While music written by Christians for Christians, praising Jesus Christ our Saviour and Lord of All Creation, is truly worthy of being sung and spoken by the family of God we need to be aware of how the Contemporary Christian Music Industry has failed true believers. The decline has been gradual but the rot has most definitely set in. There is no ‘comfort’ setting for Christians. We can’t lower our guard for any reason, and we must contend for the faith, be instant out of season and in season, and be ready for spiritual battle regardless of the outward circumstances or who may be involved.
We have taken recently to playing a lot of the old 80s albums which are now on Youtube. Yet, as we enjoy and reminisce about the way music used to be, we are discovering that musicians who we previously thought were committed Christians are now in fact leading believers down the broad path to destruction.
One such artist that I have read some disturbing things about is Michael W. Smith. I was listening to his ‘Great is the Lord’ song this morning. It is a wonderfully stirring song, great to sing with your whole heart. The song is from Michael W. Smith’s album ‘The Michael W. Smith Project’. OK, at the time that I bought this album in my twenties, I thought nothing of the title, I just liked his music. But if you do some research on Michael W. Smith you will be able to trace how he has incrementally but surely become a supporter of Satanism. This is not just a fancy or a conspiracy theory, you can see the proof on the internet. Smith is on record (Inside Music Magazine Jan/Feb 1991) as saying that his inspiration for this first album was Alan Parsons Project. The Alan Parsons Project is not a Christian group and their very obvious occult imagery and song lyrics are a disturbing influence for a leader in the contemporary Christian music scene. If you go to this article you will see what I am talking about.
Fast forward to 2009 Michael W. Smith is supporting and encouraging supposed ‘Christian Heavy Metal’ bands who write songs in clear worship of their god Satan, and in total blasphemous hostility to Jesus Christ, the ‘Lord’ that Smith apparently wrote about. This blog article from ‘The New Jerusalem Chronicle’ gives some fairly shocking detail on this.
There are other websites in which you can trace how Smith has moved from placing runic symbols and backwards writing (both characteristics of pagan and satanic religions) to outright and unequivocal support of Satan worship. We doubt that Smith can be a supporter of Satanism without actually being a Satanist himself. Obviously we don’t know for sure, but the Bible tells us that we can tell a tree by its fruits. Looks like Michael W. Smith is now a thorn bush.
When you look back at that great song, you actually begin to wonder which ‘Lord’ he is praising here. The lyrics are bland enough to relate to just about any religious figure and since Satanists think Lucifer is god, and call him Lord, then it could easily be an anthem to him. On the other hand, if these are Christian lyrics based on scripture we can still sing them even if the author was actually praising a different ‘lord’ in his own heart and mind. Or can we? Tough call. Meat sacrificed to idols?
Great is the Lord,
He is holy and just
By His power we trust
In His love
Great is the Lord
He is faithful and true
By His mercy He proves
He is love
Great is the Lord,
And Worthy of Glory
Great is the Lord
And Worthy of Praise
Great is the Lord
Now lift up your voice
Now lift up your voice
Great is the Lord , Great is the Lord
So what is a Christian to do?
It’s a good question and I would answer ‘stay informed’. I don’t suggest for a minute that we remain glued to the internet for the rest of our lives out of fear and concern, but if you are walking in the Spirit and you listen to a praise song which might give you cause for concern, don’t ignore the leading and guiding of God. He will be trying to tell you something. For sure, use the internet to check things because it is amazing what people are coming to nowadays.
While listening to the old 80’s Hosanna Music albums on Youtube, containing a lot of my favourite hymns and choruses from my youth, I discovered that Hillsong’s Darlene Zschech is a Hosanna Music Alumnus. Along with Don Moen, one of the many song leaders that Hosanna used in their praise albums, Darlene went to the Vatican in 2015 for a prayer summit. This article in “Christianity Today” documents her involvement and while it is sympathetic to Darlene and her compaints that people were tweeting ‘mean things’ about her involvement, I would like to point out that they state categorically that Darlene was ‘invited’ to go to the Vatican. So while she might state that she ‘wasn’t there to become a Catholic’, she was there to accept and support the pope’s agenda of ecumenism. As a Jesuit, his whole purpose, and they take oaths as priests to this effect, is to protect their own interests. Here is an excerpt taken from the EIPS website which proves that Pope Francis as the Black Pope is the chief dissembler and though he appears as a lamb among lions this is simply an act to gain trust. Yet so many Christians have no problem supporting the false gospel that the Catholic church teaches. I remind you of the verses in John’s second epistle warning that even those who greet false teachers share in their wickedness.
My son, heretofore you have been taught to act the dissembler: among Roman Catholics to be a Roman Catholic, and to be a spy even among your own brethren; to believe no man, to trust no man. Among the Reformers, to be a Reformer; among the Huguenots, to be a Huguenot; among the Calvinists, to be a Calvinist; among other Protestants, generally to be a Protestant; and obtaining their confidence, to seek even to preach from their pulpits, and to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope; and even to descend so low as to become a Jew among Jews, that you might be enabled to gather together all information for the benefit of your Order as a faithful soldier of the Pope.
I guess this sounds cynical. I guess you would be right. I am so completely tired of christian musicians and pastors who gain a following because of their inspiration and encouragement of the christian faith and then turn out to be apostate, and could well have in fact been apostate all along, we will never know will we? We only find out when they decide to come out of the closet as it were.
I think in the end, we have to be willing to give up following whoever turns out to be fallen away. If we excuse and water down the issue of popular christian media figures losing their salvation then how do we proceed as believers in our own walk? We don’t have a choice here. If scripture tells us that in the last days men will grow worse and worse and that these people will have a form of godliness but deny its power and from such turn away (2 Timothy) then we need to take heed. The problem I guess is that in modern society, a ‘form of godliness’ can look different to different christians. Such are the deceptive wiles of Satan he can transform himself into an angel of light, and since music was literally in his bones and the fabric of his very creation, then we must recognise that music is his tool to deceive and draw away the faithful from following Christ and Christ alone.
It behoves us to both recognise and respond to deception and lies as quickly as possible by denouncing it and walking away from it. ‘Touch not the unclean thing’ should be a watch-phrase for all Christians. Unfortunately, the usual response is ‘that’s being a bit extreme isn’t it?’
Somebody said that to me the other day because I complained about the Living Water’s new set of tracts which feature Star War’s characters faces as a ‘collector’s item’. I testified that Star Wars had led my children into the occult and that our family had had a great battle in righting ourselves and getting rid of all such references. We were into Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis, Star Wars, you name it, anything science fiction and fantasty/occult we were following it blithely thinking that we were Christians so we were all OK because God was somehow protecting us. Yet, we were being led into darkness. We have now walked away permanently from all of this stuff. Yet we are startled to see how many Christians consider that this stuff is harmless. Moreover, when a Christian organisation like Living Waters which has dedicated itself to evangelism and training believers in how to contend for the faith and seen many many people saved and led out of destructive lifestyles now supports the mixing of idol worship and worship of the Living God, where is a believer to go? I just need to add here that one step in the wrong direction does not make an organisation a contender for a blacklist. But as we have discovered, what appears on the surface is often only a small sample of what is going on behind closed doors. And as we have said, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. We are not denouncing Living Waters, or Ray Comfort who has had a remarkable life as an evangelist and most definitely furthered the Kingdom of God. God bless him in all he does! However, this makes it even more of a concern when a mature Christian moves in this direction without any qualms.
It is most definitely a hard road to follow, it is narrow and the way is steep and dangerous.
Truly, ‘he who endures to the end will be saved’, and we must run the race with endurance. Don’t be surprised when even other believers turn against you for staying true to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and remember all who preach a false gospel are accursed. There is no room for compromise!