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.
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
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
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.
What Are Our Real Motives?
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
who should be consulted before any further copying, storing or distribution, either
in whole or in part is made by any means.