The Devil's Work

The Los Angeles Times
February 28th, 1988
© 1988 The Los Angeles Times

By Patrick Goldstein

In Jimmy Swaggart's latest broadside at rock 'n' roll, a new book called "Religious Rock 'n' Roll: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing," the TV preacher takes aim at Christian rockers like Steve Taylor. Swaggart accuses them of promoting "religious nihilism," saying religious rock has "no basis in the Bible" and "does not offer heaven, for the music within itself produces a vacuum."

Now that Swaggart himself has admitted to sinning, how does Taylor feel about his accuser? "You hate to kick a guy when he's down," Taylor responded. "But I thought Swaggart's attacks on Christian rock were very mean-spirited and made some strange leaps of logic and rationality. When I first saw his book at my barber's, I was so distraught that I told (my barber) just to give me a quick trim."

As for Swaggart's current crisis: "He's got a lot to account for. This whole thing about repentance is well and good but I think, well, he's got a lot to repent for. I feel sorry for him and his family, but when you set yourself up, preaching one standard and living another, sooner or later it catches up to you."