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Missionary Spotlight

August 2005

Now I want to summarise the reasons I had to leave the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) scene. Firstly, I could no longer accept the premises undergirding the CCM philosophy. In other words, the piles holding up the pier turned out to be rotten and crumbling.

Our key premises were that music is amoral; God accepts all music styles and no one should judge another’s preference or tastes. As I dug into the Bible to prove them right, instead I saw that they were man-centred, illogical, and misrepresentations of basic biblical principles…

Secondly, when I saw what the Bible teaches about true worship and what it really means to be in the presence of God, I became sickened at the way my generation so glibly used profane and vulgar music accompanied by vulgar dress to offer up worship and praise to a holy God! And no one involved seemed to notice what we were doing.

Thirdly, to preserve my marriage and to be faithful to God in all things, I needed to separate from the temptations that were ever-present in the CCM setting – the ego gratification and attraction to the female members of the worship team.

No rules

 

Fourthly, I saw that we were in danger of becoming the same hypocrites we accused the ‘Traditionals’ of being. For example, one of our main charges against conservative church music and services was that they lacked spontaneity – they were boring and predictable. But somehow we did not notice that our own CCM services had become numbingly the same, week after week.

The typical ex-Baptist, evangelical, community church, seeker-sensitive services were all starting to sound the same – like a group of Integrity Hosanna or Maranatha Praise clones. We managed to create a unique musical style in CCM Praise and Worship (P&W) and now we have thousands of churches copying it.

It’s still rock but not as ‘hard’ as the latest secular versions. It is more laidback with a hint of the Eagles. The worship sets have fallen into a familiar (boring?) order of service. The Traditionals had some guidelines to restrain them, but Contemporaries have no rules.

 

Full circle

 

So when things become too familiar they bring in louder, jazzier and more questionable material. That is one of the curses upon CCM – the music will continually be on this slippery slope and worship leaders will be forced to accept any musical style, no matter how disgraceful. I had to get away from that.

We are currently members of a church where the pastors and other leaders have taken a strong stand against the use of all rock-influenced contemporary music styles in the church service.

Musically speaking, I have come full circle as a Christian, back to a church with a similar musical philosophy as the one I attended when I was saved. I suppose the happy ending to my story would be to say that I am once again busily involved in the music ministry at this church. But I am not