Some people will never be convinced regarding the dangers of evil music regardless of how many credentials, facts, histories, or syllogisms that one heaps before them. After all, the spirit and its language are hard things to ascertain in a laboratory, are they not? For instance, how effective would empirical science be in proving that body language can communicate? This article is not for such scorners. It is for the seekers.
“A scorner seeks wisdom, and finds it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understands.” – Proverbs 14:6
My journey into the spirit side of music began in my late teens … I still remember sensing demonic spirits in the car with me when I was sitting and listening to hard rock music in the parking lot of Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, NC. It scared me, but I wanted the rock music so much that I kept listening, until the time came when suicidal thoughts raced through my mind and deep darkness swept over me like a tidal wave. When the powers of darkness began to destroy the light from my life and push me toward things I didn’t want to do, I finally wanted out. I have never forgotten the sting of the serpent – the darkness and addiction inside of rock music. The pleasure really wasn’t worth the pain.
After traveling out of a world of musical and spiritual darkness as a young man, I still didn’t understand why certain music had such a dark effect upon me or why the Spirit had convicted me of such music that pleased my senses. However, the Holy Spirit began to slowly lift me from the darkness as my soul longed for His warmth again. I began to listen to the still, small voice of the Spirit and made three important choices.
First, after working through Christmas to buy myself a cassette tape player that was capable of playing only tapes (no radio), I removed the radio from my car and began the slow journey back to recovery. Secondly, I decided to leave a full scholarship in music which I had enjoyed for two years at a college in North Carolina and instead transfer to Bob Jones University.
Why would I choose to work instead of enjoying a free ride? Simply because I heard that Bob Jones University was militant in their discipline, especially when it came to having rock music in their dormitories. I greatly longed for and needed that type of discipline in my life to escape the addiction of rock music in which I had become entangled. Third and finally, I took a summer internship at a classical music station as a radio announcer, because I knew it would force me to listen to classical music and I knew in my spirit that such music would bring discipline to my mind and spirit. After these three choices and much time, perseverance, and spiritual renewal, I had slowly managed to escape the withdrawal symptoms and addiction associated with the biological drugs (epinephrine / dopamine) produced by rock music. I was finally free at last!
Upon graduation from Bob Jones University, I found myself in a summer job selling digital Roland pianos. As we approached the end of the summer, the owner asked me to be his manager, which I graciously declined due to a prior employment engagement with a Christian school. As one of my final duties in the summer, my old addiction to rock was tested by the owner when he asked me to play a certain Amy Grant song as a demo for a Duke University seminar on the subject of digital keyboards for a very large youth festival. The opportunity for prestige or the pride of life was now coupled with my former addiction to rock music or the lust of the flesh. Although I wasn’t completely aware of all the music that was right or wrong yet, I knew in my spirit that this Amy Grant song was wrong and a temptation or test, so I declined the offer.
A few months later, I began teaching music at the Christian school, and as a part of that job, I participated in the church choir of that school. I found myself one Sunday evening being convicted by the Holy Spirit about a particular song that we were singing. Although I didn’t know all the answers as to why, I asked to be dismissed from the song and was told by a dear friend and brother in Christ to sing the song or else face serious repercussions. I tendered my resignation and moved on to another ministry. I later realized through my research that the song was a jazz song wed to Christian words (much like many of the Southern Gospel songs which are usually filled with blues, swing, or both [jazz]). I had overcome another test in this area of my life which had been such a stronghold of Satan. Satan had used this area to create spiritual havoc in my life. I was finding that these tests were very good for me though. I was becoming more and more consistent in my musical standards and was also becoming more fascinated with my studies of the spiritual nature of music. In later years, I would endure more of these tests. This last incident, however, motivated me to launch an all-out investigation on music – one which would last for almost two decades.
The investigation was not to determine if the music was wrong, because I had the leading of the Spirit; instead, it was to give me answers regarding the “line” between good and evil music, and also to give me evidence to share with others who might question my beliefs. It was also a way for me to warn others of the dangers and pitfalls of rock music and to give them answers for their own journey through life. It was January of 1993. I finally set out to find some answers regarding why the Lord convicted me of this music and why it had so greatly affected my discernment and spiritual walk. I also wanted to know why I was so greatly addicted and why the rock music I had written and performed had such a controlling influence on others as they seemed to almost idolize me when I was playing and singing such music. I never had to worry about being idolized for playing or singing hymns in a godly way. Perhaps ridiculed, but never idolized. Such idolizing took place only with rock music.
I sympathize with young people today. If one of them were to become an addict to rock music and sought help from a pastor in the average congregation, they would probably be told that they “had no addiction”; instead, to indulge themselves. Where would I be today if I had been told such a thing by some pastor or fellow believer that I admired? In a very, very dark place probably. Why is it that “crack cocaine” isn’t specifically named in the Bible, but because of it’s addictive and damaging qualities, it is considered sinful; while on the other hand, someone who falls into the bio-chemically addictive grips of rock music is considered a great Christian in need of further indulgence?
I knew that whenever an evil spirit would trouble Saul that he had asked David to play a harp in a skillful manner to gain relief from the evil spirit, but I wanted to know much more. I read through some Christian authors, but oftentimes I would poke holes in their arguments which seemed to me, at the time, to be built upon presuppositions and poor logic. I began reading book after book on the subject. I interviewed professors of music from Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, and a Southern Baptist pastor who served as an exorcist (featured by the History Channel). I read through volume after volume of books on every aspect of music most Monday evenings at Queens College library (now Queens University) in Charlotte, North Carolina. I searched the Bible using keywords. I researched through books on the history, sociology, laws, physics, mathematics, and styles of music. I read after the men who had made ancient shamanic music popular in the United States. starting with their entry into New Orleans in the late 1800s. I read the history of many of the forefathers of today’s popular music and their resurrection of this ancient craft during the “Satanic 60s”. I read the entire Rock Encyclopedia by Lillian Roxon and many other reference books. My love for physics surfaced as I wanted to know why and how this music operated. Many times I thought of my journey in these studies as a dissection of music. Just as a person would pull apart a clock to figure out how it worked, I would examine and investigate each “component” of music to see how and why it operated the way it did. Why did it have such spiritual power?
Although I had a degree in music, I found myself reading and re-reading thick university textbooks on the laws and history of music with a renewed purpose to discover the spirituality of music. This thirst for truth drove me deeper and deeper into research. God’s laws in music and the inner workings and origins of music were waiting to be discovered and I was thirsty to learn these truths. One truth I learned from Scripture was that the shaman was found in the Old Testament as both an enchanter and a “charmer” in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 which states: “There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”
The English word “charmer” comes from the Latin word “carmen” which implies “a song of magic”. In the ancient Hebrew manuscript, this word “cheber” means “charmer” as well. A charmer appeared to be one who uses music to bind a person with a spell or to entrain a group, society, or association of individuals for black magic spell-casting. This wording reminded me of one of history’s most able and scholarly rock drummers’ description of what he did as a rock drummer. In fact, his name was Mickey Hart, who is known for his world drumming concerts and as one of the forefathers of rock music with his legendary rock group, the Grateful Dead. Hart used almost these exact words in his book Drumming at the Edge of Magic. Couple this thought with the other references of ‘charmer’ in the Old Testament and you find a very convincing argument that music was used for casting spells. For example, Psalm 58:4-5 says:
“Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stops her ear; Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers (“chebers”), charming never so wisely.”
I want to point out some interesting passages of Scripture that I believe will allow you to see how music is a language of the spirit. Keep in mind that the words “charmer” (originating from the Latin “carmen” meaning “to sing”) and the “enchanter” (originating from the Latin “incantāre” to chant a spell, from “cantāre” to chant, from “canere” to sing) are both rooted in musical words linguistically. The term “incantation” comes from the same Latin word “incantāre” as enchanter. The fact that “incantations” are sung (or chanted) by witches is as well-known as the famous Shakespearean Macbeth line “Double, double, toil and trouble, …”.
Psalm 58:5 “Which listens not to the voice of charmers or of the enchanter never casting spells so cunningly.”
Isaiah 3:3 “The captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the expert craftsman and the skillful enchanter.”
Daniel 1:20 “And in all matters of wisdom and understanding concerning which the king asked them, he found them ten times better than all the [learned] magicians and enchanters who were in his whole realm.”
Daniel 2:2 “Then the king commanded to call the magicians, the enchanters or soothsayers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans [diviners], to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.”
Daniel 2:10 “The Chaldeans [diviners] answered before the king and said, There is not a man on earth who can show the king this matter, for no king, lord, or ruler has [ever] asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean.
Daniel 2:27 Daniel answered the king, The [mysterious] secret which the king has demanded neither the wise men, enchanters, magicians, nor astrologers can show the king”
Ecclesiastes 10:11 “If the serpent bites before it is charmed, then it is no use to call a charmer [and the slanderer is no better than the uncharmed snake].”
Charming snakes with music is common today and as you can see from Ecclesiastes, it was taking place even back in Solomon’s day (did he not say that there is nothing new under the heaven?). In most Romantic languages, “chanter” means “to sing”; for example. in France one says “to sing” using the French word “chanter” (pronounced “Shawn-TAY”). Knowing that a “chanter” is a singer, what then is an “enchanter”? The enchanter (or “incantor” or worker of incantations or enchantments or “incantare”) is the reverse of the cantor who does cantillations.
Today and for many centuries, the music conductor in churches has been known as the cantor. Also, why does the Bible highly encourage the singer or chanter to sing or chant while condemning the enchanter who GOD states should never be found among you. Furthermore, GOD names this particular type of singer in the same context as witches. Compare incantor or enchanter with word combinations like “famous/infamous” or “mate/inmate” or “competent/incompetent”.
On the opposite side of the spirit realm’s musical spectrum, you will find that the GOD-fearing Jews were well-known for their cantors or chanters performing cantillation (instead of incantations). This word “cantillation” also originates from linguistic roots tied to the Latin “cantillātus” meaning “to chant or sing”. Even today, the Jews continue to sing cantillations in their religious services. Thus, we see there were evil and good musicians mentioned in the Bible.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”
Another truth I discovered was the Scriptural mandate that we as Christians respect the laws that God has placed within His creation. I knew sin was defined in Scripture as the violation of God’s laws and was familiar with His revealed laws in the Bible, but had never considered that we should also seek to understand His other “natural laws” in the universe and avoid violating them as well (such as the laws of gravity, thermodynamics, sound, the electromagnetic spectrum, etc). Many of the great discoveries in the past couple of centuries were a result of men who sought to discover the “natural laws” of God in our universe. In other words, those laws that were not written in Scripture, but that were in compliance with Scripture and that were discovered to be true laws of our universe. In my estimate, the basis for all of Christian education in the arts and sciences should be to discover God’s laws, ensuring we understand them to avoid the consequences of violating them, while benefiting from our knowledge of them.
Examples of this truth are endless, such as discoveries of the principles of radiation which help us avoid death. Scripture, in passages like I Corinthians and Romans, speak of God’s “natural laws”. The Apostle Paul asks “Does not nature itself teach you..?”. The Vatican failed to recognize God’s “natural laws” and condemned and even executed men like Galileo, Bruno, and Copernicus for their writings and discoveries of God’s “natural laws”. Today, we have to listen to atheists (who lump Catholics and Christians into the same category) as they state that Christians were proponents of “flat-earth” theory. Such disrepute and even death can be the consequences of ignoring God’s “natural laws”. There is no excuse for our failing to pursue truth by following the Biblical mandate to “prove all things; hold fast to that which is good”.
One of the many bodies of evidence which I found showing the line between good music and evil music was the amazing truth that classical or sacred music perfectly complied with the laws of music while evil music violated musical law every single time.
Whether it is was reading after Edward Rothstein, former chief music critic of the New York Times, pointing out the mathematical and orderly ratios that exist in music as he compares it to mathematics … or whether it was reading after Dr. Peter Masters, pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle church (Charles Spurgeon’s old church) in London, England, pointing out the Biblical laws regarding music, I was in awe of the enormous mountains of evidence that backed the simple and fervent convicting that the Spirit had done in my life. These words and books referenced in this presentation of evidence are but minuscule examples of the suitcases and suitcases (literally) of research that I did. Although in this article I do discuss some of music’s laws, there is far greater detail that could be presented. Does it not make sense that we should discover and use the laws in GOD’s Creation to form our own creations? Should we not pattern our works after His pure works?
By examining God’s creation carefully and discovering such “natural” laws, could we not then see in a better way the type of music, art, and creations that GOD would enjoy and be able to better please Him? Ironically, during my studies of the electromagnetic spectrum (of which music/sound is related), I proposed to an engineer from BMW that the electromagnetic spectrum must be the same as light. Later, I learned that Heinrich Hertz proposed the same thing!! Although this discovery was proposed first by Hertz, I also discovered the same truth (without prior knowledge) in pursuit of knowledge of the laws of music. I found this discovery to be a great example of how pursuing knowledge of the Bible and God’s laws can result in other scientific discoveries. Perhaps this is why there were so many discoveries over past few centuries after the Bible was printed in the common language of the people. Even simple people like myself can learn amazing things from trying to follow God’s laws.
The violation of musical law is but one of many legs of evidence that I found. I discovered even greater evidence regarding the spiritual nature of music, which explained the dark effect that certain music had upon my spiritual walk and discernment. My studies of shamanic (witch doctor) drumming in various cultures; my studies in culture and sociology; my reading of testimonials of sociologists and even missionaries and others, and my studies into the ancient world of music … all of this research gave overwhelming evidence of the spiritual nature of music.
A profound sense of satisfaction intellectually in the decision that I had made for the Lord resulted from this evidence. An example would be the musical perfection and excellence of the sound of the ancient Hebrew Ta’amim found in the oldest copies of Hebrew Scripture (of which I have a CD) and which was sung in the ancient Jewish Temple in comparison with the ancient, more vulgar sound notated in tablets of deity worship from the pagan Greek culture (of which I also have a CD) which violated the laws of music. However, I have always realized that regardless of the intellectual evidence, the truth is that the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit is all that one ever needs. The discernment and convicting given by the Holy Spirit cannot be gained by intellectualism, but only a humble and contrite heart that seeks after God. His leading is all that one needs for any “gray area” in today’s modern churches … and then the “gray” is suddenly eliminated by the Light of His presence.
The oldest scrolls of the ancient Hebrew Old Testament contain musical notation called the Ta’amim, as mentioned above, which French musicologist Suzanne Haik-Vantoura deciphered many years ago, so that it could be played. Her discoveries were recognized by scholastic journals and can be further investigated in a government university textbook titled The Development of Western Music: A History by K. Marie Stolba or in Haik-Vantoura’s own book titled The Music of the Bible Revealed: The Deciphering of a Millenary Notation. Here’s how it sounds!
ACTUAL MUSIC OF PAGAN GREECE
Greek music of Baal pagan origins was deciphered from the ancient fragments found in Greece and has been reconstructed by actual musicians. They can be heard swinging the back-beat in this hymn to the goddess of revenge and in this hymn to the sun god.
“Hell is full of musical amateurs: music is the brandy of the damned.” – George Bernard Shaw
“I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to.” – Elvis Presley
Satan is musical and he breaks GOD’s law to accomplish his goals. In his mind, he possibly feels his goals are “good”. The “end” thus justifies his “means” in occult belief systems. Many professing believers today appear to have the same occult philosophy.
The Bible speaks of “skilled” musicians multiple times (i.e. David, requirements for temple musicians, etc). The Bible implies that a traveling minstrel of no education “need not apply” as a musician for the Lord (II Chronicles 34:12; I Samuel 16:16-18; I Chronicles 25:6-8; I Chronicles 15:21-22). Regarding the rules of music, all of us who are musicians have studied in school how music should be performed.
The philosophy of impressionism in the 1800s began an attack on the absolutes of the Bible, the arts, and the sciences and prepared the twentieth century for the raucous and violent attack upon the established system and rules of music. As even Wikipedia states of these Impressionists: “Radicals in their time, early Impressionists broke the rules of academic painting.” However, despite Impressionism bleeding over into the music of that era, chiseling away at absolute standards and despite the even more recent rebellion of the Satanic 60s against traditional and established rules, these laws for musical composition endured. In fact, they are still taught throughout the country and even the world, because they weren’t developed in a corner.
Treatises on music had been developed by the Romans, Greeks, and other advanced civilizations and we can still read some of these scholastic works left to us by men such as Aristotle (Deipnosophists and also The Politics), Plato (The Republic and also Laws), Pythagoras (“harmony of the spheres”), Aristophanes (various works), Aristoxenus (Harmonics and also Elements), Ptolemy (Harmonics), Cassiodorus (Principles of Music), Boethius (Principles of Music), and Nichomachus (The Manual of Harmonics). Most of these ancient musicians were naturally mathematicians as well. These basic laws of music, handed to us by the scholarship of the ancients from as early as a thousand years before the time of Jesus, were polished by mostly European musicians, known as the “Masters”, with most of their discoveries and advancements in music taking place over the past five hundred years. New advancements in every aspect of life as well as music were taking place as people were enlightened, not because of an occult, gnostic or deistic Enlightenment movement, but because the Bible had been published by the Gutenberg press and was being translated and read by the common man due to the Great Reformation that had been unleashed, in my opinion.
This new understanding of the world had created a Biblical worldview for the first time in over a thousand years as the Dark Ages began to fade. The rules taught in universities today, therefore, are a product of both the basic laws developed over the past three thousand years with a great deal of rigor taking place to set down every detail of these laws during the past five hundred years. The last five hundred years were also the zenith of advancement in discoveries, inventions, and learning. With today’s music being violent and virulent in violating all rules, what should we expect the effect to be upon our political and economic future?
Please note that during the golden era of advanced civilizations like Rome, Greece, the British Empire, and the American Empire that classical music was revered by the educational and religious leadership, even if other members of society also enjoyed various other styles of music. Also, please compare such advanced and scientific discoveries in music, as witnessed by these societies’ treatises, to other less advanced civilizations whose music reflected a primitive and savage backbeat as witnessed by Mickey Hart in his intense research of such music around the world and published in his book “Drumming at the Edge of Magic” and shared by him in various national and international interviews. I remember watching him in one particular interview, and thinking about how everything he was saying regarding the history of music was “spot on”. In the same interview, he described music as a cry of the human spirit. I totally agreed. It was ironic.
Here Mickey was doing intense research as well on the spiritual side of music, just as I was doing the same. He was realizing the roots of his Baal-like, Satanic music, and I was realizing the roots of my Biblical, GOD-honoring music. If music displays the spirit of a man, we can expect that a society which glorifies lawless music of Baal to be guilty of a disregard for law and order in general, as well as a rebellious spirit toward GOD. Such societies cannot continue for very long without chaos erupting.
The Rule of Accent is violated by the backbeat. Universities nation-wide teach that the accent lands on the 1st and 3rd beats in 4/4 time and the 1st beat in 3/4 time. Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead pointed out in a National Public Radio interviewthat accenting the 2nd and 4th beats in 4/4 time and accenting the 3rd beat in 3/4 time creates the backbeat which defines the essential and inherent core of rock music. The backbeat of rock, jazz, rap, swing, and other pagan styles is a violation of the Rule of Accent.
Joseph Machlis, in the university textbook which he wrote, states the following on rhythmic accent [p. 17-19, Chapter 4 – Rhythm: Musical Time, (article “Metrical Patterns”), The Enjoyment of Music, by Joseph Machlis (Professor of Music, Queens College of the City University of New York), Copyright 1984, W.W. Norton Company, Inc., New York, NY.]
“The simpler metrical patterns, in music as in poetry, depend on the regular recurrence of accent. Simplest of all is a succession of beats in which a strong alternates with a weak: ONE-two ONE-two-or in marching, LEFT-right LEFT-right. This is known as duple meter and is often encountered as two-four time (2/4). The pattern occurs in many nursery rhymes and marching songs. Twin – kle Twin – kle lit – tle star——–. ONE – two ONE – two ONE – two ONE – two How I won – der what you are——-. ONE – two ONE – two ONE – two ONE – two The best way to perceive rhythm is through physical response. Duple meter, then, contains two beats to the measure, with the accent generally falling on the first beat. Another basic metrical pattern is that of three beats to the measure, or triple meter, with the accent normally falling on the first beat. This is the pattern of three-four time (3/4) traditionally associated with the waltz and minuet. Three celebrated examples of triple meter are Down in the Valley, America, and Home on the Range. Quadruple meter, also known as common time, contains four beats to the measure. The primary accent falls on the first beat of the measure, with a secondary accent on the third: ONE-two-THREE-four. Quadruple meter, generally encountered as four-four time (4/4), is found in some of our most widely sung melodies: Good Night Ladies, Annie Laurie, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, Long, Long Ago, Auld Lang Syne, and a host of others. Even in the compound meters the first beat is the primary accented beat.”
Furthermore, Joseph Machlis goes on to say in the same textbook the following [p. 17, Chapter 4 – Rhythm: Musical Time, (article “Meter”), The Enjoyment of Music, by Joseph Machlis (Professor of Music, Queens College of the City University of New York), Copyright 1984, W.W. Norton Company, Inc., New York, NY.]:
“The first beat of the measure generally receives the strongest accent. Meter, therefore, denotes the fixed time patterns within which musical events take place. Within the underlying metrical framework, the rhythm flows freely…the drummer will beat a regular pattern, with an accent on the first beat of every measure, while the trumpeter or another soloist will play a melody, containing many notes of different lengths, flowing freely over the regular pattern. Together, both of them articulate the rhythm or overall flow of the music. We may say that all the waltzes have the same meter: ONE-two-three ONE-two-three. Within that meter, however, each waltz follows its own rhythmic pattern. Although meter is one element of rhythm, it is possible to draw a subtle distinction between them.”
The natural rhythms of our hearts (and some even propose our biological molecular cells) are in tune with the natural accent of music (the “natural accent” as taught worldwide in universities, printed in textbooks and found in treatises). These bio-rhythms allow us to dance in time.
Even those with no understanding of bio-rhythms can still tell the difference between music that creates a “fight or flight” release of adrenaline as it attacks the natural heartbeat versus music that flows with your bio-rhythms making you relax. This violation of the law of accent is the only reason certain styles of music even exist. For example, Swing is simply accenting the 2nd and 4th beats in a playful, teasing manner through instrumentation rather than drums (although drums may be used). If you add swing to the moaning sound of blues, the result is jazz which sounds like a moaning and teasing sound (commonly used in the risque night clubs of the early 1900s).
As Mickey Hart explains in his book, the voodoo-practicing West Africans were forbidden to assemble together in New Orleans to play their shamanic (witchcraft) rhythms on their drums, so they went down to the local Salvation Army and bought brass instruments which they used to play their rhythms instead. This new sound was called “jass” (eventually jazz), a vulgar term, like rock or shagging, which was crudely used for the act of sexual intercourse. A study into other stylistic terms used for pagan music is a great study for you as well (such as Mambo being the name of a voodoo high priestess). Eventually the old voodoo drums were mixed back with the “new” more instrumental and melodic backbeat rhythms of jazz and the result was Rhythm and Blues (identical in its basic form and backbeat to our modern rock).
One of the ways to easily recognize music with a backbeat is the way it is written in a musical composition. For example, you will see that the music doesn’t naturally fit the measures, because the last note of each measure is usually an eighth note that has to be carried over to the next measure continually throughout the composition. This unnatural rendering of the rhythm backwards is also why it’s hard to lead such music as a conductor, which also explains why most rock bands don’t have conductors – conductors would look more like Big Swing dancers trying to lead such rhythm with their hands.
In other words, there’s nothing natural about backbeat melodies and rhythms, whether they are performed as vocals only or with instruments or just with drums on the percussive side (which is the more apparent use of the backbeat).
The irony of these two last examples should be further compared to this quote from Timothy Leary, New Age guru and promoter of LSD, in his book “Politics of Ecstasy”: “Don’t listen to the words, it’s the music that has its own message … I’ve been stoned on the music many times … The music is what will get you going”. “Music, which does not depend upon the master brain to gain entrance into the organism, can still arouse by way of the thalamus–the relay station of all emotions, sensations, and feeling. Once a stimulus has been able to reach the thalamus, the master brain is automatically invaded.”
When professors today in most any university teach that a seventh should be treated carefully and resolved only a half step downward, they are teaching carefully crafted rules handed down by many generations of instructors. Do you know what blues are? Simply the use of seventh chords that violate this law to create a moaning effect.
The Rule of Harmonics or Harmony (proper resolution and progression) is basic to any freshman class on musical notation. The Tonic, Sub-Dominant, and Dominant chords (I, IV, and V) interfaced with their 7th chord counterparts creating the blues and mixed with the backbeat was the basis for early rock and roll (Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, etc).
Seventh notes should be properly approached. As a side thought, although not a proof of any sort, I find this interesting since “seven” is connected to GOD in the Bible who is also to be approached properly in worship.
Seventh notes should be properly resolved on the proper accent.
Classical by definition means those time-tested principles of art and music that have been found over a great period of time to withstand the criticism of many scholars and have found acceptance over many generations, peoples, and scholars to be truly laws that consistently occur in nature which are also known as “natural laws”. Let us go to an even finer level of detail and analysis in differentiating between music that is “classical” in name or in era, rather than classical in form and structural design. Regardless of what genre people may tag a song, the bottom line is whether it follows the natural laws of music discovered over the past millennia and set down as laws in text books the world over.
For example, a composer known for performing or composing “new age music” may perform or compose an “electronic” classical work and people may call it by the name of “new age music”. It’s not. It’s classical following natural laws of God (as set forth in treatises over the ages). When Gershwin diverts into a rendition of blues, it’s blues music (not classical) even if played by an orchestra. A musician who is known as a composer or performer of classical music doesn’t always play classical music. Just because Placido Domingo typically sings classical opera music does not mean that everything he sings is classical. If Aaron Copeland composed a “boogie woogie” song, it would still be “boogie woogie” music. If Charlotte Church sings “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” with a rock band, she is performing a rock song, not a classical work. If Gershwin composes a blues song like Summertime and places it in a lyric opera like”Porgy and Bess”, the song is still a blues song, regardless of who composed it or in what setting he placed it. To place one blues note in the accompaniment of a song like “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” is like placing leaven in a lump of flour. The blues note ruins the whole song. To say otherwise, would be to defy reason. If John Cage creates a chaotic mess of noise and calls it by the name “classical” that doesn’t make it classical. If he creates a piece that truly is classical then that piece can be labeled classical. Which genres or styles in classical music were “good” then? That’s easily answered if we stick to truth. The styles that followed the time-tested laws of music that have been handed down to us as a sacred trust.
The record companies saw the enormous amount of money that could be made if many of their country singers could sell albums to the traditional European Americans (who had a heritage of Christianity and not voodoo). However, most traditional Americans resisted this savage, pagan sound which they ridiculed with the term “race music”, considering such music to be for the “sexually obsessed” as John Jackson phrases it in his classic work “The Big Beat Heat” when speaking of rock’s beginnings. In order to make this West African voodoo music (associated with fornication and paganism) more enjoyable and appealing to the Sunday-School-attending “white audience”, the record companies hired country singers like Elvis Presley to begin singing the music (see John Jackson’s book at this link).
The record companies also broke the law and began to pay money to disc jockeys “under the table” to play these songs. Some disc jockeys went to prison for accepting this money when the FCC found out about these bribes. These DJs are the ones who sold the old shaman music of Babylon and Africa to the Christianized European people of America and Europe. In fact, Aldon James Freed was the one who took the vulgar expression “rock ‘n’ roll” (used as slang for the act of fornication in many blues and R&B songs) and would say it eight times each break between music selections as a way of describing this “new” and “white” style of music. In this way, the record companies hoped to give the old R&B a new image. It worked and today, Americans scorn the nation’s traditional music, a style that had flourished when Biblical knowledge was flowing free of Romanist control and godly men were in control of the American colonies. This music, polished and perfected by the “Masters” during the Reformation period is no longer loved by an American church and American country who seem set upon their own spiritual and physical self-destruction.
Instead of such beautiful, pure music of the Pilgrims and Puritans, today the cheap “brothel house” music of ancient shamanic drummers is heard in every elevator, restaurant, and grocery store of a once blessed and formerly Christian country.
Other styles have also resulted from this Rule of Accent being violated such as soft rock (soft, sensual backbeat), disco (fast, rapid backbeat), metal (violent, aggressive backbeat), and hard rock (constant barrage of the backbeat). Typically, swing and soft rock use mostly standard instruments like keyboards, guitar, brass and strings to emphasize the backbeat, while most other rock styles use the drums predominantly in the foreground with a potpourri of other instruments to emphasize the backbeat. In fact, rap tends to use only the drums with very few other instruments at all to sound out the backbeat.
The variance in tempo, volume, and instrumentation of the BACKBEAT is how almost every style of rock gets its name. How vocal styles are combined with these other variants of the BACKBEAT is another factor in the creation of the plethora of rock styles. Various vocal styles are employed by these various rock styles with the most common being soft, sensual moaning (“torch singing”); raspy, gruff grunting; frenzied, feverish shouting; passionate groaning; and loud, violent and distorted screaming. Glottal-stroking is common with most of the above as well.
By their descriptions alone, you can see how such singing can be dishonorable to God, but once you examine how these vocal styles violate the vocal techniques of singing, create vocal nodules, and violate the laws of sound (distortion, proximity, etc), then you realize that a mountain of proof exists and that the information shared in this article is a tiny drop of information from an ocean of knowledge. Abundant are the times that AP Network articles came across the news desk back in the early 1990s, when I was in national radio news, each reporting about another very popular singer that just had vocal nodule surgery.
With my degree in voice performance, I can understand why those who don’t follow the rules will eventually need that surgery. On a side note, you might enjoy this short but humorous explanation of the physiology of the vocal chords.
If a man were to walk up to another guy’s wife and talk in deep, gruff, masculine sexy tones or if a woman were to walk up to another girl’s husband and talk in a lurid, soft, sensual, tempting voice, you would understand if the man or woman were told to “get lost” regardless of the words actually spoken.
However, in modern sensual America, if someone were to sing with the same vocals, they will get a “Christian” Music Artist award and paraded from congregation to congregation as a “deeply spiritual individual”.
Distortion, proximity, and other rules of sound are an entirely different ball of wax and with graduate education and experience in that arena, I can tell you that most rock groups’ sound engineers don’t even attempt to follow the rules of sound and actually distort the sound on purpose. In fact, they would pride themselves in disobeying the rules of sound. The evidence continues to mount against the musical integrity of rock music as one delves beneath the rhetoric and politics of men and begins to explore the science, physics, and natural laws of the melodic, tonal, harmonic, and rhythmic properties of music.
Why is this information about the dangers of rock music to the throat and voice, as well as its other negative health effects suppressed in the media? This question is answered easily when you see how much money is made by this style of music and how vehemently defended it is by its addicted adherents. Where does music naturally gravitate in regard to these four basic qualities of music? What natural mathematical ratios and patterns are seen to emerge? These questions have been asked for at least 3000 years in ancient treatises and perhaps longer. The answers have been discovered, tested by time, and taught by masters and doctors of music for hundreds of years. Is there truly any controversy over music intellectually or is it really a political and spiritual controversy that exists as people seek to please themselves and others rather than seeking to satisfy God first of all and their own intellect secondly.
Harmonic rules and vocal rules are therefore important. Music is interconnected with the fabric of the universe. The bio-chemical cellular nature of our bodies is a very good reason to keep classical music playing around the house. Don Campbell has a good point with his “Mozart Effect” research into the health, educational, mental, and spatial-temporal benefits of good music. The mathematical frequencies of music’s compression waves are indeed intriguing in their numeric logic. How often do the lovers of rock explore the fundamental tone which is defined as a signal’s basic unadorned tone, with zero overtones? Or do they understand that a pure sine wave is nothing but the fundamental tone at a given frequency (e.g. 440 Hz or 20 Hz or 7000 Hz)? When overtones are added to the fundamental, the waves interfere with one another and distort the waveform. In an example of distortion like this, when the third harmonic is added as an overtone, the sine wave begins to resemble a triangle wave. Generally, when you have multiple waves happening simultaneously, they interfere with one another, both constructively and destructively. This interference is harmonic distortion. A multiple of a fundamental frequency occurring at the same time. For example, if the fundamental frequency is 1 kHz, the first harmonic is 1 kHz, the second harmonic is 2 kHz, and so on. Musical instruments oscillate at several frequencies, which are called “overtones.” The first overtone is actually the second harmonic, and so on. With the physics of harmonics, we see a pattern of natural harmonic patterns emerging that must flow in proper sequence. Compare the number of Hertz in each octave of the “A” note using this chart. Do you see a pattern?
On the other hand, there are those in certain conservative music sects that teach that having “vibrato” is spiritual and that the more you have of it, the more spiritual you are. I even heard one of their more prominent leaders say something to that effect in a music seminar he was giving about “straight tone”. As a voice performance graduate and a student of the use of vibrato, I came across a book in the library of Queen’s College (now Queen’s University) in Charlotte, NC that explained the role of vibrato more succinctly than any other source. It explained that vibrato was a form of relaxation for the voice. When singing high notes or as notes were held for long periods of time, vibrato could provide relief. Thus, singing with straight tone and then breaking into vibrato was actually proper singing and not a spiritual blemish as the before-mentioned leader had implied. Vibrato was never meant to be used all the time.
As Joseph Machlis pointed out in his book “The Enjoyment of Music”, music is made possible due to the balance between consonance and dissonance, relaxation and tension, and conflict and resolution. Vibrato represents consonance, relaxation, and resolution. Straight tone represents dissonance, tension, and conflict. Together, these make a beautiful sound. Apart, these create issues. Even some of the greatest opera singers in the world, who some associate with “too much vibrato”, understand this thought and reflect it in their singing. The fact that certain conservative musicians don’t understand this concept and fail to practice it is seen in their voices that warble and quaver in a manner that is painful to the ears and oftentimes because they also lack breath support. This is not spiritual. It is awful to hear.
HARM TO BIO-CHEMICAL ORGANISMS MADE OF CELLULAR BUILDING BLOCKS
David Merrell, a high school student from Suffolk, Virginia, has won top honors in regional and state science fairs for his experiment involving mice, a maze and hard-rock music. After establishing a baseline of about 10 minutes for the mice to navigate the maze, David started playing music 10 hours a day, then put the mice through the maze three times a week for three weeks. His findings: the control-group mice, which did not listen to any music, were able to cut five minutes off their time; the mice that listened to classical music cut 8.5 minutes off their time; and the mice that listened to hard-rock music took 20 minutes longer to navigate the maze. David said, “I had to cut my project short because all the hard-rock mice killed each other … None of the classical mice did that at all.” Source: Washington Times, 2 July 1997
A genre of music that developed in the early twentieth century in the United States, jazz represents a mixture of European, American, and African tribal musical elements linked to African-American folk traditions and often performed by ensembles of African-American musicians. The word jazz is believed to have come from the Creole word jass, which refers to African dance or to copulation. The term jazz first appeared in print in a March 1913 edition of the San Francisco Bulletin in reference to peppy dance music. Associated from its beginning with New Orleans, nightlife, decadence, alcohol, loose living, sexuality, primitivism, and African Americans, jazz became an immensely popular and influential form of musical performance that nonetheless retained its sexy and licentious connotations. Since its appearance as popular music, jazz has been associated with sexuality. Originally linked to what were believed to be the more openly sexual attitudes of African Americans, jazz’s connections to most forms of dance and courting during the first half of the twentieth century perpetuated its association with sex. The foundation of much of the dance music from the 1920s on, jazz’s syncopations provoked changes in styles of dance from more formal waltzes and fox-trots to dances that permitted more suggestive touching, bodily intimacy, and athleticism. The association between jazz and loose living lingered even in the big band performances of the 1930s and 1940s, continuing the fascinations of a sexually inflected nightclub culture in big cities (often linked to speakeasies) and to ballrooms and other sites where dance led to other, more sexual forms of entertainment.”
Harvard’s dictionary of music from older eras is correct in pointing out that syncopation is actually not the backbeat, but rather a temporary shift (or as they put it “a momentary contradiction”) in a note from the front rhythm to the back rhythm which immediately returns to the frontbeat again. Therefore, the term “syncopation” used freely in the previous article in describing the rhythm of jazz and her descendants should technically use the term “backbeat” instead of “syncopation“, since syncopation is the temporary shift of the beat from frontbeat to backbeat.
Jazz and her descendants use the constant backbeat and not a temporary shift in rhythm. As Harvard’s older music dictionary also points out, a failure to return to the frontbeat immediately will result in the rhythm becoming “unhealthy“. Therefore, since the backbeat is the type of rhythm that fails to return to the frontbeat, we actually find the backbeat described as “unhealthy” by Harvard’s definition. In other words, Beethoven’s music contains syncopation. Louis Armstrong’s music contains the backbeat. I am being technical here, but only for those musicians who may read this article from an ivy league school and who may understand these finer nuances in relation to the rhythm.
When a generation rebels against the norms and rules of society, they will need to correct their course immediately or eventually they will redefine the rules and norms to fit their lifestyle. Those generations who fail to change, but who instead change the rules will find themselves afloat on the sea of relativism without a paddle, an anchor or a hope of ever returning to the safety of the shore, floating dangerously in the darkness. They have put out their eyes and burned down their lighthouses. Such is the era in which we live today.
Those with the Holy Spirit don’t need to read this type of evidence. They already knew styles of music do matter to GOD, and on the other hand, no law is clear or detailed enough for those without the Spirit. It’s the same reason that basic doctrines get twisted as well.
“For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” – Romans 2:14-16
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” – Galatians 5:16
There is an immense library of information to be learned on the styles of music, but the violation of the two principles regarding accent and proper resolution (which create the backbeat and blues) will cover much of today’s not-so-modern pagan music; in fact, these two elements came to us from the shamanic tribes of West Africa. Shamanic drumming or tribal trance drumming has been around since the Temple of Babylon where a woman Lipashu, the granddaughter of a Sumerian king in Mesopotamia who drummed at the Temple of the Moon, was the first drummer for those rites. Whether it be Chaldean history or the drawings on cave walls, we have a history of the drum’s association with the rites of paganism as their preferred instrument.
The Jews, as Paul the Apostle taught, were the designated oracles of GOD for prophecy (as some Gentile papal overlords, charismatic televangelists and false teachers who make up their own prophets, apostles, prophecies and “words of knowledge” seem to ignore). This means that the Jews were the designated ethnic people who GOD chose as the conduit through which the Bible, the Messiah, and even the world’s godly music would flow. The Christians of Europe and America are indebted to the Jews of Israel for the first hymns. On the other hand, the Africans, to whom many credit the dark shaman music of voodoo and witchcraft which post-Christian America and Europe borrowed, are actually indebted to the Babylonians for their first pagan trance music. The true irony is when people call Christian rock by the name of “contemporary Christian music”, because that genre of music is neither contemporary or Christian.
Scripture on the other hand speaks of numerous types of instruments including the drum, but with special emphasis on the harp or lyre which is more melodic (“singing and making melody in your hearts”). We also have the deciphered musical notations of the Greek’s sacred songs to the moon god and other deities recorded on CDs now, which we can compare to the recorded sounds of the deciphered Ta’amim which is the oldest musical notation discovered and found on the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew scrolls of the Bible. The latter was found to be perfect in its use of musical rules and was an incredible discovery by the musicologists of the world. In fact, many scholastic music journals wrote great reviews of this discovery by Suzanne Haik-Vantoura, as they admired how the ancient Hebrews were crafting music that so perfectly followed the natural laws of music.
DOES NOT NATURE TEACH YOU?
The natural laws of the universe are how the mathematical musicians of ancient, medieval, and renaissance times determined the rules of music that we have today. Certain chords and notes gravitate toward certain tonal centers in a way that is similar to magnetic principles. Ironically, sound and music is related to the electromagnetic spectrum. The essence of music (melody,harmony, and rhythm) are perfect gifts from God. These appear to be part of the electromagnetic spectrum that I believe was created on Day One of Creation, but that is only my theory. Heinrich Hertz’s findings show that the electromagnetic spectrum is essentially light itself. The multitude of frequencies in this spectrum are known by us as X-rays, light, radio waves, UV rays, and even the colors of this spectrum are each related to different frequencies. Many similarities exist between photon / radio waves from the electro-magnetic spectrum and sound/music compression waves. A connection between light and sound appears to exist as can be seen through the discovery of sonoluminescence and other discoveries today including the connection between light and sound in laboratories.
Man takes these sound waves or frequencies and creates a “spirit language” from them. Sociologists and missionaries agree that music and culture spring from the belief system of a community or society. Having conducted much of my research in the 90s when multi-culturalism was being introduced, I discovered that “culture” was related to one’s “belief systems. In other words, multi-cultural would be a result of many belief systems. The dictionary meaning of “system of belief” defines three terms in Webster’s dictionary (although each of these three have a different coloring or shade of meaning). These words are religion, cult (from whence the word culture is a derivative), and philosophy. As goes the religious or philosophical beliefs in a society, so the culture will follow including the music, holidays, food, dress and other aspects of culture. The spirit of a man can be seen by his music.
Culture is more inherently tied to the belief system of a people; whereas, customs tend to be a term more associated with traditions.
For example, in a Muslim country, you will notice that the people will dress, eat, sing, and celebrate holidays in accordance with their belief system. Within Israel, you will observe the same. In fact, you will also admit that even if a country has one particular culture, the culture of each state may vary. Furthermore, the culture of each city within that state may vary from each other, just as sub-cultures exist within cultures. Even within a city like Greenville, South Carolina, the culture of a school like Bob Jones University will have a different culture than a school like Greenville Technical College. Why? Because there are definite differences in the belief systems of each of these populations and as the belief system goes, so goes the culture.
I find it fascinating how some “missionaries” enjoy explaining how they feel compelled to participate in the culture of the country where they are residing in order to reach the people there. They find it necessary to drink the wine, rock the music, and completely dispose of their clothing on the beaches (as Amy Grant once bragged of doing) in order to “reach the lost”. So who is truly lost in this scenario?
Is it necessary to participate in the pagan culture of a pagan people in order to tell these people of the difference that Jesus can make in their lives? I believe that using the term “engaging the culture” is many times a cheap cover-up for their real purpose of “enjoying the culture” of a godless society. Could this ploy be a corrupt technique that many “not-so-modern” pastors have used to increase the profit-margin of their “purpose-driven” churches? Is this why some pastors tell congregants that their daughters can wear midriffs, jeans, and short-shorts to services or why they allow the young men to wear tattoos, play rock ‘n’ roll on the stage of their church, and mimic the sign of Satan with their hand to energize the church crowd?
Such churches who embrace pagan culture will reap the same penalty upon themselves as the lost world around them in many respects. Their churches may continue to grow from the migration of Christians who are leaving the true churches where holiness is taught by godly pastors in order to join the rebellion of “golden calf worship” offered by these clergy who practice the works of Baalam and Jezebel; however, I suspect the final judgment will not be so convenient and comfortable for them.
From personal experience, I’ve seen the product of such migration as it results in another migration that occurs. What migration is this? I have observed as former friends of mine have left these “purpose-driven” churches to join heretical churches or to even leave church altogether. From my observations of many of my friends with whom I grew up, the religious rock crowd spoke the truth when they said that they were forming a bridge between the world and the church. The only problem was most of my friends were stampeding to cross the bridge, so they could escape the hypocritical, worldy church and join the pagan orgiastic lifestyle of the world on the other side. Is that why America has fallen from being a Christian nation to being a pagan land within one generation?
Hypnotism is a form of spell-casting and music is a chief way of casting spells by both instrumental charming and vocal enchanting. First of all, “monotony of idea” is the key to hypnotism. James Braid, who coined the term hypnotism, “used the techniques of monotony, rhythm, and imitation to assist in inducing a hypnotic state. As of 2000, these techniques are still in use“.
In fact, the principle of “mono-ideodynamic” action was developed by Braid. You already see how that monotony and rhythm are used to hypnotize an individual, and perhaps you even know of the ability of hypnotists to covertly hypnotize an unsuspecting person, but did you realize that you oftentimes are hypnotized while thinking you are awake and aware.
“Although a popular misconception is that hypnosis is a form of unconsciousness resembling sleep, contemporary research suggests that it is actually a wakeful state of focused attention” and heightened suggestibility, with diminished peripheral awareness according to Wikipedia. If you have studied the New Age movement or eastern mysticism which teach how to enter into various levels of “altered states of consciousness”, then you will better understand the purpose of such music.
We have the testimonies of Christians like Randall Baer who was saved out of the New Age religion. Former mystics, such as Mr. Baer, tell us of how they would speak with “spirit masters” (demons) who would teach them “enlightened” truths. Apparently, the deeper the level of trance, the more powerful the “spirit master” with whom they would commune. Although I have thankfully never entered levels of trance, I can point to the enormous amount of testimony and research that back such facts. Mickey Hart, one of rock’s forefathers from the “Satanic 60s” era, also gives real life testimony as to these trance levels as he tells (in his book at this link) how a drummer can be taught how to better drum the backbeat from a “spirit master” after entering trance from monotonous drumming.
Many “pop” musicians advertise their music as “hypnotic”, so it is not as if they are unaware of what they are doing. Music that induces hypnosis and trance, not only violates the laws of music, but also one’s health (even more can be stated on the effect of hypnosis and trance on one’s health as well). Hypnotism is obviously dangerous to one’s spiritual walk. Such devilry is condemned in Scripture. Joseph Machlis in his book “The Enjoyment of Music” speaks of the hypnotic effects of monotonous music. A great difference exists between repetition for learning purposes and monotonous rhythmic repetition for hypnotism. Repetition for hypnotism is all about introducing minimum material repetitively in a monotonous rhythm to feed the senses; therefore, forming a “groove” in your mind’s consciousness. In other words, it is one thing to memorize something for school where the voice has variations in pitch and accent, and it is quite another to continually repeat a sight/sound event in a monotonous manner in the EXACT same way to the human mind for several minutes. Shamanic drummers, as they say in their books, keep the drumming in a state of monotony with little to no variance. This is just another reason that rock musicians love the “loop feature” in electronic music, because they can quickly create a drum track from a couple measures of actual performance. The “loop feature” is seldom used by a classical musician, because their form of music is all about variations on a theme. Variation on a theme through transposition, sequencing, and other creative means is how we are taught in universities to compose music. Therefore, minimalistic music is a violation of this musical principle. Minimalism is using the smallest amount of musical ideas (motifs) the maximum number of times. Minimalism is used in many musical styles but especially rock and new age music. The constant repetition of rock’s backbeat is how trance states are created.
As Chuck Berry said “Three great chords, eighteen great albums”. Some trance states allow you to function as usual without noticing that you are under the control of the beat, others are known as communion trance and send you into a frenzy, while still others are possession trance resulting in your body being taken over by evil spirits. Typically, possession trance occurs when pure, unadulterated shamanic drumming is taking place (metal music is similar to this in America). Mickey Hart explained in the book listed below that different variations of the backbeat (or the anapestic 2nd and 4th beats in 4/4 time) would result in different types of spirits being summoned.
Some spirits could be very violent, so he had to be careful to use the types of shamanic drumming that would attract less violent spirits (you’ll notice that he was never a “thrash” or “metal” rocker).
Many years ago, I conducted an interview with a Southern Baptist pastor, featured on the History Channel for his ministry as an exorcist. He told me that it appeared that music was a super-highway to the soul of a person. He explained that many of his “patients” were teens who had listened to Rob Zombie and Korn and other “metal” rock music groups and oftentimes the demons that were cast from these young people would have the name of Korn or some other group. The thought that many rock groups take their names from real, live demons should frighten anybody listening to that type of music. The possession trance should never be taken lightly. He explained that these teens would describe how they would suddenly find themselves in a place and wonder how they got there or lose track of time (wondering what happened over the past number of hours that are missing from their memory). It was during this time that they were actually taken over by an evil spirit. Some teens would lay down on their bed listening to rock music and “awake” from their trance, many hours later, wondering why so much time had passed. The pastor explained that he even had some teens go into this trance state while sitting in his car on the way to a session. They would suddenly begin to draw evil pictures on paper or excitedly begin to write evil words, but upon release from this state, they wouldn’t remember anything. He said that he would turn on music like Handel’s “Messiah” while exorcising the demons from these teens.
With the knowledge of how to induce a hypnotic trance on masses of people using music, mind control is quite simple and an easy way to make money as the rock industry knows. We must remember that they are out to make money, not save souls. Considering that most CCM music is produced by secular, non-Christian companies who are a mega money industry, Christians can’t be naive. Joseph Machlis writes:
“The salient feature of minimal music, as it has come to be known, is the repetition of patterns with very little variation in pitch, speed, volume, or timbre. The music changes so slowly that the listener is forced to focus a maximum of attention upon a minimum of detail. Such concentration can exert a hypnotic effect, and indeed the term “trance music” has attached itself to some works of the minimalists. One can say, however, that in their music…time moves at a different pace than what most of us have been accustomed to…they open themselves to modes of thought emanating from the Third World, especially India and Africa, as well as from jazz, pop, and rock music. In the words of one minimalist composer, LaMonte Young, ‘I’m interested in the most clear and sparse sounds–in control … ‘. He opts for repetition because ‘it demonstrates control’.”
This Machlis’ excerpt was taken from pp. 395, 396, Chapter 74: New Directions, (article “Minimalism”), The Enjoyment of Music, by Joseph Machlis (Professor of Music, Queens College of the City University of New York), Copyright 1984, W.W. Norton Company, Inc., New York, NY].
The law of harmonics and its progressions and resolutions has a myriad of sub-rules:
- Resolution of musical conflict or dissonance
- Balance (dissonance vs. consonance)
- Inversion of chords/intervals, sequencing, etc
- The natural harmonic order and ratios
The natural overtones in the harmonics of music along with the “tonal gravity” or “tonal magnetism” by which notes tend toward certain other notes or other keys or tonal centers are examples of how some of the world’s greatest minds have deciphered the musical laws that God has placed into all of his creation. God emphasizes “skilled musicians” in Scripture since it’s difficult for a non-musician to always understand the rules of music. However, I think the above simple truths regarding the backbeat or rock beat being a violation of the Rule of Accent and blues (found in jazz, rock, and many other “pop” styles) being a violation of the Rule of Harmonics are a couple of basic examples which span much of the musical styles out there (rock, jazz, blues, country, rap and new age). New age music can be thought of as a potpourri of musical style; in other words, anything you like mixed together – much like the religion of the same name.
Country music is not as much the “what” of the music as it is about the “how” of the music. Oftentimes, the vocal or instrumental part of the music is presented with twang, nasality, a country accent, and other displays of unrefined behavior. One might even conclude that it almost celebrates being unrefined or uneducated and proud of it.
Examples of country styles include country rock, country jazz, country blues, and country western. As Clint Black once said on the David Letterman show during the 1990s, country rock is “rock music with a country accent”.
- Rock and roll originally meant “copulation“
- Jazz originally spelled “jass” meant “copulation“
- Shag originally meant “copulation“
- Mambo originally was the title used for a voodoo high priestess
For those who are “of age” and still don’t know what “copulation” means, let me refer you this Encyclopedia.com article.
I have found that non-believing musicians are more honest about the purpose of various styles because they don’t have to give up anything if it’s truly wrong.
On the other hand, those claiming to be Christians tend to find a way to justify anything under the heaven because they enjoy it and realize that by admitting it is wrong, they would no longer be able to do it (or they would appear a hypocrite if they chose to continue enjoying it). Can we trust the laws of music crafted over three millennia? Or should we trust that this music is harmless as we are told by the leader’s of this multi-million dollar business and today’s materialistic, “money-driven”, ego-centric carnal “Christian” leaders who, before they could tell you this music was wrong, would first have to admit their own sin, stop engaging in carnality, and stop benefiting financially from the carnality. In 2013 alone, $32.8 million dollars of “Christian music” was sold. Pastors would lose members, universities would lose students, magazines would lose subscribers, and most dramatically, the mega-money rock and religious rock industries would lose customers. All of the above would result in trillions of dollars being lost, so that’s a great reason for everyone to “turn their head the other way” and continue their revelry.
What does a particular style of music like jazzy “torch singing” communicate? These are simply not questions that non-believing musical scholars ask, because the answers are so moronically simple. Why then are there people, who supposedly profess Jesus Christ as their Savior, who actually ask these questions? Are they truly that ignorant? Are they truly oblivious to the way certain styles are “sexy” and encourage lewd dancing? Why are they indeed puzzled and even angered at anyone who expects them to “walk” their “talk” or who points out the carnality of their music? Is there a deeper agenda among the “radical religious left”? Do they really care about what is right or true? Or is it really a matter of what they want? For example, the book “Rock and the Church” was written by Bob Larson, a professing Christian, who after writing such a scourging review of rock music turned around and became a proponent of rock music and religious rock music.
This photo shows a page from a secular book teaching you how to drum the shamanic backbeat of the ancient pagan witch doctors (or modern rock musicians or CCM drummers since they are all the same).
Songs used to summon the “cannibalistic spirit” are illustrated here.
The connection between a shaman’s songs and his communication with the spirit world.
Summoning demons with the drums.
The summoning of demons through the drums.
Many of the early drumming shamans would gradually become transvestites.
[Editor’s Note: Interesting fact when you consider that many of these shamans drummed spirits into their bodies. This says a lot about the connection between demonic possession and obsession and its result in transvestites. Rock music is filled with sodomite performers; even religious rocker Ray Boltz “came out” of the “closet”.].
The shamans dance to receive spirits from around the universe. Imagine what is happening at night clubs, rock concerts and even in religious concerts. These primitive people have more awareness of what is truly happening than our “modern” American “Christians”.
A book on the shamans by occultist Joseph Campbell, a man who coincidentally is the real inspiration for the Star Wars movies and served as a mentor to George Lucas. Thus, the similarity between some of the “creatures” in Star Wars and some of the shamanic masks and costumes. Also, the Star Wars movie presents the mythological stories of the occult. I have a DVD of Bill Moyer interviewing Joseph Campbell and George Lucas on this subject as they discuss Campbell’s book “The Power of Myth”.
A full-blown shamanic possession trance is shown here. .. A shaman shamanizes (or drums) to project his spirit from his body up into the “World Tree” (rooted in the old Babylonian Tree which became the Yggdrasil Tree which became the Christmas Tree).
[Editor’s Note: Astral projection is perhaps the demons being able to roam the world while allowing the human to “see” through the demon’s eyes. Obviously if a human’s spirit were to leave their body, they would be dead.]
Shamans drum to experience “astral projection” or demonic possession. Think of a rock concert (secular or religious) as a giant seance! As you drum the backbeat, the backbeat works as a special signal to the spirit world (demonic legions) that they are being summoned.
This mask is representative of the spirit who is being summoned. This Trickster mask represents the Trickster spirit who is known for seducing young people and duping them. His appetites control him and he has no mercy upon his victims.
[PHOTO: Shaman completing his all night long dance.]
All-night dancing is typical of shamanic dancing. Many of the first rock concerts in this country were in New Orleans where West Africans played voodoo music all night long as they fell into their trances. Notice how much rock music has celebrated in its lyrics and its lifestyle the “ALL NIGHT LONG” approach to dancing. Have you ever seen a classical concert or dance that was performed all night long?
ABOVE: “Worship” leaders or shamans?
The book, “Drumming at the Edge of Magic” by world-renowned rock drummer Mickey Hart, explains how the backbeat sits as the core to almost every form of “pop” music today and at the center of every ancient and modern shamanic drumming rhythm.
ABOVE: The shaman with his essential supernatural power tool – the drum.
A shaman was nothing without his drum, because his drum was used as a spiritual tool for summoning the spirits and invoking a seance for communion or possession and channeling. Today, seances are held all across our land in rock concerts, but also in churches with unknowing participants and performers who summon the evil ones upon themselves and their audience. They then wonder why temptation is so difficult to overcome during the week and why the only revival is one of emotion, instead of changed lives.
Many times people’s beliefs will change according to their attitude towards God, which is why we sometimes see a Protestant suddenly turn to another false religion like Catholicism. Music is an area in which our spirit toward God is very clearly shown to our peers. I believe that is why many Christians try to justify their music. The bottom line is that the heart is deceptive and we must guard it from the hypnotic, trance-inducing “rhythms of the night”, realizing that no amount of intellectualism or arguments will ever convince another human that the carnal things in which they are engaged are truly carnal. Many times, a human will become reprobate in their thinking and suddenly proclaim evil activities to be righteous activities altogether. I experienced such an altered state of mind during my years of rock and rebellion. I not only justified the music, but promoted it. The prayer chamber, not evidence, is truly your first resort, although I believe we must also “prove all things and hold fast that which is good” for our own conscience if nothing else (which is the main reason I set out on this fact-finding mission back in January of 1993).
“Art can be morally good, lifting men to higher levels. This has been done through good music, great painting, authentic fiction, poetry, drama. Art can be morally evil in its effects … Note: It has often been argued that art itself is unmoral, neither good nor bad. This is true of the thing which is music, painting, poetry, etc. But the thing is the product of some person’s mind, and the intention of that mind was either good or bad morally when it produced the thing. Besides, the thing has its effect upon those who come into contact with it. In both these ways, that is, as a product of a mind and as the cause of definite effects, it has a deep moral significance and unmistakable moral quality.” “VII. Dances 1. Dances suggesting or representing sexual actions or indecent passions are forbidden. 2. Dances which emphasize indecent movements are to be regarded as obscene.”
Wow, Hollywood has sure strayed down the wrong path since 1930. In fact, Hollywood back then was more conservative than most churches today. I should know. I traveled through hundreds of churches as both a speaker and a singer. In fact, I used to be involved in singing religious rock/jazz myself as a rebellious freshman/sophomore in college on the road. I have seen some churches over the years, who would provide some of their own music, which was either a dance team or an immodestly clad young lady singing a CCM song while swaying her body in a way that was “suggesting or representing sexual actions or indecent passions” which was quite “obscene” (as Hollywood in 1930 would have put it). I had a gentleman once tell me that he attended a CCM concert, which would have been considered “less offensive” by most CCM standards, in which the girls in his words “looked like temple prostitutes”.
This page from Mickey Hart’s book displays for you the pagan music of the Roman-Greco period. Are today’s rock styles really contemporary and modern? No. As Solomon would say, there is really nothing new under the heaven. After completing the above article, you can proceed further in this article. For those who claim that it’s acceptable to live one way in one country due to culture and a different way in another country due to culture, please observe that Rome and Greece had both advanced and civilized music that followed the mathematical rules and natural order of law, while also having the raucous, pagan music of the rites of Bacchus and Dionysius. In other words, two cultures existed in the same countries – one evil and one good. Once again, culture springs from a system of belief as its root word “cult” implies (as you may remember, cult is defined in Webster’s dictionary as “system of belief”). Thus, visiting another country gives you no excuse to get drunk and rock just because you changed geography. In every country, you can find both evil and good cultures and music. Classical, folk, and orgiastic musical styles are all found side-by-side in the same country many, many times throughout the world. Also, it must be emphasized that the more advanced civilizations are usually the only ones with classical music. The more primitive countries tend to only have non-classical music and the barbaric drumming of the backbeat. My article on the effects of rock music in China is another of a multitude of examples. Without immersing myself into another discussion of culture, I would point out that the very term sub-culture implies that there is an overall culture in a geographic region and then sub-cultures in that same region.
The history of shamanic drumming is traced all the way back to Babylon. The above caption is one of many to be found throughout various histories of music.
Emblems Of Mind by Edward Rothstein Edward Rothstein was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and has served as chief music critic for The New York Times. He is a brilliant scholar who has studied mathematics, music, literature, and philosophy at Yale University, Brandeis University, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago.
Excerpt from EMBLEMS OF MIND by Edward Rothstein
Excerpt from EMBLEMS OF MIND by Edward Rothstein
Excerpt from EMBLEMS OF MIND by Edward Rothstein
Excerpt from EMBLEMS OF MIND by Edward Rothstein
Excerpt from EMBLEMS OF MIND by Edward Rothstein
Excerpt from EMBLEMS OF MIND by Edward Rothstein
Excerpt from EMBLEMS OF MIND by Edward Rothstein
Excerpt from EMBLEMS OF MIND by Edward Rothstein
Excerpt from EMBLEMS OF MIND by Edward Rothstein (above)
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:21
This verse is far from simplistic. It contains in it a formula for Christians to determine what is right and wrong for their own conscience sake. To prove or test something is important in any realm, but let me stop for a minute and point you to how we in the business realm, namely the project management realm, apply this principle every day. Many have probably heard of project management and Six Sigma methodology, which is simply a tested process by which every business process, product, and performance can be improved and projects managed and tested. The major benefits include saving the company time and money, as well as increasing the performance, and improving product quality, associate satisfaction, and customer experience.
One basic aspect of the process is metrics. Metrics are simply a way to physically and objectively measure a project to ensure that it is going to do (predictive) and did (historically) what the project purposed to accomplish with all the money that was spent on the endeavor. It helps the business justify as to whether it was truly worth spending the time and money to execute the project in a quantifiable manner. Metrics bring accountability to the changes taking place. As a project manager, I have used predictive modeling to forecast against actual reality (forecast vs. actuals). Through such graphs, charts, and calculations, project managers can ensure that we are on a “good path” to success.
Furthermore, we always test our product before we release it. In fact, I have headed testing teams in my various roles as a project manager, both nationally and internationally. Testing is more than just an opinion, but rather in-depth research, analysis, and reports that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the product will be a success. Incomplete or insufficient testing can result in poor associate satisfaction, a lousy customer experience, and loss of money, time, and even reputation for the company. These losses are simply unacceptable to any company.
The above verse conveys the same type of testing. It asks for us to do the research, analysis, and metrics in a quantifiable way to decide if some object, practice, or belief is good or evil. The result is that we are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that we are able to satisfy our conscience towards God as we seek to obey Him. This in-depth examination also brings accountability among believers. Instead of giving shallow, cheap opinions about whether your property, music, dress, practices, speech, stewardship, and beliefs are good or evil, you are able to provide for yourself and others a reason of the hope that you have in Christ and why your lifestyle is different from those without Christ.
First of all, you should write out your purpose. Your purpose should include wording surrounding your desire to avoid presuppositions and a refusal to limit yourself to the outcome that you prefer. You should ensure your agenda is focused on a willingness to learn the truth rather than the outcome you prefer. To do this, you should keep yourself accountable by building controls in place that limit you from manipulating the outcome of the investigation. Include third parties who are neutral as possible as well as resources from both sides of the fence in an equal manner.
Research must include seeking all data on the subject. The data must be organized with specific and reasonable criteria, so that it can be used more easily for the later investigative analysis that must take place. Your data must be filtered for all common thoughts pertinent to your topic and any non-essential data, as agreed by all resources, should then be discarded. You must proceed with analyzing your data, so that you are sure that all opinions of an issue are examined within the worldview of Holy Scripture. For example, Dr. John Makujina has done such an analysis in his book “Measuring the Music”. This word “measuring” which he used in the title of his book is important. This practice, that is usually widely avoided by most “contemporary Christians” today, is a most important and essential aspect of your discovery process – the metrics. In other words, you must have physical and objective criteria for proving that whatever is being examined is “good”.
Notice also the Bible says that we must prove it is GOOD, not prove that it is BAD. This is important for the burden of proof falls upon all of us as Christians to abstain from anything, unless we have PROVEN beyond any doubt that it is GOOD. An example of metrics in business would be that a new product will provide the benefit or satisfaction that was promised the corporation’s shareholders. As way of illustration, we will say the product is a computer system. We promise the client that we can build them a computer system that will cut in half the time that they usually would spend entering data for their business. This produces both a time savings and a resultant savings of money, since less employees will be needed to enter data. How can we prove to the client that time will be saved?
We use a metric. We sit and watch their employees work. Not just one day, but for several weeks. We get a feel for how much time is spent in a quantifiable manner. We use details, such as “how many specific employees (physical number) entered a specific physical quantity and physical type of data each day into their current computer system and it took a specific physical number of hours and minutes to complete over a specific duration of time that was long enough to reflect any holidays or other exceptions to the environment.
We use this information to decide an average time that one employee should be able to enter a certain amount of data into a computer. Let’s say that the number is 23 minutes for an employee to enter 10 “orders for shovels” into their current computer system. With our new system or product, we can lower the amount of time needed to enter the 10 orders to 12 minutes. The client will decide whether the extra time savings is worth the amount of money we will charge them to perform the project. If they like this time savings, we must complete our project on time and stay within our budget, while ensuring that the new computer system we are building really does lower the amount of time to 12 minutes. We have now made ourselves accountable to our client. We have provided physical details that are detailed and quantifiable to them as a measurement. We have not dealt with them in vague and ambiguous concepts, but in true methodological physical and objective terms.
I had a gentleman who had advanced degrees in music tell me that he taught that music could be used for good or evil. In other words, he believed in an abstract concept that music can be used for good or for evil. However, when I asked him to tell me where he thought the line was drawn on this subject, he suddenly became very adamant that this wasn’t possible and a bit snobbish about it.
He was unable to give physical and quantifiable parameters to the music. He couldn’t physically identify any music that was definitely good or absolutely evil. Thus, he lived in this philosophical limbo where music could abstractly be good or evil, but physically could never be examined by anyone. He didn’t provide a detailed and objective answer on this subject. This approach shirks accountability. I learned later that although he teaches for a Christian educational institution, he sells his music to individuals who perform music considered spiritually unacceptable by the school for which he teaches. On the side, he was supplementing his teacher’s salary with some cash from music that he can abstractly (and thus subjectively) consider “good” for now, since his concept of right and wrong boils down to “Is this music glorifying to God?” in a very non-objective opinionated manner. A quick analysis of this subjective criteria makes one wonder if he enjoys living in this netherworld of abstract opinions where one person’s opinion is as good as another person’s opinion when it comes to the question of “Does this music glorify God?”. Why not? It allowed him to make money from a fundamentalist institution that was opposed to rock music, while selling compositions and making more money from those who performed rock music. This is just an example, but it can be applied to a great number of other questionable beliefs or actions that are practiced by professing Christians.
By “questionable beliefs or actions”, I refer to those beliefs or practices that are not “spelled out” specifically by the Bible and therefore are often debated. Examples might include a Christian who doesn’t find a verse that says “Thou shalt not borrow your company’s equipment and use it for your own personal reasons when nobody from the company is around”. We are speaking of behavior that is obviously unethical – but unethical to whom? Can you prove it? Do you have a chapter and verse? Is it specifically mentioned? Is it ethical to purposefully disobey the rules of music as a Christian when you compose a song, because you know it will make you more money? Is this ethical? Is it ethical to present products to a customer in such a way that all the benefits are shown, but you fail to mention some flaws that may create a very poor customer experience in the end? Is this damaging to your reputation as a salesman and more importantly as a Christian? Do you find it acceptable to “oversell” your services to another believer at church in order to get their business, realizing they probably won’t sue you, because you’re a Christian brother?
Many of these answers are obvious to us, but some may not be as clear. We don’t have time, as individuals, to investigate every potential scenario, but we must take time to prove all things that we do. As believers, we can then contribute our investigative efforts to the collective body of Christ, so that a growing repository of knowledge is accumulated gradually over many years that can be accessed as a resource by other believers (via books, videos, etc on various subjects) who may need answers quickly in certain circumstances before they make a major decision at their work or home that could negatively impact their spiritual life.
The purpose in all this proving is to satisfy your own conscience and to provide a repository of resources for other believers to use as they work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. The purpose is never to judge another believer, but to edify. I have been called less than flattering names by some who have heard me share answers that I’ve learned surrounding why certain practices or types of entertainment are wrong. Specifically, I have spoken against certain types of music and been called “Pharisee”, “legalist”, or “judgmental”.
God knows that I have suffered spiritually in the past due to the influence of ungodly music and that my sole intent is to share what I learned and the pitfalls I experienced in order that others may avoid such spiritual entanglements. I specifically never get into mentioning the names of performers unless absolutely necessary for some historical purposes or association or such. This is for the very reason that I do not wish to be judgmental since I once was on the “other side” of this discussion. I wish only to share my own spiritually painful experience with certain styles of music, so others might avoid such pain. I also wish to share my research as a repository which they can use as they try to escape addictive musical choices and attempt to determine for themselves the validity of whether a certain style of music is good by proving all things and holding fast to those things which are good. In the past, there was a time that I was one of the critics of godly men who tried to teach on the evils of certain styles of music, whether the words were secular or religious in nature.
Have we judged and proven all that we do each day as being acceptable to GOD and with the right motives? It is to our advantage to prove all things and to work out our own salvation. My opinion doesn’t matter. Never feel threatened by it; even disagree with it if you wish, but please allow me to have an opinion. I only share with you my research, because I care. You and I make our own choices and will personally lose or win rewards at the judgment due to them. The LORD knows that I’m losing a lot more than I’m winning, but that my desire is to be like Him and to help my brothers and sisters in Christ. I wanted first to convey my heart’s desire to you before I begin sharing some of the following research that I have gathered in the area of music.
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” – I Corinthians 10:31-33
PROVING MUSIC’S MORALITY: It’s as easy as proving the Bible is true
If you attempt to prove the Bible is true and that GOD exists, you will have to use arguments regarding history, GOD’s creation, and His laws; in doing so, you’ll be using the same arguments that I use to prove the spiritual nature of music and which music is good or evil. To say that you will prove the Bible using the Bible is circular reasoning. To use reasonable logic, syllogisms, history, patterns, and external truths to show that the Bible’s content is reliable is the commonly accepted and logical manner which well-known, respected apologists leverage. To say I must prove all things using only the Bible is illogical, because how will you prove that the Bible is true? Those who reject any argument for the morality of music just because the arguments are based upon the Creation of GOD instead of only the Bible are in opposition to the very Bible of which they speak. GOD Himself uses His Creation as an argument to stop the mouths of those who will be sent to hell for not knowing Him.
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” – Romans 1:20
The Bible has a multitude of Scripture on music, but it takes an honest heart to read it. For example, when David played music and the evil spirit left Saul or when Herodias’ daughter danced for Herod and he gave away half of his kingdom to her or when GOD told theocratic Israel that enchanters and charmers are worthy of death as witches or when the children of Israel made music like the “noise of war” for “Jehovah” while dancing around a golden calf.
An honest heart “gets it”. The dishonest heart refuses and chooses to twist. I believe that’s why GOD gave principles in Scriptures instead of a massive laundry list of “Do”s and “Don’t”s. GOD likes to test our love for him. In fact, that’s the purpose of life in my estimate – to test our love.
Proving that certain music is evil is as easy as proving the Bible is true, and I’m not saying that is easy at an empirical level. I have found several reasons given by those who attempt to prove how we can know the Bible is true. Let’s examine these arguments and then use their reasoning for how we can attempt to prove that certain music is right or wrong. I’ll summarize their reasoning concisely for us. You can replace the word “IT” in the following list of proofs with either “the Bible” or “godly music” to see my point:
- IT is superior as a work of art
- How IT transforms us and affects our lifestyles.
- History has shown IT to be separate but unified scientifically-speaking.
- History has proven IT is accurate.
- History has intellectually proven IT is true over the test of time.
- Over a period of two thousand years, IT has been extraordinarily preserved, has survived over other works, and is a time-tested classic.
- Many men have endured persecution, suffered loss, lost careers and friends, were ridiculed and mocked, and would have gladly relented their beliefs if they did not feel strongly led by the Spirit in their endeavors.
- Testimonies exist of those who have been affected by IT.
Proving some music is evil is also as easy as proving GOD exists. I have found several reasons given by those who attempt to prove GOD exists. Let’s examine these arguments and then use their apologetic reasoning to prove that certain music is right or wrong. I’ll summarize their reasoning concisely for us. Read the following list and I believe you’ll see my point:
- Heavens, Earth, and Creation show forth complex, orderly, design and laws. These are reflections of a Designer.
- Origins of its creation. Beginnings are full of intent, purpose, and thus our logic shows us answers from reviewing Origins.
- The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why?
- The Spirit and our conscience inform us even if we reject the truth intellectually in order to accomodate our lifestyle, desires, and preferences by accepting lies.
- Why does its discussion generate such strong emotion?
- In the first of this last list of arguments, please note that in proving the morality of music, one can easily show that in music there are laws, design, and complexity that have been accepted for millenia by those who have mastered music and its harmonics, frequencies, and natural progressions and rhythms. Universities around the world recognize what these principles are and every single style of immoral music violates these principles and laws.
- The second point of the above list of arguments proving GOD’s existence is that “Origins show intent“. As one studies a list of the forefathers of certain styles of music and their intent in creating such styles and / or promoting them, their intent is very clear. We all know the history of musical styles and are aware of the intent for why most were invented. Some were invented for church worship originally. Others were invented for orgiastic rituals and carnal festivities. Some were created for wholesome festivals or respectable social functions or royal weddings. Others were created for brothels and night clubs.
- In the third point above, we see that Creation operates by uniform laws of nature. Why should our music be any different? Should we not pattern our creations after GOD’s Creation recognizing His laws, using complexity and creativity, and order?
- The final two points for GOD’s existence are also proofs that could be used for evidence of music’s morality. The Holy Spirit, our conscience, and the emotional nature of the subject.
I have shown you that we can use the same resources to prove music’s morality as the one who attempts to prove GOD’s existence or that the Bible is true. At the same time, I will use Scripture as proof as well.
Even without the use of melody or tunes, your voice (not just your words) can say things to others. It can even convey your attitude. Thus, how can people say that their singing voices can’t say things beyond the mere words? Are people so self-delusional that they can honestly say that when their voice is singing that it is free of any depravity, but when it is speaking, it may reflect a wrong attitude or meaning?
“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashed hands defiles not a man.” – Matthew 15:18-20
In this way, communication is a very important aspect of understanding music that is sinful or righteous. You can use your voice in such a way that you convey attitudes to others, and their minds can decipher and decode what your voice is transmitting. No amount of rules can describe every nuance of the voice or help you describe why some vocal music is sinful, but your heart knows it.
Thus, the Holy Spirit must be involved in discerning evil music from that which is good, and with Him, there is no need for a rule book on every nuance of a song. If you believe a song is wrong, then you are not to partake of it, regardless of how highly you think of the musician. If you are drifting spiritually, you won’t catch these nuances of pride, lust, or other sinful attitudes and tones in the voice of those who themselves may be incapable of reading their own hearts.
“But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” – Romans 14:23
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” – Galatians 5:18
Music is not just sound waves created for the pleasure of mankind, but the sheer beauty of a mathematical world of ratios and orderly arrangements that follow natural magnet-like tonal pathways that seem to flow and open for those who have mastered the science and not just the art of music. Truth and beauty are objective, not subjective. They can be seen in the material and the abstract, the intellectual and the emotional, in the arts and in the sciences, in the spirit and the body. Musical tonality is a baseline and context in which one’s spirit can express a seemingly infinite prism of emotional colors through polyphony which is perceived by the listener with their auditory nerves and ultimately by their spirit. Harmony is an experiential journey through “aural magnetic relationships” which allow us to travel between frequencies of vibrations as if riding upon a superhighway of the spirit.
The “Mozart effect” research seemingly indicates that listening to Mozart’s music induces a short-term improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as “spatial-temporal reasoning.” The research implies that “listening to Mozart makes you smarter”, or that early childhood exposure to classical music is beneficial to the mind. Don Campbell claims benefits far beyond improving spatial-temporal reasoning or raising intelligence. He has written about “the transformational powers of music in health, education, and well-being.” The term “Mozart Effect” was first coined by Alfred Tomatis who used Mozart’s music in an attempt to cure a variety of disorders. The approach has been popularized in a book by Don Campbell, and is based on an experiment published in Nature suggesting that listening to Mozart temporarily boosted scores on one portion of the IQ test. As a result, Zell Miller while Governor of Georgia, proposed a budget in 1998 to provide every child born in Georgia with a CD of classical music and set aside $105,000 of the state budget to do so. I was once told by a former member of the CIA that the CIA spends time studying music and its effect upon human beings. He was an expert in that field, in fact. Lots of studies and research have been done upon the detrimental effects of rock music over the past several decades.
I have seen the CIA documents that indicated the U.S. government was monitoring John Lennon and his Beatles when they came to the United States due to their revolutionary nature. Isn’t it interesting to see the revolutionary effect that his style of music has had upon our nation? Pun intended.
On the other hand, we see classical music brings relaxation, intellectual transformation, and purity of mind. I see classical music as therapeutic and disciplined, much like exercise, salad, or a good book. The more crass and vulgar style of rock music has the opposite effect upon me. I find it makes the mind unable to concentrate on spreadsheets or intellectual disciplines and encourages a general overall lack of discipline, both mentally and physically. Your music is your choice. I am here simply to point out the possible benefits of classical music and the less-than-beneficial nature of much of the Western world’s popular music.
There is far more research which I would love to share with you, but I need much more time in my day to do so. For now, keep in mind the books that on a very surface level give indication of the medical and physiological effects of rock music. We could also explore the rules of sound and the use of distortion or the effects of loud music on humans, but instead let us share testimonies of those whose lives were impacted by rock music in a very negative supernatural way. I, for one, was an addict and victim, so were I to take the stand in the courtroom of Truth, I could testify of the painful spiritual damage and enslaving power of rock music.
In addition to my own testimony mentioned previously in this informational presentation, I would like to share a few sobering testimonials by youth and young adults who speak first-hand of the social and spiritual impact of religious rock music in their lives (names are withheld for obvious reasons).
Are there any similar testimonials from those devastated by classical music? Such a thought is not only absurd, but such reports are non-existent. To have this shamanic music forced upon people, especially children, during their church’s services is spiritually abusive. Pastors and parents who subject those under their authority to listen to such music will have to stand before Jesus Christ to give an account of their actions.
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence comes! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast [them] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 18:6
i. “ ‘Christian rock’ music has probably been the biggest hindrance to my spiritual growth. When I first heard this kind of music, it really bothered my spirit. But then this music was brought into my church. The more I heard it, the less it bothered me. The less it bothered me, the more I listened to it. It wasn’t long before I was involved in secular rock music because I didn’t see any difference. This music caused me to resist the Lord and hold parts of my life back from Him. I was not able to have a freedom to truly serve Him and be totally dedicated to Him until I was willing to give up this music.” – Student From Florida (age 16)
ii. “When I got started listening to contemporary Christian music, I started out on ‘mild’ music, but it grew to harder music. It grew to the point where the music took the place of Bible reading. .. it was addictive…This music, which is supposed to promote Christianity, caused me to violate God’s commandments about idolatry.” – Student From Missouri (age 17)
iii. “…my father.. told me that if I listened to ‘Christian rock’ it would open the door for Satan. I just laughed, and listened anyway. It totally deadened my Christian growth and led to terrible immorality, rebellion, and rejection of God. It then developed into secular, hard rock.. I still have a scar in my life that will never be removed.” – Student From Oklahoma (age 16)
iv. “I personally don’t like ‘Christian rock,’ but at the cafe where I work as a waitress, they have been playing it. Since I have been working there I have had no desire to pray or read the Bible or to even get to know the Lord…. it has subconsciously affected my spiritual growth… I have found that I desire to read my Bible and to pray since I have been away from ‘Christian rock. ‘ ” – Student From Wisconsin (age 23)
v. “I began listening to ‘Christian rock,’ and shortly thereafter I began a fast, steady pace downhill. This eventually led me into a totally backslidden state… I remember the specific day and the song I listened to first. I remember feeling rebellious… Within weeks, maybe months, a very apparent breakdown of my conscience, morality, and appearance was evident…I had completely fallen away from the Lord. I appeal to Church leaders today…. I plead with you to purge your churches, youth groups, and homes of rock and roll… I pray that the devastating results of rock music will be realized in the Church before it steals anymore of the souls of our youth.” – Student From California (age 19)
vi. “I can now say there is no such thing as ‘Christian rock,’ and this type of music should not be in one’s house, much less in God’s holy house of worship!” – Student From Texas (age 19)
vii. “It does not matter whether I listen to secular or ‘Christian rock,’ when the songs are over, I feel the same. I feel an emptiness in my soul, a heavy burden. Even ‘Christian rock’ sometimes makes me feel like going out and getting rowdy or even hurting someone else if they provoke me, and that is against all of God’s teachings, and everything God stands for.” – Student From Michigan (age 21)
viii. “‘Christian rock’ and Christian contemporary music have, in my life, been stepping stones. Not… up — but down. Just a few months of listening to ‘Christian rock’ and contemporary music led to a life of being controlled by acid rock. This quickly led to and encouraged rebellion, greed, moral impurity, and trying to… hide from my parents. – Student From Pennsylvania (age 17)
ix. “The music I started with was soft, slow, and contemporary, and it took over my life and I became dependent upon it rather than upon God. I did not realize it, but I was a lukewarm Christian, no matter how many times I sought God at the altar. Eventually… God gave me the conviction to not listen to evil Christian contemporary music. He made me free in my soul!” – Student From Illinois (age 16)
x. “When I started listening to ‘Christian rock’ I slowly started to listen to… (soft rock). Then I was listening to something harder and harder. It not only led me into worldly rock, but I was getting rebellious toward my parents, and I was having sensual and lustful thoughts. I also could not memorize or read God’s Word and understand it or retain it. – Student From Nebraska (age 15)
xi. “‘Christian rock’ had made me a shallow, rebellious young Christian. It made it easy for me to get into regular rock music… I finally submitted to God and got the rock music out of my life, I praise God for His help in releasing me from it.” – Student From Indiana (age 18)
xii. “I believe God designed the world to conform to Christianity, not Christianity to the world. Please, please, don’t pollute your minds or your spiritual life with this awful music. The same applies to ‘Christian rock’ music. – Student From Indiana (age 18)
xiii. “I began with a high standard of music in my life. Through my youth group, that became watered down. I gradually began to build a collection of contemporary artists who professed to be Christians. As I collected more tapes and the music’s beat became stronger, I became more rebellious…the so-called ‘Christian music’ led me into rebellion. – Student From Texas (age 19)
xiv. ‘Christian rock’ music has divided my youth group. It has kept me in bondage spiritually… Whenever I walk into my youth group, rock is being played. I feel Satan’s control start to tighten. …I find it almost impossible to have beneficial, reverent quiet times when the sensual beat pops into my mind.” – Student From Georgia (age 17)
xv. “Those that think that ‘Christian rock’ is OK because of the words are wrong. When I listen to that type of ‘Christian’ music, I have the same reaction [sensual thoughts]. I cannot listen to any type of this music because when I do, I can no longer worship God or grow in Him.” – Student From Ohio (age 15)
xvi. Now my church plays ‘Christian rock’ and I see it ruining many kids in our youth group. It is so sad. It has ruined kids that were so sweet.” – Student From Texas (age 16)
xvii. “‘Christian rock’ at one time really messed up my view of Christianity. I would listen to it and think, ‘Look how Christianity is trying to blend in with the world.’ – Student From Ohio (age 19)
xviii. “…we as Christians do not take drugs to witness to drug users, and we do not convert to worldly habits to identify with the world. So I saw no reason to use worldly music with Christian words so that I could minister to the world!” – Student From California (age 17)
Even if a Christian reader does not believe a certain music style or musical association to be evil, they are required by Scripture to avoid anything that is doubtful for their own conscience’s sake and for the sake of others’ consciences.
“And he that doubts is damned if he eat, because he eats not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” – Romans 14:23
With the abundance of music in the world that is free of doubt, there are plenty of choices of music for those who really want to please GOD. For those truly seeking GOD’s favor, no exhortation on music is required. For those desiring their own will instead of GOD’s favor, no evidence on music will ever be sufficient enough for them.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” – Galatians 5:16