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Praise and Worship and Today's Church

Holy Wars

Guru Woo Woo

Yoga Aroma

Tags: Church Growth, Church Growth Movement, Church growth consultants, worship leader, conservative, liberal, Conservative Christian, Conservative Christian theology, Evangelical, evangelism, post modern church, modernism, praise and worship, hymns, hymn singing, New Worship, Evangelical Church, Hindu, guru, Soma, Aldoua Huxley, Brave New World, Pope Gregory, Western Culture, Dark Ages, R. J. Stewart, The Spiritual Dimension of Music, Gregorian Chant, Mysteries of God, Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?, Middle Ages, Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, John Calvin, Romanticism, Rousseau, Michael Horton, Modern Reformation, Hindu, Hinduism, yoga, Swami Vivikenanda, First Parliament of the Word’s Religions, Asian Invasion, The Beatles, Number Nine, Hey Jude, John Lennon, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, guru,  Transcendental Meditation, Alan Watts, Theodore Roszak, Timothy Leary, LSD, Grand Funk, Douglas Groothuis, Calvinism, Calvinistic, Saint Augustine

Yoga Aroma

Igurun the Hindu religion, the blind pagan spiritual leap into the supernatural world is done through yoga. The participants in this worship practice depend upon the assistance of a “wise” person higher or more spiritual to get them to this state. He is called a guru. The guru is a religious man who has learned how to transcend into the higher states of existence and can reveal these mysteries to others. The practitioner of this form of meditation is not unlike many contemporary Christian worshippers who depend upon a worship leader to take them into an altered state of mind so that they can enter into the supernatural world and experience God to see His face. They all are enamored by guru’s woo woo.

The Hindus also used the mind altering drug soma in order to enable the worshipper to better enter into the supernatural state. Soma is the drug utilized in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World to keep the masses content. The writings of Huxley were foundational to the rise of the ‘60s counterculture revolution whose beliefs have influenced so many in the church today. Therefore it is no wonder that we are now facing a Brave New World as multitudes in the church are entering into mind altering worship understandings in the search of mysteries that stand in such contrast to historical Christian beliefs.

Pope Gregory the GreatBut there is nothing new under the sun. And we’ve seen it all before. Even the ‘60s apparent unique plunge into mysticism was nothing new for Western Culture. For Eastern mysteries are something the West has been very familiar with for ages. History has demonstrated its impact on the church during the Middle Ages. Pope Gregory I (540-604) did much to bring the Babylonian Messiah into the church fold. He has been considered one of the most eminent theologians of the Catholic Church, and had a whole lot to do with the transition of the church from its early beliefs to the mysticism of the Dark Ages.

Just like the church today is busily doing, Pope Gregory the Great initiated a new type of music into the liturgy of the church in order to attract the masses. “We know from the early Fathers of the church,” explained R. J. Stewart in The Spiritual Dimension of Music, “that the common people of their time (the pagan peasants whom they sought to make into Christians) uttered ululations or jubilations, which were extended vowel sounds in a musical pattern. Such vocal utterances are still part of folksong today, though in the West they tend to be abbreviated or understated. These vocal sounds, free, expressive and highly communicative, are basic words of power. In the liturgy, they were developed and disciplined while being merged with approved texts; the result was plainchant. Such practices, however, did not appear in a vacuum, and were undoubtedly drawn not only from the musical chants of the people, but from the ritual use of the great pagan philosophies.”

This "other worldly music", called Gregorian Chant, became the hallmark of the spacious cathedrals as the modal melodies of the priests reverberated through the vast halls with their beauty and their simplicity. Yet anyone who has heard these melodies drone on-and-on with no apparent, key, meter, or resolution will realize that the intent was to create an aura of "Mystery." They were sung in the unfamiliar language of Latin to make sure that the Mysteries of God were kept secret. So deep was the resonate sound that was carried in the massive vestibules in which these incantations were sung that one could hardly distinguish what was coming out of the priests’ mouths from that which bounced off the walls that surrounded them. Indeed, the church used everything at its disposal to place God in the distance by even translating His music to a far off place. The whole point of the affair was to advance the mysteries of God through music.

Francis SchaefferFrancis Schaeffer in How Should We Then Live? wrote of the Middle Ages, ". . .the pristine Christianity set forth in the New Testament gradually became distorted. A humanistic element was added: Increasingly, the authority of the church took precedence over the teaching of the Bible. And there was an ever-growing emphasis on salvation as resting on man's meriting the merit of Christ, instead of on Christ's work alone."

As God was placed further away from the grasp of man, the search for mysteries replaced biblical truth. The gurus of that church age became the revealers of these deep mysteries of God as their woo woo became authoritative above the very Word of God. And the mysteries that these church leaders revealed were very strange, unorthodox and contrary to the teaching of Scripture. The fact is that when pagan worship is allowed in the church, doctrine will always suffer. This is because paganism opposes everything that doctrine is and stands for.

This whole false religious worship system in the church was eventually overturned by the likes of Martin Luther, John Calvin and company. The mysteries of the Dark Age church gurus were soon replaced with the Word of Life as Bibles were made available to everyone. Music was given back to the people who were now encouraged to sing praise hymns set to popular melodies rather than sitting back from a distance as spectators of those ancient chants. And they could now sing these songs in their own language to understand the deep biblical truths of God contained in them. The focus of hymnology during that era was God, His nature and His provision. Therefore, though Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” came out of a time of personal distress and the need for God’s saving hand, the lyrics of this infamous hymn concentrated on telling us about God Himself through the eyes of Scripture. Likewise, the songs from Calvin’s church in Geneva were based on the Psalms. The doctrine of God was the prominent theme of the age as Christians returned to worshipping Him for Who He is and what He has done.

But Babylon would not stand for defeat. She would eventually have her way with the West once again. In modern history it was during the 19th century that the pantheism of the Eastern world began to regain its foothold in the West. This came in the form of Romanticism. According to Sharon School and Sylvia White in Music and the Culture of Man, in the music of this era "some of the major characteristics have been consistently described as an emphasis on individual feeling; an escape to the remote, mysterious, and unattainable; a glorification of youthful imagination; a contempt for the discipline of tradition; and a self-esteem in national sentiment."

". . .Romanticism was pervaded by a sense of homelessness. Part of the urge toward universality of expression may be attributed to the need to feel at home in some time or place. . .The sense of homelessness, of dissatisfaction with both the inner and outer environment, led many romantics to seek escape into another time or place. The far-off land with strange people became attractive through its very remoteness."

Coming on the heels of the teachings of French philosopher Rousseau, Romanticism began to glorify nature. ". . .The romantic sought not to understand nature as a system, but to become one with it and express the soul of nature, its atmosphere and impact. Nature was the object of mystery and reverence."

Michael Horton in the June/July edition of Modern Reformation detailed the effect that this resurgence of pantheism in the West had on church music: “Romantic thinkers began to write hymns that emphasized the passion, or emotions, of man. Therefore, the song, When I'm With Him, details, ‘When I'm with Him. . . .When I'm with Him. . . .The Fairest pleasures of the world grow dim; . . .and in my heart I feel the thrill of Glory, When I'm with Him, when I'm with Him.’” Therefore during the 19th century as Babylon began to influence Christianity, much of the music of the church began to focus on man and his needs and desires rather than the truths of Scripture that defined the God who is to be worshipped. The worship of self slowly began to displace the worship of God as man turned from the Creator to the creation.

But it was during the ‘60s that the West became enamored with eastern religions to the degree that the gurus took over the thought life of the entire culture. This is when the woman Babylon finally overthrew the ideas of the Reformers. She would again have her day in Western civilization.

Hinduism and its pagan rituals are exactly where the religious aspects of the ‘60s counterculture revolution came from. Initially the Indian Hindu mystic Swami Vivikenanda wooed the Christian world with his critique of Christianity as he introduced the West to his “superior” religion. Vivikenanda was the man of the hour during the First Parliament of the Word’s Religions in Chicago in 1893 and dazzled the attendees while elevating Hinduism over Christianity. After he gave the West a real good look at the Eastern world various Hindu outposts were soon established in America. This ecumenical parliament also marked the beginning of the interfaith movement that pursued dialogue and cooperation among the world’s religions.

Vivikananda’s dream was the creation of “a society of Western Science and Socialism and Indian spirituality.” Vivikenanda got his way when the “Asian Invasion” took hold during the ‘60s. Immigration policies were altered to open the door of America to the influx of vast numbers of immigrants from the East. And they brought their religion with them.

The Beatles Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandThen came the Beatles. John Lennon had declared that his group was more popular than Jesus. But they weren’t willing to stop there. They sought to supplant the true God with everything false. After the rock icons returned from India they brought with them not only the music of the Hindu guru Ravi Shankar, but also his religion as taught by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They were so impressed with that guru’s Transcendental Meditation woo woo that they just had to convert the whole Western World to it. The counterculturalists took it all in, hook line and sinker.

Among these anti-establishment hippies (or New Left) the "Asian invasion" began to replace the historical Calvinistic traditions, that had built America, with the gurus, swamis and yogis of the Eastern religions. The East by then had firmly established itself as an alternative to the "establishment" religions among the '60s generation. The whole movement was aided by the criticisms against societal norms ushering from Alan Watts, Theodore Roszak and Timothy Leary.

Leary promoted the use of drugs (LSD) in order to enter into the mystic experience of the East. His assertion was preceded by the writings of Aldous Huxley who was, in turn, influenced by the New Age thought promoted by the Vivekanada. In his Brave New World, Huxley presented a critique of Western civilization, which became so characteristic of the '60s generation.

That rebellious age was accompanied by sexual promiscuity as associated with Semiramis, the adulterous woman of Babylon, drug use and a new form of worship based upon repetitious music mantras such as the Beatles’ tune “Number 9” or the long repetitive ending of “Hey Jude.” Indeed throughout the musical scene the “long version” came into demand as the hippies of the age concentrated on getting high while spacing out as the musicians played on.

Now my kids were not raised in this mystical culture. So their first experience with it was very enlightening. Every year we would vacation in the mountains at our favorite campground. It was our custom to regularly go to the local resort, as it was called, to purchase ice cream after a long hike. On one particular day we were shopping as the repetitive music played to the lyric: “I’m getting closer to my home” over and over again.

After a while my kids had had enough of that and began to chuckle and criticize the song as if it was stupid and monotonous. Vanessa and I answered that this tune by Grand Funk was the music that we were raised with in the ‘60s. They countered that it was “dumb.”

My kids weren’t impressed with the guru’s woo woo. But the revolutionaries of the ‘60s did not consider this stuff “dumb”. It was their very revelation of God. And with each repetition of the mantra the guru’s woo woo would lead them closer to their home.

Douglas Groothuis proclaimed, “The age of the exotic, Eastern ‘guruism’ may be waning, but the gurus’ teachings are not. What was once on the esoteric periphery has moved into the spotlight. Much of what used to be underground is seeping – if not rushing – into the mainstream, as a plethora of New Age teachers, practices, and events contend for our souls.”

Saint AugustineIn the days of Ancient Rome Saint Augustine wrote, "It was because of this pagan philosophers, who were making a serious effort to interpret the indecent and immoral mysteries, made for themselves many false gods." The ’60s counterculture movement carried with it the divulgence of these new mysteries that Augustine described. The revelations that came out of this pursuit questioned the entire Christian worldview and moral base upon which Western Society has been founded. New gods made their way into American society because of the hippies’ trek into the unknown and we have never been the same since.

 

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Wigtune Company offers free mp3 Jesus based praise music and song along with traditional Christian hymns performed in a contemporary fashion in order to encourage the body of Christ to blend the old with the new in a scriptural fashion.  An on-line Bible study is offered that goes into the biblical and historical foundation of worship for music ministries, the music minister, praise leader, pastor and serious Bible student.  The study is presented in outline form with relevant scripture references and questions.  Download this helpful work for free! was formed as a service to the body of Christ to encourage scriptural worship. To accomplish this goal Wigtune Company offers free praise words, worship music, free hymn downloads, Christian mp3, Christian rock, contemporary praise music and hymn mp3 and chart material along with a free on-line worship study book for personal devotions, Bible study groups, Sunday schools, pastors, music ministers and ministry training.  In order to bridge the gap between the old and the new the worship study book gives solid theological and historical support to the use of traditional Christian hymn-singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.

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