Is Rock and Roll Worth Your Soul?

Written by: John Sernaque

Dear Reader,

For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15

The Christian Church has been invaded by “Christian rock” and “Christian gospel.” The congregants are being mesmerized and hypnotized by the spell of rock and roll. More and more, this type of music is used today in attracting the youth into the church. It is the primary focus of some of the biggest evangelical meetings, where thousands of youth attend primarily to watch and listen to these “Christian” bands. The name of Jesus is being desecrated as His name is shouted out while at the same time, the tempo and rhythm of this music is being played with electric guitars, bass, and drums. Why are so many youths, and even adults, attracted to this music? The answer lies in how the human brain works.

Music has a tremendous power and influence over the listener on a conscious and sub-conscious level. A person may become tranquil by soothing sounds or become highly agitated, even into a frenzy by loud syncopated rhythms. Science has proven that music has a direct influence on our pulse rate, blood pressure, nervous system, digestion, muscles, and glands of the body. The nerves of the ear have more connections than any of the other nerves in the body. “Music is made of the stuff which is in and of itself the most powerful stimulant known among the perceptual processes.... Music operates on our emotional faculty with greater intensiveness and rapidity than the product of any other act.” The Psychology of Music, Dr. Schoen p39.

How can certain types of music exert a negative influence over a person? Isn’t all music good? Did not King David play instruments and sing in the Bible?

And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of music of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy [endureth] for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood. 2 Chronicles 7:6

Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery [and] an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. For the word of the LORD [is] right; and all his works [are done] in truth. Psalms 33:3-4.

The key and answer to this question lies in how music is processed by the brain. Music bypasses the frontal lobe and enters in and is perceived by the thalamus. The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors. It is, in essence, the “control panel” of our personality and our ability to communicate. The frontal lobe is at the front of the brain directly behind the forehead and is primarily responsible for reasoning, decision making, and some aspects of long-term memory. It is also very important for moderating and controlling motor function by synthesizing information coming from other parts of the brain. The thalamus is a large mass of gray matter located in the dorsal part of the diencephalon. Nerve fibers project out of the thalamus to the cerebral cortex in all directions, allowing hub-like exchanges of information. It has several functions, such as relaying of sensory signals, including motor signals to the cerebral cortex, and the regulation of consciousness, sleep, and alertness. The function of the thalamus is to regulate the body's voluntary motor control, consciousness and its sleep/wake cycle. It also regulates the senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and the sense of where the person's body is in space. The thalamus decides which signals from the ears, eyes, mouth and skin to relay to its area in the cerebral cortex. The summary for all this is that music completely bypasses the brain where reason and intelligence is processed and travels directly to the portion which controls emotions, sensations, and feelings. “Once a stimulus has been able to reach the thalamus, the master brain is automatically invaded, and if the stimulus is continued for some time, a closer contact between the master brain and the world of reality can be thus established.” Music and Medicine, Schullian and Schoen, pp. 270,271.

As music enters the system through the thalamus, the listener will be affected by the music without involving any conscious decision. Again, not all music is good nor beneficial. Loud and syncopated rhythms is how Satan attacks the minds of our youths and adults. In music, syncopation involves a variety of rhythms played together to make a piece of music, making part or all of a tune or piece of music off-beat. More simply, syncopation is "a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of rhythm": a "placement of rhythmic stresses or accents where they wouldn't normally occur". Syncopation is used in many musical styles, especially dance music: "All dance music makes use of syncopation, and it's often a vital element that helps tie the whole track together". It can also be used as a term of reference when discussing the Bass guitar in the form of a back- beat, syncopation is used in virtually all contemporary popular music. This type of music is continuous and repetitive. The instruments of choice are the percussion instruments as well as electric guitars, bass guitars, and electric organs. “The hypnotic beat works a strange kind of magic. Many dancers become oblivious to those around them. They drift away from their partners. Inhibitions flake away, eyes glaze over, until suddenly they are seemingly swimming along in a sea of sound.” Time magazine. The listener is stimulated without making any voluntary decision. The music reaches the brain through the thalamus as sound, and the words oftentimes may mean nothing.

Music was made to serve a holy purpose, to lift the thoughts to that which is pure, noble, and elevating, and to awaken in the soul devotion and gratitude to God. What a contrast between the ancient custom and the uses to which music is now too often devoted! How many employ this gift to exalt self, instead of using it to glorify God! A love for music leads the unwary to unite with world-lovers in pleasure-gatherings where God has forbidden his children to go. Thus that which is a great blessing when rightly used, becomes one of the most successful agencies by which Satan allures the mind from duty and from the contemplation of eternal things. Music forms a part of God’s worship in the courts above, and we should endeavor, in our songs of praise, to approach as nearly as possible to the harmony of the heavenly choirs. The proper training of the voice is an important feature in education, and should not be neglected. Singing, as a part of religious service, is as much an act of worship as is prayer. The heart must feel the spirit of the song, to give it right expression. { CE 62.4 } Christian Education, Ellen G. White p.62

Satan gains a foothold in the mind through music. Satan was a skillful musician in heaven. He knows what he is doing. John Michael Osbourne was a young lad in England being raised as a Seventh Day Adventist. He was well versed in Bible scripture and knew the Lord. As a skillful singer and musician, as Satan is, he fell away from the faith and started a rock and roll band. It was this very music by which Satan took a hold of this young man. He is better known today as "Ozzy" Osbourne, lead singer of the heavy metal rock band “Black Sabbath.” By the very name of his band, he has proclaimed a total rebellion against our Lord in heaven. The seventh day Sabbath, the fourth commandment, one of the principle beliefs and pillars of the Seventh Day Adventist denomination, Osbourne totally desecrated. Of some of the bands many songs and titles, such as “We Sold our Souls for Rock and Roll” and lyrics such as “ Sabbath bloody Sabbath, nothing more to do, living just for dying, dying just for you”, demonstrates how well aware he was of who he had chosen to serve. An album cover depicting three angels (a reference to the Three Angels Message in Revelation) being an ashen grey color sitting around a table playing poker and smoking cigarettes mocks the Holy scriptures. Also, he went on to become the self-proclaimed "The Prince of Darkness." Prince Rogers Nelson was another youth raised in a Seventh Day Adventist home, and also fell away from the faith as a result of Satan inspired music. He is better known as “Prince.” He, like many music artists, make a deal with the devil, a covenant, pledging allegiance and worship to Satan if he would bring them success. One of many of Prince’s “successes”, the song “Purple Rain” welcomes the destruction of the wicked by God at the end of the world. As fire and brimstone are poured down from heaven, the fire is so hot it has both a red and blue color, which combine to make a purple color. It is Prince’s wish that “All I want is to see you laughing in the purple rain.” Like Osbourne, Prince was well versed in scripture and referenced the book of Revelation. Isn’t Satan well versed in scripture? That answer is a definite Yes. Satan used two of his protégés- “The Prince of Darkness” and “Prince” in counterfeiting the Prince of Peace. This is what Satan can do to just about anyone who listens to the wrong kind of music.

The variety of rhythms in this off-beat broken meter syncopated music are out of harmony with natural body rhythms. This rhythm is typical in rock and roll, as well as hip-hop, gospel, jazz, R&B, and many of the other popular genres of today. We are being led to believe that if it is called “Christian” that it is Holy and good. Not so. By repeating in the lyrics, “Jesus, Hallelujah, or Lord” over and over again without teaching anything does not make it Christian music. “A broken meter in the treble, played over an insistently regular beat in the left hand with gradually increasing rapidity almost to the point of capable of producing the identical disintegrating and almost hysterical effect on an organism; as if a person would try to rush madly in two directions at the same time. Any psychiatrist knows that it is precisely this two-directional pull of conflicting drives of emotions that is helping to fill our mental hospitals with broken wrecks of humanity.” Article- Music-Soothing, Sedative, or Savage Alice English Monsarrat.

Satan has been deceiving the world for 6,000 years. He is not about to stop now. He knows he has but a short time. He has brought this hypnotic music into the church. It is up to the leaders of the church to put an end to this type of music being played inside God’s house. This is no time for compromise. Stop the devil in his tracks before he takes hold of your church with his deceptive instrument called “Christian” music. Do not get caught mingling the spiritual with the carnal. Take heed lest ye fall.

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