Sunday, March 04, 2012

Why Would Rock Music Be Permissible But a Rock Concert Is Horrible?

What do you think of this paragraph?

Is there anything more demonic, is there anything more ungodly, is there anything more raw, is there anything more lustful, is there anything more drunken than a rock concert? I mean, it’s a horrible thing. It’s a horrible thing. And yet they try and reproduce it in the church. True believers…I don’t know how true believers who came out of that background could experience all the same stuff and not have their conscience wracked because it’s that that they have been delivered from. And I’m not talking about the style of music, I’m talking about the whole created experience. It’s endeavored to be mimicked.

A lot of it sounds good, but there is a major contradiction in here that I can't wrap my brain around.  Nothing is more demonic, ungodly, raw, and lustful than a rock concert, and yet he's "not talking about the style of music," just "about the whole created experience."  We move from total clarity about the concert to major ambiguity about the music.  What is wrong with the rock concert if the rock music is fine?  The rock music has nothing to do with the bad stuff that occurs at the rock concert?  If rock music itself isn't bad, then we really can't describe  all rock concerts as all of those things, can we?  If rock concerts are so pinning the needle on bad---they're horrible things---how can rock music itself be left untouched in the critique?  Of course, you don't want to offend the large percentage of your crowd that listens to rock music.  They also go to concerts, but that's OK, a long as that horrible stuff isn't brought into the church, which it will be because of the majority of people who listen to it.

The above quote is an example of the compromise and softness of evangelicalism, even by conservatives.  And only evangelicals, it seems, could get away with this kind of contradiction.  The people won't question the contradiction, because he has left the playlist on their i-pod intact.  He makes a surgically precise strike against the concert event, while leaving the music unscathed.   It was in a sermon by the leading conservative evangelical in the world, John MacArthur, in a sermon against drinking alcoholic beverage, which was part two of a two part series against drinking alcohol (part one).

I was listening to MacArthur's dealing with alcohol because alcohol is now acceptable even among many fundamentalists.  I wanted to hear if he took a one wine or two wine position.  He doesn't even use "two wine" or "one wine" terminology, but his preaching is obviously "two wine."  MacArthur preaches a "two wine" approach.  He preaches that there is wine in the Bible that won't get you drunk and then there is wine in Scripture that will get you drunk.  He's not as strong about it as I would be, but he really does strike down all drinking of alcohol and supports prohibition.  His weakness, in my opinion, comes from a desire not to separate himself from the alcohol drinking evangelicals and fundamentalists.  Don't get me wrong.  He's strong, but there is this wiggle room that is allowed, that could not possibly be allowed if what he's saying is true.

But back to the subject of the rock concert and the rock music.  Everything that he said about the concert could be said about the music.  The concert is what it is because of the music.  Those things are wrong.

I know that MacArthur's church by his own account took a flying leap forward at the time of the injection of the Jesus' movement into his church.  He called this a true revival. And a major part of the Jesus' movement was rock music.  Men grew their hair long and a bunch of hippies sang the rock music, except now with "Christian words."  This is when rock music came into churches.  This is why rock concerts are part of evangelicalism.

You've heard, "it's the economy, stupid."  Well, when it comes to the rock concerts, it's the music, stupid.  What kind of rock concert would you have without rock music?  A concert isn't wrong because it is a concert.  It's isn't wrong because it's an event.  A concert is wrong because of what type of concert it is, and in this case, a rock concert.  The music itself is perverted.


Steve Rogers said...


Great article demonstrating the inconsistency of the "conservative" evangelicals and those who love to build bridges to them, like Olson, Jordan, Doran and Bauder. I don't know why Mac is so "judgmental" about the rock concert. Maybe he should get some perspective from his executive pastor, Rick Holland, who organizes the Resolved Conferences, which is not a whole lot more than a rock concert. I can hear the defenders now...but there's such great exposition going on...didn't we just have that conversation? All we have to do to see the future of Northland, Detroit, and Calvary Lansdale is look at Mac. He's their hero.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Steve.