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I recently finished reading “Drumming at the Edge of Magic: A Journey into the Spirit of Percussion” by Mickey Hart with Jay Stevens (1990). This book is a key resource about occult music that consecrated Christians need to profit from so that their beliefs and practices about music are what God wants them to be.

Based on my reading of this book and much other research that I have done over the past eleven years, I believe that the following 15 observations are warranted.

  1. This book is essential reading for any mature believer who is in a leadership position and wants to understand what he needs to understand about the battle that we are in for godly music in Christian worship.
  2. The mature, responsible, and consecrated believer who is in a leadership position who has not read this book does not have vital information that is available to us that conclusively provides us with more than enough information about occult music so that we can factually demand that all our people reject all occult music categorically.
  3. In this book, there is only one very brief section that has some objectionable content in it.
  4. For various reasons, I would not recommend that this book be read by immature believers or even those who may be mature but just have a passing interest in music issues.
  5. This book (as well other sources) provides us with sufficient evidence about occult percussive techniques in 6 of the 7 continents of the world. Such evidence is very important for us to address properly the music issues that we face concerning Christian music.
  6. I highly recommend this book because it provides extensive insight and information about the use of percussion in occult music. It also provides a vast amount of information that by way of implication underscores the vital necessity for Christian leaders to speak out against the use of occult music in our churches.
  7. The book is not a Christian book at all, and it is not written to oppose any kind of music. The author of the book was the drummer of a rock band who spent many years very extensively compiling information about occult drumming practices from all over the world. He personally experienced and played the occult music himself from a large number of those countries.
  8. The author never says that he is writing as a Christian, and he is not writing to say that all (or even any) drumming is evil, etc.
  9. Without knowing what he has done, this author has provided God’s people with crucial, factual information about occult musical practices from all over the world.
  10. Any music, whether “Christian” or not, that uses any of those occult drumming practices from anywhere in the world is occult music that God’s people all over the world must reject.
  11. It is vital that we not get specific at all in what we say; rather, we must oppose any Christian use of any occult music anywhere in the world.
  12. From this book (and other sources), we have more than enough evidence that we must not use any rock, rock-based, rock-influenced, or rock-like music in any aspect of our lives.
  13. We must reject any CCM that uses any kind of rock, rock-based, rock-influenced, or rock-like music.
  14. So much of the church all over the world has been greatly deceived about rock music. This book provides vital information and understanding that the leaders of consecrated believers must have.
  15. God warns us not to be deceived, and we need to help as many people as we can to come to know the truth.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

By the time the Spirit inspired the apostle John to write the book of Revelation, Balaam had likely been dead for somewhere around 1500 years, and Jezebel, for more than 900 years. In spite of the vast spans of time involved, the glorified Christ confronted Christian churches late in the first century AD about their allowing Balaam and Jezebel to corrupt their churches!

Because the Spirit ended His letters to two churches with commands to all churches of all time to hear these warnings, we know that we too must beware allowing Balaam and Jezebel to corrupt our churches!

Allowing Balaam to Corrupt the Church at Pergamos

The glorified Christ confronted the church at Pergamos by saying to them,

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

More than 1000 years earlier, the Spirit had revealed just how corrupt and dangerous an occultist Balaam was:

Numbers 24:1 And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.

Numbers 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

Joshua 13:22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.

These passages show that Balaam was an occultist who wickedly taught people to corrupt others through the eating of things sacrificed unto idols and through immorality.

Incredibly, many, many centuries later, somehow there were people in the church at Pergamos who held the wicked doctrine of Balaam and thereby corrupted that church. Even the passage of more than 1000 years did not make the occult and immoral doctrine and practices of Balaam any less of a problem for God’s people!

Allowing Jezebel to Corrupt the Church at Thyatira

After confronting the church in Pergamos, the glorified Christ confronted God’s people in another church about their having very similarly allowed an occultist to corrupt their church:

Revelation 2:20 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.

As He had done with Balaam, so the Spirit had also revealed many centuries earlier to God’s people that Jezebel was a wicked and immoral occultist:

2 Kings 9:22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?

Horrifically, similar to what was true in the church at Pergamos through the lasting influences of the ancient occultist Balaam, somehow there was in the church at Thyatira great corruption through the lasting influences of another ancient occultist, Jezebel, that defiled the church through the wickedness of another woman with the same name. This modern-day Jezebel had so corrupted some people in the church that there was fornication, the eating of things offered to idols, and the knowledge of the depths of Satan among the people of the church!

Commonalities between Balaam and Jezebel and Their Ongoing Corrupting Influences

Both Balaam and Jezebel corrupted God’s people with fornication and eating things offered to idols. Both were wicked practitioners of the occult.

Shockingly, their occult and immoral wickedness manifested its horrific corrupting affects in Christian churches many centuries later in spite of vast amounts of time having elapsed since these two prominent occultists had died.

Application

Christian churches must not have anything to do with wicked people or things having to do with immorality, idolatry, or the occult. Christian churches must purge themselves of all such corruption due to any influences of Balaam, Jezebel, or any other occultists in their churches!

Especially in our day, we must not be deceived into thinking that things that were corrupt and immoral things of the occult in the past, such as rock music, are no longer a problem for God’s people today because of the passage of considerable time. The passage of many decades has not at all changed the necessity of God’s people rejecting from their churches rock music as corrupt occult and immoral music in our day.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

I have spent many years online discussing and debating issues with supporters of contemporary worship concerning what music Christians should and should not use in worship. I have had these discussions and debates on two Christian discussion forums, on Facebook, on my blog, and through email. Many of these interactions have involved daily conversations for extended periods.

Over the past 10 years or so, there have been quite a few occasions on which I have encountered notions from some supporters of contemporary worship that I knew to be false, but I did not know then how to answer them fully and specifically with Scripture. Through specifically praying and studying, God has granted me illumination of Scripture from more than nine key passages that specifically and decisively have answered these false notions!

In my praying to God about these matters, I have used several passages as the models for how I have prayed. I have not kept track, but I would not be surprised to learn that I have probably prayed along the lines of the following passages and sample prayers (some of these are not verbatim but only representative) many hundreds of times over the years:

2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

Heavenly Father, please grant me specific and clear insight into Thy Word that I would be mighty through Thee to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God in all my hearers, and please bring their every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

1 Kings 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? . . . 12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart.

Gracious God, please give to me a wise and understanding heart that I may discern between the good and the bad.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Heavenly Father, I lack wisdom to know how to answer this wrong teaching. You have said that if any man lacks wisdom, he must ask of You Who gives liberally to all men and does not upbraid; and it will be given him. Do as You have said and grant me the wisdom that I need to answer this wrong teaching.

Proverbs 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Father, please grant that I would not answer these people according to their folly, lest I would become like them and please grant that I would answer them according to their folly so that they would not be wise in their own conceits.

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Holy Spirit, please fill me now and grant me all manner of skillfulness in every skillful aspect of answering these supporters of contemporary worship music so that I would be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince these gainsayers.

2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Lord, as I carefully consider what Thou hast said in this passage, please grant me understanding in all things that Thou hast said in Thy Word.

Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

O God, I know and believe that the answers to every important question about what music is acceptable to Thee in worship are in Thy Word. Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Law.

I praise, extol, and thank our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit for answering my prayers richly and specifically for illumination and wisdom about these matters repeatedly over the years! To God be the glory, great things He hath done!

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

First Corinthians 10:23 may be a passage that some believers may think supports holding that all musical styles are fit for worship because of what it says about all things being lawful for them:

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Because of what this passage teaches, we can diagram what it teaches using the Venn diagram at the top of the post. In brief, all things are lawful, but because all things are not expedient, all things that are expedient is a subset of all things that are lawful.

Similarly, all things that edify is also a subset of all things that are lawful.

Furthermore, the diagram shows that there may be an unknown amount of overlap between the things that are expedient and the things that edify. That overlap would be all things that are lawful, expedient, and edify.

Application to Our Understanding about All Musical Styles

If one understands that the teaching about “all things” being lawful in this verse applies to our understanding about all musical styles, then the verse would teach that all musical styles are lawful. It is vital, however, to understand what else the verse would then teach about all musical styles.

Because the verse clearly teaches that it is not true that all things are expedient, the verse would then teach that not all musical styles are expedient. Moreover, because the verse clearly teaches that it is not true that all things edify, the verse would then teach that not all musical styles edify.

We would then have divine revelation saying to us that not all musical styles would be expedient and not all musical styles would edify. Because not all musical styles would be expedient and not all musical styles would edify, not all musical styles would be fit for use in worship because only styles that are lawful, expedient, and edify can be used in worship.

Thus, even it were true that the Bible taught that all musical styles are lawful (it does not teach this), it still would not be true that believers could use all musical styles in worship. They would still only be able to use a lawful style (or styles) that both is expedient and does edify.

Conclusion

Because of the teaching of 1 Corinthians 10:23, we know that it is not true that all musical styles are expedient, and we also know that it is not true that all musical styles edify. All musical styles, therefore, are not fit for use in worship.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

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!

Discussion

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

Conclusion

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?

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

On Sharper Iron, I am currently engaged in some very intense exchanges with some supporters/sympathizers of CCM. This thread concerns what I believe is an unethical campaign that has been waged against me for some time now by some SI users.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

I recently finished reading “New Heart, New Spirit, New Song,” by Douglas Bachorik. It is well-written and provides much valuable information.

Having read several books, and many articles, and other materials from both sides, especially from those who are not musically “conservative,” I think that his book will be especially helpful to those who are already solidly convinced of the correctness of being musically “conservative” and want to expand their understanding, perspectives, etc.

It is one of the top books available that from a biblical viewpoint supports using conservative music. If you have not read this book, I encourage you to do so.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

By examining what Scripture reveals about divine rejection of certain altars, an important truth emerges that must inform our understanding concerning divine rejection of certain instrumental music used in worship.

Divine Rejection of Altars

Scripture explicitly reveals to us that there were altars made by humans that God rejected:

Deuteronomy 7:5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

God commanded His people to destroy these altars of the Canaanites as well as all their objects of false worship. It is important to note that the altars were not themselves objects that were worshiped; they were man-made objects that were used in worship.

Those altars were made by people who were made in God’s image. Although they were cultural products made by such people, God rejected those altars and demanded that His people do likewise.

Divine Rejection of Instrumental Music Used in Worship

Just as God commanded His people to reject the altars of those people, so His people were to reject as well the other facets of how they worshiped their false deities (Deut. 12:29-30). Because this divine mandate necessarily included their instrumental music that they used in worship, we see that God rejected their instrumental music used in their worship as well as their altars.

The fact that people made in the image of God made that instrumental music did not mean that music itself had to have been acceptable to God for use by His people in worship.

Discussion

In response to this line of reasoning, some claim that God created all music. Such a claim has no explicit biblical basis.

Even so, to arrive at that position, some say that God made people in His image and they are sub-creators so that He is the Creator of all music in that way.

By the same reasoning, we would have to hold that God is the Creator of all altars. Yet, we see that God demanded the complete rejection of pagan altars.

If one, therefore, yet takes the approach that God is the Creator of all music, then one would not have any basis to deny that there is also instrumental music that God created that He wants His people to reject. That conclusion, however, is precisely what many believers who reason in these ways will not accept.

Conclusion

Just as God has rejected certain altars, so He has rejected certain instrumental music used in worship. The image of God in man does not mean that God will accept whatever instrumental music humans have chosen to use in worship.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Suppose that a group of evil humans in a remote land gets together and smokes some psychedelic substances. Doing so puts them all into a state of altered consciousness. While in that state, they all suddenly see a towering being of light appear to them.

This being proceeds to tell them that he is the true god and that there is no other god besides him. The being is frog-like in appearance. The spirit being commands the men to make an image of itself and worship that image.

The being orders them to make the image to have three heads even though it only has one head. The men do so and originate an entire religion around the worship of their three-headed frog-like god.

Christian Refusal to Believe What Happened

Some Christians later come to the remote area where these idolaters live and see the idol. The Christians conclude that the people just used their imagination to make an idol that was somewhat like real frogs that they had seen somewhere in their land.

When they try to evangelize some of the idolaters, the Christians refuse to believe what the idolaters tell them had happened to guide them to make the idol. They reject their testimony that they really had seen a spirit being that was frog-like in appearance and that had ordered them to make that idol.

Would such Christians be right or wrong? According to Scripture, there are demons who are frog-like in appearance:

Revelation 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Therefore, Christians who would refuse to believe such a testimony— if it were ever to be given to them—would actually be wrong in thinking that demons cannot appear to humans to guide the humans to engage in any such kind of creative activity that is of demonic origin.

Application

An important conclusion follows from applying the dynamics of the story related above to the realm of instrumental music. Demons can easily influence evil humans in a similar manner to produce demonic music on instruments so that the music is of demonic origin and not solely a product of human imagination and creativity.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Progress on My First Book

January 23, 2021

For the past decade, God has directed me to study Scripture intensely to learn what He has revealed about music. Lord willing, I hope to write my first book this year: “The Battle for Kingdom Music: A Call to Worldwide Consecration.”

I worked for several hours on the book today and am very thankful to God that I made some good progress!

As the Lord leads, please pray with me for Spirit-filled wisdom, skill, and grace to finish writing this book this year. Thanks in advance to any who pray for me about this matter in the days to come.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.