Excerpts from David Cloud's book: "The Path from Independent Baptist to the Shack, Rome and Beyond"
Contemporary Worship Music Is another Path to the Broader Church
Another path from Independent Baptists to the treacherous waters of the “broader evangelical church” is contemporary worship music.
Many Independent Baptist churches are “adapting” contemporary worship music by toning down the rhythm (trying to take the rock out of Christian rock), but this is very dangerous.
The CCM movers and shakers know that their music is transformative. In an interview with Christianity Today, Don Moen of Integrity Music said:
“I’ve discovered that worship [music] is transdenominational, transcultural. IT BRIDGES ANY DENOMINATION. Twenty years ago there were many huge divisions between denominations. Today I think the walls are coming down. In any concert that I do, I will have 30-50 different churches represented.”
In fact, they are actively targeting “old-fashioned” churches to move them into the “broader church.”
There are TRANSITION SONGS and BRIDGE SONGS designed to move traditional churches along the contemporary path toward Christian rock. From the perspective of the CCM artists involved in this, they aren’t doing anything sinister. They are simply and sincerely trying to “feed” the “broader church.” But from a fundamentalist Bible-believing position, the effect is to draw “old-fashioned” Bible churches into the contemporary orb, and that is most sinister.
Bridge songs include “How Deep the Father's Love for Us” by Stuart Townend and “In Christ Alone” by Townend and Keith Getty.
These songs are doctrinally sound and hymn-like (soft rock ballad style as opposed to out-and-out rock & roll), so they are considered “safe” by traditional churches.
But by using this music a church is brought into association with the contemporary world that Townsend represents and that brings Independent Baptist church members into treacherous waters.
Townend is an out-and-out Christian rocker. He is charismatic in theology and radically ecumenical in philosophy, supporting the Alpha program which bridges charismatic, Protestant, and Roman Catholic churches. He is a member of the Church of Christ the King in Brighton, U.K. and supports the “extraordinary manifestations of the Spirit,” which refers to the demonic/fleshly charismatic mysticism such as nonsensical ecstatic tongues, spirit slaying, holy laughter, and shaking.
Townend is holding hands with the “broader church” in all of its facets and heresies and end-time apostasies, and Townend’s objective in writing the “hymn-like” contemporary songs is ecumenism. He is doubtless sincere in this, but he is sincerely and decidedly and dangerously wrong.
Townend is a rock & roller, pure and simple. In his blog he said that he doesn’t go home and put on a hymns album, that this is not “where I’m at musically at all.” He simply wants to use the soft CCM to bring together the “broader church.”
When “traditional” churches borrow Townend’s “soft” CCM “hymns,” the contemporary churches are in no danger of being “traditionalized,” but the traditional churches are most definitely in danger of being contemporarized and led into the treacherous waters of modern evangelicalism.