A Day I Will Never Forget
Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.
It was a day I will never forget!
Let me tell you about a day in the 1970s as a student at South Eastern Bible College in Lakeland, Florida, that I will never forget . . .
That morning, there was a great moving of the Holy Spirit in the chapel service. Immediately after chapel, I was in Rev. Robert Elliott’s class on evangelism. Rev. Elliott was led by the Holy Spirit to forget about teaching and lead the class in prayer. As the class was praying aloud in one accord, a loud roar came from the back corner of the classroom. The sound of a mighty rushing wind filled the room!
Oh, what a glorious day! A day I will never forget. It was like the day of Pentecost! I have never experienced anything like it since, not even in a church. And I wonder when was the last time that happened on the Southeastern campus?
My dear friend, when was the last time we truly experienced the powerful moving of the Holy Spirit in church?
Why don't we feel the power of the Holy Spirit in churches today?
Sadly, in church after church - even in Pentecostal churches - we neither see nor hear nor feel the moving of the Spirit.
A couple of weeks ago, I was having dinner with a group of believers in Blairsville, Georgia. We discussed two concerns: 1) Why don’t we feel the moving of the Holy Spirit in church services today? 2) What about the irreverent and rebellious music in churches?
Let’s discuss the second concern first: irreverent and rebellious church music. Not surprisingly, these faithful believers echoed what I have written in some of my previous messages about the downfall of Christian culture. First, one believer pointed out that many of today’s contemporary songs are written in minor keys, therefore, they are very difficult to sing as a congregation. Hence, the congregation does not sing along and it ends up as a musical performance by the singers and musicians on the stage (platform) - followed by applause. In other words, instead of congregational worship, it’s a concert or entertainment.
And these believers shared the concern that today’s contemporary songs are shallow. Many of the songs are merely repetitious phrases. On the other hand, they pointed out, many of the old hymns and songs are beautiful and doctrinal.
Then these believers voiced concerns about the instruments used in churches today - electric guitars and drums. Listen, my dear friend, these instruments are used in rock bands. And much of the music sung in contemporary services is “Christian" rock. “Rock” is short for rock-and-roll. Rock ‘n roll is popular hedonistic music because of its heavily accented beat. The heavily accented beat is pleasurable because it stirs the flesh; it’s carnal. Carnal music stirs the desires and appetites of the flesh; it is not holy or sanctified.
The apostle Paul warns us: “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (I Corinthians 10:20, 21).
Listen, my dear friend, the music which rock musicians play, they play to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. "Be ye separate." “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?. . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:14 -18).
Who deceived church officials into allowing profane “Christian” rock ‘n roll to replace sacred and holy hymns and songs?
In my teens, church officials denounced secular rock music as carnal and profane because the beat is primitive and of the flesh. We were warned that the animalistic low culture of rock music degrades us. In short, we were warned that rock music is sinful.
So, why do officials now approve of the sinful rock music they denounced only a few years ago? If it was carnal yesterday, then it is carnal today.
Now we have unclean music in the house of God. And we wonder why we don’t feel the power of the Holy Spirit today? We will never feel the moving of the Spirit unless we cleanse ourselves and our sanctuaries from the filthiness of the flesh and spirit: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Corinthians. 7:1). Again: "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
We do not feel the power of the Holy Spirit in churches today because we have defiled ourselves with filthiness of the flesh and spirit. Consequently, we quench the Spirit. The loud, carnal reveling of contemporary “Christian” rock drives the Holy Spirit out of our midst.
Unquestionably, it is an evil congregation that lusts after music of the flesh and drives out the Spirit. And this is the abomination of man-led churches.
Man-led churches attempt to appeal to every culture - high and low - by offering two church services: contemporary and traditional. How can a church feel the moving of the Spirit when it is not in one accord? A church with two services - one profane - is not united in one heart. Therefore, it is a church divided. A church is the house of the God. And Jesus warns us: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25).
A church divided shall be destroyed spiritually.
The Spirit will not dwell in a church that is not in one accord.
All across America, congregations are splitting over the irreverent and rebellious carnal music in church services. Those in favor of the low culture of “Christian” rock music allege it is spiritual. Unfortunately, many Christians lack discernment and mistake a wave of emotionalism among a crowd as the moving of the Spirit. Let’s see if I can explain this clearly: For example, when Michael Jackson sang “We Are The World” listeners would sway their bodies and be moved by the emotionalism of the song. Emotional humanist songs often affect listeners the way Christian hymns and songs affect believers. The undiscerning mistakes emotionalism with the moving of the Holy Spirit.
If we want to experience a true outpouring of the Spirit in church services today, we must cleanse the house of God and worship Him in spirit and in truth. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The truth is we must not offer strange fire before the Lord: “And Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord, when they offered strange fire before the Lord” (Numbers 3:4). If we offer strange fire before the Lord, our worship is not in spirit and in truth; and it is an abomination unto the Lord. And offering carnal music of the flesh before the Lord is offering strange fire to the Lord.
We must worship God in spirit and in truth. And we must be in one accord.
We must cleanse the church of divisions: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). We must unite our hearts. We must worship and pray with one accord. The Bible clearly instructs us to be united:
“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5, 6).
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Corinthians 1:10).
"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27).
"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind" (Philippians 2:2).
Clearly, a profane "Christian" culture and a sacred Christian culture are not in one accord. "For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?"
The carnal reveling of "Christian" rock and sacred Christian music are not in one spirit. "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.”
There must be a distinct Christian culture that separates us from the sinful secular culture. "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Demonic “diversity” is destroying Christian culture and destroying Christian churches. We must be united in holding fast to our Christian heritage and our sacred Christian culture.
To emphasize, we must not prostitute ourselves to the whoredom of secular culture. The Church is the Bride of Christ and must remain pure and undefiled instead of going a-whoring after the filthy culture of the wicked world.
Unfortunately, churches all across America have gone a-whoring after profane culture in order to become popular with sinners, like teen girls who become whores in order to be popular with boys.
And we wonder why we don’t we feel the moving of the Holy Spirit in churches today?
We prostitute ourselves to the whoredom of secular culture.
We are a church divided; we are not in one accord.
We are an evil congregation.