Monday, April 09, 2012

Old or Just Sensitive?

 The New (Age) Music in the Churches Today

An Editorial by Pastor John Shipman, New Zealand

I’m a forty year old but one would think I’m eighty years old! That is if you listen to worship in today’s churches. Gone are the days of lovely, Word inspired hymns. No, it will not attract the young crowd! See why I am feeling old? The well-dressed choir has been replaced with head-banging young children, jumping up and down. The song with words that you can hear and understand has changed into a blur of noise with screams that hurt my ears (Old Gump!)

The music and lyrics are all on one monotone tune. Someone made me attend to this a while ago! You can blindfold me and play one of the New Age worship songs and I’ll identify the band or group for you. We identified the Lord in our worship when I was young – in my twenties, but remember I’m old now. You used to buy a Gospel album and be able to listen and enjoy all the songs. There is only one or maybe two songs on the New Age worship (church) albums these days that you can listen to, the rest are loud, boom – boom noise with people screaming in the microphones. Tlogoyaka ebokloko! This gives me a headache!

You can look at a devil-worshiping band next to a New Age worship (church) band and not see the difference. The hair styles, clothes, mannerisms and even tattoos are the same. The old songs used to say a lot about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in fear and trembling. The songs from the New Age worship (church) bands are more about me, myself and I. You get the name of Jesus every now and then mentioned, or shall I say screamed as if He is their mate! No reverence, fear and trembling. We’re in the enlightened age they say.

Well, it troubled my soul. I asked God what’s wrong with me! I emptied my selfish heart before the Lord. I asked Him to change my heart, to accept the change, to get the rhythm of the new, young wine and wind. I repented and repented so many times. I asked again His guidance to lead me back, to open my eyes. 

These people proclaimed time and time again that we should not criticize. No avail! I’m lost, I’m old! So I am keeping on playing the old hymns and Gospel songs. These, true to their nature, are still a blessing to my soul.

I found myself the other day reading through Exodus 32, and then it happened! It was as if the Scriptures stood still! Of course I shouted! It is clear to me now! I would like to share this with you, as you might also feel old like me. I believe it will only be the old folk that might say amen to this and hear what I heard. 

Here is the Scripture for you to judge with my commentary. Please friend, this is not an exposition of the passage; it is an application.

Exodus 32:16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. Moses received the Law from the Lord. This is the first written Word by God Himself to His people. The tables (Luach luach) were the work of God. Luach means it a polished tablet. God did it and it was perfect, although it was the Law. It was the writings of God, something to get excited about. It was guidelines. Paul called it a tutor. This is God’s heart, His noise! Notice now!

Exodus 32:17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. Now Joshua heard a noise! They could not see the people or what they were up to. They heard the noise. Joshua said to Moses that that is a noise of war. The word “heard” comes from Shama which means to hear intelligently. He identified a different noise. His intelligence was telling him that there is a distinct difference between worship noises and war noises. He remembered Exodus 15 when Miriam took timbrels and worshiped.

The noise and shout were so loud that it could split the ears. This is found in any night club and bar today! The music is so loud you need to shout a conversation out. What is the devil up to? It happens in the secular world, it happened in Exodus 32 and it happens in the church today. "Moses, I’m telling you there is a war brewing." He was right! It was a war against the sound of God! Listen carefully what Moses says.

Exodus 32:18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.  The casual reader would not pick this up. It sounds as if Moses is applauding the sound. He said instead it is not the voice of them that shout for mastery. It is not a victory shout. Oh, they thought they had victory but it was only noise. Same today! You listen to most New Age worship songs and they proclaim the victory! It’s is all about overcomers and kingdom builders. All about what we’ve achieved.

It is also not the voice of someone who lost, for they would have cried.

It is the noise of entertainment.  It was a self-indulgent noise. Moses judged the sound better than Joshua. This is what you hear when the New Age worshipers start their worship. Some are proclaiming victory whilst others enjoy themselves in the entertainment. The church has given new life to the smoke guns, colored stage light and disco ball. More money are spend on sound systems than feeding the poor.

Exodus 32:19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.

So they heard the sound first, then the calf. You can ridicule me as much as you want but I’m telling you there is a calf in the New Age worshipers’ music. They saw the calf which was a false god. It was a statue representing the devil. He knew what was coming. He got them to make a different sound. They made a noise and danced. They conformed to the world. They remembered Egypt with its statues (calf) and wanted to be like the world again.

I can’t understand this fixation of the church to try to be like the world. The spirit of the world has entered into the church. So much so that the world looks at the church and the church at the world, and there is no difference. The church is no longer hated by the world. They (the world) are not throwing stones and eggs any more;  they are throwing money and fame, and the church is gobbling it up.

I can also hear the noise; believe me there is a calf. I’m not old; far from it! I’m not backslidden! I can hear the noise and it sounds different. Great was my joy when the Lord liberated my heart; but also my anger that so many people accept this. 

Others feel rejected, defeated and lost. This was never the purpose of the church. Like I say, and will say again, I am still young, but what about our senior brothers and sisters?

Exodus 32:20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and straw it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. 21 And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? Yes, Aaron, tell us why you compromised. Let it be known here that every pastor that allows this in his church will answer this question one day.

Exodus 32:22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou know the people, that they are set on mischief. 23 For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

Aaron's excuse is the very reason why the foundation of our songs needs to be built on the Scriptures. You know these people are evil in their hearts. That’s what the word mischief means here. Their actions were the manifestations of the heart. They could not hide it. I look at some of these so called Christian Rock bands and see the same thing. One person even said that something comes over him every time he takes the stage. He then continues on for hours in concert banging his head. I’m asking what comes out of him.

They said make us gods! Dear reader this is the root of all of this. It started with Lucifer who wanted to be God and is now continuing in the sons of disobedience. Most of the new age worshipers songs changed the emphasis of the songs from God to man. This comes out of their music just as it came out here in Exodus. We don’t want God’s melody, we want our own.


I enjoy a nice Gospel song.  There are modern day writers, who wrote and are still writing inspired, Spirit filled songs. These are nice to listen to but you will not find me in a church night club. Feel free to go; you won’t have to worry about me standing in the queue.

God Bless