Christian Contemporary Music (CCM), the Soundtrack of End-Times Apostasy
Updated: Sep 15
Do you love CCM music?
CCM is apostate. CCM replaces “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph 5:19) with praise (?) choruses and other contemporary worship songs filled with unsound doctrine and “vain repetitions” (Matt. 6:7) that have nothing like the content of the 150 inspired psalms of the Bible or even many traditional songs such as by Fanny Crosby and Isaac Watts. You use worldly music (e.g. rock, jazz, blues, easy-listening, country-western, pop) originally written to encourage sexual immorality and wickedness, put “Christian words” (barely, if at all) to it and think God will accept it. You ignore the fact that God has sent fire from heaven and burned people up for offering Him false worship (Lev. 10:1-2).
By turning from the pattern of Scripture, these professing Christians and churches lead people to think that God is not holy, but worldly and fleshly like the “worship” they offer Him. We are how and what we worship (Ps. 115:8). The rhythm of worldly music is physically sensual and stimulating, even in the “soft rock” form. CCM is all about a feeling, hence why the heavy syncopation, such as the back beat and anticipated beat, suits it so well and the pursuing after a tangible experience of sensing God’s presence. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith testified that rock music “is the strongest drug in the world” (Rock Beat, Spring 1987, p. 23). The experience orientation of CCM is also why it tends to be characterized by repetitiveness (it has been called 7/11 music for a reason—7 words sung 11 times). This creates a hypnotic effect, particularly when accompanied by a strongly syncopated rhythm and non-resolving chording. This, in company with the fake spirituality, creates a desire to “feel” the presence of God, a common epitaph of new evangelicals. We see the same thing in CCM. For example, the mission of Integrity Music and Integrity Worship Ministries is “helping people worldwide experience the manifest presence of God (integritymusic.com). Graham Kendrick, one of the biggest names in CCM, says, “The old way of preaching and singing began to give way to an expectation that . . . God would visit us, and we’d experience His presence in a tangible sort of way” (interview June 11, 2002 with Chris Davidson of Integrity Music). Secret Place Ministries exemplifies the CWM philosophy in that they “long for an encounter with the presence of God” and their worship music is said to “bring down the presence of God (Secret Place Ministries).
People that listen and love CCM music are always looking for those warm fuzzy feelings and experiences, as the evidence that the Spirit is moving. They are being manipulated by their feelings/emotions, are self-deceived and deceived by Satan, who is very charismatic and loves to keep lost people lost. Satan uses this form of music as a counterfeit for the real Holy Spirit. It’s all about experience. That’s why CCM goes hand in hand with the signs and wonders segment of apostate Christendom. People who are looking for a sensation whereby they can tangibly feel the power of the Spirit at an emotional level are flocking to these kinds of events and churches. It is simply the itching ears syndrome of false pretending “believers.” They are wicked and spiritual adulterers (“A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign;” — Matt. 16:4), and thus enemies of God (Jam. 4:4), the very antonym of a friend of God. All this of course is completely unscriptural and has no place in the true Christians life, who has the Spirit of God continually dwelling in him, and leading him. People that seek after God’s presence have very likely never been saved. They obviously do not know what it is like to be “led by the Spirit of God,” therefore “they are [not] the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:14). Nor do they know what it is like to have the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11-11), where “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Rom. 8:16). You don’t need to seek after “the presence of God” if you have God dwelling in you.
Consider some further observations that link CCM to the spirit of apostasy. CCM is indeed the music soundtrack of end-time apostasy.
1. The Apostate Spirit of CCM is Dishonouring to God.
CCM is worldly, fleshly music that doesn't glorify Christ or worship God. It isn’t in the least bit concerned with the honour and glory of God, which are rendered invalid through this fleshly, worldly, profane worship style, which can be judged as such. Yes, it is entirely of the flesh, presents “another Jesus” and “another gospel” and is of "another spirit" (2 Cor. 11:4) and not "the fruit of the Spirit" which "is in all goodness and righteousness and truth" (Eph. 5:9). It is in fact just the opposite of Eph. 5:9: badness, unrighteousness and false. And it always leads to greater apostasy until the whole is leavened (I Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9), if it isn’t already. CCM is a powerful bridge to a very dangerous spiritual and doctrinal world, but more importantly, it predominately exposes a lost and dead spiritual condition of those who will love it. It is ungodly and dangerous music to the extreme, for it professes Christianity but in reality is at clear enmity with God.
2. The Apostate Spirit of CCM is Demonic.
“Christian” Rock (like secular Rock) is completely Satanic, discouraging, oppressive, brainwashing, rebellious, violent, aggressive, sensual, arrogant, and antiGod. This is no doubt the Devil’s music, because it’s effect and fruit is AntiBible, AntiChrist, AntiChurch, and AntiAuthority. It doesn’t matter if it is toned down, made more acceptable, and the lyrics changed to “Christian" thoughts. The effect is the same. It causes one to let down their guard and take their eyes and heart off of the Lord Jesus Christ, because the music is about self and the world. Beautiful, orderly and godly music and hymns have the exact opposite effect. They edify and encourage the true born again believer in his walk with God and help keep from sin (also worldliness and error, which are both sin), and glorify God and keep the heart in fellowship and focus with God.
3. The Apostate Spirit of CCM is a Fixation on Feelings and Emotions.
CCM (and other similar worldly music including southern gospel) is completely orientated towards feelings and emotion and has always been, which seems to be a driving factor on its own in “evangelicalism” today. Like the world’s pop music, CCM (which is pop music in its own right) appeals to the emotions and flesh. It reaches “the heart” more than “the head.” It is music to be felt. Consider a few testimonies from the very lips of the CCM world: “Feelings were an important part of the early Jesus movement, which sometimes came into conflict with faith based on knowledge and understanding, as taught by the established church” (“Jesus Rocks the World”, vol. 1, p. 59) and “The message was feeling based, as most of the early Jesus music was, because of its countercultural roots, which emphasized the importance of emotional experience” (ibid, p. 85). Rock music is the most powerful form of mysticism operating in modern society. It is the sound track for end-time apostasy and its all about being “hooked on a feeling.” The lyrics have never been the most important element. Rock is not so much about thinking as it is about emoting. It is enjoyed more with the body than the heart. Bob Pitman, founder of MTV, said: “The strongest appeal you can make is emotionally. If you can get their emotions going, make them forget their logic, you’ve got ‘em” (“MV Is Rock Around the Clock,” Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 3, 1982).
Emotional music is a type of mysticism, which is an experience-oriented approach to life rather than an intellectual and spiritual. Obviously God gave man emotions and they have an important place in man’s life, but we are fallen people in a fallen world and emotions must be kept in the right place. They must be kept under control of the Spirit of God and in conformity to the Word of God and not allowed to lead one’s life, which is definitely happening with CCM and evangelicalism in general. CCM is all about experience; fleshly and sensual experience. It’s replacing true spirituality with feelings and sentimentalism, at the loss of reverence. People need the feeling. They don't think they've got something authentic or legitimate without it. They're fooled and deceived.
4. The Apostate Spirit of CCM is an Unholy Spirit.
There is no holiness in CCM. Is that important? It is if you understand what the word means and what salvation is. The terms “holy,” “sanctify,” “consecrate,” “dedicate,” and “saint” are translated from the same Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible. The basic meaning of these is to be set apart for God’s purposes (Lev. 20:26). A holy person is a person who has become God’s possession. Sanctified by God at salvation (Heb. 10:10, 14). Holiness is also intimately connected with righteousness and moral purity (Jer. 31:23; Lk. 1:75; Rom. 6:19; Eph. 4:24). Holiness is contrasted with uncleanness (Is. 35:8; 1 Th. 4:7) and is connected with cleansing from sin (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Th. 4:3). CCM is unrighteous and unclean. When a sinner is saved, he becomes holy before God. Immediately. That means he separates himself from the things of the world, from unrighteousness and uncleanliness, which most definitely includes worldly music, including CCM. The born again believer has a new heart, his heart has been circumcised from his flesh (De. 30:6; Col. 2:10-15). That produces an immediate new nature, not added on nature (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:1-10), but a new holy nature. New is kainos, that is, new as in different. We don't have the old with something new added, but something that is entirely different. The old is gone, which is what Eph. 2:1-10 and 2 Cor. 5:17 say, "old things have passed away, all things are become new.” What is old has passed away (2 Cor. 5:17) for its been crucified (Gal. 2:20; 5:24; Rom. 6:6): "Knowing this, that our old man is [aorist—past tense, like Gal. 2:20 & 5:24] crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." (Rom. 6:6).
The redeemed saint still has the flesh, but that is not his nature any longer. He is not born of the flesh any longer, but of the Spirit (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:6-7; Gal. 4:23, 29-31). He is not the "natural man" (fleshly, carnal) ever again but the "spiritual" man forever (1 Cor. 2:9-16). Its permanently one or the other and it’s impossible to be both, as all these references make plain, especially 1 Cor. 2:9-16 and Eph. 2:1-10. For example, the born again believer before salvation was "dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others . . . [and] dead in sins" (Eph. 2:1-3, 5) but that is the old man, the natural man, the man that becomes dead at salvation, crucified on the cross (vv. 4-9), and from the moment of salvation we become “a new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17), for “you hath he quickened [made alive, forever], who were dead in trespasses and sins;” (v. 1). This sort of teaching is found everywhere in the NT.
CCM runs in complete opposition to holiness and the new birth, and the immediate and permanent effects of the new birth. It’s the work and desires of the flesh, the old man. It’s not of God. Not even remotely close. The fruit it produces is worldly, thorny and deceived “fruit” which is not fruit at all but corrupted placebos, and not holy and godly fruit. If CCM were of God, the fruit would be genuine salvation/regeneration, holiness, godliness, separation, perseverance, holding to sound doctrine, and continuation in sound Biblical based doctrine, fellowship and prayer. They would have a love for God which is reflected by a love for His Word and for obedience to Him (Jn 14:15-24; 1 Jn 2:3-5). In a nutshell, the fruit will be obedience to the Word of God. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:3-4). Thats pretty clear. But that is a far cry from CWM fruit, which is completely corrupt, the fruit of a “corrupt tree” (Matt. 7:15-20), “trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;” (Ju. 1:12). Compare Matt. 3:1-10. The end of these trees is also described in Matt. 3:10, hewn down and thrown into unquenchable hell fire.
5. The Apostate Spirit of CCM is a Restless Spirit.
It has itching ears and has no issue with fables: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). It won’t be satisfied to hear the sweet old plain truths of the Scripture expounded, unapologetically, with reproof, rebuke and exhortation (2 Tim. 4:2). It won’t be satisfied with plain Biblical preaching. It won’t be satisfied unless it has the applause of men, sensational experiences, and multitudes flocking into the church. It doesn’t feel complete in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that Christ is all it needs. It wants something more. It wants to “feel” God because it doesn’t walk by faith but by sight. It finds what it wants in the flesh, because the flesh is all its ever known. They know nothing else. They have only ever been of the “natural man” (1 Cor 2:14). They serve their belly, because their belly they only know. They are like the dog and pig who turn back to their vomit and wallowing in the mire (2 Pet. 2:17-22). It is in fact all they’ve ever known and they go through life imitating, conforming and lying, being self-deceived and demonically deceived.
There is a reason why the CCM world is preoccupied with vivid and powerfully impacting impressions, rather than the quiet, inward working of the Holy Spirit. True born again believers walk by faith, not by sight. They walk by faith, not by feelings. People are flocking to join the CCM crowd, but Jesus said: "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Lk. 6:26). Anyone that has the Spirit of God dwelling in them, will never need to seek after the things of the flesh again. He hates those things, his flesh has been crucified, and what he has now is incomparable to the flesh. It has zero similarities. Im not saying he will never lust after the flesh again (he may indeed — Rom. 13:14), but it will be short lived, indeed. Read Romans 6 carefully. For instance, vv. 20-22, “For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
The spirit of apostasy is a restless, fleshly and unsaved natural spirit, and the CCM music of apostasy perfectly reflects that spirit. It’s the spirit of 2 Tim 3:7, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” and Is. 57:20, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” I believe there are few things that provide such clear evidence of a lost spiritual adulterous condition, then that of loving CCM.
6. The Apostate Spirit of CCM Casts off Restraint and Authority.
Jude spoke about those who “. . . despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” To see that CCM imbibes the spirit of rebellion, you don’t need to go any further than to look at the lives of the CCM artists themselves, the emerging church leaders, their doctrines, their dress standards, their attitudes toward the Bible, Hell, authoritative preaching, secular music, movies, alcohol, etc. Ungodly CCM music goes together with the immodest and ungodly dress standards (which critically includes women dressing like men). The CCM world is not concerned about stumbling others with worldliness, but only concerned about offending others with strictness. Rom 14:13 says “Let us not therefore judge one another any more…” and some might say, ‘There it is! Don’t judge my music, my clothes, or my lifestyle.’ But look at the second part of the verse: “…but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” To live however I please, or to dress however I please, or to listen to whatever music I want, regardless of whether it stumbles my brother, is to disobey this passage! The liberty of contemporary Christianity is carnal rebellion and it is the attitude that lies at the heart of apostasy. Those who desire to throw off restrictions on their lifestyles are not following the Bible but their own self-willed lusts. It reflects their deluded and unregenerate estate. These are the people that Jude warned about, that “crept in unawares . . . turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness” (Ju. 1:4). If the CCM crowd has not become a melting pot for false believers and teachers of every kind, I don’t know what is.
7. The Apostate Spirit of CCM is a Spirit of Confusion.
This is because it speaks of the “grace” of God, but parades worldliness and ungodliness. That is some horrible confusion, and we know that God is not the author of confusion. You only have to look at the advertisement photos for these bands and artists to see that it is all about looking sensual, tough, sophisticated, seductive, cynical, macho, sexually attractive, even mean, in the name of “Christ.” This is utter confusion. It is the Devil’s master stroke. Don’t be deceived. Grace and worldliness don’t mix together, in ANY degree. To mix the grace of God with a worldly image is to turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. Saved people don’t do that! Read Ju. 1:4. The spirit of apostasy is not interested in being conformed to the holy and righteous and godly image of Christ, but in providing a substitute for Christ. This is actually the antichrist spirit of CCM. The reason it is so confusing, is because it is trying to pass off worldliness. But the Bible warns: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 Jn. 2:15-16). There is no need to be confused about the CCM world. It is worldly, because it speaks to its own. It is about the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Its about doing the will of the flesh, and not the will of God (I Jn. 2:17). Its an obvious evidence of a lost spiritual condition.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Eph 5:11).
Read here on how you can be converted to Christ, truly, and be delivered from your fake and hypocritical profession: ARE YOU SAVED?
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