Why I left the CCM Movement. (a short review)

Posted on July 11, 2007 by

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I just finished reading Dan Lucarini’s book “Why I left the CCM Movement.” I must say right off the bat that I am what he would label a contemporary, but I think there is a new kind of contemporary that he doesn’t consider in his book i will explain this new contemporary later.

In his book Lucarini poses some very valid points about music ministry, such as; modesty in worship, what is the true heart of worship, considering the brothers and sisters in Christ that we might offend, questioning our motives, and placing God above all other things.

A few things that make this book a difficult read, and something that will undoubtedly ruffle feathers of those he calls “contemporaries” are; Sweeping generalizations of all churches who use CCM music and all people who advocate it. When he does this not only does it not truthfully represent the hearts of many worship pastors, but a lot of the things that he attributes to all of us contemporaries I have never experienced and maybe only heard of. (i.e. trying to classify Praise and Worship music seperately to justify the use of CCM in church) Another thing that will get under some peoples skin is how he uses his experience as the standard for all Worship leaders. This “since it was true for me it is true for everyone”, mentality comes off as arrogant and ignorant. These things have no bearing on his actual content but make it difficult to see the truth in what he is trying to say because of the brashness with which it is presented.

There are two points however that I must address. First is on page 93 speaking on the question “Isn’t Music Amoral?”

“Furthermore, the first musician named in the bible was a direct descendant of Cain, whom God had judged so severely because he used his own personal preference in worship! Ponder that for a moment. God told Cain that his personal style of worship was unacceptable because it violated the specific rules given by God.” This concept that the reason Cain’s offering was rejected was because was because he chose to give what he wanted to is not in the bible.

Genesis 4: 2b-5

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

The implied reason that Cain’s offering was not accepted was because he did not give his best, his heart was not in the right place. “…Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil… ….But Abel brought fat portions from the firstborn of his flock.” Abel brought his best to give to God, Cain just gave to God.

Another point is on page 85 he uses 1 Corinthians 8 to address the Traditionalist Vs. the Contemporary, and he does a very good job, I believe he is right in reminding us of this passage and applying it to the music we use. But then he says

” What about the so-called ‘stronger’ brother? is he stronger… I would argue that a mature Christian is one who is closer to conformity in Christ, and it therefore follows that this person would be less involved with questionable worldly practices like this. Too often we tend to consider contemporary praise and worship leaders as stronger and more mature that the ‘weak’ traditional. I believe we have that completely the wrong way ’round!”

My problem with this statement is that he just got finished drawing the parallel of the meat issue in Corinth to the music issue today, which puts the “contemporary” as being labeled the stronger in this area, and the “traditional” as being the weaker. ( I am not saying this but the parallel puts it in this way). So for him in the next paragraph to dispute this seems to me to be ego stroking.

These two things are Biblical inconsistencies and we have to see them for that. These not only are falsehoods, but they hurt his credibility when he uses scripture in other areas of the book.

One final thing is a personal contradiction. On page 110 he says

“When I look at a church, I am far more concerned about the way the Word of God is treated. If the Bible is misused to supports position on music, I will do my best to respond in love, not in contention; but I will speak up.”

It’s the speaking in Love part that seems to not be consistent in his word choice throughout the book. He refers to the Contemporary as if we weren’t in the conversation, he addresses the traditional as a close friend. He uses terms like “Foolish” when speaking about some of the beliefs of the Contemporary. He puts words in the mouths of Contemporaries and tells everyone else that we all think that way. Since he claims to want to speak in love it seems to me he would want to address those he claims to be confronting and to avoid abrasive and offensive language.

All in all, this is a good book and I think every worship pastor should read it. But I do believe it would be more effective if he got rid of the generalizations and addressed it to the Contemporaries he is trying to reach. I don’t agree with every point in the book but we should be aware of what others are thinking and why they believe what they believe.

That’s all for now. Possibly more to come on this topic, we’ll see.

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Posted in: Theology