Interview with Cassie Campbell, part 3
I’m continuing a series on my blog interviewing some musicians from IHOP-KC. If you have not yet read part 1 and 2 of Cassie’s interview, be sure to read them here and here. I asked Cassie about her thoughts on a somewhat controversial subject for some – secular music. I’ve written some of my own thoughts about this here and here. I hope you enjoy this final part of her interview!
Josh: Hi Cassie, well here comes the big question that I am sure everyone has been waiting for… What do you think about prophetic musicians and secular music? For a musician desiring the spirit of prophecy, is secular music ok to listen to?
Cassie: Well, let me start by saying that I believe the Lord is the Creator and with that the originator of music. He has designed His throne room (Rev. 4) to have continual music through song, in words or instruments. We’re musical because He’s musical. Music is the one universal language. It is the highest form of entertainment or worship in every culture. I believe there is music that is pointed directly to God, I believe there is music that is pointed directly to Satan, I believe there is music that exalts the world, which is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn. 1:16). I believe there is soulish music the expresses the soul in it’s emotions of pain, joy, anger, sorrow, and confusion. I believe there is music that is factual and describes the practicals of life. i.e. If I write a song about my car it’s neither worship to the Lord nor satanic worship, it’s a song about my car… I believe the Lord can use songs that were once not directed towards Him specifically, however, if then used by a worshipful heart, would receive the worship and is pleased. Obviously this list isn’t exhaustive, but my point in saying all of this is that there is music that is definitely worshipping Jesus, music that is definitely worshipping Satan, music that is definitely worshipping the world/man, and then there is music that isn’t clearly one or the other, it may be describing universal emotions, or can be a silly song about my car I drive, which neither leads me to a place of directly worshipping Jesus or the other.
I believe that music affects our spirit. In two biblical accounts, this is shown. First in 1 Sam. 16:23, it shows how when David played His harp, it would effect Saul and cause his spirit to have peace, and he would be relieved from a distressing spirit. The second account is in 2 Kings 3:15, where Elisha was able to prophesy simply because a musician came and shifted the atmosphere where he was to then prophecy. Music opens our spirit up to receive. The question is what are we receiving?
Josh: That indeed is the question! Before you answer it though, give us a bit of your personal testimony on the topic of secular music.
Cassie: My personal testimony is that I was the biggest critic of Christian music for a long time. When I grew up I first listened to the oldies, loved the Beatles, the Mama’s & the Papa’s, all the hippie music. Then my taste broadened and I would listen to the radio stations that played the oldies and newer music, and I started watching MTV. From there I listened to pretty much whatever I wanted approaching my junior high years. Then as I got closer to the Lord I got convicted of certain things I listened to so I trashed everything. Then later felt I was too religious and started listening to secular music, but just to “not as bad” music, like no cussing or sensual innuendos. However, listening to Christian music was like nails on a chalkboard except with some rare exceptions. My main arguments were “it all sounds the same” or “it sounds cheezy”.
So as I grew closer to the Lord I became more aware of the times when I felt really close to Him. During those times I wouldn’t want to listen to anything that wasn’t about Him, and when I wasn’t as close, those were the times I let myself slide with music that was in the “unsure” area. As the years progressed, my spirit became more sensitized through things like reading the Word, prayer, fasting, and not watching a lot of movies, and I started to notice the stuff that I would listen to if I was in a certain “mood”. Earlier I talked about music that describes universal emotions that we all feel, feelings of pain, or anger, joy, and the like. If I was sad, and caught in self-pity I would put on an artist to “comfort” me in my self-pity. The question was, what did that comfort do for me, and was it biblical comfort, or a false comfort? Was I filled with the fruits of the Spirit, joy, peace, self-control, or did I sit in my self-pity and stay there? I would notice how certain songs either emboldened me to love Jesus more, or they emboldened me to stay in my anger, and that I was right to feel that way. (By the way, I love Laura Hackett’s latest CD because she manages to identify with the reality of human pain and suffering, gives dignity to the fact that it’s ok to experience those emotions, while pointing to her friend Jesus the entire way. It doesn’t leave you in depression or helplessness, but actually validates pain, while saying there is hope and a Savior, His name is Jesus.)
Josh: Yeah, I agree. Music is often that “comfort tool” in our culture. I used to do the same thing. So, what are you leading up to?
Cassie: My entire point is I believe it all comes down to testing the spirit of the music.
1 Jn. 4:1 says “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God...” If I’m listening to music, my spirit is being opened to receive, and I want to be confident in what I’m receiving. The age-old argument “I don’t listen to the words just the music” comes to mind here. I spoke the same argument, but the reality is I would walk away singing the words to the song not realizing it. Also Prov. 18:22 says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” If my spirit is open from music, I want it to be receiving life, not death. I want to eat the fruit of songs that cause me to be able to commune with Holy Spirit, and even picture my friend Jesus sitting next to me enjoying the song with me. There are some classical pieces that I can listen to, and some I can’t. If I can pray and be at peace while listening, that’s my tester. The question isn’t “what can I get away with?” but is “What will feed my spirit to cause me to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and then to love my neighbor?” That is the question.
The other age old claim for Christian artists is that “I listen to secular songs for inspiration.” Honestly this statement really makes God to be SO much less than He is. That statement says that “yeah, I know you’re the Genesis 1 God and all, did the whole creation thing, but honestly I think I need to be inspired by people who don’t love You and want nothing to do with You, for ‘good’ music.” I’m not even saying the Lord won’t use music that is replicating stuff. The Lord is so jealous to touch His people sometimes He speaks our highly inferior language, just to speak to us, cause He cares THAT MUCH. It is my personal opinion that Christian music has perpetually sounded so behind in creativity over the years because so often they’re trying to replicate the latest “secular sound” and then “Christianize” it. So once it’s replicated, the other artists have gone on to something new, and the Christian industry is playing catch up. I mean, really!! THE LORD DELIGHTS IN HIS PEOPLE, He is a GOOD Father He wants to give good gifts to His children. He wants songs about His name filling the earth. We just need to ask.
My desire is beyond “cool” songs, (which I really like) is that a sound arises from lovers of Jesus that is an anointed sound. Misty Edwards never grew up listening to anything in the secular scene, and is known as an amazingly anointed, creative, songwriter. I believe her sound, and SO many others are already rising, and there’s so much more to come. In this sound there’s going to be an anointing like what is shown in Isaiah 61. The anointing which is to preach good tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, opening the prison doors of those who are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, the day of vengeance of our God, comfort all who mourn, give beauty for ashes, oil of joy for mourning, garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, to raise up trees of righteousness, planted of the Lord, that why???? The HE MAY BE GLORIFIED!
Josh: Amen!!! Wow. That’s awesome! So this last question will be a fun one… Describe the most powerful musical moment you’ve ever had in a worship gathering, and what made it so powerful.
Cassie: Ok this may be hard to do just one. I’ll do two. ;) First one I would say is when I was in youth church, and it was one of my first times touching spontaneous/prophetic music. We had rare group that loved to worship more than anything. One night my youth pastor’s wife Rachel Hauck, came up and described to us the scene in Rev. 4 where the four living creatures are saying “Holy, Holy, Holy..” and that we could actually join in their song. So I was in the worship team playing bass, and we started holding an E chord real soft as we all just started joining in heaven’s song, and declaring to the Lord “HOLY, HOLY..” slowly the music began to gradually build and climax, and it was such an amazing feeling, and I know my heart was being imprinted to crave heaven’s song from then on. I don’t have a taste to use my skill for anything less than that.
And then there have been so many phenomenal worship times with Misty that turned into some wonderful songs, but I would say one particular powerful moment was actually captured on the April 2007 Limited Edition CD and it’s called "Sound the Alarm." It was a Friday night devotional at 10pm and we were singing around the wedding supper of the Lamb, and then we went into what now is the prophetic swirl "People Get Ready" (Relentless), and then also into “As in the days of Noah” (Always on His Mind). We musically started to replicate the sound of a storm, no one said anything, we all just naturally did it. Misty then started declaring “THE HOUR IS URGENT, THE HOUR IS URGENT, SOUND THE ALARM, SOUND THE ALARM”….all of a sudden I looked at Seth Yates who was playing electric guitar with us, and as Paco, Isaac, and I were creating tons of swells, and chaos, I knew Seth needed to play the sound of an alarm, as I looked to him, he looked back as if he already knew what I was going to say, so he leaped up and began to play a high repetitive alarm sound, and I just encouraged him to keep going, over and over…..with that music backing it, Misty started prophesying like I’d never heard, the fear of the Lord entered the room. She started quoting Ezekiel 33 and declaring “for if the shepherd sees the coming terror and does not say something, the blood is on their hands, I am raising up shepherds who are after my heart, I am raising shepherds who know the times and the seasons, will you be a friend of the bridegroom, will you not be ashamed? Will you eat the scroll? Will you eat the scroll? Stop fooling around, I am coming, I am coming, will you be a voice? Will you be a voice? Will you persevere will your friends mock you, when your family leaves you. I will help you. You can’t say that you didn’t know. Get ready I’m coming?” Eventually we all swelled out to just Seth eerily continuing to play the sound of an alarm by himself with Misty continually declaring the Word of the Lord (which I never say lightly). At that point I hadn’t been a part of too many times where the true and clean fear of the Lord entered the room. I almost didn’t feel like I could be on the stage. I still get goose bumps when I listen to it. It was holy, challenging, and sober moment.
Josh: Amazing. Cassie, thank you so much for giving your time to this interview! Lord, let it go forth through the e-waves and provoke many musicians to give themselves to You in a new way! In Jesus’ name.
If you’ve enjoyed Cassie’s interview or you have questions for her, be sure to leave a comment on this blog entry and I’ll make sure she sees them! -Josh