For it is by grace you have been saved...

Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for Rock n Roll

I know that may seem odd on a "preacher's blog."  Sorry.  Can't help it.  Not being raised in a Christian home, I grew up listening to Styx and Kansas and Journey and AC/DC and dare I say it, KISS.  When I came to know Christ, I thought I would have to give up any form of rock music.  I was given those classic old books on how Rock n Roll is of the devil, etc.

Then I heard Petra.  And everything changed.  I heard a group of guys who loved Christ and desperately wanted to tell others about Him.  I read an interview with founding member/song writer/lead guitarist Bob Hartman where he made the analogy of going to a foreign mission field and learning the local language to share the Gospel.  He said that the mission field they were called to was American youth, and their language was Rock n Roll.  I know, have a field day with it, but there it is.

I then discovered Whiteheart and Degarmo & Key and Resurrection Band and a host of others.  People who played the music I liked, and packed it full of praise and Gospel truth and a Biblical worldview.  Not that all Christian Rock groups were perfectly sound in their theology.  Not that any of them were (or are) perfect.  But they loved Christ and wanted others to know Him.

In college I started working at our college radio station. By the way, radio was my second choice for "R".  If I wasn't a pastor, this would have been my second career choice. I spent several years as an announcer (DJ) at four radio stations in three states for supplemental income while in school and on the mission field. Most of those were Christian music stations.  Which brings me back to the original subject. 

While in college I discovered Steve Taylor and Daniel Amos and some other ground breaking artists.  I even rediscovered my love for the louder side of things with folks like Stryper and Barren Cross and White Cross and others. (I thought about finding links for all these groups mentioned here, but I really do have a day job, and anyone who really cares can google it for themselves).

Over the years I've fought the battle with those who still say Rock Music is of the devil.   I still love the "response" songs that cropped up like Larry Norman's "Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?"  and the Russ Ballard song made popular by Petra, "God Gave Rock n Roll to You." (a version of that song was actually popularized by the aforementioned KISS; go figure).  I got tired of that fight and just ignore those folks now. You listen to what you like, I'll listen to what I like.(I won't even go into Christian Rap, which would have been another good "R" word.  I love Flame and Lecrae and Shai Linne and others.  Go ahead...hate me).

Today I love a wide range of things from Newsboys (older better than newer) and Audio Adrenaline and Nine Lashes, to the rougher Skillet and Thousand Foot Krutch and We as Human.  I'm leaving out so many good groups.  Even some of the "old" guys are still around/coming back.  Stryper and Daniel Amos have both released albums in the last year or so that are among my favorite all time.

My kids are Christian music freaks as well.  We love going to concerts together.  We don't all like the same bands, but there are some bands we all like.  Not all are as "Christian" as others.  My take is, it doesn't always have to be cheerleader stuff or pure evangelistic zeal.  It's ok for Christians to enjoy entertaining music, and I prefer for my entertainment to at least be Christian-friendly and from a Biblical worldview.  This isn't the most thoughtful treatise on the subject, but hey, I'm just bloggin'.

I know not everyone agrees on this subject.  Mostly because it is indeed subjective.  It's more about what you like, what you grew up with, etc. Music is an emotional issue, because it affects our emotions so much.  I've cried during a good symphony and even at a good Christian Rock show.  Music has that effect.  But different music affects different people differently.  Me?  I love a variety.  I've already posted in this series about Jazz and about my love of antique hymnals.  But in the end, I really like me some Rock n Roll.   So, if you can take it, enjoy a little 80s rendition of the Larry Norman classic from Geoff Moore and the Distance.

1 comment:

Gregg Metcalf said...

I understand totally. I grew up with hard core country and I still love it to this day. I love Southern gospel, country gospel, and yes I love Shai Linne also. I have played his Mission Accomplished over and over again. I love the hook line, "God knows he tried..."