Minister of Education Reports


Christian Music: When Is It Christian?


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”[1] This is one of the reasons that I believe the church should exercise care not only in what it sings, but also in who is invited to play and sing within the confines of its sanctuary. Not only that, I think we have a responsibility to warn the Body of spiritual problems in the music industry, so members will beware of whose material they buy and play within their homes.

            Music that would be perfectly at home in a Roman Catholic retreat, a World Council of Churches Conference, or a Charismatic Laughing Revival has no place in a Baptist Church that wants to be faith-ful to the Doctrines of the Bible and focused on worship with the True God of that Holy Book. Many people involved in popular music are members of groups whose doctrines are at odds with Biblical and there-fore Baptist ideals. For instance the popular John Michael Talbot is a Catholic who prays to Mary and says the rosary. He became a lay “brother” in the order of Secular Franciscans in 1979 and lives in Little Portion Hermitage in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This is the home of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, “an integrated monastic community of families, celibates and singles” founded by Talbot and formally recognized by the Catholic Church as a “Public Association of the Faithful.” In his book Simplicity, Talbot stated: “Personally, I have found praying the Rosary to be one of the most powerful tools I possess in obtaining simple, childlike meditation on the life of Jesus Christ.”[2]

            The point I am seeking to make to you in this report is this. It matters in Christian music what is being sung, and it matters also who is doing the singing. Both not only have an influence and impact on our lives, but also are important to whether God is in the midst of the event. If it does not honor the Lord Jesus Christ, it should not be used in the church or the home. It is not Christian.[3]


[1] Making Musical Choices, Bob Jones University, 1986, p. 86

[2] The Rosary is largely a prayer to Mary as the Queen of Heaven.

[3] Much of the information used in this report came from Way of Life Ministries.

            Jonsquill Ministries

P. O. Box 752

Buchanan, Georgia 30113