A very dear family member of mine recently offered a link to one of Christian Berdahl’s videos on youtube. It is a great testimony with several good references about how Satan uses music to influence us. There was only one response to her brave offering--one extremely rude response from an old friend of hers from school many years ago. The exchange looked like this.
The Video on Facebook
TB: If you believe this man then Bach is Satan - repeating melodies within melodies.
SH: No, my dear, I would invite you to review the whole series. Trust me, in the beginning, I was skeptical as well.
TB: Where's my tinfoil hat.
SH: I am sorry that you feel this way.
But this fellow wasn’t content to leave it there, despite the kind response of my aunt. He continued to verbally assault her with his ridiculousness.
TB: Let’s not forget the mindless repetition of the Hallelujah Chorus form Handel's Messiah - surely that would vaporize your prefrontal cortex.
TB: So who is this Dr. Bellam who he cites as an authority? Is he a neurologist? A psychiatrist? Or any kind of scientist? NO. Bellam has a PHd in music. But the preacher doesn't tell you that. He is using the title "Doctor" to bring false credibility to his conjecture. This man is a scam artist and a hypocrite. He should be selling used cars.
So often Christians step back from the confrontation. But God’s word says,
“And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 1:22-23).
We have to learn how to discern when to speak gently to some who are ignorantly following false ideas, and when to speak boldly, “pulling them out of the fire.” Some just won’t hear it otherwise. And knowing which of these two approaches is best is sometimes and easy call. For TB, it seemed obvious. So here was my response.
JH: Hi Tom, if you wish, I can help you out with plenty of sources that concur if you are distrustful of his degree in music. Even sources not in agreement with his conclusion. Read this...
I have a physics based degree in ultrasound. The truth of the destructive mechanism of syncopated rhythms is well documented. It is not to be confused with the music of Handel. It is not conjecture in the least. Your melodramatic response betrays your rebellious attitude and your arguments display your ignorance. The only thing I see that exceeds your ignorance is your arrogance. And though I don't know you, I'm hoping you are offended enough by my response that you would seek for legitimate knowledge in hopes that you learn and actually begin to make decisions that will benefit you and others around you. And as for your understanding of what preachers know about science, we aren't the mealy warm fuzzies you see on TV. We actually study science! ;)
A much calmer TB responded with what he thought was the perfect argument. It was designed to end the discussion with him as the intellectual victor.
TB: I'm not disputing the effect of music or syncopation on emotions. However as a musician and a scientist myself, I am challenging the supernatural assertion. Perhaps you have some peer reviewed scientific evidence of Satan's involvement in music composition? Or for that matter any evidence whatsoever of a satanic supernatural being.
I was stunned. Not by the fear of having to produce science that backed up the Bible, but rather by his questioning the existence of Satan. And, as a “musician himself” his lack of understanding about Satan’s involvement in music in our culture!
I had received some information privately from my aunt by messaging that he had even gone to one of our academies with her, and had since claimed not to believe in Satan or even possibly God. My aunt offered some encouragement for a response. As I wrote the response, I wondered how many others might be facing similar questions.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed” (1 Peter 3:15-16).
There is a defense! We should be prepared. There’s a plethora of material out there for anyone wanting to study. It’s actually hard to know where to stop when it comes to offering evidence. After some thought, I wrote a response, we prayed, and then I hit “Post.”
JH: Ahhhh. Tom, how witty of you! You want scientific peer reviewed proof of the existence of Satan! That’s sort of like someone saying, “I wonder if God can make a rock so big He can’t lift it?” Bwaaaaaahahahahahahahahaha!!!! Stop it Tom!!! You’re killing me!!!!
Well, for the sake of honesty and intellect I have an answer for you.
The first thing you need to know is there is more than enough peer reviewed scientific material out there for creationism. It so far exceeds any evidence for macro evolution that the concept of atheism (a disbelief in God and the supernatural) is itself becoming prehistoric.
(click to see most current list of scientists who dissent)
And what you need to understand Tom, is that young earth creationism is not the only choice these scientists are turning to. Some, in their desperate desire to reject God, are espousing the theory of reptilian aliens seeding earth! haha!!!!
The reason for the dissent from atheism and evolution to young earth creationism is because of the science you claim to know and love! And here’s where your question, designed to stun and send “poor ignorant Christians” running in fear fails.
Since the Bible is vindicated by so many fields of study and so many years of testimony from so many individuals, the onus to “prove” the existence, or lack of existence rests with you Tom! Asking me for peer reviewed scientific proof of satan or God is like you asking me for peer reviewed scientific proof of air! There is so much, I wouldn’t know where to begin! And no science loving person would even entertain such a ridiculous suggestion! Because anyone who would ask for that would obviously be impossible to convince regardless of the evidence that is natural and self-evident around him! But I’ll give you just a few responses to get your study going. Consider the source of our information about God, and Satan, the Bible.
1. The Bible is an index to history
Even atheist National Geographic uses it as a source reference on its archaeological digs.
2. The Bible answers all the “Big Questions” in life.
Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? Etc. etc… and does it with far more reality than the Greeks!
Many believe the words they read from Plato, Socrates, Homer, and Hesiod. These supposed Greeks with the philosophies that pervade our culture. But we have not one single original manuscript of anything classical, and less than 75 copies of incomplete copies of manuscripts from Homer with a wide variance in textual reconciliation. We have less than 10 copies of Hesiod penned more than 900 years after the original. Yet no one questions when they take a class in Greek at the University that they are studying what Hesiod actually wrote. No complete original play from Shakespeare’s own pen exist, and we have less than 300 copies. Again, widely variant in content. Yet no one questions when they attend an exhibition of Hamlet that they are seeing what Shakespeare wrote. We have more than 10,000 copies of manuscript for Scripture, some dating to within 10 years of the original. Hands down “scientifically” there is no other book in the world more verifiable!
3. The Bible has unity
40 or more authors from various socioeconomic and ethnic strata from all parts of historical civilizations and empires, 66 books, written over a period of 1600 years, and they all say the same thing! You can’t get 10 people to agree on anything, even the small stuff!
4. The Bible has fulfilled prophecy (and here’s one of your peer reviewed scientific sources)
What are your statistical mathematical scientific probabilities that you will…
Be struck by lightning in a year = 7 x 10⁵ or 1 in 700,000
Be killed by lightning in a year = 2 x 10⁶ or 1 in 2,000,000
Become president = 1 x 10⁷ or 1 in 10,000,000
Have a meteorite land on your house = 1.8 x 10¹⁴ or 1 in 180,000,000,000,000
Eventually die = 1 in 1
So check out the unbelievable statistical mathematical “scientific” probabilities of the fulfilled prophecies of the Bible.
5. The Bible changes lives
Psychiatry hasn’t accomplished that! Since the inception of the pseudoscience of psychology and psychiatry, the incidence of true mental illness in the world has increased steadily in both scope and magnitude. But the Bible continues to change people to become Christ like. That’s a good thing!
6. The Bible survives time and persecution!
The French infidel of the age of reason named Voltaire attempted to stamp out belief in the Bible, and even stated, “In 100 years, the Bible will pass from existence into history.” And then, just to show you God has a sense of humor, Later the Geneva Bible Society purchased Voltaire’s home and use it to distribute Bibles! Bwaaaaahahahahahaha!!! Hundreds have tried to put an end to the Bible unsuccessfully. But it remains the one and only book in the world that survives endless persecution.
Just so you know, the Bible is the only widely circulated book in the world (with the possible exception of the Quran) that claims to be God’s own inspired word. All the other books claim to be “about” God. You can search all of the world’s libraries. You can read till your eyes fall out. But you will not come across a book that even remotely comes close to the accuracy and relevancy of God’s word! God’s word says Satan exists. He describes very well the war between Christ and Satan. He tells us of the part we play in the war.
So I have presented several scientific disciplines that give evidence and credence to the veracity of the Bible including archaeology, mathematics, statistics, etymology, textual criticism; I’ve given evidence from the pseudoscience of psychology; I’ve offered evidence from historical accounts, philosophical correlations, and even alluded to natural observations; and included personal testimonies of witnesses (follow links in links above). This same Bible, so ubiquitously scientific and verifiable states that Satan, a.k.a. Lucifer, was in fact the minister of music in Heaven before he fell. There is plenty of correlative evidence that Satan makes music here, and in fact, uses his music to alter states of mind and consciousness in humans. You have offered … your opinion! And then you claimed Christian Berdahl’s presentation was mere conjecture! ha!!!!
So, Tom, I say to you, you give me the peer reviewed scientific proof Satan doesn’t exist, and that he hasn’t influenced music! ;)
Or better yet… give your heart back to Jesus, Tom.
John Howells works as an echocardiographer, and lives in Centerville, Ohio.