Drums, Dancing and Noise
BAAL-PEOR - Charasmatic Adventist Worship is Here!
DRUMS, DANCING, AND NOISE
First I want to thank all of you who wrote in regards to last week's article Drums, Dancing, and Noise. Yes, we have been warned that something deceptive in regards to worship style will strike the Seventh-day Adventist Church just before probation closes. Let me share a few calls I received this week.
One friend of mine, who came to BellaVita and read last week's Elijah Prophecy, called me last Sabbath and said: "I just went to the Capital City SDA Church in Sacramento and I couldn't believe my ears and eyes! The electric guitar was wailing, the drums were pounding, the shouting was loud and heavy, and the people were swaying and clapping their hands. They were rocking out. A guest pastor then got up and commended the church for praising and worshipping God the 'right' way. The deluded pastor said: 'I am sick of people speaking against drums in the church.' "Danny, I have never seen this type of worship in an Adventist church before and I couldn't believe it," said my friend. "And I had just read your article Drums, Dancing, and Noise the night before."
A few days later I received a call from another friend from Colorado who was very distressed by the announcement of a new worship service at her church. She said: "Danny, I need your advice. One of the pastors at Denver South Church in Colorado, who came from a church called 'The Edge' in Minnesota, announced a new contemporary service at 12:00 PM on Sabbath. The traditional service was being moved to 9:00 AM. He then held up the Church Hymnal and said: 'This is outdated.' The rock music is now blaring at Denver South Church and I do not know what to do? He insists it is necessary to win the youth into the church and backsliders, and that it is necessary for church growth. I am sick over this. What can I do?" I responded with two quotes: "To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few--this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason." 5T 136. "The time when the danger and depression of the church are greatest, the little company who are standing in the light will be sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the land. But more especially will their prayers arise in of the church because its members are doing after the manner of the world. 5T 209.
I told her to stand up for what is right, but that she will probably lose the battle. I should know, for 10 years ago I confronted the youth pastors who were planning, for the first time, to have a Christian rock band in the public park on the coming Sabbath. In fact, the pastor told the youth to "wear your shorts, bring your Cokes, and clap your hands to the music. We are going to teach you how to worship Jesus in [rock] music." I did everything I could to stop the carnival from happening. I went to the pastors, head elders, principle of the school, and several others, but I was brushed off because the church is the apple of God's eye regardless of what they do. I was mocked, ridiculed, labeled as a troublemaker, and accused of starting a new movement and, in the end, disfellowshipped because I wouldn't follow constituted church authority. On the day of the rock event, the pastor's young daughter started dancing in the aisle to the unsanctified loud music which surprised even him. And to think this was 10 years ago! Five years later, one of the pastors came to me in private and apologized and admitted the service that day was wrong.
What happened to the pastors that sponsored this abomination unto the Lord? One came down with cancer, another bought a pizza parlor and sold pepperoni pizza and beer, and the third one, the senior pastor, was arrested by the police for soliciting a prostitute in town. How sad! Before the rock event, I went to these pastors but was greeted with the words: "Who do you think you are to tell us, the leaders of the church, what is right and wrong?"
Friends, the reason I speak out so plainly is because I love my church family and believe the prophecies in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy are true. "True love seeks first the honor of God and the salvation of souls. Those who have this love will not evade the truth to save themselves from the unpleasant results of plain speaking. When souls are in peril, God's ministers will not consider self, but will speak the word given them to speak, refusing to excuse or palliate evil. Would that every minister might realize the sacredness of his office and the holiness of his work, and show the courage that Elijah showed! As divinely appointed messengers, ministers are in a position of awful responsibility. They are to 'reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering.' 2 Timothy 4:2." Prophets and Kings, p. 141.
More recently I went to the pastor of my church and warned him of the rock music that the youth pastor was bringing in. I said: "I am not going to fight you, but I am going to warn you. This is false fire unto the Lord." I related the story above with him and what had happened to the pastors who were involved, yet the folly took place anyway. In fact another rap and rock rally was held in Lodi last week by another SDA youth pastor and featuring a "ghetto" preacher. Some youth told me it was terrible, the music was way too loud, and they didn't like it and would never go again. Please read this quote carefully from the pen of inspiration: "I was shown that the youth must take a higher stand and make the word of God the man of their counsel and their guide. Solemn responsibilities rest upon the young, which they lightly regard. The introduction of music into their homes, instead of inciting to holiness and spirituality, has been the means of diverting their minds from the truth. Frivolous songs and the popular sheet music of the day seem congenial to their taste. ... Music, when not abused, is a great blessing; but when put to a wrong use, it is a terrible curse. It excites, but does not impart that strength and courage which the Christian can find only at the throne of grace while humbly making known his wants and, with strong cries and tears, pleading for heavenly strength to be fortified against the powerful temptations of the evil one. Satan is leading the young captive. Oh, what can I say to lead them to break his power of infatuation! He is a skillful charmer luring them on to perdition." AH 407. And now the "popular" rock music is blasting in the church to further lure the youth into Satan's snare! The former choirmaster of heaven is very calculating, for he knows he can deceive the youth by adding Christian lyrics to the rock tunes. Christian rock is an oxymoron. It is like putting Bible versus on a bottle of beer and calling it Christian alcohol. One minister used a more graphic illustration--Christian pornography?"
Dr. Ronald Spranglet, chief school medical officer in Nottingham, England, charged that teenage pop music was probably to blame for the mounting obsession with sex. And Dr. Masterson, head of the adolescent outpatient at Payne-Whitney Psychiatric Clinic says, "The music is, in a way; a kind of sexual expression. The beat has genuine sexual implications."
Dr. Granby Blaine acknowledged an element of sexuality in the primitive rhythm and Dr. Bernard Saibel, supervisor of the State Community Services in the state of Washington reported on a rock concert: "The music is loud, primitive, insistent, strongly rhythmic and releases in an undisguised way the all too tenuously controlled, newly acquired physical impulses of the teenager." The problem with Christian Rock music is not necessarily the words, but the is the syncopation--"a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of rhythm; a placement of rhythmic stresses or accents where they wouldn't normally occur. Syncopation is used in many musical styles, if not all, and is fundamental in such styles as funk, ska, reggae, ragtime, rap, jump blues, progressive electronic dance music, progressive rock, jazz, breakbeat and often in dubstep, heavy metal, and classical music. All dance music makes use of syncopation and it's often a vital element that helps tie the whole track together. In the form of a back beat, syncopation is used in virtually all contemporary popular music." Wikepedia online.
"The history of rock music is steeped in the mysterious. This can only be so since its origins can be traced way back to the mysteries of the temple rituals of ancient, pagan Babylon. In fact its origins are purely religious, being an integral part of orgies and devil worship. This entire system of pagan worship, including the music, eventually filtered down into Egypt. Egypt is where modern historians directly trace the origins of rock music. In fact we know quite a lot about music in Egypt. We know for a fact that it was used to alter the emotions, it was used to create mass hypnosis and especially to incite immorality. We also know what type of rhythms and harmonies were used and we can clearly recognize the elements of rock music.
"From ancient Egypt, it spread to West Africa, including Dahomey and the Congo. A significant dance tradition derived from the Egyptians is found in the western Congo. In fact this dance called the 'Danse du ventre' could be mistaken for modern dance in that 'the shoulders, buttocks, stomach and breasts are all separately or simultaneously rotated, wagged or otherwise set in motion.' In fact a similar dance is the Voodoo, which is also a religion, and its origin is traceable to Dahomey. Music in these African cultures is intricately involved in devil worship, altering the conscious state and inciting sexual orgies. This music subsequently found its way across the Atlantic to America aboard slave ships. Enroute to the United States many slaves were taken first to the West Indies, especially Hispaniola; then after a time many were sold in New Orleans. They brought with them their religious and musical heritage. Those from Santo Domingo had retained their ancient Voodoo worship practices and continued them in New Orleans. One of the most exotic sights in old New Orleans was the slave dancing that took place in the 'Place Congo'. The slaves' custom of assembling on Sundays and church holy days to dance in public squares must have begun before 1786, for in that year a local ordinance was passed forbidding such dancing until after the close of religious services.
"The exposure of this African music and dance tradition to the public provided an opportunity for it to influence and be influenced by European musical tradition. The unique rhythmical emphasis of these dances plus many other ingredients and entertainment practices combined to form a music called JAZZ. Authorities agree that work songs from cotton fields, rural and urban blues, banjo styles from minstrel shows, syncopated brass bands and ragtime, all played an important part. Even Voodoo had its influence on jazz. The syncopation as a primary ingredient of jazz developed as a rhythmic accommodation of the Africans. Syncopation was the nearest and best substitute for the complicated polyrhythms that were an integral part of their musical heritage." It is this syncopation that causes music to 'swing'.
"Jazz, the precursor of modern rock and roll, as we shall see, has a very interesting place in history. The name Jazz comes from the now defunct word jass, which means the sexual act. Jazz to the pagan is a symptom of a glorious release from the bonds of moral restraint. It came from the slums of music; it corrupted taste and manners. In fact jazz music was mainly developed for use in brothels, where each brothel would try to outclass the others by having the best jazz band. Eventually jazz evolved into what we know today as rock and roll, however it lost none of its heritage in its long journey from Babylon to Egypt to America and then to the world; it has simply been repackaged in a different form with the same rhythms and qualities which originated with devil worship, rebellion, and immorality.
As its name implies, rock and roll was primarily a dance music--the emphasis shifting from blues to rhythm--and it was accepted as a focal point for teenage life, a common bond, an outlet for aggressions, a standard to rally around. ... Further, rock and roll has an insistent, powerful impetus--basic backbeat and shuffle rhythms of rhythm and blues which demanded a physical response. So the harsh, direct syncopation of rock and roll came as a physical manifestation of its content--a challenge to loosen up, to break the old molds of convention and propriety, to express real emotions. The musicians themselves moved and danced as they played, begging the listener to cast off his inhibitions. Rock songs convey attitudes and ideas about the form of the dance itself, dancing as physical means of self-discovery, rebellion, release. Its strength has always been rooted in the sexual energy of its rhythms; in that sense, the outraged parents who had seen rock as a threat to their children's virtue were right. Rock and roll made you want to move and shake and get physically excited." History of Rock Music, Dr. Rueben Gonzales.
I received another email this week from yet another alarmed SDA who reported on a night of dancing at an SDA church. In February 2010, The Huffington Post printed a story on the "Purity Ball" held at the Seventh-day Adventist Madison Church in Tennessee. "It was a night of dancing and fun," the paper said. With the prophecy of Maranatha p. 234, why would we want to tamper with drums, dancing, and noise? Stay away from it at all costs! In case you forgot what the page says, I will cite it for you once again:
"The things you have described ... the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.
"The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time. ... A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of Satanic agencies blend with the din and noise, to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit's working. ... Those participating in the supposed revival receive impressions which lead them adrift. They cannot tell what they formerly knew regarding Bible principles.
"No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship. The same kind of influence came in after the passing of the time in 1844. The same kind of representations were made. Men became excited, and were worked by a power thought to be the power of God...
"Men and women, supposed to be guided by the Holy Spirit, held meetings in a state of nudity. They talked about holy flesh. They said they were beyond the power of temptation, and they sang, and shouted, and made all manner of noisy demonstrations. ... Satan was molding the work, and sensuality was the result. The cause of God was dishonored. Truth, sacred truth, was leveled in the dust by human agencies.
"I bore my testimony, declaring that these fanatical movements, this din and noise, were inspired by the spirit of Satan, who was working miracles to deceive if possible the very elect. We need to be on our guard, to maintain a close connection with Christ, that we be not deceived by Satan's devices. The Lord desires to have in His service order and discipline, not excitement and confusion." Maranatha, p. 234.
"I feel alarmed as I witness everywhere the frivolity of young men and young women who profess to believe the truth. God does not seem to be in their thoughts. Their minds are filled with nonsense. Their conversation is only empty, vain talk. They have a keen ear for music, and Satan knows what organs to excite to animate, engross, and charm the mind so that Christ is not desired. The spiritual longings of the soul for divine knowledge, for a growth in grace, are wanting." AH 407
I came into the SDA church 18 years ago and heard preachers like Joe Crews and Dan Collins who trumpeted the Three Angels' Messages with power. Now the church is changing rapidly. Our unique message is rarely heard, pants and jeans are worn instead of dresses in the house of God, jewelry is allowed in the schools, rock bands are playing in the sanctuary, and vegetarianism, especially no dairy, is too often ridiculed and shunned. And the leaders are thrilled that the church is moving away from its legal position and the pendulum is finally coming into balance. Oh, how my heart weeps for what we are seeing and hearing. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6.
"We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel. Licentiousness, unlawful intimacy, and unholy practices are coming in among us in a large degree; and ministers who are handling sacred things are guilty of sin in this respect. ... We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil? TSB 188.
One more thing before I close, If you click on the following link, you will see a short music video that is featured on a SDA church Website. It shocked my friend in Colorado and we both are very saddened by it. The presenters in this music video are SDA pastors and their wives. At the site click "Play" on the top video called "Before He Speaks." SDA Music Video. http://www.hospitalchurch.org/content/short-videos
Who would have ever thought this abomination would represent the Seventh-day Adventist church to the world? God help us!
Commentary by Ron: Regarding the short videos making fun of pastors, I always thought being a pastor was related to being called by God to a sacred office. But now it seems like some SDA new movement pastors are ruled by woman and children rather than being called by God:
3:12 [As for] my people, children [are] their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause [thee] to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.