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Question:

"Sometimes I hear people say that Christian rock music is demonic. What do you think?"

Answer:

I believe that the Lord wants me to pray every day for Christian recording artist Rebecca St. James Offsite Link and her family and her ministry and her future husband (when the Lord gives me a release, I'll explain why), and I am happy to do so. Her music is practically the only music I listen to at the moment, and I have been praying daily for her for several years now. One day I asked the Lord if there is anything about her music, or any of the other Christian music that I have enjoyed, that might somehow be demonic. I am convinced that His answer was "no." After praying about this issue, and after studying the arguments that people have made, my personal feeling is that there is nothing demonic about modern Christian music in general. Certainly there might be Christian songs which have questionable lyrics, and there might be Christian recording artists who have questionable views or behaviors, and there are various types of music that some people don't enjoy, but I don't think that it is valid to make the generalized statement that "contemporary Christian music is demonic."

The problem is that when humans are involved in anything then there will be times when the "flesh" (or even demons) will have an influence. This is true in every area of ministry, whether it's the teaching ministry, the preaching ministry, the healing ministry, the music ministry, and so on, but it doesn't mean that these areas of ministry are demonic. It simply means that people are flawed. Sometimes we make poor decisions, and sometimes we make bad judgment calls. Sometimes it is because of the sin nature that we have inherited from Adam and Eve, and sometimes it is due to the influence of demons, and sometimes it is simply because we still have some maturing and learning to do. But it would be wrong to condemn an entire area of ministry just because we can find some less-than-perfect examples of Christians in that ministry. On that basis, we would have to condemn every area of ministry!

In my article called Are Instruments Allowed in Church? I examined the issue of whether or not musical instruments are allowed in church for worship. When I did a search on the Internet, I found that many of the arguments against instruments in church are quite calm, rational, reasonable, and well-thought-out. On the other hand, if you do an Internet search about Christian music being demonic, you'll find that many of the arguments against contemporary Christian music are based heavily on emotion and human logic. Consider that if the Bible says that certain forms of music are forbidden (such as "the rock beat"), then we should be able to calmly offer Scriptural reasons why modern Christian music might be demonic. It's unfortunate that this subject brings out so much anger and accusations and stirring up people's emotions against an area of ministry (as you can easily see if you do an Internet search), because this clouds the issue and affects people's discernment.

There are some common arguments which are sometimes made against the modern Christian music ministry, and I have found several websites which give balance to this discussion by demonstrating the flaws in many of these arguments. This is not intended to be an endorsement of everything that these websites say, but they offer some good counter-arguments to the critics of contemporary Christian music:

  • Should Christians Rock? An Open Letter to Christian Rock Critics Offsite Link
    This article discusses the purposes for Christian music, the issue of conforming to the world, the argument that rock music (or "the rock beat") is demonic, and more.
  • Choosing Christian Music Offsite Link
    This short article was written by a former secular rock star who is now a Christian, and it discusses various aspects of the Christian music ministry.
  • Let's Talk Sense Offsite Link
    This short article briefly addresses some of the main criticisms of modern Christian music, such as rebellion, demons, motives, compromising with the world, and the origins of rock music.
  • A Golden Calf? Offsite Link
    This short article defends Christian rock music against the accusations of idolatry.
  • Could I Be Wrong? Offsite Link
    This short article briefly addresses some people's concerns about addiction to music, the celebrity status of some Christian artists, and the Scriptural command not to cause our brothers and sisters to stumble.
  • Marr's Hot Air Offsite Link
    I hesitated about including this article, but I had peace when I prayed about it. This is a fairly long article which is a response to an essay written by a well-known critic of contemporary Christian music, and it demonstrates some of the emotion which is often found in this debate. This two-part article sometimes uses sarcasm to make a point, but it does bring out some of the weaknesses in the accusations that are often made against Christian rock music.
  • Contemporary Gospel Music at GospelMusicHQ.com Offsite Link
    This is a huge list of Christian music links for a wide variety of genres. At the "Contemporary Gospel Music" page you can find artist interviews, lyrics, articles, message boards, song clips, etc., for many CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) artists, and see how sold out they are for the Lord.

Conclusion

If you scan through the above websites you'll find some good counter-arguments to many of the negative things that are sometimes said about contemporary Christian music. The music ministry, like every other ministry, has sincere, committed, mature Christians in it, and it probably also has less-sincere, less-committed, less-mature Christians in it as well, just like every other ministry. It has people who are trying to serve the Lord the best they can, and it probably also has people who have more selfish motives, just like every other ministry. Some things in the Christian music ministry glorify the Lord, and some things might not glorify the Lord, just like in every other ministry. Certainly there might be Christian songs which have questionable lyrics, and there might be Christian recording artists who have questionable views or behaviors, and there are various types of music that some people don't enjoy, but I don't think that it is valid to make the generalized statement that "contemporary Christian music is demonic."


I hope this has been helpful, and may the Lord abundantly bless you as you study His Word!
 
 
 
  Modification History  
 
 

  • 04/02/2006 - Added a link to "Contemporary Gospel Music" at GospelMusicHQ.com.
  • 07/26/2003 - Modified some of the wording.
  • 05/16/2002 - Added a link to an article called "Should Christians Rock? An Open Letter to Christian Rock Critics."
  • 07/26/2001 - New article.