About heavy metal and christianity

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by KaphLamedh, Dec 17, 2009.

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  1. carlgobelman

    carlgobelman Puritan Board Freshman

    Do these threads come in threes or what? There seem to be a lot of threads going around today of the variety of "Can/Should a Christian do...X" (e.g., listen to heavy metal, watch R-rated movies, etc.).

  2. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    These threads pop up on a more or less regular basis. They slow down for a time, and then someone posts a question, which reminds someone else of another question they had, and so forth.
  3. KaphLamedh

    KaphLamedh Puritan Board Freshman

    Black metal is satanic or anti-christian form of metal. Musically it´s mainly aggressive and vocals usually are screamed. There has been black metal since early 1980´s, but it came popular in early 90´s when in Norway someone started to burn churches and those arsonists where inside the black metal scene. I wasn´t satanist myself, but it was easy to play such kind on "music". It´s like punk, you really don´t need talents to be "star". I was just playing for fun that stuff. I never likes lyrics, but back then I didn´t care...
  4. David FCC

    David FCC Puritan Board Freshman

    Many people when listening to music just listen to the tune and most of the lyrics go totally unnoticed so personally I struggle with the idea of Christian rock music as the world cannot see the difference between them. Also I feel there is a real danger of vanity creeping in when it comes to "Christian music" just the same as in the secular world with the adoring crowds that buy the cd's and come to listen at the gig's.
  5. O'GodHowGreatThouArt

    O'GodHowGreatThouArt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Being a person who is into extreme Christian metal (Christian Death Metal and Black Metal, otherwise known as "White Metal" and "Unblack Metal" to some, though I do believe both titles sound corny), and hosts what I believe to be the internet's only 100% Christian black metal show, I felt I should comment on this topic.

    When it comes to metal, as well as all music, there are two things one must keep in mind.

    1) God's conviction upon you
    2) Where it stands in God's Word.

    There are some who believe that God does not want them listening to it, and I applaud them for devoting themselves to the Lord first above what they desire for themselves. However, one has to realize that what God applies to one person, He does not necessarily apply to another.

    1 Thessalonians 5:22 is often used as justification to not listen to any Christian music besides hymns. But, one has to ask an essential question: What is considered evil? Throughout the Bible, the answer is given time and time again - Anything that is not like God (i.e. sin). The next question one should ask, which I will not answer here, as most should know it, is what is considered sin according to the Bible? Answer that, then compare it to the lyrics. Does anything fall into the many categories of sin? Does it glorify God?

    Figure those two out, and you will have found Biblical music. Forget about the genre. If the music is holy and glorifies God, would He really care if it's polka, country, rap, or metal?

    Hopefully this clears up some misconceptions about the genres.
  6. etexas

    etexas Puritan Board Doctor

    I will answer with your own "feel". What ever comes not from faith is sin. This is not saying to "style" is evil to all people in all places....HOWEVER, it is an issue with your conscience, you stated:"I feel BAD everytime I hear it.... I would suggest that it has a "negative" background for you, if so, it may well be a prompt of the Holy Ghost to put it behind you. When in such a doubt, PRAY, listen to the Holy Spirit! If it makes you feel bad WHENEVER you hear it...perhaps you should put it away....Peace in Christ!
  7. Pilgrim72

    Pilgrim72 Puritan Board Junior

    I wish I had seen this thread earlier. But as a Christian, I personally enjoy listening to metal. I like other styles of music too, but metal is probably my favorite. I don't like death or black because good vocals are important to me.
    Your situation sorta reminds me of the meat sacrificed to idols. The meat itself wasn't bad to eat, but some saw that it was since it was sacrificed to idols...

    Anyway, there are a few Finnish bands I enjoy listening to. Have you heard of Amorphis? I don't like everything by them, since they have a mixture of death vocals, but here's a cool song that came out last year that I really like. I read the lyrics and I'm not sure what he's talking about... but it doesn't seem evil or satanic.

  8. O'GodHowGreatThouArt

    O'GodHowGreatThouArt Puritan Board Sophomore

    It's definitely positive, but I do not get the feeling they aren't Christian per say. They, for sure, are not satanic.
  9. Andrew P.C.

    Andrew P.C. Puritan Board Junior

    The only things I will say is that you can glorify God in through music. Style isn't of the importance, it's the substance, the lyrics, the heart of the matter. Also, if it goes against your conscience, do not do it for that is sin.

    For myself, I listen to bands such as The Devil Wears Prada, August Burns Red, and some other bands from SolidState Records(in line with tooth&nail records... these are so called "Christian" bands). Even though the theology sucks in the lyrics, they are clean lyrics nonetheless and it's one of my favorite styles of music.
  10. Blue Tick

    Blue Tick Puritan Board Graduate

    Take each song individually along with the bands. Some are not edifying or they're just plain rebellious towards God. For instance I won’t listen to the band Tool but I’ll listen to music performed by Metallica and Morphine. If we want to say Christians shouldn’t listen to Heavy Metal we might as well not listen to the self idol worship of Air Supply, Chicago, and some Country music, etc… and other love centric bands that turn relationships into a god.
  11. tlharvey7

    tlharvey7 Puritan Board Freshman

    using 1 Thess. 5:22 for this argument/discussion is invalid.
    to wrench a passage out of context (regarding prophetic utterences) to make this type of point should not be done

    1 Thessalonians 5:22? The Sin Sniffer?s Catch-All Verse | Bible.org; NET Bible, Bible Study
  12. O'GodHowGreatThouArt

    O'GodHowGreatThouArt Puritan Board Sophomore

    I've got a couple friends who have used this argument a number of times. And every time they keep saying that "it sounds/looks/seems evil", thereby justifying the application of the verse (assuming that it's true). For those who don't use that argument, I've always asked them how it's not of God.

    I've yet to get a biblical answer.

    Christian metal has taken a lot of flack about it being evil. But my argument is, even if it came from satanic metal (which we all agree is unholy and not of God), was it not taken from God by men first? He's just merely taking back what belongs to Him.

    I believe that Matthew 7:1 could be applied in this case, because without examining everything done with scripture, what right does someone have to determine if another person is sinning or not through their activities like playing video games, eating lots of snacks, talking on the phone a lot, etc.? This is based on the assumption that 1 Thessalonian 5:22 is pulled out of context to prove such.

    If you ask me, we need to get off this road of judging everything everyone does blindly. It's not our place to nitpick through someone's life looking for something that could remotely look like it is of the devil. It's starting to pull the focus away from God, and putting it on making people right with God (which is both unbiblical and sin in of itself. So one could go as far as claiming hypocrisy on the matter), though I will submit that it demoralizes more than helps.

    Now, if something comes to our attention, or what a person does is so blatant you can't miss it, that's another matter, because it came to us, and we didn't go digging for it.

    Anyways, those are my thoughts on the matter. If I am in error somewhere, feel free to correct me.
  13. tlharvey7

    tlharvey7 Puritan Board Freshman

    well put
  14. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    This statement assumes that those who think such forms of music are not prudent for the Christian are making that assumption blindly, rather than having scriptural reason. One may ultimately disagree with their reasoning, nevertheless that does not make it "blind judging."

    Also, those who find such forms of music imprudent are not nitpicking, and are certainly not searching through someone's life trying to find something wrong; and much more so are they not trying to make themselves right with God through their actions or abstentions!

    As to reasons, one can bring forth both scriptural reasons and reasons from the light of nature (for instance, read Plato's Republic to see the importance upon human behavior to which men have ascribed *types* of music). If something springs from the base pleasures and instincts of men, or from the dark parts of our culture (orgies, drug use, violent rages, pornographic material, etc), we would never say that we wanted to take that and "redeem it" or use it to honor God: rather we should shun such things and what they represent. Therefore, if "death metal" or "black metal" have originated from these parts of our culture (even just listen to the name!), why should we not treat it the same way? This does not mean we have to be separate from the world in the same sense that many modern fundamentalist sects claim, but it does mean that there are certain aspects or components of culture which should be shunned by the Christian. Also, we are to conduct our lives in such a manner that our minds are sober and well-ordered. So, as you referred to above, this means not spending too much idle time on the phone, indulging in too much food or drink, or immoderately partaking of video games; we need to moderately and soberly use all forms of recreation, labor, food, drink, rest, etc. This also means abstemious behavior regarding certain things which might overtly seem otherwise "neutral." For instance, watching a movie might be just fine; however, we should probably avoid watching deep horror films which have the purpose of instilling true terror in the soul; laughing with friends might be just fine, but we should be wary of company which will throw us into uncontrollable and prolonged giddiness, which is the opposite of sobriety; likewise, it might be just fine to listen to music, but I should probably avoid listening to such *forms* of music which excite various passions in me, such as those which would make me drive my car faster, want to get into a fight (you may laugh, but music can very easily have this power) or dance in inappropriate ways. The question is, does "death metal" lead to this sort of sobriety? Or is it a sort of music which is designed to awaken certain passions or feelings in a person? Ultimately, we might very well disagree as to the conclusion, but I hope you can at least see why some of us are more extremely cautious when it comes to simply jumping on board and saying, "Of course such things are perfectly acceptable! The style of music is neutral so long as the words are glorifying!"
  15. Vytautas

    Vytautas Puritan Board Freshman

    Many people commented on the lyrical content of metal, but what of the other parts? Metal is not played a cappella.

    The tritone, an interval spanning three whole tones—such as C and F#—was a forbidden dissonance in medieval ecclesiastical singing, which led monks to call it diabolus in musica—"the devil in music.”Because of that original symbolic association, it came to be heard in Western cultural convention as "evil". Heavy metal has made extensive use of the tritone in guitar solos and riffs, such as in the beginning of "Black Sabbath".

  16. O'GodHowGreatThouArt

    O'GodHowGreatThouArt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Please forgive me for the generality of that statement. The two people I referenced above extended it beyond music and into my life as a whole. While it does apply in some cases, it does not apply with everyone, just as convictions by God may not necessarily apply to everyone. I apologize for my error.

    Again, I attempted, and failed, to generalize the statements I was making to show that this kind of judgment can extend beyond the music scene. My apologies for my mistake.

    I will give you this point, but I will also submit to you a question. Can God not take His creation, which was taken from Him and used for wicked purposes, back from those who stole it, and use it for His own purposes? If so, why can't Christian metal be seen from this perspective?

    As I've stated before, as long as the music glorifies God, I don't believe He cares what style it is.

    I understand and completely respect you for being cautious. I still am to this day regarding my Christian music, because it's so easy for me to be deceived by my own heart thinking a band glorifies God. Recently, I removed an album from my collection because the band deceived a very good friend of mine into thinking they're Christian Black Metal, got signed onto the label, and it turned out they were Atheists (They catapulted in through another Christian Black Metal band, who was just as deceived as myself and my friend was). This wasn't discovered until around Christmas and their album had been out for over a year. Safe to say their album was cut almost immediately upon discovery.

    In another instance, I found a band who I had thought was a Christian band based on the reviews I saw, however, when I dug them back up about 3 months later because I had heard they put out new material, it turns out the band was Satanic. That band could not get out of my computer fast enough.

    Also, I'm well aware of the power music can have on people; it has driven me to attempt suicide in the past when I was into secular/Satanic death and black metal. As such, my heart breaks at anyone who says they can listen to music and not be affected, because they could be potentially setting themselves up for the very disaster I narrowly avoided seven times by the grace and mercies of God, even though I wanted nothing to do with Him at the time, and not even know it.
  17. Michael

    Michael Puritan Board Senior

    Hey, now that's a seriously sweet and smooth vox/sax/bass/drum mix right there. Been a fan for years. Some of the lyrics get a little "out there" but overall their music is really something!
  18. Gage Browning

    Gage Browning Puritan Board Freshman

    I approve of "good metal" and simply disapprove of "bad metal". I grew up listening to bands like Stryper and will leave it to you to decide if that is "good metal" or not.
  19. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

    Accusations stemming from superstition and ignorance.
  20. Pilgrim72

    Pilgrim72 Puritan Board Junior

    Good or bad? Hmm. Is there a "cheese" pile I can put them in? :)
  21. smhbbag

    smhbbag Puritan Board Senior

    I find a lot of agreement with what Paul wrote above.

    I think it is fairly plain that music functions as a tool. It affects our emotions, and that is why we listen to it. Different music styles can make us happy, pensive, sad, energetic, angry, bold, triumphant, etc.

    None of these things are bad, in and of themselves. But, like every other tool, it must be used for the job for which it was designed - using it any other way can cause damage. I'm also reminded, on this subject, of the Song of Solomon - do not awaken love before its time. Or, in general, do not arouse impulses and emotions when there is no proper outlet for them.

    Heavy metal arouses anger, boldness, venting, defiance, rage, and other similar emotions. By definition, those are the reasons one would scream and shout, which is part of the definition of heavy metal itself.

    Those emotions have proper outlets in the Christian life, and they can be felt and used without sin. But those occasions are indeed very rare. It is FAR from healthy or wise to bring about those intense emotions (even if dialed-back by some form of self-discipline) when one has no proper use for them.

    When is it good and noble to scream with primal rage? Well, that may be the occasion on which I choose to listen to heavy metal. Outside of a soldier preparing for imminent battle in defense of what is good, I can't think of much that would qualify. But I still won't call it music ;)
  22. tlharvey7

    tlharvey7 Puritan Board Freshman

    "Outside of a soldier preparing for imminent battle in defense of what is good" you just described the Christian walk
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