Saturday, 2 November 2013

I'm a Christian Who Listens to "Satanic" Music

Marilyn Manson, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Bad Religion and Tool are just some of the bands that I listen to on an average work day.  That's right, I'm a rocker and I like my beats giving me a hard rhythm throughout my day.  Oh, and God forbid I also love the lyrics!  I must be very far from God's path since I support artists like these, right?

Let me ask all of those who stay away from music like this because they believe the music produced is sinful to listen to a question.  Why do you think it's sinful to hear an artists opinions?  It seems to me that many churches today accept situations when their members are expressing themselves and venting to their fellow Christians, even if they don't completely agree with what they have to say.  I think that it's pretty healthy the vent out all of your emotions and thoughts and especially support those people who are in need of being listened to.

"But this music will corrupt our children!"  That's a famous line that I hear a lot in the Christian community.  But my opinion on the matter is that if kids are attracted to this music and expressing themselves through it, then we shouldn't throw their music in the trash.  Sit down and listen to the music with them, read the lyrics if you don't understand what they're saying.  Avoid comments like "This is garbage" or "It's Satanic" because this will only show them that their parents aren't willing to understand them.

We shouldn't judge the artists either.  Every artist has their reasons why they write certain lyrics or participate in certain songs.  Do some research on these artists and find out why they make the music they do.  Listen to what they say in their songs and find out why they vent certain emotions because to many artists making music is therapeutic.  Just because you know someone who listens to a guy like Marilyn Manson doesn't mean they're taking every verse to heart.  There are probably just some similarities between the listener and the artist.

I love hearing any person speak their mind and being immensely real about what they feel inside.  I may not agree with everything that the person says but I strive to understand individuals whomever they may be.  I like to hear about their upbringing and all of the things that happened who made them who they are today.  When these individuals have crazy musical talent, it just makes it that much easier and entertaining to hear what they have to say.  I believe that in order to be a disciple of Christ, we really need to listen as much as we spout off our beliefs.  Otherwise, we're just being disrespectful and arrogant to the artists and even the listeners.

I can say that personally, listening to these artists has made me a better person and even a little wiser.  My beliefs in Christ are stronger than ever now that I view these people under a more humane view and people are willing to hear my stories about how Christ impacted my life over the years.  Because I am also open to hearing why people have different beliefs than me.  I respect people and am against manipulation.  I have lost some respect for those who have underlying agendas to "save" people based on their situations.  That seems ridiculous to me because the way I see it that God puts people in your life because he wants you to listen to them and share with them.

It's not about what you do to their hearts, it's what God does to their hearts.  There's nothing wrong with hoping they take a leap of faith for Christ but we need to be respectful to peoples' lives.  That also means not digging for information just to find ways to support your theories.  Then all that you are being is a user and that's one of the worst ways you could treat somebody.  Show genuine interest in who they are and don't be afraid to show them who you are.  Don't "ease" them into the God talk either.  It's better to be upfront about who you are because it's a lot more respectful.

Ephesians 4:29-32 ESV

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Remember that these artists are people and that they deserve respect even if you don't agree with them.  They have the right to express themselves, it is okay to like them and listen to what they have to say.  It's okay to appreciate their talents that they have and to hear them out.  Listen with a sincere heart rather than a defensive heart and their willingness to listen will provide them with a better understanding of Christianity.  Maybe God will touch their hearts through you or maybe he wont.  Either way, just be a caring friend and appreciate people for who they are and the walk of life they are on.

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