involved actually became deformed as they attempted
to reconcile the beat to the melody.
How the "rock beat"damages our concentration
Further research has shown that noise threatens more than
just hearing. It is now linked to increased levels of stress,
high blood pressure, ulcers, and hormonal imbalance. One
of the most common testimonies of young people is that they
are unable to concentrate on the Scriptures while under the
influence of the "rock beat."
HOW A TEENAGER RESTORED PERSONAL WORSHIP BY DESTROYING
THE "ROCK BEAT"
"I have listened to ‘contemporary
Christian’ music all my life. My parents listened to it even
before I was born.
"When they began listening
in the early 1970s, the beat was much softer than it is today.
However, both secular and ‘Christian contemporary’ music
styles have changed. The beat of the music has gotten much
harder and faster. The changes were subtle, so only in retrospect
can I see where that wrong music led me.
"My parents would never allow
me to listen to secular rock music. However, I disobeyed
them and listened to it when they weren’t around. This was
partly because of peer pressure. It was also because I was
used to the beat of the ‘contemporary Christian’ music.
"I felt that some of the ‘Christian’ music
had a harder beat than some of the secular music so there
must not be anything wrong with the softer secular music.
Listening to this music was feeding my growing rebellion
toward my parents by putting wrong thoughts and attitudes
in my mind. This music also led to lowering my moral standards.
"In 1987 I stopped listening
to secular music and focused totally on ‘contemporary Christian’ music.
This did not correct my wrong attitudes, because I was still
being fed by the wrong music. Then my pride increased. I
felt I was better than a lot of people because I didn’t listen
to the world’s music.
"In 1989 my parents became
increasingly aware of how this wrong music was affecting
my life. They began to try to change my views on it.
I listened to the Striving for Excellence tapes,
and our family read through the Bible and researched every
Scripture that dealt with music.
"My parents prayed that I
would give up this wrong music. During this time, God was
working in my heart. I knew that ‘contemporary Christian’ music
was not what my parents wanted for me, but I was afraid to
give it up. It had been a part of my life for so long.
"In January of 1990, I met
a large group of Christian young people who did not listen
to any music with a rock beat in it. I was tremendously impressed
with them. They had a peace and a joy that I didn’t have.
"On February 13,1990, I gave
all my music to the Lord and burned all of my ‘Christian
rock’ tapes. The results have been amazing!
"God has given me a new desire
to know Him better. I have a peace in my life that I never
even realized was missing. For years I had a stuttering problem
that is now completely cleared up, and I have a new relationship
with my parents that I have never had before.
"It was very important for
me not just to get rid of the wrong music, but to replace
it with right music.
"It is my prayer that every
teenager will experience the freedom that I am now enjoying."
-- Christiane Quick, age 19,
Introducing the "rock beat" into Christian music
is like establishing a pluralistic society~ It is simply
a transition from one controlling religion to another.
article is a publication of the Institute in Basic Life
Principles, Box One, Oak Brook, IL 60522-3001. Copyright
1990. Revised July 1992. The report is published with the
following notice: "You are encouraged to share this
report with others. You may reproduce it without charge,
or order additional copies as follows: 1-10 copies: $3.00
per copy; 11-50 copies: $2.00 per copy; 51-100 copies:
$1.50 per copy."]
[While we do not recommend the Institute in Basic Life Principles
in all points, this article on music is very important and
timely, and we are thankful that they have made it available. We
offer the article for any good that it can do although we
cannot endorse all parts of it.]