The No Goofy Zone Discernment Ministry

The No Goofy Zone is a discernment ministry for saved born again Christians and all who are seeking the truth.We expose non-biblical trends in the church. We are making material available to advance understanding of issue's which endanger Christianity. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit.

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Location: Piqua, Ohio, United States

Former drummer for Gary Lewis and The Playboys and The Coasters. Tim has also played with Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster, Darlene Zscech and Hillsongs, Jeff Fenholt, SteveCamp among others. Tim founded The Simply Agape Project in 2001 to get free Christian music to the troops. Recordings have been made with Tim, and friends Alex Acuna, Abe Laboriel SR, Justo Almario,Steve Camp , Jared Ming and some wonderful Independant Christian artists.The Somebody Brave CD also features words of encouragment to the soldiers from Pastors, Moms, Dads, and Lt Col Brian Birdwell a Pentegon 9/11 survivor Tim is married to Donna Wirth and has four children Alan 25,Steven 23, Brittany 22, Bethany 21. Tim has played in numerous churchs as well as shows on TBN. Tim has also performed on JCTV on the show Generation Worship featuring worship leader Jared Ming. Tim has a book published worldwide titled "Pass The Plate And Let Us Prey" (My Search For Black and White Christianity in a Gray Nation)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

If music is neutral?

"We must be willing to adjust our worship practices when unbelievers are present. God tells us to be sensitive to the hang ups of unbelievers in our services."
(Rick Warren, quoted in "Church Growth Gone Mad," By Clay Miller, Associate Pastor, Outreach Ministries, Grace Community Church)

There’s no such thing as Christian music. There are just Christian lyrics. To insist that all good music came from Europe 200 years ago; there’s a name for that - racism.”
(Rick Warren, SuperConference 2003, at Liberty University)

"Saddleback is unapologetically a contemporary music church. We’ve often been referred to in the press as “The flock that likes to rock.” We use the style of music the majority of people in our church listen to on the radio. Years ago, after being frustrated trying to please everyone I decided to survey our church. I passed out 3 x 5 cards to everyone in the Crowd service and asked them to write down the Call Letters of the radio station they listened to...What we discovered was that 96% of our people said they listened to middle-of-the-road adult contemporary music."
(Rick Warren, Selecting Worship Music, July 29, 2002)

"I will admit that we have lost hundreds of potential members because of the style of music Saddleback uses. On the other hand, we have attracted thousands more because of our music."
(Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Church, p. 285)

"If you were to tell me the kind of music you are currently using in your services I could easily describe the kind of people you are reaching, without even visiting your church. I could also tell you the kind of people your church will never be able to reach."
(Rick Warren, Selecting Worship Music, July 29, 2002)

Well we all know that Rick Warren is a master at appealing to peoples flesh.
Thats why Rick asked unsaved people how to build his church instead of seeking how to build a church according to the scriptures.
Is music neutral?
Is it just the lyrics that matter.
Anyone listening to some of the new heavy metal music/death metal (whatever they are calling it these days) inspires aggressive behavior.
Lyrics are what define a song?
Can you even tell whats being said in some of the songs played by some of the heavy metal bands?
And its the musicial intro that is sans of lyrical content that sets the pace or groove for how you act.
(Head for your honey or the mosh pit)
Remember Walk This Way by Aerosmith?

Rick Warren is wrong on all counts.
Again people speaking about what they dont know anything about.
Like music, Jesus, The Bible etc..
Here is a article sent to me from a mate in New Zealand.


The foundational philosophy for both Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) and Contemporary Christian Worship (CCW) is the idea that music is neutral or amoral and that any style of music can be used in the service of a holy God. Consider the following examples:

A representative of Contemporary Christian Praise music: "...we need to stop advocating one music style over against another. Our tradition, our style, our renderings have to do with ourselves, not with God." --Anthony Gentes, The Worship Thought, July 2003.

A representative of Contemporary Christian Music: "There is no such thing as 'gospel music.' Every style and form of music can become gospel, whether it's jazz, pop, rock 'n' roll, or rap." --Don Butler, Gospel Music Association

A representative of contemporary Southern Gospel:
"God speaks through all different kinds of musical styles" --Bill Gaither

I have some questions to ask about this philosophy:

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY IS IT THAT THE MOVIE "TEXT PAINTER" CAN USE DIFFERENT STYLES OF MUSIC TO CREATE DIFFERENT EMOTIONS? This can be illustrated by the old silent movies. There were no words to the movies except the text shown on the screen, but the musicians (sometimes alone pianist or organist; sometimes an orchestra) could create feelings of fear, haste, happiness, sorrow, romance, anger, indignation, tension, uncertainty, merely by changing the style of music. If there was a scene with the bad guy slowing sneaking up on the unsuspecting, sleeping heroine, the music would be tense and gloomy. If upbeat classical or peppy march music were put to that type of scene, the movie would be like a comedy, because the acting would be saying one thing and the music would be saying something different. The movie text painter can create different emotions with different styles of music, because music is not neutral.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY CAN AN ORCHESTRA CREATE DIFFERENT FEELINGS BY CHANGING THE STYLE OF THE MUSIC? Orchestral music ordinarily doesn't have words; it is strictly music; but anyone who knows the power of music can testify that each style of music played by the orchestra creates different feelings and thoughts in the listeners. Put a different way, if all musical styles are neutral, why does a military march never sound like a romance ballad or a baby lullaby sound like a punk rock concert? The reason is that music is not neutral; music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DO TAVERNS AND NIGHT CLUBS ALWAYS PLAY A CERTAIN KIND OF MUSIC? This is the case, because music is not neutral, and taverns and bars play a kind of music that fits the lifestyle of that setting. Music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID THE OLD BLUESMEN BELIEVE THAT CERTAIN KINDS OF RHYTHMS CAUSED WOMEN TO BE MORALLY LOOSE? For example, Professor Longhair's boogie-woogie piano music is said to have caused women to "jump and wriggle" in a lascivious manner. Robert Johnson, one of the pioneering bluesmen who died young because of his womanizing, said of his blues rhythms: "This sound affected most women in a way that I could never understand." B.B. King, one of the biggest living names in the blues, said in his autobiography, "The women reacted with their bodies flowing to a rhythm coming out of my guitar" Those are powerful statements about the effect of a specific kind of music and rhythm. Were the bluesmen confused about their music? No, music is not neutral; music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DO ROCK MUSICIANS CLAIM THAT THEIR HEAVILY SYNCOPATED RHYTHM IS SEXY? Following are just a few of the many quotes we could give along these lines.

"Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body's rhythms" (Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention, Life, June 28, 1968).

"That's what rock is all about--sex with a 100 megaton bomb, the beat!" (Gene Simmons of the rock group Kiss, interview, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987).

"Rock 'n' roll is 99% sex" (John Oates of the rock duo Hall & Oates, Circus, Jan. 31, 1976).

"Rock 'n' roll is pagan and primitive, and very jungle, and that's how it should be!" (Malcolm McLaren, punk rock manager, Rock, August 1983).

"The great strength of rock 'n' roll lies in its beat ... it is a music which is basically sexual, un-Puritan ... and a threat to established patterns and values" (Irwin Silber, Marxist, Sing Out, May 1965).

"Rock and roll aims for liberation and transcendence, EROTICIZING THE SPIRITUAL AND SPIRITUALIZING THE EROTIC, because that is its ecumenical birthright" (Robert Palmer, Rock & Roll an Unruly History).

"Rock and roll is fun, it's full of energy ...It's naughty" (Tina Turner, cited in Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum).

"Rock and roll was something that's hardcore, rough and wild and sweaty and wet and just loose" (Patti Labelle, cited in Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum).

Rapper Missy Elliot's 3rd album, "Miss E ... So Addictive," is described as "a seductive cocktail of quirky rhythms and hypnotic beats."

The blues music (predecessor to rock and roll) that was played in Gayoso brothels in Memphis, Tennessee, in the early part of the 20th century is described as "sexually syncopated sounds" (Larry Nager, Memphis Beat: The lives and Times of America's Musical Crossroads).

Why do these secular rock lovers describe the heavily syncopated rock rhythms as sexy, primitive, seductive, rough, hardcore, loose, wild, and hypnotic? What do they know, or what are they admitting, that the Contemporary Christian Music crowd denies? They are admitting that music is not neutral and that the heavy backbeat of rock & roll is sensual. Music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DOES ONE OF THE FOREMOST EXPERTS IN DRUMMING CLAIM THAT CERTAIN RHYTHMS CAN ALTER THE STATE OF ONE'S CONSCIOUSNESS? Mickey Hart, drummer for the Grateful Dead, has traveled the world researching the power of drums. In his book Drumming at the Edge of Magic he observes: "Everywhere you look on the planet people are USING DRUMS TO ALTER CONSCIOUSNESS. S I've discovered, along with many others, the extraordinary power of music, particularly percussion, to influence the human mind and body. . . . There have been many times when I've felt as if the drum has carried me to an open door into another world." Why does he say this? Because he knows that music is not neutral, that certain music and certain rhythms produce certain results, that music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY WOULD A VOODOO PRIESTESS SAY THAT HER GODS RESPOND TO CERTAIN RHYTHMS? Consider this quote carefully: "The rhythm is more important than the meaning of the words. Our gods respond to rhythm above all else" (a Macumba priestess in Brazil, quoted in African Rhythm & Sensibility). The voodoo priestess says that because she knows that music is a language and that certain rhythms interact with the spirit world.

OWN MESSAGE" (Leary, Politics of Ecstasy). Leary said that because he knew that music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID JIMI HENDRIX, ONE OF THE FOREMOST EXPERTS IN ROCK RHYTHM, CLAIM THAT CERTAIN MUSIC CREATES A CERTAIN ATMOSPHERE? "Atmospheres are going to come through music, because the music is a spiritual thing of its own" (Jimi Hendrix, rock star, Life, Oct. 3, 1969).

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID ROCK AND ROLL HISTORIAN ROBERT PALMER SAY THAT THE (IM)MORAL INFLUENCE OF ROCK AND ROLL INHERES IN THE RHYTHM? "I believe in the transformative power of rock and roll S this transformative power inheres not so much in the words of songs or the stances of the stars, but in the music itself--in the SOUND, and above all, in the BEAT" (Robert Palmer, Rock & Roll an Unruly History).

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID THE HOWARD HANSON, WHO DIRECTED THE PRESTIGIOUS EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC FOR 40 YEARS, SAY: "MUSIC CAN BE PHILOSOPHICAL OR ORGIASTIC. IT HAS POWERS FOR EVIL AS WELL AS FOR GOOD"? (cited from Frank Garlock's The Language of Music; Dr. Garlock is a graduate of Eastman and sat under Hanson).

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID THE WORLD FAMOUS CONDUCTOR LEONARD BERNSTEIN SAY THAT MUSIC IS A LANGUAGE THAT REACHES THE HEART: "Music doesn't have to pass through the censor of the brain before it can reach the heart. An f sharp doesn't have to be considered in the mind; it is a direct hit, and therefore all the more powerful"?

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DOES THE BIBLE SPECIFY THAT BELIEVERS SHOULD SING A CERTAIN KIND OF MUSIC? "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19). The word "spiritual" means set apart for God, different from the things of the world. A tavern or nightclub owner would never play psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs over the music system, even if the words were not included. It would create the wrong atmosphere. Why, then, should believers use the same music that tavern owners use to entertain and lull or stir the drinking crowd to their lascivious pleasures?

If all musical styles are neutral, THAT MEANS THAT THE DEVIL HASN'T CORRUPTED MUSIC, but such an idea is nonsensical. The devil hates God and has attempted to corrupt everything that God has created. He is called "the god of this world," and he has corrupted religion, literature, art, fashion -- you name it. Music is one of the most powerful influences in society. To think that the Devil has not corrupted music to his own wicked purposes and for the enticement of fallen man is contrary to everything the Bible teaches us.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID JOSHUA DISCERN THAT THE MUSIC COMING UP FROM THE CAMP OF ISRAEL WAS "A NOISE OF WAR"? (Exodus 32:17). If music is neutral, how could he make any judgment at all about what he was hearing?

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DO CHILDREN REACT DIFFERENTLY TO VARIOUS KINDS OF MUSIC? One of my readers submitted the following, "Why did my children behave properly during the traditional morning service, but jump around like they had 'ants in their pants' for 45 minutes during the loud rockish night service at a church we were visiting?"


Question: You mean that a b flat note has a moral quality, Answer: No, a b flat note is nothing in itself, and a b flat note is not music. But when that B flat is put together with other notes and components of music and is made into a musical piece, that musical piece becomes a language (music is rightly called the "language of the heart") and has a moral quality. It is like the alphabet. The letter "d" has no moral quality in itself, but when it is placed with other letters to make words and sentences and paragraphs, that piece of writing assumes a moral quality. The letter "d" can become either "DIVINE" or "DEVILISH." It is the same with art. Lines and circles in themselves have no moral quality, but when they are placed together into a piece of art, it ceases to be neutral and becomes a language that spells out a certain message in this world and has a certain influence upon men.

We conclude that music is not "neutral" or "amoral." Music is a language, and in the Christian realm the message of the music must match the message of the lyrics. There are many styles of worldly music that preach a message that is contradictory to the Bible and therefore cannot be used in the service of a holy God.

I close with the testimony of a man who left the contemporary music scene after having led contemporary worship teams in two churches:

"I am now convinced that God will not accept our worship when it is offered with music styles that are also used by pagans for their immoral practices. If I am wrong, why was he so harsh in judging Israel when they sacrificed to him using the pagan high places and rituals? He is a jealous God. If you grasp this principle alone, it will change for ever the way you lead a worship service. S The true heart of worship is the heart that bows before God and submits to his Word, no more and no less" (Dan Lucarini, Confessions of a Former Worship Leader, p. 57).


Anonymous Anonymous said...


That's the quote to stick with, really. Lyrics, atmosphere, environment and intentions of the artist all play key roles.

Anecdotal evidence like kids being squirmy during a service doesn't mean the music is to blame. It could mean that that service attracts people who haven't learned to properly discipline their kids. (Just as the first service maybe draws those quick to judge.)

Zappa and Simmons and the rest can say all they want but it doesn't make them right. Zappa also said, "The meek shall inherit nothing." Should we go with Zappa on that one too?

Finally, I recall reading how a former Satanist fled from a church service when the organ started playing a Bach piece. Seems they used Bach at his former church. Should we throw Bach out too?

11:49 AM  
Blogger Gaddabout said...

Tim, you and I have had good exchanges before, so this is a little surprising for me that something so strongly worded would be blasted from your site.

Surely you know where this argument goes -- that you and I could not even play the drum set, because it is not part of the tradition laid out in the Bible. David borrowed from nearby tribes, hymn writers have borrowed from the taverns. The post-Apostolic Church has largely borrowed from culture to sanctify it.

Where I see God upset with Israel's worship, he was upset that their offerings were without the right heart, without the right intent. They borrowed from other cultures because they had forgetten that circumcision of the heart was where worship really started. They were looking for the right formula, and God clearly abhors formulaic, drone-like worship. He wants our minds and our hearts engaged.

Mickey Hart obviously is not looking through the prism of the Word, not hearing with God's ears. Of course he's going to interpret as a pagan, particularly if he's listening to pagan drummers. It's not the drummer that makes something pagan, it's the drummer's heart. I've played with many fine Christian Afro-Cuban percussionists who've laid out their work for the Lord. I know who they're playing for, and I know why they were playing, and you would have to find a clearly damning Scripture for me to not believe God received their playing as worship.

I apply all kinds of rythms in our worship. Some of them I don't even know what culture or genre they're borrowed from. Is that linear beat from Africa or from the Middle East? How can we tell? We've been at this so long, it's impossible to determine.

Most importantly, if this is the direction we must take, then we need to ditch ALL the hymnals, not just CCM or modern worship, and return to the Hebrew traditions. That seems to contradict the message of Christ.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Tim Wirth said...

I guess I must be reading a different article. Again half the post was from a email I recieved. Its not anti drumm or anti percussion or anything like that. Of course Mickey Hart intreprets things as a pagan because he is not saved. I have also played with very fine afro cuban drummers and perc player. Some really good ones.We are speaking about music here not lyrics. Some is going to be good some bad. Some inspired by the Holy Spirit some by demons some by the flesh.
I am certainly not against using congas, djembe, whatever.
But to say music (sans lyrics) is neutral show a lack of knowledge of what music is capable of.
Sound track guys for movies are genuis's of manipulating emotions.
Think of movies without music.
Do you think they would have the same impact?
And Im talking about the background music here.
Again I never took this as a anti drum post.
Any instrument can be used to honor God or the enemy or the flesh.
Tim Wirth

12:29 AM  
Blogger Gaddabout said...

But to say music (sans lyrics) is neutral show a lack of knowledge of what music is capable of. Sound track guys for movies are genuis's of manipulating emotions. Think of movies without music. Do you think they would have the same impact?
And Im talking about the background music here.

The problem here is once a strong image has been applied to strong music, the image is indellibly tied to the music. Darth Vader's theme, for example, is a classic example. We can't imagine it being applied for anything else.

If we'd never heard of Star Wars and that music had been applied to, say, the struggle of battle in Lord of the Rings, I suggest we would have understood that music differently -- and it would still have been considered appropriate for the image. That is the versatility of music and why it can only hint of the mood we are supposed to extrapolate from the images passing by us on the screen. The director and the editor have the ultimate power in how we interpret, in this example, the soundtrack.

Again I never took this as a anti drum post.

I took a topic I think we can both understand. However, these exact same arguments have been used against the use of the modern drum set in worship music. I know you're not on board with that.

Any instrument can be used to honor God or the enemy or the flesh.

Of that, we are in total agreement!

God bless, bro!

8:01 PM  

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