Musical Manipulation in Church Worship: Satan’s Master Plan

“Imagine a king that has a bride that he loves with all his heart. She’s precious to him.

He makes her eloquent, beautiful, dresses her in the finest, purest, whitest linen.

He loves her. He spends his day admiring her.

But he has to go on a long journey.

So he calls you in as a steward. He grants you the privilege to care for his wife.

He carefully constructs a document before you. In it, he gives you instructions: “This is what I want you to do with my wife.”

But then what happens is the king goes on a journey and he stays gone for a while, and you notice that the people are becoming disloyal to the king.

You notice that they’re no longer too attracted to the queen.

She’s just so, well, I don’t know, she’s just not modern. She’s not what the people want today. So you get a great idea…

You strip her of her white linens. You paint her face and dress her like a prostitute.

And you parade her before carnal men in order to draw them back into loyalty with the king.

When the king returns, what will he do with you?

He will kill you.

And this is exactly what many church planters are doing today.

They’re dressing up the church in order to draw them back into loyalty with the king.

The king never gave such a decree. Never! She belongs to HIM. She’s precious to HIM.”

– Paul Washer at the G3 conference.

Firstly, who am I, the writer?

I am Claire Carradice, founder of Reset Exchange, saved in 1999. Just about all my life, I have been surrounded by people who were deep into the occult. Today, I am called to work with churches as a watchman to expose hidden deception by Satan, to get the bride of Jesus Christ ready for His return.

I should start by saying that I did not want to know what I know now.

I began writing an entirely different article. But my research put me on a different, far more sinister path, and so I was compelled to compile this one about how Satan has used music in churches to manipulate God’s people into growing cold and useless for the Kingdom.

So they will not be ready for when the King returns.

Side note: don’t think I am happy about writing this article! I am not, because I have loved the very music I must now write a warning about.

But. I will not be responsible for having anyone’s blood on my hands, according to this scripture: When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. – Ez 33:8.

My research for this article meant that I needed to make some changes in my own life, and I need to warn church leaders.

Each Christian leader will be held accountable to God for His bride. Jeremiah 23:1-4 says:

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

And so I give this warning, and please, I am not being funny here: if you are not prepared to do anything it takes to help your congregation stay or move into righteousness and purity, do not read further, because if you read further and you do not heed this warning, you will will have to account to God. And what I am about to share with you grieves me deeply; this is a tough one, requiring 100% commitment to the preservation of all that is sacred, for the sake of the flock.

Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, we bow before Your Wonderful, Majestic Name. We seek You in all we do. We seek Your face to be effective leaders of Your church. Please cover us with Your precious blood and give us the understanding You want us to have as we go through this resource. Help us to follow hard after You. In Jesus Name, amen.

Introduction

As an introduction, watch some of this music video aimed at young people:

This is a typical scenario of a Christian concert.

Before we proceed, it’s important to state that God certainly does use anything to touch people’s lives, even secular music, and many people – including me – have found solace in contemporary Christian music when turning from secular to Christian, as I did when I burned all my secular music upon salvation.

I also believe that God often protects His children when they would perish for lack of knowledge [Hosea 4:6], because He is merciful and kind.

Ok, now I’ve said that, let’s get into how Satan has masterminded music to infiltrate God’s church and pollute the body of Jesus Christ.

Why is music Satan’s master plan in church worship?

Satan is not coming at God’s people blatantly. Instead, he has cleverly weaved his way in to corrupt and defile in what we have considered, for the most part, to be completely harmless, and GOOD.

To understand what Satan has achieved, and how he’s infiltrated the church, we have to understand how music works. But first, I want to share a story.

I had belonged to a very conservative church for years after I got saved. The music was very old fashioned and, full disclosure, I did not enjoy it at all!

I liked drums!

The beat!

One day, I started going to a new church. This one was modern and gorgeous. But the people in it were not growing spiritually and you couldn’t really tell them apart from non-believers, because their lives did not reflect the holiness of God. Their behaviour, but for being loving (on a Sunday that is), was just the same as those who did not profess love for Jesus Christ.

This bothered me, and I began to ponder why these people were not growing spiritually.

Today, after doing my research into music, I know why. It’s partly the music.

The music they were worshipping to in church, and the music they were listening to outside of church.

Because…music controls emotions, our thinking and our behaviour.

Up until now, God has been merciful to us and kept many of us spiritually safe, because He has seen the desire of our hearts; the desire of the remnant to serve Him in truth and spirit, and so He has preserved us. But there is coming a time of sifting, and this article is part of it.

Once you and I understand that truth, we have been commissioned to do what needs to be done in whatever capacity we can, and it involves great courage, because people will not want to know this [I did not want to know this! I sulked for days when I learned about it!].

Christian people will fight it.

Pastors will scoff at it.

Worship teams will be devastated by it.

But warn we must. Changes must take place, so that Jesus’ bride will be ready for His coming.

Nothing else matters compared to the day Jesus returns. Will we be ready?

Satan’s master plan is to deceive, to get our focus off a holy God and to stump our spiritual growth. He’s achieving this very nicely with church worship, thank you very much.

Let’s first hear from secular music experts

The thing that’s powerful about the following statements, is that they come from secular experts, so what they say can’t be labelled “legalistic” or any of the other favourite words people who don’t want to pursue holiness are quick to use:

Dr Richard Pelligrino, Neurologist, says music can “trigger a flood of human emotions and images that have the ability to instantaneously produce very powerful changes in emotional states. Take it from a brain guy, in 25 years of working with the brain, I still cannot affect a person’s state of mind the way that one simple song can.”

Dr Manfred Clynes says, “Music is an organisation created to dictate feelings to the listener. The composer is an unrelenting dictator, and we choose to subject ourselves to him when we listen to his music.” [Note! Can we as Christians trust the composer?]

AP Merriam, Anthropologist of Music, says that music, “shapes and often controls so much of human behaviour.”

For changing people’s manners and customs, there is nothing better than music” – Shu Ching, 6th century B.C.

So there we have it from the world’s top musicologists: music is powerful. It can control human behaviour, and change how people think and feel.

The danger is the music, not so much the lyrics

Scott Ritsema, founder of Belt of Truth Ministries, who contributed to my research, poses this thought provoking question:

What happens when you take music that:

  • Bypasses the frontal lobe (which controls behaviour and decision making). The Science of Psychotherapy explains it as, “The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals.” Now, once the soul is open, the music can indoctrinate us.
  • Hypnotizes the listener
  • Opens the door to spiritualism
  • Alters state of consciousness
  • Causes you to release control of your thoughts
  • Releases opioids (makes the music addictive)

and put Christian lyrics to it? Well, when you put Christian lyrics to the beaty music in churches today, what you get is music that:

  • Bypasses frontal lobe
  • Hypnotizes the listener
  • Opens the door to spiritualism
  • Alters state of consciousness
  • Causes you to release control of your thoughts
  • Releases opioids (makes the music addictive)

The point is: the lyrics do not matter quite as much as the music does.

Christian lyrics don’t make church worship legit.

This pastor explains the danger of modern music in church worship:

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and SPIRITUAL SONGS, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”. – Eph. 5:18-19

…But church worship lyrics have their place in the great deception

Truth matters. The lyrics of many modern church worship songs do not bring truth and do not reflect the sovereignty of God. This means that many Christians do not know the God of the Bible, therefore they worship a false God.

I am not going to go in-depth with this point in this resource, but suffice it to say that many of the lyrics of the most popular church worship are playing a part in God’s people not knowing Who He really is.

How Satan has infiltrated churches through music

It’s so subtle, that far too many leaders nor their flock can pick it up. But that’s how Satan works – his work is never blatant; it is always subtle, and in the case of church worship, the tactic is to boil the frog slowly, so we don’t even see it coming…and let’s be honest, not many of us did, did we?

We embraced the music because it was Christian and had nice lyrics.

Let’s take a look at how Satan is using church worship to bring deception on a massive scale:

Conformity to the world

Contemporary Christian church worship music is a replica of secular music, it just has Christian lyrics attached to it, but the problem is not so much the lyrics as it is the rhythm.

But Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Contemporary Christian church worship music conforms to the pattern of the world.

One of the big reasons many Christians stagnate in churches is because they lack discernment, and that is because their lives are conforming to the pattern of this world – they watch the same movies as they did before they got saved, they listen to the same music as before they got saved, they have occultic ornaments in their homes, they see no error in going to clubs for a fun night out…all because they are conforming to the patterns of the world.

2 Cor 6:17 says, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

How many people are not being received by God because they are touching so many unclean things?

Could that be at the fault of the church who should be stewarding them, teaching them how to serve a holy God?

In addition, most if not all Christian music is controlled by secular companies. For instance, Hillsong is controlled by Capitol, who is Christian, but Capitol is controlled by Universal, which is secular. This is why so much of the lyrics lack substance and are theologically shallow.

But 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

The lyrics don’t matter as much as the rhythm

Here’s the thing: the lyrics don’t matter as much. It’s the beat that is hypnotising us. Just because we put Christian words to the music does not make the song right before a Holy God.

Top Musicologist [and not a Christian], Manfred Clynes says, “The music I hear in your churches, I hear the sounds of anger and sex.”

Say what now?

Anger and sex??! In the church?! In worship?!

Well, how else could Satan bring in anger and sex to the bride of Jesus Christ?

When the words and the sound of the music are in conflict, musicologists call it, “aesthetically false”. It’s a contradiction. The words don’t count; the rhythm of the music does.

Music controls and changes thoughts and behaviour

Music controls our thinking and behaviour.

Billy Joel, after decades in the music industry, said, “Music is essentially the manipulation of sound. It has the power to arouse, it has the power to frighten and has the power to make people profane. You know, all those things they were saying about rock ‘n roll in the early days – “ooooh, it’s gonna subvert our youth, it’s gonna make ’em all wanna have sex, it’s gonna make ’em all go crazy” – they were right!”

Many people who participate in church worship “feel” the “presence of the Holy Spirit”, but what they’re actually feeling is a false emotion brought about by the beat and repetition of the music. It’s just that they can’t tell the Holy Spirit apart from the Kundalini spirit which manifests as the Holy Spirit; this spirit is one of the main demonic spirits that has infiltrated church worship and services since the Toronto “Revival” which is when it was imparted to many innocent Christians who in turn, unknowingly imparted the deception all over the world.

Music can trick us into false feelings of love for Jesus

Music can trick us into feeling something is real which is not. For example, it can trick you into thinking you’re in love with Jesus and that you’re a true Christian, when you’re not. In church worship, you may feel in love with Him, but you might not even be saved.

Churches that use contemporary music in church worship services don’t generally see a lot of spiritual growth or fruit from their new believers. Because when churches play contemporary, modern music, worship is nothing more than a fleeting feeling. It’s empty and useless. And often, it’s an abomination to a holy God.

While church worship – regardless of the music – may bring solid Christians into the presence of God because their hearts are lifted up to Him in sincerity, beaty music accomplishes nothing for newer believers and does more harm than good, and may even lead the new believer astray.

The beat is addictive

In addition, music releases opiates to make the beat addictive.

This explains why many churches with great worship, keep seeing people return, but no spiritual growth. The congregation is addicted to the music, not to Jesus.

It makes them feel good. It is that which attracts them, it is that which brings them to church every Sunday. It’s why the young will enthusiastically jump up and down in the front, all excited to “praise Jesus”, but it’s all just a feeling, rarely a commitment and certainly not true worship.

What good then, is having church worship when it’s just about entertainment and emotion that is not centered around the Living God?

Polyrhythms are the primary source of occultic power

Polyrhythms (described by Wikipedia as “the simultaneous use of two or more conflicting rhythms, that are not readily perceived as deriving from one another, or as simple manifestations of the same meter. The rhythmic conflict may be the basis of an entire piece of music (cross-rhythm), or a momentary disruption”).

In other words, “poly” means multiple, so polyrhythms are more than one rhythm on top of each other.

It’s the polyrhythms which are the primary source of occult power, and in our Christian music today, the music is 75% rhythm. Effectively, the music in church worship is hypnotising us.

Round about now you may want to know what polyrhythms sound like, so here’s a secular video by a dude who gives drum lessons; it does a great job of explaining and demonstrating polyrhythms in a simple way that even people like me who are not music pros, can easily understand:

Effects add to the influence of the music

Frank Zappa in Life Magazine in June 1968 says, “The loud sounds and bright lights of today are tremendous indoctrination tools”.

Sound Engineer Pooch Van Druten said, “One of my favorite things to do… is to draw the audience in to a really low volume level, like 90 dBa weighted, and then immediately hit them with an impact of a chorus or an 808 kick drum that hits them at 102 dBa. You can watch the entire crowd, and it’s like a wave that washes over the entire crowd. The dynamics that we get to do as live sound engineers is what I love, because it causes emotions to happen with people.”

Our most popular churches use lighting effects and the music’s loud and beaty…

It is easy for people to now “feel the move of the Holy Spirit”, when in actual fact, it is not the Holy Spirit at all, merely musical manipulation of the senses.

Dr Michael Ballam says, “the human mind shuts down after three or four repetitions of a rhythm, or a melody or a harmonic progression”.

Jimi Hendrix says: “Music is a spiritual thing of its own. You can hypnotize people with the music and when you get them at their weakest point, you can preach into the subconscious what you want to say.”

This is scary stuff.

Band members have no holy reverence of God

Worship leaders are supposed to be leaders of God, using music. In church worship, their aim should be to bring people closer to a holy God. As such, they should lead lives that bring glory to God.

Leviticus 10:1-3 reads:

Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord,contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:

“‘Among those who approach me

   I will be proved holy;

in the sight of all the people

   I will be honored.’”

In explanation: the priests (i.e. the pastor and worship leaders) represent a holy God; the flock looks to them as their leaders. They have to be an example, or they will not represent God effectively, and present a corrupt message which does not give people the right understanding about who God is.

God does not want service from a source that He has not kindled.

Many church band members live ungodly lives, but are chosen to stand on stage because their music sounds good, not because they are spiritual leaders. Problem number 1.

Many Christian band members live no differently to non-believers.

The Bible is clear: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them”. – Eph. 5:11

Our first mistake is not being careful who we’re putting into positions of leadership. Their hearts towards God have to be right. Their lives have to imitate God’s commands.

For popular Christian rock bands, the exposure to rock music takes its toll on band members, who generally have no holy reverence for God, and do not even hide the fact that they take inspiration from secular rock music.

They sing of the love of Jesus on stage, but behind closed doors, their lives look no different to secular rock stars.

Way of Life says that “when asked in interviews about their musical influences and their favorite music, invariably they list a number of raunchy secular rock musicians.”

Steve Camp says, “I’ll have a Foreigner 4 album going in my car.” He also says: “I am dedicated to good music whether it’s pop, Christian, gospel, R&B, blues, jazz, classical, rock or whatever. I just love good music” (Steve Camp, MusicLine magazine, Feb. 1986, p. 22).

Jars of Clay names Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles as their inspiration (Dann Denny, “Christian Rock,”Sunday Herald Times, Bloomington, Ind., Feb. 8, 1998). The lead guitarist for Jars of Clay is said to be a “Beatles fanatic” (Christian News, Dec. 8, 1997). When asked by Christianity Today to list their musical influences Jars of Clay members “listed no Christian artists” (Christianity Today, Nov. 15, 1999). During their concerts, Jars of Clay has performed “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne, the filthy-mouthed former lead singer for the occultic rock group Black Sabbath.

Amy Grant said, “I love to hear Billy Joel, Kenny Loggins and the Doobie Brothers” (Time, March 11, 1985).

This is very sad, because Christian band members are exposed to their own music as well as to secular music and it’s damaging their spiritual lives, and pollutes those who take in their music.

Christian singer Krystal Meyer said in response to an allegation, “How about the many huge Christian bands I have toured with that smoke pot and have sex with women and men who are not their husbands and wives? How about the hundreds of Christian bands I have been around that watch South Park and cuss like sailors? How about the Christian bands that look at pornography?”

Do church leaders carefully examine all the aspects of the music they’re using in their church? Should we be using music that is compiled by people who don’t fear God, in our Sunday worship service?

What effect is the church worship music having on your flock? Is it bringing them closer to God in reverent, holy awe, or are they dancing around because they feel good due to a false “love of Jesus”?

In Mark 7:6 – 9, it says, “He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,

   but their hearts are far from me.

They worship me in vain;

   their teachings are merely human rules.’

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

Now scroll back up and re-watch that first video and see how much more you see now that the truth has been illuminated.

So then, what kind of music should be used in church worship?

If you’ve read up to this point, you are now probably wondering if your church needs to go back to boring…(I told you upfront this was a biggie, didn’t I?!)

I think the biggest problem, is that our focus is on the people and their needs; what they want, instead of what God wants in His church. If you change the worship style, you may lose people. Certainly, in seeker friendly churches, chances are there will no longer be any more seekers either…but what is a church for? And what does God want? That is the question…

You may have implemented beaty rock ‘n roll Christian music to draw in more people, but is it really achieving what you wanted; more importantly, what God wanted?

The Bible says that faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. [Romans 10:17]

The Bible also says that people are converted by hearing the Bible read and preached, in particular, to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It’s not the funny stories, dramas, videos or talks about prosperity and marriage that will make your flock ready for the return of The King. Or the cool church worship and dancing lights…

Unchurched people get converted by hearing the Bible as it focuses on what Jesus did for them.

And the Bible also shows that this is how saved people grow, because Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth”. [John 17:17]

So…it would seem from the scriptures that both believers and unbelievers need precisely the same thing… the life changing Word of God. They don’t need beaty church worship, they need life changing worship of the Most High; worship that shows Who God really is, not some big teddy bear desperate for people’s love…

The more they understand who God is, in all His entirety, who they are and how God has saved them through Jesus, the more they grow spiritually. And that’s the reason you went into ministry, right? To get people saved and to get them to grow.

So with that in mind, what is it that God wants? And what is it that He requires of you as His servant?

John 4:23-24 says, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” God is seeking worshipers who will worship him truly from their hearts. Not emotions being driven by the beat of a song.

So what kind of music is safe? Very simply put, any tune that makes people want to move their bodies is probably not worthy of worship to a holy God.

It must point to reverence of God.

Suggestion! Churches who want to help their flocks grow spiritually, and revere God, should perhaps strive to create their own music (minus the polyrhythms) by Godly band members, and music which puts the focus on God and His holiness. Churches could even sell it as a great way to make money for the church (without it becoming the focus of the music of course).

The long and short of it

If you find that the people in your church are not growing spiritually, there’s a problem, and it could be partly due to the church worship music.

As a church leader, it is your responsibility to safeguard the flock. And what a weighty responsibility it is, because the Word says:

“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” – Matthew 18:6

For your own sake, you have to safeguard your flock at all costs. What this may mean, after careful prayer to find the Lord’s heartbeat for your church, is that:

  • You may need to let the lighting effects go, and
  • Change the music for church worship so that it comes back to reverence for God Almighty, and so that the music can actually accomplish what true worship is about.
  • Reconsider who is on your stage leading church worship and whether they are worthy vessels in terms of the lifestyles they lead.

May God lead you and guide you and bless you as you seek to prepare your people for the return of the Saviour, keeping them safe against the deception of the enemy in the last days.

Additional Sources of Research:

Newsflare

Pro.Harman

Way of Life

Wikipedia

The Science of Psychotherapy

Bible Flock Box

Paul Washer

The Gospel Coalition

OnePlace