Pop-Idiom Music
In Worship and Evangelism
by Dr Peter Masters

Dr Peter Masters is minister of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, England (C.H. Spurgeon's church) and has kindly granted us permission to reproduce "Pop-Idiom Music" here. If you have any questions or queries about this article, please feel free to write to Dr Masters at the address given below, or contact us at Freedom Ministries.

Section 10
What Are Our Real Motives?

What are the motives of believers who want to have pop-idiom music in their witness and worship? Do they all have a real desire to win souls for Christ?

For some advocates, this must surely be the case. They genuinely feel that God will use a modified form of pop-idiom music to bring lost young people to be concerned about the issues of sin and eternity. The purpose of this publication is to help such friends to think again and to see the inappropriateness of pop-idiom music in any form for the work of soul-winning.

However, it is pretty obvious that the motives of very many pop-idiom advocates are much less commendable. Numerous Christians have merely fallen back to a dependence upon worldly satisfaction and entertainment.

Many others, in these days of 'decisionism', have probably never really been converted at all. Until they experience a true conversion there is no hope of these people living the 'separated life' and setting their affection on things above rather than things on the earth.

Some advocates of pop-idiom music in the churches are parents whose testimony and example have been totally unconvincing to their teenage children with the result that these are restless to sever all links with the faith. In desperation the parents encourage every 'gimmick' which may hold the rising generation in the fold, even if it means importing 'Christian rock' into the youth fellowship.

Other middle-class, middle-aged believers may not have quite the same motives, but how can they oppose this new form of worldliness among the young people? After all, they themselves live in luxury, hold materialistic values, and do practically nothing for the Lord. How can they deny the next generation its own distinctive form of worldly idolatry?

What about pastors and Christian leaders who aid and abet pop-idiom music? Some are just weak men who put popularity, security and outward success before their duty to the Chief Shepherd. To be firm on the sin of worldliness in their churches would make enemies, threaten their support, and lose the fickle and unspiritual element in the youth fellowship (the 'sacred cow' of some churches).

Other pastors have done so little to lead their churches in meaningful evangelism, and have so seldom preached Gospel messages, that when something wrong comes along in the name of evangelism they have already forfeited all moral right to challenge it.

The most extreme form of Gospel-pop music must definitely fall within the scope of 2 Peter 2. Here we are told that there shall be (without doubt) false teachers among God's people. Until the end of time there will be a succession of deceivers who will try to get into the churches of Christ in order to bring them down.

They will be people who at some time seemed to undergo some personal reformation of life, but were never truly converted. They will lapse to their former character, and show no respect for the authority of the Word. They will be bitterly critical of godly standards. They will be covetous and deceitful people who will import sinful and sex-based ideas and fashions among the people of God, and will cause many young and weak believers to fall into selfish, unspiritual, pleasure-loving ways.

There can be no doubt that the more extreme 'Christian' pop music scene answers perfectly to this warning of Scripture, and those who produce, promote and sell such wares will stand under the judgement of God pronounced by the apostle Peter.

To those who are sincere
But what of the numbers of true believers who have come to dabble in the watered-down or modified use of pop-idiom music? We must appeal to one another with all the earnestness we can command to avoid the snares of worldliness in all its forms.

Look at the strong pleading of Paul in 1 Corinthians 10. 14 - Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

The apostle appeals - Run away from all wrong alliances and compromises with the world, its methods and fashions! Shun them!

The apostle's appeals fall on deaf ears today, especially where the producers of Christian literature, records and evangelical broadcasts are concerned.

These articles remain
© Copyright Dr Peter Masters 1983
The Metropolitan Tabernacle
Elephant and Castle
London SE1 6SD
England, UK

who should be consulted before any further copying, storing or distribution, either in whole or in part is made by any means.

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