The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


God, Love, and Rock'n' Roll

By Scott Ross
The 700 Club

Throughout the years I have received many letters in regard to the question of styles of music and which one does "God prefer?" Here's an example:

"Music is a fair and glorious gift of God. I am strongly persuaded that after theology, there is no art which can be placed on the level with music. The devil flees before the sound of music almost as much as before the Word of God." (Martin Luther)
Music and the performing arts are not intrinsically evil in themselves. The utilization of the creative arts are set apart (sanctified) by the vessel that God chooses to express Himself through. God certainly has used strange methods and messengers to package His message in. Throughout the Scriptures, God has used prostitutes, the crippled, the blind, tax collectors, farmers, fishermen, shepherds, kings, Jews, Gentiles, murderers, and adulterers and redeemed them for the purposes of His Kingdom.

Often people are offended and stumble over the messenger God chooses to speak through. As a result they miss the message. Many people were offended (Greek word definition: scandalized, or made to stumble) by John the Baptist. Here was a man who lived in the desert, announcing the coming judgment, and wearing clothes made of camel's hair. (I wonder how that smelled.) He had a leather strap around his waist and his diet consisted of grasshoppers and wild honey! Could this guy get in your church on Sunday morning? Jesus asked the crowds later about John: "What kind of man did you go out to see? Was he someone dressed in fine clothes? He was a prophet and even more than a prophet." (Matthew 11:7-9)

"Rock and Roll and God work together in the hands of someone who loves them both." (The London Times in regard to English rock and roll singer Cliff Richard).
John's dress, manner, lifestyle and theology were offensive to many who could not see who he was because of the blindness of their own personal prejudices and pre-disposition. We can get so scandalized by the outer appearance that we miss the message and the messenger. Frequently, our view of God, and God's messengers and message is affected by our own theological and cultural frame of reference and personal taste. The fact is people didn't recognize God either; in the person of Jesus Christ.

"He's the rock that rolled my sins away." (Larry Norman)
Throughout my years as a broadcaster and journalist, I have presented music and other expressions of the performing arts as performed by African Americans, Jews, Englishmen, Scotsmen, Bulgarians, Russians, Armenians, Chileans, Argentines, Brazilians and Peruvians, to mention just a few. Each of these people are rooted and trained in their respective cultures which result in a variety of expressions. The result is a literal symphony and fusion of sounds that glorify God in black rhythms, country and western music, South American and Latin syncopation, classical roots, and Celtic and Hebraic antiquity. This is a good picture of the diversity and corporate expression of the various members and their respective gifts, in and through the Church, that Paul the Apostle speaks of in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4.

Question: Which one is more spiritual and acceptable to God?

The bottom line, the litmus test, the final criterion: "By their fruits (deeds) you will know them." (Matthew 7:16-20)

Each of the people that I have presented on radio, television, or stage have been evaluated according to this standard. Certainly, none of these artists have "arrived." We recognize that each individual varies in spiritual maturity, which affects the depth of the message coming through their lives. The message can only be as mature as the messenger. However, I do recognize that tens of thousands of lives have been influenced and often changed toward the purposes of the Kingdom of God by the lives and artistry of the majority of people we have given a platform to throughout the years.

And we will continue to do so, until together, throughout the heavens and earth we all "sing a new song before the throne!" (Revelation 5:9 & 14:3).

Scott Ross welcomes your feedback.

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