Is Rock Music for Christians?

The Origins of Rock Music
The Physical Effects of Rock Music
10 Biblical Reasons to Avoid Rock Music
Personal Testimonies Regarding Rock Music

The Origins of Rock Music

The history of rock music is steeped in the mysterious. This can only be so since its origins can be traced way back to the mysteries of the temple rituals of ancient, pagan Babylon. In fact its origins are purely religious, being an integral part of orgies and devil worship. This entire system of pagan woship, including the music, eventually filtered down into Egypt.

Egypt is where modern historians directly trace the origins of rock music. In fact, we know quite a lot about music in Egypt. We know for a fact that it was used to alter the emotions. It was used to create mass hypnosis and especially to incite immorality. We also know what type of rythms and harmonies were used and we can clearly recognize the elements of rock music. Aristotle writes about the effects of music:

Emotions of any kind are produced by melody and has the power to form character. the manner of its arrangement being so important that the various modes may be distinguished by their effects on character. One for example, working in the direction of melancholy, another of effeminacy; one encouraging abandonment, another self control, another enthusiasm, and so on through the series. (1)

Plato gives us an insight into the effects of music:

When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state always change with them (for) this spiritual licence, finding a home, imperceptibly penetrates into manners and customs; whence, issuing with greater force, it invades contracts between man and man, and from contracts goes on to laws and constitutions, in utter recklessness, ending at last, by an overthrow of all rights, private as well as public. (2)

"From ancient Egypt, it spread to West Africa, including Dahomey and the Congo. A significant dance tradition derived from the Egyptians is found in the western Congo."(3) In fact this dance called the "Danse du ventre"(4) could be mistaken for modern dance in that "the shoulders, buttocks, stomach and breasts are all separately or simultaneously rotated, wagged or otherwise set in motion." (ibid) In fact a similar dance is the Voodoo, which is also a religion, and its origin is traceable to Dahomey. Music in these African cultures is intricately involved in devil worship, altering the conscious state and inciting sexual orgies. This music subsequently found its way across the Atlantic to America aboard slave ships.

"Enroute to the United states many slaves were taken first to the West Indies, especially Hispaniola; then after a time many were sold in New Orleans. They brought with them their religious and musical heritage. Those from Santo Domingo had retained their ancient Voodoo worship practices and continued them in New Orleans."(5)

"One of the most exotic sights in old New Orleans was the slave dancing that took place in the 'Place Congo'. The slaves' custom of assembling on Sundays and church holy days to dance in public squares must have begun before 1786, for in that year a local ordinance was passed forbidding such dancing until after the close of religious services."(6)

"The exposure of this African music and dance tradition to the public provided an opportunity for it to influence and be influenced by European musical tradition. The unique rhythmical emphasis of these dances plus many other ingredients and entertainment practices combined to form a music called JAZZ. Authorities agree that work songs from cotton fields, rural and urban blues, banjo styles from minstrel shows, syncopated brass bands and ragtime, all played an important part. Even Voodo had its influence on jazz.".(7) "The syncopation as a primary ingredient of jazz developed as a rythmic accomodation of the Africans. Syncopation was the nearest and best substitute for the complicated polyrhythms that were an integral part of their musical heritage."(8) It is this syncopation that causes music to "swing".

Jazz, the precursor of modern rock and roll, has a very interesting place in history. The name Jazz comes from the now defunct word jass which means the sexual act. "Jazz to the pagan is a symptom of a glorious release from the bonds of moral restaint.. It came from the slums of music; it corrupted taste and manners."(9) In fact, jazz music was mainly developed for use in brothels, where each brothel would try to outclass the others by having the best jazz band. Eventually jazz evolved into what we know today as rock and roll; however, it lost none of its heritage in its long journey from Babylon to Egypt to America and then to the world. It has simply been repackaged in a different form with the same rhythms and qualities which originated with devil worship, rebellion, and immorality.

"As its name implies, rock and roll was primarily a dance music -- the emphasis shifting from blues to rhythm -- and it was accepted as a focal point for teenage life, a common bond, an outlet for agressions, a standard to rally around.... Further, rock and roll has an insistent, powerful impetus -- basic backbeat and shuffle rhythms of rhythm and blues which demanded a physical response. So the harsh, direct syncopation of rock and roll came as a physical manifestation of its content -- a challenge to loosen up, to break the old molds of convention and propriety, to express real emotions. The musicians themselves moved and danced as they played, begging the listener to cast of his inhibitions"(10) " Rock songs convey attitudes and ideas about the form of the dance itself, dancing as physical means of self-discovery, rebellion, release." "Its strength (has) always been rooted in the sexual energy of its rhythms; in that sense, the outraged parents who had seen rock as a threat to their children's virtue were right. Rock and roll made you want to move and shake and get physically excited."(11)

How rock music effects us physically

We have seen that the roots of rock come directly from the rites of pagan worship. Therefore the use and effects of it are the same today as then. Let us look at some of the effects of rock music.

Scientists tell us that music not only affects our emotions, but it actually causes a mulititude of physical reactions in our bodies, such as changes in hormonal levels. Certain kinds of music can coerce one to surrender his autonomy and to follow a crowd. " is the rhythm that controls the activities of large groups...[It] furnishes a nonverbal persuasion not only to act but to act together."(12) What is it that rock music with its driving rhythms compels us towards? Mike Quattro a well known producer of rock shows tells us. "Rock motivates you internally, gives you a sensual feeling. A girl can be turned on by the music. It releases her inhibitions. The beat of the drum has always been a factor.. A girl realizes her own sexuality through the music." (13)

Columnist Phyllis Schlafly tells of a letter she received from professional musician Jack Staulcup in response to an article she had written deploring the sex rock trend. She wrote in 1978:

"According to Staulcup, a steady diet of rock and roll junk promotes degenerate rebelliousness among teenagers that finds its outlet in drugs, alchohol and illicit sex... Staulcup concludes that rock and roll is the biggest legalized racket this country has ever seen. If we value civilization, we cannot afford to ignore any longer the high correlation between the multibillion dollar hard rock racket and the explosion of drug use and illicit sex among their teenage victims."(14) In 1978, a California music therapist, investigating the effects of rock music on teenagers, administered to 240 school children aged 10 -18 an emotional stability test during which rock was played. The results were then examined by a phsychologist who was unaware of the experiment. He concluded that the test had been given in a mental institution.(15)

We can probably best see the effect of rock by listening to what the experts, those who write this very music tell us:

We could quote many more rock personalities who will tell us exactly the same thing: Rock music is sex and rebellion. Don't think for one one minute that we are only talking about hard or heavy rock. The Beatles style of rock today seems very mild, but we have their own witness regarding their music. And don't think that the lyrics are the main factor in these terrible effects of rock music, since any one will tell you that in rock music "The words finally don't matter after all." Dr William J. Schafer tells us that "Rock music is communication without words, regardless of what ideology is inserted into the music."(22) And Professor Frank Garlock says, "The Words only let you know what the music already says...The music is its own message and it can completely change the message of the words."(23) To those who would propose the argument that music in itself is neutral and its the words that make it either moral or immoral, Dr Max Schoen in his book "The Psycology of Music" says, "Music is the most powerful stimulus known among the perceptive senses. The medical, psychiatric and other evidences for the non-neutrality of music is so overwhelming that it frankly amazes me that anyone should seriously say otherwise."

Scientific evidence about the effects of rock music are just as disturbing. In one article, ("Music to Kill Plants By") we are told that for two years during an experiment all potted plants exposed to rock music died within one month."(24) Evidence floods us regarding the rebellion and immorality that rock incites in the youth, in fact we only need to look at the changes that have taken hold of society since the advent of rock to realise the truthfulness of this. Medical and psychiatric evidence also abounds for the the negative of effects of rock music. In fact the current trends in society were well forseen and warned about during the early years of rock and roll.

Another scientific experiment was recently performed to examine the effects of music on the brain. Two researchers Dr. Schrenckenburg, a neurologist and Dr. Bird a physicist were involved in the experiment. They took 36 mice and divided them at birth into 3 categories (C) the control group, (H) the harmonic group (those exposed to classical music with synchronised component rhythmic patterns) and (D) the disharmonic group (those exposed to syncopated music [rock]). For two months the (H) and (D) groups were exposed, night and day, to their respective music, maintained at a sound level of 80-85 decibels. The (C) group was kept in a relatively quite room at 75 dbs. The environments were in all other ways identical.

After these two months of exposure, 12 mice, 4 from each group, were sacrificed and their brains properly prepared and frozen for latter study and comparison with what would be older mice by the time all had been sacrificed for study.

The other 24 mice were exposed to three weeks of maze "training". Then they were given three weeks of rest during which no testing or maze reinforcement occurred. This was followed by a three week post latency period during which the mice were retested to establish the degree of learning and retention. Throughout this process, behaviour changes and discrepancies were carefully noted. At the completion of the maze training, these 24 mice were sacrificed and their brains studied, along with the previous 12. The results of this were that the (C) and (H) groups were very similar and no significant differences appeared. The (D) group showed the following changes

  1. Excess branching of the Neuronal Dentrites
  2. significant increases in mRNA
  3. Significant decreases in learning retention or memory
  4. Hyperactivity
  5. Aggression, (some of the mice resorted to cannibalism)
  6. Inattentiveness (25)

This clearly indicates that the rhythms common to rock music cause brain nerve damage and behavior degradation.

In another interesting study the motor pulses produced by the brain to different musical stimuli were measured. The range of music included rock, blues, classical and ethnic samples. It was found that especially when rock music and jazz were played the motor pulses produced were the same as those produced normally by the brain during sexual arousal. The qualities of experience and mental energies displayed overt sexual qualities. Some of the ethnic music, also displayed these qualities mingled with aggressiveness. (26)

When we see the origins and purpose and rock music we can not but agree with its scientifically proven effects: The rise in violence, immorality, drug use, rebellion, disregard for authority, increasing generation gap, the increase in suicides, murders, teenage pregnancy. All these are proof of the effects of this music, and yet we convince ourselves that there is nothing wrong with it. Rock music has been specifically engineered to break up families and to ruin society. Not only does it destroy everything that is respectable and good but it also physically destroys those exposed to it, it drives them insane, makes them emotionally unstable and causes brain damage. The main factors of rock responsible for this are the very things that make it so appealing: the syncopation, the polyrhythms and the disonances, which themselves cause a rhythmic effect known as 'beating'. The brains power of association also hightens the effect of rock music since every time you hear a rhythm, irrelevant of the present conditions, the mind will immediately dwell on what was associated with that rhythm the first time it was heard. This imagary is generally Satanic, immoral or generally unsuitable for Christians.

How can something so evil, so perverse be brought into the church. We think that we can somehow baptize rock music and make it acceptable. How can music which we know will strengthen the carnal passions be brought into the church and be used by it? How is it that we allow paganism a place on the rostrum, and feast our souls on sex? The music we hear becomes an experience for which we are accountable for. Why do we lust after that which we know is completely evil, whose fruit we already know even if it is not immediately evident? We have seen from science and history and sociology and neurology and psychiatry the very nature of the phenomenon called rock music. We would do well to avoid it so that we do not become addicted by it. Or have we have already been burnt to the point where we no longer feel the pain?

10 Bible reasons why any form of rock music is evil

1. Rock music incites youth to violate the 5th Commandment

The fifth commandment states:

Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.Exodus 20:12

The lyrics and rhythms of rock music incite rebellion against authority.

2. Rock music is the devil's ground

Rock music incites rebellion in the heart. Ephesians 4:27 states:

Neither give place [ground] to the devil.

The Greek word for "place" refers to sphere of jurisdiction. When we listen to Rock Music we are placing our mind under Satanic jurisdiction.

3. Rock music is of the world

Rock music originated with ungodly elements of the world and has become the popular type of music the world loves to listen to. Christians should avoid this close association with the world:

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. 1 John 2:15

4. Rock music in the church disregards Romans 14:21

In Romans 14:21 Paul admonishes us not to do

...any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

Christian rock music in the church is very offensive to many Christians who go to church to worship God with reverence and holiness.

5. Rock music defies God's command to discern between good and evil

All Christians are commanded by God discern both good and evil. Heb. 5:14

It has been shown that, regardless of the lyrics, the beat and rhythm of rock music appeal to the base, lower passions. By mixing Christian lyrics with immoral music we are making it difficult to discern between good and evil together.

6. Rock music disobeys God's command to avoid the appearance of evil

Rock music, regardless of its lyrics, sounds evil. We follow God's command and abstain from it:

Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Thes. 5:22

7. Rock music brings us under another power

Rock music is addictive and mesmerizing. It has a hypnotic effect upon the mind. We would do well to consider Paul's example:

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient...I will not be brought under the power of any. 1 Cor. 6:12

8. Rock music mixes light with darkness

Some believe the putting Christian words with the hedonistic rock beat will somehow sanctify the rock music and make it holy. Such reasoning is unBiblical.

...What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Cor. 6:14

9. Rock music disqualifies for ministry

To justify vulgar music on the basis that it is being used to communicate the Gospel is the same as justifying using pornographic pictures in gospel literature. The gospel minister should not use the tools of the devil to promote the gospel.

A bishop [pastor] then must be blameless... 1 Tim. 3:2

10. Rock music destroys our soul temples

Rock music is physically destructive to our minds, and in the case of loud music, our hearing. This is in disobedience to God's command:

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 1 Cor. 3:16-17

Personal Testimonies Regarding Rock Music

David Pratt, (Chattanooga, Tennessee) a former Satanic High Priest:

My background is not a good one, but I give thanks and praise to God for saving me from it. I was a Satanist high priest for nine years.
The beat and style of the music used in the occult rituals is the same that I now hear in "Christian power tracts," "Christian Rock and Roll," "Christian Rap," and in much of what is called "Christian Contemporary" music today.
People who were saved from the youth culture of today say, "I cannot listen to this new Christian music, because when I hear it, it takes me back to my past when I was lost. It brings all that back to me--lustful desires, love of money, sex, suicide, and rebellion against authority." (27)

In April 1990, Stephen Maphosah (Zimbabwe, Africa), a Christian, arrived for his first visit in the United States. When he turned on a Christian radio station and listened to the music he was shocked:

I am very sensitive to the beat in music, because when I was a boy, I played the drums in our village worship rituals. The beat that I played on the drum was to get the demon spirits into the people. When I turned on a Christian radio station in the U.S., I was shocked. The same beat that I used to play to call up evil spirits is in the music I heard on the Christian station. (28)

Pastor Joe Meyers (Tacoma, Washington):

In 1981 I was driving down a jungle road in the Ivory Coast with several African pastors in the car with me. I had recently received a couple of cassette tapes from our denominational headquarters that were intended for our teenage daughter. These were recordings of various "Christian Rock" artists.
In listening to the tapes, I was very disturbed in my own spirit...but not trusting my own reactions alone and realizing that these pastors whom I was traveling were very sensitive to the spirit world (both good and evil), I decided to play the tapes for them. The reaction I got was immediate and verbally violent!
One of the pastors asked me this question: "Do you mean to tell us that this kind of music is played in your churches in America?"
I answered in the affirmative. His response was filled with disgust and anger as he replied... "What are you doing allowing your church people in America to call up the evil spirits with their music?" (29)

Make This Commitment to God Today:

Father in heaven, I now purpose to remove from my life any music that contains a rock beat, and replace it with melodious music that glorifies you and edifies others. Please grant me the grace and the strength to accomplish this purpose. Thank-you, Father. Amen.


1 Aristotle, POLITICS, 1339a, b.
2 Plato, REPUBLIC, bk IV, p425
3 Earnest A. Budge, OSIRIS, Unviersity Books 1961 p 245.
4 Marshall Stearns, Jean Stearns, THE JAZZ DANCE, Longmans ,Grand Co., 1965, p19
5 Stearns p37.
6 Eileen Southern, THE MUSIC OF BLACK AMERICANS: A HISTORY, W.W. Norton & Co. 1971, p135
7 Stearns p50,51.
8 H. Lloyd Leno, "Music and the Great Controversy." Our Firm Foundation, May 1987.
9 Issa Goldberg, "Tinpan Alley"
10 William J. Schafer, ROCK MUSIC, Augsburg Publishing House, 1972 p.16,17.
11 ibid p. 25.
12 Janet Pidell, THE REFERENCE SHELF - ROCK MUSIC IN AMERICA, The W.W. Wilson company, 1987 pp 46,47
13. E. Thayer Gaston, "Music in Therapy." Macmillan Co. 1968 p 19.
14 Ira Peck, ed "The New Sound Yes." Scholastic Book Services, 1966, p 112.
15 The Olean (N.Y.) Times Herald, 1978, p.18
16 Billboard, 12/11/67
17 People, 6/30/75
18 Hit Parader, Sept 1979
19 Circus, 1/31/76
20 People, 5/21/79
21 Life 6/28/68
22 W, Shafer, "Rock Music"
23 F. Garlock, "The Big Beat."
24 The Columbus Dispatch Magazine, July 26, 1970, pp 24-27.
25 G. M. Schreckenberg, H.H. Bird, Bulletin, New Jersey Academy of Science, Vol.32 No.2 1987 pp 77-86
26 M. Clynes, J. Walker, " Neurobiologic Functions of Rhythm, Time, and Pulse in Music." Published in Music, Mind and Brain The Neuropsychology of Music, Plenum Press, pp. 171-215.
27 What the Bible says about Contemporary Christian Rock Music, 1990, Institute in Basic Life Principles, pp. 7-8.
28 Ibid., p. 8
29 Ibid.