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Devil Music

[whitespace] Christian Punk

Getting thrashed for thrashing for the Lord

By Harmon Leon

"We are against ANY rock music--Christian or secular, punk or soft. Blessed assurance, Jesus is Mine!" was the email received from Terry Watkins of the Dial-the-Truth Ministries. Then he directs me to his 11-page manifesto, " 'Christian' Rock Music: Christian or Satanic?"

Yes, 11 pages of religious babble declaring not only rock music but "Christian rock music" to be as nothing but hedonism under the guise of religion.

It warns that "musical tones and rhythms in and of themselves can cause 'physical and emotional' reactions over which the listener may have little or no control." With that in mind, one must also remember rock music has one appeal only, a barbaric appeal to sexual desire--not love, not agape, but sexual desire undeveloped and untutored.

"Rock music, as used and performed in Christian circles, is of the same satanic seed as that which is called punk, heavy metal, and is performed in devilish rock concerts worldwide," warns Watkins.

Christian "rock music" offers no hope--since it is Spiritless--and offers no heaven, since the music "produces a vacuum-full of sound and fury, but no substance." It provides no foundation to the believer because its birth came from secular rock & roll, which has no basis in God.

"How can rock music, with its origins in demonic activities, and with its proven adverse medical and 'emotional' effects, apply to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ?" Watkins asks.

According to the manifesto, we must ask ourselves about the sins of Christian music. "Does it stir the flesh to 'boogie,' or the spirit to praise the Lord?"

Tracy Harley, a Sunday-school teacher at an independent Baptist Church and a founder of Living by Faith Ministries, also shares "uber alles" views of Christian music. "Of course Christian music is not going to be totally separate from the world's influences, but when you make it a priority to copy the latest fads, fashions, attitudes, language of the modern rock star, I believe you compromise the message. The world is influencing the Church, instead of the Church influencing the world. I believe the Bible teaches to be separate from the world and not caught up in it."

Being a self-confessed "rock-addict" in the '80s, Tracy has now found the righteous path. "Punk incites a spirit of violence," she says. "Christian rock, to me, blurs the line between being an Christian and a secular rock star. They marry the two and rock has always been about rebellion and Christianity, to me, has been about submission."

Surprisingly less intense is Pastor Tim at Thomas Rand Baptist Church in Lynchburg Va., where Jerry Falwell is the founding pastor. "We speak quite often on music and its influence and yet we're not hardliners," Pastor Tim says. "Our church doesn't go for the way-out punk-rock music. It's not a major thrust in our church. It's not something we really promote, even though we've had some bands come out of our church." A few of these bands have even crossed over and "gone to the other side!"

"For the most part, as a church, we don't promote the Christian punk fringe. Kids may get the CDs and stuff, but they are not the kind of groups we bring in."

That's not to say students in Pastor Tim's posse listen only to Christian music. In fact, on a recent summer trip they were treated to such edgy groups as the Beach Boys and BackStreet Boys. But punk and hard-core are a different story.

"A group came in here this summer. They played a couple songs and they kind of shut down. Most of the people said it was so loud and screaming that you couldn't understand the message."

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From the June 21, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc.