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)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Has Praise And Worship Music in Church Become a Cain Sacrifice to God?

We know from the Bible that Cain did not present a sacrifice that God honored or accepted. Is there any hint in scripture when God no longer accepts the music we sing to Him during the week?
Yes, it details this in the book of Amos.

Amos 5:21-23 "I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies.
Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them , Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.

Amos 6:5-7 Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David;
Who drink wine from bowls, And anoint yourselves with the best ointments, But are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
Therefore they shall now go captive as the first of the captives, And those who recline at banquets shall be removed.
(note-The ruin of Joseph may refer to the societal disintegration in Israel, or to the effects of the impending judgment.)
This could also be in line with Gods judgement on His church which has strayed far from Him.

Many factors to address here.
We know that Cains sacrifice was not acceptable to God because it was not the right sacrifice.
But in Amos day we see God not even accepting the right sacrifice because Gods people had their priorities out of line.

I will for the most part address music and praise and worship bands in the church in this article.
Christian music as a whole has drifted so far away from God its really not even worth talking about even though I will say this.
I recently watched a Mercy Me concert on TV and was surprised by their opening tune.
Mercy Me is a popular band these days among some Christians.
They seem to be pretty decent players that seem to have a heart for God by what they say.
There concert opening up with a song by Phil Collins titled "In the air tonight".
Now I love Phil and all but I would doubt that Phil will be opening up with any Mercy Me tunes in any of his concerts.
The cover Mercy Me played was pretty decent but I ask the question why do Christians so often seek the easy way?
In the air tonight is a great tune but why rely on that to stir the crowd up instead of letting the Holy Spirit move people.
Because we have now replaced Gods ways with mans ways.
And shame on us for taking the easy way out.
God does not honor laziness.

Now the current praise and worship movement has only become a thing popularized in the 90's by companies such as Integrity music which makes a ton from all the worship seminars they teach all over the world.
Integrity also bought out a bunch of world famous musicians such as Alex Acuna and Abe Laboriel SR to pare them up with their contracted worship leaders to give their tapes STAR power.
Now I do believe that Integrity's heart was in doing the right thing.
But was it the biblical way to do things?

We now have salaried praise and worship leaders as a result in many churches across the world.
Salaries range conservatively from 28 to 30 thousand per worship leader.
Most are paid around 45-50 much more in the mega churches where responsibilities are often a very big load.

Most medium level churches usually just need the leaders to put together a 20-30 minute set of songs.
Usually practice is about 1 hour per week plus a run through before service.
Most rehearsals include songs we have been playing forever because pastors are often afraid of making the congregation learn something new (this puts the congregation into a compromising level of laziness as well).
Plus we have been feed the unholy mantra of Rick Warren who chooses not to honor God through music because of not wanting to offend unbelievers who of course do not understand what it is to worship God through music.
I know from experience that most medium level churches (like the one I currently attend) have poor practice habits with singers rairly practice with the band.
And people allowed on the platform with little to no talent.
(Not talking about my church here where most musicians and singers are pretty good at what they do). There are however many exceptions where at the Sunday night service people just come up and sing some who do not attend practice.
Does the Bible state what level the musicians and singers need to be at.
What was acceptable to God is plainly listed in the Old Testament.
David was a skilled musician. And the Levites (the musicians and singers) were skilled at their craft as well not just hobbyist.

By employing professional musicians (modern day Levites) you fulfill the principles established by King David when he formed the praise teams for the temple in I Chronicles 25. Let's consider King David's discourse with Ornan over a plot of land for an altar (see I Chronicles 21:24). David refused to accept Ornan's free gift of land for an altar of sacrifice because David would not submit an offering to the Lord which cost him nothing. In fact he insisted upon paying Ornan the full market value of the land. It truly was a sacrifice of praise by the Davidic temple when they employed skilled musicians (see references to skilled musicianship in I Chronicles 25:6-7 and Psalm 47:7) to lead worship. Because it did cost them something (see I Chronicles 21:24), they could truly consider the sacrifice of praise to God an offering from the entire temple. Had the musicians not been compensated for their part in leading worship, the sacrifice of praise would have belonged to the musicians themselves. We also have writings in the New Testament on the subject of the church body providing for those who work on its behalf.

Now we have condensed this all into only paying the worship leader. This is not the biblical method and if you choose this route of dont have good musicians perhaps lead worship by everyone singing to taped music.
This will not only be cheaper in cost but everyone on a CD will show up on time and always sing and play in key.

Ask yourself this question-Why has the church been pressured into having a live band which is more than not distracting for one reason or another (lack of skill or showing off).

Again I bring up the secular ungodly methods feed to the church in Rick Warrens book "Purpose Driven Church".
A undiscerning church who's main focus was to fill the seats instead of filling souls through the Holy Spirit bought this hook, line and stinker.

Here are some direct quotes from Purpose Driven Church.
Each week at Saddleback, we remind ourselves who we’re trying to reach. . . . Once you know your target, it will determine many of the components of your seeker sensitive service: music style, message topics, testimonies, creative arts, and much more. (253-254).

“The style of music you choose to use in your services will be one of the most critical (and controversial) decisions you make in the life of your church. It may also be the most influential factor in determining who your church reaches for Christ and whether or not your church grows. You must match your music to the kind of people God wants your church to reach. . . . If you were to tell me the kind of music you are currently using in your services I could 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” (280-281).

“At Saddleback we categorize songs according to target. Songs on the crowd list are appropriate when unbelievers are present (at our seeker services). Songs on the congregation list are songs that are meaningful to believers but wouldn’t make sense to the unchurched (we sing them at our midweek worship service)” (286).

“Use more performed music than congregational singing in your service for seekers. Visitors do not feel comfortable singing tunes they don’t know and words they don’t understand. It is also unrealistic to expect the unchurched to sing songs of praise and commitment to Jesus before they become believers. That’s getting the cart before the horse” (291).

“The style of preaching that I use in our seeker service is very different than the style I use to teach believers. . . . When preaching to believers I like to teach through books of the Bible, verse-by-verse. . . . Verse-by-verse, or book, exposition builds up the body of Christ. It works great when you’re speaking to believers. . . . But what about unbelievers who are not yet motivated to study Scripture? I do not believe verse-by-verse teaching through books of the Bible is the most effective way to evangelize the unchurched” (294). [By the way, Saddleback no longer has a mid-week believers’ service].

If you buy into this you are unfamilar with scripture and what Gods word teaches as well as the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit.
But again Rick doesnt rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance but relies on his own wits.
Here is the kind of wisdom Rick Warren uses.
James 3:14-16
"But if you have bitter envy and self–seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
For where envy and self–seeking exist , confusion and every evil thing are there."
The real purpose that drives Rick Warren I believe is his own ambition.

What about the Christian Music Industry we get our songs from. They are owned and controlled by the world who lets them sometimes uses the name of Jesus because at this point in time it is still profitable.

From a David Cloud article-
"Contemporary Christian Music is big business today, a half billion dollar a year industry. The CCM industry sold nearly 50 million albums in 2001, raking in more money than the jazz and classical segments of the music business. As of 1995, there were 250 radio stations that carried CCM as their primary music format. Revenues from sales of CCM have tripled since the mid-80s. One-quarter of the sales in Christian bookstores are from music. This caught the attention of the world, and most of the major CCM producers and distributors are now owned by secular corporations.

WORD ENTERTAINMENT, a secular corporation, is the home of such CCM heavy weights as 4Him, Phil Keaggy, Amy Grant, Mary Mary, Cindy Morgan, Erin O’Donnell, Point of Grace, Sandi Patty, Mark Schulz, Jaci Velasquez, Wes King, Nicole Mullen, and Anointed. (Word purchased MYRRH RECORDS some years back.) Word Entertainment also publishes Veggie Tales and Veggie Tunes for children. Word recently changed hands from one secular corporation to another. Warner Music Group paid Gaylord Hotels and the Grand Ole Opry $84.1 million for Word. Warner, a division of AOL Time Warner, also owns Atlantic, Elektra, London-Sire, Reprise, and Warner Bros. Records, and has on its roster such vile secular rock artists as Green Day, Madonna, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

INTEGRITY MUSIC, which owns Hosanna Music, Fairhope Records, and Vertical Music, and which had $58.1 million in sales in 2000, has intimate partnerships with secular corporations such as Sony and Time Life. In March 2002, it signed a distribution agreement with Epic Records and Sony Music Entertainment. Under this new deal, Integrity will also distribute Sony “Christian music products.” Epic and Sony publish and distribute some very immoral music groups, such as B2K, Tenacious D, Babyface, Bone thugs, Incubus, Michael Jackson, Rage Against the Machine. They also publish some of the vile old rock groups like Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, and Pearl Jam. In its 2000 financial statement, Integrity Music boasts of these partnerships and speaks of its work almost exclusively in business terms. Integrity controls more than 50% of the “praise and worship market” and co-publishes the popular WOW worship series and the Songs 4 Worship series. In January 2006, Sony Music announced that it was launching the first major music label “dedicated to nurturing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender artists” (“Sony Launches Gay Music Label,” ABC News, Jan. 11, 2006). The label, called Music with a Twist, is a joint venture with Wilderness Media, a company led by Matt Farber, the founder of MTV’s new homosexual channel LOGO.

In 1992, SPARROW RECORDS (Avalon, Ce Ce Winons, Carman, Delirious, Margaret Becker, Newsboys, Phillips Craig and Dean, Steve Green, Steven Curtis Chapman, Twila Paris, Zoe Girl) sold out to EMI Christian Music Group, which in turn is owned by the secular corporation, EMI Group. EMI owns 70 music companies (Virgin, Capitol, Mosaic, Narada, Astralwerks, etc.) representing some 1,500 artists, including a wide variety of very immoral secular music acts, such as Janet Jackson, Smashing Pumpkin, Mariah Carey, Geto Boys, Spice Girls, Blind Melon, and the Beastie Boys. EMI also owns the music of old groups such as Pink Floyd, Grand Funk Railroad, Radiohead, Iggy Pop, Sex Pistols, Badfinger, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Billy Idol, Blondie, and Poison.

The EMI Group also owns CHORDANT DISTRIBUTION GROUP (Big Tent Revival, Gaithers Gospel Quartet, Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Jennifer Knapp, John Michael Talbot, Mark Lowry, Susan Ashton, Supertones, The Ws) and FOREFRONT Records (Audio Adrenaline, dc talk, Rebecca St. James, Pax217, Extreme Days, Soundtrack, Geoff Moore) and EMI GOSPEL (Lamar Campbell, Beverly Crawford, T.D. Jakes, Sharon Riley, Tri City Singers) and STAR SONG RECORDS (Whiteheart, Bride, Don Francisco, Mylon LeFevre, Imperials, Gaither Vocal Band). Star Song, which was founded in 1977 and had a long list of recordings by the 1980s, was purchased by EMI in 1994 and was folded into Sparrow Records; by 1998, Star Song ceased to be an active record label.

In May 2002, EMI signed a letter of intent to acquire a twenty-five percent interest in GOTEE RECORDS, which represents Jennifer Knapp, Out of Eden, Relient K, the Katinas, John Reuben, and other CCM musicians. The CEO of Gotee is Toby McKeehan of dc Talk.

In 1995, the secular Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) purchased REUNION RECORDS (home of Kathy Trocolli, Michael W. Smith, Jake, Joy Williams, La Rue, Mat Brouwer, ShineMK, NewSong; former home to Rich Mullins, Billy Sprague, Kim Hill, Michael Omartian, Gary Chapman, Take 6, Morgan Cryar, Ashley Cleveland, Clay Crosse, and Third Day). BMG is the home for many immoral secular rock groups such as P. Diddy, Girl Thing, Alicia Keys, Run DMC, Santana, Foo Fighters, Jaguares, and O-Town. In 1996, BMG sold Reunion Records to another secular company, Provident Music Group, a subsidiary of British-based Zomba Music. Zomba owns such sensual acts as Britney Spears, ‘N Sync, and the Backstreet Boys, and others whose names alone are too vile to mention.

BRENTWOOD MUSIC was purchased in 1994 by Zomba Music. Three years later, the secular-owned Brentwood purchased BENSON MUSIC and the aforementioned Reunion Records. The newly expanded corporation was called the Provident Music Group. Benson publishes the following CCM groups: 4HIM, NewSong, Forty Days, Celebrate Freedom, Whisper Loud, and Kyle Matthews. Brentwood publishes the Smoky Mountain Series, the Hymnworks series, the America’s 25 series, and the Acoustic Worship Series. Brentwood also has a children’s division, featuring Kids Sing Praise, Mother Goose Gospel, Sing Me To Sleep, Daddy; Sing Me To Sleep, Mommy; Big Songs For Little Kids, and America’s 25 Favorite Praise & Worship Choruses for Kids.

With over 50,000 copyrights, the secular-owned Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing has amassed the world’s largest Christian music publishing catalog as well as the second largest “evangelically styled” choral music catalog. This same publishing group also publishes choral music, hymnals, and songbooks for churches. Thus, a large percentage of the money paid to license Christian music today goes into the coffers of a large secular corporation.

The secular Provident Music Group also owns DIADEM RECORDS, which features CCM artists Bob Carlisle, Bryan Duncan, and Helen Baylor.

In 1993, the Zomba-owned Provident Music Group purchased ESSENTIAL RECORDS. This is the home of CCM groups such as Jars of Clay, Caedmon’s Call, and Third Day.

The secular-owned Provident Music Group also distributes Tommy Boy Gospel, Here To Him Music, Praise Hymn Soundtracks, New Haven Records, Spirit-Led & Fervent Records, Galilee of the Nations Music, and One Voice Music.

Zomba also owns VERITY RECORDS, which has become “the world’s number one gospel label” featuring Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond, John P. Kee, Tonex, Virtue, Commissioned, Richard Smallwood and Hezekiah Walker.

Provident Music Group also owns CEDARMONT KIDS, the number one selling line of Christian children’s recordings and videos with sales in excess of 12 million units.

We don’t see much evidence that CCM is influencing the world, but there is considerable evidence that the world is influencing CCM.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).

POINT: The worship team should play and sing skillfully for two reasons. 1) It is what God desires and deserves. 2) It can be an awful distraction to someone's worship experience when musicians make terrible mistakes. We want to keep the congregation in a vertical posture toward God's throne. The music serves as a vehicle for our praise offering to the creator of the universe, and thus it should not be a "blemished lamb." But how many of today's churches, in the good name of stewardship, use amateur volunteers or poorly compensated professional musicians to prepare the praise offering? David insisted on paying the full market value for his offering to God. Consider this, the sermon/message/teaching is a horizontal (i.e. man-to-man) event. The praise and worship is a vertical (i.e. man-to-God) event. God really tunes in when His people begin to praise Him. He actually inhabits the praise of His people (II Chronicles 5:12-14). May we seek to offer Him the unblemished sacrifice of praise that He desires and deserves. And may we offer it with a clean heart amidst musical excellence. NOTE: The principle of using only professional musicians remained in place as late as Mozart's day.

The bottom line is that, as long as a Christian musician is a minister and not simply in it for the sake of entertaining, fame, etc., he/she should be supported by those who benefit spiritually from his/her ministry and those who will share in the credit, perhaps a church or group of churches, and individuals to wish to give freely as a "love offering" (Galations 6"6). In fact, that being said, concerts should be paid for and hosted by churches, not ticket sales. Look at I Corinthians 9:18 about offering the gospel without charge. We have a lot to learn today with regard to the church and its relationship with true Christian musicians.

When we choose to just use volunteers we should at least choose musicians and singers who are willing to sacrifice their time to give unto the Lord. Not just take the scraps and leftovers who often crowd the platform in churches these days.

David Cloud
praise and worship


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent posting. I always feel like I'm at a rock concert at my church during worship. Are there any Christian musicians that you recommend?

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im real careful about who I recomend sometimes because of theolgy as well. I had the blessing of playing perc for Darlene Zscech and Hillsongs with Lincoln Brewster on guitar. Great gig. I believe the Hillsongs gang loves the Lord but I heartily disagree with most of what their pastor states and preaches. I spent sometime with Lincoln as well and I believe with all my heart he is saved and loves Jesus but when your in the Christian music world its a very difficult place to not compromise and still play. That is why I now just work solo and have my own record company which gets free music to the troops.
I like Casting Crowns but personally I dont listen to a lot of Christian music these days because it all sounds canned to me.
Steve Camp has even compromised by allowing Lee Sklar (and I love the way Lee plays, Phil Collins James Taylor etc..). But I dont find it in Gods word that David ever jammed with the Philistines.
Lee Sklar is a Buddist.
Steve was wrong to include him on a praise and worship CD. When he could have used a Christian there out there in Nashville a plenty just as good as Lee.
Its hard to recomend.
I think best bet is to pray about it and go as the Holy Spirit leads.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Tim Wirth said...

Its hard to recomend and I would suggest praying about it and seeking how God leads you.
Steve Camp in all his strong stands for music has even compromised by allowing a practicing Buddist to be part of his worship recordings.
I dont find it in the Bible where David jammed with the Philinstines.
Lee is a great bass player (Phil Collins, James Taylor etc..)
But it was wrong and does not honor God when using a unbeliever in Steve's recordings.
There are believers in Nashville and around who are just about as good as Lee.
I dont listen to much current Christian music because I think it sounds to canned.
I do like Casting Crowns though.
Best advice again is to seek Gods heart in what He wants you to listen to.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Hello, I happened to "stumble" into your website. I am a Christian and need of guidance. I have a long story to share. I lead worship at my church and will have a seminar in about 2 months and still no material yet. Could you recommend something?! It's for the congregation. Any input is greatly appreciated. God bless. Keep the Lord's music clean!

2:03 PM  
Blogger Tim Wirth said...

Peter: Integrity music has some good resources but be careful because they are owned by the world. Pray and go as the Holy Spirit leads you. The best advice I can give is to search and pray.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Thanks Tim. His answer is always the best one. We usually search the quickest way out. Thanks brother. God bless.

4:53 PM  

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