Do You Have the Discernment of a Corpse?

Over seventeen years ago, I attended a church which had a great worship band. Its music lifted my heart out of the depths of despair many times, but one Sunday evening, I had a rather upsetting experience.

The band had just played the opening chords to one of my favorite David Ruiz’s worship songs:  We Will Dance. I raised my hands and my feet automatically began moving along with the music. The whole assembly seemed primed for celebration.

I looked above the worship band and an odd thing happened: a hole opened up into the heavenly realms. What I saw was a glorious white light approaching us at what appeared to be the speed of light. As it came nearer, I could make out a white cloaked creature sitting on a throne.

My first thought was that an awesome presence of God was going to invade our assembly. To say the least, I was excited.

But as it approached nearer and nearer, I saw its evil face and knew the creature was an angel of light. Although the coldness of its terrible presence sent shivers through me, I said, “Go in Jesus’ name.”

The angel of light quickly departed.

Since that night, I have hardly listened to Christian worship music. When I have listened, the worship songs no longer excite my spirit. Oh, I feel a little bit of God in them, but for the most part, I recognize that they are mostly worldly me-too clones dressed up to make money off us Christians.

“What!” you scream, “I love Christian worship music. It brings the presence of God into my times of devotion.”

Maybe you’re right, okay?

But if you want to test your discernment, don’t listen to worship music for the next six months. If the music withdrawals became too hard to bear, listen to Mozart, Beethoven, and other classical music.

Then, at the end of six months, listen to worship music once again. You might be surprised at what your spirit discerns from the music.

You see, what we Christians now call spiritual discernment has been deadened by the world we live in and what we believe is God may not always be so.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

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18 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prophecy

18 responses to “Do You Have the Discernment of a Corpse?

  1. It is true, there is some Christian music that is not anointed,but it’s just music.

  2. “…the worship songs no longer excite my spirit…”
    Nor mine, Larry … when compared with the theology of those old hymn writers, there is no comparison. I worked pro for 28 years in the world with some briliiant but humble men. I got a shock when I came into in the church … little brilliance, very little humility, no anointing. Sad.

  3. Yvette,

    Thanks. I agree with you.

  4. Roger,

    Thanks. The old hymn writers certainly had a deep understanding of their faith. But I think the biggest problem with the current worship music is that its season has passed. We need a new move of music from heaven, one which has not been tainted by the world.

  5. Maybe an even greater discernment would be to recognize what this word “worship” means? Worship is not just music, as music is just one expression of worship. Worship, when pleasing to the Lord, is a summation of one’s entire life: our actions, behavior, words, and praise, in more than just the music we perform or listen too.

    I think a major reason worship music is so lacking is because it is generated with a marketing aim to a consumer congregation, who is only interested in what they get from church. “Church”, in general, is consumed, much like the theater. Any wonder it’s dying?

  6. Don,

    Bingo! Worship in the OT leaned more on music, but NT worship is sacrificing our lives before the Lord in everything we do. It’s a 24/7 life style. So, thanks for your wonderful insight.

    What begins in the Spirit, generally ends in the flesh after a few years. Worship music is no different.

  7. friendtorobots

    Larry, thanks for sharing this. You present a very interesting experience. Do you think that the evil representation had something to say about the hearts of those in the worship band or some of the people in the church rather than the songs/music style itself?

  8. I find that much of the contemporary music lacks a depth of theology and poetic expression as those of such bygone authors as Fanny J. Crosby and composers such as George Stebbins and Ira D. Sankey. Fanny, though blinded when only a few weeks old, grew up to pen the words of nearly 9,000 hymns in her lifetime, including”All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” “Close to Thee,” “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior, “I Am Thine O Lord,” “Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross,” and “To God Be The Glory.” She memorized much of the Bible, and it is out of this understanding and familiarity with biblical texts that she wrote the words to hymns and gospel songs which were then put to music by composers such as Stebbins and Sankey.

  9. friendtorobots,

    Good questions. Like the Israelites who ended up worshiping the golden snake, we believers end up worshiping whatever itches our ears. I believe contemporary worship music was heaven sent and at first moved our hearts to love and worship God. But over a period of time, we have ended up worshiping contemporary worship music.

  10. Derrick,

    Fanny Crosby and D.L. Moody were both saved during the Businessmen’s Prayer Revival of 1857. Interesting enough, they were forever linked through the singing of Sankey at Moody’s crusades. Years later, Billy Graham used a similar program when he preached and George Beverly Shea sang hymns at Graham’s crusades.

    Every move of God has had its own music. It’s my belief we need a new sound from heaven now.

  11. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Mr. Larry, and for challenging us to see for ourselves. Praying and seeking Him and His desires as far as worship goes, be it music or anything else! God bless you as you stay sensitive to His heart.

  12. Debbie,

    Thanks. We Christians need better eyesight now.

  13. Caddo Veil

    Lar–it’s taken me 4 or 5 trips over here to get up the courage to say that I disagree/don’t share your experience. Although I don’t listen to contemporary Christian worship and praise music daily–when I do, my experience is that it lifts me closer to Him and serves to remind me of all He gave for me to have this vital, living relationship with Him. It’s not about itchy ears for me, it’s about continuing to feed my heart that hungers for Him. That is hardly a bad thing. Okay, I feel better now–

  14. Caddo Veil,

    Writing as a prophetic voice means I can’t prove what I have written because there are no scriptures or long-held theology to back my words up. Plus, I could be wrong or just wrong for your life. Prophetic words can have a shotgun spray, hitting everyone, or be a rifle, hitting just one person.

    So, you never have to worry about your comments, I have no arguments to back up my experiences. The best I can do is shrug my shoulders and trust if I have written a true prophetic word, the Holy Spirit will work in the right readers’ lives.

    That and it helps to have a good sense of humor when the rocks fly.

  15. Caddo Veil

    Well, I wasn’t throwing rocks, exactly–which is why I didn’t comment on the first trip, but waited all day. Finally the Lord gave me a shove, which resulted in a multi-leveled victory: I had been afraid to disagree with you–my computer might blow up or something. But it didn’t.

  16. Caddo Veil,

    I tend to write serious stuff, but I don’t take myself too seriously. So, don’t worry about my reactions because I like it when people disagree. That’s how I learn, too.

  17. Can’t bring myself to disagree with you here – maybe some other time. 🙂 Although there are some contemporary songs that are an expression of a heart that is very close to God, a good many do not move me. I too like many of the old ones. God’s old stuff doesn’t get old and His new stuff is fitting. The rest is just stuff . . . to me; but, might be fitting to someone else.

    It’s really the same in our writing. I am forever challenged to make sure that what I write expresses His and not my heart, Who knows how often I am successful at doing that?

  18. Mike,

    Now, do I believe everyone will agree with me on this article? No absolutely not. But the next time a reader listens to their favorite worship music, they might have new thoughts about discernment.

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