The holy relationship between the Christian and Christ cannot be depicted with the world's sensual love music. Today they are trying to put the sixties sex music into "All That Thrills My Soul Is Jesus," and it doesn't work! Somebody is painting a different picture underneath that beautiful picture of the Lord who only can cheer the soul of a man. They are thereby making light of it.
Let's face it. The things that those sixties bands sang about was having girlfriends that usually didn't last for more than a couple of weeks or months. (There is nothing in the Bible about having a girlfriend, or dating, or going steady; that's just an American fad.) By using sixties music with that grand old hymn, they put all that fickle, sensual,love-sicky, puppy-dog, worldly stuff underneath "All That Thrills My Soul Is Jesus." His love is not fickle; His love is not sensual; it's not that way! And those rhythms, as harmless as some people seem to think they are, are not harmless.
Consider the boogie, and the blues, which is just the boogie slowed down. These are very similar rhythms; only the speed is different. The blues rhythm is found in the old ballads. Hundreds of songs have been written to this "eight to the bar" rhythm. Have you ever heard "I Am Weak But Thou Art Strong" played with a boogie beat? It is the jazzy, Southern gospel style. It is the boogie. It is a dance rhythm. Southern gospel musicians have destroyed a lot of the hymns of the faith by using that jazzy rhythm.
When you put the accent on the wrong beat, it is dance music, and it appeals to your flesh; and somebody can sell more records to you because your flesh likes it! The rhythms appeal to your flesh, and the people that make the records know that. They don't want to appeal to the spiritual Christians who are walking with the Lord; they want to appeal to people that don't walk with the Lord; because they know that more people don't than do, and they want to sell more records. They make their living studying what people are doing, and if there is one thing they know, it is that most Christians are not walking with the Lord.
THE SNOWBALL EFFECT
Sooner or later Christians must get rid of the wrong kind of music, or it will take them the wrong way. There are good Christians who listen to the wrong music sometimes; but after they are instructed, if they keep on listening to that and liking it, I know something is not right. It's one way of finding out where they are at. You cannot feed yourself on carnal music, and take it into yourself, without getting carnal.
Those who try to witness to folk understand the power of rock and roll music, or the television blaring, or something else going on in the background that draws you away from that spirit of being concerned for someone's soul. It's because the appeal is to the flesh, to get you out of the Spirit and into the flesh. The Bible says, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). If you don't walk in the Spirit, you will fulfill the lusts of the flesh; and the Bible says that "when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:15).
I wouldn't care about any of these things if it didn't cause harm to me and to you, but it does. It does. It always does. It's just that it appears to be harmless when the sensual rhythms are disguised somewhat. It leads you on to desiring more sensual rhythms, just like anything else. It creates sensual appetites.
It's in every area of life. If you take one sip of beer, you will take two, three. You start drinking the wines, then the hard liquors. In the drug scene you go from the marijuana and the hash to the hard drugs. It's a progression. "Earthly, sensual, devilish." A little bit of evil to a lot more evil. The Bible warns the Christian to stay away from vain babblings because "they will increase unto more ungodliness" (2 Timothy 2:16). They increase. It's the snowball effect. You put a little snowball at the top of the hill and roll it awhile, and soon it will gather more snow and more snow, and pretty soon you have a whole snowman, or an avalanche, or something else much bigger than the snowball you started with. It's a snowball effect when it comes to your body liking certain rhythms that are meant to stir up your passions.
The devil uses a progression to draw people away from God and holiness. There was almost nobody from my sixties generation that would sing a song about devil worship. As a matter of fact, at the end of my rock and roll years, even though I was not saved, it was a difficult thing for me to even sing about songs that mentioned the devil. I could not understand what the Rolling Stones were doing singing about the devil. I thought, "What does that have to do with hamburgers and French fries and girls and beaches and Coca Cola and surfing and Woodies?" It did not compute, until after I got saved and read the Bible and found that the devil has been trying to get everybody to worship him. And he takes every generation as far as he can.
When you change the rhythm, you tend to change the style that a person sings in. If you play "I Was Sinking Deep In Sin" with a boogie blues background, you feel like singing with an Elvis Presley style. It is hard to play carnal rhythms and sing spiritually.
Of the three aspects of music, it is the rhythm that should be the least important. It is the spirit which is the most important. Dance music is primarily for the body. It's not something that appeals to the thoughts and spirit. It's not something, really, that appeals to the feelings.