Contemporary Music: Seducing the Church with an Effeminate Spirit

For more than fifteen years I have studied and watched the growth of contemporary music in worship services.

The Holy Spirit in me has always been grieved with this music every time I have heard it. Recently I attended a church where contemporary music was sung during the worship time. Following the service I cried out to the Lord to give me an understanding of this trend in our Pentecostal churches. I believe the Father heard my prayer and has opened my heart to see the truth. “Contemporary music is effeminate music and promotes an effeminate spirit that is falsely believed to be worship.” There are certainly some dear saved souls in the ranks but they are in danger.

Let’s try to look at the battle raging to bring the church into the total sway of contemporary music. Please remember the meaning of the word “contemporary.” It means following the trend of the times. It is allowing the world to dictate to the church what we should follow. A contemporary church is a worldly church! It is impossible to believe anything else. Here we are at the door of the “Rapture” and our church atmosphere is under great stress to completely ignore that fact. I believe the Holy Ghost is going to pour out His power but it will not be on a compromising people. Let’s look carefully at what is occurring.

The battle is raging to hush people like me. What is music all about and why did our Heavenly Father create music? We will look at the battle raging to bring the Church into the total sway of contemporary music.

Music was created to be a language of the human spirit. It was never meant to be called the language of the soul. Man is a spiritual creature and singing is one of man’s highest ideals. Life without music and singing would be dull and empty. Not only is music a language of our human spirit, it is also a primary language of our worship. The human spirit is our direct line of communion with God. Spiritual singing unites us to Him for fellowship and life. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19).

Singing was ordained by God to be full of Him, His words, and answers that satisfy our daily longing after Him. Modern music is similar to Modern art and Modern living, it is full of questions with very few answers. It is like a painting full of color with no capturing scenes. Modern music is almost totally the same theology as the “positive thinking” ideas of Robert Schuller. Rick Warren calls his church, “The flock that rocks.” You are not likely to find a liberal church that is now called “The Emerging Church” that sings Gospel music. Modern/Contemporary music is the music of churches that have left the fundamentals of Holy Scripture.

I have spent about two weeks trying to listen as much as possible to music from both the Gospel styles and the Modern styles. As I have listened, I have kept extensive notes. I use these two terms to cover the many variations of each category. Please understand that I know there is a little decent music in the Modern variations, and there are some very bad songs and styles in the Gospel variations. My words are not meant to sweep with a broom that is too broad, but I must speak truth.

While listening to Gospel music, I have found an overwhelming abundance of themes straight out of Holy Scripture. Here are some of the actual words that fill the songs: Calvary, forgiveness, being Born Again, repentance from sin, and the consequences of living an unholy life are constantly present. The Blood of Christ is also a constant theme. The Born-Again life of happiness and holiness is heard over and over. Terms like “straight and narrow,” “whosoever will,” “Jesus Christ died for one and all,” and “He set me free” are sung in many songs.

There is an extremely strong presence in Gospel singing of the prophetic messages in the Bible. “The Rapture,” “the sounding of the trumpet,” “going home with Jesus,” and “in the twinkling of an eye” are some happy themes often heard. Our future robes of “spotless white” and the great “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” are never forgotten. In fact, after one straight session of only ninety minutes, I had heard every theme I could name out of the Holy Bible. By listening to Gospel music — including Southern Gospel, Church Hymns, etc. — you will get an understanding of the Christian life, along with the great truths that we believe and love. It’s easy to understand that Gospel singing is going to be the music of any strong Bible-believing church.

Listening to the Modern music has really been an education for me. I find it almost impossible to explain my experience. I have not heard one whisper of prophecy in all the Modern music to which I have listened. I heard the Blood of Christ casually named one time. I made a note for myself after a full hour of listening, “One hour and not one word of His blood or Calvary, not one word of repentance or sorrow for sins.” That hour had been nothing but “praise and thanks” that gave no valid understanding of what brought them to such a state of ecstasy. Believe me; the “state of ecstasy” had been on a pitch above normal even for a Pentecostal like me.

After Sirius XM, I tried the Billy Graham station in Black Mountain, NC, and all the songs were of no understandable difference. I heard one requested song that was played for a woman in the hospital. The theme was, “I waited for you today, I needed you today,” but there was never an answer given to that lady’s needs. As I said earlier, the only answers in the Modern music I heard was to just “praise Him” regardless of the situation. It’s like praising someone that you have really never come to know in the great revelations of the Holy Bible. It was religious “positive thinking” saturating every song.

It appears to me that once an individual is hooked on Modern/Contemporary music, there is no turning around. It is soulical music and it creates a strong religious satisfaction and bondage that defies escape. It’s religious noise that drives the human emotions wild. It’s a “god” without standards, convictions, or adherence to Biblical truth. Their response is “I just like it so, leave me alone.”

I have come to believe more strongly than ever that Gospel music is music that is full of answers, while Modern/Contemporary music is full of vain repetitions. While most of the questions are not bad, modern theology and music has forgotten how to proclaim God’s straight Biblical answers to human life. Gospel music is Christ-centered and Bible-centered, while Modern/Contemporary music is man-centered and emotions-centered. Gospel music is the source of great joy because it blends the answers with the questions. Gospel music is also full of praise, but with great understanding of the God and Christ we are praising.

I know this article is incomplete because no one person has all of God’s answers. Please be a part of discussing this article by adding your own comment. You can click below on the Please Comment icon, or visit us on the website. I will be reading your opinions and watching for what I expect will be a healthy discussion.

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14 thoughts on “Contemporary Music: Seducing the Church with an Effeminate Spirit

  1. pastor Ferdenand

    Dear Pastor Chambers
    Thank you as always for a timely word from the Lord! You will not likely be surprised by this. But I was intending on reaching you about all the music that is in the churches this past week. But, I never got time to sit down and email you. There is an acquaintance of mine that has begun a ministry in a town some 50 miles away, and the whole jest of the ministry evolves around the attitude that they must reach the youth, and while this is a wonderful thing to be striving to do. They have started a youth band with several of the youths in the church, and they recently posted pictures of themselves online. and it was repulsive! They all looked like a rock band, had their hair cut like the world, was wearing the “skinny jeans”, and the way they posed for the picture was disgusting. They had their rear ends sticking out as if to be bending over! The lead singer looked like an open homosexual! And the whole spirit behind it seemed wrong. The sad part is, I seen fellow ministers (aged ones- who grew up hearing of the dangers of this_) were endorsing it! Other pastors just jumping on-board, and lauding these young men (sissified men) for their “ministry”. My heart aches as I see the tidal wave of this sort of thing in the Church. I can’t remember the name but it was not even Christian sounding. This nation is headed to hell and the church seems to be just following the leader. The Lord bring some Wisdom to this generation, and spark some discernment among the pastors to call this stuff out. Thanks again brother and The Lord bless you is my prayers for you and your ministry. in Jesus’ name amen

  2. Thank you for this very well-stated dialogue. I agree with the views presented here. While you referred to the modern music as religious noise, I call it cacophonic (discordant or chaotic) music with religious-sounding words. In some respects, secular rock music isn’t as dangerous because it IS secular without the pretense of religious words added to the music. This modern stuff amounts to secular music with religious words added to it which is why it can be so misleading. Also, there is an element of eastern spiritism in this modern noise. It is the ‘repetition’ which is parallel to repeating the same mantra in order to bring about the hypnotic state of meditation. For all the time I have been a Christian, I have believed that good preaching and good gospel music is based on FACTS, not simply emotional pleas like this modern music is.

  3. Thank you, Pastor Chambers, for this article! I’ve always thought most contemporary Christian music shallow and emotion-driven, with very little real substance… I really miss singing the powerful and edifying hymns I learned while growing up. I’ve had trouble with hyper-emotional responses most of my life, so I’m especially troubled by contemporary Christian music that seems to be geared primarily toward eliciting emotional response devoid of knowledge/understanding of the gospel of Christ. For years I’ve been thinking: “Maybe I’m just getting old and crabby and intolerant (which is hard to admit because I’m 56!) and I need to relax about it.” But most of what I hear just “doesn’t sit right” with me. So, I just wanted to say thank you, pastor, for putting into words what I’ve struggled with for so long!

  4. Excellent article and well written. Thank you Bro. Chambers for taking the time to address this critical question confronting the modern church. Your analogy of modern art being similar to modern worship music is excellent. Most modern worship lacks the character of melody and certainly theme and biblical content. These song writers are just merely throwing paint at a canvass and calling it art. Thank God for men like Charles Wycuff and Albert Brumley not to mention Fanny Crosby and many others who had the talent and Spirit to write the timeless treasures we enjoy today!

  5. Thanks you Pastor Chambers for your timely word to the body of Christ .I say amen to every world that you said. Recently I went to a Youth Recital and my spirit was so grieved as I watched a young girl dance. As you know, the world music has opened the door to the modern dance in the church. How does a young woman or young man twisting his or her body in front of a congregation really glorify a hold God. Then came the rap music and I felt so sad.I was almost in tears to see a boy dance, just like the ungodly young men. My conclusion is, that is the kind of ungodlinessf that prevents the power of God to dwell in the churches, and to see His glory to save, to heal, to sanctify, and prepare us for His coming again. God bless you as you speak truth to our hearts.

  6. Dr. Chambers, thank you for the lesson on Contemporary “church” music. For several years I have almost been ashamed to invite new people to worship with us because of the music. Where once we enjoyed the Church Hymns, we now endure the repetitive, noisy, emotion-driven so-called worship! There have even been those who said, “This is what I heard in the honkey-tonks of the world. I came looking for something different!” and they didn’t return to that church!
    And then, on the rare moment of a spiritual moving during an evening service,the full-time, paid minister of music was asked to lead the congregation in the hymn “The Old Rugged Cross,” he ran scrambling for a hymnal, admitting he didn’t know the words (he wasn’t there much longer either). May God be merciful and give opportunity once again for repentance.

  7. We have at least 3 Christian radio stations where I live and none of them play songs regarding prophecy. A couple of my favorites are ‘People Get Ready’ by Chrystal Lewis and ‘Left Behind’ though I can’t remember the name of the guy who sings it but it is in the Left Behind film with Kirk Cameron.
    If I want to listen to any of those, I have to look them up on You Tube. Pathetic, really. I find that the so-called Christian stations all have a foot in the world as do the churches. One of the stations in my city even promote Halloween….go figure.

    I’m more than ready to get off this rock. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!!

  8. Dr. Chambers” You are absolutely correct….I am sooo GLAD someone has NOTICED ‘this; too…… Seem s like Jan Crouch should NOTICED this toooo..but maybe her hair and makeup and dress has blinded her eyes…maybe she is too busy buying al those fancy Circus clothes to even notice………. she HAS no shame to even NOTICE………..wonder why?

  9. Thank God finally someone is proclaiming truth about worship. Contemporary leaves me empty and saddened. After the Hymns were gone so was all proclamations of sin and repentance and Salvation.

  10. Hi Pastor. I just heard the topic. Oh my, if there’s one issue that EVERYONE has an opinion about, it’s church music. The most dismaying thing about this for me, being a 40 years in the faith, was the tectonic shift that began to take place particularly in the 80’s, when music began to be promoted to a “superior” position in the church. Let me explain. Historically, churches were defined by their doctrine and their theology. But beginning in the 80’s, and certainly by the 90’s, the question of doctrine began to be replaced by the question of music. “What type of music do they have,” began to be the over-riding concern of church-goers. The content of the preaching was secondary. Yes, music is important, but it must be ADJUNCT to the preaching of the Word. As much as I enjoy wonderful, soul-stirring music, no has ever been saved by music. That said though, the music must doctrinally support the preaching of the Word. And this is where I feel “contemporary music” fails the test. If you really pay attention to the lyrics you will find it devoid of doctrine and that which supports the truth of the Word. Contemporary music centers on celebration and not adoration. It appeals to the flesh, not the spirit. And if you’ll notice, in places where contemporary music has become prominent you’ll also find the weakest theology and preaching.

  11. After reading your article on contemporary church music, I remembered recently reading this one on getting millennials back in the pews and felt I should pass it along to you, as I have several others.

    Thank you for your Christian stand. I have made this plea for over 45 years of pulpit ministry.

  12. Dr. Chambers” You are absolutely correct….I am sooo GLAD someone has NOTICED ‘this; too…… Seem s like Jan Crouch should NOTICED this toooo..but maybe her hair and makeup and dress has blinded her eyes…maybe she is too busy buying al those fancy Circus clothes to even notice………. she HAS no shame to even NOTICE………..wonder why?

    Kind Regards. Lydia

  13. Janell Richey

    i wouldn’t have the time nor hope of you understandng if I tried to Biblically share with you the incorrect remarks, definitions and ideals that you made in this document.

    Unless you are singing the songs they were singing on the day of Pentecost, you too are singing Contemporary music.

  14. Pastor Chambers, the topic of Christian music will most certainly ‘strike a cord’ with everyone reading it. But, unless one KNOWS the mind of Christ ~ and understands the kind of worship GOD expects and receives (clearly outlined in Scripture), one will not appreciate the truth of this article about contemporary music. I’ve experienced BOTH sides ~ and have come to appreciate the differences in both. I increasingly discern between ‘spiritual songs’ and worldly music; but it was not until I grew in my understanding of GOD, His Sovereignty, His Majesty, & the Holy Spirit’s conviction (through His Word) that “its not about me” when it comes to worshiping HIM, that I learned these differences. We don’t read the original Hebrew scriptures today; and we don’t sing the original songs sung by Jesus and His Disciples; but we must strive to sing ‘with understanding’ the “new song” put in our heart by the Holy Spirit when we were born from above! We must do this corporately as well as personally! Thank you for your experimental look into both kinds of music and sharing your findings! Though your findings didn’t seem to match with the title of your article, I’m thankful for it. May all who yearn for truth and all who are compelled to impart Truth from scripture, both do so in meekness and thanksgiving! In Christian Love,