Establishing the Boundaries of a Biblical Worldview

J.S. Bach

(From the archives. Originally published August, 1992.)

12697858 Concert photo of male singer holding microphone

Rock music has received some publicity, both for and against, in recent articles in some of the religious press in Australia. This occurred because the head of the Unregistered Union of Churches in Russia has sent an “Urgent Message to the Churches in America from . . . the Persecuted Church in Russia.” The letter, from Peter Peters and Vasilij Ryzhuk, originally printed in Christian Info News, a monthly Christian newspaper from British Columbia, Canada, said in part:

For 30 years we have suffered intense persecution, and now freedom is bringing another great harm to our churches. This damage is coming from Christians in America who are sending rock music and evangelists accompanied by rock bands.

Our young people do not attend these meetings because we have all committed not to participate in secular entertainment.

This is a great burden on our hearts. Many come with the Bible in hand and rock music. We are embarrassed by this image of Christianity. We do not know what words to use in urging that this be stopped. We abhor all Christian rock music coming into our country.

Rock music has nothing in common with ministry or service to God. We are very, very against Christian Americans bringing to our country this false image of “ministry” to God. We need spiritual bread; please give us true bread, not false cakes. It is true that rock music attracts people to the church, but not to Godly living.

We were in prison for 15 years and 11 years for Christ’s sake. We were not allowed to have Christian music, but rock music was used as a weapon against us day and night to destroy our souls. We could only resist with much prayer and fasting.

Now, we have a time for more openness, and we are no longer in prison. However, now it is Christians from America who damage our souls. We do not allow this music in our church, but they rent big stadiums and infect teenagers and adults with their rock music.

We, the leadership and congregation of the Unregistered Union of Churches, and former Persecuted Church, have made an agreement not to allow rock music into our church. We urge you to join with us and we advise you to remove rock music from America.

Do not desecrate our teenagers with it. Even the unbelievers recognize it is unholy music and they cannot understand how American Christians can be so much like the world. We can give you the conclusion that after Russian unbelievers have attended rock concerts where Christ’s Word was preached, the people were very disappointed and disillusioned with Christianity.

We call this music from hell. We urge all Americans stop giving money for the organisation of such concerts in Russia. We want only traditional Christian music in our churches. This is the unanimous decision of all our leaders.

When this article was reprinted in Australian press, it was bound to create a reaction. It is an emotive topic. Many people just happen to like to rock music and can’t see anything wrong with it. A number of letters to New Life contributed to the debate, including one by myself. In nearly all instances, the authors were either against or in favor of rock music on merely subjective grounds. They happened to like it, and that was good enough for them. Naturally, if it is good enough for them, they thought it should be good enough for everyone else as well.
Continue reading