Drums in the Church I

Drums (1)

Bill Burkett

Have you ever listened to a good soloist in the church singing and couldn’t understand a word he or she was singing? The melody was great and you really wanted to hear the words but all you could hear was the beat of the drums and the blast of instruments. The drums were so loud you just had to sit there and wish someone could educate the drummer about music and how drums should do for worship in church. Some holiness churches use drums the same way and for the same reason as rock bands use drums to create an emotional effect on the audience, and then call it “the Spirit of God.” People who are affected emotionally by this kind of “Holiness” rock music when everybody else is shouting and running are sometimes accused of resisting the Holy Spirit. If it is the Spirit of God moving as they say it is, then they would become gentle and loving toward their brethren. Instead they react with anger and criticism of anyone who does not line up with their wacky concepts of the Holy Spirit and the beat of their drums. This amounts to serious error that does not agree with anything to be found in the book of Acts or any of the other pastoral epistles. But facts like this will not move people away from their error. To them, they are right and everyone else is wrong – including the Biblical fact that there is no precedent in the New Testament to base their worship on. Music with a body beat is worldly! Music with a message to the heart is from God. It is the still small voice of the Holy Spirit that transforms and teaching the doctrines of personal perfection, NOT the body swaying to the sound of loud drums that is a sign of pure religion!

Some of our churches have become like the rock bands that make the beat of the drums the important thing in sound – a beat, by the way that is timed with the beat of the heart effecting the behavior and emotions of those who connect their spirit with it. Drums appeal to the body effecting the person psychologically to interact with the beat of the music. In a rock concert that beat is the major sound that kids respond to, but in the house of God we are not appealing to kids preferences of music, we are pleasing the Lord as Paul instructs us to do in 1 Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 14:40.

The gospel music industry with it’s celebrities and
rock sound is an abomination to God!


Because we have turned against hard preachers and sound doctrine in the pulpit and replaced them with the soft gutless message of music. We have set aside the pulpit that once burned with holy fire and now flock to hear entertainers on stage giving out with the empty but beautiful sounds of apostate religion. We have gone from laboring in intercession to high sounding praise that has turned into a money making music industry. Lord forgive us for making merchandise of your praise!

Ninety percent of gospel music is unscriptural and styled after the sounds and beats of the world music industry. That hymn Jesus sang with His disciples in the upper room was probably one of the songs in the book of Psalms was not sung with an instrument or a set of snare drums. It was not a carnal beat with the disciples all swaying and tapping their feet to the beat of demonic rock sounds. James McKnight who pastored in Seattle was attending a conference in Indonesia called by the churches they founded and supported. An American singing group was asked to give special music. As they started to play their guitars and drum loudly the Indonesian pastors all stood to their feet their hands into the air shouting stop! Stop! Some were calling upon Jesus. The musicians stopped and asked what was happening. One of the Indonesian elder came and took the microphone and turning to the Americans he said, “This is the same music we played when we worshiped Satan to call forth the demons! You cannot play this sound here.” Brother McKnight was there and witnessed this scene and related it to me personally. That was about 1972. Today we are playing that devil worship in God’s house and putting gospel words to the devil’s sound.

Too much of the music played int the holiness churches resembles rock sound, the same sound that rock bands play more wildly and with great abandon shamelessly expressing their demonic immorality with four letters words.

If you want to win people to the cross and see your church grow, get the church orchestra under the pastor’s control. to tone it down. We don’t go to church to have a “big time,” but to win the lost who come into our meetings. That is our primary purpose and our first objective. There is a chorus that says, “Forget about yourself.” We’re losing some good people because we don’t have proper restraint and right priorities when we come together. But that is what happens when we only think of ourselves instead of thinking about winning others to Jesus. Show me a church where there is revival (not to be confused with whipped up excitement) and I will show you a church that has found the secret of carrying on their meetings in an orderly way that’s pleasing to the Spirit of God!

Loud music in holiness churches more than any other thing turns people away.

I learned something from James Suits several years ago that has enabled me to help many pastors when we got on this subject of drums in the church. Here it is; The lead instrument of your church orchestra is the piano. No other instrument should be heard above the piano. If your drummer drowns out the piano, either bring him under control or fire him and get a drummer who will play the drums as a background instrument that compliments the other instruments and provides a soft sound of timing in the background … and then maybe we could hear the soloist who brings “a message in song” to the church. NOTHING should distort or drown out the voice of the singer. We want to hear the message and we want to worship when they sing, but when the instruments are so loud that we can’t hear the words of the song because our musicians are out of control and we are just having a jam session (rock concert) – and not worshiping God.

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