Hollywood or Holiness?
Tags: Church Growth, Church Growth Movement, Church growth consultants, worship leader, Hollywood, idol worship, Satan, Lucifer, Isaiah, Adam, Eve, Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon, Babylonian, Apsotle Paul, Barnabus
If it is not about idol worship it is about the worship of dark forces. Indeed, many popular so-called music groups today make no bones about the fact that the expression of their artistry is for the singular purpose of openly worshipping Satan. The truth is, whether it is blatantly declared or disguised behind the elevation of rock idols, the worship of the great deceiver ultimately characterizes much of what is going on in commercial music today.
Idol worship began in the heart of the Great Deceiver, Satan. A strong argument can be made that before his fall Lucifer was the chief worship leader in heaven. When describing Lucifers fall Isaiah wrote, All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps. (Isa NIV) The reference to harps illustrates that Lucifer was a musician and he was also the chief angel before God characterized as the morning star, son of the dawn! (Isa 12:b NIV) We also know that the angels of God are gathered around Gods throne in worship. (Is 6:3; -12) Worshipping God is what they were created to do. Lucifer was apparently created to lead worship to God in heaven.
Lucifer had everything. He was the head angel and a great musician as well. But having everything was not enough for him. He wanted more. While haunted with the desire to have what he could not possess Lucifer diverted from worshipping God to exalting himself. Therefore Isaiah continued, You said in your heart I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. (Isa 14:13-14 NIV)
When Lucifer fell from heaven his musicianship fell with him and he has been tempting men to worship him through music ever since. Self-adulation stemming from pride obviously comes directly from Satan and it is this very thing that the first temptation of Adam came from. Like Lucifer, Adam had everything that he needed in the garden. But once again everything was not enough. It is interesting, therefore, that Satan tempted Eve with the same lie that caused his fall. So he declared, For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. . . (Gen 3:5 MKJV) Satan was calling the worlds parents to worship self so that they would ultimately find themselves bowing down at his feet. Self-worship, therefore, is nothing other than the adulation of Satan.
The most glaring musical example of this
can be found in Daniels account of the exaltation of Nebuchadnezzar. Students of the
Bible will remember that Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a great statue that, according
to Daniels inspired interpretation, represented all of the kingdoms of the world
over which Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian empire was the head.
Nebuchadnezzar got pretty filled with himself after hearing this good news about his greatness and the prominence of his mighty empire in world history. So he created a golden image in that same likeness while demanding that the entire kingdom bow before it. This blatant display of idolatry was intended to set Nebuchadnezzar up as the one to be worshipped. For he saw himself as the ancient Babylonian idol even as he stood as the head over all other kingdoms.
Then a herald cried aloud: To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. (Dan 3:4-5 MKJV)
So here we have a clear biblical example
of music being utilized directly for the purpose of the exaltation of man, idolatry. This
very same idol worship is that which has become so prevalent in our
There was a talented young pastor once, for example, who was very good at preaching and especially adept at evangelism. He was very popular in the church and it eventually got the best of him. Like Nebuchadnezzar the young pastor began to revel in the adulation of his followers. Eventually he got involved in counseling a woman regarding her marriage. As the counseling sessions progressed the emotions grew hot and adultery was the inevitable result. He lost his ministry over it.
Because the tendency everywhere is to lift up and exalt people it is imperative that church leadership remain very cautious with regard to who to put in significant leadership roles in the church. As a result of the nature of the contemporary worship and praise medium, it is very common to put someone very young, immature and inexperienced in front of the congregation every Sunday morning leading the worship team.
One pastor did exactly that. It was all a matter of convenience. A Church Growth consultant had convinced the pastor that he needed a full on praise band and to both of them a particular immature musician seemed to be the most available talent at the time. The young man was not mature enough to handle the affection that was to come his way. Low and behold within a year the kid was having an affair with one of the praise team singers. Idolatry blossomed into lust, which was eventually conceived as sin.
Years later the senior pastor continued to complain how the immature worship leader had let him down. Yet instead of listening to the advice of men, the pastor should have heeded to the word of God that states, Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. (I Tim 5:22) The fact is it was the senior pastor who ignored the council of Gods Word while installing an immature person to a place of authority. It was the senior pastor who let the young man down. It was the result of the pastors folly that the young minister fell into disgrace and into the devils trap. (I Tim 3:7b)
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (Jas 1:14-15 MKJV) As is usually the case, the whole ordeal threw the entire church into turmoil and many people ultimately left as a result.
It can be very difficult at times for Christian leadership to keep it all in perspective. When you receive the praise of so many people, it is imperative that their attention is turned to God even as they seek to lift you up. When Paul and Barnabus were faced with the worship of the crowds they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. (Acts 14:1b-16 MKJV)
These two servants of God refused to
receive the praise of men. But the babble of
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