Archives For CCM

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 © 2011-2021 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 © 2011-2021 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 © 2011-2021 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 © 2011-2021 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 © 2011-2021 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 © 2011-2021 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 © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Suppose you arrive late to a temple where people are worshiping. As you head toward the building, you hear loud sounds emanating from it

Because you are outside the building and still quite a distance from it, you are unable to tell what exactly you are hearing. All you hear are composite, pulsating sounds that you can feel even in your body. What you hear sounds chaotic and raucous to you.

When you get to the heart of the temple, you discover that the people are wildly dancing and chanting and moaning with words and sounds that you cannot make any sense about what they mean. You are also completely unfamiliar with the strange instrumental music that is blaring deafeningly throughout the building.

Because you cannot make any sense of either the verbal sounds being produced or the instrumental music being played, the composite sound sounds to you like confused noise. Would you think that God would be accepting that worship that sounded like confused noise from a distance and sounds like confused noise even when you are directly in the middle of it?

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

In a recent thread on Sharper Iron, I posted the following remarks concerning why many believers reject secular testimonies that speak about demons and music:

Another frequently used basis for rejecting these testimonies is the claim that believers who use these testimonies to argue for the rejection of music of the occult commit multiple logical fallacies in how they use those testimonies. Such claims include the purported use of guilt-by-association (GBA), the genetic fallacy, hasty generalization, and ad hominem.

To address the claim that GBA is routinely used to support the fallacious rejection of music of the occult, it is necessary to examine various passages of Scripture. Consider the following comparison of passages about Balaam:

Numbers 31:14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. 15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 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. 17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

Revelation 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 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.

In spite of 1400-1500 years (we do not know this time span exactly but can approximate it closely enough for our purposes) having elapsed after Balaam’s death, the glorified Christ indicted believers in a Christian church for having people in their midst who were holding the doctrine of Balaam. We know with certainty that Christ was not guilty of using the GBA fallacy when he rebuked the believers in this church for doing so.

Scripture does not provide any basis for our understanding that the doctrine of Balaam had been faithfully transmitted by his followers for all those hundreds of years since his death and had spread from where the Midianites had been all the way to Pergamos. How, then, was the glorified Christ able to validly declare that in essence the same perverse doctrine that greatly corrupted ancient Israel was corrupting a first-century church?

Because I have not received any interaction on that thread for several weeks now, I have decide to discontinue posting on that thread and continue posting further information on the topic here. To profit fully from what I plan to treat in future posts, I encourage you to go and read all my preceding remarks in the thread, “What Does 1 Corinthians 2:14 Teach about What Unbelievers Cannot Know?

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Many people believe that they have the ability to decide whether music is fit for human use by listening to the music and analyzing it musicologically. They even think that they have the ability to analyze music of the occult in the same manner.

The following comparison between consuming spiked beverages and listening to music of the occult shows just how faulty and deadly this thinking is.

Consuming Spiked Beverages

Suppose a malicious scientist invents a colorless, odorless, sweet-tasting liquid that slowly poisons people so that their brains very gradually malfunction more and more. In collaboration with a corrupt, secret government organization, beverage manufacturers mix this poison in various beverages and then ship them to select grocery stores in neighborhoods of enemies of the state.

Not knowing what the government has done, scores of political enemies gradually go insane because they were never able to detect that the beverages were spiked. Because of the properties of the poison that make detecting its presence impossible through ordinary means, those who drink it have no ability to know of its presence and its poisonous effects merely by tasting, smelling, seeing, or drinking the spiked beverages.

To them the spiked beverages look, smell, and taste perfectly fine. Using their aesthetic abilities to determine the fitness of the beverages has disastrous consequences for them.

Listening to Music of the Occult

Music of the occult is music that evil humans produce either under the influence of demons or for summoning them or both (see footnote 1 in this post for some information about such music). Because demons are supernatural beings whose knowledge, ability, and experience concerning music far surpasses any ability or knowledge of humans, such music is incredibly dangerous music.

Humans who assert that we must listen to such music to know whether it is demonic music wrongly think that they have the ability to understand and detect anything about the music that would make it either harmful for humans to listen to it or unrighteous for them to listen to it or both. As with the spiked beverages, however, humans completely lack the understanding and capabilities to detect and determine accurately the deadly properties of this music.

Application

Christians should never assent to challenges to listen to music of the occult for the purposes of analyzing it and explaining what is demonic about it. Rather, we must totally reject all such music without exposing ourselves to it in any way.

 

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.