Heretical CCM

There are a lot of threads asking about the licitness of listening to Contemporary Christian Music. Generally, it gets the same replies, “as long as it isn’t heretical…” So, rather than derailing another thread, I figured I’d start a new thread where we can charitably list certain popular CCM songs, that Catholics should AVOID, and why. So, here goes…

“Fly Away” by FFH, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” by DC Talk(originally by Larry Norman), “Crack The Sky” by Mylon & Brokenheart, “Heavenbound” by DC Talk, “People Get Ready, Jesus is Coming” by Crytal Lewis. (The aformentioned songs all either explicitily or implicitly make a reference to John Darby’s pretribulational rapture which is heresy.)

“He Is” by Aaron and Jeoffrey (This song lists the books of the Bible, leaving out the Deuterocanonicals.)

“Between You and Me,” by DC Talk (Seems to indirectly attack the Sacrament of Reconciliation.)

“Blessed Assurance” by Third Day, among others (Seems to propogate the false "once saved always saved theology.)

“You Alone” by David Crowder Band among others (Includes the lyrics, “You alone are Father,” which could be construed as subtle anti-Catholicism.)

“Touch?” by Delirious?, “Reborn” by Rebecca St. James, “Rebirthing” by Skillet, “Easter Song” by 2nd Chapter of Acts. (Songs, that use the words, “Born Again,” or derivatives of such words, as found in John 3:5, but not within the context of the Sacrament of Baptism are extremely dangerous, in that when the Protestant hijacking of the meaning of “Born Again” is juxtaposed with the proper Catholic teaching of John 3:5, it can create the illusion that the Catholic Church is denying the reality of what some people may consider to be their most miraculous personal experience with God, while furthermore making Protestants falsely believe that the Catholic Church teaches that infant Baptism = automatic Heaven, which the Catholic Church has NEVER taught, yet would appear to teach when the term “Born Again” is given its faulty Protestant definition, and then the Protestant OSAS heresy is applied on top of that. This misunderstanding ALONE could cause people to either leave the Catholic Church, or not enter.)

“Empty Me Out” - Telecast (Seems to indirectly reference Romans 6:1-8, but leaving out the Baptism element, and saying, “I died with you was buried with you, the moment I believed.”)

“That’s All The Lumber” - Ceili Rain (implies that after death, we get a second chance to go back to Earth and do things over again to get a better status in Heaven.)

All songs by Iconoclast, on the grounds that they were named after a heretical group.

“You are the Answer” by Point of Grace (This song is overtly anti-Catholic, stongly implying that those who go to Confession don’t know God. That’s my take on it, anyway.)

There are numerous heretical songs by the parody band Apologetix, and they even have(or had) a link to anti-Catholic hate literature on their website. Since they have a total of NO big hits, I won’t even mention specific songs.

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” (The lyrics, “if the fates allow,” show a denial of acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and become idolatrous.)

“New World” - Tobymac (This song is inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia. In that movie, the lion is portrayed as a Christlike figure. C.S. Lewis seems to have intended that. Nevertheless, that lion is NOT Jesus, as the golden calf was not God, and a song which praises that lion is therefore, in my view, idolatrous.)

Finally, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” (also overtly anti-Catholic as it was written by Martin Luther.)

So, please add any to the list. This is not intended to be a witchhunt against Protestant music, but a warning to Catholics about certain songs to avoid. If anyone disagrees with my take on any of the above songs, well, obviously you’ll let me know.

Nice job, ChangingHeart. That’s quite a list, with very good explanations.

As a rule of thumb, I don’t listen to any protestant CCM, much like I don’t care to listen to a protestant minister preach, nor do I participate in protestant Bible studies. I prefer to listen to the truth in its fullness from the only place it can be found…from within the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church founded by Christ. :thumbsup:

I’ve got to come to the defence of Ceili Rain - a brilliant and thoroughly orthodox Catholic band whose songs I love dearly. These are the lyrics in question:

"St. Peter if you can
Send me back to earth again
Is that somethin’ you can do?
Pete said: It ain’t up to me
If it was I’d like to see
How you plan to improve
Said: I’d love God and fellow man
Take a wife and make a stand
Be the givinest guy I can be
And when I get back to this neighborhood
There’d be a big gigantic pile of wood "

There’s nothing in there remotely implying that it would actually be possible for the person to go back and do things over, simply that the soul in question WISHES they could - and St Peter is indulging them in the moment of fantasy.

wow quite a list you got going so far.

i love some of the songs you listed, but i wasn’t aware some of the lyrics were heretical. thanks for putting a wrench in my machine! just kidding. i’ll have to look at the lyrics myself before i pull myself away from the music that brings me so much joy. after all, i’ve only recently made the move completely from rap to christian music. it’ll take time…

on the other hand, songs like “People Get Ready, Jesus is Coming” by Crystal Lewis, i heard live at the Harvest concert, and i thought, “oh heck no, that is clearly rapture nonsense right there.” despite the catchy melody and chorus, i didn’t have a problem turning completely away from that song.
now that i look at the lyrics, it actually isn’t bad, imo. if the word “harvest” were taken out, you may not know that the artist intended it to refer to the rapture. i guess being at a protestant concert and hearing the artist talk about the rapture before she performed, really turned me off at the time.

so i think it’s kind of difficult to gauge what is acceptable or not without some sort of scale. subjectivity can single out even the most Catholic songs. with that in mind,

“People Get Ready, Jesus is Coming” by Crystal Lewis - i would previously rate as a 10 on the heretical scale, but now looking at the lyrics i don’t know, it could be a 0.

“Rebirthing” by Skillet - i would rate as a 0 on the heretical scale. i find nothing wrong with the lyrics.

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if a song were to contain, “And the Word is all i need!” one may interpret that as a promotion of Sola Scriptura, but one could also interpret that as the Word of God which follows Catholic teaching. this is regardless of what the artist intended. this reminds me of the good that God can draw from the bad.

so again, the topic seems very subjective and i’m not sure if i can pinpoint a Christian song that would be so outright blatant as to give it a 10 on the heretical scale. maybe someone else can…

Interesting take on it. You may be correct. Still, though, does the song give us an accurate portrayal of Heaven? Are we going to have eternal REGRETS in Heaven? I certainly hope not.

Where did you hear that they were Catholic? I hadn’t heard that.

Good point. There are ways to reconcile certain heretical lyrics with Catholic teaching, if we were to interpret the lyrics differently from the way that the writers intended, as would be the case with many songs that use the whole, “born again” thing. If we were to interpret that they were talking about Baptism, I suppose we could let them slide, although some songs lend themselves to that better than others.

For example, I dismiss the lyrics, “born for the second time,” on the Steve Taylor song, “The Finish Line,” because he could be referring to Baptism there, even though he likely isn’t. Thus, I consider the song acceptable.

The Paul Colman song, “The One Thing,” has lyrics along the lines of, “I question my religion.” I find this acceptable, on the grounds that he is a Protestant and a statement like that could even by stretched as far as saying that he is considering the Catholic Church. At the same time, however, a Catholic should not sing along to those specific lyrics.

Now, here’s one I’d like to pose to the community. The song, “Be Ye Glad,” by Glad includes the lyrics, “Every debt that you ever had has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord.” Does this suggest that the song is denying the existence of redemptive suffering and temporal punishment, or am I reading way too into it??? Opinions, please. Is it theologically sound for Catholics to say that Jesus paid our debt IN FULL?

For one thing they’re signed to a division of our beloved OCP which is a dead giveaway :slight_smile: For another you can read their blog at ceilirain.com/weblog/

And no, the song probably isn’t an accurate picture of heaven any more than the heaven in Michelangelo’s depiction of the Last Judgement. Since heaven is something we mortals have never seen, I hardly think CR or Michelangelo would even be attempting to make accurate depictions :shrug:

Rather I think it was simply an imaginative device Ceili Rain are using to make a moral point - telling us to do what you can to ‘build up your treasure in heaven’ (as Jesus said) by way of doing good while you can on Earth.

Please forgive my ignorance. What does the achronym OCP stand for?

Yes, I see what the moral point was, and I agree with it. I also agree that we can not, as humans, even remotely fathom how wonderful Heaven will be. I just don’t think that when in Heaven, we are going to have regrets. I think that instead, we’ll be so full of joy that we’re in the presense of God, that we’ll experience eternal happiness.

Revelation 21:4 “He shall wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain, for the former world has passed away.”

I see your point, though, that we can’t fully fathom Heaven, and I may be misunderstanding either the song lyrics, or Revelation 21:4. I love Ceili Rain.(as I do most of the groups whose specific songs I singled out above) I have two of Ceili Rain’s CDs, “Ping Pong” being my favorite of their songs. It’s nice to see that they are Catholic, too. Well, musically, “That’s All The Lumber,” is great. I guess we can leave the interpretation of the lyrics up to the individual as to whether they feel it is appropriate or not.

No forgiveness necessary :smiley:

OCP = Oregon Catholic Press. They produce the well-used ‘Gather’ hymnals that so many of us love to loathe, among other things.

As for Ceili Rain - maybe they should stick a warning on that song ‘any resemblance to the actual Heaven in this song is purely coincidental’ :rotfl:

Maybe a song is just a song and there is no sinister meaning behind it. With all due respect, some of what you proposed in your first post was rather on the money and very correct but songs like “Re birthing” by Skillet is nothing more than a positive rock song. I would rather listen to and have my kids listen to CCM than what the world is producing through bands that have no moral compass. I guess you could say the lesser of two evils. Even though I must confess there are some secular bands that I do follow, like U2.

You are the second person to mention this one, also the second to not mention why you think it is not heretical.

The issue I take with this song is that I am perceiving the term, “rebirthing” as referring to the moment of “accepting Christ” or becoming, “born again” under Protestant heresy. It distorts the true meaning of John 3:5, which is Baptism. Perhaps, I am interpreting these lyrics incorrectly, but on the grounds that the Catholic teaching on John 3:5 was one of the most dificult teachings for me to initially accept, on the grounds that I approached it with the heretical protestant definition of “born again,” I am particularly aware of the necessity for Catholics to attack the protestant heresy of claiming that being “born again” is what happens when you, “accept Christ,” as opposed to when you are Baptized. When music seems to promote the Protestant heresy, I see it as something that Catholics need to avoid.

Just for the record here are the lyrics to “Re Birthing” by Skillet

"I lie here paralytic inside this soul
Screaming for you till my throat is numb
I wanna break out
I need a way out
I don’t believe that it’s gotta be this way
The worst is the waiting
In this womb I’m suffocating

Feel your presence filling up my lungs with oxygen
I take you in
I’ve died

Re birthing now
I wanna live for love wanna live for you and me
Breathe for the first time now
I come alive somehow
Re birthing now
I wanna live my life wanna give you everything
Breathe for the first time now
I come alive somehow

Right now
Right now

I lie here lifeless in this cocoon
Shedding my skin cause I’m ready to
I wanna break out
I found a way out
I don’t believe that it’s gotta be this way
The worst is the waiting
In this womb I’m suffocating

Feel your presence filling up my lungs with oxygen
I take you in
I’ve died

Re birthing now
I wanna live for love wanna live for you and me
Breathe for the first time now
I come alive somehow
Re birthing now
I wanna live my life wanna give you everything
Breathe for the first time now
I come alive somehow

Tell me when I’m gonna live again
Tell me when I’m gonna breathe you in
Tell me when I’m gonna feel inside
Tell me when I’m gonna feel alive

Tell me when I’m gonna live again
Tell me when this fear will end
Tell me when I’m gonna feel inside
Tell me when I’ll feel alive

Re birthing now
I wanna live for love wanna live for you and me
Breathe for the first time now
I come alive somehow
Re birthing now
I wanna live my life wanna give you everything
Breathe for the first time now
I come alive somehow

Right now
I come alive somehow
Right now
I come alive somehow"

I don’t see where he tips his hand to whether he is talking about being born again as the Protestants state it or if he is singing this after his baptismal. The whole song speaks of a new start in life. It talks about becoming a new creation.

95 Reasons by First Call

I was thinking the very same things. That song is one of my all-time favorites!

That is a valid point, that a Catholic could interpret it as referring to Baptism, but on the grounds that it was written by Protestants, that is not likely the writers’ intent. Again, it is a matter of individual choice.

Would someone who was raised Catholic, and then just suddenly had a reawakening of his Baptismal grace interpret those lyrics as referring to Baptism, or to the reawakening of his Baptismal grace, the moment which Protestants refer to as being “born again,” “saved” or in this case, “rebirthing?” More likely the Catholic would interpret it as the latter, and that is where the danger lies. Then, when the Catholic reads that the Catholic Church teaches that we are “born-again” at Baptism, in accordance with John 3:5, that newly reawakened Catholic will think, “No way! I just became born again, and that did NOT happen at my Baptism. The Catholic Church is wrong on this…” Then, the doorway is opened for that person to start questioning the other Sacraments, like Reconciliation, and the Eucharist. Thus, the Protestant twisting of the phrase “Born Again,” combined with the real life experience that the person received could be a dangerous trap that leads someone right out of the Catholic Church. That is why I don’t take those lyrics lightly.

changing heart - though I still love the song…I do understand where you are coming from. I believe I understand your point it is a valid one. :slight_smile:

The OP is a good question. As a listener of CCM, I have asked myself the same thing. In my experience, CCM gives me a way to keep Jesus in my thoughts throughout the day. It literally gets me through some days when I really need consolation and uplifting but can’t get to Mass or the opportunity to sit with the Blessed Sacrament. Also, my husband has become a fan of CCM which gives him a way to express his spirituality. We both take some of the lyrics with a “grain of salt” and don’t take anything too literally except that God is awesome and can be found in the most unlikely of places. Many things are dangerous for a Catholic who is not well grounded in their faith, but for those who are, I really don’t think it is a problem. For us, the music just helps us to welcome Jesus into our everyday.

If a song did make me uncomfortable, I wouldn’t listen. I would run…I would agree that evil influences can be subtle and are found everywhere. Maybe analyzing lyrics would make a good teen/adult ed class.

God bless.

Someone actually covered that henious “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” :eek:

I second this. I would rather listen to Christian Music then listen to main stream pop ready talking about using their bodies to get men/sex acts/ beating people/killing people etc…

When i listen to Christian music i am not listening to it for bible study. i am listening it to it because it helps me keep my focus on God during the day or while i am driving.

Honestly don’t dismiss ever protestant band. Casting Crowns has some great songs. I don’t hear anyone in main stream talking about abortation in their songs?

"While You Were Sleeping"
United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children

And while we’re lying in the dark
There’s a shout heard 'cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

Ouch. While I understand why it’s on your list, the writer of that song is a very close personal friend of mine, and he’s very sick with cancer. Please pray for him. He’s not remotely anti-Catholic. In fact, he’s a big fan/friend of Ceili Rain.

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