The True Worshipers

John 4:23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” 

On Reformation Day October 31, 1997, CCM artist, Steve Camp, sent his “107 Theses” to 1,500 people involved in CCM. Following the pattern of Martin Luther who nailed his 95 theses onto the Catholic church doors at Wittenberg in 1517, Steve Camp’s theses was titled “A Call for Reformation in the Contemporary Christian Music Industry.” Here is some of what Camp stated:
“But beloved, THE SERPENTINE FOE of compromise has invaded the camp through years of specious living, skewed doctrine and most recently secular ownership of Christian music ministries. . . The Apostle Paul warns “it takes only a little leaven to leaven the whole lump.” (1 Corinthians 5:6) When sin is tolerated, it ultimately permeates and corrupts the entire church…. In the past several years, there has been a not-so-subtle drifting away from Christocentric music to an anthropocentric (mancentered) music. Sadly, this has resulted in various visible manifestations of spiritual sedition – where currently, the CCMI finds itself on a slippery slope sliding away at accelerated speeds from the Savior, the Scriptures and the church…. Contemporary Christian Music originally began unashamedly declaring Jesus Christ as Lord. Within a few years His name was replaced by several generic titles filtering out the name of God ultimately to the non-specific cognomen, “Love.” This led to a multitude of pseudonyms: “The Man Upstairs”; “My Higher Power”; “Our Family Values Expert” ad nauseam…ad infinitum…. Os Guinness is “spot on” when saying, “[we have seen a change] from an emphasis on ‘serving God’, to an emphasis on ‘serving the self’ in serving God.” The object of faith is no longer Christ, but our self-esteem; the goal of faith is no longer holiness, but our happiness; and the source of faith is no longer the Scriptures, but our experience. Christian music currently reflects this. We are producing a generation of people that “feel” their God, but do not know their God.” 

After Steve Camp and a few others started putting up flags that CCM was going downhill, the Gospel Music Association (umbrella of CCM and Southern Gospel) listed new lyric criteria for eligibility for the Dove Awards. Michael W. Smith’s #1 chart song, “Love Me Good” was rejected under the lyric criteria. After huge fan backlash, GMA edited their lyric criteria. In order for songs like Smith’s very secular hit to win a Dove Award, GMA took out the need for a song to be an expression of worship of God or praise for His works; and/or testimony of relationship with God through Christ.” Jesus and salvation is not needed anymore in CCM and Southern Gospel. 

Friends, God does not endorse such fleshly man-centered music. Jesus promised that “the true worshippers” are not those who worship through their flesh but through their Spirit. Don’t miss this! In “Tri-part God, Man, and Music”, we noticed that God made music with 3 main parts: melody, harmony, and rhythm. God also made man a three-part being: soul, spirit, and body. It has been rightly said, “Rhythm appeals to the body, harmony the mind, and melody the soul.” Some may disagree, but even the unsaved know how rhythm appeals to the body. Going back to secular artist Bill Haley, he said “I felt that if I could take a… tune and drop the first and third beats and accentuate the second and fourth, and add a beat the listeners could clap to as well as dance this would be what they were after.” 

Dear reader, when rhythm is accentuated and made more dominate, the body becomes accentuated and made more dominant as well. But that is a problem. Because a dominating rhythm causes the body to be the dominant part of man, and the flesh is not to ever be the dominant part of man. To be fleshly minded is death, and even a flesh-dominated believer becomes an enemy of God (Rom. 8:6-7). God does not want nor does He accept fleshly worship. The true worshiper is dominated by spirit which requires his music to be dominated by melody. The true worshiper doesn’t base his music on whether it “feels” or sounds good, but on “in spirit and in truth.” So many believers only choose their music on whether it sounds good, not on whether God approves of it. Many believers today reject the old hymns because, without even realizing it, the old hymns put rhythm on the back burner and make melody (spirit) and lyrics (truth) prominent. The flesh far prefers the rhythm and jazzy chords of CCM and most Southern Gospel. However, God does not. God will only accept the true worshipers whose music is “in spirit and in truth.”