7Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
8This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
9A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
10I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
Galatians 5:7-10 (King James Bible)
March 19, 2011 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com)
March 21, 2011 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
Because of the article I sent out a couple of weeks ago (“From Brother Cloud’s Heart -- the Battle about West Coast in Perspective”), some reached the conclusion that perhaps I was apologizing for the warning or even giving my recommendation of the school.
This would be a misinterpretation of what I was saying.
I do not apologize for issuing a public warning about something an ecclesiastical institution with national and international influence is doing in a public manner.
And while I said that I hoped West Coast’s best years are ahead, and I do, that does not mean that I think they have done what is necessary to make that happen. It was an expression of compassionate hope more than a realistic expectation.
As I have said, I have never seen a church jump off of the CCM slide once they have become addicted to its soft rock sound and entertainment orientation. It could happen, but it would be exceedingly difficult to accomplish even if the leadership were committed to it at a fundamental level and even if they truly understood the issues.
Hundreds of pastors, missionaries, and parents have written to me to express concern about West Coast’s deep and longstanding adaptation of CCM and many have specifically told me that they don’t want their young people to attend such a school, because they have seen firsthand the power of CCM to bring negative change.
I could not agree more. If West Coast doesn’t change at a real substantive level I cannot recommend it, regardless of the many good things that remain. Large numbers of the brethren believe that the good far outweighs the problems, but I cannot agree.
Some have written to ask me why I haven’t published anything about West Coast’s supposed admission that they were wrong in the use of some of the music. For example, one lady wrote a few days ago:
“I am wondering about the things you wrote about the church at West Coast as the vice-president told a friend of mine that they had made a mistake and used some music that wasn't appropriate and had stopped and corrected the problem. Have they told you that and if so, may I ask why you never put that on your website?”
I have gone to the church’s and school’s web sites and to Paul Chappell’s blog and to the online catalog where they sell their music CDs and I have not seen any type of public statement on this matter.
If I were a pastor or parent looking at the situation, the following is what I would look for:
First, I would want to see if the church has repented of the adaptation of CCM and the use of CCM’s soft rock and it’s “slippery” vocal techniques. I would want to see a public, unequivocal statement to this fact that doesn’t beat around the bush and doesn’t make excuses for former behavior. I would want to see the church and school pull all of the CDs that have this adapted CCM music and soft rock sound, and I would want to see a statement in their catalog and at their online sales site apologizing for distributing such music.
Lancaster/West Coast’s use of CCM, soft rock, and the slippery vocal technique is not a new thing. The “adaptation” of CCM that resulted in the performance of Darlene Zschech’s “Shout to the Lord” on a Sunday morning is a slide the church has been on for nearly 20 years.
Following are a few other examples of CCM songs that have been used by Lancaster/West Coast:
“Hallelujah to the Lamb” by Don Moen (who thinks God is the author of the weird charismatic “laughing revival”)
“In Christ Alone” by Hillsong United (which performed for Catholic Youth Day and Pope Benedict)
“Stronger” by Zschech/Hillsong (performed by Lancaster’s high school mixed ensemble)
“Majesty, Worship His Majesty” by Jack Hayford (a Pentecostal Kingdom Now anthem; Hayford says God told him not to preach against the Roman Catholic church)
“Great Is the Lord” and “How Majestic Is Your Name” by Michael W. Smith (who has been “slain in the Spirit” and “laughed uncontrollably, “rolling on the floor ... hyperventilating”)
“Faithful Men” by Twila Paris (who works with the Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and with ecumenist Robert Webber, who promotes unity between evangelicals and Catholics)
“In Christ Alone” by Michael English (who spent the 1990s and early 2000s committing adultery with another man’s wife, bar hopping, dating a stripper, and undergoing “rehab” for drug addiction)
Songs by Steven Curtis Chapman (the most honored “high energy Christian rocker” of the 1990s who says he doesn’t preach “fire and brimstone” and describes God as “Lord of the Dance”)
“A Prayer for a Friend” by Casting Crowns (a “Grammy and Dove Award winning Christian Rock Band”)
Songs by Geron Davis (“Jesus Only” Pentecostal who denies the Trinity)
“I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin (a member of an emerging church that seeks to build the kingdom in this present world)
Songs by Graham Kendrick (charismatic founder of the radically ecumenical Jesus March that includes Catholics and Mormons)
Many others could be listed.
Second, I would want to know if the church and school have searched out every source of CCM philosophy and removed it. It has become obvious from my communication with present West Coast students and recent West Coast graduates that the adaptation of CCM is not the only problem. There has also been an adaptation of CCM philosophies such as the following:
* It’s wrong to have a “critical eye.” [This is one heck of a moronic statement made, which I hear much too often! Certainly it cannot come from one who HAS READ THE BIBLE, a most DISCRIMINATING BOOK! 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.]* Grace means that in questionable things we should come down on the side of the broader, the less strict, the path of greater liberty. [What an asinine view, IN VIEW OF: Matthew 7:13-14
13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.]* Personal edification is a major standard of music. [Not when it is that LUCIFER is the CHOREOGRAPHER! Ezequiel 28:13Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.]
* If we are going to reject CCM, we should also reject old hymns written by Lutherans and Methodists. [How asinine, again!]
* Love is more important than music. [Indeed! LOVE, OBEDIENCE, RESPECT FOR OUR GOD!]
* We should not be afraid to push the boundaries of music and external standards.
* Soft rock is not sensual and dangerous and worldly like hard rock. [Really? Where do you live? UNDER a rock??! The term "rock and roll WAS COINED for the "goings on" in the back seat of a sedan! See my next post "Christian" Rock Destroys Youth]
* Contemporary Christian Music is wrong only when it is accompanied by hard rock and only when it has the most shallow or unscriptural of lyrics.
* To apply biblical principles to such things such as the sound of music is to go beyond Scripture. [Wrong! It is to take it where it belongs, to the Devil. See my next post: "Christian" Rock Destroys Youth ]
* Absolute standards in music are not possible to define biblically; music is largely a matter of personal taste; so we should be tolerant and respectful of one another. [and not of God?]
* An emphasis on “a heart for God” is more important than music or any “external.” [EXACTLY! And I am willing to bet that God DEPLORES such music!]
The problem with Lancaster Baptist Church and its college is that it practices a form of syncretism. It’s a mixed bag. There are men there who would agree with me about the destructive error of Quick Prayerism, while there are others who practice it, and I am referring to men at the leadership/teaching level. There are those who hate CCM and those who love it and listen to it. There are those who believe in issuing clear warnings about error to the point of naming names, while others think this is “unproductive” and even harmful. In these matters, the trumpet is not giving a clear sound.
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