Recently a young man wrote a letter to his pastor.
Well, he was concerned about the 'music' that was creeping into his Church. Having had personal experiences with CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) and what it can 'do' in individual's lives, including his own, he felt the need to address the situation with his pastor.
This letter was shared with us to see if it was 'ok' to send to his pastor. We not only thought it was 'ok', we asked permission to post it so others could read of his concerns.
Perhaps they are your concerns also or if not, in our opinion, they should be, and this young man, we believe took the correct approach in making his concerns known.
So with that said by way of introduction, here is the letter which he wrote:
I want you to know how much you and our Church mean to me. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that without the influence of you and the Church in my life that I would not be the Christian I am today. Of course, I still struggle and strive towards the mark, but you are always there cheering me on and pointing me to Jesus.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for loving me unconditionally and for showing me what it is to love others with the love of Christ. You are an inspiration to me, and I am so blessed to call you friend and Pastor.
I have never in my life met a Pastor who is so accessible to his people and so genuine in his concern for them. Thank you for following Christ's example in exhorting others while telling the truth in love.
I was saved as a young man by the grace of God.
I followed hard after God for several years as a very young man, and then around the age of 16, I began to turn away from Christ.
I can honestly say that what initially led me away from Jesus was so-called Christian Contemporary Music.
The specific artists were well known and very popular at the time and, by today's standards, are quite tame. However, they gave me just enough taste of worldliness in music for my young mind to see that there was no difference between this music and that of the world's.
So, consequently, it was not a big step for me as a young man to justify listening to the "good songs" from the world because the words were not "bad". The effect that the back beats of this music had on my mind on a subconscious level went unnoticed by my adolescent mind.
As a consequence, each Contemporary Christian song took me a step further away from things that were Holy and right.
Eventually I progressed from "Christian Rock" to the world's music and it wasn't long before I was listening to things that previously I would have never listened to.
Then it was just another step to be doing, saying, and practicing the things that the music was preaching to my young mind.
It was literally because of the music that I was putting in my mind that by the age of 18 I found myself doing many anti-Biblical, un-Christian, God forbidden, and God dishonoring activities which just two years before I would have never done.
I remember telling my parents that "the music wouldn't hurt me."
I remember them telling me not to listen to "Christian Rock" or "CCM" because it was wrong and would take me away from Christ.
I remember now, although at the time I would not admit it, that this music caused a spirit of rebellion to rise within me.
Oh, how I wish I had been wise enough to listen to the admonition and instruction of my parents and had stayed away from "Christian Rock". I firmly believe that this would have gone a long way towards keeping me on a road pointed toward Jesus and not toward destruction.
When I first came back to Christ a couple of years ago, I remember transitioning back to "Christian Rock" and thinking that I was worshiping God.
I remember, Pastor, when you teamed me up with one of the Deacons for discipleship, I was expecting him to throw the Bible at me and tell me all the things I was doing wrong. I was waiting for him to tell me what to do and what not to do, but he never did that. He just pointed me to Jesus and kept saying, let God lead and convict you on all the subjects we are discussing.
I remember when I first heard the music from your Church, I was so blessed that I bought the CD. Then while driving in my truck and listening to the CD, I found myself truly worshiping and praising the Lord, so much so that it brought me to tears.
It was then that God hit me with a huge epiphany: "when I was listening to 'Christian Rock' who was I really exalting?"
I had to conclude I was exalting myself and not the Lord.
I had been deceived by the Devil into thinking I was worshiping, when what I was really doing was feeding the flesh, not exalting God.
What do I mean, you may ask.
Well, I remember that when I would have the Christian Rock music turned up and the windows rolled down and I would be jamming around town showing off, I was wanting people to look. I was feeding my pride. All the while I was in reality lying to myself and saying this was a witness for Christ.
What a farce! None of those people had any clue that I was a Christian, and do you know why? I looked just like them!! They could not see a difference in me or my Christian Rock music, because they were pulled up to the stop lights, "jamming out" too. So why in the world would they want what I've got? They already had it because there is no difference.
God told me, "son you look just like them."
Wow, the day God showed me what true God honoring, God worshiping music was I turned and ran from the garbage I was calling Christian. It is all because of the music I heard in our Church that God was able to show me what God honoring music really is.
I have said all of that in order to say this with some measure of credibility.
I have noticed a disturbing change recently in the music in our Church.
This change has been subtle at times and not so subtle at others, but to say that we are walking a slippery slope towards the destruction of our youth and possibly our church is not an understatement.
While I will concede the fact that there are many Contemporary Christian artists who write some wonderful songs with great God honoring messages I will say that you cannot mix the Holiness of God with the worldliness of Satan and expect God to accept it as worship.
So, mixing the world's music, no strike that, Satan's music and back beat into supposedly God honoring music is not honoring to our Lord and Savior at all.
With this being said, there are many songs written today that when you refine the music and remove the lustful back beats then you really do have a God honoring song that is perfectly suited for worship.
Which brings me to what I perceive to be the beginning of the precipice upon which we as a church are now standing.
Satan wants us to bring these songs in and then slowly start adding the drums and back beat, which has been happening in several of the sound tracks that we have been using in our "specials".
Also, a special concert events Group that was here a while back was too 'racy' for me.
Then, when another well known Gospel Group was here recently, I was expecting real old Southern Gospel. But, what I heard was nothing but bass and drums that literally caused me to get so sick that I had to get up and leave the auditorium.
It was so loud that it sounded like a night club out on the street.
I overheard a guest as he was leaving say, and I quote, "There is nothing gospel about that. Hollywood does a better job."
As I stood outside the auditorium astounded, bewildered, and unbelieving that I was hearing that sensuous worldly beat coming from our auditorium I knew then that I would have the unpleasant task of writing this letter.
I observed many guests leaving because it was too loud and their demeanor told me they were not in a worshipful mood as they left.
You see, the back beat of Satan and the world quenches the Spirit.
If we are not careful to remedy this situation swiftly and move into damage control we could see many of our young people fall away from Christ and head down the road of destruction and wickedness that I went down as a young man.
Our teens and children are quite perceptive. They know when they are being told one thing and seeing another.
How can we expect them to listen when we warn them against "Christian Rock" and to stay away from it when they are already reasoning in their young minds that there is no difference between that and the beats that the recent 'Special Groups' and 'Special Concerts' are pumping into our sanctuary.
I know that there were many members who were deeply disturbed by what they heard and observed that night and I will not name them for that is not my place.
But, Preacher, I am asking you to consider seeking the counsel of your deacons and elders before bringing any more concerts into the pulpit that might contradict what is being taught to our children. I feel their very lives, even the very souls of the ones that are not yet saved hang in the balance.
Satan is an angel of light "come to steal, kill, and destroy" in any way he can.
I’ve been taught that Satan was God's head of music before he rebelled, so he knows the power of music and how to subtly alter it in order to distort the mind from really knowing the truth.
All he needs to do is to plant a seed of rebellion in the hearts of our young people to destroy their effectiveness for Christ for years to come, and for those that aren't saved he may destroy their soul forever.
Pastor, after all that I have said, I want you to know that you are my pastor and I support you 100% and will never speak of you or our church in a disparaging manner. I do not for one second believe that you would knowingly harm your church or have music brought in that you thought would dishonor God.
Now, I don't know how you felt the nights the 2 groups I mentioned were here, but I could see you on the front row during the concert from the second group and from my vantage point before I left the auditorium you did not seem to have the normal glow in your countenance as you watched the "performance".
Preacher, you are God's man to lead me, and I am continuing to follow you; yet I believe that sometimes a church member and fellow brother in Christ must have the courage to tell his Pastor what he sees and believes could become a potential problem.
Proverbs 11:14 says, "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety."
Proverbs 1:5 says, "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:"
Proverbs 2:11 says, "Discretion shall preserve thee, and understanding shall keep thee:"
Pastor, I love you and support you. I pray for you often, fervently seeking God on behalf of you and your family, and I know that you are God's man for our Church. I am, who I am in Christ in large part because of you and your leadership. I am forever grateful to you for your example to me of Jesus, and I look forward to many more years of serving the Lord with you at our Church.
Please know that I have written this letter to you in love and respect with no malice and with much forethought as to how to approach this hotly debated topic.
You are my Pastor, my shepherd and I walk into battle with you, stand for you, and will defend you to the end.
In His Service,
(Name is known but is withheld by us as that is not important.
Rather, it is the message of this concerned young man that is important)
He must increase, but I must decrease.