10:47 PM - Contemporary Christian Music and Rome
In his book Making Musical Choices, Richard Peck makes the following important observation about modern church music.
“Aside from its commercialism and its increasing resemblance to the world, contemporary Christian music is becoming a religious melting pot. Some in the community admit that they are not believers. And while this is still an exception, CCM IS PROUD OF ITS ECUMENICAL AND CHARISMATIC SPIRIT. THIS ECUMENISM EXTENDS OPEN ARMS TOWARD APOSTATE PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH” (Making Musical Choices, Bob Jones University, 1986, p. 86).
NOT ONE popular CCM musician that I know of stands against ecumenism and stands boldly for ecclesiastical separation.
Contemporary Christian Music is at home in the most ecumenical of contexts. The same music is perfectly comfortable and acceptable in a Roman Catholic retreat or a World Council of Churches conference or a charismatic “laughing revival.”
CCM is the music of ecumenical evangelism, as epitomized by Franklin Graham and Luis Palau crusades.
Contemporary Christian Music is the music of ecumenical charismatic conferences, such as New Orleans ‘87, held in July 1987. I attended this meeting with press credentials. After four days of “renewal” choruses and Christian rock, it was obvious that CCM was the preferred music of the 35,000-40,000 ecumenical-charismatics in attendance. Approximately 40 different denominations and groups came together under one roof, including Episcopalian, Church of Christ, United Methodist, American Baptist, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church USA, and dozens of others, including roughly 20,000 Roman Catholics. Roman Catholic priest Tom Forrest delivered the closing message and brought the mixed multitude to their feet when he called for unity. “We must reach the world,” he cried, “and we must reach it the only way we can reach it; we must reach it TOGETHER!” At those words the crowd became ecstatic, leaping to their feet, shouting, stomping, speaking in tongues, dancing. This same priest spoke at a conference I attended in Indianapolis in 1990 and said he is thankful for purgatory because he knows that he will not go to heaven except through that means. Obviously he does not believe in the once-for-all sufficiency of Christ’s atonement. At the book sales area in New Orleans one could purchase rosary beads and Madonnas to assist in one’s prayers to Mary. A Catholic mass was held every morning during the conference.
The music that held all of this confusion together was CCM. Youth Explosion ‘87 was held at the same time, and 5,000 young people were bombarded with a steady diet of unscriptural teaching, ecumenism, testimonies by sports stars and entertainment figures, and “Christian” rock music.
CCM is perfectly at home in the midst of such apostate confusion.