Drill down to the bedrock of fundamentalism in Baptist churches and right next to KJV only-ism and short hair on boys you will find a white-hot molten rejection for the drums. The actual drums themselves. And this disdain extends far beyond the typical, ‘they’re too loud’ sentiment of an older generation. In their minds, the drum set is an evil tool of Satan used in the battle for the soul of mankind. Wrapped up in the kick drum and the snare and the toms (the cymbals get a pass because David mentions them in Psalms) is an inherent demonic power that threatens to destroy all that is sacred and holy.
In fact, the way they talk about it, you might assume that Lucifer himself sits behind the drums (that must be why they call it a drum throne) and performs a pied piper act with his off-beat rhythms and heart-stopping pulses. There are literally hundreds of arguments that allegedly support this line of thinking, but I wanted to share three of them that I feel capture the heart of the mindset.
- Some drums are associated with voodoo, black magic and satanism. Therefore, all drums are bad. Unless, of course, we are listening to classical music. Classical music gets a free pass on the demon thing because…well…it just does.
- Drum beats appeal to my flesh. By default, one can only conclude that since they appeal to the flesh, they cannot bring glory to God as they are centered on man. In this vein, it’s probably a good idea to stop with the whole ‘food that tastes good’ thing and stick to the burnt and the bland when eating. But that’s different. Because food is not a drum set.
- Drums make me want to shake my body. By ‘shake my body’ they mean any musically induced movement beyond a casual tap of the toe or finger and the occasional head nod. Dancing is evil. Therefore, if music moves you, it must be evil. And try your best to forget that David danced in praise to God. Because he was probably doing the waltz any way (which gets a free pass from argument number one above).
I can honestly say that it took me a while to shed this mindset. The first time that I heard live modern Christian music, I was looking around for the pentagrams and the stripper poles. Lucky for me, all I saw was a group of people that were completely sold out on the idea magnifying Christ with an offering of praise.
Well, waddya know about that?