Can you articulate how the modern trends in Christian music, such as scooping, sliding, breathiness, emotionalism, ccm, worldly sound, etc., are serious hindrances to Revival?



Hello Philip,

Thank you for your question. I appreciate your interest in revival.

Your question presupposes that the matters you mention are “serious hindrances to revival.” The difficulty lies in revival history for the last fifty years. The early 1970s experienced a breath of God across the land, though not on the level of a great awakening. Independent Baptists and Calvary Chapel grew exponentially. Southern Baptists saw a conservative theological resurgence. The Jesus Movement took hippies from marijuana parties to Bible studies! That certainly cannot be chalked up to the devil. In the groups mentioned, some used traditional music and some used non-traditional music. Yet all saw a moving of the Spirit.

The tests of 1 John 4 are the key. Does a movement point people to Jesus and away from anti-Jesus thinking? Does it point people to the Word of God, away from man’s philosophy? Is the love of God evident? These are the tests of a true work of God. Other matters do not necessarily prove or disprove whether a movement is a work of God.

For example, you mentioned “emotionalism.” Is it possible to work up emotions in the flesh? Sure. Is it possible to have emotions in real revival? Yes. Therefore, a display of emotion is not the test of real revival. 1 John 4 delineates the tests.

God blesses faith. While other issues may be of greater or lesser importance, the real issue is faith, since without faith it is not possible to please God (Heb. 11:6). When God blesses in revival, it does not follow that God condones every doctrine or practice of those in the revival, nor does a wrong doctrine or practice imply that there cannot be revival. Both Whitefield and the Wesley’s were used of God in the First Great Awakening even though they were of differing theological persuasions.

Whatever you sow to the flesh will reap corruption (Gal. 6:8). Yet revival is not based on performance; it is based on faith. Some of the matters you mention may be interpreted as worldly by some but not others. God knows. You may not like certain things. I may not prefer certain things. But God has seen fit to bless in settings where the music is not as conservative as one may think it should be.

The revivals of the 1970s which impacted many churches and 130 campuses; the 1995 revivals which impacted Southern Baptist, Assembly of God and Nazarene churches as well as 100 campuses; and several local 21st century revivals where nightly services continued for weeks and an unusual number of souls came to Christ had settings with varying styles of music. Yet, in the main, these revivals pass the tests of 1 John 4.


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