Over several years of online exchanges with various believers who defend the use of CCM, I have encountered persistent claims that I believe are very mistaken and dangerous claims. What’s even more disturbing is that I have had several exchanges with believers who themselves are generally musically conservative but have fiercely made some of the very same claims that some of those CCM defenders have made.
The Claims of Some CCM Defenders concerning Addressing Music of the Occult
I have had some very intense exchanges with some supporters of CCM who have claimed that I must do the following concerning various musics of the occult against which I have spoken and written:
1. Show how and why it is demonic
2. Define the terms that I use to speak of it
3. Provide specific examples of it
4. Give detailed, specific information about it
Are these legitimate claims or are they very mistaken and dangerous claims? To address this matter, we need to look carefully at how the glorified Christ handled issues concerning the occult in a church late in the first century AD.
The Glorified Christ’s Confrontation of Issues about the Occult in a Church
The glorified Christ fiercely confronted believers in the church in Thyatira concerning issues about the occult in their midst:
Rev 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
In this passage, Christ reproached sinful people in a church who had allowed a false teacher in the church named Jezebel to have very perverse influence in the church (Rev. 2:20-23).
By striking contrast, Christ later spoke of people in the church about whom He said that they had not come to know “the depths of Satan,” as others in the church spoke of (Rev. 2:24).
Saying these things, Christ implicitly revealed that there were both people in the church who had come to know “the depths of Satan” and those who had not.
This key revelation about what some people in the church had come to know requires very careful treatment to address whom we should follow in our day concerning issues about occult music—various CCM defenders or the glorified Christ.
Notice carefully all the things that the glorified Christ did not do concerning what He implicitly revealed about certain people in the church having known “the depths of Satan.”
1. Having accepted at face value their characterization of whatever that knowledge was as being demonic, He did not argue for why it was demonic or explain how it was demonic.
2. He used their term for describing that knowledge and did not define in any way their term that He used to speak out implicitly against people’s knowing what these demonic depths were!
3. He did not provide any examples—specific or otherwise—about what these demonic depths were!
4. He did not give any detailed, specific information about what these demonic depths were!
5. He did not place any burden on those who had not known these demonic depths to do research and learn more information about what these demonic depths were!
Applying directly how we see the glorified Christ Himself dealt with people in a church about coming to know about things of the occult, devoted believers do not have to show how or why music of the occult is demonic—they must accept as valid that characterization of it by those who use that music. They do not have to and must not seek to show how or why it is demonic.
Devoted believers are fully justified in using the terms that occultists use to speak of their music and in not defining those terms in any way. They must not seek to define for themselves what those terms mean.
Devoted believers must not provide specific examples or give specific, detailed information about music of the occult! It is fully biblical to reject music of the occult without doing any of these things.1
Devoted believers must not follow what some CCM defenders claim must be done concerning addressing issues about music of the occult; rather, we must follow the glorified Christ in addressing such things by holding as valid designations from occultists that their music is occult music.
Furthermore, we must speak only generically about it using their terms, not seek to define those terms, not provide any examples, and not provide any specific, detailed information!2
Finally, we must not seek any in-depth knowledge about music of the occult. Rather, we must reject all of it categorically!
1 Concerning understanding Jesus’ example as establishing these prohibitions, I believe that this approach applies specifically to things concerning the occult; I am not arguing that is necessarily the case concerning addressing other matters for which Jesus did not provide specific information, etc.
Furthermore, what Jesus did here is in keeping with the divine mandate not to even inquire how certain evil people worship their gods (Deut. 12:30-31) and the command to be simple concerning evil (Rom. 16:19) as well as the teaching of Ephesians 5:11.
2 For additional biblical support, see my article, “Is Defining Terms Vital in the CCM Debate?“
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