Is it wrong to listen to hard rock? (a double-meaning question)

Status
Not open for further replies.

Piano Hero

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm a young adult who enjoys listening to hard rock, but only if the singers/bands are Christians and have clean lyrics. I was wondering: is it wrong to listen to that genre of music? I understand that most of the singers that populate the hard rock group are atheists, and how it has a bad reputation because of that. But is it alright for a Christian to listen to hard rock as long as one listens to Christian/clean lyric and good reputation bands? I suppose much of the dislike of the genre is asociated with musical taste, but still, it seems like some
Christians think it's not okay to listen to hard rock. Could that be from possible violation of the command to be "in the world, but not of it", wherein we take the world's style of music and just replace it with a positive message? Or is it more of an opinion?


Another question related to hard rock: is it alright for women to listen to this genre? Again, this seems to be a matter of opinion to me, but I'm not sure if there's a Biblical reason behind it.


I'm not very good when it comes to putting rock music into genres (there's so many these days!), so my definition of hard rock includes artists like Skillet, Demon Hunter, Disciple, Red, and Flyleaf.
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
I'm a young adult who enjoys listening to hard rock, but only if the singers/bands are Christians and have clean lyrics. I was wondering: is it wrong to listen to that genre of music? I understand that most of the singers that populate the hard rock group are atheists, and how it has a bad reputation because of that. But is it alright for a Christian to listen to hard rock as long as one listens to Christian/clean lyric and good reputation bands? I suppose much of the dislike of the genre is asociated with musical taste, but still, it seems like some
Christians think it's not okay to listen to hard rock. Could that be from possible violation of the command to be "in the world, but not of it", wherein we take the world's style of music and just replace it with a positive message? Or is it more of an opinion?


Another question related to hard rock: is it alright for women to listen to this genre? Again, this seems to be a matter of opinion to me, but I'm not sure if there's a Biblical reason behind it.


I'm not very good when it comes to putting rock music into genres (there's so many these days!), so my definition of hard rock includes artists like Skillet, Demon Hunter, Disciple, Red, and Flyleaf.

Absolutely... provided you can do it without sin.

Whether it's rock, wine, greasy food or whatever, it is man, and not the object, that sins. Obviously it's not appropriate for worship, but if the music does not drive you to sin or promote it, there is no problem. Gender has nothing to do with it, btw.

Theognome
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
I agree not for worship services, but I listen to it. Old school stuff. Really old school stuff. Really really old school stuff. Can't understand what they are saying most of the time, so I guess it doesn't matter what they are singing. Its pathetic when I see them now and they look like they broke out of an old folks home.
 

moral necessity

Puritan Board Junior
My conscience allows me to listen to a wide variety of secular music without question. in my opinion, things like this fall under the category of "All things are lawful, but not all things edify.........if I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks? Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - I Cor. 10:23-30. So, I find enjoyment and pleasure in the songs and music of lots of groups out there, whether or not the musicians are professed believers. The way I see it is, as his sun shines on both the wicked and the just, so his blessings of talent fall upon both as well, and so I appreciate and enjoy the work of his hands in these areas too.

Blessings!
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
For the most part I'd agree with Bill. However, we must also consider who we identify with. As has been said, "If it looks like the world, smells like the world and sounds like the world, where do you think it comes from?" Often this can be cultural, but sometimes it's not (example - long hair in the 50s had a whole different meaning than in the 70s). But who or what we identify with is relevant. Hudson Taylor dressed like the Chinese because he wanted to identify with them. Rather than make them "English," he tried to become Chinese.
Because Bill's answer is right on, I can't answer this for everyone. Personally, I identify Rock, generally, with rebellion, drugs, licentiousness, violence, anger and immorality. In other words, there is very little rock music I listen to. And yet I like to listen to country, which can easily be identified with the same things, to a greater or lesser degree (especially infidelity). I don't listen much any more because of the wide gaps between songs with appropriate lyrics. And country has been identified with the more desirable attributes of our culture than rock, for the most part. But I don't think I would want to be identified with country so much, so I don't listen to it much any more.
This applies to how we dress, talk, etc. We want to consider who/what we are identifying with. We want to identify with Christ, so how can we portray that in every aspect of our lives? We don't want to get legalistic here. But we do want to honor Christ before we pursue any "liberties" that might distract people from Him in their perusal of us.
My 7 cents worth.
 

TheocraticMonarchist

Puritan Board Junior
Ok, I couldn’t resist!

I followed the Christian Rock Scene for a while in my high school days. I was even in a Christian rock/worship band. In addition to leading a weekly service we had several concerts in Kentucky and Tennessee. Shortly after our group broke up God graciously brought me out of my Wesleyan/Pentecostal/ Dispensationalist haze. Two things have happened since then:

1.) I have stopped listening to Christian rock because it’s riddled with bad theology, and a worldly message. I tuned into the light rock radio station the other day and mistook it for the Christian radio station. It had a nice moralistic song… Anyway, I find that Christian rock is largely unedifying.
2.) I have had to repent for leading people in an inappropriate form of Worship. In other words our worship, although sincere, offended God because it violated the scriptures.

In most cases Christian rock/pop/whatever shouldn’t be called Christian becuase it doesn't represnt the life and teachings of Christ. Family Force Five’s ‘love addict’ music video comes to mind :barfy: .

Anyway, If you know of any orthodx Calvinist groups post e'm :)
 

reformed trucker

Puritan Board Sophomore
Listen to good classical symphony. Food for the soul.

This, coming from a guy who has over 200 albums (albums? whazzat?) of 60's, 70's & 80's rock.
 

TheocraticMonarchist

Puritan Board Junior
Anyway, If you know of any orthodx Calvinist groups post e'm :)

If you don't know of one, create one! That'll fix the nay-sayers!

Theognome


That would be fun, but I fear what might happen if I were to contribute to anyone’s idolatry/ false worship. Sadly, people abuse music and our weak brothers fall victim. If people would approach good Christian music as edifying entertainment that's one thing, but like the Bible it gets 'spiritualized' and distorted.
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
Anyway, If you know of any orthodx Calvinist groups post e'm :)

If you don't know of one, create one! That'll fix the nay-sayers!

Theognome


That would be fun, but I fear what might happen if I were to contribute to anyone’s idolatry/ false worship. Sadly, people abuse music and our weak brothers fall victim. If people would approach good Christian music as edifying entertainment that's one thing, but like the Bible it gets 'spiritualized' and distorted.

Let's not 'despise' our veggie eating brethren. If everyone on this board were at the same table, I could smack a dozen of them with a dinner roll who felt that any music that was not unaccompanied psalms was utter sin. People abuse the sacraments- yet we still do them. Christians abuse alcohol, automobiles, television, sports, food and prescription drugs, yet such things are still necessary and even good and edifying. If abuse of music can cause a weaker brother to stumble, then simply don't abuse it- use it and enjoy it in the context that the Lord gave it, to His glory and the edification of the saints.

Theognome
 

TheocraticMonarchist

Puritan Board Junior
If you don't know of one, create one! That'll fix the nay-sayers!

Theognome


That would be fun, but I fear what might happen if I were to contribute to anyone’s idolatry/ false worship. Sadly, people abuse music and our weak brothers fall victim. If people would approach good Christian music as edifying entertainment that's one thing, but like the Bible it gets 'spiritualized' and distorted.

Let's not 'despise' our veggie eating brethren. If everyone on this board were at the same table, I could smack a dozen of them with a dinner roll who felt that any music that was not unaccompanied psalms was utter sin. People abuse the sacraments- yet we still do them. Christians abuse alcohol, automobiles, television, sports, food and prescription drugs, yet such things are still necessary and even good and edifying. If abuse of music can cause a weaker brother to stumble, then simply don't abuse it- use it and enjoy it in the context that the Lord gave it, to His glory and the edification of the saints.

Theognome

I see what you're saying, but I still have my concerns. Many people tend to look at Christian musicians as the priests who usher them into the presence of God. Perhaps it's cultural, but electric guitars tend to the draw euphoric type. If a Calvinist rock band were to have a concert, and a bus load of charismatic’s where to show up, what would they do? Grab the Levites? Let them offend God with their false worship? In this case the musicians serve as enablers, even if they only intended on entertaining and not leading worship.

CD's seem safe, but concerts get sticky.
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
I see what you're saying, but I still have my concerns. Many people tend to look at Christian musicians as the priests who usher them into the presence of God. Perhaps it's cultural, but electric guitars tend to the draw euphoric type. If a Calvinist rock band were to have a concert, and a bus load of charismatic’s where to show up, what would they do? Grab the Levites? Let them offend God with their false worship? In this case the musicians serve as enablers, even if they only intended on entertaining and not leading worship.

CD's seem safe, but concerts get sticky.

Is it the sound, or the light show and stage antics that 'rev up' the concert goers? Consider http://www.puritanboard.com/f103/our-church-made-video-43922/ this thread. Here's some folks who approached the music with sober-mindedness before the Lord. Could not the same attitude be done with rock?

Theognome
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Being a musician, I can't help but chime on this one. While I agree that there is probably nothing morally wrong with listening to hard rock music (the music itself, not the lyrics), I have yet to find lyrics to hard rock music that doesn't talk about some form of free sex, rebellion, suicide, hate, lost loves or a host of other sad and miserable topics.

When I was a teenager, someone encouraged me to filter everything I read, watch or listen to through the Philippians 4:8 filters: Whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report. If there be any virtue or praise, think on these things. When I take the time to do that (I admit, I don't always do that, but I should), it cuts out a lot of garbage.

I could also go into the mindless repetition argument, but I don't want to touch that one with a ten foot pole.
 

TaylorOtwell

Puritan Board Junior
Taking a survey of music course in college greatly opened my eyes to a lot of things about music. Much of the beautiful sounding operas of the past were laced with lyrics that sit right up there with the most profane rock stars and rappers. There are not many (if any?) genres of music that have not been used for wicked purposes.

A new found favorite of mine is Baroque Lute. Anyone else a fan?
 

TheocraticMonarchist

Puritan Board Junior
I see what you're saying, but I still have my concerns. Many people tend to look at Christian musicians as the priests who usher them into the presence of God. Perhaps it's cultural, but electric guitars tend to the draw euphoric type. If a Calvinist rock band were to have a concert, and a bus load of charismatic’s where to show up, what would they do? Grab the Levites? Let them offend God with their false worship? In this case the musicians serve as enablers, even if they only intended on entertaining and not leading worship.

CD's seem safe, but concerts get sticky.

Is it the sound, or the light show and stage antics that 'rev up' the concert goers? Consider http://www.puritanboard.com/f103/our-church-made-video-43922/ this thread. Here's some folks who approached the music with sober-mindedness before the Lord. Could not the same attitude be done with rock?

Theognome

I see what you're saying, and they did a very good job. But what about my enabler concern? I'm not trying to do away with music, but I am pointing out a very real problem. Aren't Chrisitan musicians obligated to correct their erring fans, even in mid concert? Is that conducive to either worship or entertainment, whatever their aim? Are we even supposed to have worship outside of s church context? It is easier to teach people in a church setting.

Just some thoughts/concerns of mine :think:
 

kalawine

Puritan Board Junior
Ok, I couldn’t resist!

I followed the Christian Rock Scene for a while in my high school days. I was even in a Christian rock/worship band. In addition to leading a weekly service we had several concerts in Kentucky and Tennessee. Shortly after our group broke up God graciously brought me out of my Wesleyan/Pentecostal/ Dispensationalist haze. Two things have happened since then:

1.) I have stopped listening to Christian rock because it’s riddled with bad theology, and a worldly message. I tuned into the light rock radio station the other day and mistook it for the Christian radio station. It had a nice moralistic song… Anyway, I find that Christian rock is largely unedifying.
2.) I have had to repent for leading people in an inappropriate form of Worship. In other words our worship, although sincere, offended God because it violated the scriptures.

In most cases Christian rock/pop/whatever shouldn’t be called Christian becuase it doesn't represnt the life and teachings of Christ. Family Force Five’s ‘love addict’ music video comes to mind :barfy: .

Anyway, If you know of any orthodx Calvinist groups post e'm :)

Jonathan, our situations are similar. I wasn't in a band but I led worship with the acoustic guitar. I can say with you that "I have had to repent for leading people in an inappropriate form of Worship. In other words our worship, although sincere, offended God because it violated the scriptures." (Vineyard was my favorite. I can't listen to it now.) Not only that, but I believe that (I didn't realize what I was doing at the time) I even manipulated people. I would begin with fast, upbeat music and slow it down as I went. I would always end with a very slow, tender, "sweet" sort of song (You know "More Love, More Power"?) and that would bring "the anointing." :rolleyes:

I don't feel comfortable judging others who don't agree with me on this subject. But I have my conscience to live with.
 

No Longer A Libertine

Puritan Board Senior
All is lawful but not all is profitable, Saturday Night live for instance has become so tasteless that i switch it off almost everytime I turn it on!:duh:

I've enjoyed a great number of toe tapping secular treats while remaining ignorant of their innuendos and perverse messages, Dave Matthews for instance, it took me a long time to realize that the pretty melody celebrated a pervert ( despite one lyric i just cast off as inappropriate).

I love me some Def Leppard, I know sexuality exists in some of the lyrics but i don't look for it or place my mind in any mode other than toe thumping, I always abstain from it on car rides to church so as to prepare the mind for worship and preaching.

In conclusion, abstain from what causes you to stumble if it is so overtly unedifying but partake of humor, melody, wine, song and women within the gracious limits and context of God's glorious purpose with absolute freedom of conscious.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
Some things to consider:

1. Rock music was established in association with rebellion to the older generation. Accordingly, I argue that there is always a rebellious aspect that is essential to the genre.

2. Christian rock music sounds like secular rock music.

3. The theology in Christian rock music is probably not that good.

4. Really, there are more sophisticated, complex, and engaging forms of music waiting to be discovered. (This is not to say that someone who likes rock is unsophisticated, but many times people have not been exposed to the finer forms of music because of their peer group and environment).

One would then need to decide whether they are interested in participating in the above things.
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
Good music is good music.

Music is a medium for a message.

When trying to share a 'biblical' message, the music must be able to carry the weight of the message. Handel's Messiah is a perfect example of music to match the weight.

Music is usually under suspicion because of the the historic associations in the similar way that karate may be associated with eastern religion; or how herbal remedies are associated with new age philosophy.

Music has the ability to effectively carry a message that can move convictions and sway the mindset of individuals and nations.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
1. Rock music was established in association with rebellion to the older generation.

Rock music's roots are in African music which developed for the most part, in the African-American community, some of the root styles are ragtime, blues, jazz. The rebellion against parents and society didn't start to show up until the 1950s and 1960s. It was one of the tool's used to help launch the rebellion and sexual revolution of those decades, but I would be hestitant to associate with just rebellion.

Accordingly, I argue that there is always a rebellious aspect that is essential to the genre.

Really? How so? What makes it rebellious? (I have an answer, but I want to know what made you say that.)

As Bob said, music is a medium and it must be able to carry the weight of the message, so rather than just accuse rock music of being rebellious, I would argue that it is not a good medium to carry the weighty message of God's Word.

I have to add here that there is plenty of poorly written music out there that isn't rock that is not a good medium to carry the message of the Word of God.


2. Christian rock music sounds like secular rock music.

True

3. The theology in Christian rock music is probably not that good.

Be careful here to throw everything in one pot. What is your definition of rock? If you are talking about hard rock, you are probably right. I have yet to hear a hard rock Christian song that has good theology, though it might be out there. I have, on the other hand, heard some christian rock songs that have good reformed theology. Here's an example:

"Lord, I'm grateful amazed at what You've done
My finest efforts are filthy rags
But I'm made righteous by trusting in Your Son
I have God's riches at Christ's expense
Cause it's grace there's nothing I can do
to make You love me more
to make You love me less than you do
and by faith, I'm standing on this Stone of Christ and Christ alone
Your righteousness is all that I neeed
Cause it's grace

Called and chosen when I was far away,
You brought me into God's family
Free forgiven my guilt is washed away
Your lovingkindness is life to me

4. Really, there are more sophisticated, complex, and engaging forms of music waiting to be discovered. (This is not to say that someone who likes rock is unsophisticated, but many times people have not been exposed to the finer forms of music because of their peer group and environment).


My daughter's music teacher (who happens to have a doctorate in music and plays double bass in a major symphony orchestra) would argue that there are forms of rock music that are as sophisticated, complex and engaging as a Beethoven symphony.

The fact is, the difference between a Beethoven symphony or Handel's Messiah and say a complicated heavy metal rock song is not sophistication, complexity or how engaging it is. It boils down to whose rules of music were followed when the piece was written.

By the way, Tim, I'm really not trying to pick on you, and I am not defending rock music, just wanted to point out a few things.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
I understand that most of the singers that populate the hard rock group are atheists

I don't think that is true. They may be worldly, but I don't think the majority would describe themselves as atheists.

But is it alright for a Christian to listen to hard rock as long as one listens to Christian/clean lyric and good reputation bands?

This is a dangerous way of thinking about music, and it is rampant in Christian circles. Parents especially are often only concerned whether the music is "Christian" rather than whether it is good. "Oh it's Christian? Well then, it's safe". That is lazy, in my opinion.
I will admit to having a very limited knowledge of the Christian music scene, but that is because what I HAVE heard is lousy. What is better--listening to a cheap "Christian" version of popular music, or listening to Mozart...the work of an incredibly worldly man? I'll take Mozart any day.

We need to get out of the habit of evaluating art by whether it is Christian or not. Christians used to be at the forefront of the arts, but those days are long gone. Sadly, many Christians have settled for taking a mirror image of what the world produces, and then giving it a splash of Jesus. Where is the creativity in that?

But back to your question...No, it's not wrong. There is nothing evil or sinful about certain genres of music. Some genres may be dominated by poor musical acts, but that doesn't make the genre itself wrong.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
I think it's a sin to listen to it in my hearing. Opera or classical on the other hand....
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
I have yet to find lyrics to hard rock music that doesn't talk about some form of free sex, rebellion, suicide, hate, lost loves or a host of other sad and miserable topics.

A couple points:
(1) I'm not sure you have looked very far. There is more out there.
(2) Sad topics can make a great theme in art. Lost love has penned some wonderful music and beautiful poetry. We are relational creatures, so we should expect that music would often center on relationships--whether the song-writer is Christian or not.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
Is it telling that almost every 'Christian' hard rock group dresses like, and looks like a 'worldly' band? They all seem to have that stoned gaze in their press photos.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top