In light of the news that the co-founder of the Christian music group The Newsboys is now an atheist, Dr. Brown will explore the reasons for backsliding along with catching up on key news events and taking your questions and calls. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: If you do not want to fall away, if you do not want to be easily shaken, put your roots down deep in God. Know Him intimately and personally, and you will not be moved.
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: It’s because I love grace so much that I am so jealous for the true message of grace; and how does it help your cause, friends, when you misrepresent someone to make your point?
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I read that the “Christian” label was stuck on him due to his parents and that he just wanted to make rock and roll music.
the start of it is kids are not Christians just because their parents are.
rock and roll was named that referencing fornication in the back seat of a car so “Christian” rock and roll is like saying Christian “pornography” or “Christian satan worship”
You are getting pretty heavy 🙂
I will have to say that I am not very impressed with most of the “Christian” songs these days…rock and roll or not. I do not believe that a certain style of music is necessarily good or evil. Some kinds lend themselves to evil way more than others, though. Some things that are called music are not music…but an excuse to scream and act like idiots.
Should believers imitate rebels? Or should our music be compatible with words of hope and peace and joy? There is just something wrong with yelling at the top of our lungs, “I have the peace that passes understanding.” There is something wrong with a heavy metal rock beat that proclaims joy.
Can we really mix the tune to “Giligan’s Island” with the words to “Amazing Grace” and end up with a song that touches heart, soul, mind and strength with power from above? There are all kinds of reasons for music. Some to make us contemplative. Some to make us rejoice. Some to make us laugh. Some even to make us know that something bad is going to happen in a movie.
Music touches our souls. It can touch the emotional side and the reasoning side of our souls. Words do the same thing. How much more powerful is a song that proclaims truth if it is matched well with the correct beat and tune and harmony!
There may be an occasion where “rock and roll,” whatever that really is, has a place in proclaiming truth. Not because it is ” rock and roll,” but because it is a style that lends it self to certain truths or ways of expressing certain truths. And I am in no way sanctioning “rock and roll” whatever it really is…everybody has their own definition.
I have 9 children. They range in age form 30 to 13. I was born in 1962. I have listened to my fair share of Petra, Sweet Comfort Band and Rez band. I have led worship off and on for over 35 years. At one point, I was convinced that the best songs being written were children’s praise and worship. It was pure and joyful and simple, deep, profound truth, if there is such a thing.
At that time, the major adult worship songs were getting more showy and boisterous and lacking in deep truth. The power, simplicity and honesty of the psalms are rarely duplicated these days. We do not live deep enough lives to write real psalms most of the time. Some people do. I have on occasion.
There is probably not a style of “music” that I do not like, but some of it is not for worship. Some of it is not for praise. Some of it is for telling stories. Some is for having good clean fun. Some is not suited for spiritual thoughts. Some is designed to touch us in ways that is only to be between married lovers. Any of these used for the wrong purpose or at the wrong time or with the wrong, or maybe I should say right words, can be used for the purpose of the enemy. We do need to be careful and sober.
All that said, fame and coolness and pride are not what makes for a real “Christian” band. Musicians are a strange lot. There are some technicians, but most are very feeling oriented. Getting swept away by emotion is not real worship most of the time. Real worship has to do with devotion to living up to YHWH’s standards. This can be expressed in words that are quite emotional, but it has to go deeper.
Even back in the early 80’s, I was more connected to the Christian music artists then, there were many supposed Christian musicians that were involved in fornication and homosexuality and drunkenness and drugs. Why would we think that it would be different now? Real believers fail. Real unbelievers think that they are believers. Real musicians sometimes just go with the flow. That is kind of what music is…especially when you are in a band or when everybody keeps encouraging you or when the money and fame pushes you along.
A real heart connected to a real body is a difficult thing to manage. Eunuchs have it easy in some sense. The mentally handicapped have it easy in some sense. Musicians are not to be the leaders of the Church. Elders are. Real elders are older and have raised their children to walk righteous and holy lives. When we start to realize that musicians are not the leaders, we will have made great progress. When worship is led by elders, we will have made great strides. When we learn to judge music by senses that have been exercised to discern good and evil, instead of by our likes and dislikes, we will be on our way to maturity.
Our idols tell us, and those around us, who we really are. Many have musicians and music as their idols. A former Christian band member that is now an atheist is not as strange as multitudes of “Christians” that made him and his band an idol or at least an addiction. Emotional addiction is still an addiction. And when we are addicted, we are a slave. Slaves serve their masters. We cannot serve two masters. There will never be an end to the problem until we all get free and serve only one master.
I took some interest in seeing what I could find about the matter of what is required of Christians from the new testament.
I found a verse that used the word required in I Cor 4:2 (KJV)
I Cor 4:1-7
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
For I know nothing by myself: yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst not receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
So I see that faithfulness is required in stewards, and I trust that God requires faithfulness from all of us who have come to Christ for salvation and the life he came to give us, which is eternal, and waiting for us in the heavenlies, something we look forward to.
I wonder if Paul is saying that if a man glories over his understanding of a thing over another whom he thinks does not have that understanding, it’s as if the one who is doing the glorying really hasn’t received what he claims to have.
Here’s something from the old testament:
And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all they heart and with all thy soul,
To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statues, which I have commanded thee this day for thy good?
There was so much about doing as a requirement in the old testament teachings it seems to me, compared to what I read in the new, yet obedience is just as important today as it ever was.
Here is something from the gospels:
But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes, For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of them they will as the more.
I believe there really is a difference of focus, and of perception, between the new and the old testament. Something changed and it shows by what is written, as well as how it is written, and I believe it’s something to do with grace.
About misrepresenting others, I have talked to Christians who deny the Lord’s existence from eternity, his being with the Father from beyond the foundations of the world, from before this world was made, yet they do believe Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, and in that much they are correct.
However I have heard another say that those that are saying that, are saying that Jesus was just a created being, rather than God’s Son.
I was involved with what was called a cult, and one of their published books by their founder was titled, Jesus Christ is Not God, the focus of it being that Jesus is God’s Son, and in the book it was said that the writer did not believe Jesus existed with the Father from eternity. That was the jist of what he was saying, yet he did believe in the virgin birth, and always confessed Jesus as the Son of God.
So I wonder what the standards of some are, and what is the basis of what they say, and how they judge.
Suppose a man has no communication or interaction with a son he has conceived in a womb of a woman, yet he confesses that child as his son.
Are we to say that since he had no interaction, or influence, or contact with the child before it was born, that it is not his son?
Or should we say that since the man did not know the child at all in any way before it was conceived, then the man is saying that the child is not really his son?
What I am trying to get to here is “What is our standard for judging such a thing?”
It’s true that some may understand Jesus a bit differently than many others, yet in what they do understand that is correct, it seems to me that they should get the credit for.
Some may say, “But they are believing in another Jesus.”
Are they really, or are they only believing in most of the information given about Jesus, but not all of it?
Does that necessarily mean they believe in another Jesus?
What I find interesting about the people I encountered who’s leadership had the book “Jesus Christ is Not God.”, (I believe it was required reading for leadership) is that they were the ones who ran classes on tapes, and at the end of those classes, nearly everybody was speaking in tongues for real, having the evidence of the new birth, evidence such that it can not be disputed, except by those who are ignorant on certain matters pertaining to the Holy Spirit, to whom it is given, and how it is received.
In the classes that I made mention of, the existence of Jesus before the world was made was not denied, though it was never confessed either.
I trust that God knows who believes in the real Jesus and who does not, and I certainly do believe that those who deny his existence before the world was made are wrong on that point.
Suppose a man believes another man is teaching a hyper grace message and so he asks him a question regarding that subject, and the man does not answer the question.
Is that in itself proof that the man is guilty of teaching a hyper grace message?
No. There may be reasons why he choose to not answer the question. Maybe he perceived or thought he perceived something in us he wanted to address which he thought to be the cause of our asking the question in the first place, and there may be other reasons as well.
Christian’s dressing like and making music like the unsaved satanic secular music business is clearly not in line with the words in 1 Thessalonians 5:22
Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:22
The whole CCM industry just promotes “sheep in wolves clothing” though seems many of them are really wolves pretending to be sheep pretending to only be wearing wolve’s clothing
Of course since people just change the words of the bible in that verse in order to allow them to be “sheep in wolves clothing”
CCM is not evil in and of itself. Some that perform are sheep in wolve’s clothing and do not know it. Did you get that. They are sheep looking like wolves…but still sheep. A wolf in sheep’s clothing is someone that is purposefully deceiving the sheep…and there are probably some of those too.
No matter what we call a certain style of music, it is what it is. Many hymns we sing are old bar tunes. So is the song completely of the devil in those cases? Or were the original words of the devil and the music just a tool?
I am not advocating any evil or appearance thereof. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish a tool from the evil that was perpetrated by the one using it. Guns are not evil. Neither are hammers. But guns, hammers and music can be used for evil or good.
Certainly, the right tool for the job is the best way to go, but if I need to drive a nail the handle of my gun might work. If I need to kill a dear, the hammer might work. I would say that quite a few well meaning believers are using the wrong music to try to get the job done.
If you have some specific verses in scripture that are definitive on what styles of music are evil, I’d be interested in seeing them.
And let me say that believers of all kinds are completely deceived into thinking that the fashions of this world are fine. There is nothing in scripture that gives a man permission to have his shirt off in the presence of others…even other men. YHWH clothed Adam and Eve when there was no one else around. He gave them both a garment that covered them from the middle of their arms to below their knees. Just because we are near a beach or some other body of water, does not mean that we are allowed to uncover our thighs or our armpits…or our belly or our chest whether we are male of female.
So even a man and wife that are supposed to be fruitful and multiply and share a marriage bed are not to walk around all the time naked though they are allowed to be naked in each others presence. There are a lot of scriptures that have to do with what we should wear, but Chruchianty ignores them these days. Now concerning music, I will be waiting for scriptures from you about that.
I think you missed one on your list of reasons for backsliding. Another would be “battle-fatigue”. You were fortunate in having your addictive desires rapidly extinguished, but this is not the case for everyone. While Teen Challenge’s success rate varies from state to state, under the best circumstances it is not 100%. There are those who give their lives to Christ and yet have a constant battle marked by periods of victory and defeat, only to have the cycle repeat over and over. Sin->Conviction->repentance->hiatus->sin. This cycle may be attached to any number of addictive behaviors. There is no joy found in this cycle.
The continued conviction and failure is wearing to the point where some simply give up and either walk away, or try to rationalize their behavior within the faith to hold the conviction at bay and still remain in the faith. When others cry out to the Lord and still cannot break free, they find themselves in a quandary. Why does God not help them overcome? Certainly it must be His will for them to live in victory. Is it all just a sham, such that there is no victory to be found in crying out? Or does the fact that they remain bound to this thing or that thing while Michael Brown was set free, speak to a difference in God’s love for them.
Atheists think that they are for reality, but their belief is contradictory when you examine it further. I have read about Atheists that think they can be moral without God, but their philosophy automatically requires a belief in a lack of morals if they take it to it’s extreme conclusion.
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