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The Link Between Halloween, Country Music, and Rock-n-Roll!!!

31 Oct

Over the past several weeks, several theologians went out on a limb and took a public stand on certain convictions.

  • Russell D. Moore (of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) admits to using country music to teach Bible truths.
  • Dan Wallace writes how he would use a haunted house and “various amorphous ghoulish delights” to provide a way to share the gospel.
  • Dr. Mark Young (President of Dever Seminary) sets up a straw-man conversation in an attempt to explain where it’s more important to make people feel welcome rather than obey the Bible.
  • Michael Patton tells a humorous tale of a conversation he had with his “Fundamentalist Toe.”
  • And finally an article written by Michael Patton on why he “dislikes” Christian music, and prefers listening to Rock.

At first, I wanted to throw out a quick response on BibleBlogger the moment I read these articles, but I have learned that sometimes such desires are more leading of the flesh than of God’s Spirit, so I kept my peace and prayed about the matter.  Now on the night of Halloween, I wanted to sit down and write a response; not a response from John Hall, but rather a response from a more important source: God’s Word.

So, What Does Halloween Have to Do With Country Music?

I confess, the title of this article is to draw the reader in.  Yet, there is a correlation between Halloween, Country Music, and Rock-n-Roll.  This correlation is what the Bible refers to as the “love of the world” or worldliness.

Worldliness Defined

1 John 2:15-17
15  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.
16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Here, the Bible teaches us not to love “the world or things of the world.”  1 John 2:15 is not teaching that we ought to hate apples and automobiles, but rather the things that would get in between you and your personal walk with Christ.  How do I know this?  Simple, I allowed the Bible to explain itself, as it does in 1 John 2:16.

According to this passage, the world and the things of the world are:

  1. things that promote the lust of the flesh,
  2. things that promote the lust of the eyes, and
  3. things that promote the pride of life.

/DIGRESSION

I am not speaking here to those who have no desire to follow Christ or obey God’s Word.  If you find yourself sitting there with no interest in what the Bible says, then please, move on.  Your troubles are far worse than listening to worldly music or scrounging for candy on an October evening.  This article is primarily written to my brothers and sisters in Christ who do want to obey the Bible and live a Christian life.

DIGRESSION/

Now, let’s take each point and follow it through.

Things that Promote the Lust of the Flesh

Genesis 3:6
6  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

When Satan approached Eve in the garden, he used lies to convince her to disobey God by eating of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The first thing she noticed about the fruit was that it was good for food.

There is nothing wrong with eating, as long as it doesn’t become more important than God (gluttony), or it causes you to directly disobey God.  The fruit most likely was good for food.  I enjoy a good apple, or orange, but the produce isn’t very healthy if they were rotten or moulding.  The problem lies in the fact that she began listening to the temptation and that temptation was shaping into the Lust of the Flesh.

Jesus spent 40 days in the wilds (Matthew 4:1-11).  Needless to say, he was quite hungry.  This is when the devil came to him and suggested that Jesus turn the stones to bread (Matthew 4:3).  There wasn’t anything wrong with eating.  It wouldn’t have been a sin for Jesus to turn a stone into a warm loaf of bread.  He was hungry, and he would have been meeting a need.  The problem was that the suggestion came from the tempter, using the lust of the flesh.

Our Lord teaches us the importance of our priorities.  Christ responds to Satan’s temptation by quoting Deuteronomy 8:3.

Matthew 4:4
4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Unlike what John Piper and his Christian-Epicurean followers might believe, God does not have man’s happiness as His ultimate goal.  Man’s goal is to glorify God, and sometimes in this occupation, there will be times when we might starve.  The critical point here is to seek out God’s Will for a matter.

The other night, I had a meeting to attend to at a friends house.  Before this meeting, we walked across the street to the local deli, and everyone ordered either a sandwich or salad.  Since it was at the end of the month, the Hall coffers were a bit sparse.  I had about $4.00 left to keep me to the end of the month, and I knew I could live without the added purchase.  Then the thoughts started running through my mind.  Aren’t you hungry?  Why not get something, everyone else is?  It’s only $5.00, what harm can come?  I wish I could say that I didn’t yield to temptation, but I would be lying.  As soon as I whipped out the credit card, and made the purchase, God’s Holy Spirit convicted me and showed me through God’s Word where I was wrong.  Though I confessed my sin, and repented, I am reminded that I have a sin nature with me constantly.  There is nothing wrong with eating a sandwich, but it is wrong to give into temptation and rely on a credit card for my provisions rather than God.  If I had the money, I don’t think it would be a problem, but the Lust of the Flesh is there to draw you away from God.

The first definition of worldliness is anything that would draw you away from God, through the basic desires of the body.  Eve was hungry for food.  Jesus was starving in the wilderness.  John had the munchies in a deli with friends.  There is nothing wrong at all with any of these desires.  The problem is in the source of these desires!

So, how do we solve this?  Simple: obey God’s Word.  In my case, God promised to provide for all of my needs (Phil. 4:19).  If He hadn’t provided me the money, I should have trusted God that I didn’t need the salad.  {Yeh, yeh… I justified my sin by ordering the salad.  😦  }  Eve should have remembered what God’s command, but she didn’t.  Our Lord showed us the right way by quoting Scripture.  He knew who was tempting him, and he wouldn’t allow Satan to direct his ways.

Things that Promote the Lust of the Eyes

Genesis 3:6
6  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Eve not only saw that the fruit would be good to eat, but she also saw how beautiful the fruit looked.  The world gets caught-up in “looks.”  Why is it that magazines pay millions of dollars on touched up photos of beautiful people?  Why do actors and actresses spend hours in makeup rooms and gyms and/or health spas?  Why is it that plain or ugly people are portrayed in a negative or demeaning way?  It’s because these groups seek to promote and live in a worldly manner with worldly values.

In Matthew 4:5-6 Satan tempts Jesus again.  The devil knew that Jesus was the Messiah, and the Son of God, so he took Jesus up to the pinnacle of the temple and dared him to jump off.  He knew that our Lord’s Father would not allow harm to come to him.  Why not?  He had an inkling most likely that the Jewish rulers wouldn’t approve of Jesus being the Messiah.  They wouldn’t stand a chance if Jesus was publicly seen floating down from Heaven into the courtyard.  The Sanhedrin would be silenced, the Jews would rally around the Messiah, and all that messy stuff of dying (as foretold in Scripture) could be avoided.  But praise God, Christ knew better than to listen to the father of lies.  Jesus refused to bow to the Lust of the Eyes.  Though Jesus knew he was the real messiah, he also realized that his primary mission was to die on the cross and pay for the sins of a lost world.  If he had listened to this temptation, he would never be crucified, and we would still be chained in sin.  Jesus would have fallen to worldly values.

Want a good test for that latest toy?

  1. Do you need {insert toy name here}?
  2. Will {insert toy name here} draw you closer to God, or drag you away from God?
  3. Will {insert toy name here} help you accomplish God’s will?
  4. Do you have the funds for {insert toy name here} without going into debt?
  5. Can you live without {insert toy name here}?

By prayerfully answering questions like these, you can develop a keen eye for discerning what many find hard to see.

Things that Promote the Pride of Life

Genesis 3:6
6  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Though the serpent knew he had a toe-hold when he got Eve to doubt God and consider the fruit, his clincher was when Eve was deceived into wanting wisdom and knowledge over obedience to God. I caught myself asking, why did Eve want wisdom?  Didn’t she trust God to provide for her?  Apparently not, since she was doubting God already.  Didn’t she have enough already?  She and her husband had the entire garden.  It’s a sin trait that is found in all humans: pride.  Eve wanted to more than what she already had.  She wanted to go “higher” and “farther” than what her limitations allowed.  It is nothing more than what caused Lucifer to fall: pride.

Worldliness covers more than just physical beauty.  Many people run after fame and fortune.  They place such a high importance on their alma mater or their family pedigree.  They take pleasure in having the fastest, biggest, loudest, and/or costliest toy in the neighborhood.   In my hometown of Twin Falls, we have a street lined with huge houses.  When we first moved to Idaho, there was only one “mansion” (for lack of a better word) on Falls Ave.  A short while later, his neighbor bought the adjacent lot and built a bigger house.  Over the course of ten years, each mansion and property built had to be bigger, and greener, and more opulent than the previous houses.  Why?  One huge house (with a separate three car garage), was the home to a man, his wife, and one child.  Why did a family of three need a house of over 4-5,000 square feet?  It’s primarily the result of bowing to a value system where fame and fortune, beauty and lust is the currency of the hour.

Twice now, Satan has tried to turn Jesus away from his father’s will.  The tempter took Jesus to a high mountain and showed him all the great kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:8-9).  Maybe the devil cast his arms out to Egypt and Rome.  Maybe Damascus and Jerusalem were seen off in the distance.  Possibly Satan pointed to Persia and Greece.  I don’t know.  Yet, the prince of the power of the air was willing to give all the kingdoms over to Jesus if he would only bow and show worship to him.

Jesus rebuked the devil and quoted Deuteronomy 10:20, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10).  You see, pride exalts self above God.  When you allow pride to enter into your life, you are committing the same sin Lucifer committed back in the beginning of creation (Isaiah 14:12-14).

There is one theological podcast I enjoy listening to, where the speakers are introduced as being “graduates from Dallas Theological Seminary.”  Why is this important?  Is it supposed to impress the audience by their “scholarly education”?  Is it a warning to the self-educated that they better not challenge their views, or be decimated by their uber-intellect?  There was one time when I had a great respect for DTS, but after listening in on several of their lectures, and seeing the theology coming out of their halls, I praise God He protected me from such institutions!

At the present time, I am pursuing a ThD.  Personally, this idea is not mine!  My previous pastors have asked me to complete it, and all I need to do is finish my dissertation, but I don’t place any weight on the letters.  I know how easy it is for John Hall to fall into the sin of pride, and being in the scholastic world long enough, I know how easy it is to flaunt intellectualism over others.  I am doing this project to honor God.  I believe He leads through authority and both times, my pastors have requested that I get my dissertation done.  But I do so, out of fear and trepidation.  God humbled Paul through his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).   What would God place on the shoulders of Dr. John Calvin Hall?  God’s will be done!

Conclusion

Taking these paragraphs and boiling it down is easy.  We just turn to the Bible once again.

2 Corinthians 10:2-6
2  But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Worldliness is anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.   It’s not the new cars or the big houses that are evil.  It’s no sin to be handsome or beautiful.  There is nothing wrong being born into a wealthy or famous family.  The problem is when all of this turns you away from God and His will for your life!

Worldliness Exemplified

What’s So Wrong With Halloween?

“So, what’s wrong with trick-or-treating,” a neighbor had asked me?  His children weren’t going around, sacrificing animals or worshiping the devil.  All they were interested in were running around town in fun costumes and getting free candy!  From that perspective, I understand his query?  But as a Christian[1], I am asked by God to take into account the spiritual aspect of this annual event.

2 Corinthians 10:3
3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

This UNHOLY day undoubtedly honors beliefs that exalts themselves against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).  Ask any mature Christian and they will tell you, sin never presents itself as it truly is: filthy and destructive.  No one wakes up and says to themselves, “Hey!  I think I will go out and try {insert drug or liquor here} so that I can trash my life and die early.”  Come on Brother/ Sister, do I REALLY NEED to point it out to you?  Are you so blind as to not see the demonic influence?

There was a time when sodomy was a hushed topic.  But in the 50s and 60s, movies came out and made sodomy something to snicker at, then it became something tolerated, and now, we have sodomites who are demanding to push their wickedness down our culture’s throats.

In the 60s and 70s, people who experimented with marijuana were called pot-heads and were despised by society.  Now, with all the talk and discussion of all the benefits of the drug, it is becoming tolerable.  States are even legalizing it now as a prescription.  How many more years will it take before it is openly available to all?  Don’t think it will happen?  Look at sodomy.  Look at the abortion issue.  Even people who claim to be a Christian will vote for a politician who supports abortion.

I remember growing up, knowing this group of kids.  They were clean guys; all of them in the same boy scout troop.  In the late 70s, one of them got a Dungeons and Dragons game for Christmas.  Over the years I watched several of those fine boys get steeped into witchcraft, that it nearly decimated their lives.  Demonism don’t come up and knock on the front door.  It came gift-wrapped in a beautiful box.

And the problem doesn’t just lie in Halloween.  What about the movie theaters and TV shows?  Are you so numb to the things of the world that you don’t see the blaspheme of Bart Simpson and Freddy Krueger?  Are you blinded by the beauty and imagination of Harry Potter and not see how it promotes witchcraft, which is nothing more than Satanism?

I can only remind you of what Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 15:33-34
33  Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
34  Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

What’s So Wrong With My Music?

I can hear someone’s comments now, “Come on John!  There is nothing wrong with my country music/ rock-n-roll.  Hey, it’s my culture!  I grew up with it.”  Brother/ Sister, I know what your saying.  I grew up with Phil Collins and Genesis.  I remember when Ted Nugent was known for his music rather than his conservative politics.  But that doesn’t make it right.

Someone else might be saying, “I don’t listen to the lyrics.  I just enjoy the beat.”  But I do challenge you.  You do in fact listen to the lyrics whether you realize it or not.

Quiz:  (Fill in the blanks)

  1. There’s a lady who’s sure, all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to __________. (Pink Floyd)
  2. Lucy in the Sky with ________________. (Beatles)
  3. And I can feel it coming in the air ___________. (Phil Collins/ Genesis)
  4. Her mind is tiffany-twisted, she got the mercedes bends, She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls _________. (Eagles)

Ok, so you younger pups might not recall these tunes.  I do.  I grew up with them and until May 11, 1986 I filled my head, heart, and spirit with these songs.  I don’t go to shopping malls because I get bombarded with the songs I have locked in my head.  It’s not the tunes that are so bad, but the philsophies they promote.  You have songs talking about some of the most ungodly issues.  I don’t have to go into details, because YOU KNOW what I am talking about.  One theologian I pointed to openly admits to enjoying music written by groups that promote sodomy and abortion.  What philosphies are you absorbing?

The Bible teaches us that we all will stand before God and give an account of what we have done.  How do you respond when you admit to disliking Christian music that glorifies God, with a preference to listen to music written by people who are blatently opposed to God?

Christian, we are at war.  Whether you choose to believe it or not, you have an enemy, and he is captain over a vast army whose desire is to destroy you.

Ephesians 6:10-13
10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

2 Timothy 2:3-4
3  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

1 Peter 5:8
8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Why do you entangle yourself in the pleasures of God’s enemies?  You want to reach out to the lost, but do you so blindly believe that the tools of the world will turn eyes to Christ?  It’s not the world, but the WORD! (Romans  10:17).  Why should the lost become a Christian like you?  You look like them; you talk like them.  What incentive do you provide?  How can you answer the struggles of life when you live like them?  Granted, what you wear and what you listen to doesn’t effect your salvation, but it sure does impact your sanctification (Romans 8:1-14; Romans 12:1-2).

Worldliness will turn your eyes away from God.  Worldliness will drown out God’s sweet voice.  Worldliness redirect your path away from the divine journey God has called you to.  In the end, worldliness will cast you down and shipwreck your life.  When you open your eyes and find yourself on the ash-heap, in total ruin, the only laughter you will hear is the jeering of the devil.  You see my brother/ my sister in Christ: Satan cannot touch your salvation, as much as he cannot touch God.  Yet, that devil can hurt God by hurting those He loves so much: that’s you!

Worldliness Resisted

Some of you won’t listen to what is being said here.  You accuse Godly Christians of being Pharisees when you don’t even understand what Christ was condemning them for[2].  I can only pray that God reaches your hearts and speaks to you, where you have silenced your ears to the Word of God.  Yet, there will be one or two believers in Christ, who are earnestly seeking God’s face on this matter.  It is YOU who I have written to!

So, how do you deal with Halloween?  How do you deal with music?  The answer is so simple, you might just be surprised: Obey God’s Word!

Psalms 101:3-4
3  I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
4  A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.

Psalms 119:9
9  Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Romans 12:1-2
1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Colossians 2:8
8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Titus 2:11-12
11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

1 John 2:15-17
15  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.
16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The whole intent of this article is not to have you keep your lights dark during Halloween, or to blast your Christian music so others can hear you.  I cry and plead with you to live a life, not according to this world but according to God’s Word.  I echo Paul’s pleading: “…be not conformed to this world…” (Romans 12:2).

My prayer is that God would be glorified through your lives, and that He uses you for His glory!

[1]  Let me stop and speak to my unsaved readers here.  Participating in Halloween will not send you to hell, as much as abstaining from Halloween will get you a ticket to Heaven.  My friend, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal savior, no righteous act will save you! I pray that God’s Holy Spirit shows you your need for Christ, before it is too late!

[2]  Many times when a Christian is living in a compromised life, they will be quick to accuse Godly Christians of being a Pharisee.  They are woefully convinced that Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their separated lifestyle, and this is not true.  Though the Pharisees in the New Testament believed in living a separated life, they also believed that this lifestyle increased their righteousness and thus made them better than their neighbors.  My friend, this is not true.  I don’t care if you come to church in a three-piece suite carrying an oversized King James Bible.  Such adornments have absolutely nothing to do with your righteousness!  It doesn’t get you a membership into God’s inner circle.  Living a separated life won’t add one spect of dust to your salvation!

Romans 12:1-2
1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
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2 Comments

Posted by on 31-October-2010 in Uncategorized

 

2 responses to “The Link Between Halloween, Country Music, and Rock-n-Roll!!!

  1. Doug King

    4-November-2010 at 2:16 PM

    I appreciate your article here. Thank you

     
  2. Chris Andrews

    2-December-2010 at 3:56 PM

    I liked the article too 🙂

    btw it was Led Zeppelin not Pink Floyd on the quiz 😛

     

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