I have been grappling with the concept of exploring music in relation to apologetics for quite some time, but was never compelled enough to tackle the combination – until now. The fact that I just finished writing and producing my first album has brought the concepts closer to home and to the forefront of my life at the moment. So here goes, jumping in without really knowing how deep the water is: apologetics and music. I was taught to swim in theological waters by some great pastors and Bible teachers so I’m confident we’ll get to the other side without drowning.
We all know what music is, don’t we? It’s that stuff most of us listen to quite frequently. Some of us dance to it, wake up to it, drive with it, and sing along to it. Others of us write it, play it, and produce it. Music has been used to teach and reach students of all ages for centuries. Some music has lyrics and some is purely instrumental. Music brings us back to the past, entertains us in the present, and sometimes makes us feel as though we might be glimpsing into the future. The more I think about music, the more I realize that the concept of music is a lot more complicated than perhaps any of us have considered. There’s also a whole spiritual aspect to music for those of us that are religious, perhaps for those that aren’t as well. For the sake of this exploration, we’re going to explore the spiritual side of music, but don’t think that limits the type of music considered because The Beatles, Prince, The Rolling Stones, The doors, Michael Jackson, and Madonna (just to name a few) have all proclaimed that their music is indeed spiritual.
Apologetics as defined by J.P. Moreland is: “A ministry designed to help unbelievers to overcome intellectual obstacles to conversion and believers to remove doubts that hinder spiritual growth.” M. Webster defines apologetics as: “Systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine). 2: A branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity.” So how can either of those definitions apply to music? In this case, I am going to assume (and make a case) that most, if not all, music is either spiritual in nature, motivated by spiritual beliefs, or created specifically to communicate a religious or spiritual theme. If indeed that’s the case, the application of apologetics should apply easily to this particular study of music as a religious (i.e., spiritual) entity.
Definitions of music are much harder to agree upon and are quite varied. Dictionary.com gives the following: “1. an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color. 2. the tones or sounds employed, occurring in single line (melody) or multiple lines (harmony), and sounded or to be sounded by one or more voices or instruments, or both…” This definition seems workable enough and we can always expand upon if needed. For the most part, we will focus on the first part of the definition: “an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions.”
If accepted that music expresses ideas and emotions and much of the popular music of today professes to be somewhat spiritual in nature (which will be demonstrated as we progress), I think there is a basis for examining music through the eyes and ears of the apologist. I don’t want to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes so for those that have not figured it out yet; I will be dealing with music and the artists that create said music who outright or indirectly profess to be worshiping Lucifer (that’s right – Satan himself) through the music they create. This music and these individuals also directly state that they wish to develop a following that will also follow their leader – all worshiping either expressly or inadvertently their king.
In order to strengthen the above position and keep you attentive, here is a list of quotes from famous musicians regarding their music. Sources won’t always be quoted because there are usually many and they are varied. If in doubt, simply conduct a Google search and If you find them to be inaccurate and can prove such, I will amend the quotation. Here’s the brief list:
George Harrison (The Beatles): “People who would normally be offended by someone praising ‘Hare Krishna my sweet Lord,’ were caught off guard by the way the song was arranged. The listener would follow along with the words ‘Hallelujah, my sweet Lord’ several times before it subtly changed to ‘Hare Krishna, my sweet Lord.'”
Jim Morrison (The Doors): As written by Jim Morrison in his book Wilderness “…an appearance of the devil on a Venice canal. Running, I saw a Satan or Satyr, moving beside me, a fleshy shadow of my secret mind. Running. Knowing.” Doors biographers, Danny Sugerman and Jerry Hopkins acknowledge that Jim Morrison believed the way of his success was paved through drugs and shamanism.
Madonna: “When I get down on my knees, it is not to pray.” “ It is difficult to believe in a religion that places such a high premium on chastity and virginity.” “They digest it on a lot of different levels. Some people will see it and be disgusted by it, but maybe they’ll be unconsciously aroused by it. If people keep seeing it and seeing it and seeing it, eventually it’s not going to be such a strange thing.” (The Advocate, May 7, 1991, pg.49)
Prince: All of the following are quotes are from his songs: “The clams on shore, souls in progress. Here comes the fisherman, soul no more.” – Prince, Animal Kingdom . “And when your cup overflow, I’ll pee some more.” – Prince, Can We Funk . “Time you learned love and lust, they both have four letters.” – Prince, Computer Blue. ” Something’s the matter baby, I’m going insane Something inside of me keeps talkin’ 2 my brain. Why can’t I stop this satanic lust?” – Possessed. From an Oprah interview: “Recent analysis has proved that there’s probably two people inside of me. There’s a Gemini. And we haven’t determined what sex that other person is yet…”
I could go on and on and on listing not only what these artists say overtly but also the meaning behind what they inadvertently say and do. I could (and will) list their “spiritual” leaders and who they pay homage to. Many successful people in the music industry, past and present, have followed the theology of a man named Aleister Crowley. We will explore him more in future posts. Hopefully your appetite has been wet to follow this series that will attempt to demonstrate that music is inherently “spiritual,” intended to communicate beliefs and messages by the people who create it, and that many of those messages are not only secretly satanic in nature but many are overtly so. Music makes impressions on the mind, it influences culture and behavior, and those that create it intend for nothing less. Believe me, I know, because that’s the primary purpose of the music I write. The conversation we are going to have will hopefully be fruitful on many fronts and perhaps cause a few paradigm shifts in how you previously thought about something often taken for granted as just being something in the background.
In one of the upcoming articles in this series I am going to briefly outline who Aleister Crowley is and those musicians that have in one way or another followed his teachings. Because I don’t intend on writing a book, I will try to keep these explorations as short as possible. Most of this information has been researched and expounded upon thoroughly by people much closer to the subject than myself. I simply want to introduce it to you in a meaningful but concise way. I encourage everyone to do their own research on any and all things touched upon that may spark interest. Let me also restate the obvious. I am a Christian who professes belief in the one true Creator God of the Holy Bible and that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation through repentance and acceptance of his death and resurrection. I’m biased, but so is every other person on the planet. Bias is not inherently bad and bias in itself does not make someone wrong, but it should be acknowledged. If you are already interested in reading more on this subject, I encourage you to visit this website first: www.goodfight.org.
If it can be demonstrated or convincingly stated that music influences beliefs and behavior on either a subconscious or conscious level then perhaps there is a lot of music we should not only tune out, but simply forgo altogether. Because no matter what human writes the music, produces the albums, or performs the songs, we must at least consider what Ephesians 6:12 has been telling us for 2,000 years: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”