We recently received the following request: “My father asked me to write to you and see if you have a statement about music standards that we could draw from in revising our church constitution. Music has become such a big topic in our day that he feels as senior pastor that we should have a clear, somewhat timeless statement about it in our constitution.” I sent the following, which is an update of a statement that we use in our churches in South Asia:
1. The church music must teach sound doctrine (Col. 3:16). The words of the songs must be right according to the teaching of the Bible. Most Contemporary Christian Music is unacceptable because it represents the ecumenical charismatic philosophy or it presents a vague message that lacks doctrinal clarity and strength.
2. The church music must be holy and separate from the world (Eph. 5:19; Rom. 12:2; 1 John 2:15-16). This means that the church’s music will not sound like the popular music played on the radio and the music that the world uses for dancing and drinking and partying. Our church music will not use the backbeat and other forms of dance syncopation, because this has always been associated with sensuality and has been characterized as “the sexy” part of pop music. We believe it is not wise to use drums (except in an orchestra) and electric guitars in church music, because they are so easily used in a pop music fashion.
3. The church music must not borrow from the world of contemporary Christian music, since it is a major element of building the apostate one-world church and represents a foreign spirit (1 Cor. 10:21; Eph. 5:11; 2 Tim. 3:5; Rev. 18:4). This is evident by examining the history of this music as well as the lives and beliefs of the contemporary musicians as we have done in The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians.
4. The church music must not be designed to produce a charismatic style mystical experience (1 Peter 5:8). The objective of charismatic music is to produce an experiential worship and toward this end contemporary worshipers use music with a strong dance rhythm, non-resolving chord sequences, repetition, and electronic modulation so that people will get carried away emotionally. The Bible tells us to be sober-minded and not to allow anything to capture our hearts other than God and His Word. We are not supposed to open ourselves up unquestioningly to any experience but are to continually test everything by the standard of God’s absolute Truth (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
(Friday Church News Notes, February 24, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
Ad above does not necessarily imply endorsement